Tata’s comeback cars: Are they safe buys?

Currently, Tata has three young products in its line-up — the Tiago, the Tigor and the Hexa. These vehicles are nothing like what Tata used to build before, and are a refreshing change. The new vehicles are also pushing Tata’s position higher in the market. But the question remains, are the comeback cars safe to buy? Let’s find out.

Tata Tiago

Tata Tiago

The Tiago is the highest selling Tata car at the moment. The hatchback currently clocks about 4,500 units/month on an average. What makes the Tiago special is the way it looks and the value-for-money price tag. While the Tiago targets vehicles like the Celerio and the WagonR in terms of pricing, it is much larger and offers features from a segment above.

Is it safe to buy?

In short, yes. The Tiago offers good build quality, finish and is highly popular in the market. Moreover, existing Tiago owners are quite happy with the car.

It has been six months since the Tiago has been in the market and the general perception about the vehicle is extremely good. Yes, a few niggles are still there in the vehicle, but most customers report that the niggles are being addressed by the service centres without any problem.

What are the common niggles?

As per reports by customers, the Tiago diesel suffers from a shaky gear knob when the AC is switched on. This problem is being solved by putting a counter weight on the gear knob. Other issues include dust accumulation under the fuel lid, which is being resolved by putting a new sealant, and the Harman Software bug for which an update is being rolled out.

What are the owners saying about the car?

According to the owners, the Tiago has bettered their expectations.

Pradeep from The Automotive India forum has to say this about Tiago Diesel:

What a masterstroke by Tata! This car can even beat the competition at a 30K higher price. The car is far ahead of its competition in terms of overall build quality, safety, stability at high speeds, ease of driving in city conditions, and comfort for all passengers. If you consider the value for money packaging, I don’t think there’s any other brand in India that can beat Tata on that.

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RikilShah from The Automotive India shares this:

Build quality is extremely “Patthar cheap”. I mean just open the bonnet and you’ll realize what Tata has done for safety. Metal is extremely thick as compared to similar cars in same segment. 13 Lac Honda City has weaker sheet metal as compared to Tiago. For a comparison, 1.2L Baleno has a kerb weight of 785 kg and the 1.0L Tiago has a kerb weight of 1120Kg. This is a real Indian car, build quality-wise. Speed enthusiasts might get a little disappointed with 3-cylinder engine’s low acceleration but I think this is the best car for money when it comes to city+highway usage in equal weightage.

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Ashokabs from Team-BHP says this about Tiago Petrol:

The mileage I got in the last full tank to tank fill up was 17.5 km/litre against 18.3 on the MID.  The 1st and 2nd gear ratios are close and geared for torque. The gear which provides flexibility and grunt is 3rd gear which is good for pottering in the city. The ECO setting works well for economy and is usable in 3rd and 4th gear on expressways or where the car is moving within the speed limit and there is not much overtaking. In overdrive, the car’s response becomes too sluggish and is not comfortable.

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Tata Hexa

Hexa2

The Tata Hexa has been one of the most tested vehicles by Tata. The crossover replaces the Aria in the market, which was getting an extremely poor response. The Hexa, however, received a good response and sales touched almost 1,500 units. But since then, the Hexa’s sales have been dropping, and in May, only 727 units of the Hexa were sold.

Is it safe to buy?

If you intend to keep the vehicle for a long time, yes. The Hexa competes against the likes of Mahindra XUV 500 and the Toyota Innova Crysta. Owners report that the main reasons for buying this vehicle is because of its grand looks, great fit-and-finish of the interiors, spaciousness and the comfortable ride.

The Hexa is an overall good product with very few niggles reported from the owners. The service centre experience has been quite good too. However, the poor sales figures of the Hexa can be an issue so far as resale value goes. The Hexa is not for those who upgrade cars frequently.

What are the common problems?

The common problems reported by the owners include a faulty door lock switch, which leads to lock/unlock function to stop working. The owners have reported that Tata is fixing the issue under warranty. Apart from this minor niggle, the owners are not facing any major issues with the Hexa. As mentioned earlier, Tata has put in some excruciating hours to test the Hexa, and the hard work seems to have paid off.

