Tata Indica Vista D90 ZX experience

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

Tata Indica Vista D90 ZX user experience

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.

Tata Indica Vista D90 ZX user experience

Tata Indica Vista D90 ZX

Tata Indica Vista D90 ZX user experience

Tata Indica Vista D90 ZX

The Car

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!

 

Tata Indica Vista D90 ZX

Tata Indica Vista D90 ZX

Tata Indica Vista D90 ZX user experience

Tata Indica Vista D90 ZX

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.

Tata Indica Vista D90 ZX user experience

 

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.

Tata Indica Vista D90 ZX user experience

Tata Indica Vista D90 ZX
Tata Indica Vista D90 ZX user experience

Tata Indica Vista D90 ZX

Overall I would give this car a rating of 3.5 out of 5.

Good Things:

  • 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
  • Spacious
  • Lumbar support, helpful to avoid backaches

Bad:

  • 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. 🙂

Cheers

Varkala resorts and prices

The first day/night of my Varkala, Kerala Trip, we stayed in Eden Garden resort, Papanasam beach (3.5 off 5 stars). It cost us only Rs.800 for a double-bed room for a night. It was 100 meters from the beach and we had no qualms. It was well kept, had a geyser – 24hrs hot water, bath tub, a small kitchen area (which we didn’t use) and a mosquito net (which we didn’t a need for). The reception area of this resort is in a posh looking side of this place and I’m guessing that would be very expensive. This place also offers a wide range of ayurvedic massages starting from Rs.1000.

Some pictures of Eden Garden resort:

Eden Garden resort, Varkala resorts, varkala beach, papanasam, kerala

 

Eden Garden resort, Varkala resorts, varkala beach, papanasam, kerala
Eden Garden resort, Varkala resorts, varkala beach, papanasam, kerala

 

Eden Garden resort, Varkala resorts, varkala beach, papanasam, kerala
Eden Garden resort, Varkala resorts, varkala beach, papanasam, kerala

Eden Garden resort, Varkala resorts, varkala beach, papanasam, kerala

 

 

Unfortunately, my friend who had reached Varkala before me had booked the room for only one night/day, cos we didn’t have a plan on where we will be on the next day. But we decided to stay here for one more day and went to the reception to keep the room for an additional day. They had already given the room to someone else and we had to find another hotel to stay.

Thankfully we found one “Nikhil beach resort” (2.5 off 5 stars) right opposite to Eden Garden resort on the beach road. This place was not as good as the previous one, but we decided to take it anyways. Rs. 800/day. We got this double-bed room attached bathroom. One thing I liked about this second floor room was that it had a balcony overlooking the beach road, which is used by a lot of people to go to the Papanasam beach. A good place to sit and chill, read a book or something.

Some pictures

nikhil beach resort, varkala, kerala, papnasam beach road

nikhil beach resort, varkala, kerala, papnasam beach road

The Papanasam Beach Road

nikhil beach resort, varkala, kerala, papnasam beach road

We stayed here on day 2 of our trip. On day 3 we went to Kollam.

 

NOTE 1:  There are a lot of resorts near to the beach, please do explore, walk around a bit and you might find a better place. There are lots of resorts on the cliff too, please explore and let me know if you found a good place and I might add to this post.

NOTE 2: Read all posts of this Varkala/Kollam(Kerala) Trip here

Dinner at Mango Tree, Hampi

It was a good time listening to their Indian experience and having the delicious dinner, in the lantern-lit beautiful place filled with stories and laughter from other tables too!

If you are in Hampi and you want to have food that you want to fall in love with, you have try Mango Tree. Not just the food, the ambiance is also wonderful. Situated on the banks of the river Tungabhadra, it offers awesome food with equally wonderful ambiance.

dinner at mango tree, hampi

Dinner at Mango Tree, Hampi

After a beautiful day of looking at all the monuments, taking in all the stories behind those and a walk on the other side of river Tungabhadra, it was time for dinner and this restaurant(Mango Tree) came highly recommended from different sources. It is a popular restaurant and you can ask any guide in that region, they will give you directions to reach there. There are also lot of sign boards that point to this restaurant.

Like I said, we went there for dinner and got a table to sit. Dinner may not be the best time to go to this place if you want a view of the river as you eat. It was dark! Nevertheless the place was dimly-lit(in a nice way) with lanterns. Very simple seating, nothing posh, but comfortable. Service was prompt and staff, friendly. The fruit salads at Mango Tree is to die for! You can choose to sit on the wooden seats or sit on the cement floor, legs-folded.

dinner at mango tree, hampi

Lanterns light this place – Mango Tree, Hampi

We started with some fruits and believe me, that was the most delicious papaya and water melon I’ve ever had. It was perfectly ripe and so yum! One of us had ordered Samosa’s which were equally delicious but were not pyramidal but they were large, semi-circular.  Most of the people there were foreigners, and we were sharing the table with two travellers (from UK). They introduced themselves and we started talking, they were working in South Korea as teachers and were travelling across various Asian countries. They were in India for 6 weeks and had already visited most of the known places in India.  Note: Travel Inspiration!

They saw the Samosa and asked us what that was and we told them that it was Samosa. They commented that in England, the Samosa’s are pyramidal in shape! ha! We told them that this semi-circular shape was first-time for us too! It was a good time listening to their Indian experience and having the delicious dinner, in the lantern-lit beautiful place filled with stories and laughter from other tables too! The dinner went on for about an hour and a half, and it was a dinner to be remembered.

I’d have loved to meetup with the owners and ask them about the story behind that place, but it skipped my mind. There will always be a next time!

Bottomline: If in Hampi, Mango Tree is not to be missed!

Read all my posts on Hampi here.

Vivenda Kafe – The story behind it!

This post is about the recent December Goa-trip. I wrote about my most memorable time in Goa in the “walk in Goa” post, a month ago. One of the reasons for that walk to be as memorable as it were, was the visit to Vivenda Kafe in Candolim, Goa. I almost walked past it when I saw the interiors – it was cozily lit and interiors were well done. I was thirsty and a little hungry, I decided to give it a try.

 

vivenda kafe

 

I stepped inside and surprised to see that it was run by an Italian couple. Very polite and friendly people.  I ordered for a strawberry shake and a cheese cake. There was a Russian couple sitting there and the owners were having a friendly conversation with them. My order was served and it was yummy. I took my sweet time eating the cheese cake and taking in the serenity of the place. It also has free wi-fi, in case you want to sit there and update your facebook status or tweet! 😛

 

vivenda  kafe

 

The Story of the name and the place!

As I was about to leave and asked for the check, Kurt (one of the owners) saw my camera and asked if I am a pro-photographer or was it my hobby, we started chatting and I asked him the story behind this cafe and weird name “Vivenda Kafe”. Here it is…

Since Goa has a prominent Portugal influence, the owners wanted to get a word in Portuguese that would mean “home” and that is what “Vivenda” means, it means “Villa”.

So, the next question was “why call it Kafe and not Cafe?”.

It was started by Italians (they have the map of Italia on the wall, see the first pic), Valerie and Kurt (VK), they are originally from Italy but now settled in Goa. They wanted the name of the cafe to have the same initials “V&K”, hence the name “Vivenda Kafe”.

Kurt even told me that all the chairs in the cafe had “VK” inscription on them.

The food, ambiance and the story was enough for me to make that most memorable cafe I’ve ever been to!

 

How do you find it?

It is on the fort Aguada road, Candolim area. From outside it looks like this

Vivenda Kafe, Candolim, goa

 

 

cheers

 

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