Tuesday, November 17, 2009

And my (car) buying dilemma continues …

This is not a review but more of an open forum for discussion on Tata Manza for individuals owning the car or are somewhere in the buy decision. Coments based on test drive of the Aura+ (petrol). Useful for anyone contemplating buying a Tata Manza. Well I ended up buying Dzire BTW. Ayways for Manza drive experiance read on.

The best passenger segment car from Tata stable in this segment and in this price range. The hype created was good that drove me to put my Dzire buy decision on hold and wait to a test drive on this impressive packaging in this segment. However to give a hint of what you will read here is the overall decision for buying Manza is "NO" for me based on this test drive of the petrol variant. The car sure has its own plus points but the overall drive experiance for me was not good enough and definetly not in line with the hype it created in terms of all spec and features it is composed of.

The following is the summary of my perception of the car after test drive. Of course this is my interpretation or the car buy factors per my order of priority and would differ from individual to individual.

I will start with the things i liked and admire about this car.
1. Shape : This by far is the best car from TATA stable in this segment. Compared to others in this breed it would be rated right up there.
2. Space:
Backseat: The legroom & comfort for passengers in the rear seat is being compared to the Mercs of the word. You just need to sit once and you realize this comparison is not without a reason. Perhaps the best rear seat comfort in this segment and i am comparing it to linea, Dzire, Chevy and City.
Frontseat: The driver seat though a little cramped for my heigth (6 ft) is more of less compensated by the 6 way seat adjust. TATAs could have done better here but i would not hold this as a "no buy" argument as if not too spacious it sure was not cramped.
3. Dashboard & Steering Controls
A fully decked up impressive front panel (with illimated keyhole, sporty dials for speed, fuel&RPM, digital display for time, temperature & fuel left ) makes up for good impression for person sitting on drivers seat.
The Aura+ variants offer a good collection of controls for Music and bluetooth that sure come handy while driving. Very useful and peppy in appearance. A plus point for sure
4. Car Bluetooth
Picked up from Linea and made better by having a in-car bluetooth that can support 5 phone in the car covers for almost eveone that can get inside this sedan. One up above linea and way better that other sedans that still dont offer this.

The pros listed above are indeed the very points that i observed in the sales info about this car and that attracted me to take a test drive. And Manza scores high on all above points. Sadly though all above are superficial features of the car or i would put it this was that all or most above features you can add to sedan of your choice at a price. The cons that i notices unfortunately are ones that you cannot correct about this. Only if Tata's make some amendments in fututre versions.
Here what i did not like:
1. Power steering
If you are used to hydrolic power steering you wont see a difference. But if you have driven a electronic PS car then you find this to be a truck. Although the difference between HPS and EPS should be subtle by definition, but in Manza Aura+ i drove this was perhaps the biggest drawback. It was way too much effort for drive. Not at all suitable for city drive if what i felt.
2. Suspension
Again i did not expect it to be a Merc, but the suspension does not match the other babies in this class. I dont want to compare it to City for the price difference, but this is no match to Honda. For that matter comparing it to a similar priced car, Dzire is definetly a more comfortable ride.
3. Gear shift
Perhaps a techincal expert can give his feedback here on its gear ration comparison to other cars in this segment, but this definetly is not a smooth gear transition.
4. Pick up
Not what i went in lookin for. One would expect to see the 0-60 zip in the petrol variant. That is seriously lacking in Manza. I am looking forward to the test drive for the diesel variant for there Tata has used the same fiat engine (infact more powerful) as used in Dzire and Linea. Also given Tata's tested and proven with diesel cars i expect to see a more competitive performace as compared to other diesel beasts in its segment.

To summaries the petrol variant is a no buy for me since i am comparing it to Dzire, Linea and iVtec. The comparizon against the last two is unfair i expect for the price difference. But even at its price Manza would be a no buy for me.

The question when I would get a car is actually a business opportunity for fortune tellers, but Manza petrol is off the list from what I buy.

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