Long Term Review- Tata Bolt (part 1)

  • Sep 01, 2015
[caption id="attachment_83748" align="alignnone" width="1000"]Tata Bolt XT Diesel Tata Bolt XT Diesel[/caption]

Date of arrival: 12th August
Odo reading: 5306km
Current reading: 6810km
Fuel economy: 16-17kmpl in Delhi NCR / 20-22kmpl on highway (90-100km/h)

1. Generous cabin space
2. Significantly improved built quality
3. Refined and fuel-efficient engine
4. Feature loaded

1. Limited boot space
2. Highly priced
3. Absence of driving modes in diesel variants

Team Gaadi has been driving the Bolt XT Diesel for the last 20 days or so. We have driven the car for almost 1500 km across various parts of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, including cruising on the highways and inter-city commuting. The car has been allocated to various members in order to find out how well it ranks in terms of design, handling, engine and so on. So, here is our take on it.


Considering the fact that Tata Bolt and Tata Vista have been built on the same X11 platform, Tata Motors has done a commendable job. They have worked extensively on the exterior and interior of the car to make it look amazing. In spite of fresh looks, the Bolt looks familiar and the legacy of Tata cars has been carried forward in it. The front profile of the car is reminiscent to the Zest.

[caption id="attachment_83760" align="alignnone" width="960"]Tata Bolt Front Tata Bolt Front[/caption]

With the elated design of the car, Tata has re-established itself in the Indian four-wheeler fraternity. The car gets a neatly placed front black signature grille and piano black surround similar to the Zest. The black grille is embossed with the company's emblem in the centre. It is flanked by the headlamp cluster incorporating projector headlamps and side turn indicators. The front bumper is well sculpted with the nose of the car giving it a robust stance. It also hosts an air dam in the lower side of the bumper, surrounded by the fog lamps.

The projector headlamps are smoked to match with the sporty design of the car. The use of chrome in the car is done extensively. On the outside, there are chrome inserts under the fog lamps, inside the headlamps and a chrome strip on the radiator grille. The DRLs seen on the Zest have been avoided in the Bolt. Moving to the side profile of the car, the floating roof design surely makes you think twice that it has been built on the Vista's underpinning. The roof flows down nicely and mixes well with the rear windscreen. The vinyl layer covers the blackend C-pillar, that gives it a premium look.

[caption id="attachment_83755" align="alignnone" width="1000"]Tata Bolt Side Tata Bolt Side[/caption]

It also gets body coloured door handles and electrically adjusted rear-view mirrors. The tall stance of the car gels well with its contemporary design. The ground clearance of the car is improved to make it a proper option for the Indian roads. The rear profile of the car is completely new. The signature Christmas designed vertical tail lamps have been smartly replaced with wrap around LED tail lamps. The tailgate has been given a modern touch with chrome garnish on it. The number plate is also placed on the tail gate. The stylish rear spoiler is treated with a high mounted stop light. The rear windshield also houses defogger and wiper.


Step inside, the breeze of being in a totally new car will hit your mind. Just like the exteriors, the interiors of the Bolt will also impress you. Unlike the dual-tone cabin of the Zest, the hatchback comes in all java black finished interiors. The quality of the cabin has improved a lot. The use of chrome inside the cabin is less. Apart from the spacious cabin of the Vista, nothing has been carried forward in the latest iteration of the car. The rear bench of the Bolt can easily adjust 3 individuals abreast.

[caption id="attachment_83761" align="alignnone" width="1000"]Tata Bolt interior Tata Bolt interior[/caption]

The cabin of the car is enriched with various features such as bottle holder, glove box with pen and card holder, silver accentuated air vents, rear parcel shelf, steering mounted audio control and climate control. However, the car maker could have given a deep thought about the ergonomics of the cabin. There is only one cup holder next to the gear lever. There is no extra place to keep your mobile and wallet. No bottle holder option is given in any of the four doors. The Harman music system with eight speakers is better than the previous cars from Tata's stable.

The Bolt also sports illuminated key hole, follow me headlamps and six way adjustable driver seat. The seats are well cushioned and ideal for long comfortable rides. Although the car has a boot space of 210-litre which is the smallest in the segment, it can easily swallow the luggage of a weekend ride.

Engine and Braking:

Tata Bolt comes in both petrol and diesel variants. However, much attention was given to the turbocharged Revotron 1.2-litre petrol engine that came in limelight with the launch of the Zest. However, we got the diesel one to test. Under the hood, Tata has installed the famous Fiat sourced 1.3-litre diesel mill which is famously known as Multijet unit, though Tata calls it Quadrajet. The engine delivers a maximum power of 74.9PS (with fixed geometry turbo) at 4,000 rpm and a peak torque of 190 Nm at 1750 rpm. Power is distributed to the front wheels via a five-speed manual transmission.

[caption id="attachment_83753" align="alignnone" width="1000"]Tata Bolt Tata Bolt[/caption]

The turbo lag is minimal. The low-end torque response of the car is lazy, once past 2,000 rpm, the car sails without any fuss to 4,000 rpm. The mid range is powerful and once the engine is in its element, overtaking is easy on the highways. Although the Bolt can seamlessly cruise to higher speeds, it is still not out and out an enthusiast's car.

Unlike the petrol powered Bolt, the three driving modes - City, Sport and Eco are missing in the diesel variant. Even the top-end Diesel XT variant misses the driving mode feature. That said, the fuel economy is on par with competitors. The engine is refined and practical. The front tyres of the car are equipped with disc brakes while the rear ones come with drum brakes. Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Brake-Force Distribution (EBD) are offered in the car. In addition to this, 2 front airbags have been given for further safety.

Ride and Handling:

The ride quality of the car is surprisingly good. The electronic power assisted steering wheel of the Bolt is highly responsive. The small turning radius of the hatch makes it an ideal vehicle around congested roads. The adjustable steering wheel adds to the convenience of the drivers. The gearbox and the clutch of the car could have been better.

[caption id="attachment_83750" align="alignnone" width="1000"]Tata Bolt XT Diesel Tata Bolt XT Diesel[/caption]

The dual-path MacPherson strut suspension system with coil spring in front offer a stable ride and is more confidence inspiring than its predecessor. The suspension of the Bolt ensures a good balance between handling and ride. We drove it on the so called roads of Gurgaon city, and it soaked bumps and potholes in a decent manner.


Despite being a potentially competitive hatchback, the Tata Bolt is underrated by many. The car ticks all the right boxes when it comes to performance, design and features. In fact, the cabin space of the Bolt is bigger compared to its counterparts. Tata has surely taken a step forward in terms of built quality and engine refinement. The company has also engineered the Bolt as a family car rather than a taxi. The mid size hatchback will tug the heart strings of people who are looking for value proposition.

[caption id="attachment_83752" align="alignnone" width="1000"]Tata Bolt Tata Bolt[/caption]


Check out our video review of Tata Bolt:





Tata Bolt Videos

Watch latest video reviews of Tata Bolt to know about its interiors, exteriors, performance, mileage and more.

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