While the most affordable car in India starts from under Rs 3 lakh (on-road), there is only one option available when it comes to a diesel car under Rs 5 lakh and that is the Tata Tiago. This hatchback can be had with a diesel engine in the base XB and one higher up XE trim level. The 1.05-litre three cylinder diesel engine of the Tiago comes mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox.
The Tiago is a very popular small car in India and accounts for almost 50% of the total passenger car sales for Tata Motors. Lets have a closer look at the car:
Price: Rs 4.8 – 5.37 lakh
Current offers: 1st Year Insurance @ Rs 7400 + Rs 10K Exchange (October)
The Tiago comes across as a styling small hatchback and brought along along a breeze of fresh air in the small hatchback segment was launched a couple of years back. The same car was also the base for the Tigor compact sedan. At 3746 mm length, 1647 mm in width and 1535 mm in height the car is wider than models like the Hyundai Santro and Maruti Celerio.
While ingress and egress isn’t the best around, once inside the cabin, you are in for a surprise. For the price point, the Tiago offers a well laid out cabin design. While there is no dearth of storage spaces, under Rs 5 lakh, you can only have the XB or XE diesel variants and these do not come feature packed. Standard fare on the XE includes front power outlet, driver information display, manual air-con with heater, power steering, internally adjustable outside mirrors etc.
Space is good with the front seats offering good comfort for large adults. However, the under thigh support is clearly missing here. Things at the back are also good though headroom isn’t as much as say the Santro or the WagonR. That said, at 242 litres, the Tiago offers excellent storage space, more than the segment leader, Hyundai Santro.
The Tiago used a downsized version of the four cylinder 1.4-litre diesel unit that used to power the older Indica / Indigo offerings. It has one cylinder less and a capacity of 1.05 litres now. This turbo charged unit produces 70 PS of power and 140 Nm of torque, more than ample for the print point. However, given its higher weight , performance is average. That said, it is however an efficient unit with a certified Economy of 27.28 kmpl. The engine is mated to a 5 speed manual gearbox with above average shift quality.
Where the Tiago impresses us the ride quality – very few cars under Rs 5 lakh can match the Tata offering in terms of an absorbent ride as well as agile handling. The steering too remains light for city runs, making this an easy car to drive.
To summarise if you have a budget of Rs 5 lakh and are in the market for a diesel car, the only option is the Tiago. We reckon you pick the XE version that adds in a few basic features over the XB trim.
1) Interior design and quality
2) Ride and handling package
3) No of variants on offer
4) Powerful and efficient engine options
1) Petrol engine not as smooth as rivals
2) Tata’s small cars are known for long term niggles
3) Rear headroom isn’t impressive
4) Rivals have better resale value
Milestone: 9277 units in August 2018
Latest update: Tata Motors launched the performance oriented JTP version of the Tiago at Rs 6.39 lakh