Why I bought an Altroz after my Swift got totalled in a major accident

Tata's build quality has actually gone up by a huge leap. The interior is well-made as well.

BHPian vivek_saha1304 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

HISTORY: This is a long story about why I had to part ways with my old car. Please scroll past this to the new car section if not interested

Our cars are not just machines which require regular maintenance and fuel to carry us safely wherever we want to. We love our cars with all heart and treat it as family member and it all pays back on that one day when you need your car the most, be it to save you from a major accident or to rush to an office meeting. Something quite similar happened to me the previous year on the 11th of June, 2022 when we met with a fatal accident around 3:30 pm. We were travelling from Kolkata to Jamshedpur to my uncle's place to consult a doctor. The traffic was close to nil because the previous day there had been inter-religion riots in Howrah, West Bengal so there was army intervention and some areas were sealed down.

So we made good progress for most part of the journey after which we decided to take a break and switch drivers. My dad was driving until now, but he seemed tired from all the glare of that afternoon sun, so he asked me to drive. As luck would have it, my phone was in my trouser's left pocket and somehow it slipped and fell. I unbuckled my seatbelt to pick it up and then forgot to wear my seatbelt. We were now almost 50 kms away from Jamshedpur town and were approaching the intersection where the dreaded accident took place- the place was "DHALBHUMGARH." I could see from almost 500m ahead that a truck was parked or as it seemed to me and my dad, with both left and right wheels left to shoulder line. Not even a wheel was protruding out on the highway. So I flashed my lights once and even honked a little and continued with the same speed. Just as we were approaching the truck, it suddenly decided to take a U-turn and turned its wheels and came onto the highway. The truck was so long that I had no space left to zig-zag my way out of it. Even if there was some space my high speed wouldn't allow me to turn the steering wheel even by an inch. I panicked and braked so my wheels had completely locked up as my car had no ABS, and to top that off I was in a non-airbag car without a seatbelt. The car hit the truck's front wheel and it probably jumped from inertia. Me and my parents had completely blacked out and when I opened my eyes I saw that my father somehow managed to get out of the car struggling to breathe, I had hit my forehead on the windscreen and also severed the lower portion of my left arm when it hit the armrest. I somehow kicked open the door and went round the car shouting "MAA!! MAA!!" and tried to open the left back door.

That is when I realised that my left arm was not working and it was bleeding like hell as if someone was pouring a bottle of red wine down my forearm. I blacked out again and luckily there were some people to hold me. They carried me in a police van and then my mother also had to be carried but I could walk. We were then taken to Tata Medical Hospital(TMH) where we got to know that my mother had a shattered shoulder and hip joint. My left forearm was in bad shape and it needed an immediate operation. My parents decided that it would be better if we had all medical treatment in Kolkata. So that night we booked an ambulance and rode through the night to Kolkata. The next morning we arrived at Apollo Gleneagles, Kolkata and the three of us were admitted.

Now comes the surprising part where most people would not believe the car I was driving and how did we manage to come out of it alive.

We were in a 2016 model MS Swit VXI. It's very hard to imagine how this car saved us. I'm sure there was some supernatural power which protected us but still it's beyond my belief.

I'm also attaching some pictures after the accident to realise how major the impact was. I knew that even if the insurance co. somehow manages to pay for the repair it would still be packing a few problems. But unfortunately, the repair cost came out to be much higher than the IDV and we had to take that sum of money and let go of our car. That is when I decided to buy Altroz.

Buying experience

I knew that the safest hatchback back then was the Tata Altroz, so one casual day I decided to call and ask for a test drive of the Altroz(P). I liked the design very much and when I shut the door, I immediately realised its build quality. The heavy doors, butter-smooth steering wheel, ultra-light clutch and somewhat smooth gearbox gave me a good first impression. But the bummer came in the form of an underpowered, noisy and harsh 3-cylinder engine.

Having owned Swift for almost 6 years and Polo for 11 years I was truly disappointed with the three-cylinder NA engine.

