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Tata Tiago EV: How I ended up buying the car & tech I disliked the most

On our first visit I had told the SA that we were not likely to buy Tiago and were more interested in buying Comet however were just checking the car.

BHPian nik0502 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

I always disliked the First Gen Indica for how it looked. Over the years lot of changes happened to the original Indica design and it was renamed multiple times like Vista, Bolt however more or less it still looked like original Indica. And that same design started putting me off. It became one of the most disliked designs by me.

Coming to the Electric craze. I always felt EVs are still far behind in terms of what they offer for the price and also they also lack practicality. I like driving non stop. I am always in a hurry to reach the destination. Hence all my drives are non stop. Even the 600 - 700 kms one. So I would hate to stop just because the car needs a break for charging. One of my very close friends had booked Nexon EV last year and I convinced him to cancel the booking. He ended up buying ScorpioN 4*4. I was certain that I would never buy an EV in life. But life had other plans.

The buying decision

I didn’t have any plans of buying a new car however It was Christmas Eve and I was out buying groceries when all of a sudden a thread of Comet EV Popped up on my Facebook feed. The title mentioned about heavy discounts on Comet EV and the available subsidies. So long story short the Comet EV was supposed to cost 6.2 lacs for base variant. This drew my interest and I finished the entire thread. Discussed this with my wife and she had a liking for Comet since the time it was launched.

I am currently living in Chandigarh and my daily running is 22 km in very heavy traffic. And one 600 kms drive to Delhi NCR every month. My other cars are 2020 Ecosport Titanium Plus AT and Honda Civic VAT. Currently both these cars are doing the duty of a daily runner with Civic already crossing 1.25 lac mark.

I am soon supposed to move back to NCR and my daily running would be 100+ km. I was preparing myself mentally for a daily fuel cost of 800-1000 rupees since I didn’t want to buy another car spend big amount just to get a comparatively lower running cost. However suddenly the idea of buying Comet popped up in my mind and it started making sense. Buying Comet would have meant I would be spending a lot less on fuel plus EMI as compared to my expected monthly fuel cost. I called multiple MG dealers in NCR and Chandigarh. While all of them promised to arrange a call back but I got none. Frustrated I called TATA motors and they happily shared the price details and available discounts.

I decided to drop by the MG showroom personally to check out the car in person and enquire the discounts along with a possible test drive. I hadn’t driven an EV so far in life. Unfortunately got stuck in a 2 hours plus traffic jam due to Christmas. And was unable to reach the MG showroom. There was a TATA showroom nearby so decided to check out Tiago instead. I had to park the car in TATA commercial vehicles dealership since the road in front of TATA passenger vehicles was completely blocked by traffic. The guard at commercial vehicles unit asked us not to park the car there however my wife told him that he would be turning a potential TATA customer away. Though the guard didn’t force us to move the car however he was very rude throughout. I wasn’t very surprised since I had a horrible time with TATA at the time of Harrier launch. The car was under serious consideration but we decided to turn it down due to dealership’s attitude.

We entered the passenger vehicle section and enquired about Tiago EV. There was a white colour XT variant parked inside the dealership. My wife didn’t hate it as much. Though she never liked it  her first reaction on listening about Tiago EV was “it just looks like another Alto”. No offence to Tiago EV owners.

Checked about the price and I had XT Medium Range in my mind since it would have been a little over the initial plan of spending ~ 7 lac on EV. There was a healthy discount and delivery was possible immediately. I didn’t need a car that fast and I was sure we weren’t buying Tiago EV. Took the price sheet and left for MG dealership. Ended up walking about 1.2 KMs because of the traffic jam. Reached MG showroom and there was no display vehicle which I hadn’t expected. There was a test drive vehicle parked in the basement. The team offered me that car so that I can check it. The car was just okay. I couldn’t take a test drive since the battery was barely 2%.

Asked about the discounts and the SA mentioned there was hardly any. With the discounts quoted Tiago EV was costing less than MG for same set of equipment and Tiago was a proper car. My daily commute would be between Faridabad and Gurgaon which includes a hilly road with some sharp turns. I had an apprehension about the Comet EV from safety perspective on this route. Though it’s a beautiful city car but the use case is very limited. Once we reached home my wife mentioned she was not as impressed with Comet. So there it was. I convinced her for Tiago EV. She didn’t like both the cars and said it’s better that we continue with our current cars. After some discussion she agreed that it might not be the best of the purchase but it would make a lot of sense.

On our first visit I had told the SA that we were not likely to buy Tiago and were more interested in buying Comet however were just checking the car. The SA Aman was still very welcoming and helpful. So I called him up. And informed him that I am ready to go ahead and buy the car but need a test drive first. I couldn’t take a test drive because of working days so on Saturday 30th I took a test drive and was very underwhelmed. All that talk about smooth drive no noise and everything I didn’t feel any of it. Probably because I have been driving Petrol cars only all my life. Then next thing was the availability of torque from 0 rpm. Again didn’t find anything different here probably because the current cars are already peppy. The sports mode was great though.

Asked for 30 minutes time after test drive to confirm for the booking. Discussed with wife and she confirmed that I should go ahead with the booking. Till this time I wasn’t even sure if I should buy another car. Booked a white coloured XT variant (Long Range). This variant makes a lot of sense since the on road cost is less than 10 lacs and you get all basic equipments. Couple of things that were bothering me with XT variant. Lack of defogger and fog lamps. And I really like the keyless entry feature for its convenience. Decided to upgrade the booking to Top variant. So upgraded the variant to the top variant on 31st. The SA had a car which had arrived just one day ago and allocated the same to me. I asked for the VIN and the SA happily obliged. It was a December 2023 made unit. I did the PDI and gave a go ahead. Loan was applied under my wife’s name and was approved the same day. Surprisingly the dealer was ready to deliver the car on Bank Delivery Order. My friend had taken the delivery of Scorpio N and the delivery was delayed in his case since the payment wasn’t credited to dealer’s account on the day of delivery and dealer denied the delivery even after confirmation from the leasing company that the payment had been initiated.

