Tata Tigor Review: One of India’s best looking compact sedans, driven!

The Tigor, pronounced as Tee-Guar, is Tata’s 3rd attempt in the sub- 4-metre compact sedan segment, after the Indigo CS and the Zest. The car is the compact sedan version of the successful Tiago hatchback. Will the Tigor recreate the magic for Tata once again? Let’s find out.

Best looking compact sedan?

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The primary requirement of a good looking car in the compact segment segment is how well the boot blends with the body of the car. And because there’s a length limitation of 4-metres, this integration has to be flawless. Most compact sedans struggle with this, but the Tigor does a better job than the rest, arguably. The Tigor follows a notchback-like design, something that makes it look very premium. Tata calls the design a ‘Styleback’ and their efforts to make the car look good have clearly worked.

The front is reminiscent of the Tiago, with a familiar looking grille. The bumper looks clean with minimal design lines and houses round shape fog lamps in the lower part. The headlamp unit with projector lamps is designed to be a part of the grille and looks well integrated.

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Viewed from the sides, the Tigor looks like a proper sedan, and not a hatchback with an added boot. The roofline comes swooping down and meets the rear boot without a hitch. Tata has also added stunning 15-inch diamond cut alloy wheels that lift the whole look of the vehicle.

The window line with a sudden bump near the C-Pillar uplifts the car’s looks. However, only the petrol model of the car gets the 15-inch wheels that are painted in black colour. The diesel variant comes only with 14-inch silver coloured wheels and they do not really do justice to the top-end variant.

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There is a thick chrome slat at the rear that partially dissects the tail lamps, similar to the older 2012 Jaguar XF. The Tigor looks the best from the rear three-quarter angle. Just like the Tiago, the Tigor looks much more premium than other cars of its segment. Job well done, Tata!

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What we loved the most? The notchback design, the 15-inch diamond cut alloy wheels.

What could have been better? The alloy design of the diesel variant, a little more premium grille.

How is it from the inside?

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The Tigor has some smart design elements that set it apart from the rivals. The car gets two-tone cabin colours – the petrol top-variant comes with funky orange highlights on the AC vents. The diesel top-end variant comes only in black tone and the orange highlights in the petrol variant get a piano finish on the diesel variant.

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Tata has made the Tigor’s inside look and feel premium. While the dashboard layout is similar to that of the Tiago, the most eye-catching change is the touch-sensitive Harman infotainment system, similar to one seen in Hexa. The infotainment system comes with its own set of apps and it can communicate with any Android-based smartphone through a suite of apps from Tata. The system also offers navigation but it has to run through the app-suite installed on the phone.

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The steering is similar to that on the Tiago and gets controls for the infotainment and voice commands. The steering can only be adjusted for the height. The seats have nice contours to support the body but the shape itself gets some time to get used to. The front headrests are adjustable. The co-driver seat is bit high and again, takes some time to get used to. The rear seat is a wide bench seat with good support. There is a common armrest in the rear with cupholders in it. The headrests are fixed in the rear.

What we loved the most? The powerful AC that quickly cooled down the cabin even with sun shining bright, the infotainment system

What could have been better? The driving position or the shape of the seat.

Tell me about the space!

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The Tigor is quite spacious for a compact sedan. There is generous headroom even for the rear passengers but fitting a third passenger in the rear can be quite a task, especially because of the transmission bump in the middle. But the overall rear seat space feels a bit less than the competition.

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All around the interior, there are plenty of cubbyholes and thoughtful features. For instance, there is a hook on the passenger side to hang shopping bags. There are three cup holders, space for small water bottles on the front doors and a two-tier glove box. The car also gets two 12V charging sockets, one situated at the middle of two front seats to give access to the rear passengers.

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There is another smart hack by Tata regarding the boot. The boot lid is held by 4-link hydraulic type hinges instead of the conventional hinges. It gives added space to the boot and also provides a wider space to load the luggage. The boot itself is quite deep and has a space of 419 litres, which is massive for a compact sedan and is the highest in the segment.

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What we loved the most? Two charging sockets, 4-link type hydraulic hinges

What could have been better? The bottle holders on the door could have been bigger.

Engine

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Both petrol and diesel engines are identical to the Tiago. There have been no changes to the engine or the transmission. They have directly been lifted off the hatchback.

Petrol: The petrol engine is a 1.2-litre 3-cylinder aluminium engine. The engine produces a maximum of 84 BHP at 6,000 rpm and 114 Nm of maximum torque at 3,500 rpm. The engine is quite rev friendly.

Diesel: The diesel engine is a Revotorq 1.05-litre 3-cylinder engine. The engine has an aluminium head but the block is made out of cast iron. The 3-cylinder unit produces a maximum of 69 BHP at 4,000 rpm and 140 Nm of maximum torque between 1,800 to 3,000 rpm.

How is to drive?

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Tata Tigor weighs just 50 kg more than the Tiago hatchback for both petrol and diesel variants. The car also gets a longer wheelbase that makes it more stable on the road. While we drove the petrol variant of the vehicle first, the diesel variant proved to be a pleasant surprise. How, and why? Let’s find out.

Petrol: The petrol variant feels bit underpowered on the open roads. The engine is very peppy and can be a good companion in the city roads but on open highways, the Tigor feels a bit dull. Although petrol variants of cars are much quieter than diesels, Tata doesn’t seem to have done a great job in terms of insulating the Tigor Petrol. There is a lot of road noise that filters through into the cabin and the three-cylinder engine in itself is not very refined.

The maximum power comes at 6,000 rpm, which means you really have to push it to the limits to overtake other vehicles on the road. Again, spending a bit more time with the car may make the person used to the high-revving engine but it sure is not a great car for highway cruising. Keep it inside the city limits and you should be happy. The Tigor also features the ECO mode that changes the fuel delivery and makes to engine even more economical. While Tata hasn’t yet revealed the fuel efficiency, the onboard display showed around 17 km/l with a mix of highway and city drive.

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Diesel: The diesel car being heavier feels much more planted on the road. The larger torque output makes it a fun to drive car. Tata has also insulated the cabin better, hence, less road noise filters in the cabin. Even though Tata has used a balancer shaft to reduce the vibrations, while accelerating hard you do notice the inner rear view mirror vibrating.

The diesel engine option will be much wiser choice if highways are part of your daily drives. It comes only with 14-inch alloy wheels, which makes Tata put larger profile 175/65 tyres instead of 175/60 tyres in the petrol. The larger profile also makes the ride little more comfortable.

Both the cars come with 5-speed manual gearbox and there is no AMT on the list as of now. The steering wheel is very well-balanced and the suspensions take on the bad road conditions quite well. The Tigor has very less body roll, and this makes it a great handler even on curvy roads.

Should you buy it?

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The Tigor will be the cheapest compact sedan in the country when launched on 29th March. We are not sure how loaded will be the lower end variants but the top-end ones that we drove offer much more than the competition. The Tigor is eye catching and has smart features. Tata has done a wonderful job in designing the car beautifully, while giving a long list of equipment on the inside. There’s only one more thing needed to make the Tigor a winning product – sharp pricing! Will Tata recreate the Tiago and Hexa magic with the Tigor in coming few weeks? We think so!