2023 Tata Tiago AMT
2023 Tata Tiago AMTShot by Sachin Khot for evo India

Is a hatchback still the ideal city car? | Ft. Tata Tiago

We take the Tata Tiago for a drive around Pune, to show an SUV fanatic, why a hatchback still makes more sense in the urban jungle

Once the backbone of every manufacturer that produces and sells cars in India, the hatchback segment has seen a considerable decrease in sales over the last decade due to the rise of compact SUVs and SUVs. But a hatchback still makes the most sense to stroll around town and enjoy stress-free motoring in. Well, explain that to an SUV fanatic! My friend Rohin is a huge SUV buff — he already has two of them and is looking forward to buying a third one. But what for do you ask? It’s supposed to be a gift for his mother to go grocery shopping in the chaotic city of Pune. While an SUV will surely help Rohin’s mother tower over other cars at the traffic light, it’s the last thing that she needs while looking for a parking spot. Lucky for her, I had the new Tata Tiago with me for a couple of days of testing and I hadn’t met Rohin for almost six months, so off I went to advise him why a hatchback makes more sense in the city, let alone for his mother, than a big burly SUV. “I don't remember the last time I sat in a hatchback,” said Rohin looking at the Tiago when I pulled up to pick him up. “But it is a good looking car,” he adds. And that is certainly true. The Tiago’s styling is familiar, there are over 4.75 lakh of them on the road, yet it stands out thanks to the striking Impact 2.0 design. Especially so when it wears the Flame Red shade that my test car was sporting.

The Tata Tiago gets 16-inch diamond cut alloys
The Tata Tiago gets 16-inch diamond cut alloysShot by Sachin Khot for evo India

Additionally it gets LED DRLs, 15-inch alloys and chrome elements on the front grille, door handles and tailgate. The Tiago’s 1.2-litre NA petrol engine, which churns out 85bhp and 113Nm, has been upgraded with BS6.2 emission norms and with that upgrade it also delivers better fuel efficiency. Tata Motors has also upgraded its warranty to 3 years and 100,000km. But the most impressive feature of the Tiago is its 4-star G-NCAP rating. It is the safest car in its segment. Rohin was surprised to know that the Tiago is even safer than a few compact SUVs out in the market, because he thought only big cars are safe. The Tiago also gets an array of active safety features such as dual airbags, ABS, traction control, and even a TPMS to monitor the tyre pressure. On the practicality front the Tiago has plenty of cabin space and a 242-litre boot which should be more than enough for all the groceries that Rohin’s mother wishes to buy. But the best part of a hatchback is how it fits into narrow lanes, something that we have plenty of in Pune. It is very easy to manoeuvre around in bumper-to-bumper traffic. It has a light steering and you get a great view of the outside which helps place it perfectly.

But just as I was explaining that, Rohin said, “Yeah, but let’s see how it rides over the bad patch that’s ahead.” The Tiago has a 170mm ground clearance and it tackles all speed breakers and potholes with absolute ease. The seats are soft and supportive and you can easily spend a lot of time behind its ’wheel. Then there are the features on the inside. You get a 7-inch touchscreen that is responsive and easy to use. Plus you get creature comforts such as automatic AC, steering mounted controls, a cooled glove box and a sweet sounding 8-speaker Harman system. “8-speakers?! What! I remember the time when hatchbacks used to come equipped with only two speakers,” cried Rohin when I told him that. He followed that by a very important question. “Kitna deti hain?” 20.01kmpl for the Tiago with a manual ’box and 26.49kmpl for the CNG. And if running costs are a priority, the Tiago also gets the option of CNG even on the top-end trims which is a first for this segment. There’s even special NVH packaging in the CNG variant to make the car nice and refined. Finally, especially for Rohin’s mother, the driving position gives you a nice view ahead and the stance ensures the Tiago doesn’t get overshadowed by other SUVs as well. So much so that when I dropped Rohin, he grudgingly admitted, “A hatchback such as the Tiago does make a lot of sense,” before hitting the Tata Motors website and indulging in some online shopping.

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