Tata Motors has come a long way from the possibility of being sold to another company at one point in time to the country’s third-biggest carmaker in the current times. While all of the current products from Tata ranging from Tiago to Safari are enjoying an immense amount of popularity, there have been times when some of its cars just came and gone too soon. Following is a list of ten such cars from Tata Motors which we all have almost forgotten in all these years:
The Indian car market is flooded with SUVs in the current date, however, the foundation stone of the SUV segment in India was firstly laid by the Tata Sierra. This three-door SUV from Tata Motors was launched as a lifestyle product, and the unique design with large window panels on the sides did make look like a vehicle ahead of its time. The Tata Sierra was available in the Indian car market with a diesel engine only and was one of the first cars to come with tilt adjustable power steering and a four-wheel-drive system.
Another car that was unique in the portfolio of Tata Motors and came before the arrival of Tata Indica was the Tata Estate. The Tata Estate was one of the first station wagons to be sold in India and was very much inspired by the station wagons of Mercedes Benz sold overseas in the 1980s. The diesel-powered Tata Estate was launched keeping large families in mind, with its key highlights being an immensely spacious cabin and huge boot space. However, the concept of station wagons never kicked off in the Indian car market, and the Estate went into oblivion in a very short period.
While the pickup segment is still a very niche space in India with only a couple of players like Isuzu D-Max existing today, Tata Motors should be credited to introducing a vehicle in the initial days in the face of Tata Mobile. Based on the Estate station wagon, the Tata Mobile was a pickup truck that had the same design and interior layout as the former but came with an open deck lid instead of a closed boot compartment. It was powered by the same 2.0-litre diesel engine which was under the hood of the Tata Estate.
Tata Safari Petrol
The Tata Safari was the first SUV with which Tata Motors tasted some amount of success in India. The Safari was launched as a diesel-only SUV, and citing its popularity, Tata Motors decided to expand its lineup by adding petrol-powered variants to its lineup. The petrol-powered Tata Safari had a 2.0-litre four-cylinder naturally aspirated 135 PS petrol engine. However, this iteration of the Safari was neglected by the Indian car buyers due to its poor fuel efficiency.
Tata Safari 3.0 DICOR
The 2.2-litre diesel engine was not the only powertrain in the DICOR family of Tata Safari, for the fact that Tata Motors had introduced a bigger 3.0-litre DICOR diesel engine for a brief period. This bigger engine was sourced from the Tata 407 commercial truck, and while it was a bit unrefined, it had much more amount of torque than the 2.2-litre engine. However, the Tata Safari 3.0 DICOR was pulled off the market in just a year due to a lack of demand for the variant.
Tata Indigo Marina
Tata Motors decided to give a second thought to making station wagons with the Indigo Marina. Based on the platform of Indica, the Tata Indigo Marina was a much more modern offering over the Tata Estate. The station wagon body style gave the Indigo Marina added doses of practicality and space to the platform of Indica. However, despite being a modern product for its time, the Tata Indigo Marina failed to impress the Indian car buyers due to their lack of interest in station wagons.
Tata Indigo XL
As the ‘XL’ suffix in the name suggests, the Tata Indigo XL was essentially a long-wheelbase version of the Indigo sedan. The car was launched with the intent of offering more backseat space over the regular Indigo, and the Indigo XL succeeded in offering legroom and knee room comparable to sedans much above its segment. The Tata Indigo XL failed to click with the private buyers, however, the additional space and comfort made it a decent hit among the taxi fleet owners.
Tata Indigo Manza
The Tata Indigo Manza had some high expectations riding on its shoulders, for it was launched as a more premium car over the regular Indigo to take on richer cars like Honda City, Maruti Suzuki SX4 and Hyundai Verna. This sedan derivative of the Tata Indica Vista had a decent and proportionate design and cabin and was available with both petrol and diesel engines right from the start. After initial interest from buyers, the Tata Indigo Manza lost its breath with the arrival of fresher iterations of its rivals.
Tata Spacio 3.0
While the Tata Sumo was immensely popular in rural India for its practicality and versatility, the Spacio was a pared-down derivative of the former to attract more budget-constraint buyers. Based on the Tata Sumo, the Tata Spacio had the same design as the former but missed out on proper door panels and roof for canvas coverings, boot-mounted spare wheel and a few features on the inside. It got the same Tata 407-derived 3.0-litre diesel engine that was present in the Tata Safari 3.0 DICOR as well.
The Tata Bolt was introduced with high hopes as a successor to the decently popular Indica Vista. The hatchback promised to be a better car than its predecessor with contemporary interior cabin and features. However, the exterior styling of the Tata Bolt resembled a lot with the Indica Vista, and the buyers perceived it to be the Indica Vista only, which was a dent in its overall appeal. This resulted in extremely low sales of the Bolt, which was eventually replaced with the Tiago a couple of years after its launch.