Tata Bolt Hatchback First Drive & Gearbox

Tata Bolt Overview

In what should be seen as the resurgence of Tata Motors, the GenNext series of models have undergone a complete overhaul in how Tata designs and builds its cars.The Bolt is Tata’s contender in the premium hatchback segment, and by the looks of it, Tata has hit the bull’s eye. Essentially it is the same design architecture as that of the Zest, the Bolt has a large interior space, the interior quality has improved to a level where it can actually stand at par with its German competitors.Bolt features one of the highest spec equipment listings in the segment. The choice of engines is same as that of the ones available in the Zest, and with such refined and capable engines, comfortable quality interiors, Bolt is seriously a good car in the premium hatchback segment

Tata Bolt

Tata Bolt Exteriors

The Bolt looks just like a grown-up Indica, and that’s not exactly conducive for its perception value. Even when we were driving around town, no one really stopped to talk to us about this ‘new’ car from Tata, or gave it a second look. Personally, I think Tata should’ve delivered a ground-up, completely new and different design to make that instant impact in the minds of the people, especially as the Bolt is positioned as an urban product. The consumers in urban areas are quite mature and they want a product that’s affordable, yes, but also big on style.

The overall shape of the Bolt is quite familiar and it looks like the Indica has been given a bit of a Botox treatment. There’s a revised grille section that merges with the sharp headlamp cluster that houses smoked projector units and there’re subtle changes all through to give it a bit of a bold and rich look. The ‘floating’ roof treatment is not the best effort – the C-pillar is blacked-out using vinyl and it’s not really an integral panel like that you find in the latest i20. I also think the rear lacks imagination and looks demure compared to the relatively stylish front-end. And that’s not saying much!

Tata Bolt Interiors

The biggest leap from the Tata’s of old has been in the interiors where Tata has clearly taken the segment by surprise by providing a decent cabin for the driver and the occupants. The Dials are simple but combined with a dark console, they look elegant and sporty.The three spoke steering too has a chunky feel to it and it features steering mounted controls on the top variants. The all black look of the dash also adds up to the appeal of the cabin, while the fit and finish is truly world class on the Bolt.

The differentiating factor on the Bolt is the way you can sync your phone mapping apps with the touch screen display at the centre on the console, it goes a long way in enabling the users to find their way easily through traffic. The seats offer good support and comfort to the passengers, making the car a good travel companion.

Tata Bolt Performance

The Tata Bolt is powered by the now ubiquitous 1.3-litre Fiat sourced MultiJet diesel engine, badged as QuadraJet and is offered sans a variable geometry turbocharger. With the fixed geometry turbo, the Bolt diesel outputs 75 PS at 4000 RPM and 190 Nm between 1750-3000 RPM. This engine offers very good performance and under Tata’s own tuning, power delivery is linear and turbolag is well out of sight. Like the petrol, the diesel Bolt too is paired to a 5-speed manual gearbox and an AMT version isn’t in immediate sight. The petrol mill powering the Bolt is identical to the one seen on the Zest but has been tweaked with peak torque offered in a wider band. It’s the only turbo-petrol motor in the segment and the 1.2-litre unit outputs a class leading 90 PS and 140 Nm. For more info on Tata Bolt check industrynewswire

Refinement levels are impressive and the Tata Bolt is pin-drop silent at idle, with the Revotron powerplant emitting a vocal snarl post 4000 RPM (and the turbo whistle is audible too) but redline comes early at under 6000 RPM. There is good low-end pep and turbolag isn’t too apparent but one does need to work the gearbox a lot. Mid-range is where the motor shines but top-end is just lacking so this engine might be force-fed but it isn’t going to set your pulse racing as it doesn’t rev quickly or freely as one would expect (that’s to do with its 2-valve per cylinder layout). Where it does impress is drivability and there are three drive modes too, activating either now results in a beep (the sound isn’t there on the Zest and the position of the City, Eco and Sport text is now on the top in the instrument cluster, rather than being in the multi-information display screen).

While a layman might find it hard to differentiate between the three modes, they do make a difference and the same can be felt even on part throttle. We tested the Zest with a VBOX and saw different timings in different modes so the multi-drive mode is no gimmick, it works. Performance is the best in Sport mode and shifting on the fly is a boon as you can get additional punch in an instant when you need it. The car does pull to triple digit speeds with little effort but progress is slow post 130 km/hr. By default the car is in City mode and there is no button to select City. The clutch is light and the gearbox is smooth but there are vibes on the lever when you accelerate hard and leave the pedal completely. When driven in Eco, one can easily get good mileage numbers to the tune of 13-15 km/l. Check for HDFC car loan in Fincarz.

Tata Bolt Driving

Tata cars always score high on comfort and the same can be said about the Bolt. Ride quality is excellent (a bit soft which results in some bounciness at speed over bad roads), the vehicle takes everything in its stride with utmost confidence and irons out bad roads like it’s child’s play. Even bad roads don’t pose a threat to the Bolt and it won’t be wrong to say that this is the best riding car in the hatchback segment. Where Tata cars aren’t popular is the driving feel, while they are neutral, they won’t make you rave about the handling, the Bolt is a bit different here. Set-up to give you a good time around the bends, the Bolt handles nicely and is eager to corner but there is some body roll.

The new electric steering has good feel and decent feedback at speeds (although it’s on the lighter side) which inspires confidence to drive fast. We love the appearance of the 3-spoke steering wheel and the size just fits in perfectly to make you feel at home. With 10 mm smaller width of each tyre over the Zest, the Bolt still has plenty of grip on offer and cornering really hard makes the acres of under-steer make itself very evident.

Stability at speed is excellent and braking performance is also very good. Turning radius is a tad more than rivals while ground clearance is more than adequate for our roads. The Tata Bolt offers a fantastic blend in the dynamics department and is a car you can actually have some fun driving. View offers on Tata Cars in Hyderabad at Autozhop.

Tata Bolt Safety

bility Control. Unlike its rivals from Japan and Korea, the Bolt isn’t a light car and the heavy weight does make its presence felt as you simply don’t feel like your driving a hatchback, the vehicle feels robust. Yet to be tested by NCAP, we expect the Bolt to fare very well but safety equipment on lower trims would be a nice touch. Tata Motors is doing a lot to improve the service experience for its customers and the same is reflecting already although such things take time.

Tata Bolt Cost in Bangalore

Tata Bolt On-Road Price in Bangalore ranges from 5,53,032 to 8,64,310 for variants Bolt XE Revotron 90PS Petrol and Bolt XT Quadrajet 75PS Diesel respectively. Tata Bolt is available in 8 variants and 5 colours. Below are details of Tata Bolt variants price in Bangalore. Check for Bolt price in Bangalore at Tryaldrive.

Tata Bolt Final Thought

The Bolt is probably the best car TATA has made till date and its build quality, feature list, touch of the plastics, fit and finish, are all way better than any of the TATA cars from the past. The diesel engine is a tried and tested mill and performs decently here too. The new REVOTRON petrol engine is the best part the Bolt has, it is silky smooth, powerful and a fun to drive engine making the bolt a truly hard car to beat in the segment.

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