Clicky

badge

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Japan Tourist Visa process for Indians

Japan Visa process for Indians is far easier than I had expected.  It was cheap, it was quick and it was simple (less documentation). In this post, I am explaining the process.
Where to apply?
Japan has 4 consulate office in India- Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Kolkata. Details here

Only in Delhi, it is mandatory to go through VFS. In other cities, you can simply walk in directly to consulate and submit your papers. If you’re in other cities where consulate is not present, you can either make a short trip or need to use services of a travel agent.

Processing time: 3 days. You can collect it back on the 3rd business day.

Japan Visa Fees: Rs 440 (to be paid during collection)- VFS or travel agents may charge extra on top of this.

Key documents needed for Japan tourist visa
  •        Original passport + any old passports + photocopy of first and last page
  • .       Confirmed tickets
  • .       Hotel booking for all nights
  • .       Day wise travel plan/itinerary in specified format
  • .       Bank statement
  • .       Income tax return
  • .       Proof of employment, leave
  • .       Cover letter
  • .       Photo (45mm x 45mm, white background)
How soon to apply?
If you live in a metro that has Japanese consulate, even 7-10 days prior to travel date is fine, as it takes only 3 days. If you live in other cities and using agencies, keep extra time for courier etc. 2-3 weeks advance should be adequate. You will need Visa to buy JR Pass from a travel agency in person. Online you can buy without a physical visa copy.

Points to note:
Visa will be stamped on the passport – one page will be needed
Validity could be 4—6 months, but single entry. So try to make the most of one trip. There is a recent news that Indian businessmen can get long term multiple entry visa to Japan, but if you get multiple entry visa you can’t buy JR Pass, shooting up your travel cost within Japan by a large amount.

Mobile phones, laptops or bags will not be allowed inside. Either take a friend along who can hold them for you while you’re inside, or go in your car so that everything can be stored inside. Police booth outside the consulate may agree to safeguard your bag, if you request.

My other popular visa posts- Australia Visa * Malaysia Visa

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Tata Tigor Styleback launched at 4.7 lakh onwards!

Automobile brands always reveal the pricing of their new cars at the last moment.  Prices are never announced when the car is being shown in an auto show, or when specially invited media people and bloggers are allowed to drive the car (often called as Media drive) or when advance booking is opened or even when cars have started arriving at the dealer’s yards. Pricing of the car is maintained as a closely guarded secret till the last minute and is announced only one the day of commercial launch. It is going to be the same process for newly introduced Tata Tigor. While it was shown in the Geneva motor show, it was unveiled to journalists and bloggers in Delhi last week but the pricing will be known only on tomorrow, 29th March, the date set for its commercial launch. Many bloggers unaware of the fact that media drive is not commercial launch, without fail ask a question about car's pricing and will be told to wait till commercial launch.

Instead of sitting idle till 29th and waiting for Tata’s announcement, I made an attempt to get into the minds of those who might be working out the car pricing right now and try to derive what could be the final price of the car. In this post, I have worked out a pricing for the Tigor’s various variants and I have explained the rationale for the same. How correct I am and how close my guess is to the reality will be known on 29th March.
Before I proceed to construct Tigor’s pricing, let us understand why Automobile companies do not announce the price in advance
1 It is not decided yet. Honestly speaking, people who are involved in the design, develop and even those who do marketing for the new car won’t be knowing the price of the car till last minute. While rest of the teams are busy in pre-launch activities and promotions, a dedicated team in the HQ will be doing the number crunching considering hundreds of parameters trying to decide what can be the right price for the car, such that it is cheaper enough to attract the customers while ensuring profitability for the company

2. Input from market is often used to fine tune the final pricing:  If the company gets lots of pre-bookings and inquiries, if the public response is highly favorable car manufacturer can make more money by pricing the car slightly higher, without losing out on the demand. If the excitement is low, company may be forced to price it at a loss.

3. Fear of competition: If the price is announced before dealers are ready to take booking and deliver the cars, there is a huge risk that either competition will also reduce their price and poach customers or customers will use the low price of new car to bargain with competitor to get lower price.

