The Bolt diesel joins our long-term fleet!
It's been a rather eventless couple of months since the Tata Bolt joined our fleet. And that's a really good thing. Walking downstairs to the bright red Tata has become second nature now, and it has soldiered on through a lot -- demanding nothing more than fuel.
We haven't been particularly kind to it either. It has seen full bore expressway runs when I was getting late for a shoot, and then used it as a tracking car to shoot the car in question. It hasn't protested one bit. I particularly like how well the Bolt is put together. The doors shut with a reassuring thud and everything inside the cabin seems to be holding up well too. Even at close to 19,500kms on the odometer, it isn't in a mood to rattle or whine. Thumbs up, Tata.
The 1.3-litre diesel engine feels just right in the Bolt as long as you exercise restraint. Getting used to the power delivery takes no time at all, since it's mostly linear -- unless you're belting it, that is. And when you do decide to wring it, it does feel a tad underwhelming. It feels heavy, almost as if it's saying: "Come on, you shouldn't be doing those speeds anyway." It has been a faithful companion during my commutes to work inside choc-a-bloc Mumbai. That said, my left knee does protest a bit if I'm stuck in a jam for too long.
What do I not like? Well, the door pads are too shallow to hold anything significant and there's a single cupholder next to the gear lever that I usually stuff my wallet into. The under-seat tray is useful, but you do tend to forget it exists. Case in point -- I left a bag of grocery there overnight. Also, I wish there was a tad more boot volume on offer since it is easy to fill up with just a travel bag and a couple of backpacks. Tata has done such a fantastic job with occupant space that you end up wanting space for their luggage as well.
As of now, the Bolt hasn't given us a bother. Something we hope continues for a long long time. While we journos secretly hope for an eccentric car with flair and faults to report about, it is simple, no nonsense, 'works without any drama' cars that keep us sane.