Till 3 PM on 3rd January I had no plans of taking the car that day. Was waiting for the weekend. However got the call from my SA that the car is ready for delivery. I wasn’t aware that the registration process is completely online now. Not sure if it is only in Chandigarh or across the country. The registration took less than 30 minutes and I had the permanent number issued for the car. After discussion with SA I headed home dropped Ecosport. Booked an uber and reached dealership at 5:45 with my wife. Completed balance payment and paperwork. Got the delivery at 7:30 PM.

Headed to the temple where customary pooja was done and headed home at 9 PM. Took an off next day to complete some formalities for the bank. And the car threw first niggle.

More on that later.

There was no excitement about the car in the family. Probably because it was first time everything was overlooked in favour of practicality. The car was parked for next 10 days and kept gathering dust. Even the caretaker of the house who is more of a family member was sure that it was a wrong purchase and didn’t bother to wash the car.

I wanted to upgrade the tyres and the wheels however wasn’t sure about the drop in range and couldn’t find anything on the web. Was going through the official review thread where I saw a bhpian had already upgraded the tyres to 185 section. Thank You BHPian Altman for clearing the doubts about this upgrade. So after spending 10 days in hibernation the car went for a tyre and wheels upgrade. I checked multiple stores however couldn’t find alloys which I would like in the first instance. There weren’t many options in 14 inch size. Finally my wife selected one and decided to go ahead with it. Though these are little loud for my taste. Decided to go with Yokohama 185 section since Michelin are still not easily available in the market.

The wheels and the wider tyres changed the stance of the car completely. The car was driven 40 kms that day and was run ~ 90 km in total and it needed a charge. I don’t have a charging option at home and don’t want to install one also since I will be moving soon. So took the car to work next day and put it on charge. It took 7 hours to charge from 30% to 100%.

The car has been consuming unexpectedly high energy which I will discuss in detail later.

Overall experience is neutral. The car isn’t exceptional in any aspect but does everything well. If one keeps the expectations low the car will keep you happy.

Positives

  • Proper car at affordable price as compared to competition.
  • I will be charging the car at work for most of the days so no running cost.
  • Quality of materials used is acceptable. Nothing that stands out but nothing that would scream cheapness also.
  • Top variant is loaded with features i.e Auto headlights/ wiper, keyless entry and push button start, faux leather seats etc.

Negatives

The list is long

  • Usual TATA niggles.
  • Sad Harman music system. It probably is decent for the price of the car however what’s worse is there is no option to upgrade either. Any changes to the electric components of the car will void the warranty. Even if done at dealer level. This is going to haunt me for a long time.
  • No option to customise. You can’t change anything in the car unless you are ready to let go of the warranty. TATA is not allowing any modification or changes to the car. Slightest change will result in issues with warranty.
  • Lighter build means a lot of outside noise filters in the cabin. I would need to get the damping done soon. Not sure what can be done with the thin windows glass.
  • No tinted glasses means it’s going to be difficult in North Indian summers. Plus it would have saved some amount of battery also.
  • Huge variation in claimed Vs actual range. MG is claiming a range of 230 and customer reports on Team bhp state they are getting ~ 180 kms on the other hand the highest claimed range I have seen on the reviews is 240 kms.
  • The rear bounces more than expected on big speed breakers.
  • The headlights are just average. Could have been a little better.
  • Negligible heating in the cabin. Unlike ICE cars where the heater works by tapping engine heat however EVs need a heating coil. The heating effect of these cars is good to keep the cabin temperature ambient however the heating effect itself is bleak. Also the battery consumption will increase by 200% if heater is used. I have a habit of keeping the blower always on at level one and keep the air flow on the feet to keep them warm in extreme temperatures we see in northern part of the country. Now I have to travel with my feet frozen.

Issues and niggles

The first issue I faced was in the second day of ownership when the handbrake light started flashing. I checked the brake oil and it was fine and restarting the car solved the problem.

Second issue was the third day when I was driving. The infotainment screen went blank. Restarting the car solved the problem once again. The sad part is that there’s no dedicated display for climate control and if infotainment screen isn’t working you have no clue what temperature and everything.

The third one is something I am still struggling with. The range I am getting is very low the AEC is very high. And the application shows 50% battery is getting consumed by climate control unit even when AC and heater is completely off. I visited service centre and they asked me to discharge and charge the car four times and range should settle.

Fourth issue is with Zconnect App itself. The application is not connecting most of the time and will only work when the car is unlocked. This defeats the purpose of the App. Unlike conventional car as an EV user you are heavily dependent on the App. To check the charge levels while the car is connected to the charger. Imagine you living in a high rise building and you have to come down to the basement only to check how much your car is charged so you can plan your travel.

It’s been only 20 days since I have got this car and I am yet to find out if it was the right decision.

I believe TATA had a huge advantage of becoming the first mass producer of EVs in India and could have become the Tesla of India. However they are throwing it all away by not controlling the quality checks. The cars are having continuous niggles. Something or the other keep popping up and it is a big turn off for people like me who hate these visits to service centres.

Time for some pictures:

Read BHPian comments for more insights and information.

 
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