Tata Altroz i-Turbo Petrol Review (First Drive): The Gold Standard For Sporty Premium Hatchbacks?

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Tata Motors introduced their first-ever premium hatchback, the Altroz in the Indian market, back in January 2020. Now, a year later, the company is all set to bring in a more powerful and sportier version of the hatchback with the Altroz i-Turbo model.

The Tata Altroz i-Turbo is focussed on bringing a sportier appeal to the already sharp and good-looking premium hatchback. It is also the brand's way of catering to the steadily growing demand for turbo-petrol models in the Indian market.

Tata Altroz i-Turbo Petrol Review (First Drive): Performance, Handling, Specs, Features, Variants & Other Details

While the turbo-petrol powertrain might be new on the Tata Altroz, it isn't the only major update the premium hatchback has received. The new Tata Altroz i-Turbo hatchback now comes in with a host of new features, equipment, driving modes and even connected technology as well.

We drove the Tata Altroz i-Turbo petrol hatchback recently and in the limited time we got to spend with the relatively powerful premium hatchback, we were completely impressed. Need a little more information? Then read on to find out our first impressions of the new Tata Altroz i-Turbo.

Tata Altroz i-Turbo Petrol Review (First Drive): Performance, Handling, Specs, Features, Variants & Other Details

Design & Styling

Before we get into the driving aspect, let's first have a look at all the exterior design and styling changes made on the new Altroz i-Turbo. There aren't many. The i-Turbo version of the Tata Altroz looks exactly the same with almost no changes being made. It comes with the same features and equipment on the outside.

Tata Altroz i-Turbo Petrol Review (First Drive): Performance, Handling, Specs, Features, Variants & Other Details

The only way one can differentiate the new turbocharged petrol-powered variant from the standard is the addition of the ‘i-TURBO' badging on the bottom right side of the boot-lid. Tata Motors has also introduced a new paint scheme on the new variant, called ‘Harbour Blue', which does really suit the styling of the premium hatchback.

Tata Altroz i-Turbo Petrol Review (First Drive): Performance, Handling, Specs, Features, Variants & Other Details

Apart from the above-mentioned changes though, the Tata Altroz i-Turbo continues to carry forward the same styling and design elements. To reiterate, the new Tata Altroz i-Turbo continues to feature the brand's latest ‘Impact 2.0' design philosophy.

The front of the premium hatchback features a long sweptback headlamp with projector units. The fog lamps with the integrated LED Daytime Running Lights (DRLs) are positioned below it on the upper part of the bumper, while the central part features a large air intake.

Tata Altroz i-Turbo Petrol Review (First Drive): Performance, Handling, Specs, Features, Variants & Other Details

The sides and rear profile of the Tata Altroz i-Turbo also continue to have the same design elements, without any changes. This includes the same set of 16-inch dual-tone alloy wheels, blacked-out ORVMs, slightly upswept window line ending at the rear door handle, positioned at the c-pillar. The doors themselves continue to open a full 90-degree, allowing easier ingress and egress for passengers.

Tata Altroz i-Turbo Petrol Review (First Drive): Performance, Handling, Specs, Features, Variants & Other Details

The rear design features the sleek tail lights at either end with black highlights between them. The centre part of the boot also features the ‘ALTROZ' badging finished in chrome. The rear profile also features a small roof-mounted spoiler with an LED strip, adding to the sportiness of the hatchback.

The Tata Altroz has always been a good-looking and stylish premium hatchback offering in the Indian market. The i-Turbo continues the same design, with little to no changes apart from the new badging and Harbour Blue paint scheme.

Tata Altroz i-Turbo Petrol Review (First Drive): Performance, Handling, Specs, Features, Variants & Other Details

Interiors, Features & Practicality

Moving to the interiors, while the Altroz i-Turbo again continues to carry forward the same layout as before, with just a few changes. To start off, Tata Motors has introduced a new dual-tone black and light-grey themed cabin.

