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Tata Indica eV2 Review: Tata Indica eV2 Reviewed - More bang for your buck?

Tata Indica eV2 Reviewed - More bang for your buck?

By Shiva Shankar; 19th March, 2011
Introduction

Tata Indica eV2 Reviewed – more bang for your buck?

Recently, Tata Motors launched the Indica eV2. The car is touted as being the best in class mileage, due to various technology improvements. Moreover, this has been accomplished at a better engine performance.

Tata Indica eV2

Today, we take a look at the new Indica and the improvements in it. While the Indica eV2 has been launched in both petrol and diesel, we will focus on the diesel variant, as it is in focus with claimed mileage of 25KMPL with improved CR4 engine.

 

Exterior

There are slight changes in the new Indica’s body shape, including sharper bonnet and wheel arch which helps to overcome aerodynamic effects to some extent. Also for the latest version, the Neo orange  colour option has been introduced, apart from the regular Mint white, Apple green, and Arctic silver. 

Tata Indica eV2

 

Interior

The GLX Indica eV2 being the top end variant, features a new shadow beige interior colour scheme, wood finished center console, front cabin light with spot light, 4 spoke steering wheel, leather gearshift knob, storage/magazine pockets for front doors, and a parcel shelf.

Tata Indica eV2

 

The New Indica eV2 carries a number of new features. Let’s take a look at them.

Clutch to Start

The Tata Indica eV2 comes with clutch–to-start feature. Here, one cannot crank (start) the engine unless the clutch is fully engaged, which means the clutch pedal is not pressed. This means that there is less risk of cranking when the engine is ON. In many instances, people tend to press clutch pedal and start the engine,  with this system one cannot start engine with pressing of clutch pedal.

Auto drive assist

The Auto Drive assist feature helps the driver in climbing gradients. The engine does not stall even if the foot is completely taken off the clutch pedal, enabling the driver to easily operate the accelerator. The significance of this feature is that generally when we are driving on a steep gradient, we need to partially hold the clutch pedal and also accelerate to keep the car moving. There are many instances of the car stalling in the middle of a gradient by amateur drivers. This feature helps to overcome such problems.

Tata Indica eV2

60:40 flip seats

The rear seat of the Indica eV2 can be folded to access luggage space from inside the car, and also significantly increases the luggage space capacity provided there is only one passenger in the rear seat.It’s a good improvement in the Indica which helps for access of luggage space from interiors.

 

Performance

The competition for Indica eV2 is quite less considering the price and features offered. However, we can consider competition from cars like Ford Figo, Maruti Suzuki Ritz Diesel, Swift diesel, Fiat Punto, Volkswagen Polo, Nissan Micra diesel, etc. The chart below gives brief comparison of diesel versions of the same. It can be concluded that power output in Indica EV2 is in par with mid segment hatchbacks and has advantage of being cost effective.

Tata Indica eV2

The Indica eV2 features the same capacity engine as the earlier Indica variants but with improved technology. The petrol Indica eV2 comes with an engine of 1193cc/4 cylinder, and has a peak power output  of 65.3PS @ 5000rpm, and a peak torque of 99.8 nm @ 2700 rpm. The petrol Indica eV2 has a 5 speed manual gearbox, and tubeless tyres with 150/80 R13 rating.

The Indica eV2 Diesel version comes with refined CR4 engine with 4 cylinders and a 1396cc capacity. This variant has a power output of 70PS@4000 rpm, and peak torque of 140 nm @1800 to 3000 rpm. The diesel Indica eV2 comes with Radial tyres with rating 165/65 R13. It has a claimed mileage of 25KMPL.

Colour options in the Indica eV2 include Mint White, Apple Green, Arctic Silver, and Neo Orange.

The earlier Indica V2 which is still available in showrooms, comes with the same capacity engine , i.e. 1396/4 cylinder but the peak power output is 53.5PS@5500 rpm, and peak torque of 85@2500rpm. Thus, the power has been boosted considerably.

The Indica eV2 is available in three trims, viz. LE, LS and LX. The below table shows the differences between these variants.

Tata Indica eV2

There is a significant increase in the power output in the latest version with same capacity engine. The engine incorporates Common Rail technology which is why Tata refers to the Indica eV2 as a CR4 engine (interestingly, even the Dicor had a Common rail engine). While giving this power boost, the claimed mileage of 25 KMPL is indeed impressive considering most of the latest diesel engine versions give an average mileage of 18 to 20 KMPL. 

The new Indica eV2 comes with reasonable comfort features. A music system with 2 speakers is available for top end variant, and it also features USB and auxiliary input. Central locking is available for top end version only and child safety lock is available for all variants, besides collapsible steering. There are no features like ABS or Airbag etc.

