The is the company's latest attempt at cracking the sub-4-metre compact sedan category, they have had a fresh platform to start with and the first impressions are good, again.
While the Tigor does not directly compete with the Zest, it is certainly important to see if the Zest remains relevant.
While Tata's new design philosophy made the Zest stylish at the front, the rear didn't look as good. There's also the fact that the Zest's design has hints of the older Indica Vista/Manza. The Tigor, on the other hand, is built on an all-new platform - this has allowed for a better integrated overall design. The Tigor does not look like a hatchback which has been shoehorned with a luggage compartment at the rear, even though it shares its face with the Tiago.
The Zest looks exciting from the front, while the Tigor has slightly more matured look - thanks in part to the blackened headlamps. The evolution of Tata's 'Impact' design makes the Tigor better put together, the Zest looks taller than it is wider. The Zest does get LED DRLs, which the Tigor misses out on.
From the side too, the Tigor looks much better put together than the Zest. The Zest's bubble-top like roof-and-window combination stands out.
From the rear, the Zest's large taillamps look out of place. The Tigor looks very smart, with a much better-integrated boot. Highlights on the Tigor include the roof mounted spoiler with integrated LED stop lamp and the large black insert on the bumper which houses the reverse lamp and fog lamp.
In terms of dimensions, the numbers suggest that the Zest has more space inside than the Tigor. The Zest is wider, taller and has a longer wheelbase. While the Zest is longer too, the difference is negligible. The fact that our first drive impression of the Tigor suggests that this deficit in numbers does not make the Tigor a cramped car to be in suggests that Tata has been able to package the car better. The Tigor has a bigger boot than the Zest
Diesel Motor and Transmission
While the Zest is powered by a Fiat-derived 1.3-litre, 4-cylinder turbocharged diesel motor in two performance trims, the Tigor is powered by an in-house developed 1.05-litre, 3-cylinder turbocharged diesel motor. The Tigor's motor is hence down on both power (by 20PS) and torque (by 60Nm), though it does have to haul 40kg less. This certainly helps the Tigor deliver better mileage as compared to the Zest - the Tigor returns 24.7kmpl as compared to 22.95kmpl of the lower powered Zest. Still, the Tigor's diesel motor is not sprightly - the 1.1-tonne car needs more power. The Zest also has an advantage of offering an automatic transmission, which is held in high regard by customers who want a car for the city.
Petrol Motor and Transmission
The Tigor is powered by a 1.2-litre, 3-cylinder naturally aspirated petrol motor while the Zest is powered by a 1.2-litre, 4-cylinder turbocharged petrol motor. While the Zest is marginally more powerful (by 5PS), the addition of a turbocharger does help the engine develop more torque (by 26Nm). Both the cars are only offered with a 5-speed manual transmission. In terms of fuel efficiency, the Tigor beats the Zest outright with an almost 3kmpl advantage.
It is certain that the Tigor is a better value-for-money buy than the Zest. The Zest may have slightly better passenger space (we will have to confirm this with a real world comparison) but it certainly better in terms of performance. The Zest also has the advantage of the diesel automatic variant, which makes it more appealing for people looking for a city-centric car. On paper, the Tigor is certainly a better buy than the Zest.
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