Tata Bolt Facelift Review & First Drive


Tata Bolt Overview

When Tata Motors launched the Tata Zest a few months back, it was start of many new things to come from the company. It’s no secret that Tata has been left behind in the sales race by its competition with more modern products. To redeem itself, Tata launched Zest, the first new product under the Horizonext, a strategy to concentrate on intense products, world-class manufacturing practices, rich customer purchase experience and consistent quality of service. And this has put Tata Motors back on the right path if we go by the response Zest has been receiving. Now with the launch of Bolt, Tata wants to get the attention of the enthusiasts. While the Zest was more of a family car, the Bolt aims to satiate the driving desires of enthusiasts and the young crowd. Has Tata Bolt got enough to out run its competition? We drove the car around the beautiful city of Udaipur to provide some answers. Check for Tata Bolt price in Hyderabad at Tryaldrive.

Tata Bolt Look

There are ample similarities between the Bolt and the Vista since they are based on the same platform. The dimensions and stance is pretty similar and in fact, from the front, the Bolt looks like a premium, more accessorised version of the Indica Vista hatchback.

The bonnet gets V-shaped creases at the centre and a pair of lines on the side that sort of form a border. It is however same as that of the Vista in silhouette. The front grille with chrome stripe on the top is also like that of the Vista, only a little more defined. The new headlamps on the other hand look very nice with the blacked-out interior and the segment first projector units. The chrome element at the bottom of the lamps look like LED DRLs, though these are just reflectors. The front bumper is big and sculpted with an equally big trapezoidal air dam. It also houses the fog lamp console that gets chrome inserts.

The side profile has the looks of a premium hatchback with a thick shoulder and waist line, turn indicators on the wing mirrors and 15-inch alloy wheels. Tata was the first Indian manufacturer to try the floating roof on the hatchback with blacked-out C-pillar at the 2014 Auto Expo. However, the Hyundai i20 beat it to the launch and hence this get up will remind you of Hyundai’s premium hatch. Also the bad thing here is that the black element is just a vinyl (sticker), unlike the black coloured body panel used by the Korean manufacturer.

The rear design is unlike any of the Tata cars. The bumper at the back is again extremely fat and is moulded in an interesting shape with pointed ends. The tail lamp console is compact and horizontal; a lot different from the Christmas tree-styled vertical design we are used to seeing on the Tata cars. It also gets a chrome stripe along with the Bolt, Revotron and XT (variant) badging.

The overall design of the Tata Bolt is nice and the car certainly looks premium. However, I was hoping that the new hatchback would completely move away from the Indica design and hence am not too happy that the front still is reminiscent of the Vista. I know I am sounding cheesy here but, probably it will be a little easier to get bolts out of the Indica, than to get Indica out of the Bolt.

Tata Bolt Cabin

We have already raved about the interiors earlier and can’t stop doing it again in the Bolt. The built quality feels strong with premium design. The interiors will make many international offerings look dated, which is a big merit for the Bolt.

While the Zest gets an off-white suede finished dashboard, the Bolt chooses to look more built for a purpose. It gets Java black interiors with a grainy feel. The three spoke signature steering wheel gets multiple entertainment as well as voice assist controls. The instrumental cluster gets a minor update in the form of drive mode display. It has analogue speedometer and tachometer with a digital information display in the centre, which shows real tine fuel consumption, distance to empty and trip readings along with others.

Tata Motors takes great pride and rightly in showcasing the modern innovations installed in the Bolt. The touchscreen infotainment system executes multiple operations which include setting the right air conditioning temperature, controlling the surround sound fader, shuffling through music track to even reading out SMS received.

In terms of passenger comfort, the taller design of Bolt is indeed helpful for easy ingress and egress even for taller passengers. The roof line rises exactly post the front pillar and descends gradually thus leaving generous headroom for all occupants inside. All seats come in high quality fabric. Both row passengers would be in a comfort zone considering the spacious legroom and knee room areas offered. To know more info on Tata Bolt  check Thebigtrak

While the Bolt shares its wheelbase with the Zest, it is shorter and narrower by a small margin. The boot space has gone down marginally too but not to the extent of attracting complaints. The Bolt offers a very useful rear luggage area of 210L, which is also more than many of its rivals. Everything about the interiors look fine, till you wish to place a bottle in the door pocket which is not possible as its only the driver who gets a cup holder while the rest can spend merry time looking at him finish his glass.

