Tata Motors has been with their tail up lately with a string of products that have done extremely well. Starting with the Tiago followed by the big hits like the Hexa and the Nexon and recently the Harrier, all of these products have taken Brand Tata to a higher level. One segment where Tata Motors does not have a car model is the Premium Hatchback segment and that’s where they are gunning with the Altroz. We were in the mesmerizing city of Jaisalmer to get the taste of this latest hatchback the Altroz that Tata Motors claims to be of Gold standards. Let’s find out what these standards really are!
Food for Thought
The Tata Altroz began its life as the Tata 45X concept that was first shown at the 2018 Auto Expo at Delhi. The final production version Tata Altroz was first revealed at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. The name Altroz is derived from the Albatross bird known for its widest wingspan. The Tata Altroz is the second product to use the Impact design 2.0 philosophy and first model to be developed on the brand new Alfa architecture platform. The Alfa architecture that the Altroz is built on will also see a sedan and a Mini SUV coming next. This platform also makes the Altroz ready for electrification when needed.
One look at the Tata Altroz and you instantly like what you see. The Altroz is extremely well designed car and the design team from Tata Motors led by Pratap Bose does deserve a big applause for this. The car looks extremely stylish and futuristic, very true to its concept form. The face gets the family Tata Humanity grille with glossy black surrounds on the top, running around the bonnet lip while the lower section of the grille gets a slim chrome line. The headlights are neatly flushed with the bodyline and get projector beams in them. These headlights also get flanked with neat looking chrome inserts running below them.
The bumper comes with a wide air dam in black and also houses the large sized fog lamps and DRL on them. The face of the Altroz extends itself forward which reminds you of a bird’s beak. The bonnet gets smooth flowing body lines that enhance the appeal. The side profile is highlighted by softly flared front and rear fenders, low waistline with the glossy black insert that runs across the window line that has a kink on it and door mounted wing mirrors that are neatly crafted in glossy black housing and have chrome inserts on their mounts making them look super premium.
What is not seen on the side profile are the rear door handles which are neatly hidden behind the door frame, this adds to the clean look on the rear door and also magnifies the cars overall sporty look. The side profile is also highlighted with the The Tata Altroz drives on four spoked 16 inch dual-tone alloys fitted on 195/55 R16 spec tyres on the Petrol while the Diesel comes shod with 185/60 R16 tyres.
The rear profile is extremely catchy and different looking with one slab of glossy black panel that runs horizontally in line with the slim extended LED tail lights that have a 3D kind of styling on them. The unique glossy rear razor back panel houses the ALTROZ badging boldly in chrome along with the Tata logo.
The tailgate also gets a stylish looking infused spoiler made up in glossy black finish. The rear bumper gets its lower lip area with black unpainted inserts that look pretty trendy. The body panes have lot of sharp creases that flow across the car which highlight the overall styling of the car. The Altroz we drove was the top end trim and had its roof blacked out that added to the overall dual shade paint styling. The overall styling on the exteriors of the Altroz is very different and totally a head turner. The overall design and styling of the car makes it stand out from the crowd.
Step inside the Tata Altroz and you instantly can feel the roominess that the cabin has to offer. Instantly you will notice the doors that open at 90 degree offering more than needed space for entry and egress, this is something we haven’t seen on any cars nor in this segment or not even in segments higher. The car gets an all new and differently designed dashboard that comprises of glossy silver inserts on the crash-pad area that engulfs around the centre dash area which houses the 7 inch pop up touchscreen display unit.
The centre dash housing also has neat looking soft blue ambient light running around it. The AVN system is compatible with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and FM radio, mobile connectivity etc. The instrument cluster is a digital-analogue unit with the left half housing a colour LCD screen that digitally displays the RPM meter and the MFD in the centre along with the fuel gauge. The steering is a three spoke design with flat bottom styling on it. The steering gets all the MFD control and cruise control buttons on it with neat silver inserts around them.
The centre console houses the new design gear shifter with silver and black housing around it and the drive mode control to toggle between Economy and City drive modes. The humongous 15 litre cooled glovebox can accommodate a Laptop and much more plus it opens softly in style. The Altroz gets fabric seats in dual-tone with unique embossed print. Driver’s seat gets manual height adjust while the driver also gets a nice centre armrest with storage space underneath it.
The rear seat comes with foldable arm rest and twin adjustable headrests. The rear passengers also get climate control vents placed between the front seats for added comfort. Seats are fairly large in size and offer excellent support and comfort. The driver seating position is excellent offering good overall visibility and control over the cockpit. Rear passengers are also in good comfort with the seats offering excellent support and the flat floor enhances the space utility for the rear occupants.
There are loads of cubby storage spaces in the centre console, door pads etc, the front door pads even have an umbrella holder in them. The Altroz gets a 345 litres boot space with the spare wheel neatly placed below the base of the boot area. The loading area is also wide which should aid in easy loading unloading of stuff.
The Altroz also comes loaded with features like automatic headlights, automatic rain-sensing wipers, and music system by Harman, speakers also from Harman to name a few.
The Altroz has an excellently appointed cabin, the overall fell is very positive and roomy inside here. The dash is very well laid out one that looks and feels premium.
Engine – Drive – Transmission
The Tata Altroz comes with two engine and one transmission option to choose from. Both the petrol and diesel engines are BS-6 engines from day one. Powering the petrol Altroz is the 1.2L three cylinder Revotron engine that makes 86PS of power @ 6300rpm and 113Nm of torque. Powering the diesel avatar of the Altroz is the 1.5L four cylinder Revotorq diesel engine with 90PS of power @ 4000rpm and 200Nm of torque between 1250-3000rpm.
We drove the diesel version first, the clutch feels extremely light for a diesel and you will notice that instantly. The steering uses brushless motor powering it making it super light and responsive. The power delivery is excellent aided by abundance of torque that is well spread out across the rpm. The cabin is well insulated and we didn’t notice any tyre roll noise or vibrations. We did some good speeds on the lovely roads of Jaisalmer with the Altroz behaving more like a mature large sedan delivering high standards of refinement and premium drive feel.
The petrol Altroz that we drove is another gem of a car, abundant power coming from the three cylinder engine aided by the super light clutch and precise gear shifts make driving this real fun. Both the cars offer excellent ride and handling and have a good ground clearance of 165mm so no scraping over speed breakers or brushing the under belly over pot holes. You also have the preset Eco and City drive modes that alters the power delivery as per the chosen mode.
The Tata Altroz comes loaded with a long list of safety features that include standard dual airbags, ABS and EBD, height adjustable heat belt, ISOFIX seat anchorage, idle start stop, corner stability control, next gen EPASS, rear parking sensor with camera to name a few.
The Tata Altroz competes with the Maruti Suzuki Baleno, Hyundai Elite i20, Toyota Glanza, Honda Jazz and Volkswagen Polo in the segment.
The Altroz will surely propel Tata Motors to the next level, it is a giant leap for the Indian car maker and a very positive one. The Altroz looks stunning with its styling and has tons of road presence. The car is extremely well built and feels super premium and rich. We loved both the engine options and also hope Tata Motors will get an Automatic transmission soon.
Features like the wing 90 doors make it stand out from the competition. The Altroz is an excellently well engineered and designed car that will surely be the benchmark in its segment once launched. Tata is expected to slot the Altroz between Rs 5.50 lakh to Rs 8.50 lakh (ex-showroom) price bracket. The competition surely will be kept on their toes by the Altroz.
Photography – Govind Gadekar (thechhaayachitrakar)