Tata Zest Review & Test Drive

Tata Zest Overview

Tata Motors had launched the Zest in 2014 and that was when it was offering the diesel engine in two states of tunes. One was 75bhp and the other 90bhp. The 75bhp was offering only on the base variant, which was XE. Now, it will be offering this engine on the XM variant too. The company won’t be offering this variant and the XMS (XM with safety package) with alloy wheels for the 75bhp engine. The AMT variant was only offered on XMA during the launch, then it was even made available on XTA as well. This is another upgrade on the Zest.


Tata Motors has launched the anniversary special edition of the Tata Zest, which marks the completion of one year for the brand. This anniversary edition will come with new features and will be available in the XMS model, in both petrol and diesel variants.The special edition will be available for sale by the end of September, in select showrooms, till October 2015. View offers on Tata Cars from Tata dealers in Hyderabad at Autozhop.

The anniversary edition Zest is equipped with 10 new features such as new exterior colour, new wheel covers, Paino Black outside rear view mirrors, ‘anniversary’ embroidery on front seats. The car additionally comes with an ‘Anniversary pack’ as an accessory kit. This kit will contain anniversary theme body graphics, anniversary edition badge on the C-pillar, rear windshield power curtain with remote, bottle holder on floor console and scuff plates with illumination for the front.

Tata Zest Exteriors

Tata Zest was designed with inputs from the company’s three different design studios – Pune (India), Conventry (UK) and Turin (Italy). Several designing processes were also carried out by the help of Jaguar Land Rover – company’s luxury vehicle divison, as more than 6000 engineers and technicians worked relentlessly and rigorously across five countries and eleven centres. All the aforementioned hard work resulted in the birth of a distinct and never-seen-before sedan in the form of Zest. Being based on a thoroughly modified X1 platform, The all-new styling of the Zest is based on its new design direction of ‘Confident Dynamism’. As far as the front fascia is concerned, it flaunts the all new company signature grille with the newly introduced ‘Humanity Line’. This front grille is complimented immensely well by the dual projector headlamps with chrome accents, which are standard for every variant, except the base XE. Moreover, the top-end trim XT also enjoys LED daytime running lamps. The front bumper boasts triangle shaped twin fog lamps and double slat air dam.

Coming to the side profile of the sedan, it has an enlarged C-pillar which makes the roofline a bit sloppy. The Zest has body colored ORVMs with blinkers and turn indicators, body colored door handles, and body colored bumpers as standard across the entire range of variants. The flared wheel arches have been bestowed with 15″ alloy wheels which, again, are standard feature and offered with each and every variant. At the rear-end of the car, the Zest is the first car in its segment to flaunt LED tail lamps. The whole tail lamp cluster is quite stylish and feature a wrap around design. The boot-lid gets a lot of chrome treatment, particularly around the horizontally positioned strip, company logo and model badging. Tata Zest is being offered with 6 vibrant colors – Buzz Blue, Venetian Red, Sky Grey, Dune Beige, Platinum Silver and Pristine White. In all, Tata has finally succeeded in carving out a niche sedan that is good looking, stylish and sporty. It won’t be an exaggeration to term it ‘The Best Tata Car’ till date in the exterior designing aspect.

Tata Zest Interiors

Unlike earlier, the designers at Tata Motors this time seem to have really worked hard when it comes to the interiors. The reason why we say this is that, the cabin is definitely up market when it comes to the embellishments provided on board that are superior than some of its competitors within the segment. The most important improvement here is the quality of plastics which has been an issue with almost each and every Tata vehicle in the past. Therefore once inside, the enhanced quality does across in a very strong way. Perfect blend of black and beige interiors give one the sense of roominess. The presence of a three spoke steering wheel with steering mounted controls is a welcome addition as it not only looks good but is firm to grip while driving. A newly designed instrument cluster with chrome surrounds brings to light two analogue dials – RPM and speedometer along with a digital display placed right in the centre providing information such as average fuel economy, trip metre and instant consumption of fuel at any given time.

A newly designed instrument cluster with chrome surrounds brings to light two analogue dials – RPM and speedometer along with a digital display placed right in the centre providing information such as average fuel economy, trip metre and instant consumption of fuel at any given time. While the fuel and temperature gauge are individually represented in two different analogue dials as seen in the image. To the left, is the company’s ConnectNext Infotainment system which has been developed with the help of HARMAN (world renowned audio system expert) keeping the ‘Zest’ as the focus. Featuring a 5 inch touch screen display, this system caters to advanced Bluetooth technology that enables smart phone integration. It features a total of 8 speakers split into 4 speakers and 4 tweeters which keeps one entertained with excellent audio quality. There is also a smart voice recognition which enables the user to give commands especially in regards to SMS notifications and read outs making life simpler for people like you and me who need to operate their smart phones on a regular basis while being behind the wheel. Other features such as Aux-In and a USB port also find their way into the cabin thereby enriching the overall cabin experience.

Seating both in the front and rear is pretty comfortable however its lacks under thigh support especially for those who are a bit tall. There is decent of amount of shoulder and leg room in both rows with the rear one falling short on head room due to its sloping roof line which is a bit of an issue for tall individuals. Rest active and passive safety features on board include elements such as driver and front passenger airbags, central locking, rear parking assist, burglar alarm, immobilizer to name a few.