4. Volume prediction is needed to assess per unit cost of fixed expenditure. Volume prediction is key. There’re many fixed cost in developing a car- cost of R&D, Design, Marketing etc. Let us say 100 Crore rupee is spent on these activities for Tigor. This amount needs to be recovered from each car sold. If car maker can predict that 2 lakh units of the new car can be sold, then they need to recover 5000 Rs from each car sold, to recover R&D and marketing expenses. But if the prediction is that only 50000 cars will be sold, then they may have to recover 20000 per car. Similarly, if higher sales can be expected, car maker can negotiate better with suppliers and vendors and save a few thousand rupees per car and pass this advantage to customers.

Price prediction for Tigor is relatively easier because we have price details of Tiago, the hatchback version of Tigor. Similarly, its competition (xcent, Dzire, Ameo etc) and their prevailing pricing is clearly known. If the car is totally new and competitions are few, then this game of predicting price gets difficult.

So what will be the pricing of Tata Tigor?
Below are the key assumptions/ground rules
  1.           Tigor needs to be priced slightly higher than its small car variant, Tiago. Usually the price difference between hatch and compact sedan versions are around 50k to 60k ex-showroom
  2.            Most of Tigor’s competition models are priced at about 5.5 lakh onwards. Tata Motors will be keen to undercut them by a lakh or two at least, to win over customers heading to competition showrooms.
  3.       There's Tata Zest on the upper side. Tigor's price has to be in-between Tiago and Zest.    
Price difference between hatchback and compact sedan for various models
#
Model
Brand
Base Petrol
Top-end Petrol
Base Diesel
Top-end Diesel
Price difference range
Remarks
1
Grand i10 and Xcent
Hyundai
86k
76k
63k
76k
63-86k

2
Figo and Aspire
Ford
66k
55k
51k
74k
51-74k

3
Swift and Dzire
Maruti
53k
59k
51k
57k
(ZDI MT)
51-57k

4
Polo and Ameo
VW
-01k!




Ameo is cheaper!
5
Tiago and Tigor
Tata
?
?
?
?




















Current competition prices (Top end with AMT /AT is not considered)
#
Model
Brand
Base Petrol
Top-end Petrol
Base Diesel
Top-end Diesel


1
Dzire
Maruti
5.5
7.18
6.74
8.24 (ZDI MT)


2
Ameo
VW
5.47
7.3
6.64
8.5 (Highline MT)


3
Aspire
Ford
5.48
7.04
6.59
8.43


4
Xcent
Hyunday
5.55
7.3
6.24
8.24


5
Tigor
Tata
?
?
?
?


If you notice above table, you see that most of the competition has their starting price at around 5.5 lakhs and end at 8.5 lakhs. Obviously Tata would like to undercut it. Most of the competition- Xcent, Aspire and Ameo offer ABS as standard across the range. Some even driver airbags. But Tigor’s base variant is guaranteed to miss these safety feature, which should enable them to save much more than 50-75k easily and achieve a price tag way below 5 lakhs.

What adds to Tigor’s price over Tiago?
Tigor gets a touchscreen, climate control, rear armrest on the interior, longer body, wheelbase, better suspension bigger boot and different headlamp assembly. Few of these (like climate control and touchscreen) are expected only in top variant while others are applicable to all variants

What Tigor misses compared to Zest?
Zest gets more powerful engine (only slightly, like 4 to 5PS more). Zest's variants begin at XE and end at XT, compared to Tiago and Tigor which get cheaper XB and more loaded XZ variants. Zest is available in Automatic (Diesel) as well.

Keeping all the above in mind, I am guessing Tigor's price to start from under 4 lakhs for cheapest variant and end at about 7 lakhs for most expensive variant, ex-showroom, Delhi. Let us see how close my guess is..

Current ex-showroom price (Delhi) for Tiago and Zest

Base Petrol (XB)
Petrol Mid (XT (O))
Petrol Top end XZ (MT)
Diesel Base (XB)
Diesel Mid (XT (O))
Diesel top end (XZ)

Tiago
3.24
4.6
4.99
3.99
5.4
5.78

Tigor (My Guess)
3.95?
5.36?
5.95?
4.79?
6.38?
6.89?

