- May 27, 2008
What you'll like:
• Great styling. A very chic-looking hatchback!
• Tata has put in a lot of effort on quality and it shows. No signs of cost cutting at all
• Solid build & construction, unlike most of its flimsy competitors
• High quality, well-designed interiors. Lots of storage and a useful 242 liter boot too
• Suspension offers excellent ride comfort with neutral handling
• City friendly nature: light controls, agreeable ergonomics & good driveability (both engines)
• Amazing 8-speaker Harman entertainment system. Sounds top class
• Feature list with 2 driving modes, parking sensors + display, cooled glovebox, full MID & more
What you won't:
• Mediocre 3-cylinder engines. Petrol, especially, is unimpressive
• Low refinement levels. NVH package has many holes
• Rear headroom is tight. Also, a rare Tata hatchback that cannot seat 5 (best for 4)
• Concerns over long-term reliability, more so of the freshly developed engines
• Tata's sub-par after-sales service is far from that of Maruti & Hyundai
Back in the days, the Indica and Indigo were cars that India had accepted with open arms. These models offered the most bang-for-the-buck and truly lived up to the 'more car per car' tagline. But it wasn't all rainbows and butterflies for car owners. Tata's quality & reliability were poor, while the incompetent support network didn't help much either.
With time, Tata lost its 'diesel + space + value-based pricing' USP too, as nearly all manufacturers (including Maruti) brought diesels to the lower segments. Even fleet owners - once a strong customer base for Tata - now have so many options to choose from.
In his relentless pursuit to regain the trust of Indian car buyers and attract footfalls to his showrooms, Karl Slym came up with the Horizonext strategy. It stands on a four-fold program of intense customer focus, world-class manufacturing practices, enriched customer purchase experiences and consistent quality of service.
Not only that, each year, the company promises to roll out new models & update its existing range. Now, it seems to have a clearly defined long-term plan. Still, the poor sales performance of the Zest & Bolt has shown Tata that a lot of work is yet to be done.
Tata Motors has gone all-out with this new mass market car. The new hatchback will be positioned below the Bolt, and is named 'Zica' - which stands for 'Zippy Car'. It's quite similar to how they derived the name Indica from 'India Car'. To clear the confusion, it is pronounced as Zee | Kaa.
Tata has been battling with Toyota for the number 5 spot in the Indian market, commanding a market share of 4.50% (as on November 2015). The company hopes that once the Zica goes on sale, their market share will increase and they move higher up the ranks.
The Zica will roll out from the Sanand, Gujarat plant which is grossly under-utilized currently (it was originally built for the Nano). The production capacity of the Sanand factory is 2.5 lakh units annually, but its utilized capacity is <10%. The production capacity for the Zica is 1.5 lakh units.
The Kite (codename for the Zica) has been one of the fastest projects that the Tata design & engineering team have worked on. It took only 3 years from ideation to execution and the result is what we have here today.
The car has been jointly designed by Tata's Pune, UK and Italy design studios and wears an all-new design language. We're glad that Tata has finally gotten over that age-old Indica shape. Not that it was ugly, but the design has gotten too long in the tooth.
Simply put, the Zica is different. It looks refreshing and has a very European design that will please all. However, look closely and the smiling grill with the humanity line is typical of new-gen Tata cars.
This is the first model to wear the new three-dimensional 'T' logo, which will eventually make its way on other Tatas.
Its wheel : body ratio is a lot lesser, making the design appear more proportionate this time around...very unlike the Vista which had a large body & small rims. The 14" alloy wheels carry a neutral design & most people will like them. The overall stance of the car is squat and a far cry from other Tata cars.
At the rear, it gets an integrated spoiler which is a part of the tailgate. Nowhere on the Zica will you find an engine badge. The tailgate looks clutter-free as it only wears the brand name on the left and the variant name on the right.
The Zica measures 3,746 mm in length, 1,647 mm in width, 1,535 mm in height and has a 2,400 mm wheelbase. Dimensionally, it sits right between the Celerio and Grand i10. It has the shortest wheelbase compared to the two and, interestingly, the wheelbase is identical to the Indica!
Tata insists that this is an "all-new" platform, but we've heard that the floorpan is the same as the ol' Indica's. Heavily reworked, of course.
Tata engineers claim that the Zica will pass the BNVSAP. In terms of safety kit, it gets dual front airbags and the 9th generation Bosch ABS + EBD + Cornering Stability Control (same as the Bolt).
Tata says "CSC supports / stabilizes the vehicle during partial braking in curves by reducing pressure at the required inner wheel. This helps to reduce the probability of vehicle oversteer during cornering".
Front 3/4 view -
Rear 3/4 view -
Interior view -
Read the full article & see extra pics here: