Tata Zest Review & First Drive

Tata Zest Overview

Tata Zest is the car that has been introduced in the most competitive segment of compact sedans in the year 2014. Before this, in 2008, Tata Motors launched Indigo CS in the market and car did a fairly good job in terms of sale. As the time passed, new generation models from Hyundai, Honda and Maruti heated up the competition. Tata Motors to remain relevant in the segment, needed to develop a new product which was capable of competing against the rivals in terms of performance, reliability, quality and refinement. Finally, Zest came to the rescue, helping the Tata regain lost ground. Tata developed Zest using Vista hatchback’s X1 platform. The Zest is the first actual product which came out of Tata’s Horizonext movement. Tata Zest in Tryaldrive

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Tata Zest Design & Look

The Tata Zest is an outcome of design inputs from company’s three different design studios and tips from Jaguar Land Rover. The front grille is complimented well by the dual projector headlamps which come with chrome accents, which are standard for every variant, except the base model XE. The top end trim XT also gets LED daytime running lamps. The front bumper boasts triangle shaped twin fog lamps and double slat air dam. It comes with an enlarged C pillar with body coloured bumpers, body coloured door handles and body coloured ORVMs (Outside Rear View Mirrors) with integrated turn indicators. The wheels are 15 inches alloys with which the sedan also features first in segment LED tail lamps.

Tata Zest Cabin & Space

The interiors too have been given a massive upgrade – with a radical change in the styling, and, more importantly, in the fit-and-finish. The new design seems very cohesive – with the instrument cluster now back in front of the driver rather than in the middle of the dash. Sizeable work has also gone into improving the ergonomics and the interior in general. Not only has fit-and-finish improved, but so has component quality – which means that the Tata Zest has, by far, the finest interiors that Tata has ever produced. Tata has also worked with audio giant Harman to deliver a completely new user experience as far as the technology and infotainment is concerned. So, the top model of the Tata Zest features a touchscreen audio system with Bluetooth functionality and voice controls that actually works really well (as confirmed by our Zest Review). In fact, much attention has been paid to audio quality too – with the Harman system in the Zest delivering excellent sound quality. Sure, there are still elements that can be improved on, but it is extremely competent for its segment and is actually ahead of most in terms of look and feel.

Tata Zest Engine & Performance

Zest is available in two engine options; the 1.2L Revotron turbocharged petrol and the 1.3L Fiat-sourced Quadrajet diesel engine with variable geometry turbocharger. The petrol engine has been indigenously developed for the best performance. The BSIV compliant petrol motor makes 90PS and 140Nm of torque, mated to 5-speed manual transmission. The diesel one, on the other hand, produces 75PS and 190Nm of max torque paired to either 5-speed manual or 5-speed automated manual transmission.The petrol mill is more refined, lighter and sounds nicer. This might be a turbocharged engine but the focus is more on drivability and fuel efficiency. And this is evident the moment you step on the accelerator. There is minimum turbo lag and irrespective of whether you are in higher or lower gear, the momentum is just instant. The throttle response in the Sport mode is sharper and comes to life rather quickly.

The diesel engine helps in decent pull on the highways and one will find happy cruising at three digit speeds. However, in city traffic, the AMT seems to a bit lazy and definitely lacks the bout of spirited driving. However, there is no jerkiness in the AMT unlike other vehicles with this mechanism.The engines are tuned to derive maximum fuel efficiency and Tata seems to have done the homework quite well. Moreover, the Eco mode provided in the car takes the engine into the fuel efficient mode. The ARAI certified fuel efficiency of Zest is rated at 23kmpl for the diesel version while the petrol one delivers 17.6kmpl.

Tata Zest Driving Dynamics

Like space, the ride quality is one of the plus points of this car. Tata has managed to balance the area of ride and handling quite well. Thanks to the huge effort made in the suspension and chassis. The car rides well on low speeds and any road blemish that comes in the way is impeccably flattened out. The road shocks are cushioned superbly without letting a sense of agitation enter in the cabin.

Tata Zest Braking & Safety

In terms of safety, it comes with disc brakes in front with drum brakes at rear, ABS (Anti lock Braking System) with EBD (Electronic Brakeforce Distribution), dual front airbags, seat belts with pre-tensioner and load limiter, engine immobiliser and an alarm system.

Tata Zest Cost in Chennai

Tata Zest Ex-Showroom Price in Chennai ranges from 5,13,755/- (Zest Revotron 1.2T XE) to 8,56,897/- (Zest Quadrajet 1.3 XTA). Get best offers for Tata Zest from Tata Dealers in Chennai. Check for Zest price in Chennai at Carzprice

Tata Zest Conclusion

Overall, though, the biggest impression one gets with the Tata Zest is one of improved quality and attention to detail – both points regarding which we feared that Tata would miss the mark once again. But they haven’t! So, for the first time, here’s a Tata product that’s been engineered with a clear focus on consumers – and with quality levels to justify its price and positioning. The design, class-leading equipment levels, refinement, suspension setup, build quality, and space make the Tata Zest a very appropriate vehicle with which to reinvent a brand and its reputation. Sure, it isn’t perfect, but the important thing is the commitment that Tata Motors has demonstrated towards improving its future products – it hints towards a bright future not only for the Tata Zest, but also for the products to follow.

Of course, reviving the Tata Motors brand won’t happen overnight. It takes more than just an improved product to appeal to consumers. But, it appears that the folks at Tata Motors are serious about this revival and are working on improving the total customer experience. And if the Tata Zest is anything to go by, then the brand appears to be in good hands. The Tata Zest is just what Tata Motors needs – figuratively and literally!

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