There are two things you notice as soon as you enter the car:
Before starting the car: SPACE. I took my colleagues for lunch on the day I got the car. 5 of us went in this car. The guys sitting behind didn’t feel cramped and the first thing two of my friends said was “this is spacious”, I guess it has become something to expect from TATA cars and Indica Vista D90 is no different. This car’s got space! – Vista D90 – 1 and other cars – 0
After starting the car: Silence. The cabin is pretty well insulated from the engine noise, but this something that all the diesel cars have in common nowadays. Same points for all cars in this region.
I drove a Vista D90 ZX, this is one version below the highest, which is ZX-Plus. The difference is a spoiler and a touch-screen controls with GPS. That must’ve been fun!
Nevertheless, those are the things you notice before you really take it for a drive. The moment you switch to 1st gear and take your foot off the clutch, ever so lightly, and gently press the accelerator, you would feel the power of the car. As the name suggests, Vista D90 is powered by the same engine that powers Manza and Fiat Punto – a 90 bhp, 1.3 ltr engine. BTW, the driver’s view and the feel of the car have an uncanny resemblance to that of Fiat Punto.
So I took it for a spin, to a nearby place, Yelagiri – 220 kms from Chennai. I’d have ideally driven it to Munnar (have been wanting to go there for a long time) but my good friend and co-driver wasn’t available, read about that here.
When I got the car for review, it had already run 6500 kms, which is a good thing. Reviewing a brand new car is a bore and almost fake, coz the suspensions are not “broken-in” and the engine has not taken the stress and strain. Hence, I was glad to get a car that has already run 6500 kms.
Vista D90 ZX comes with ABS and dual air bags. Also it has alloys and contrast-color top, mine was a ‘spice red’ car with a black top. The idea seems to be “sporty look”. The dashboard has USB drive, which was definitely useful. A couple of months back when I drove a Skoda Rapid to Hampi, I was surprised to know that there was no USB port in the dashboard. Believe me, that USB port is very useful. Good job, Vista D90!
Another useful feature that I did not find in some of the other cars in this segment is media-control-buttons in the steering wheel. In fact when I drove those cars, I never missed those features, but Vista D90 has definitely pampered me. The mute, seek, volume buttons are very helpful. Once you get used to those, you will wonder how you survived without those ever – sort of Facebook & Twitter.
The car gives a mileage of approximately 19 kmpl, I drove both in city and highways during the period I had the car for review.
The City Drive
I drove the car from work to home on a Friday evening and of course the powerful diesel engine eases the strain on your right leg. Only by operating the clutch one can go a long distance at a very slow speed (e.g during traffic jams) without having to use the accelerator.
The Highway Drive
The moment I took the car, the one word that would summarize the feeling is ‘power’. The acceleration is great, but more so when the turbo-charger kicks in. Overtaking cars on the highway was a piece of cake; I didn’t even have to down-shift. The drive up and down the hill with 14 hairpin turns was easy, with the car taking the tight turns beautifully and allowing me to even overtake slow buses within the short distance between the turns. The shock absorbers are comfortable and steady (keep in mind that it has already run 6500 kms, and most probably test-driven/roughly-handled already). Ground clearance is definitely better than other cars in this segment, definitely built by keeping India roads in mind. Thanks, TATA.
There was bit of skid in one of the tight turns going uphill, the reason being loose sand at the turns. So keep this in mind and make sure you take utmost care while taking turns on gravel or loose sand.
I would definitely suggest this car for an adventurer who is forced with a 9 to 5 job. One can use this car for both travelling and office-driving.
Overall I would give this car a rating of 3.5 out of 5.
- Hydraulic steering, better feel of the car and ease of handling
- Media-control on the steering
- Good braking
- Driver panel – with Distance to Empty
- Good AC effect
- 90 bhp – powerful
- Easy overtaking on the highways without having to downshift
- Sporty look
- Lumbar support, helpful to avoid backaches
- That skid-experience I spoke about, even with ABS!
- Doesn’t have ‘lane-change indicator’
- Price point
Special thanks to Blogadda and Tata motors for this opportunity. 🙂