Hyundai Grand i10 Nios Vs Maruti Suzuki Swift:...
- Oct 18, 2019
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The diesel iteration of the newly launched Tata Bolt is the best hatchback Tata Motors has ever produced. And an impressive one at that. It retains the Fiat-sourced 1,248cc four- cylinder diesel engine with fixed geometry turbo, which Tata prefers to call Quadrajet (or Multijet by Fiat).
The motor’s 75PS of peak power seems reasonable for this segment, and so does the 190Nm of maximum torque. Its 5-speed manual transmission offers smooth shifts but feels a bit clunky at times. The clutch is light and progressive, making the diesel hatch fairly effortless to drive in bumper to bumper city traffic.
When compared to other cars in the segment with the same engine, the Tata Bolt diesel doesn’t feel as spirited. Mainly because the torque takes almost 2,000rpm to build up, and till you hit the mark on the tachometer, its response is lukewarm. The 1,160kg of weight doesn’t help matters either.
The Tata Bolt Quadrajet is best between 2,000 to 4,000rpm, where power flow is linear and the hatch feels peppy. Past this, the power reaches a plateau and feels almost flat till its 5,000rpm redline. To get the best out of the oil-burner, one has to keep the engine on the boil and shift up before redlining.
But the strongest aspect of the diesel motor is its smooth nature, right through its rev range. There’s hardly any vibration or the usual diesel clatter. Tata engineers have done a compelling job of keeping the cabin free of vibes and noise. Which clearly explain that the focus of Tata Bolt diesel is on cabin comfort and an attempt to improve fuel efficiency, than enthusiastic driving. Apart from Maruti Swift potential buyers, Tata Motors is probably targeting consumers who would be keen to invest in this particular segment.
One of the other important draw to invest in Bolt would also be the fuel efficiency which boasts of 22.9kmpl, under test conditions. But in city traffic the Tata Bolt Quadrajet should return around 15-16kmpl.
Ride Quality and Handling: rating_3.5_rating
Talking about passenger comfort, the Tata Bolt Quadrajet, like its petrol sibling, has a well engineered suspension setup, designed around the Indian road conditions. The McPherson struts and coil spring shock absorbers have been tuned to be neither too soft nor bouncy. It dusts off most ditches and pot holes without batting an eyelid, and only flinches over severe craters.
And even when driven fast, it remains fairly flat and composed, with just a faint body roll. Again it won’t thrill like a Swift, but is well-behaved and offers adequate confidence to the driver and comfort to the others in the car. The Tata Bolt also comes with electric power assisted steering system (ePAS), which aims to weigh up as the speed of the car increases, but generally the steering feels light but isn’t as communicative as some of its competition.
It has clear traces of the Tata family design and is a nice looking evolution from the older Vista hatchback – retaining some of the older line and refreshing some important ones to make the design modern and appealing.
The segment-first, introduced smoked projector headlamps to give it a fresh, wide-eyed face. It also gets the Humanity Line in Tata speak, power bulge on the bonnet and a new honeycomb grille finished in piano black, which other new models like the upcoming Tata Safari Strome facelift will also get.
The all-black B- and C-pillars look distinct and along with the red spoiler give the Tata Bolt the floating roof effect. Our top-spec Tata Bolt Quadrajet XT gets these sporty 15-inch alloy wheels, while rest of the diesel variants have to make do with 14-inch wheel and steel rims.
The design of the Tata Bolt Quadrajet is similar to the Bolt petrol, and is attractive enough to make heads turn as we experienced when we shot the gleaming red car on the hustling bay side of Mumbai.
The cabin is really spacious, and even on the driver’s seat there’s plenty of room. So even during some quick turns and steering action, one doesn’t end up with a sore elbow, partially because of the carved out door-panels. Other than this, there should have been some more cubbyholes and the existing ones like the door pockets should have been better designed to accommodate regular sized bottles.
Also on offer is a smart looking three-spoke, multifunctional steering wheel. The dashboard design is stylish and better than the outgoing Tata Vista hatchback. Our test car came with shiny dark brown (instead of the advertised Java black), hard plastic interior which still is a few notches below the segment benchmark seen in Hyundai cars. The lower part of the cabin could have had more finesse in its design.
But the Tata Bolt Quadrajet does try to make it up with various features like an easy to use Harman touchscreen infotainment which can be paired with smartphone via Bluetooth and can also manage climate control and various other car settings. It can also play videos or images using the USB or SD card; obey your voice command to make calls, change songs, control AC; and can even read out new messages from your phone. No it can’t get you coffee.
The seats are large and have deep contours, and though on the firmer side, it does not feel uncomfortable on a day long drive. The only issue here could be the low seats and high door sills, which make ingress and egress an effort.
Also on offer is a host of safety features including ABS (Anti-Lock Braking System) with EBD (Electronic brake-force distribution), CSC (Corner stability Control) and the top-end Tata Bolt Quadrajet XT will also sport dual airbags upfront.
The base Tata Bolt Quadrajet XE costs Rs 5.75 lakh and the top-end XT that we tested is priced at Rs 7.33 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). So if you are a Tata Motor loyalist, your prayers have finally been answered. And for those of who are sitting on the fence, then the Tata Bolt Quadrajet is not just good value for money but also stylish, spacious, comfortable and efficient hatchback and more importantly, made by an Indian company.Recommended Variant : Bolt XMS Petrol
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