The Tata Indica has been around for a long time and is very popular in the commercial segment because of its good fuel economy and running costs. Now, the Beat diesel, which ha been launched at a starting price of Rs. 4.29 lakh, also promises to give great fuel economy and low running cost. Can it beat the Indica eV2? We take a look at their strong points.
Driving and handling
The new Indica eV2 has had its power bumped up to 70 bhp, but puts out only 140 Nm of torque from its 1.4 litre diesel engine, mated to a 5-speed manual transmission with widely-spaced gear ratios. While the Indica is no slouch, it isn’t quick to accelerate compared to many of the other hatchbacks. It’s been tuned for fuel economy and cruising ability.
The Beat diesel on the other hand has higher torque of 150 Nm from its smaller 1-litre diesel engine that puts out 58 bhp of power and is coupled with a 5-speed manual box. The Beat’s lighter kerb weight and shorter gearing make it accelerate better, and the more modern multijet derived 3-cylinder engine is better refined than the Indica’s engine. Handling in the Beat is superior to the Indica.
Space and comfort
When it comes to ride comfort, it’s hard to beat the sheer space that the Indica offers. No wonder that the car is highly popular as a cab. It can comfortably seat five adults with adequate legroom and moderate luggage space. The Beat, on the other hand, has great front seats, but the rear seat feels a little claustrophobic because of the use of dark upholstery and small rear windows. Luggage space is quite minimal.
When it comes to long commutes, the Indica is the better car to be driven in.
As far as looks go the Beat is clearly the more contemporary of the two as the Indica’s design is now quite old. The Beat’s sharp lines are refreshing. Its fit and finish is several notches better than Indica.
The Indica has never really been a shining example of fit and finish. In fact, that’s been one of the major reasons it is not very popular with individuals. The Beat clearly has better fit and finish, be it plastic quality, shut lines or build quality and noise dampening levels.
Overall, the Beat is a superior product compared to the Indica eV2.
When it come to features on offer across the Chevrolet Beat range, it has a lot more to offer compared to the Indica. When comparing the base variants, the Indica lacks even power steering and AC while the Beat is equipped with both power steering and AC. The top-end Beats feature integrated audio systems, climate control and rain-sensing wipers, rear wiper, as well as airbags and ABS. The Indica on the other hand is bereft of safety features, though the top end version does get a music system and power windows.
Clearly the Beat offers far more comfort features than the Indica.
Price, Mileage and Overall VFM
The Chevrolet Beat has been cleverly priced even below the comparable version of the Tata Indica. The base diesel variant of the Beat is priced at Rs. 4.29 lakh and offers power steering and AC. The comparable version of the Indica eV2 is the LE, which is priced at Rs. 4.34 lakh ex-showroom Delhi. Though the Indica eV2 may offer a little more space, it’s hard to beat the Beat on pure price value.
Fuel economy has always been a strong point with the Indica. And lately the car has been further improved to give an ARAI-certified mileage of 25 kmpl, a claim that makes it India’s most fuel efficient car. Considering the Indica has a much bigger engine than the Beat, this is a commendable feat. The Beat diesel too is quite frugal with an ARAI claim of 24 kmpl. The slight sacrifice in mileage is due to the Beat having to use shorter gearing to extract better pulling ability from its smaller capacity engine.
Overall, the Beat is the ‘value for money’ car for it has upmarket interiors, more features and stylish looks at a very aggressive price.
Pros and Cons
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The Indica may be a great value car as far as space is concerned, but its build and refinement let it down. The Beat diesel is a much more modern product in comparison, and we think it is a better car to own and drive for an individual or someone with a small family
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