Zest
5.35 (XE)
6.81 (XT)

6.52 (XE)
8.84 (XT)


Tigor Actual
No XB trim, 4.7 (XE)5.41 (XT)5.90 (XZ)
6.19 XZ(O)
no XB Trim, 5.6 (XE)6.31 (XT)6.8 (XZ)
7.09 XZ(O)

Above is assuming ex-showroom Delhi. If ex-showroom Mumbai, add a few 2-3 % more.

Disclaimer:
I am not an automobile pricing expert. This is just a guess work. You may use it for reference but please wait till 29th for official announcements

I do not have any input on cost (manufacturing or otherwise)- above computation is purely based on information available in public domain such as competition model prices and feature differences.

Post Launch Update:
Tata Motors have decided not to offer a bare minimum XB variant. Cheapest trim is XE for Tigor and top of the line being XZ optional. Price begins at 4.7 lakh for XE Petrol and ends at 7.09 for XZ(O) diesel, Manual. I have updated the table able- my predictions have been reasonably close. Best wishes to Tigor and Tata Motors

10 reasons why I use Booking.com for my hotel needs

There are 100s of websites that claim to offer cheaper rates for hotel bookings.  Some of them do, but come with lots of riders. Since past 2-3 years, I have been booking one website extensively for my international and domestic hotel bookings- booking.com. I was also using Stayzilla a bit but they have shut shop now. In this post I am explaining why I like Booking.com much more than any other hotel booking sites. Read on, if it makes sense do booking.com for your future hotel bookings.
Reason 1: Book now, pay later:
The main difference between booking.com and most other sites is the payment terms. Almost every other website wants you to pay upfront. Pay first and then get your booking confirmation. Booking.com lets you have a confirmation without making an actual payment, in case of majority of hotels. You can pay at the hotel or your card will be charged the previous night. This is lot convenient and flexible option for me, than paying upfront and then seeking refund in case of change of plans. I can block a room at cheap rate, refine my plans as the travel date is closer, make some adjustments/cancellations without having to shell out more money.

At times I made an attempt to book direct with hotels, but that was not as convenient as booking via booking.com. Either their rates were higher, or they needed advance payment or the reservation widget on the hotel's website was managed by 3rd party vendors who were more interested in taking my payment, than giving me all the information needed to make an informed decision.
Reason 2: Free cancellation till the last day:
Most hotels on booking.com allow free cancellation, up to few days prior to check-in date. This offers huge levels of flexibility. If I want to change my plans or if my trip gets cancelled, I can do that without fear of losing money.

Note: Some hotels keep a higher room rent with free cancellation and give another cheaper option for same room, but a non-refundable mode. In such cases you need to decide if the extra amount is worth the flexibility.

Note 2: Cancellation policy varies from hotel to hotel and season to season. 

Reason 3: Pure – play accommodation booking site with huge collection of properties
Booking.com has much better collection of properties- from dirt cheap hostels to luxury hotels than most of its rivals. Many hotel booking websites ignore low cost, low margin hostels. With booking.com, it is possible to get a place to stay that fits your budget or one that fits your location preferences or other priorities. Many competitors have accommodation as one of the many services they offer- like flight booking, holiday packages etc. With booking.com, entire focus is on accommodation bookings, which is good. They have over a million + properties worldwide.

Reason 4: Manage your booking online
I have complete control to manage my booking via app or website- to cancel, to message the property, to change dates etc. No need to call customer care, no need to email. Additional facilities like directions, location guides and reminders make your trip lot more convenient.

Reason 5: Instant confirmation
Some websites take money upfront but do not confirm immediately. It takes some time. Worse, there are many complaints online where websites take money but never pass the same to property, resulting in properties not confirming bookings. Never faced an issue with booking.com

Reason 6: Reviews
User reviews are available for each of the properties. Reviews and ratings make it easier to evaluate the property and select. Only those who book and stay are allowed to write a review (unlike tripadvisor where anyone can review a hotel)

Reason 7: Excellent customer service.
I was not very happy about one of the bookings made via Booking.com- The Galle one- while property refused to entertain my complaint, Booking.com voluntarily offered a small compensation. They even called me to take my feedback and hear my case. That was very impressive customer care. Full details in this post.

