Review: Tata Bolt Is a Worthy Competitor to Maruti Suzuki Swift
Tata’s Bolt is one underrated car with a fantastic engine that offers different driving modes.
Tata’s Bolt has striking similarities with the Tata Indica but then it accentuates the new design philosophy from Tata Motors. Take a look at the Tata Tiago and you see something similar on the Bolt.
The car faces stiff competition in the crowded Indian hatchback segment. But if you look closer you’ll see the value for your money on the Bolt.
The Bolt looks like a typical Tata product. It has big headlamps, a well-rounded body shape and an ambitious design, which basically moves forward from the Indica.
The rear of the car looks a bit incomplete as if someone just chopped the back off the car, but it still manages to blend with the overall design.
All in all, it does not boast stunning looks, but goes for the subtle presence.
The Tata Bolt that we drove was the top end petrol XT version. The car has Tata’s new Revotron 1.2T, Turbocharged MPFi engine with MULTI-drive.
It also packs in 140 Nm of torque that makes it peppy around the corners and in traffic.
The manual 5-speed transmission is not as smooth but definitely a refinement over the Indica Vista.
The best part about the Tata Bolt is it’s MULTI-drive system that gives you an option to choose driving modes depending on the drivers need. There are three options of City, Eco and Sports mode.
This is the kind of stuff that makes the Bolt exciting. The car is by default on City mode once you start it. But depending on traffic’, if you want some fuel economy you can switch it to Eco mode. For highways, the Sports mode will always bring a smile to your face.
The Revotron engine packs in a lot of torque and balances it with the power that the car has to offer. The car is easy to maneuver in traffic as it’s spacious and also offers good viewing angles due to its large windows.
The entertainment system is also something that Tata heavily advertised on the Bolt. And it’s not a Harman-Kardon system, it’s just a Harman system. The touch screen on the infotainment is extremely responsive and connects seamlessly with your smartphone. What was a bit disappointing was that the sound quality was not good at all.
The touch screen interface can also be used to control the automatic climate control system on the car, which was was quite intuitive.
As expected with a powerful engine, you don’t get any class-leading fuel efficiency. All we could get from the Tata Bolt was a mere 13 km/l with city and highway driving.
The brakes on the Tata Bolt are good but not as good as Maruti Suzuki Swift or the Hyundai Elite i20 .
The ABS also kicks in un-expectedly at times. The interior plastic quality is also not as good as we expected and there is just one cup holder on the central console of the car.
The boot space on the Tata Bolt is also just a mere 210 litres. That might just be 5 litres more than the Swift but 75 litres less than the Hyundai Elite i20.
The rear leg space is also not that great if everyone in your family is on the tall side.
Tata Bolt goes against two heavyweights in the Indian market. Sure, Maruti gives you reliability with the Swift and the Koreans give you style, with the Elite i20, but Tata gives you something new to look forward to with its Revotron engine and drive selections.
In terms of power and peppiness, it’s very close to what the Ford Figo offers in the Indian market.
The Bolt is probably the most underrated car in this segment, but it promises you something more than it’s rivals in sheer driving experience.
Priced at Rs 6.12 lakh ex-showroom New Delhi, it’s more affordable than the Ford Figo, Maruti Suzuki Swift and the Hyundai Elite i20.
The fuel efficiency is on the lower side but Tata has come a long way in improving the quality of their cars.
Yes, Tata is trying to shed its Indica image with offerings like the Bolt, and the soon to be launched Tiago. And the Bolt might just be the start of something exciting from Tata in the future.
Now what will be interesting to see is how the Tiago will pan out in 2016.
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