In order to keep up the pace with growing competition in Indian automotive industry, Tata motors has launched the New Indigo eCS in a more glamorous appeal. The automotive giant has designed this sedan in a compact size so as to serve the needs of Indian market. With its exceptional fuel efficiency and performance apart from brand’s trust, the vehicle has captured a substantial section of market
EXTERIOR AND LOOKS
The Tata Indigo eCS looks exactly like the Indica until the C-pillar, post which there is a short boot slapped at the rear that looks disproportionate when viewed from the side angle. The pre-facelift version had a sober face, while the updated Indigo eCS gets aggressive styling elements such as the smoked bezel headlamps and front grille which is sleeker. The fog lamps now get chrome housing, which is integrated onto the dual tone bumper. The side profile shows new turn indicators on the rear view mirrors, a fresh set of multi-spoke alloy wheels and a wide strip of chrome garnish at the rear. The carmaker has tried to give the Indigo eCS a sporty touch but the overall appeal of the exteriors remains more or less the same as before.
INTERIOR AND CABIN
The Indigo’s interior is its Achilles heel. The plastics aren’t up to the mark and the dashboard design looks its age, which is over a decade old. Things get worse when you actually use the switches – the turn indicator has a horrible ‘click’, the front seats have the wrong amount of lumbar support, and the pedal offset and large steering wheel meant that my driving position was never right. Even those interesting octagonal pods that made up the instrument cluster weren’t enough to change my impression.
But, depress the clutch pedal, and instead of the leg press I remembered from the Indica turbodiesel, I found a light clutch that also clearly told me where it in engaged. I shifted to first, and gone was the vague, rubbery feeling of my first few escapades in the driver’s seat. Instead, there is this impossibly light yet positive gearshift in its place. Even the NVH has improved so much that the vague steering, that wasn’t an issue before, now comes to the fore because you end up doing well over three-digit speeds and not realising it because the engine, wind noise and tyre roar are so well insulated. Speaking of which, there is a flashing amber light that comes on when the eCS hits 120kmph. This is the sort of thing I never would have found out ordinarily, but the Indigo is really that good to drive.
The traditional Tata strengths remain in the form of lots of space, and a well-designed rear seat. The world’s most inexpensive sedan also gets a central armrest for the rear occupants! The audio system was another pleasant surprise. A 1-DIN Kenwood head unit feeds four speakers in the VX trim. The head unit has Bluetooth and iPod connectivity, and you can even answer calls through it – this is the entire features list that you can expect from a 1-DIN system. The speakers could use an upgrade, but full marks for the head unit, three-band equaliser and all.
Boot space isn’t as well managed as an Amaze, but the Indigo eCS remains psychologically a bada gaadi thanks to the three-box shape. There are a few other things that are as anachronistic as they are annoying – the use of bolts to secure the wheels fell out of favour a long time, and if you have to change a wheel on the Indigo eCS, you’re going to spend a considerable amount of time at the side of the road trying to put the wheel back on and getting the bolts in correctly.
ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE
The New Indigo eCS has both the Diesel and petrol engine options. Its petrol unit is a 1.2L, 4-cylinder MPFI engine which generates 65bhp of amximum power at 5000rpm and 100Nm of maximum torque at 2700rpm respectively. The other two diesel engines are also the same unit which used to power the old Indigo eCS. The 1.4L, 4-cylinder turbocharged engine produces a peak power and torque output of 70bhp at 4000 rpm and 135Nm of torque at 2500rpm respectively. Whereas the second diesel unit is a 1.4L CR4 common rail diesel engine which generates a maximum power output of 70bhp at 4000rpm and an impressive 140Nm of maximum torque at 1800rpm.All the engines are mated with a 5 speed manual gearbox though there is no option of an automatic gearbox.
The only problem with the engine is that it starts to respond only after 2000rpm mark and thus driving it in city traffic becomes a serious issue though the new improved powertrain helps a bit in overcoming this problem. The mew Indigo eCS is quick in 0-100 km dash and pulls all the way upto 140km mark. The engine is also fuel efficient and will return a mileage of 25 KM to a litre.
RIDE AND HANDLING
Tata Motors has tweaked the dampers for better ride quality and that definitely shows in the updated version. The ride is not exactly flat, it bounces a bit at the rear but the potholes and undulations are taken very easily by the suspension. Whatever the speed is, slow or fast, the Indigo just soaks up the harsh roads smoothly. The handling department is on the weaker side, where you feel a bit nervous when taking on corners at high speeds. There is certain amount of body roll and the corners should be taken in a balanced manner to maintain a neat line. However, high speed stability is good.
Talking about the steering feedback, it is indefinite. You don’t feel connected with the big steering wheel that cannot be adjusted according to the height and is placed a bit high. It feels slightly numb at the centre and at parking speeds it is a bit heavy. Gather some pace and it weighs up decently but you have to provide relatively more input for quick action. On the highways, lane changing is brisk and easy. The stopping power in the Indigo eCS is impressive. The car sheds speed without any drama and comes equipped with ABS that works perfectly. However, the brake pedal bite could be better at high speeds; otherwise it is precise at normal speeds.
SAFETY AND BRAKING
Ventilated discs up front and drum brakes at the rear are present on the Indigo eCS. ABS is present only on the top-spec VX and GVX trims. On the security front, the top-spec variant also get keyless entry. Although it’s still an entry level offering, Tata could have offered optional airbags at least.
The new Indigo eCS looks much more attractive and stylish than its predecessor and the changes in the interior are also impressive. The engine with its tweaked gearbox makes the car more fun to drive. The new and improved suspension setup is also boon to the car and improved its handling characterestics. The proper insulation has also reduced the engine noise that used to seep inisde the cabin. So with all this changes the new Indigo eCS has become much more improved package now if only Tata motors can price this car aggressively then I am sure it will attract lots of attention.
Tata Indigo eCS Ex Showroom Price in New Delhi ranges from 4,95,737/- (Indigo eCS GLS MPFi BS4) to 6,24,569/- (Indigo eCS VX) .Tata Indigo eCS has 4 Variants of Petrol are available in India. Tata Indigo eCS comes in 2 colours, namely Porcelain White,Jet Silver.