The dashboard on the Altroz i-Turbo features the same layout as before, but now comes finished in soft-touch materials all around. This along with the new leatherette seat upholstery adds a sense of premium and sportiness inside. The Tata Altroz i-Turbo also comes with ambient lighting all around, further adding to the overall premium feel on the hatchback.

Tata Altroz i-Turbo Petrol Review (First Drive): Performance, Handling, Specs, Features, Variants & Other Details

Tata Motors has also introduced the Altroz i-Turbo with ‘Xpress Cool' - a feature which claims to be capable of cooling down the cabin up to 70 per cent faster than before. Another change is the addition of two tweeters on the music system, which enhances the overall audio quality inside the cabin.

The top-spec variants of the Tata Altroz i-Turbo also come with a wearable key. This watch-like key once connected to the Altroz can be used to lock/unlock the hatchback when close to the door handle.

Tata Altroz i-Turbo Petrol Review (First Drive): Performance, Handling, Specs, Features, Variants & Other Details

However, the most important addition to the interiors of the new Tata Altroz i-Turbo is the introduction of the connected features via the brand's new iRA technology.

The new technology on the Altroz i-Turbo can be connected to a smartphone via a dedicated app, called ‘ConnectNext'. This allows customers a number of additional functionalities such as remote lock/unlock, remote horn and distance-to-empty check; among others.

The iRA technology offers other features such as vehicle security status, live vehicle diagnostics and other location-based services as well. The 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system on the Altroz i-Turbo also comes with voice assistance, capable of understanding over 70 commands in English, Hindi and even Hinglish.

Tata Motors has also introduced the Altroz i-Turbo with a new ‘What-3-words' feature, which helps find destinations easier, along with navigation function.

Tata Altroz i-Turbo Petrol Review (First Drive): Performance, Handling, Specs, Features, Variants & Other Details

Along with all the above, the Tata Altroz i-Turbo continues to also feature all other equipment from the standard model as well. This includes automatic climate control, semi-digital instrument cluster, rear AC vents, flat-bottom steering wheel with mounted controls and many others.

Tata Altroz i-Turbo Petrol Review (First Drive): Performance, Handling, Specs, Features, Variants & Other Details

Apart from the host of new features and equipment on the Tata Altroz i-Turbo, everything else remains unchanged. The Altroz continues to offer good amount of space for both the front and rear passengers. The front seats come with good thigh and lumbar support, offering a relaxed and comfortable driving position.

The Altroz is a wide car (measures 1755mm in width), which translates to plenty of space. However, taller passengers at the back will struggle a bit with headroom and legroom. The rear seats are most comfortable for two people with the central foldable armrest, further enhancing comfort for the rear passengers.

Tata Altroz i-Turbo Petrol Review (First Drive): Performance, Handling, Specs, Features, Variants & Other Details

In terms of practicality, the Altroz i-Turbo is identical in this aspect, offering the same amount of storage space as before. This includes a 15-litre cooled glovebox at the front, cubby spaces on all four doors and plenty of other cup holders and storage areas near the centre console as well.

The Tata Altroz i-Turbo also features the 345-litre boot space as before and continues to miss out on the split rear seats. However, like before, the rear seats do fold down completely offering extended luggage space whenever necessary.

Tata Altroz i-Turbo Petrol Review (First Drive): Performance, Handling, Specs, Features, Variants & Other Details

Engine Performance

Coming to the heart of the matter, the new Tata Altroz i-Turbo now comes powered by a 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine. This is the same engine which also powers the Nexon, however, Tata Motors has de-tuned it for the Altroz.

The 1.2-litre three-cylinder turbo-petrol engine on the Altroz i-Turbo produces 108bhp at 5500rpm and 140Nm of peak torque between 1500 - 5500rpm. It comes mated to a standard five-speed manual gearbox.

Tata Altroz i-Turbo Petrol Review (First Drive): Performance, Handling, Specs, Features, Variants & Other Details

The turbocharged petrol engine immediately feels more peppy and sporty than before. The engine offers a good amount of power from the start, pulling the hatchback cleanly with very little turbo-lag.