 

As we saw, the new Indica eV2 comes with significantly better mileage. To find out how this has been accomplished, we spoke to a Tata Motors engineer. Some ways in which the mileage was improved, include:

1. Smart EMS (Engine Management System): this system involves ensuring optimal synchronization of each part like fuel supply system, ignition timing etc, to get the best of mileage.

2. Maximum Charge Combustion: a suitable design of combustion chamber and piston to ensure proper combustion of fuel by introducing swirls in combustion chamber.

3. Aerodynamic effects: slight variation of exterior such as wheel arch, also matter in reducing power loss in high speed driving.

 

While starting the Indica eV2, one needs to remember that the car needs to start in neutral gear. This is due to the clutch to start system, with which the engine cannot be cranked when clutch pedal is pressed. Hence, we need to start the engine, and later put it to first gear to move the car.

Once we drive off, we can at once feel the extra power in this version along with a smoother performance. The pick-up is good and the driving of the car has improved a lot thanks to the improved engine and dynamics of car. The suspension of the Indica remains good, and the drive is quite smooth.

Acceleration is a breeze and the braking systems have remained as before.

The ground clearance of 165 mm is good enough to surpass road humps. As in the earlier version, the visibility of bonnet from inside is bit less and hence one has to gauge the distance from front vehicle by experience.

Inside, we tend to think the dash board and interior plasticity could have been improved by making it fine finished, introducing shine on to the dash plastics etc.

Since the drive has not changed much, we won’t tend into much detail. However, as for the mileage, we were able to achieve a mileage of 19 KMPL during what was mostly a city drive. We imagine that highway drives could allow peak mileage as per claimed.

 

 

Tech specs
Technical Specifications
 Make Tata
 Model Indica Ev2  GLX
Variant Petrol Diesel
Engine CC/cyl 1194/4 1396/4
Power 65 70
Torque in NM 100 140
Transmission 5/M 5/M
Tyre size 155/80 R13 165/65 R14
Brakes Front Disc Disc
Brakes Rear Drum Drum
Fuel Tank capacity 37 37
Mileage 15 25
Dimensions in mm
Length 3690 3690
Width 1665 1665
Height 1485 1485
Wheel Base 2400 2400
Ground clearance 165 165
Features
Features LE LS/GLS GLX
Power steering No Yes Yes
Air conditioning No Yes Yes
Front power windows No No Yes
Rear power windows No No No
Music system with 2 speakers No No Yes
Audio MP3/CD playback with radio AM/FM No No Yes
Digital Clock No Yes Yes
New Shadow beige interior colour scheme Yes Yes Yes
Fabric seats No No Yes
Body coloured bumpers No Yes Yes
Alloy wheels No No Yes
Central locking with remote No Yes Yes
Collapsible steering Yes Yes Yes
Child safety lock on rear doors Yes Yes Yes
On road price bangalore
Petrol 449822 475512 535470
Diesel 520257 538578 571755
Competition
Specifications
Tata
Indica Ev2
Ford
Figo
Maruti Suzuki
Swift
Volkswagen
Polo
Nissan
Micra
Fiat
Punto
Variant GLX Titanium VDI Diesel XV 1.3 Emotion
Engine cc/cyl 1396/4 1399/4 1248/4 1199/3 1461/4 1248/4
Power 70 69 75 75 64 76
Torque in NM 140 160 190 180 160 197
Transmission 5/M 5/M 5/M 5/M 5/M 5/M
Dimensions
Length  3690 3795 3760 3970 3780 3987
Width 1665 1680 1690 1682 1665 1687
Height 1485 1427 1530 1453 1530 1495
Ground clearance 165 168 170 168 165 171
Min turning circle radius n/a 4.9 4.7 4.9 4.65 5.5
Tyre Size 165/65 R14 175/65 R15 165/80 R14 185/60 R14 165/70 R14 195/60 R15
Alloy wheels No No No Yes Yes Yes
Mileage 25 18 18 16 23 17
Key features
Power steering Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
AC Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Front power windows Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Rear power windows No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Central locking Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Music system Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
ABS No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Airbag No 2 2 2 No 2
Ex showroom price Bangalore 478350 557000 550000 660000 449952 650000
Conclusion

The New Indica eV2 has good improvement in its engine with higher power and smoother performance. The significant improvement in mileage does serve as boosting factor in going for the same. However, the interiors of the car remain in need of improvement, e.g. the dashboard quality. The pricing of the car is neither too high nor too low and it is in par with the other diesel version cars. Overall, the Indica eV2 does serve as a good reliable car for long term usage and best of mileage.

 Tata Indica eV2