Tata Motors gets the credit of inception of the sub-4 meter sedan segment with the introduction of Indigo around a decade back in 2007. Then, again in August 2014, in an attempt to further exploit the sub-compact sedan segment, the company launched the Zest sedan in the Indian market. But now, as the aforementioned sedan duo is ageing and doesn’t consist of contemporary features as its counterparts, Tata has come up with yet another sub 4-meter sedan in form of the all-new Tigor. Being based on the super successful Tiago hatchback, it had its first public appearance at the 2016 Auto Expo. Tata Tigor is offered in both petrol and diesel fuel trims in four grades: XE, XT, XZ and XZ (O). The all-new Tata Tigor features several styling and interior elements, along with the same set of petrol and diesel motors as the sibling hatch. Tata has termed the Tigor as ‘Styleback’ and it comes with the best-in-segment boot capacity of 419 litre. Find best offers on Tigor
EXTERIORS AND LOOK ;
The Tigor is a breath of fresh air in the compact sedan space. Traditionally sub 4-metre sedans have been cars made to look like a sedan by adding a boot to a hatchback. The Tigor, on the other hand, is thoughtfully designed. It looks eye-catching, particularly from the rear, and its swooping rear even reminded us of the BMW X6.The front end is the same cheerful-looking face from the Tiago, though there are a few changes. The grille uses a new hexagonal pattern and the headlights get a smoked treatment. We only drove the top end variant, the XZ, and Tata Motors has not revealed the number of variants or the difference between features, though the XZ gets a double-barrel layout and projector beams. Given the similarity of the design from the front, it is difficult to tell from a distance whether you are looking at the Tiago or Tigor. Daytime running lamps have been given a miss, probably to keep costs in check.
The difference in design can be noticed from the B-pillar onwards, since the Tigor’s rear half is completely new. The Tigor is longer than the Tiago by 276mm, and that isn’t down to just the boot. The Tigor also has a longer wheelbase to increase the space in the backseat, and there are larger doors for the second row to make getting in and out easier too. Along with the rolling roofline, the Tigor actually looks like a much more expensive car thanks to the coupe-like design.The rear three-quarter is the best angle to look at the car from, especially with the design of the tail lights and chrome strip running across the width of the bootlid and into the tail lamps. The roof-mounted spoiler integrates an LED strip across its width for the stop lamp and looks good too.
On the whole, the Tigor is easily the best looking sub 4-metre sedan, while a ground clearance of 170mm adds to its stance, offering a crossover-like feel visually. Difference between the petrol and diesel are the diesel’s smaller 14-inch wheels as compared to the petrol’s 15-inch ones.
INTERIOR AND COMFORT ;
Moving on to the interiors, the resemblance with the Tiago’s interiors is strong here too. You get the same fish skin texture on the dashboard which makes it look premium. Though the quality levels are good in some places, it is still not up to the mark in others. Especially when you consider that the Tigor will be priced higher than the Tiago and will be competing with cars in a higher segment with better quality levels like the Hyundai Grand i10 and Xcent. The Tigor does benefit from the addition of a new touchscreen infotainment system and the auto air-conditioner, over the Tiago though.We noticed that the visibility out of the rear is slightly hindered due to the high boot and the sloping rear parcel shelf area is simply useless. In fact there’s hardly any storage spaces at the back other than the slim door pockets and the cup holders in the centre armrest. Although Tata claims to have 24 storage spaces across this cabin, they are either too small or too slim. However, the glove box is large and very useable.
The front seats are softly cushioned and offer good support for the back and thigh along with ample head room. But a little firmer seats would have translated into more comfort over long journeys. At the rear, the bench spreads all the way to the edges of the doors to better fit three passengers and an arm rest also finds its way here too. With the 50mm bump-up in wheelbase, it has liberated more knee room. Now, the rear backrest is slightly more reclined than the Tiago and despite the sloping roof, headroom is also adequate. We would have liked some more thigh support and longer squab but it’s not a deal breaker, and the rear seat of the Tiago is actually a good place to be in. Although the unique double hinge boot opening mechanism avoids it from eating into the boot space, there no running away from the fact that the opening is narrow which makes loading luggage a bit awkward especially since the boot enclosure is deep. This is a clear indication that design has taken precedence over function, in the way the boot opens. It’s something that could have been avoided if this was a proper three box design as the boot opening would have been larger. The good thing though is that the 419 litre boot space has no intrusions whatsoever in the enclosure.