The Altroz i-Turbo features two driving modes: City and Sport. While the City mode offers a more linear power delivery, the Sport mode immediately feels noticeably different. The Sport mode offers a sharper throttle response, with Tata Motors claiming 20 to 30 per cent more torque delivery in sport mode.

Tata Altroz i-Turbo Petrol Diesel
Displacement 1199cc 1199cc 1497cc
Power 108bhp 84bhp 88bhp
Torque 140Nm 113Nm 200Nm
Transmission 5MT 5MT 5MT
Tata Altroz i-Turbo Petrol Review (First Drive): Performance, Handling, Specs, Features, Variants & Other Details

Suspension & Handling

Tata Motors also stated that they have made slight updates to the steering and suspension setup on the Altroz i-Turbo. However, there isn't any noticeable difference, the Altroz has always been a good handling car, with the new i-Turbo model continuing to offer the same.

Suspension and braking on the new Tata Altroz i-Turbo are good as well. The suspension setup manages to easily soak up all the undulations, potholes and speed breakers. While braking on the i-Turbo is sharp and has a good bite, allowing the hatchback to come to a stop quickly.

Tata Altroz i-Turbo Petrol Review (First Drive): Performance, Handling, Specs, Features, Variants & Other Details

Variants, Colours & Pricing

The Tata Altroz i-Turbo model will be available only on the higher-spec variants: XT, XZ and XZ+. All three variants of the i-Turbo, will also be offered in a range of colour choices, including the new ‘Harbour Blue' paint scheme. This includes High-Street Gold, Downtown Red, Midtown Grey and Avenue White.

Tata Altroz i-Turbo Petrol Review (First Drive): Performance, Handling, Specs, Features, Variants & Other Details

The standard Tata Altroz premium hatchback is offered in India with a price range between Rs 5.44 lakh and Rs 9.09 lakh.

While prices for the new Altroz i-Turbo variants are yet to be announced, we expect them to be at a slight premium, crossing even the Rs 10 lakh point. All prices are ex-showroom (Delhi). Tata Motors will officially announce the price of the Altroz i-Turbo model on the 22nd of January 2021.

Tata Altroz i-Turbo Petrol Review (First Drive): Performance, Handling, Specs, Features, Variants & Other Details

Competition & Fact Check!

The Tata Altroz i-Turbo model goes up against the likes of the new Hyundai i20 and the Volkswagen Polo GT TSI, both of which also offer turbocharged petrol engines.

Other rivals in the premium hatchback segment also include the Maruti Suzuki Baleno and the Toyota Glanza, which go up against the Altroz's standard variants.

Tata Altroz i-Turbo Petrol Review (First Drive): Performance, Handling, Specs, Features, Variants & Other Details

Face Check!

Specification Tata Altroz i-Turbo Hyundai i20 Turbo VW Polo GT TSI
Displacement 1199cc 998cc 998cc
Power 108bhp 118bhp 108bhp
Torque 140Nm 172Nm 175Nm
Transmission 5MT 6iMT / 7DCT 6AT
Starting Price (Ex-Showroom) NA ₹8.80 Lakh ₹9.67 Lakh
Tata Altroz i-Turbo Petrol Review (First Drive): Performance, Handling, Specs, Features, Variants & Other Details

DriveSpark Thinks!

The new Tata Altroz i-Turbo was known to be a comfortable, stylish and premium offering in the Indian market. Now, with the addition of the i-Turbo model, the Altroz has added a bit of sportiness to its character as well.

The powerful engine with the five-speed manual gearbox definitely makes for an excellent drive. This combined with the Altroz 5-Star Global NCAP safety rating, definitely makes it an extremely attractive model. It now comes down to the pricing of the Altroz i-Turbo in the Indian market, which is expected to be announced in the coming days.

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Read more on: #review #tata motors
Article Published On: Wednesday, January 20, 2021, 10:01 [IST]
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