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


  • 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. 🙂


Yelagiri in a Vista D90

This year I made a resolution to do at least one trip every month. The year started with a wonderful trip to Varkala, Kerala. But this one was a pleasant surprise. Last week I saw an ad for Tata Vista D90 car on TV and I tweeted this :



Never expected a reply, but @blogadda got in touch with me and arranged for a sponsored review. So what I have to do is drive a Tata Vista D 90 and write a review about it, obviously not simultaneously, that could be fatal! 😛

I figured what better “driving around” to do than to make a trip out of this opportunity. As my good friend and trustworthy co-driver Andy has some other place to be during this weekend, unfortunately, I’m forced to take the car (naming it as Vista D 90, for obvious reasons) to some nearby place, since my other good friend Mr. @SuvishV doesn’t have experience driving but he makes a great navigator. Hence, the place I chose is closeby –  Yelagiri, in the coming weekend.

If you have been reading my blogs, you’d know Suvish is the same guy with whom I have done a lot of trips and who travels with an iPad to tweet.  THIS GUY:

This pic during our Hampi trip 🙂


Whilst I drive, he will be doing most of the tweets under the #rtrip11, if you are not on twitter, you can follow the tweets right here. You can expect a lot of scenic pics, from iPad, and the trip commentary. 

So follow us and enjoy the show.


Varkala and Kollam, Kerala trip – part 2

I’m sure you read the part 1 of this series, about how I had to take 5 buses to come to Varkala(Kerala) from Chennai :). After Spending second half of the first day in varkala, going to the beach and having a sumptuous dinner. The first half of the second day was spent on lazing around and shifting to another “resort” (why? read this!). After shifting, we went to a nearby hotel for lunch. Varkala, like any other place is HOT during the day, you won’t appreciate that unless you are in Papanasam beach, Varkala for a sun-tan. I wasn’t there for that reason and I didn’t appreciate it! 🙂 it was hot!

Before lunch, we saw a trail going uphill and we took it. Not after a short walk, we came upon this edge. And here are some photos of Papanasam beach from this place:

Papanasam Beach, varkala, Kerala

Papanasam Beach, varkala, Kerala

Papanasam Beach, varkala, Kerala

Papanasam Beach, varkala, Kerala


Papanasam Beach, varkala, Kerala

Pretty high place. Look carefully, you will spot a person walking on those rocks.

Papanasam Beach, varkala, Kerala


We had lunch and returned to our hotel for a siesta.

Lunch at a hotel in Papanasam beach, varkala, kerala

Had lunch here.


After the siesta, got up by 5:30PM and went to the beach for sunset, photos, walk and dinner @ Papanasam beach.


Bird taking a walk in the beach
Sunset at Papanasam beach, varkala, kerala

Rocky beach, Papanasam

Sunset at Papanasam beach, varkala, kerala

Sunset at Papanasam beach, varkala, kerala

Sunset from the cliff, Papanasam, Varkala

Sunset at Papanasam beach, varkala, kerala

Bird taking a walk


After this was dinner, some of the lights were beautiful and I wanted to try Bokeh (not a dish, it’s a photographic technique!). Here are the photos from that. For more kickass photos from this trip visit http://potofshots.com



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

Varkala and Kollam, Kerala trip – part 1

When I started out, as always, we didn’t have much clue about the destination. THAT has to change from now on, as I seem to miss out on many places due to my laziness of not checking wikitravel before embarking on a trip. Sometime I intentionally don’t read about the destination so as to have a “pure” experience of the place.

So it was for this trip too. Didn’t do much research, I just knew the destination, packed my bags and started. I had my android phone, of course with google maps and some money – that’s enough to travel, believe me.

VARKALA, KOLLAM, TRAVEL FROM CHENNAI, kerala,  josephjayanth.com

That’s the stuff I travel with

Day 0 & 1 – 4 buses and 1 auto rickshaw to reach Varkala from Chennai

I was surprised to see that there was no direct bus from Chennai to any place in Kerala. So, I got a bus from Chennai to Tenkasi, a town in the TamilNadu-Kerala border. I reached Tenkasi by 6:50 AM – to this bus stand.

VARKALA, KOLLAM, TRAVEL FROM CHENNAI, kerala,  josephjayanth.com

Tenkasi Bus Stand, 6:30 AM


BUS no. 2 – Tenkasi to Kottarakkara

Once there, got some biscuits and water, asked around for a bus to Kollam (a bigger town compared to Varkala). There were only two buses at the bus stand and neither were going to Kollam. But one of the buses was going to a town called Kottarakara, which is some 30 kms from Kollam. Boarded that bus and enjoyed the ride, it was shaky, bumpy and scenic 🙂

VARKALA, KOLLAM, TRAVEL FROM CHENNAI, kerala,  josephjayanth.com

Bus from Tenkasi to Kottarakkara, Kerala


Some of the scenes on the way to Kottarakkara:

en route to kottarakara, kerala from tenkasi


Bus no.3 – Kottarakkara to Kollam (25 kms)

After an one hour drive, reached Kottarakkara and got another bus to Kollam. Reached Kollam 11:45 AM of Day 1.


Bus no.4 – Kollam to Parippally (20 kms)

One could get a bus to Varkala from Kollam (30kms), but I had to wait for another 45 mins to get that bus, so I decided to take one bus till Paripally (how did I know about this info, thanks to google maps)


To bus or not to bus – 5th

Got down at Paripally by 1 PM, HOT HOT SUN. Varkala was 12 kms from my reach. I decided not to wait for a bus and took an auti-rickshaw (tuk tuk). I asked the auto guy “how much it would cost” and he said Rs.2000, I was totally shocked and told him it’s only 12 kms (thanks to google maps :)), then he corrected himself and said “Rs.200”, I went to the next auto guy and asked him how much he would charge, he said “Rs.150”, much better, so hopped in and tukked tukked my way to Varkala.

After 17 hours of travelling I reached Varkala. Honestly, I was tired and wanted to get out of the sun, so didn’t really appreciate the beauty of the place till I checked into the resort – Eden Garden resort. After a quick shower, went for lunch to one of the many beach-view restaurants.

VARKALA, KOLLAM, TRAVEL FROM CHENNAI, kerala,  josephjayanth.com

Day 1 Lunch at Varkala


Went back to the resort, which was next to the beach, and took a nap till 5:30 PM. Hurried to the beach to enjoy the sunset.

Varkala, Kerala - sunset

Varkala, Kerala – sunset


To be continued…

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