Tata Motors seems to have hit the bullseye with the Zest. Its showrooms are flooded with potential buyers and, sales are expected to reach 10,000 units; total number of bookings will be officially revealed soon. And it’s not hard to see why. With prices ranging from Rs. 4.64 lakh to Rs. 6.99 lakh (ex-showroom, New Delhi), it’s not only sedan buyers, but also hatchback buyers, who have the Zest on their radars.
And with three engine options – a 90bhp petrol, an 90bhp diesel and a 75bhp diesel, there’s a Zest for everyone. Clearly the potential for success is tremendous. In an entry-level sedan segment, Tata Motors did not have a premium car to compete against the Maruti Swift Dzire, Honda Amaze & Hyundai Xcent. With the Zest, they no longer have that hole in their portfolio. The Zest has been placed between the Indigo eCS and Manza and is tailor-made for Indian market and roads.
The Zest is based on a revised X1 platform, the Zest is the first of Tata’s ‘new’ cars under the company’s Horizonext strategy followed by the Bolt hatchback later this-year. Both these cars have been designed taking inputs from the three Tata Motors’ design studios in Pune, Coventry (UK) and Turin (Italy). The new design semantics include new Tata signature grille with new ‘Humanity Line’, visually flowing into the headlamps.
In the second-innings apart from its product, Tata Motors has also upgraded the showrooms to deliver a world-class ambience, purchase experience and after-market service. This is being achieved through technology-enabled dealerships, providing sales, service and spares.
The look is all-new for sure. The design is a definite step forward, which not only looks dynamic but among the best styled compact sedans on-sale in the country today. The new face of the car includes a smiling grille with the new Humanity Line which flows directly into its stylish projector headlamps with chrome accents, headlamps get projectors and light guide rings, sculpted bonnet and front bumper, and a new chin with LED daytime-running lamps.
In addition, the Zest also get LED taillamps at rear, thick character line at its sides, body colored Outside Rear View Mirrors (ORVMs) with integrated turn indicators, a sporty antenna at the rear top, body colored outside door handles, blackened B-pillars and an integrated boot lid spoiler. New stylish 15-inch alloy wheels, enhances the overall appeal of the car.
What’s the best about the Zest are the all-new interiors. The cabin immediately wows you with its dual-tone finish (Java Black & Latte), and I can safely say that this is one of the best-looking cars in its segment. Overall interior design looks and feels a lot (and I mean, lot) more upmarket than any Tata products before this and the quality has gone up quite a few notches. The seats of car are quite supportive and well cushioned, but lack the leather stuffs and rear seat centre armrest even in the top trims. The rear seat is like a sofa – easily wide enough for three, with good support and space in every direction.
Another highlight on the inside is the new infotainment system developed with luxury audio experts Harman-Kardon fame and MapmyIndia has designed the next-generation navigation & location based services. The top-end model gets a 5-inch touch screen panel that controls the audio system and AC, while the mid model gets a 3.5-inch screen (not touch screen) still there is not much difference in features. The base model too is packed with features like tilt adjustable power steering, air-conditioner with a heater option, front power windows, manual central locking and foldable key.
The eight-speaker (4 speakers and 4 tweeters) audio sounds fantastic for this class of car, and gets Bluetooth, AUX, USB/iPod (also charges a phone), SD card (supports up to 64 GB) connectivity options. The touch-screen infotainment system also acts as a reverse parking sensor display, image viewer, climate control display, vehicle settings control, and even voice commands. There is also video support but it doesn’t play when the car is in motion. Furthermore, there is voice commands (for the Phone, Radio, Media and Climate Control) which works smoothly, even complicated names and songs are easily picked-up.
Tata Zest is available in both the petrol as well as diesel options. The Zest is powered by the first-in-class turbocharged intercooled multi-point fuel-injected (MPFi) Revotron 1.2-litre petrol engine that kicks out a maximum power of 90 BHP at 5000 rpm and a maximum torque of 140 Nm at 1750-3500 rpm. While the Fiat-sourced 1.3-litre Multijet diesel engine, generates a peak power of 90 BHP at 4000 rpm with utmost torque of 200 Nm at 1750-3000 rpm. There is also an XE diesel variant, which develops maximum power of 74 BHP and maximum torque of 190 NM.
The petrol variant is mated to 5-speed manual transmission and has a top speed of 154 kmph. While the diesel variant gets the 5-speed manual transmission as well as the first-in-class F-Tronic technology-enabled 5-speed automated manual transmission (AMT) and has a top speed of 158 kmph. As per the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) certification, the Revotron 1.2T delivers 17.6 kmpl and the Diesel delivers 23 kmpl, under mandated test kmpl in normal conditions.
One of the key innovations introduced with the new engine is Multi-Drive Modes. Offering a unique blend of refinement, performance and fuel economy, the technology allows a driver to shift between SPORT, ECO and CITY mode. Along with a superior throttle response.
In ECO Mode, performance and throttle response is decreased for maximizing fuel economy, ideal for Highway cruising. In the CITY Mode the Zest gets a balance between performance and economy, while throttle response is sharpest in the SPORTS mode, meant for spirited driving. It is natural that the SPORTS mode will generate minimum mileage amongst the three.
The Zest comes loaded with a number of safety features for the driver as well as passengers. The features include baked hardened steel in its construction, front & side crumple zones, protection bars for rear passengers, dual airbags, anti-lock braking system (ABS), electronic brake force distribution (EBD), corner stability control (CSC), engine immobilizer, rear defogger, remote central locking, parking sensors and fog lamps.
Price & Variants
A total of 9 options are on offer, 5 on diesel and 4 on petrol namely, XE, XM, XMS and XT, while the diesel gets the additional XMA (AMT variant). The Zest will be made available in six different colour options – Buzz Blue, Pristine White, Platinum Silver, Sky Grey, Venetian Red and Dune Beige. A test drive of Tata Zest can be availed at any Tata dealerships across India, and booking amount stands at Rs 21,000. You can book now for delivery within 15 days for Zest petrol and a month for diesel with manual transmission, while the Zest AMT is believed to take 4 months.
Service levels improvement
Tata Motors launched an industry first service offering with the 333 Confidence. This program offers a warranty of 3 years or 1 lakhs Kms (whichever is earlier), an Annual Maintenance Contract (AMC) of 3 years/ 45000 kms (whichever is earlier), along with a free 24X7 Roadside Assistance service for 3 years. Tata Motors is also improving in areas of maintenance and reliability, two parameters on which it has not scored well in the past few years.
There’s a lot of buzz surrounding the Zest and we are happy to report that this Tata lives up to the hype. The Zest looks smart, comes with a comfortable and spacious-enough cabin and is also loaded with countless features even in the base model. Compared to its direct rivals like Maruti Swift Dzire, Honda Amaze and Hyundai Xcent, Tata Zest is a clear winner in terms of styling, space, performance, handling, pricing, and the list goes on! And now, the company lives upto its old saying – “more car per car”.
Tata’s newest offering stays true to its name – Zest and tagline that reads ‘Zest up your life’
Special thanks to Prerana Motors (P) LTD., Bangalore
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