Wednesday, January 23, 2013

New Indica Vista D90 ZX review

Tata Motors' next launch, Vista D90 ZX is expected to happen by this month end, Jan 28th most likely. D90 is a powerful variant of existing Vista Sedan Class, with a 90PS engine and Tata Manza interiors.

Thanks to Tata Motors and Blogadda, about 30 bloggers all over India were given a chance to experience this new car for 3 days. I happened to be one of them. Drove this car for close to 1300 kms in 3 days and this post is my review of the car.

You may read the first impressions here and a set of detailed photos here

What's new in Indica Vista D90 ZX?
Looks: On the outside, lots of chrome on door handle, window frame, special D90 and ZX branding, and contrasting roof are the key differentiators. Otherwise the difference is not noticeable.

Dual colour  alloy wheels add to looks (almost every other model in the market comes with single colour white alloy wheel.

On the inside, console has moved to the conventional position. A DIS or driver information system, steering mounted audio controls, bluetooth will pamper the passengers.

On the safety front, there're dual SRS airbags, ABS and steel reinforcement on doors.

How does it feel to drive?
I enjoyed my 1300 km drive. Driver seat is height adjustable, steering column is adjustable, mirrors can be adjusted from inside. So I could try various positions and settle for the most convenient driving position. The all night drive was not an issue.

I could touch a top speed of 162kmph. Was expecting the 90PS engine to go a little faster (since many other under powered cars touch 160 easily), assume that'll be possible after a service or two

Vista handled curved roads well. Not too many downshifts for uphill drive, ground clearance is adequate to handle bad roads thrown at us and suspension absorbs most of the impact.

0-100 kmph took 14 seconds for me.

Acceleration and braking was brilliant-gave added confidence on the highway. DIS or Driver information system was also useful. It shows instantaneous mileage or what's the mileage you're getting for your current driving style. I kept an eye on this while driving- while climbing uphill in first gear, it showed a mileage of as low as 3.8-4.2 kmpl. While cruising at 160 kmph, it showed 8.1-9 kmpl. The optimal fuel economy was observed between 40-60 kmph, of about 15+kmpl. Any time we lift the foot off the accelerator, DIS shows its max fuel economy of 25kmpl. This information helps improve our driving style and in turn save some fuel money. The Average fuel economy I got was some 14+ kmpl.

DIS also shows outside temperature, time, distance to empty.

Entertainment and Features
Audio control on steering wheel and blue tooth connectivity is cool. I'm told there will be a ZX Plus variant which will have navigation system (one available in Manza Club Class)

Blue tooth connectivity works very well, but music system used to reset to FM each time vehicle is started, forcing us to re-select BT streaming each time. May be I am missing some settings.

Space: Like any other Tata Vehicle, space is not a constraint in Vista. Rear seats can be folded in seconds to create extra luggage space. 5 people can sit comfortably. Back seat gets a headrest which is adjustable.


Safety: I'm told doors have additional re-enforcement for added safety. A 90PS powered engine needs added braking abilities, hence ABS with EBD is provided. (Rear wheel still has drum brakes though)

Two Airbags are provided, passenger airbag can be turned off. (But will one remember to turn it on each time someone's sitting? If you forget to turn it ON and unfortunate crash happens, it is as good as not having airbag)

Braking was good. The Safari I'd driven last month used to make some noise if braked hard (it was old vehicle), Indica Vista D90 never complained or hesitated to respond to stop requests instantly.

What improvements I would expect in Indica Vista D90?
1. Make the door hold 1 litre bottle. Why should small car owners always carry small half litre bottle only? With a slight design tweak, 1 little pet bottle would fit into the door.

2. Make the system remember my preference. If I've set the digital display to Trip Meter A, each time I restart the car system goes back to Odo. I'll have to re-select trip meter A. Will be nice if this effort is saved.
3. Similarly music system should remember users' preference. It will be annoying to reset every time. (May be there's a setting I'm not aware of)
4. Can we have a shorter name please? Tata Indica Vista D90 ZX90 so many words. May be loose Indica and call it Vista D90? (Tata did the same with Grande, Sumo was dropped and now it is called Tata Grande)
Price: Exact pricing is yet to be known (we'll know during its launch next week), but it is expected to be priced bit above Swift and slightly below i20, thus giving great value for money and a perfect combination of power, space, safety. Low spec VX would cost about 6 lakhs ex-showroom (add 10% for on road price), ZX might cost 6.7 lakhs.

With a more powerful engine and sedan like features, Vista D90 would  compete with i20 and Punto.  I wish the call all the success

Update: Vista D90 is officially launched today, with price range starting from 6 lakhs for VX and 6.83 lakhs for ZX+, both ex showroom Delhi

5 comments:

Sid said...

Any particular reason why there is an OFF switch for AirBags? I mean what advantage would turning it off provide?

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Sid,

Airbags are expensive. If they go off, they need to be replaced fully, by spending 50-90k.

If there's no passenger in the car, passenger airbag can be turned off. So it won't go off and no need to replace it.

This is the only advantage. Aria also has this feature

Vishal Rathod said...

very helpful . thanks for sharing.

Janit said...

Thanks for sharing Shrinidhi.

I so want the Indica to do well. But Tata Motors have been rehashing the same product for over 15 years now.

Its such a surprise that majority of Tata Motors' profits come from JLR, when most western countries are earning from the Indian market.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Janit: Well,news is that Tata Motors is working on a range of new products as well, but they make take 2 years to hit the road.

Vatsal, you're welcome

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