Tata Zest comes in both petrol and diesel fuel trims with a total of 9 variants. The variant nomenclature with this sedan is also fresh unlike the several ongoing Tata cars. The four petrol variants are – XE, XM, XMS, and XT, while the five diesel variants are – XE, XM, XMS, XMA, and XT. It comes loaded with as many as 29 best-in-class features and also dimension wise, it is the largest and the most spacious.Tata has installed an AMT gearbox with the diesel variant of this sedan which makes it the country’s cheapest diesel automatic sedan. It is also the first vehicle to be wheeled out of Tata factory in accordance with company’s latest ‘DesigNext, DriveNext, ConnectNext’ philosophy. The Zest is being assembled locally at the company’s Pimpri and Ranjangaon plant in Pune. Check Price of Zest
EXTERIOR AND LOOK ;
There is a new look about the Zest, yes, but there is also a little that remains from the Indigo CS. However, everything except the silhouette is new about the Zest. There’s a new grille that has taken inspiration from the old Indica grille, but is now a snazzy honeycomb design with a bolder logo on it. It is flanked by the headlamps, which remain a dual-barrel design but the top-spec versions now get a projector low beam with a corona ring. The fog lamps are housed in the new bumper that has a trapezoidal black center.
The Revotron gets LED daytime running lamps, while the diesel auto we had sported a chrome accent under the fog lamp. The hood now has a ‘power bump’, which helps the sporty intentions. From the front three-quarter, the shoulder lines are what grab your attention. Never before has Tata made a car this aggressive in the bodywork, and it is a pleasant change. The wheel arches are flared a little, and this time they are adequately filled out by the 15-inch alloy wheels shod with 185/60 tyres. The fenders don’t have indicators on them any more, they have been relocated to the mirrors, and the bottom of the window line gets a subtle chrome strip. The diesel gets a multispoke design reminiscent of the Manza’s wheels, and the petrol, a new eight-spoke layout. There is no diamond-cut finish here, and the Zest doesn’t really need it, either. As with any other sub-four metre sedan, at the rear is where the proportions are odd, but the Zest does a fair job of hiding the height of the rear by breaking it up into the bumper with a matt black lower section that mirrors the front bumper, a bootlid with a numberplate and a generous chrome strip above it that links the tail lamps and a subtle lip on the top of the boot lid. The tail lamps are horizontal and wrap around the car’s corners a fair bit. The top-spec variants we drove even had LEDs with light guides on the top, linked to turning the headlamps on. Overall, the Zest is a leap forward for Tata design, without making a clean break from the past. It is the right step forward and will definitely have heads turn, especially when they realise it is a Tata.
INTERIOR AND COMFORT ;
Unlike earlier, the designers at Tata Motors this time seem to have really worked hard when it comes to the interiors. The reason why we say this is that, the cabin is definitely up market when it comes to the embellishments provided on board that are superior than some of its competitors within the segment. The most important improvement here is the quality of plastics which has been an issue with almost each and every Tata vehicle in the past. Therefore once inside, the enhanced quality does across in a very strong way. Perfect blend of black and beige interiors give one the sense of roominess. The presence of a three spoke steering wheel with steering mounted controls is a welcome addition as it not only looks good but is firm to grip while driving. A newly designed instrument cluster with chrome surrounds brings to light two analogue dials – RPM and speedometer along with a digital display placed right in the centre providing information such as average fuel economy, trip metre and instant consumption of fuel at any given time.
A newly designed instrument cluster with chrome surrounds brings to light two analogue dials – RPM and speedometer along with a digital display placed right in the centre providing information such as average fuel economy, trip metre and instant consumption of fuel at any given time. While the fuel and temperature gauge are individually represented in two different analogue dials as seen in the image. To the left, is the company’s ConnectNext Infotainment system which has been developed with the help of HARMAN (world renowned audio system expert) keeping the ‘Zest’ as the focus. Featuring a 5 inch touch screen display, this system caters to advanced Bluetooth technology that enables smart phone integration. It features a total of 8 speakers split into 4 speakers and 4 tweeters which keeps one entertained with excellent audio quality. There is also a smart voice recognition which enables the user to give commands especially in regards to SMS notifications and read outs making life simpler for people like you and me who need to operate their smart phones on a regular basis while being behind the wheel. Other features such as Aux-In and a USB port also find their way into the cabin thereby enriching the overall cabin experience.
