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There is no hiding from the fact that electric vehicles are well on their way to dominate the automotive world in the years to come. There are several brands around the world that are developing and selling some brilliant electric vehicles and Indian manufacturers like Tata are not to be left behind. Tata Motors has been developing electric vehicles for about four years now.
It was back in 2017 that Tata Motors first developed the Tigor EV. The electric notchback was developed specifically for fleet operators after Tata Motors won a contract from EESL for the supply of 10,000 EVs. However, the brand was only getting started with electric vehicles.
Tata Motors then developed the Ziptron high-voltage EV architecture and launched the Nexon EV. Tata's tryst with electric vehicles started with the Tigor EV, and in August 2021, the brand went back to its roots. The new Tigor EV was launched at a starting price of Rs 11.99 lakh. We got our hands on the EV for a few hours and here's what we have to say about it.
Design & Style
The overall silhouette of the Tata Tigor EV has been retained from the outgoing model. Even the shape of the headlamps and tail lamps are the same. However, the designers at Tata Motors have worked on the little details and that is exactly what makes the new model stand out.
Up front, the Tata logo is placed prominently on the grille. The grille itself is a flat piece of plastic with a small vent between it and the bumper. The bumper has been redesigned to look more aggressive. Tri-arrow patterns are seen on the grille as well as on the front bumper.
Tata seems to have missed out on the opportunity to introduce LED headlamps with the launch of the new electric. The low beam on the headlamp is handled by a halogen projector while the high beam is taken care of by a halogen reflector. Under the headlamp is a strip finished in electric blue.
The ‘EV' badging found on the grille and the side fenders are also finished in the same electric blue. A chrome strip runs under the windows and the door handles also get a chrome element. If there is one element on the car that will draw someone's attention, it is the wheels.
The wheels are tri-tone units with Grey and Black as the primary colours and one-quarter of it is finished in a shade of Blue. However, closer inspection will reveal that this fancy wheel that we see is actually a plastic wheel cover placed over a basic 4-spoke wheel. Clever packaging by Tata Motors there as it is cheaper to produce and looks really premium.
The roofline slopes to the rear-end and drops suddenly after the boot, giving it the notchback design. The tail lamps are split LED units and are connected by a thick chrome strip. You get a rear-view underneath it. On top is faux spoiler with an LED stop light integrated into it. YOu also get the Tata, Tigor, EV, and Ziptron badging at the rear.
On the whole, the new Tigor EV looks great and is a huge improvement over the older model, especially in this Teal Blue shade.
Cockpit & Interior
Step inside the new Tigor EV and the difference is felt immediately. Tata's new design language is seen all over the cabin in the form of tri-arrow embroidery on the seats. The seats are decked in Black, while the dashboard and door panels all get a dual-tone finish.
The AC vents immediately draw your attention thanks to the surrounds finished in electric blue. Underneath the central AC vents is the infotainment unit. It is a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a few other smartphone connectivity options.
The Tata Tigor EV comes with climate control and a powerful air-conditioning system. The controls for the same are placed under the infotainment screen. The climate control and AC-related information is displayed on the infotainment screen and can be controlled via the touchscreen as well.
There is a small space between the two rotary knobs and when the vehicle is turned off, it can easily be confused for a small LCD screen. Once you turn on the vehicle, you realise there is no screen and we ended up wishing for one, as it would make the climate control information available more easily.
The centre console is rather simple. It features the gear-selector knob, a cubbyhole, cup holders, and a 12V power outlet. The steering wheel looks fancy and has a sporty, muscular, and chunky feel.
Instrumentation is handled by a completely digital cluster that displays various parameters. At the centre, the Tigor EV comes with an LCD screen that displays the gear position, battery state-of-charge, remaining range, time, temperature, and odometer.
This LCD screen is surrounded by indicators for battery level, eco, and regen. The regen indicator goes up as the car coasts and the eco indicator goes up when the car is driven at an economical pace.
The same design language is carried over to the rear seat as well. Tri-arrow patterns are seen on the seat and it should be able to seat three in comfort. A foldable armrest is available and it gets inbuilt cupholders as well.
Comfort, Practicality & Boot Space
Tata Motors' cars are usually high on comfort and are known to keep their occupants in comfort. The new Tigor EV too does that to a certain extent. However, The suspension is set up more towards keeping the driver happy and this results in a slightly bumpier ride. More on this later.
In terms of space though, the Tigor scores really high. The cabin is spacious and airy. The space up front is great anyway, and with the drivers' seat adjusted to my height and usage requirements, we headed to check out the rear seat. Turns out that it had a lot more knee room than we had expected.
Despite having a sloping roofline, the headroom was great, but we did wish for more under-thigh support. The Tigor EV is very practical and features several cubbyholes across the car. The front doors can hold a couple of half-litre bottles while the rear door can hold a 1-litre bottle.