What are the owners saying about the vehicle?

Varun_Hexaguy of Team-Bhp says:

As some of you might’ve made it out from my avatar and handle, I own a Hexa XTA in the shade of Arizona Blue. I must say that I’m pretty much impressed with the car. The car has done around 3,300 kms till date out of which 2500+kms was covered during road trips and the remaining was covered in the city. The car gives me a mileage of 10 kmpl in the city and around 16-17 kmpl out on highways which is impressive IMO. All these miles are crunched in just under a shade of 2 months. The car though has some quality related issues, which will have a clear mention in my report. Apart from that the beast is niggle-free for most of the time and we love to put her through her paces.

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arijitd from Team-BHP says:

The infotainment system, the air conditioning system and the entire odometer digital information display system is switching off while I am driving the car, quite randomly. The odometer display resets and turns back on, but the air con controls remain off. Even the blowers shut down. The infotainment system screen goes blank and switches back on after few minutes. Initially I observed that this problem was occurring as soon as I activated any turn indicator signals. Then it started happening whenever I pressed the brake pedal. Further, it just kept on happening randomly.

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Coolrupy27 from The Automotive India says this about the Hexa Automatic:

The engine has a little bit of turbo lag but it’s manageable. The engine quickly changes into higher revs once you floor the throttle. The Sports Mode and an even higher Race Car Mode can make the car seem to fly in a matter of nano seconds. Brakes are good but can be better. Also you have to adjust to them as there’s a little play before they actually bite but at no point of time did I felt insecure even at high speed breaking — the 4 disc brakes do their job efficiently. The best part is the smooth gear shifting of the auto gear box. Although it’s a 2nd automatic I am driving (1st being i10) but still it’s quite smooth as compared to the reviews I have read on different threads about other automatic vehicles.

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Tata Tigor

Tigor_4

The Tigor is the newest product of the Tata’s new product line-up. The sedan based on the Tata Tiago has received a lukewarm response from the market. The Tigor has completed three months in the market. After posting sales of above 3,000 units in the first two months, numbers have fallen to 2,344 units in the month of May.

Is it safe to buy?

Buy it only if you’re on a tight budget — there are better options available in the compact sedan segment.

Tata calls the Tigor a styleback. It has an impeccable, hard-to-ignore design but the car has not yet gained popularity in the market. The Tigor is the cheapest sedan available in India, and yet, it is not reflected by sales numbers.

The Tigor is a safe car to buy only if you plan to keep the vehicle for an extended period. The Tigor does not carry a huge price tag like the Hexa. If the car does not gain more customers in the future, the resale value could fall.

What are the common niggles?

The owner’s of Tigor report a common problem — the car feels underpowered. The Tigor uses the same engines as the Tiago, and in the same state of tune. The Tigor is almost 50 Kg heavier than the Tiago, and this affects acceleration. Also, the diesel engine makes a lot of clattering noise, and the insulation has not be done as good as the Tiago as per the customers.

What are owners saying about the vehicle?

Abhishek Verma from The Automotive India says:

Tigor looks premium and you get a styleback and a new model which would set you apart from the crowd. You get biggest boot with pneumatic or hydraulic struts at 419L which is significantly bigger than any other boot. Buying a car which is common on roads doesn’t give you the new car feeling as much as a new model gives.

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Manish Sharma from Tata Tigor Owner’s Club says about the diesel model:

The Tigor looks brilliant. There are a few problems like noisy diesel engine when cold. Also, I get a fuel efficiency of 21.1 km/l with the ECO mode. It does not feel very confident while overtaking on the highways, I wish Tata had given more power to the Tigor.

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Bikash Saikia from tata Tigor Owner’s Group says about his petrol Tigor:

The Tigor looks stunning. I love the space inside the car and the small places that are provided for keeping small things. My family uses the car and even with four adults, the car feels pretty spacious. Power is an issue and the three-cylinder engine makes a shrill noise when started cold.

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