Seating both in the front and rear is pretty comfortable however its lacks under thigh support especially for those who are a bit tall. There is decent of amount of shoulder and leg room in both rows with the rear one falling short on head room due to its sloping roof line which is a bit of an issue for tall individuals. Rest active and passive safety features on board include elements such as driver and front passenger airbags, central locking, rear parking assist, burglar alarm, immobilizer to name a few.
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION ;
Now here comes the most important part of any car, the engine details. Luckily the Tata Zest is available with both Diesel and petrol engine options.
The petrol unit powers the Zest compact sedan is the new Revotron 1.2 L Turbocharged MPFi engine unit which comes equipped with multi-drive mode for better throttle response, this engine is capable enough to produce 90 Ps of peak power at 5000 rpm and 140 NM of torque between 1750-3500 RPM. While the Diesel mill that will power the Zest compact saloon is the same Qudrajet 1.3-litre Multijet unit which is available in two staes of tune one producing 90 Ps of peak power at 4000 rpm and 200 Nm of peak torque in between 1750 and 3000 rpm while the other produces 73.94 bhp of peak power at 4,000 rpm and 190 Nm of torque between 1,750 3,000 rpm.
This Diesel engine unit is also used in other Tata products as well and features a variable-geometry turbo (VGT) which helps in producing more power. Tata has already launched the F-Tronic technology-enabled, 5-speed Automated Manual Transmission (AMT), with both Automatic and Sequential mode of gear-shifting with the diesel variants however it is only available with the top end 1.3L XMA trim beside the standard 5 speed manual gearbox.
Although the Tata Zest engines looks new and exciting but somehow both of them produces less power than its rivals the Swift Dzire and the Amaze which also stays ahead of the race with its fuel efficient petrol and powerful diesel mill. Talking about fuel efficiency figures the 1.2-liter four-cylinder turbocharged MPFI SOHC engine will return ARAI claimed 17.6 km to liter while the diesel engine will return ARAI claimed 23 km to a liter.
RIDE AND HANDLING ;
This Tata car rides well and handles great. The Zest impressed us completely with its amazing handling potential. It has a taller ground clearance but at the same time the roof line flows at a lower height bring down air resistance. Introduced in the Nano, EPAS (Electronic Power Assisted System), with speed sensitivity along with a segment first feature of Corner Braking stability makes the Zest handles corners confidently.
All the earlier issues of steering losing grip and wobbling on high speeds has completely gone. During out test drive in Goa, it was raining heavily but the ride quality of Zest held the wet roads firmly. The 185/60 R15 tyres have great traction. Even on rough patches, the suspensions refused to give up doing its best to keep the disturbance felt at the lowest level possible. It is evident that the team at Tata Motors has worked really hard to make sure the Zest delivers on points where Tata cars have been highly criticized for like ride and handling, in cabin noise insulation, gear shifts and steering response.
SAFETY FEATURES ;
The Tata’s compact sedan doesn’t just deliver impressive mileage; it also ensures a safe drive. The car comes equipped with a plenty of safety features such as front dual airbags, ABS (anti-lock braking system) + EBD (electronic brakeforce distribution), perimetric alarm system, front seat belt pre-tensioner with load limiter, front and rear fog lamps, immobilizer and speed dependent auto door lock system. Though, one must note that the aforementioned features vary variant-wise. The front disc brakes and rear drum brakes provide adequate stopping power. ABS (anti-lock braking system) and EBD (electronic brakeforce distribution) further enhance its braking capabilities, though the pedal brake could have been slightly more responsive
Even a short drive in the new Tata Zest will make you forget everything about the old Indica Vista, so effective are the improvements. The design is a definite step forward and when viewed from certain angles, the car looks genuinely good. The real changes are in the engineering. The ride and handling mix is just spot on, and it’s even fun to chuck around corners. The petrol engine doesn’t quite live up to all the hype Tata put behind it, but in isolation, is very smooth and driveable, and packs adequate punch too. The AMT diesel comes with the compromises typical of this type of gearbox, but for most people in everyday driving, the price, fuel economy and immense convenience factor should outweigh the small foibles. You’ll also have little reason to complain sitting inside, apart from the lack of cabin stowage, and the top-spec car is really well kitted out too.With the Zest, Tata Motors is taking on a hugely competitive segment dominated by three of the country’s biggest carmakers. It does have a trump card up its sleeve with the diesel auto, however, and this alone should have buyers flocking to showrooms. Tata was the company that started this segment in the first place, remember, and if it prices the Zest as competitively as it historically has its other cars, this could be the car that puts Tata back in the game.