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Tata Indica 1.4 LXi

Broadcast dates : 20th March 2005
24th March 2005

The Tata Indica has a pleasing exterior without being groundbreaking in any way. This is the top-of-the range LXi model, running on steel wheels with rather dull hubcaps that spoil the overall effect, but attractive vertical rear taillights and quite a crisp profile.

The LXi model has a fair level of equipment, such as driver and passenger airbags, a CD player, air conditioning and power windows, while still retaining cloth upholstery in a very dated velour cloth.

But itís in the details that the Indica fails to come to the global party. The plastics used on the dash and other trim areas look cheap, and the panel fit is sub-standard.

The seats are lumpy, seeming to provide support in the wrong places, apart from being mounted too high.

And although there is some 610 litres of luggage space when the rear seats are folded up, the trim materials exposed under the seat say a lot about the Tataís finishing standards.

It seems only a few years ago that Korean companies like Hyundai were being criticized for exactly the same reasons, but they have come a long way in ten years.

The Tata powerplant is a 1,4 litre unit rated at 62 kiloWatts and 115 Newton metres of torque. The four-cylinder motor uses single throttle fuel injection, and drives through a five-speed gearbox.

With a smallish engine and a fair compliment of equipment the Tata is not going to win any drag races.

The Tata wonít win any gymkhana slaloms either, with moderate 175-60 tyres on 14-inch rims, and an indifferent chassis set-up. It needs some solid re-engineering to sharpen it up.

Are we being too harsh on the Tata? This is a basic city car, after all, with no race-track aspirations. But itís up against some really good performers and road-holders in this market. Dynamically even dated offerings like the Citi Golf, Tazz and Corsa outgun it in all departments.

We do feel that adding all the luxury features to the Tata has not improved its chances much.

Tata Indica LXi

  • Engine: Four-cylinder petrol, 1 405 cc
  • Power: 62 kW@ 5 n500 rpm
  • Torque: 115 Nm @ 3 000 rpm
  • Transmission: Five-speed manual, front-wheel-drive
  • 0-100 km/h: 13,2 seconds
  • Top speed: 160 km/h
  • Fuel consumption: 9,1 litres/100 km (Car Magazine estimate)
  • Price: R87 500

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