Reason 8: No tricky marketing- just cheap rates
Many websites resort to tricky marketing to make you believe they are giving rooms for less. For example, GoIbibo offers huge discount, but in a very complicated way- you need to pay a large amount upfront, an amount more than normal room rate, wait for 30-50 days and cashback amount will be credited to your wallet which can only be used for future booking. To me this is too much circus. MakeMyTrip often launches “up to 50% discount” but to get this 50% discount there will be several conditions like you need to book same hotel for 7 nights, max discount Rs X only etc. I hate it when brands make tall claims of huge savings but supplement it with complicated process and hidden rules. Booking.com anyway offers cheap rates all the time in a fairly transparent way. No complicated cashback process. Even if it is a few rupees more, I go with them for the simplicity of the process.

Reason 9: Clear indication of what is included and what is not.
Any tax not included in the specified amount is called out separately. All facilities offered in the room are listed clearly.  All the key information we need- photos of the property, how far it is from airport etc, what’s free, what’s not etc are almost always listed very clearly, so that we can make an informed decision.

Reason 10: Genius extra discount and offers
Repeat customers- called Genius accounts are entitled for some additional discounts/extra facilities (like late check out). Not available with all properties though.

Worldwide, I have observed that many hostels and properties take pride in being part of Booking.com network. They display their Booking.com rating with pride, along with tripadvisor rating. Always the amount mentioned in the confirmation is charged.  This is very confidence inspiring for me, as a traveller.  I can trust the rating on booking.com, I can trust the rates for being reasonable and I am assured of good support/customer care if needed.
Some drawbacks:
1. Beware of hotels that want to charge some amount upfront. Once a hotel in Copenhagen charged 38k+ on my credit card upon booking. When I cancelled the booking later, they refunded the amount, but since ICICI bank charges currency conversion fee for both transactions at about 3.5%, I lost about Rs 2800 in total for no fault of mine.

2. No filter to identify hotels having 24 hour checkout facility.

3. Some hotels do not add photos of their cheapest category rooms- so if you're booking cheapest room looking at photo of most expensive/medium range rooms you might be surprised when you arrive and check-in. A bit of extra caution helps.

I haven't tried AirBnB yet. Most of my trips are often hectic and I only need a place to sleep. Haven't had the luxury of spending leisure time with local hosts. Which site do you use for your hotel booking? Does it offer any extra advantages? Do share your opinion.

Disclaimer: This is NOT a sponsored post. I have been using booking.com personally since past few years and am impressed by the options and services offered, so much so that in most cases I don’t even check competition websites. If there're better options you've been using I am keen to know. My hotel booking in Bali, Manila, Macau, Hong Kong, Copenhagen, Coimbatore and many more were via booking.com. All points are based on my personal experience, but please use your discretion.
Booking.com

Sunday, March 26, 2017

US Travel Electronic items Ban- Impact on Indian travellers

The major news last week is the new travel ban on electronic items enforced by US and UK Administration, effective almost immediately (Being enforced from this weekend). You might have already read the news, Narayan Hariharan has summarized the same in his blog but here’s a quick summary if it helps. Because Middle East based carriers like Emirates are primary preference for Indians flying to US, this ban will cause some inconvenience, which I intend to discuss in this post. Quick recap first

What is banned? All electronic devices other than smartphones in cabin baggage, if you're boarding in any of the 10 airports for US bound flight
What 10 airports? Dubai, Doha, Ab Dhabi, Istanbul, Jeddah, Kuwait, Amman, Cairo, Riyadh and Casablanca
Affected airlines: Emirates, Qatar, Etihad and 6 other middle eastern airlines
What needs to be done? Most Electronic devices (other than smartphones) must be kept in Check-in luggage only
Contextual Image!
Concern 1: Risk of device damage. Sensitive electronics like laptops, ipads need to be handled with care. Checked-in bags are subjected to wide range of abuses- being thrown around by baggage handling staff while loading, unloading, transfer, storage etc, exposed to elements like heat, rain, cold, loaded one above another increasing pressure on the bag at the bottom etc.  There are scenarios where some passengers do not turn up at the gate and baggage handling crew will be under pressure to identify and remove bags of those people quickly. They might end up stepping on one bag to access/check a bag not within easy reach. Now keeping a laptop as is in the check-in bag may not be safe- you will have to add some protection- thermocol or other cushion- this will take space in your bag. More “fragile” stickers will be needed.  Travel insurance today doesn’t cover damage to electronic items in checked-in in bag. For passengers with lots of stuff to carry, having to spare 2-3 kg for laptops on an already weight constrained economy baggage limit will be a strain.