Tata Bolt Transmission

The petrol version of the Bolt in Udaipur, powered by their new 1.2-litre turbocharged Revotron engine. The car has the segment best power figures of 89bhp and 140Nm of torque, along with the innovative power modes that can be changed for performance and efficiency. The Bolt shares its drivetrain with the Zest compact sedan, however, the gearing is shorter for spirited driving. The five-speed gearbox is slick and with the short throws feels like made for enthusiastic driving.

The three power modes – City, Eco and Sport, alter the engine performance as required. By default, the car is always in City mode with a balance of power and efficiency, in Eco mode the performance is noticeably dull for efficiency and shows its full potential only in the Sport mode. It plays with the performance by changing the fuel supply to the engine via the ECU.The car feels reluctant to get off the line in Eco and City mode; both Rohan and I stalled the car couple of times. Things are a lot better in Sport mode though and I would actually advise switching to this for bumper to bumper traffic. The turbo spools at around 1,800rpm and the power delivery is very linear.

The biggest advantage of this engine is the class leading torque figure and there is no need to down a gear for quick overtake. It has ample bottom end grunt for a petrol hatchback, which is good enough to get out of a sticky situation. We barely managed 100kph on our short drive, but getting there didn’t require much effort. The safety aspect has not been ignored and the Bolt gets two airbags, ABS-EBD and CSC (Corner Stability Control) at least with the top-end XT variant.

The on-board computer suggested we got 15kpl through our 80km test run, decent figures for a car with shorter gear ratios. The Bolt will also be available with the 1.3-litre multijet diesel engine delivering 75bhp and 190Nm of torque – it is the same engine and configuration that powers the Tata Vista, Suzuki Swift and a couple of other cars in the segment.Tata is not offering the AMT transmission from the Zest with the diesel hatchback at this moment but we are hoping it will be part of the range soon, as the first diesel AT hatchback in the segment.

Tata Bolt Riding

Considering that Tata is promoting the Bolt as an enthusiast’s car, it’s only normal that the suspension is going to be stiffened up. Tata Bolt does get a stiffer suspension setup but not overly so with independent McPherson struts with anti-roll to the front and semi independent twist beam with coil spring to the rear. The front suspension gets dual paths to offer better ride quality and the rear has also been modified to support it. The Bolt felt stable in straight lines and confident around the curves. The steering wheel offered ample feedback but more grip could have improved things too.

Tata Bolt Safety

The braking system with front brakes being solid discs and rear being drums are a standard throughout the 8 available trims. The safety features include two front airbags, ABS with EBD, engine immobilizer, and auto door lock system. The availability of air bags, ABS and other safety features differ as per the trim levels.

Tata Bolt Cost in Hyderabad

Tata Bolt On Road Price is 5,86,241/- and Ex-showroom Price is 4,94,604/- in Hyderabad. Tata Bolt comes in 5 colours, namely Venetian Red,Platinum Silver,Sky Grey,Pristine White,Dune Beige. Tata Bolt comes with FWD with 1193 CC Displacement and 4 Cylinders with Maximum Power 89 bhp@5000 rpm and Peak Torque 140 Nm@1500-4000 rpm DRIVE TRAIN FWD and reaches 100 KMPH at N/A . Tata Bolt comes with Manual Transmission with FWD .

Tata Bolt Final Word

The Bolt ticks all the right boxes in terms on performance, space and features. It is in line with Tata’s biggest USP – cabin space, the hatchback in terms of cabin space is bigger than all the competitors. The performance of the new turbocharged petrol engine is also better than the rivals; it is a segment first and even takes the refinement to the next level. Tata may not have matched Hyundai on the features list by numbers, but things like Sat Nav interface and projector headlamps are actually more useful to have.

Most important thing that Tata has done is move away from the Indica badge. The new car will consciously be kept away from the fleet market, assuring the customers that the brand will never be tagged as a ‘taxi’. The only thing that still works against the Bolt, is the silhouette and front of the Indica. However, even that is heavily altered and should not be considered a big hurdle in giving it a chance.

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