The Tata Indigo eCS pioneered the sub-four-metre compact saloon segment here and proved to be quite successful during its initial run. But given the stiff competition from Maruti with its hugely popular Dzire, then Honda with the Amaze and more recently, Mahindra & Mahindra with the Verito Vibe, Tata Motors has rolled out the refreshed eCS.
At first glance, you will notice that the styling changes now make the car look more contemporary than before. Up front, the new grille has a healthy splash of chrome in the centre, just like the Amaze. The headlamps get blackened insets that give a smoked effect, the bumper gets minor tweaks and the fog lamp inserts are reshaped with chrome surrounds on higher variants. Also, on the higher trim, you get 14-inch alloy wheels with an all-new design similar to that of the Jaguar XF 2.2. At the rear, the car’s styling largely remains the same, other than the chrome strip above the license plate.
On the inside, the major changes include an all-new octagon- shaped instrument panel and a dual-tone treatment to the cabin with the lighter beige shade used for the seats, door panel inserts and the centre console. The ‘T’-shaped steering wheel has now been replaced by a more conventional-looking four-spoke design which is also quite comfortable to hold, thanks to its slightly softer feel and large size. Also, features such as auto-down driver’s window, rear parking sensors (in the top two trim levels), a cooled glovebox, bottle holders on the front doors and a better music system with Bluetooth connectivity find their way on the facelifted car.
On the move, the reworked dampers at the front and rear definitely help improve the ride quality with the car soaking up medium-sized potholes with ease. The new cable linkage on the gearbox has made the gearshifts almost effortless but they lack a positive click when ushered into their slots. That said, the shift quality is no doubt a considerable improvement over the previous ’box. Also, the diesel car’s clutch feels very light, quite like that of a petrol car.
The engine delivers its power in a slightly peaky manner with power coming in only after 1800rpm. On our short drive, we could notice that the improved sound-deadening materials have helped reduce cabin noise by a small amount with the engine feeling further away from driver and reducing overall NVH levels. Over a slushy surface, the brakes felt adequate with the ABS doing its job well to prevent the car from slipping.
Overall, the facelifted Indigo eCS comes with more than just cosmetic changes, and tweaks to the gearbox and suspension have considerably improved the way it drives. While Tata Motors has not revealed the pricing yet, we expect the company to keep the car competitively priced.
Type 1396cc, common rail DOHC
Power 69bhp at 4000rpm
Torque 14.27kgm at 1800-3000rpm
Wheel base 2450mm
Ground clearance 165mm