September 2020 | 768 words | 3-minute read
Since the Tiago, Tata Motors has consistently launched new products, covering key segments. There was, however, a vacancy in the portfolio for a premium and upmarket hatch that has been filled with the launch of the Altroz.
It packs in great style and promises some substance. We took to the roads of Rajasthan to find out if the Altroz has what it takes to be a truly capable hatchback. Tata Motors’ edgy, futuristic and handsome design approach continues with the Altroz.
The front is aggressive with standout features like the end-to-end chrome strip, which accentuates Tata’s signature ‘smiling grille’. Numerous creases along the side and smart looking alloys add character to the car. Pointed taillights and thick black paint at the rear also gels well with the design.
Overall, this is one of the best-looking Tata cars on sale currently. There is a level of fineness and maturity to the design, normally reserved only for more expensive cars. Customers can also choose between Luxe, Rhythm, Style and Urban custom packages for exterior and interior accessories.
The 90-degree opening doors aid in easy ingress and egress. We love the multi-layered dashboard and the Harrier-like instrument cluster. The cabin is airy and very ergonomic.
Tata has loaded the Altroz with all the necessary features. The top-end XZ variant gives you climate control, ambient lighting, cruise control, steering mounted audio controls, rear armrest, push-button start and a 7.0- inch touch-screen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The audio has fantastic clarity. But we do miss features such as auto-dimming inside the rear-view mirror.
Space is sufficient in the front, and the seats are very supportive with a good range of adjustment. The backseats offer great legroom and headroom seems decent. The tall and well-shaped headrests make it comfortable for long journeys. It also features rear AC vents. Practicality is enhanced by the 345-litre boot, which can extend to 665-litres by dropping the rear seats.
Under the hood
The Altroz is offered with BS6- compliant petrol and diesel engines. The three-cylinder naturally aspirated 1.2-litre petrol engine produces 86 PS and 113 Nm of torque. This motor doesn’t have that satisfying pull, which the K-Series petrol engine offers. The Revotron is refined and smooth for a three-cylinder unit. The average power makes for a decent sedate city performance.
The 1.5-litre Revotron four-cylinder diesel, on the other hand, is fun to drive though the oil burner is a bit noisy at high RPMs. After the initial lag, the mid-range offers fantastic pulling power, and you’ll have fun riding on the meaty torque band out on the highway where the Altroz diesel loves to stretch its legs. There is no sudden surge of power but a linear yet strong pull from the diesel engine. You also get Eco and City modes, but Tata is not offering a Sport mode as yet.
It is also not offering an automatic transmission option initially with the Altroz. Both the engines come with a fivespeed manual transmission. The gearbox is very smooth to operate and with a light clutch, it is very convenient to drive in the city. We expect the petrol engine to offer 12-15km/l in real-world conditions while the diesel should offer 15-19km/l.
The Altroz is based on the all-new ALFA (Agile, Light, Flexible & Advanced) platform. It comes with an electronic power-assisted steering, which feels feather-light at low speeds. It is convenient for manoeuvring in congested areas. The steering weighs up consistently as the speed increases, which gives you good confidence at high speed. The ride quality is excellent, and we believe it is the best in its segment. The Altroz feels very compliant over bad roads, and the excellent high-speed stability makes it an ideal highway car.
Tata is equipping the hatchback with ABS, dual front airbags, ISOFIX mounts, rear parking sensors, seatbelt reminder and high-speed warning as standard. Tata has nailed the safety game as the Altroz has scored a prestigious five-star Global NCAP crash-test rating.
The Tata Altroz is a tastefully designed hatchback with premium looking interiors, spacious cabin and is well equipped. The petrol motor could’ve been more powerful but the diesel packs good punch. What we really appreciate about the Altroz is its mature driving dynamics and its potential to grab a huge chunk of market share.
The author, Faisal Khan, is the founder and editor of MotorBeam and one of India’s top automobile influencers.