Tata Zest Overview
We have all heard the classic hare and tortoise story. The bragging hare was taught a lesson by the steadily hard working tortoise. It might be a fictional episode but proved inspirational for Tata Motors. They have decided to slash all the criticism against them with their next generation products. The Zest, a compact sub 4m sedan, will be the first of many cars to come in the near future. A radical new design, refurnished premium interiors and an all new petrol engine makes sure that it will take competition fiercely.
Utilizing their world class international design facilities and putting countless hours in precision calibration, Tata Motors will not just compete against its rivals but set a new benchmark in the segment. We were in Goa to test drive both petrol and diesel variants of Zest. Did we get Zestified by them? We reveal it in our first impression report. Request a test drive for Tata Zest
Tata Zest Exterior & Look
Now the Zest saloon looks totally different from any Tata motors existing vehicles as already mentioned earlier and even all the body panels used in the car are also new but somehow I cannot completely delete the thought that this new compact sedan will be the successor of the existing Tata manza compact sedan or the Vista hatch that is present in the Indian market because you will definitely find some similarities with the old Vista or the Manza when you look at the new Zest. The headlamp has been stretched towards the bonnet which will definitely remind you of the Tata Vista or the Manza however the Zest headlamp consists of Projector units which is something new for this segment and most of you will love this fact that it will provide better illumination at night. The front grille with the Tata Motors logo has been surrounded with chrome strips while the lower front bumper also gets LED daytime-running lights which (will only available with the top end trim) now can also be seen on other cars and helps in adding the premium touch to the vehicle.
Take a walk towards its side profile and here also you will find some visual elements that match with the Vista hatch. The Zest gets a stylish new 15 inch alloy wheels which helps in enhancing the overall look of the compact saloon while adding a tall stance to the car. The side profile also gets body colored wing mirrors which also comes with LED indicators, body colored door handles and bumpers which is tandard across all the trims and variants.
However the most interesting part of the car got to be its rear styling which looks different and new. The wrap around tail lamp units looks completely different than what you will find in the Vista or the Manza and helps the car in giving its own unique identity, the LED tail lamp units are segment first and gives the rear profile a neat and upmarket look. Moreover you will also find chrome strip running in between the tail lamps. The rear of the Zest has been perfectly blended with the overall design of the car which is very important for a compact sedan because it has been curved to look different from the hatch.
I must admit here the Zest looks different than the car which was showcased at the Auto expo but the new Zest looks practical and neat and we must say that Tata Motors has played it safe this time they have added some important new additions which are important and necessary while maintaining slight touches of the old car as well.
Tata Zest Interior & Space
If the exteriors are a step up for Tata Motors, the interiors are even a bigger step up. The Zest has a very exciting dashboard, it’s all new and there is absolutely nothing in common with other Tata cars. If you remove the Tata logo on the steering wheel, you will be fooled to think that your sitting in an European vehicle, such is the leap in interior design and equipment. The dashboard is focussed towards the driver and the dual-tone treatment works well to boost the appeal. Tata Motors has used a slew of colours, the top part of the dashboard is black, with the centre using beige for that airy feel. Still, there are more colours like the piano black finishing on the centre console, above the glove box and around the instrument cluster. Silver finishing at multiple places and chrome surrounds around the AC vents and instrument cluster give the cabin the premium touch.
The instrument cluster is very neat on the Zest, on start-up, it swings the needles to the max and comes back. The tacho and speedo have a digital display in between them which shows instant economy, distance to empty, two tripmeters (with average mileage), gear shift indicator, time, driving mode, individual door open warning, outside temperature, etc. There is no redline marking on the tachometer because once the car approaches the redline, the tachometer needle turns from white to red. The temperature and fuel meters have bars. The stalks are chunky and the headlight leveller is on the right stalk itself. The steering wheel is small and a prefect 360 mm in size, it has height adjust. It has contours on 2 and 10 O’clock positions for added grip. The 3-spoke wheel also gets audio controls, not too many buttons but highly functional as you can accept/reject calls, use voice commands, change audio source, mute, increase/decrease volume all from the comfort of the steering.
The Tata Zest is the widest car in its class, it also has the biggest wheelbase. No wonder then, it has a very roomy cabin. The front seats offer good support and cushioning is just right with ample back support (the driver seat gets height adjust but the seat belts don’t get height adjust). Even at the rear, the seats impress you, they offer terrific levels of comfort with plenty of leg, knee and head room on offer. Under thigh support is decent too but there are no pockets behind the front seats, which are scooped out to boost knee room at the rear. The cabin being wide enough makes seating three at the rear an easier task than in other compact sedans but the floor isn’t flat and there is no fifth headrest in the car. The Zest lacks a rear seat centre arm rest, a shocking omission as all other sub 4-metre sedans come with this feature. Each door has an arm rest with the power window switch falling right in hand. The rear windows are big too (they roll down completely) and visibility is good from the rear. Storage inside the cabin isn’t great as the doors don’t have bottle holders but small pockets which will take a half litre bottle but not a 1-litre one. There is only one cup holder (below the centre console) although the glovebox is very big and there is a storage tray below the co-driver’s seat. Even the rear parcel shelf is small. For more info on Tata Zest check planetm.co.in
Where the Tata Zest over-impresses is with the ConnectNext Infotainment system which has been made by Harman, specially for this car (and the Bolt). The system has a plethora of features, most of them being a segment first. There are two head units, the top of the line model gets a 5-inch touch screen (the touch is smooth and accurate) while lower models gets a 3.5-inch screen, still there is not much difference in features. The audio system comes with Bluetooth, AUX, USB/iPod (also charges a phone), SD card (supports up to 64 GB) connectivity options. The system also doubles up as a reverse parking sensor display, image viewer, climate control display (the AC works very well) and the likes. The features are just countless. There is voice commands (for the Phone, Radio, Media and Climate Control) which works flawlessly, even complicated names are easily picked up and if you search for a song, the system will search across all sources to find the song and play it for you. A long hold on the right button (on the steering wheel) activates the voice command feature. There is also an IR remote.
