Tata Indigo MANZA

Tata Indigo MANZA

 

By the time we got our chance to lay our hands on the new Indigo Manza, the commercials were out. The “changes everything” tagline was popular and with the Vista we had all seen what engineers at Tata Motors are capable of and hence the expectations were significant.

We were handed over a pearl white Indigo Manza powered by the Quadrajet Diesel engine, the same one that powers the impressive and successful Fiat Linea. We believe that this engine will account for a majority of the car’s sales.

 

My first reaction: This is a BIG car! Bigger than we thought it was!

Exterior:

Looks are subjective.
Having said that we were floored by what the car had to offer on this front.
As this was the top of the line Aura Plus variant, it had all the chrome and alloys to enhance the looks further.

The broad front grille, huge dual stage head lamps and stylish alloy wheels add a touch of class.

Usually, sedans in India that share their platform with hatches usually look just like the hatches with a boot attached. Take the Maruti Swift DZire for instance.

With the Manza, thankfully, it is a different story. The stylists have worked hard on giving it a distinct, fairly grown up look while retaining the family style touches.
The Manza looks like it started off to be a sedan rather than a hatch which was retro-fitted with a boot. Thumbs up!


Interior:
Tata Indigo MANZAAs mentioned earlier, the Manza is based on the Vista platform owing to which the Manza does sport one of the most spacious interiors. Very few sedans except the really large and more expensive ones do better than the Manza in this department.

Just like the Vista, the rear seat can comfortably accommodate three well built adults without either of them having to lean on the doors. Something very few cars can boast of. The rear leg room is plenty as well. The rear seat has a high back rest and is extremely comfortable. As this is a sedan, the car uses the extra room to provide a more comfortable recline to its rear passenger seats with the centre arm rest that doubles as a cup holder.

The quality of the fabric is good too. The interiors are properly loaded with all the bells and whistles. When you unlock the car using the key-less (which is also present on the spare key), the cabin lights come on, which is usual with an illumination around the key ring.

The steering mounted controls (not illuminated or back-lit like in the Fiat cars), Bluetooth connectivity to your mobile phone are handy features. The electric mirror control is a joy-stick like control very similar to the ones in Ford cars unlike the four way switch on some others.

The only thing that the top of the line variant lacks in comparison to competition is automatic climate control. That would complete the luxury and feature rich angle of the car even more.The display in the central console provides important data like distance to empty.Tata Indigo MANZA

Coming to the boot. This car has one of the largest boot in its class. It is so massive that one of our team members, who is not exactly puny, could not resist the temptation of actually attempting to sleep in it and when he did admit himself in, could do so comfortably with space to spare! That is a true testimony of its size. The glove box is also quite large and can house a small laptop! The glove box also pleasantly surprises you with a light which is another thoughtful addition.

Just like the Vista, the positioning of the A pillar is quite a soar. Sadly it brings in a prominent blind spot when you need to watch the traffic approaching from the right. Especially if its at a right angle.
Tata Indigo MANZA

Engine and power-train:
This sibling of the Quadrajet family is tuned slightly differently to the one in Vista. The maximum torque of a 200 Nm is delivered between 1750 and 3000 rpm with maximum power of 90PS delivered at 4000rpm.  The maximum torque is reached at a low rpm and hence helps drivability in the stop and go city traffic. The turbo kicks in at around 2500 rpm and when it does, you experience a sudden surge of power that pins you right back in to your seat. When the engine did this for the first time it almost took us by surprise! So for a car that weighs over 1.2 ton, power is not a problem. It does not feel underpowered throughout the range at all. Quadrajet_90

Even when you load 5 people in the car, the engine provides enough torque and pulling power for that urgent overtake. A bit of turbo lag may require you to downshift but again that depends on the urgency.


Ride and handling
:

The suspension is almost excellent just like in the Vista when it comes to ride comfort and provides a very comfortable ride both in the front and the rear by soaking in all the bumps. For a car that does so well on the power front, the handling and braking is rather far from top notch. The ride is comfortable with the soft suspension soaking up all the bumps but the double edged sword of having a soft suspension takes a toll on the cornering abilities of the car.


The Indica Vista, we know under-steers a fair bit. The Manza is tad better on that front and that could be due to the different weight distribution in this car owing to the boot but having said that, a word of caution: do not push it too aggressively through a corner. There is slight body roll as well which goes hand in hand with a car with soft suspension again as mentioned earlier.Tata Indigo MANZA

A car that accelerates so well, gets extremely nervous when you need to break urgently. If you have ever driven the Fiat siblings and have had to break hard, you will know what I mean.

So even if this car can soar at speeds in excess of 150 kmph with ease, the brakes just do not inspire the confidence. If I was asked for one thing that needs to be worked upon, I would not hesitate to point to its breaks. Even with ABS which this variant comes with, the braking distance is not something to talk about.

The steering does not feel exactly light at high speeds but could do with a bit more feedback. This loaded variant is equipped with dual air bags and seat belts with pre-tensioners to add to the safety aspect of things.

Overall evaluation:
The Vista was a pleasant revelation in the big hatch segment. The Indica had grown up. Much the same is true for the Manza and may be to a greater extent. With a great price point and features, space unmatched by the cars even from a larger segment, two refined and powerful engine options that power the Linea, Tata has a winner on their hands.
How I wish that Tata benefits from its alliance with Fiat on the ride, handling and braking front just as they have with engines.