Tata Manza: Turning a drive into pleasure

Tata Manza: Turning a drive into pleasure

Value-for-money

I love curves, sharper the better. Recently when I was offered Tata Motors’ newly re-launched sedan Tata Manza, I chose to drive to Ooty, the popular hill station in the Nilgiris. The strong pull in deciding the destination, apart from the place being very scenic, was simple: the shorter route to Ooty from Bandiprur via Masinagudi has 36 hairpin bends adding to the thrills of driving in the hills.

Though Manza comes in petrol (1.37 litre) and diesel (1.25 litre) variants, I chose to drive the diesel car fitted with a new Quadrajet engine which is more popular between the two engines. It was also a good choice because diesel has more reserved power and a car needs a lot of it to drive in hilly terrains with steep slopes.

As the road got steeper and bends became sharper after Masinagudi, I found that after some initial resistance, which was more to do with me getting the perfect ‘touch and feel’ feeling with car, Manza purred to conveniently negotiate the challenges.

The Quadrajet engine, one of the recent ones in the series of common rail direct injection  (CRDI) diesel engines developed by the Tatas in collaboration with Fiat technology, produces 90 ps of maximum power at 4,000 rpm and produces maximum torque of 200 nm at rpm between 1750 to 3000. The engine therefore is not only good enough for steep roads, butt is perfectly comfortable for the congested city driving. As the torque is quite accommodative, Manza can be driven without frequent gear shifts in city driving conditions without losing power for the aircon.

Tiltable steering, height adjustable driver’s seat and a lumber support make driving a pleasure for car enthusiasts. Manza’s suspension is designed to achieve an optimal balance between ride comfort and control and stability, specially on winding roads I drove from Ooty to Waynad in Kerala in my 1,000 km trip over a week. Its low-roll characteristics capacity further enhances the ride quality somewhat similar to expensive sedans. Of course, the kerb weight of between 1200 and 1210 kg in the diesel version also adds to the stability of the car. 

As the 460 litre boot space can hold 5 large suitcases, your wife can go on a shopping spree on a vacation without making you personally lug around the extra stuff. Of course, the bigger boot space has slightly compromised on the fuel tank capacity which is kept at 44 litre.  

Had the Tata Motors taken measures to make the cabin quieter, music from its excellent in-car system (factory fitted in top end) would have been more enjoyable. The fully integrated 2-DIN stereo system with Blue 5 (that seamlessly makes the music system become your phone), steering mounted control, Aux-in and USB port enhances the infotainment in Manza.

Safety measures
Top end variants of Manza also comes with some important safety & security features like ABS, airbags, rear de-mistier, collapsible steering, energy absorbing steering wheel and door intrusion beam for side collision impact. The top end variant Manza Elan, also comes with a host of premium features like dual tone alloy wheels, burgundy & beige interiors, chrome garnished bottom weather strip, fog lamps, and a new premium Tyrian wine color.

Tatas have also added many small but premium features we normally seen in premium sedans. Among such high-tech features, the Manza Elan also has ‘follow me home headlamps’ which stay on for one minute after the car is switched off and can be extended by 30 seconds more by just pressing the lock key again. Led by customer insight, yet another unique feature is the ‘delayed power window’, which allows the users roll up window glasses even after key is removed from ignition.

Interestingly, though Manza has many special features, it has been priced quite aggressively. The 1.25 diesel Manza the price of the base model is Rs 6.11 lakh (ex-showroom Bangalore) going up to Rs 7.62 lakh and the price for 1.37 litre petrol ranges between Rs 5.34 lakh and Rs 6.77 lakh (ex-showroom, Bangalore).

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