Concern 2: Risk of fire: Devices with lithium ion batteries have a risk of fire- may be one in a million but with millions of passengers flying everyday, there is always a risk that it is the turn of a device in your plane next one on the line. So far guidelines were to carry power banks, Samsung Galaxy Note 7 etc only in hand bag, so that if they catch fire it can be noticed quicker and contained. Keep them in cargo hold, it takes several minutes before fire is detected and contained, could be fatal sometimes. So aviation authorities need to balance the risk of electric fire vs risk of terrorism and decide what is the better place to keep electronic stuff

Concern 3: An explosive in checked-in bag can still be detonated by a passenger carrying a smartphone. Cargo hold is just a meter or two below passenger deck, Wifi/blutooth connection is easily possible.  So the new ban is still not foolproof, unless device in checkin bag is fully switched off and battery removed. Checking every bag to ensure all devices are in switch off state is near impossible task. May be airplanes can install signal jammers in cargo hold to prevent connection. Plus since the ban is on select airports, someone determined to carryout such attack may still manage to use one of the 100+ other airports not affected by the ban.

Concern 4: Concept of stopover holiday gets even more complicated. Qatar allows passengers with significant transit time to go out of airport into city (subject to prior confirmation of transit visa). Without access to your cameras or laptops, making most of the transit time is now more difficult.

Impact on India based airlines
Air India flies direct to US from Mumbai and Delhi- isn’t really affected by the ban. Air India also has code share with many star alliance members- Lufthansa, SG, Air France etc which it can leverage.

Jet Airways partner Etihad is affected by the ban, which can impact Jet. But Jet Airways also has Amsterdam as their Europe Hub and codeshare with KLM and AF, which they can use to offset the impact of the ban. Jet has issued advisory to this effect to its passengers, but has also updated website with below banner- hinting that it will use its European hub to the max to connect to US, reducing dependency on middle east.
No other India based airlines fly to US

News from the field: It is about 48 hours since the ban is being enforced rigorously. Emirates was quick to react with a free service that lets passengers use the laptop/camera/tablet till the time they arrive at boarding gate- where same needs to be handed over to Emirates staff, to be packed and stored in the cargo hold. Meanwhile also focusing on in-flight entertainment and trying to emphasize that laptops are not really needed on-board. This is exemplary thinking and execution by Emirates. This also reminds me of a statement made by Emirates President- they didn't want to join any alliance (like star alliance) because joining an alliance limits their ability to react to market as time is needed to arrive at a consensus amongst alliance partners.

Impact on Indian travelers
Category 1: Business travelers: Business travelers often need to carry their laptops with them, so that they can work in airports- while waiting to board, at transit airport or even in-flight. Taking their laptops away will affect their productivity.  Companies may ask business travelers to opt for other airlines where restrictions doesn’t apply- Cathey Pacific, Lufthansa, BA or Singapore Airlines. Naturally these airlines will increase their price a bit knowing this advantage they have over Emirates or Qatar or Etihad, so Indian companies will lose more money flying their staff to US

Think of first class travelers who shell out 1000s of dollars for a luxurious travel, now without their favorite gadgets (Etihad has a 22000 USD suite- now even if you shell out 22000 USD, you can’t have your kindle or ipad with you)

Category 2: Budget Tourists:  Tourists usually book whatever airlines offer cheapest fares. Now they can’t carry cameras, laptops etc in cabin baggage, so they will be forced to check them in. It is inconvenience but I think they will probably live with it provided savings on ticket price justifies the inconvenience.  If they can avoid long transit time options then they can possibly manage without a major inconvenience.

