Tigor: In a class apart
Tata Motors are trying to state their new car not only has all the space and other benefits of a small saloon, but is a class apart
In the early 50’s, car makers began using aircraft streamline designs in the shapes of many new cars. The familiar saloon had become a small ‘hatchback’, while the label ‘fastback’ was used for cars whose roof-lines sloped continuously down for a sporty automobile body shaped in a single convex curve from the top to the rear bumper. Now, Tata Motors (TM) have coined a word ‘styleback’ to try to add a touch of style to their new Tigor.
The aim seems to be to try to differentiate it from its successful competitors like the sub 4-metre Swift DZire, Honda Amaze, Hyundai Xcent, Ford Aspire and Toyota Etios that were their earlier hatchbacks with a boot stuck on. TM, who had done a very commendable job with their pretty Tiago hatchback, have gone the same route but are trying to state that their new car not only has all the space and other benefits of a small saloon but is a class apart. It seems that they want to declare that the Tigor is not intended for the taxi or commercial buyers, but for classy upwardly mobile young people.
The Tigor does undoubtedly catch the eye but it looks best in side profile. The Tiago styling remains nearly unchanged in the front except for the smoked glass projector headlights and the roof slopes gracefully into a tall well sculpted rear section with a wide chrome band above the number plate. While the Tigor has the overall DNA of a Tiago, TM have enlarged the wheelbase to make is surprisingly spacious inside with good legroom and headroom for two large passengers with space for another to be squeezed in as well. The high roof above the boot allows a class leading 419 litres of storage room with space not compromised by the long bent hinges. The two tone interiors are tasteful and inviting. The petrol model rides on big 15-inch alloy rims that give it a bigger look. The diesel model has to use smaller 14-inch rims as it needs fatter tires to take the extra weight. The petrol model therefore looks better and it seems that this is really the target audience. Six bright new colours are also inviting.
The 1050cc petrol and 1200cc diesel engines that churn out an adequate 70 and 85 HP respectively are the same as on the Tiago except that a balancer shaft makes power delivery smoother. The power is in two-drive modes of ‘city’ for normal driving, and ‘eco’ for a more economical setting on highways. A new ‘dual path’ front and rear suspension promises ride comfort with safety.
With smart young buyers in mind, there are a huge array of modern options for entertainment, comfort and convenience and four woofers with four tweeters offer an unmatched audio experience among cars in this class. Like most new cars, it also offers a full range of gadgets for climate control, park assist, navigation, blue tooth connectivity, voice command, immobilisers, et cetera, plus all needed information — speed, distance, fuel statistics, et cetera. It also has the full complement of safety features that are important even if they are seldom features that buyers normally look for.
Tata Motors has come a long way from their clunky Indicas and Indicos with the Zest, Bolt, Tiago and Hexa that all offer a standard of refinement, sadly missing earlier. Their image has changed steadily and buyers now find their models to be good cars at good prices.
Baig is the region’s most celebrated automobile columnist