Tata Zest Overview
Tata Zest is the car that has been introduced in the most competitive segment of compact sedans in the year 2014. Before this, in 2008, Tata Motors launched Indigo CS in the market and car did a fairly good job in terms of sale. As the time passed, new generation models from Hyundai, Honda and Maruti heated up the competition.
Tata Motors to remain relevant in the segment, needed to develop a new product which was capable of competing against the rivals in terms of performance, reliability, quality and refinement. Finally, Zest came to the rescue, helping the Tata regain lost ground. Tata developed Zest using Vista hatchback’s X1 platform. The Zest is the first actual product which came out of Tata’s Horizonext movement. Check car loan for Tata Zest
Tata Zest Design
There is a new look about the Zest, yes, but there is also a little that remains from the Indigo CS. However, everything except the silhouette is new about the Zest. There’s a new grille that has taken inspiration from the old Indica grille, but is now a snazzy honeycomb design with a bolder logo on it. It is flanked by the headlamps, which remain a dual-barrel design but the top-spec versions now get a projector low beam with a corona ring. The fog lamps are housed in the new bumper that has a trapezoidal black center.
The Revotron gets LED daytime running lamps, while the diesel auto we had sported a chrome accent under the fog lamp. The hood now has a ‘power bump’, which helps the sporty intentions. From the front three-quarter, the shoulder lines are what grab your attention. Never before has Tata made a car this aggressive in the bodywork, and it is a pleasant change. The wheel arches are flared a little, and this time they are adequately filled out by the 15-inch alloy wheels shod with 185/60 tyres. The fenders don’t have indicators on them any more, they have been relocated to the mirrors, and the bottom of the window line gets a subtle chrome strip.
The diesel gets a multispoke design reminiscent of the Manza’s wheels, and the petrol, a new eight-spoke layout. There is no diamond-cut finish here, and the Zest doesn’t really need it, either. As with any other sub-four metre sedan, at the rear is where the proportions are odd, but the Zest does a fair job of hiding the height of the rear by breaking it up into the bumper with a matt black lower section that mirrors the front bumper, a bootlid with a numberplate and a generous chrome strip above it that links the tail lamps and a subtle lip on the top of the boot lid. The tail lamps are horizontal and wrap around the car’s corners a fair bit. The top-spec variants we drove even had LEDs with light guides on the top, linked to turning the headlamps on.
Overall, the Zest is a leap forward for Tata design, without making a clean break from the past. It is the right step forward and will definitely have heads turn, especially when they realise it is a Tata.
Tata Zest Cabin
Just like the exteriors, interiors are also spiced up by adding various class leading elements in the sedan. The Zest sedan has the best inner cabin spaciousness as compared to any other sedan in its segment. There is plenty of legroom due to the enhanced wheelbase, same goes for the immense shoulder room as width is also best-in-class.
The interiors have been presented in a dual-tone Java Black & Latte color scheme with fully fabric seat upholstery. The dashboard is also quite stylish and premium in accordance with the Tata Motors next-generation 3-spoke tilt adjustable electric power steering wheel. The all new instrument panel displays several types of information on it such as Segmented multi-info display, Gear shift (up/down) and in-gear indicator, Driver seat belt reminder with buzzer, Individual door-open display, Light-off and key-in reminder with buzzer, Distance-to-empty info, Fuel consumption display, Digital fuel gauge etc. to mention a few. The top-end variant XT has an added functionality of Ambient temperature display with it. The sedan, despite being a sub 4-meter product, comes with a massive boot space of 390-litres.
Tata Zest has Air Conditioner with Heater as standard feature across the entire variant lineup. The base variant XE misses out on some of the contemporary features like Rear power windows, Electric adjustment for ORVMs, and Remote central locking. Some of the first-grade comfort features that can be seen inside the cabin are Adjustable rear headrest, Height adjustable driver’s seat, Vanity mirror on sun visor of co-driver side, Foldable key etc. to name a few. The top-end XT trim boasts an array of additional features in form of Rear defogger, Fully automatic temperature control (FATC) and Rear parking sensors. Looking upon the infotainment system which turns out to be the biggest USP of the interiors, it is the ConnectNext infotainment system by Harman (of Harman/Kardon fame); though the base variant XE misses out on this. It comes with AM/FM, USB, AUX IN, iPOD connectivity and with 4 speakers and as many tweeters. To know more information on Tata Zest check Changeonslapac
There is a remote control system for the music system for the convenience of rear seat passengers. Moreover, the functionality of Speed dependent volume control and steering mounted audio and phone controls further facilitates the driver during city driving. In addition, it also supports Bluetooth connectivity which further gives Phonebook access, Call logs (incoming, outgoing, missed), and Audio streaming. The top-end trim XT has additional features like Call reject with SMS feature, Conference call, Incoming SMS notifications and read-outs, SD card reader, Controls of FATC on touchscreen, Reverse park guide display, Picture/image viewer via USB and SD card, and Voice command recognition technology. Did we forgot to mention that the 5-inch touchscreen system with MapmyIndia next gen Navigation System is also being offered with the top-end trim XT.