Impact will be high on ultra-low cost airlines who charge extra for check-in bag- guests will almost always have to buy checkin-baggage now, which compromises cost advantage. But no ultralow cost airline is affected by this travel ban yet. (Air Asia flies to Hawaii from India)

Tourists can plan such that instead of going direct to US, they can fly first to either Canada/Europe or South America, have a quick holiday or transit there and then fly onward to US. Of course this has its own disadvantages- visa needs, extra flight money and so on, but in some scenarios it may be viable

Category 3: Family visitors: Family members will have to make their flight sans their kindles, ipads, gaming devices etc. Kids will be forced to rely more on smartphone which are allowed. More headache. Those who can afford few hundred dollars more will probably shift to airlines that don’t have this restriction. Others will be forced to travel without gadgets and be innovative to keep themselves busy in-flight and during transit.

On the positive side:
  • May be middle-east based carriers will reduce fares further- to make strong value proposition that inconvenience flying with them is still worth because of huge savings.
  • Business travellers can use it as an excuse to relax while traveling, instead of being asked to work even during travel
  • May be families will travel without too many gadgets and spend more time talking to each other
  • May be people will buy real books, play real games with other humans and be more attentive to things around them, than getting lost in their gadgets.
  • May be smartphone will evolve even more to an extent that consumers do not feel the need for laptop, kindle, tab or camera
  • May be someone will make a smartphone bigger than all other electronic devices, thus allowing the laptops and cameras in Hand baggage!?!
Open Questions:
1. What if a passenger buys a new device in transit airport? Is it allowed ? From what I sense, no. Doesn't matter where you bought it- not allowed in cabin bag.

2. Is power-bank/charges allowed? If not how to charge the smartphone? From what I sense these are allowed.

3. Are US airports now having two separate arrivals/Security checkpoints now? One to check passengers from these 10 airports to see if they are carrying electronics and one for everyone else... May be they will only do random checks or put some more staff at origin airports.

4. GoPro is smaller than a smartphone- Is it allowed? 3 parameters- length, width and height define size- goPro is smaller by length and height but is wider than smartphone. My guess is security staff will object.

Way forward: Need to wait and watch how long this stands. Many governments are working with USA to assure them that security at their airports is at par with USA and there's no need to discriminate and selectively enforce this ban, putting the home airlines into a disadvantage.
Indian Bloggers

New Tata Tigor vs Dzire, Xcent, Aspire, Ameo and Amaze!

About 8 years ago, Tata Motors were the first to create this segment with the introduction of Indigo CS-  a sub 4 meter sedan that qualifies for small car tax benefits while still giving a sedan like ownership feel. Other car makers, beginning with Maruti soon caught on this idea and the segment is now overcrowded with half a dozen players having their compact sedans, which are largely boot variants of their small cars. Not to forget Tata also has Zest in this segment, with more powerful engine options, not considered in below comparison, mainly due to space constraint (horizontal columns) and because focus is to compare Tigor with competition, not its own sibling Zest.

A quick tabular view below helps you compare the new Tata Tigo with its immediate rivals. Tigor's pricing, variant-wise specifications and fuel economy will only be known on 29th March. Slightly detailed comparison follows
#
Feature
Tata Tigor
Hyundai Xcent
Maruti Dzire
VW Ameo
Ford Aspire
Honda Amaze
1
Engine (Petrol)
1.2 L Revotrol 85 PS, 
1.2L 81 PS

1.2L 83PS
1.2L 74 PS
1.2L 88 PS and 1.5 L 112 PS
12L
87 PS

2
Engine (Diesel)
1.05 L, 70 PS
1.2 L
71 PS

1.3 L
75 PS
1.5 L 109 PS
1.5 L
100 PS
1.5 L, 100 PS
3
Transmission
5 speed MT
AMT expected later
MT, AT (petrol)
MT AMT (petrol)
MT, AT (DSG, Diesel only)
MT
MT, AT
4
Unique features-Exterior
Chrome, stylish rear and boot, LED stop lamps in rear, 15" diamond cut alloys, wrap-around tail lamp
15" diamond cut alloys, wrap around headlamp and tail lamp

Heat insulating windshield, Rain sensing vipers, electronic folding ERVM
Bold Aston martin look