Tata Zest Performance

The Zest we have is powered by the Fiat-derived 1.3-litre Quadrajet diesel motor. Now this four-potter is good for 90hp of peak power and that makes for a decent pull on the open highway. This car has done plenty of Mumbai-Pune runs on the expressway and, while it’s not what you might call a particularly quick car, it is very happy cruising at triple-digit speeds. Anyone who has taken to the highway in this car – me included, when I was based in Pune – will attest that there’s enough torque on tap for effortless overtakes using just the throttle pedal.Check for Tata Zest in oksociety.in 

The gearbox, however, has been a whole other matter. This Zest is equipped with the F-Tronic AMT or Automated Manual Transmission, which has proven to be quite the slouch in pretty much any traffic condition. When you bury the throttle pedal to the floor in a bout of spirited driving, the kickdown to a lower gear takes ages. And when the gearbox does downshift, more often than not, it abruptly jumps back up to a higher gear within a few seconds, negating all the effort you put in to getting a burst of acceleration. Thankfully, in the tiptronic mode, this isn’t a concern, although the lag between demanding a gear change and the transmission actually swapping cogs is rather large.

This gearbox has proven to be quite irritating in slow-moving traffic as well. Don’t get me wrong; everyone who has driven this Zest loves the convenience of its automated transmission but in stop-and-go traffic, it can’t creep the car forward (or backwards, if you’re in reverse) when you take your foot off the brake. This has led to some rather jerky movement in these situations and nothing hurts the ego of an automobile journalist more than appearing to be unable to drive smoothly.

But for all the sneers our Zest got for the idiosyncrasies of its gearbox, it received a lot of cheers in pretty much every other area. Mileage, for one, has been very good. Even in the heaviest of traffic, it never dropped below 13kpl. The other thing we absolutely love about this Zest is the ride quality. It takes the terrible condition of most of Mumbai’s roads in stride, and even our friends and family, who have ridden in the car, have appreciated just how comfortably it glides over bumps and potholes.

Tata Zest Driving

Tata Zest comprises of a Electric Power Assist Steering (ePAS) with speed sensitivity and ‘Active Return’ function – a first in the segment. The steering wheel has a diameter of 366mm which makes it the smallest for a Tata Car, except for the Nano. The new generation tilt Tata signature steering wheel, designed with 3 spokes, is quite lighter in weight and it is easy to maneuver the sedan through narrow roads without putting in special efforts. Furthermore, The dual-path suspension, coupled with a zero-pivot sub-frame and Anti-roll bar, ensures a smooth and comfortable ride. The rear suspension is Twist beam with coil spring which compliments the working on first one extremely well. Tata has introduced first-in-segment ‘Multi-Drive Mode’ technology which displays three driving modes – Sport, Eco and City with the petrol variants. An individual can select any one mode out of the mentioned three, depending upon the road condition and driving skills. Sport is for lightening fast acceleration, while Eco is intended towards obtaining maximum fuel economy, followed by the City which is a perfect amalgamation of performance and economy. On the other hand, Zest diesel AMT variant comes up with twin driving modes – City and Sport. The Zest petrol variants clock a top speed of 154kmph while the diesel variants register a marginally high top speed of 158kmph.

Tata Zest Safety

Tata Zest comes equipped with Disc brake as front brake while Drum brake does the duties as the rear brake. This primary braking system responds instantly and to ensure much better braking, the company has also introduced the most advanced, the 9th generation Antilock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) as secondary braking system. Tata has also blessed the Zest with Speed dependent auto door lock system and Front and rear fog lamps. But unfortunately, the XE variants in both the guises miss out on these features. The company in a bid to avoid any mishap and make sure of maximum safety of the occupants, has also incorporated segment-first, the Corner Stability Control feature in the Tata Zest with mid and top trims. There are also dual front airbags and front seat belts with pre-tensioner & load limiter in the top-end trim. However, for the security of the vehicle; the company has come up with Immobiliser with every variant. But, the top-end trim XT also has a Perimetric alarm system that makes loud sound if any attempt of burglary or thievery is made.

Tata Zest Price in Mumbai

Tata Zest On-Road Price in Mumbai ranges from 6,14,659 to 10,21,969 for variants Zest Revotron 1.2T XE and Zest Quadrajet 1.3 XTA respectively. Tata Zest is available in 11 variants and 6 colours. Below are details of Tata Zest variants price in Mumbai. Check for Zest price in Mumbai at Carzprice.

Tata Zest Round Up

It must be said that Zest is probably Tata’s best and well coveted attempt to target most sort after compact sedan segment. It actually breaks away from what we Indians are used to seeing in Tata Motors product portfolio till date as this sedan brings forward the company’s latest design philosophy and engineering to conquer competition. In sheer performance, the petrol is the one that impresses the most while the availability of an automatic in diesel is definitely going to attract a great number of seekers. The attractive pricing at which the company has launched the Zest into the market, will surely pull a lot of customers towards it, especially when it comes to the first-in-segment diesel automatic variant.

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