As soon as the test drive was over I told the salesman that I wasn't happy with the engine as such, but I would consider this to be on my buying list whilst I TD some other cars. He then suggested that I should try out the diesel engine once. A couple of days later he came around my house again with a diesel model, and this wasn't a TD model. The Dealer had bought an Altroz (D) for his personal use which surely made me feel confident about the car. It had run 24000 kms and there wasn't a single noise coming from the interior. I was impressed that the clutch was extremely light even in the diesel version. The engine though audible enough, was not harsh. I could feel the vibrations of the petrol engine on the pedals but the diesel somehow was smoother. I may be wrong but the gearshifts in the diesel model felt much smoother than the petrol. As soon as I was on the main road I could clearly feel the superiority of the diesel mill. The engine was way more responsive, it pulled nice and clean in every gear and moreover, it had almost no knocking issues. My dad was blown away by the fact that how far diesel has come in terms of refinement. Most people sitting on the inside would not notice that it is a diesel engine unless informed. The diesel pull was very addictive, and boy oh boy was I happy with the way the car handled. I think after VW, Tata tunes its cars the best in terms of handling and ride comfort. The car was able to overcome all speed breakers and at the same time give me as much confidence through the corners as my Polo does.

I had made up my mind about going with the diesel option, but a premium of 1.25 lacs came as a surprise to me and my dad. With budget being a factor we had initially decided to go with the XM+ petrol variant which cost around 8 lacs, but the diesel one cost 9.4 lacs, which was out of my father's budget. So we had to downgrade to XE+ and settle for that one. Even that cost 8.5 lacs on-road.

So with a token amount of 11k, we booked the car and waited for it to arrive. The car arrived around 40 days later when I and my childhood friend went for the PDI. It was the 22nd of October and the car was manufactured in October itself. I was delighted to have such a fresh car straight out of the factory. The PDI went well and there was another son and father duo who had come for their PDI of the Punch. Since it was their first car, they had little knowledge about it and asked me if I would check the car for them. The car was July made and the rest all was okay. Even in that car, I felt that the gearbox was not as smooth shifting as my diesel car. Maybe it's something to do with the clutch mechanism or not. Don't really know.

1000 kms were covered very fast and reached a service centre close to my home the very next day. Everyone is aware of the state of Tata Service centres but I was very lucky that the one near my house is actually very good. Both the staff and mechanics were very friendly and they welcomed me to freely stand beside my car and watch it getting serviced.

The first free service meant just visual inspection of every bit and torquing all nuts properly. I always believed in changing the oil after the first 1000 km so went ahead with it. TM Genuine 0w20 oil was used and it claimed to be fully synthetic. Was charged around 3200 for the oil and 300 for the filter.

The engine was a lot smoother post the oil change, and mileage increased as well. I believe this car is designed to run endlessly on open highways the way the suspension has been tuned for stability and the way the motor chugs along at 80-90 whilst returning an avg of 25 to 26.


  1. Tata's build quality has actually gone up by a huge leap. The interior is well-made as well. There are hardly any squeaks coming from the plastic parts and the multimedia buttons seem to be of good enough quality to last long, hopefully.
  2. I think the diesel engine is the most sensible choice among the three because it has good power as well as efficiency.
  3. Within a city without AC this engine delivers stunning mileage, of 16 to 17km/l. And not to forget my daily route is North to South Of Kolkata which is packed with traffic any moment of the day.
  4. The steering is at a different level altogether. I have driven the Polo for thousands of kms on the highway but Altroz's steering wheel is more direct as well as responsive.
  5. Headlights are actually good and I don't think I will be changing them soon.
  6. The Harman music system is truly exceptional at this price point. I won't be changing this as well except put a touch screen system a couple of years later.


  1. The AC when switched on makes a whining sound which increases with the rise in RPM. Having told TASS they said it was normal in Altroz. Would like to hear from anyone who has a diesel model on this topic.
  2. Mileage takes a serious hit with the AC always on. I may be procrastinating but I think the whining sound indicates that something is wrong which is also the reason mileage takes a hit. Non-AC mileage was around 16 to 17 which has dropped to 13 to 14 with ac on. Refuelling has been done only from COCO Pumps and all calculations are based on tank to tank method.

Apart from this, the car runs like a dream. Have no problems with it.

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