Updated: July 17, 2014 6:41:35 pm
Introduction: The Zest, along with the Bolt hatchback, are two of the most important product launches from Tata Motors. With both market share and sales falling sharply in the last couple of years, the success of these new products will decide the company’s future in the Indian passenger car market. The Zest compact sedan will go on sale early next month and the Bolt will follow soon. We drove the Zest in Goa and here is what are the must know pointers about the car.
1. The Zest is based on the Vista hatchback platform but the same has been modified heavily. The chassis and suspension have been re-engineered heavily and the Zest drives like no other Tata product like date.
Not only does the compact sedan handle very well for its height and weight, its abilities to chew up undulations and bad roads is surprisingly better than most of the other compact sedans in the market. The Zest we drove rode on 185/60 tyres mounted on 15-inch alloy wheels.
2. The Zest will come with both a 1.2-litre petrol and 1.3-litre diesel motor. The former is based on the same old petrol engine that we have seen in the Indica but again is heavily revised and turbocharged. Maximum power stands at 90PS and this is 7, 3 and 2PS more than the petrol versions of the Xcent, Dzire and Amaze. What is important is the 140Nm of torque which is 22% more than the Xcent and the Dzire and 28% more than Amaze.
The diesel unit is the same engine that powers the Manza and puts out 90PS of power along with 200Nm of torque. Fuel economy ratings for both the engines are yet to be disclosed by the company.
3. When it goes on sale, the Zest will be India’s cheapest diesel automatic car, as much as 3-4 lakh less than the next cheapest option, the Hyundai Verna Diesel Automatic. The Zest AMT will only come with the diesel engine and is expected to be priced only Rs 30,000-40,000 more than its manual counterpart. A 5-speed manual gearbox will also be offered as standard on the petrol and optional on the diesel. We were also impressed with the gear shift quality of the petrol version.
4. The Zest comes with segment first features which are infact not seen on cars that sell at double the price. Segment unique features on the Zest include projector headlamps, daytime running lights, voice activate stereo commands, corner stability control etc. The Zest also has a comprehensive driver information system but on the practicality front loses out on account of no bottle holders in the doors and only one cup holder up front.
5. The Zest will be priced very competitively when launched. We expect a starting price of Rs 4.8-Rs 5.0 lakh for the turbocharged petrol line-up and Rs 5.6-5.8 lakh for the diesel line-up. The AMT version will command a premium of Rs 30,000-40,000.
Space, comfort and features will remain its USP while exciting features will attract a lot of potential buyers as well. Tata Motors has confirmed an early August launch and that is when pricing will be disclosed as well.
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