Tata Vista D90: First Drive Review
- Tuesday, January 29, 2013, 8:48
- Expert Reviews, First Look, Hatchback, Tata, Vista
- 2,169 views
- 3 comments
Tata Motors is gunning for the sports hatchback segment with the new Vista D90. For those who are in tune with the automotive scene in India might turn it down for being just a rip-off of the Fiat Punto 90HP. Well, it sure does use the same 1.3 litre MultiJet diesel engine that powers the rather exciting Fiat, but Tata Motors seem to have done justice to the potent motor nevertheless. To experience the improved dynamics and the powerful engine that resides under the hood, Tata Motors invited us to the Buddh International Circuit for quick on-the-limit lap.
We shall find out whether the car lives up to the D90 name tag in this ‘First Drive Review’ of the new Vista D90. The engine that resides under the hood may be the same block that Fiat dropped in the Punto, but this Quadrajet90 variant pumps out 200Nm of peak torque all the way from 1750- 3000 rpm. This does come handy when driving in traffic. In fact, the in 4th gear and 50 km/hr the engine barely revs past 2000 rpm. The awesome torque may be the highlight of the new Vista D90 however, power figures are equally impressive. 90PS of maximum performance is achieved at 4000 rpm and with 200 torques pulling on the hatchback, D90 catapults quite cleanly.
Another feather in the D90’s cap is the ‘Variable Geometry Turbocharger’ or VGT. This allows the D90 engine to produce enough low-end as well as high-end grunt. Thus, there is minimal turbo-lag. That said, you do feel the turbocharger spool up to full boost as you floor the throttle. Is it intoxicating? Well, it is exciting no doubt, but the fact that you’re in a Tata Vista keeps pulling you back. It is this negative perception that Tata Motors is vying to change. To be fair on the efforts they’ve put in to the Vista D90, they have got the recipe for a hot hatchback right.
A fast, sporty hatchback needs to look the part and haven’t just nailed it. The D90 features a bolt-on body kit that adds a sporty air to the D90. The front bumper gets splitter with redesigned air-dams and intakes. The rear bumper gets a snug fit diffuser and a roof spoiler to complete the exterior. The colours available also come from the sports hatchback manual with a deep red, purple, silver, grey and white to choose from. Oh and how can I forget the ‘infinitely contrast’ roof. Inside, the Vista has always been the most spacious of the lot and with the D90 you get some added kit as well. The top-spec ZX+ variant gets touch-screen satellite navigation, Bluetooth, steering-mounted controls, electric mirrors, 6-way adjustable driver seat, driver information display among other gizmos. The car comes standard with 14 inch alloys that add to the sporty theme.
The suspension on the car has been tweaked to handle the extra power. There is still a fair bit of body roll but even on F1 race track the car felt rather composed. You do feel the ABS kick-in when you brake as it tugs the steering wheel a bit. The steering is decently weighted and precise for a car this size. The 5-speed gearbox is smooth but with long throws. Overall, the quality has been improved and the fit-n-finish, soft-touch dashboard, seats, plastics, etc. feel better instantaneously. Tata Motors has been using developments that have been going on with other models in their range to improve the driving dynamics and NVH levels on the Vista D90 and it does seem to have worked for them.
The top-spec Vista D90 ZX+ is priced at Rs 6.83 lakh ex-showroom Delhi which is undercuts the Swift ZDI by approximately Rs 5000. The base VX variant costs just under Rs 6 lakhs. Should you buy one? We think you should consider it over other cars for a simple fact that Tata Motors have improved the car quite a bit. The direct competitor to the D90 will be the Maruti Swift VDI and has been the most sought after large diesel hatchback. Tata Motors is also committed to improve the customer experience at their Corcorde Motors dealerships across India. To sum up then, the new Vista D90 is powerful, handles well, packs a lot of features and is a better car with respect to the standard hatchback.