By Somnath Mookerjee
MY EXPERIENCE AFTER 7000KM
Pros : Space, Pickup, NVH, Looks, Driving Comfort
Cons : Breaks
I brought the Tata Vista Quardrajet LS last October, I have done about 7000km and here is my users experience.
Before the Indica Vista flashed on my radar, I had checked out on the Chevy Beat diesel after waiting for over a month for its launch. What went against the car was its price, an over funky look for a person of my age and almost shoulder tackling with the sales lady sitting beside me every time I tried to check the car handling by taking a sharp right turn during the test drive. It left me feeling like I was oversized for the car. The last nail in the box was my wife’s comment that she will have to carry a novel every time she will have to sit in the back seat as she can’t see much from the rear view windows except for the hazy Kolkata sky. So the cute little Chevy Beat was ticked off.
My last car was a Maruti so the Swift was next on the radar, and luckly the new swift booking too had just started. The black interiors and the feeling of lack of space and almost 70g extra price were some of the things that too went against it. I even walked into the Mahindra showroom to check on the Verito, which immediately reminded me that I am not wearing a bellbottom pant with a peace sign and don’t have hippy style long whiskers and side locks, a total 70s Hollywood flicks looks.
Next came the Tata, all the nightmarish reviews and warnings and the red flags about going for a Tata car was set aside when I walked in to Lexus Motors Kolkata showroom. The sales boy a young kid and what I liked about him was that he was not pushy; he first showed me the Tata Indica ev2 as he thought would fit my budget, but something told me I will have a Chevy Beat shoulder tracking experience with my fellow passenger in it too, so it was out. And then I test drove the Vista. And that was it.
You know something you got to have, when u see it, was in my case. I fell in love with it after the test drive. It made me feel like I was driving a big car and I was the king of the road, no shoulder tackling and no novels for my wife when she sits on the back seat. I loved the power and the sound of the engine, the almost zero vibration and no cabin noise. The car was a rocket once the turbo kicks in.
My running is not much may be 500 to 600km per month. Except in long drives with friends or family, the car is flawless.
I use regular diesel, refusing to fall for anything more that’s hawked by the oil companies. I get an average of approx 16 to 17 in the Kolkata traffic and about 20 to 22 in the highways always with AC on.
The drive and the handling quality is above average though the car is not meant for too much of zip zap zoom type of driving and don’t take high speed turning too well. The steering feedback could have been better and the gear shift needs improvement and I have yet to feel confident while breaking. But if you are not looking for a driver’s car, but something that will take you from point A to point B in very good comfort and safety then this one is surely at the top of the list of the hatchbacks currently available. It don’t have the usual luxuries that comes with top end models but the cabin comfort is comparable with the best in class. It has great leg rooms both for the front and the rear passengers.
The AC is not great if you want instant chill after you have left it in the hot noon sun for an hour, but then it has a awful lot of space to cool. So one has to give it a while, before its effect is felt. I have found no quality issues in the plastic quality of the interiors, except the widow handle that almost threaten to come off when you are working the windows. I am hesitant to install a power window that will bulge like a potato in the place of the window handle, unless I find a solution that will install a power window on the door arm rest like in the original fitted Vista, till then I have decided to wait. I am hampered a bit by the lack of LHS RV something the Tata always say they don’t have in stock. Tata must do something about its horn, I have a feeling it sounds the same to a pedestrian walking 5ft away as it sounds to me sitting inside closed cabin.
On my second service I insisted on the engine oil change but the concerned person convinced me otherwise, advising me to get the oil changed only at 10000km. I how ever got the antirust coating done in the underbelly keeping in mind the monsoons.
Recently I have installed a music system a modest Pioneer DEH-1490UB with matching 4 Sony speakers that fits exactly in the same place where the original Tata speakers are supposed to be. The sound quality is nothing to die for, but my rock and blues sounds ok in volume 12 on a long drive. Anything is better than the Blaupunkt that comes from the company’s stable. I have also installed the Autocop Terminator central locking system which till now has worked fine for me along with a decent quality seat cover (tight fit). My next in line will be GPS navigation and Alloys.
In the end I must say if you are looking for a set of wheels that looks good makes u feel like a big car owner and want to travel in peace and safety and don’t like surprises, nasty or otherwise this is the car for you at a price point which is very competitive. Vista is not a head turner or a design award recipient, but it looks big and majestic to me and onlookers and makes me feel happy.