You might as well call it the car responsible for Tata’s resurgence, because not only has Tiago helped make Tata a relevant player in the market again, it has done so in a fairly difficult segment. From the highs witnessed during India's heydays to the rather disappointing sales a few years ago, Tata has been through a lot. But that has turned it into someone who made decent vehicles to someone who makes desirable cars. The Tiago is one such example — and quite a good one at that.
One look at the Tiago and you’d realize that Tata’s design has come a long way from the I.D.E.A-designed Indica. Of course, that’s not to say the Indica wasn’t a good-looking car, but with multiple refreshes and carried over cues in the models that followed, the design was anything but fresh. The Tiago changes all that. It manages to appeal to everyone without trying too hard. The proportions are spot on, and if you want something more youthful, there’s a crossover-like Tiago NRG available as well.
Spacious and well-executed, the Tiago’s cabin is a cut above the rest. It’s not lacking in terms of features, either, although a larger touchscreen wouldn’t look out of place. But there’s enough making up for that, like an eight-speaker audio system, a good AC, and design accents that help break the monotony in design. Features like a cooled glovebox and driver footrest/dead pedal might not be worth a mention in more expensive cars, but their presence in the Tiago is something.
There are currently two engine options on the Tata Tiago: an 85 PS 1.2-litre naturally aspirated petrol and a 70 PS 1.05-litre diesel. Both are new Tata-made units and have performed well since the car’s launch. Both come with a five-speed manual gearbox but if you hanker for a two-pedal setup, the petrol-engined Tiago can also be specced with an AMT unit. While the clutch pedal’s taken away, it doesn’t exactly take full control away from the driver. There’s still a manual mode that can override the computer and let the driver shift gears, and a sports mode which holds on to gears for longer. And unlike a lot of AMT units, this one comes with a ‘creep’ function, which can be a boon in stop-go traffic.
Prices for the Tata Tiago Petrol start at Rs 3.39 lakh, while the AMT-equipped version is available at Rs 5.04 lakh onwards. The diesel-engined car is priced at Rs 4.2 lakh onwards. All of this makes the Tiago a wonderful value-for-money proposition. As we’ve seen time and again, wrong pricing can lead to the failure of a product, and with the Tiago, Tata has successfully showcased that with competitive pricing, a great comeback can be made.
The Tiago’s main rivals include cars like the Maruti Suzuki Celerio and Renault Kwid while overlapping prices mean there are cars like the Hyundai Grand i10 can also be considered. The rather pricey Tata Tiago NRG doesn’t sadly present as strong a case, and the Ford Freestyle appears to be a much more rounded alternative.