The Vista has been around for five years now and since its launch, the second generation Indica has been constantly updated, this time around Tata engineers have given the Vista the 90PS Quadrajet from the Manza and even added a lot more comfort features. This isn't the first 90PS variant Vista though, the Vista Safire90 petrol was available for a few years until Tata decided to discontinue the variant. We drove the Vista D90 in Pune to find out if this is the most improved Vista yet.
In terms of styling, one cannot make out the difference from the regular Vista but look closer and one will notice the black contrast roof (seen before in the Vista 10th anniversary edition). Apart from the roof and D90 badging, the car looks exactly identical to the regular Vista VX. However in keeping the performance theme, one can opt for optional exterior accessories such as the front and rear add-on styling kit and side skirts. The list doesn't end there, a roof mounted rear spoiler is also available. These add-ons make this the sportiest Indica so far. Inside, the most noticeable change is the incorporation of the Manza dashboard. The centre mounted instrument cluster then makes way for a driver aligned unit and the car gets the same unique tachometer needle that turns red near redline. There's also a fully automatic air-con as well as a new touch screen stereo with integrated voice assisted GPS and Bluetooth connectivity in the top-end ZX+ variant. Interior fit and finish has improved as well.
The biggest change to the car is the engine, the car borrows the Tata Manza's Quadrajet unit that puts out 90PS of max power at 4000rpm and a healthy 200Nm of max torque. This makes it one of the most powerful diesel hatchbacks available in the country today. The raise in power is thanks to the use of a VGT (Variable Geometry Turbocharger). The engine is smooth and refined Tata engineers claim the car has a flat torque curve for a wide rev range. On the road the car definitely feels more powerful but there is still noticeable turbo lag up to 2000rpm. In town and while overtaking, one needs to change gears quite often. Mid range and top-end performance is impressive, the car easily climbs speeds and even managed to cross 140kmph effortlessly. The gearshifts however still needs improvement, the throws are quite long and the shifts feel rubbery and vague. In terms of efficiency, the car returns 21.1kmpl (about 2km less than the Quadrajet75). The car even features a bigger 44-litre fuel tank compared to the regular Vista that offers a smaller 37-litre unit.
NVH levels have been claimed to be improved as well mainly due to the sound deadening materials used. However, there is still quite a bit of engine noise seeping into the cabin especially at higher revs. In terms of handling, the car feels similar to all other Vistas though there are a few tweaks being made to the suspension. The ride is impressive while handling though not very involving feels good enough for normal driving.
Priced at Rs 5.99 lakh ex-Delhi, the D90 is Rs 15,000 more expensive than the equivalent Quadrajet75 variant. At this price, the Vista D90 makes for an affordable powerful car than the others in its segment including the Punto 90Sport (Rs 7.37 lakh) and Hyundai i20 CRDi (Rs 6.01 lakh)