Tata Bolt Facelift Review & First Drive


Tata Bolt Overview

The Bolt is the second car from Tata Motors under HorizoNext, which will be launched not only to offer more value in the hatchback segment, but also to move away from the ‘taxi image’ created by its predecessor. The Zest is already doing great in the passenger car market and the hatchback is further expected to boost its image.

The one thing common to all Tata hatchbacks is that they offer great value and the Bolt was not expected to be any different. The first drive in Udaipur then was also to find out if it is different enough to move away from the baggage that comes with the Indica badge.

Tata Bolt Exterior & Style

Freshly baked with lots of newness is how I like describing this bolt new hatchback. This time around, designers from India, UK and Italy contributed together to make the Bolt have an international appeal. Must say they did a great job. The lines on the Bolt flow with great unity as nothing looks out of sync.

Smoky finish and more detailing in headlights are the differentiating factors. A wide radiator grille connects the large wraparound headlamps. This look will be a signature look for all the upcoming sedans and SUVs. The next generation Storme along with Nexon SUV will also sport similar lines giving it a family look with a premium appeal. Unlike the Zest, the Bolt does not get DRLs on the front bumper. It gets chrome bezels around the fog lights.

Gets interesting bulges on the bonnet showing a muscular character, a blackened roof would have made the Bolt look a whole lot different. The silhouette cannot make you mistake this for any car but the Vista, which I chose to overlook. Tata Motors have also joined in the brigade of blackening the C-Pillar giving it a floating roof design. They achieved this with a special vinyl tape sourced from 3M with unique pattern inked on it.

Look at the rear…Just look at it! Strip off the logo and it is hard to believe that this car comes from an Indian manufacturer. A sporty roof spoiler is an extension to the floating roof. Flame shaped tail lamps break the cliché pattern of squares, circles and rectangles. If you find them attractive in images, you will find them way more attractive in real. The rear design alone scores amazingly in terms of new design. No exaggeration, it reminded me of the earlier generation Cooper.

Tata Bolt Interior & Space

Another thing that Tata has made a bigger effort is the interiors. The Tata Bolt gets the best yet dashboard, both in terms of design and build quality, from the company. It is the same as the Zest and you would not believe this is a Tata unless you already know. The interiors get a full black treatment, adding to the sporty effect the company is going for, with chrome highlight and surrounds.

The dashboard is driver oriented and the center console is neatly laid both in form and function. The highlight of the center console is the Harman touch screen infotainment system that comes with features like video playback from SD card, aux and USB support, smart phone based navigation system, Bluetooth connectivity, voice recognition, in-built HVAC controls, and smart phone integration. We just thought that the space left empty between the AC controls can be put to better use. The new steering wheel is compact and gets mounted controls for telephone and audio. The twin pod instrument cluster gets a chrome surround with the multi information display in the middle showing all the necessary information.

Space is a luxury that we enjoyed in the Vista and the same goes for the Bolt too. The front seats offer amazing comfort and support for the shoulders and thighs. The soft material on the door pads where we tend to rest our right arm feels great. The absence of a dead pedal though does bother you, especially on the beautiful, empty highways of Udaipur. In the rear, you get better headroom than the Zest and the seats offer adequate thigh support and leg room. Coming to the storage space, you get a big glove box, rather slim door pockets where you can’t fit more than a 500ml water bottle and a cup holder near the gear lever. The boot space should be enough to carry your weekend luggage. The visible suspension bit in the boot is an eyesore.

Tata Bolt Engine & Gearbox

Driving the petrol version of the Bolt in Udaipur, powered by their new 1.2-litre turbocharged Revotron engine. The car has the segment best power figures of 89bhp and 140Nm of torque, along with the innovative power modes that can be changed for performance and efficiency. The Bolt shares its drivetrain with the Zest compact sedan, however, the gearing is shorter for spirited driving. The five-speed gearbox is slick and with the short throws feels like made for enthusiastic driving.

The three power modes – City, Eco and Sport, alter the engine performance as required. By default, the car is always in City mode with a balance of power and efficiency, in Eco mode the performance is noticeably dull for efficiency and shows its full potential only in the Sport mode. It plays with the performance by changing the fuel supply to the engine via the ECU.The car feels reluctant to get off the line in Eco and City mode; both Rohan and I stalled the car couple of times. Things are a lot better in Sport mode though and I would actually advise switching to this for bumper to bumper traffic. The turbo spools at around 1,800rpm and the power delivery is very linear.

The biggest advantage of this engine is the class leading torque figure and there is no need to down a gear for quick overtake. It has ample bottom end grunt for a petrol hatchback, which is good enough to get out of a sticky situation. We barely managed 100kph on our short drive, but getting there didn’t require much effort. The safety aspect has not been ignored and the Bolt gets two airbags, ABS-EBD and CSC (Corner Stability Control) at least with the top-end XT variant. To know more details on Tata Bolt visit Oprst

The on-board computer suggested we got 15kpl through our 80km test run, decent figures for a car with shorter gear ratios. The Bolt will also be available with the 1.3-litre multijet diesel engine delivering 75bhp and 190Nm of torque – it is the same engine and configuration that powers the Tata Vista, Suzuki Swift and a couple of other cars in the segment.Tata is not offering the AMT transmission from the Zest with the diesel hatchback at this moment but we are hoping it will be part of the range soon, as the first diesel AT hatchback in the segment.

Tata Bolt Ride & Handling

Considering that Tata is promoting the Bolt as an enthusiast’s car, it’s only normal that the suspension is going to be stiffened up. Tata Bolt does get a stiffer suspension setup but not overly so with independent McPherson struts with anti-roll to the front and semi independent twist beam with coil spring to the rear. The front suspension gets dual paths to offer better ride quality and the rear has also been modified to support it. The Bolt felt stable in straight lines and confident around the curves. The steering wheel offered ample feedback but more grip could have improved things too.

Tata Bolt Safety & Security

The braking system with front brakes being solid discs and rear being drums are a standard throughout the 8 available trims. The safety features include two front airbags, ABS with EBD, engine immobilizer, and auto door lock system. The availability of air bags, ABS and other safety features differ as per the trim levels.

Tata Bolt Price in Chennai

Tata Bolt On Road Price is 5,79,605/- and Ex-showroom Price is 4,94,578/- in Chennai. Tata Bolt comes in 5 colours, namely Venetian Red,Platinum Silver,Sky Grey,Pristine White,Dune Beige. Tata Bolt comes with FWD with 1193 CC Displacement and 4 Cylinders with Maximum Power 89 bhp@5000 rpm and Peak Torque 140 Nm@1500-4000 rpm DRIVE TRAIN FWD and reaches 100 KMPH at N/A . Tata Bolt comes with Manual Transmission with FWD .Check for Tata Bolt price in Chennai at Tryaldrive.

Tata Bolt Final Word

The Bolt ticks all the right boxes in terms on performance, space and features. It is in line with Tata’s biggest USP – cabin space, the hatchback in terms of cabin space is bigger than all the competitors. The performance of the new turbocharged petrol engine is also better than the rivals; it is a segment first and even takes the refinement to the next level. Tata may not have matched Hyundai on the features list by numbers, but things like Sat Nav interface and projector headlamps are actually more useful to have.

Most important thing that Tata has done is move away from the Indica badge. The new car will consciously be kept away from the fleet market, assuring the customers that the brand will never be tagged as a ‘taxi’. The only thing that still works against the Bolt, is the silhouette and front of the Indica. However, even that is heavily altered and should not be considered a big hurdle in giving it a chance.

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