The Tata Sierra was likely the first compact SUV manufactured in India. This two-door vehicle was introduced well ahead of its time. Its distinctive design, featuring a spacious rear passenger area with a large glass panel, set it apart from other SUVs in the market. Tata even offered a 4×4 variant of the SUV. However, buyers were not yet prepared to invest a substantial amount in an SUV during that period. Remarkably, even today, a significant number of Tata Sierra SUVs can still be found in the market. In this video, we will take a closer look at India’s first-ever domestically produced SUV.
The video was shared on the YouTube channel of Namaste Car. The Sierra was introduced in India in 1991, and the version showcased in the video is the second-generation model, launched in 1999 and discontinued in 2003. The Sierra was succeeded by the iconic Safari. The vehicle featured in the video belongs to Sunny Mahajan and is painted in a red color known as “Burning Red” by Tata Motors. Additionally, the Sierra was available in various other colors such as Grey, Silver, White, Black, and Green.
During that time, two variants were available for the Sierra: Standard and Turbo. The Standard variant was priced at Rs. 5.23 lakhs (ex-showroom), while the Turbo variant had a price tag of Rs. 5.62 lakhs (ex-showroom). The vehicle showcased in the video is the top-end 483 DL Turbo model. Notably, the Sierra held the distinction of being the most expensive vehicle in the Indian market upon its launch.
The Sierra shared its platform with the Tata Telcoline pick-up truck, Sumo, Safari, and Estate, known as the X2 platform. This SUV was not limited to the Indian market; it was also sold in other markets. The Sierra was assembled in Pune and had dimensions of 4.4 meters in length and 1.7 meters in height. With a ground clearance of 170 mm, the SUV had a kerb weight of 1.6 tonnes and a gross weight slightly exceeding 2 tonnes.
The Sierra exhibits prominent square-shaped headlamps, fog lamps, and rectangular tail lamps. It proudly displays Tata Motors’ older logo and is equipped with 15-inch steel wheels. Convenient side steps are noticeable on both sides of the SUV, facilitating easy entry and exit. The large glass area enhances the cabin’s spacious and airy feel. Tata utilized vinyl upholstery for the interior. In terms of safety, the Sierra offered features such as ABS, seatbelts, and central locking.
According to the video, the Sierra held the distinction of being the first Indian vehicle to feature power windows, power steering, tilt adjustment for the steering wheel, central air conditioning, rear defogger, and a tachometer. Interestingly, it also had two rear wipers. The instrument panel boasted a simple design. While the Sierra gained popularity in international markets, its two-door body style was not preferred by Indian customers who favored a more practical vehicle configuration.
The Sierra was available in both four-wheel-drive and rear-wheel-drive configurations. The vehicle showcased in the video is a rear-wheel-drive model. There were two engine options, both being 2.0-litre diesel engines, paired with a 5-speed manual gearbox. The lower-spec engine generated a maximum power of 67 hp and a peak torque of 117 Nm, while the higher-spec engine delivered 89 hp of maximum power and 186 Nm of peak torque.