Some of the features on the Tigor include a rear view camera with rear parking sensors, a new touchscreen display for the ConnectNext infotainment system that is compatible with Android’s ConnectNext app which uses its own maps for navigation. There are eight speakers, AUX, USB, bluetooth capability, steering mounted controls, all-four power windows with driver’s side auto-down, electric mirrors and tilt steering. The Tigor also benefits from a rear defogger, fog lamps, two airbags, and ABS with EBD.
ENGINE AND GEARBOX ;
Like the Tiago, the Tigor will be offered with a 1.05-litre, three-cylinder diesel engine and a 1.2-litre, three-cylinder petrol engine. Both engines come mated to five-speed gearboxes, albeit with shorter gearing to compensate for the 50kg weight increment over the Tiago.The diesel engine makes 70hp of power and 140Nm of torque, figures which are quite low by segment standards. And the fact is the diesel engine feels adequate, but no more. Performance in town is fair and you’ll be able to keep up with traffic, but when you want to overtake, you’ll miss that mid-range surge we’ve just come to expect from even small turbo-diesels. There is a mild step up in power at 2,000rpm but power delivery remains flat thereafter, forcing you to downshift when you need to get a quick move on. Out on the highway too, you will often be left wanting for power. The diesel engine is also on the noisier side and sounds thrummy when extended. For their part, the gearbox is smooth in operation, though not slick, and the clutch is reasonably light too.
For most urban buyers though, the petrol Tigor would be the one of greater interest. The petrol Tigor uses the same engine as the one on the Tiago but Tata has added a balancer shaft to cut vibrations here. The inclusion of the balancer also required recalibration of the ECU and the net effect is the engine feels far nicer than it does in the Tiago. Vibrations are significantly reduced and fueling seems cleaner too; power delivery is noticeably smoother than the petrol Tiago. Performance in town is decent with reasonable responses to throttle inputs. Fairly smooth gearshifts and the light clutch also help the experience. Still, the 85hp engine does little to excite. The build-up of power is flat throughout the rev range (it revs until 6,500rpm) and it simply lacks zing. And when revved hard, the engine doesn’t sound particularly nice either.
RIDE AND HANDLING ;
The Tigor offcourse uses the same Independent, Lower Wishbone, McPherson Strut with Coil Spring towards the front and Semi-Independent; closed profile Twist beam with Dual path Strut towards the rear. The Tigor is 40-50 kilograms heavier than the hatchback and Tata Motors has reworked the suspension setup for better ride quality and handling.For stopping the Tigor compact sedan relies on disc brakes towards the front and drum brakes for the rear. The car also rides on a 155/80 R13 Steel – XE, 175/65 R14 Steel – XT and the top end gets 175/65 R14 Alloy – XZ, XZ(O) wheels and tyres.
SAFETY FEATURES ;
There are some additional features on offer too. For instance, there is a touchscreen system. This gets reverse parking camera and even navigation.The Tata Tigor comes with an integrated music system on the top-of-the-line variant. This has an Harman music system with bluetooth connectivity, USB and even aux. It plays music through eight speakers. The five-inch screen has reverse parking display, SMS display and readout, step-by-step navigation for Android phones and Juke-car app. This app allows to connect multiple smartphones to the music system at the same time.
There will even be climate control, which isn’t offered on the Tiago.The rear seat on the Tata Tigor has centre armrest too. There is even JukeCar app that has been built only for Tata vehicles. The touchscreen system will be there and this will even get reverse parking camera.The air-vent colours may come colour coded. The panel surrounding the AC vents and the centre console has an option to be changed to any colour that is available.Dual Airbags,ABS with EBD,.
After spending some time with the Tigor, we believe Tata Motors have got another winner in their hands after the Tiago, if they price it well. The Styleback design of the Tigor is unique and looks quite appealing, the interiors are loaded with features, the cabin is spacious and practical while the engines are also fuel efficient. If accepted well in the market, the Tigor can give some serious threat to the compact sedan segment.