The Tata Tigor EV boasts a boot space of around 316-litres which is pretty spacious. However, there are two things that worry us a bit. The spare wheel no longer sits in the footwell, but is placed in the boot. This eats into boot space quite a bit. Additionally, there is no option to fold the rear seat down to increase load-carrying capabilities.
Motor Performance & Driving Impressions
This area is where the new Tata Tigor EV has improved the most. The older Tata Tigor EV definitely was a practical car but came with impractical performance. Both speed and range were limited.
In 2021 though, the Tigor EV is on a whole new level. As aforementioned, the Tigor is now based on the Ziptron high-voltage EV platform. This comes with an array of benefits.
The Tigor EV is powered by a 26kWh lithium-ion battery pack that is IP67 rated. Tata Motors also gives an 8-year warranty on the battery pack. This battery powers an electric motor that is placed up front.
The electric motor has a maximum power output of 55kW, which corresponds to around 72bhp. However, at 172Nm, it is the torque output that makes the Tigor EV truly brilliant to drive. It is instantaneous and pushes you back in your seat when the throttle pedal is floored.
Driving the new Tata Tigor EV is a pretty easy-going experience. Effortless is the word that perfectly describes the EV. Press down on the brake pedal and push the starter button, and the Tata Tigor EV comes to life. However, there are no signs of the motor being powered until you take your foot off the brake.
It rolls away quietly, and this makes it a boon in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Stomp on the fast pedal though, and things change pretty quickly. The pace at which the Tata Tigor EV accelerates is eerily surprising. You don't really realise how fast you're going until the first speed warning comes up at 80km/h.
In no time, 100km/h comes up on the digital instrumentation and it slows down a bit after 115km/h. The Tata Tigor EV then runs out of breath at around 121km/h and it is difficult to push it further. In sports mode, the acceleration is way quicker, and driving it is an enjoyable experience.
Just as surprising as the speed, is the way the Tata Tigor EV handles. The steering, as well as the suspension, have both been tuned very well. It does seem like the suspension was made a little more firm to handle the extra weight of the battery pack. This has resulted in brilliant cornering capabilities.
At low speeds, the steering feels nice and light but it weighs up as the numbers on the speedometer climb. This allows for confident handling and combined with the torquey motor and firm suspension, makes for an enjoyable driving experience.
However, with a slightly firmer suspension comes a bumpy ride and this is the case with the Tigor EV as well. Potholes and even small undulations on the road can be felt inside the cabin. This, however, is ironed out if there are 3-4 people occupying the seats.
The brakes on the Tata Tigor EV are adequate and do their duty very well. However, the brakes produce some noise and this noise is more pronounced inside the cabin thanks to the quiet electric motor. On the whole, the Tigor EV is a product that can please your wallet during your daily commute while also pleasing the enthusiast in you.
Tata Tigor EV Charging
Charging the Tata Tigor EV is no big task. The charging port is easily accessible and while the charging cable is heavy, it is still easy to use. When the onboard charging system is used and the Tigor EV is plugged into the wall socket, the battery gets charged up in about 8.5 hours.
You also get the option of using a DC fast charger installed at a few Tata Motors dealerships and a few other spots through Tata Power's EV charging infrastructure initiatives. However, we do not suggest the usage of these chargers on a regular basis as it affects the battery charging cycle. Tata Motors suggests the usage of these fast chargers only in an emergency.
Tata Tigor EV Range
The new Tata Tigor EV has an ARAI-certified range of 306 kilometres on a fully charged battery. This, however, is in ideal conditions only. In real-world conditions though, the Tigor EV will do about 200-210 kilometres. This too depends on the driving style and in which mode it is driven.
Using Sports mode all the time reduces the range by a huge margin. If driven only in Sports mode, the Tigor EV can do only between 130-140 kilometres on a fully charged battery.
Safety & Key Features
Tata Motors has always made safe cars and this standard has only increased in the last few years. The Tigor EV is no exception to this. The notchback has received a 4-Star crash test rating from GNCAP and that is a big achievement.
The safety features include:
- ABS with EBD
- Electronic Stability Control
- IP67 rated Battery Pack
- Impact Resistant Battery Pack
- Overcharge Protection
Variants, Colours & Pricing
The Tata Tigor EV is sold in four variants:
- Tigor EV XM: Rs 12.49 lakh
- Tigor EV XZ+: Rs 12.99 lakh
- Tigor EV XZ+ Dual Tone: Rs 13.14 lakh
The Tata Tigor EV is sold in just two colour options:
- Teal Blue
The Tata Tigor EV is the most affordable electric vehicle in the passenger vehicle market in India, and that is a big statement. The fact that so many features are being offered at such a price point is also a big deal and that alone makes it a winner for us.
Given the fact that fuel prices are currently skyrocketing and there are no signs of it coming down anytime soon, it is obvious that cars like the Tata Tigor make so much more sense, now more than ever. Its time to go green, with the Tata Tigor.