5
Unique features-Interior
Juke App
24 utility spaces
8 speakers, Climate control
Push button start

Cooled glove box,
Cruise control, Climate control, touch screen
SYNC system,
Honda Connect App
6
Safety
ABS, ESP, Airbag, mid variant onwards
ABS, driver airbag standard acroos variants
ABS, Airbag optional in lower trims
ABS and Dual airbag standard in all variants
ESP for Diesel AT
up to 6 airbags, Driver+ passenger airbag standard
ABS, Airbag only in mid and top variants
7
Bootspace
390 L
407 L
320
330 litres
359
400 l
8
Avg Fuel Economy
?
19.1 (P)
25 (D)
18.5 (P)
26 (D)
17.8 (P)
22 (D)
18.1 (P)
26 (D)
17.8 (P)
26 (D)
9
Ground Clearance
170 mm
165 mm
170 mm
165 mm
174 mm
165 mm
10
Tyres
15"
14"
14"
14"
14"
14"
11
Exterior looks
Stylish rear with seamless boot
Slightly better than peers
Now too common
Similar to Polo and Vento
Front is nice, rear avg
Normal
12
Corresponding Hatchback
Tiago
Grand i10
Swift
Polo
Figo
Brio
13
Drive Experience
4/5
Not driven
4/5
Not driven
4.5/5
4/5
14
Key strengths
Looks, feature loaded interior, cheaper price tag ,  

Proven car with high resale value n after sales
Only car Diesel with + automatic
Powerful diesel, two petrol engine options, high GC
Honda brand name, resale value,
connect app
15
Main limitations
No ABS in cheaper variants , less powerful diesel

No ABS, Airbag in cheaper variants,
Facelift due soon, no major features
Pricy, relatively less dealers network

Relatively less dealer network, Pricy spares
16
Price Range (Ex-showroom Delhi)
4.7 to 7.1 lakh 
5.55 to 8.25 
5.5 to 8.24 (ZDI MT)
5.5 to 9.7
5.5 to 8.44
5.7 to 8.65
Disclaimer: All information as available in public domain at the time of composing this post. Features and price are subject to change over time. Please cross check with official sources before final decision.

Summary:
Tigor has got good looks, lots of interior features- 8 speakers, touchscreen, climate control, Juke App, 24 utility spaces and more such features. With attractive pricing, Tigor should be able to win some customers who might have otherwise opted for Dzire or Xcent- two main competitors selling in high volume. Winning back event 15-20% or Maruti/Hyundai customers will give big boost to Tata's numbers. Only Tata has got the dealership and service network to match that of Hyundai and Maruti and over the years lots of emphasis has been made on customer experience at the dealerships. You should experience the same by visiting a showroom.
Many rivals- Ameo, Aspire and Xcent have airbag and ABS standard across all variants, making bold decision that they will not compromise with safety for price. Aspire offers two petrol engine options while Ameo has most powerful diesel in the batch and even an automatic. Dzire and Xcent are available in AMT in petrol mid variants. Tigor AMT is expected on a later date. But then, these features also make these cars relatively expensive, helping Tata win customers who are keen on cheaper cars.

Decision Points made easy:
  • I need an affordable, yet stylish petrol car, with lots of features: Tigor
  • I need an affordable, yet stylish diesel car, with lots of features, I am fine with decent power: Tigor
  • I need very powerful car, mostly for high speed highway driving: Ford Aspire/VW Ameo
  • I am totally risk averse- need a proven car that is low on maintenance and high on resale value, I don't mind outdated looks: Dzire/Xcent
  • I need an automatic: Wait for few months for Tigor AMT or buy Dzire/Xcent or Ameo (Diesel DSG, will cost 10 lakh +
  • I don't like Indian brands/mass market models- I want to buy a premium brand for status: Honda/VW
  • I can afford to spend 9 lakh +: Baleno RS or Elite i20 Active or Vitara Brezza or wait for Tata Nexon
Also needs to be seen if Tigor can win customers looking for premium hatchbacks like Baleno, Elite i20, Polo cross etc. Again, Tigor has lots of space and features on offer plus the temptation of cost savings. Customers will be able to save up to 3 lakhs. Do not miss to read my detailed review of Tata Tigor  *

Similar: Ford Apire Photoshoot * Ford Aspire Review