Tata Indica Vista D90 : Detailed Review

Friday, February 15, 2013

I am sure you must have read my last post (in which I declared myself SRK of blogging world!) that I got a Tata Indica Vista D90 for 3 days to review! So, here we are with the detailed review! (previous post link) Blogadda Product Reviews Program

This is going to be a slightly longer than usual post, so this is the right time to get your tub full of popcorn and a large coke! And if anything is left after you are done reading? Please courier that to me - I am broke these days, and need something to eat! :(

Disclaimer: Still developing my SLR skills, so images taken from varied sources.

*** Review Begins *** 

Overall, the new Vista D90 is a value for money car. From what I have heard, ex-showroom price (Delhi) is between 6 to 6.9 lakhs. I obviously got top-end model for review, so I am assuming it should be just shy of 7 lakhs (ex-showroom price).

Tata is maintaining the core Indica shape with this car as well, although fine-tuning it with every new upgrade! From the inside, Tata has worked a lot on this machine! The plastic quality is much better than what it used to be, and the fit and finish of the insides is better as well. Although, a lot more work is desired if you compare it with other cars in the market.

The Insides

This car is spacious! Period. I don't think I will be wrong by a mile if I say - this is one of the most spacious hatchbacks in the market! Though upon further inspection I realized that Tata has probably derived all this leg-space by reducing the size of the boot! Vista D90 sports an average 232 Liter boot.

Instrument panel is a refreshing change! After experimenting with a centrally located instrument panel, TATA has moved it back to the normal place - near the steering wheel! The central panel is now occupied with a system display. It shows time, instant mileage, trip mileage and distance-to-empty. Neat! Although unlike my Fluidic Verna, the toggle button between these displays is locted far from hand's reach. I could only tinker with the displays on red lights or when stuck in a jam!

Music System - The model I got had an integrated (TATA branded) touch-based music system. Took me five minutes to understand, post that it worked like a charm! Though there was a button for GPS navigation as well, but it was unresponsive. I guess either some maps need to be purchased or there was some other method to operate it :/ The display is very bright, and distracting at night. Although, Tata has built in a nice sleep feature that shuts off the screen 10 seconds post any activity!

ABC - Accelerator, brake and clutch are placed fairly, though a dead pedal is sorely missed! Also, if you are a big foot like me (shoe size 9), chances are that your left foot will repeatedly collide with steering rod while pressing clutch! And more so, when you are stuck in neck-to-neck traffic on Gurgaon toll!

Seating - The model I got had nicely fitted bucket seating. Comfortable and sturdy!

Air conditioning - The variant had automatic climate control which worked just fine. The AC seemed powerful, although in Mid February in Delhi, I actually can't comment on the AC quality! Though the plastic knobs definitely had a cheap feeling about them. Oh, and there is an Economy button as well, probably to save precious fuel after temperature is maintained. The AC doesn't show any noticeable drag on the power.

Under the hood

Vista D90's 1.3L quadrajet engine is the same one as used by Punto, Manza, Linea and couple of more cars! Although performance of all these cars is much varied due to their weight, built and ofcourse tuning boxes! D90 delivers 89BHP at 4,000 RPM and 200 NM of torque post 1750 RPM.

The car, in layman terms, has a nice pick-up. The power delivery is gradual across the RPM range. Although Turbo lag is still noticeable. This car uses a variable geometry turbo, which in layman terms means better power at lower rpm's as well. I personally found the best power delivery between 2,500 and 3,500 RPM. Post 3,500 RPM, there is only noise and not much power!

The gear ratios seemed normal, adjusted to in-city driving. Although I found the gearbox to be a bit notchy - even in a car that was just driven some 500 odd kms!

Even in jam packed Delhi to Gurgaon runs - during peak office hours - my D90 was able to deliver over 16.2 kmph mileage! Which is pretty good, trust me. I assume that on lonely highway drives, this machine will easily touch 20+kmph!

Ride quality - Ride quality is average. Though the car easily jumps over the regular potholes, but the suspension is a bit stiffer than I would have preferred. I am not sure why, but backseat riding seemed a bit more bumpy to me compared with driver's seat ride! Tata can definitely work on this area.

Handling - Average at best! Honestly, for the price you are paying, the handling is pretty average! The steering isn't much confidence inspiring, and I had to considerably slow down at curves, red lights etc to make a proper turn. Swift, in the same price range has much better handling.

The Outsides

The car looks sporty at first, and then you spot the Indica-esque features! Fitted with spoilers and alloys, the bright purple Vista D90 I got surely turned some heads at the Gurgaon Toll. The big headlamps, and bright fog lights surely adds to the muscular finish of the car.

Though the ORVMs are too small. I felt uncomfortable with their adjustments as well. Probably, Tata designed them keeping city riding in mind, but I desired atleast 1.5x larger ORVMs!

Tata has neatly kept Quadrajet, TATA and Variant Logos on the body. These logos too add to the sporty finish of the car. There is a body kit available as well, but in my humble opinion, you better skip it!

The Bottom Line

As one wise man once said - You don't choose a car, the car chooses you! :D

The Vista D90 is a good mix of sporty looks, powerful engine and spacious interiors. The engine is best suited for in-city driving and gives a nice combination of mileage and pick-up. Though the drive-ability and ride quality could have been better, but in case you are looking for a car for your daily ride to office - this is your car my friend! Download the official brochure from here (link)


Amrita said...

aah! yeaa true a car chooses you :) but they say the same about dogs too :)

Arvind Passey said...

Loved the way you divided the review into the insides, outsides, under the hood, and the bottom line...

Arvind Passey

Rickie said...

Tata seems to improve with each refinement, but they must still continue to work on the fit and finish of their cars. And their After Sales Service!
This was a great, well rounded review.