Tata Indica V2 Xeta review
Forget the tacky "We want a sizzling hottie who would like to get naughty" ad, the Indica Xeta is way more than some hippie wannabe girls somewhere in goa! Tata Indica V2 Xeta now puts its foot firmly in Maruti territory; only the Hyundai Santro has been able to break the bear like grip of maruti on this segment; so what does the Indica Xeta have that others don't?
The New, improved Indica Xeta. XETA standing for eXtra fuel Efficiency, Torque Advantage engine. Tata claims to have made significant changes to its 1405cc block; except slightly decrease the stroke and hence the displacement to 1396cc. This helps the Xeta get some advantages provided by the budget for sub 1.4liter cars. Now this car has set its foot in the segment that seen the maximum sales for about 2 years now, championed by the Maruti alto. Tata has a great recipe, which spawns both the Alto and the Wagon R segments. A salivatingly good 3.1lakh rupee price tag(On The Road, Mysore) for the base model! Very interesting. They claim that this is the car for the new generation and this in fact is how a car should be. So, is it an all-new car, or is it just old wine in a new bottle? No wait, the bottle hasn't changed!
Design and engineering
The styling of the Indica Xeta was originally done by IDEA design house Italy. The idea(pun unintended) was to make sure the same platform is able to cater towards a hatch, a notch an estate and perhaps an SUV later! Tata has been able to achieve this even earlier with a good amount of success with its Sierra, Sumo, Mobile, Estate and so on.
The new revamped Indica V2 now has sports few more design cues in the form of flared wheel arches and some shinier lights. Tata has really worked its boots off to make sure that this car is a formidable rival to its Korean and Japanese competition. The design and styling of this small car means that it isn't all that small after all, its design idea translates to a body which is 3.7m long and 1.7m wide with a wheelbase of 2.4m. These figures normally correspond to much bigger cars, which means that this car results in being much wider and bigger than its puny Japanese rivals. As a result of common physics though, the car ends up being 1000Kgs, which is about 200Kilos heavier than most of its rivals. The extra weight and the use of thicker gauge sheet metal has resulted in a car that definitely feels much sturdier than what we're used to. The doors are quite thick and most of the safety features like side intrusion beams, collapsible steering column are available as standard.
No significant changes, except the upholstery and the beige dashboard have been carried out here, The Indica Xeta carries with it all the virtues of its diesel cousin, like space and comfort. Seats are reasonably good and the Air con is also quite efficient too, but the spread of the vents could really have been better.
There are a few things about Tata build quality that are quite frankly annoying. The door ajar warning switch has been placed right next to the door hinge; this results in the cabin lamp switching off, even when the door is in fact ajar! Tata has also used bolts to fit the wheels to the hubs, which is unlike the Japanese who normally use studs and nuts. The result is that it is quite hard to replace a flat tire.The Indica Xeta though, unlike its some of its Japanese competitors can easily accommodate 5 passengers with much space to spare, and the best part about the interiors of the Indica Xeta are its 2 front seats that provide excellent comfort and support. The rear seats though lacking in support compared to the ones in the front but has great legroom for its passengers. This can be a big boon on long journeys helping reduce fatigue.
There are many upsides to the unconventionality as we have been explained to by some of the tata engineers. The bolts which make the tyre changing chore hard help in the fitment of alloy wheels, all that weight and huge dimensions give you excellent space all around. Weight means poise at high speeds, and the small wheels; (anybody's guess)means effieciency from that 1.4liter engine.
Check out the simplified pros and cons with the review on the engine and transmission here or check out the detailed Spec sheet.
Are you planning on a car in this segment? An alto, Wagon R or the Santro XIng? Drop in your questions Here