Tata Zest Engine
Zest is available in two engine options; the 1.2L Revotron turbocharged petrol and the 1.3L Fiat-sourced Quadrajet diesel engine with variable geometry turbocharger. The petrol engine has been indigenously developed for the best performance. The BSIV compliant petrol motor makes 90PS and 140Nm of torque, mated to 5-speed manual transmission. The diesel one, on the other hand, produces 75PS and 190Nm of max torque paired to either 5-speed manual or 5-speed automated manual transmission.
The petrol mill is more refined, lighter and sounds nicer. This might be a turbocharged engine but the focus is more on drivability and fuel efficiency. And this is evident the moment you step on the accelerator. There is minimum turbo lag and irrespective of whether you are in higher or lower gear, the momentum is just instant. The throttle response in the Sport mode is sharper and comes to life rather quickly.
The diesel engine helps in decent pull on the highways and one will find happy cruising at three digit speeds. However, in city traffic, the AMT seems to a bit lazy and definitely lacks the bout of spirited driving. However, there is no jerkiness in the AMT unlike other vehicles with this mechanism.
Although, Tata is not the best in this aspect with the Zest but still it has tuned its both engines effectively to return a decent fuel economy. The petrol variants deliver a fuel economy of 17.6 kmpl while the diesel variants come up with an impressive 23.0 kmpl. Both the aforementioned mileage figures are ARAI certified and recorded under normal conditions and they may vary. In thick traffic, narrow and congested roads, and overcrowded streets, the mileage might drop down 4-5 kmpl in both the guises.
Tata Zest Riding
Tata Zest comprises of a Electric Power Assist Steering (ePAS) with speed sensitivity and ‘Active Return’ function – a first in the segment. The steering wheel has a diameter of 366mm which makes it the smallest for a Tata Car, except for the Nano. The new generation tilt Tata signature steering wheel, designed with 3 spokes, is quite lighter in weight and it is easy to maneuver the sedan through narrow roads without putting in special efforts. Furthermore, The dual-path suspension, coupled with a zero-pivot sub-frame and Anti-roll bar, ensures a smooth and comfortable ride. The rear suspension is Twist beam with coil spring which compliments the working on first one extremely well.
Tata has introduced first-in-segment ‘Multi-Drive Mode’ technology which displays three driving modes – Sport, Eco and City with the petrol variants. An individual can select any one mode out of the mentioned three, depending upon the road condition and driving skills. Sport is for lightening fast acceleration, while Eco is intended towards obtaining maximum fuel economy, followed by the City which is a perfect amalgamation of performance and economy. On the other hand, Zest diesel AMT variant comes up with twin driving modes – City and Sport. The Zest petrol variants clock a top speed of 154kmph while the diesel variants register a marginally high top speed of 158kmph. Request Tata Zest Test drive.
Tata Zest Safety
Tata Zest comes equipped with Disc brake as front brake while Drum brake does the duties as the rear brake. This primary braking system responds instantly and to ensure much better braking, the company has also introduced the most advanced, the 9th generation Antilock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) as secondary braking system. Tata has also blessed the Zest with Speed dependent auto door lock system and Front and rear fog lamps.
But unfortunately, the XE variants in both the guises miss out on these features. The company in a bid to avoid any mishap and make sure of maximum safety of the occupants, has also incorporated segment-first, the Corner Stability Control feature in the Tata Zest with mid and top trims. There are also dual front airbags and front seat belts with pre-tensioner & load limiter in the top-end trim. However, for the security of the vehicle; the company has come up with Immobiliser with every variant. But, the top-end trim XT also has a Perimetric alarm system that makes loud sound if any attempt of burglary or thievery is made.
Tata Zest Price in Chennai
Tata Zest On-Road Price in Chennai ranges from 6,47,597 to 10,37,543 for variants Zest Revotron 1.2T XE and Zest Quadrajet 1.3 XTA respectively. Tata Zest is available in 11 variants and 6 colours. Below are details of Tata Zest variants price in Chennai. View offers on Tata Zest at Autozhop.
Tata Zest Verdict
The Zest has a lot riding on it, and that is why Tata has put so much thought – and a whole new engine and an automatic gearbox – into it. Usually when a manufacturer says ‘new car’, us cynical, jaded journalists expect a new paintjob and upholstery and not much else, but the Zest has proved my expectations wrong. That is a great thing for Tata, because it will earn respect and, eventually, profit, slowly but surely if things follow this path. This will also be a difficult period for Tata because the expectations that benefit the consumer, like a low purchase price and extremely low cost of spares and maintenance will be retained. Sometimes that will not be possible – a turbocharged engine with three electronic modes, an AMT gearbox, projector headlamps, LED DRLs, LED tail-lamps… these things aren’t inexpensive, but the Zest will be expected to be just that.
As always, it will boil down to the price: if Tata manages to retain its traditional place in the price hierarchy for the moment, it will convince people to walk into the showroom to look at the car. Once they drive it, I’m sure most people will come away impressed. If Tata wants to retain its customers, it will have to work on service as well – I expect Tata to manage the former with an introductory price, and hope that the latter improves dramatically and soon, because that’s what it will need to keep up with products like the Zest and prevent another sales slump.
For the moment, though, Tata’s Zest shines through in almost all areas, and is certainly something that you should wait for if you’re in the market for a sub-four metre sedan.