The boot is decently big but is hampered by suspension intrusion on both sides, the rear seats don’t flip forward. There are springs for making opening and closing of the trunk very light. The spare wheel doesn’t get an alloy wheel and the wipers are single blade ones with the two nozzles throwing twin jets of spray each. There is no dead pedal but the pedal placement is good. When you turn on the parking light, the DRLs switch off which shouldn’t be the case as the DRLs would look even better at night. The DRL tell-tale light glows in the cluster all the time. The horn is a dual-tone one and sounds good. The stalks are designed in a way that they could take buttons but there are no buttons so we can expect them to be used in the future. The Zest also has lane change indicators and the rear number plate light uses two LEDs which helps to save space. The car also gets a crank lock, so if the vehicle is on and you try to crank it, it will just blink the fuel and temperature bars, neat. Overall, the interiors of the Zest are not only a huge leap over the Manza, they also beat the competition in several areas. The quality is excellent as well and we couldn’t spot any panel gaps on our test cars. A big thumbs up to Tata.
Tata Zest Engine & Transmission
Now here comes the most important part of any car, the engine details. Luckily the Tata Zest is available with both Diesel and petrol engine options.The petrol unit powers the Zest compact sedan is the new Revotron 1.2 L Turbocharged MPFi engine unit which comes equipped with multi-drive mode for better throttle response, this engine is capable enough to produce 90 Ps of peak power at 5000 rpm and 140 NM of torque between 1750-3500 RPM. While the Diesel mill that will power the Zest compact saloon is the same Qudrajet 1.3-litre Multijet unit which is available in two staes of tune one producing 90 Ps of peak power at 4000 rpm and 200 Nm of peak torque in between 1750 and 3000 rpm while the other produces 73.94 bhp of peak power at 4,000 rpm and 190 Nm of torque between 1,750 3,000 rpm.
This Diesel engine unit is also used in other Tata products as well and features a variable-geometry turbo (VGT) which helps in producing more power. Tata has already launched the F-Tronic technology-enabled, 5-speed Automated Manual Transmission (AMT), with both Automatic and Sequential mode of gear-shifting with the diesel variants however it is only available with the top end 1.3L XMA trim beside the standard 5 speed manual gearbox.
Although the Tata Zest engines looks new and exciting but somehow both of them produces less power than its rivals the Swift Dzire and the Amaze which also stays ahead of the race with its fuel efficient petrol and powerful diesel mill. Talking about fuel efficiency figures the 1.2-liter four-cylinder turbocharged MPFI SOHC engine will return ARAI claimed 17.6 km to liter while the diesel engine will return ARAI claimed 23 km to a liter.
Tata Zest Driving Dynamics
The ride of the Zest one of the best in its segment. The compact sedan glides over potholes, however it does make a crashing sound. This makes it sound harsh, but in reality it is a lot smooth and the suspension irons out most of the road shocks. The Zest has a softer rear, which means more comfort for the rear passengers. Despite all this, it has good handling characteristics. It does well around bends. It might not have the alacrity like its European competition but it does a fairly good job.The electronic steering wheel is light and this makes it easy to manoeuvre in city. On the highways too the steering has a good feedback. It is only on bumps that the Zest steering feels disconnected, especially when around a corner. The steering wheel is small and nice to grip.
Tata Zest Braking & Safety
Tata Zest comes equipped with Disc brake as front brake while Drum brake does the duties as the rear brake. This primary braking system responds instantly and to ensure much better braking, the company has also introduced the most advanced, the 9th generation Antilock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) as secondary braking system. Tata has also blessed the Zest with Speed dependent auto door lock system and Front and rear fog lamps.
But unfortunately, the XE variants in both the guises miss out on these features. The company in a bid to avoid any mishap and make sure of maximum safety of the occupants, has also incorporated segment-first, the Corner Stability Control feature in the Tata Zest with mid and top trims. There are also dual front airbags and front seat belts with pre-tensioner & load limiter in the top-end trim. However, for the security of the vehicle; the company has come up with Immobiliser with every variant. But, the top-end trim XT also has a Perimetric alarm system that makes loud sound if any attempt of burglary or thievery is made.
Tata Zest On-Road Price in Pune ranges from 6,10,261 to 10,15,536 for variants Zest Revotron 1.2T XE and Zest Quadrajet 1.3 XTA respectively. Tata Zest is available in 11 variants and 6 colours. Below are details of Tata Zest variants price in Pune. Check for Zest price in Pune at Carzprice.
Tata Zest Final Thought
Zest’s claim-to-fame is the inclusion of more than two and half a dozen of best-in-class features; a never-seen-before in any product and they make it a one-of-its-type sedan. Undeniably, it is the best Tata car till date with its elegant exterior appearance and impeccable interior cabin. Both the powertrains are influential and the introduction of AMT gearbox will further double up its sales! Hence, India’s most economical diesel automatic sedan is all set for a grand reception in the country and good days have arrived, at least for Tata Motors.