2013 Tata Indigo eCS CR4 India road test

Rishaad Mody  /
22 Nov 2013 16:14:54 IST

Tata has refreshed the Indigo eCS for 2013 and claims to have have worked on almost all aspects of the car except the engine. Exterior visual changes are subtle but noticeable with the new chrome grille, smoked headlamps and a restyled bumper. Along the side profile you'll notice smart new 14-inch alloy wheels while the only change at the rear comprises a new chrome strip over the license plate.

The Indigo eCS now has a new grille and smoked headlamps

The interiors see a few changes as well, the biggest of which is the smart new dual tone colour scheme that uses a combination of black and beige while the centre console gets a silver finish. The door trim, seats, a pillar and roof are all finished in beige. Tata has also dropped the old 'T-shaped' steering wheel in favour of a four spoke unit. The door pockets also have bottle holders.

The interiors of the eCS are now dual toneThe interiors of the eCS are now dual tone

Tata offers two diesel engines with the eCS and we have the higher spec 16 valve DOHC common rail CR4 diesel. It produces the same power as before with 70PS that matches the TDI engine that's also on offer. Torque, while also unchanged at 140Nm@1800-3000rpm, is 5Nm higher than the 135Nm you get from the TDI engine. THE CR4 also produces peak power and torque lower in the rev range than the TDI. What Tata has done is improve the NVH levels slightly and the engine doesn't feel too vibey from the inside and sound levels are at reasonable levels too. Tata claims to have worked on the gearbox as well and it offers very light shifts but the slotting action isn't as precise as we would have liked. Positively, the clutch action is among the lightest we have experienced on a Tata diesel car. The engine seems to deliver reasonable torque and offers good drivability from above 1300rpm. Though not fast, the Indigo eCS CR4 feels adept in most driving situations.

The meters have also been changed but still don't look fresh enoughThe meters have also been changed but still don't look fresh enough

The Indigo eCS CR4 is available with ABSThe Indigo eCS CR4 is available with ABS

The music system now supports BluetoothThe music system now supports Bluetooth

Changes to the MacPherson strut front suspension and independent rears have resulted in an improved ride quality, especially at low speeds with a nice supple feel and very little noise through the suspension even when driven through sizeable potholes. Steering feel is vague around the centre but the car nevertheless feels more comfortable than before. On the other hand the brakes feel spongy and there's quite a bit of travel in the pedal before you get retarding force.

The 14-inch alloy wheel design is also newThe 14-inch alloy wheel design is also new

Overall the Indigo eCS continues to be an extremely affordable compact sedan. The top end version at Rs 6.25 lakh ex Mumbai is a good 2-lakh rupees cheaper than the equivalent top end Honda Amaze i-DTEC. The sedan gets features like ABS and rear parking sensors while the new audio system supports Bluetooth for your mobile phones and the glove box is now cooled. However, there's no hiding the fact that it still looks and feels built to a price and the design is quite dated. This is reflected in the quality of interior plastics and weak, creaky feel in most of the movable items like the door locks, seat slider adjust and glove box. The sober exterior design that's getting quite long in the tooth doesn't help matters either. Overall the eCS has seen a small evolution and it offers great affordability but no desirability.

[Honda Amaze diesel vs Maruti Dzire diesel]

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