Production Models

Tata Manza 2017 Review

As the pioneering Indian car brand in the country, it's all part of its birthing pains to be the subject of jokes. Is it curry-powered? Can you get it 5-6? Be that as it may, with solid products like the Tata Manza, those jokes may soon disappear. This is a respectable little car that's worthy of your attention.

The Manza cannot be appreciated based on looks alone. At a glance, it looks like a collection of random angles, angles, and more angles. Yet, give each body panel a knock and you'll immediately feel the heavy gauge steel used. This is the stuff that luxury cars are made of.

Inside, the Manza feels equal parts utilitarian and equal parts retro. The dashboard, side trims, and seats all look hard-wearing and feel like they will last an eternity. And despite the layout, everything is easy to operate. The centrally-mounted gauges are large although minor instruments such as the clock will be blocked by the speedometer needle at speeds above 60 km/h.

With a compact footprint, the Manza is roomy. The seats offer exceptional support and getting in and out is easy thanks to the wide and tall doors. The unique shape also contributes to a large trunk. A nice surprise is that the trunk uses heavy-duty spring mechanisms to keep it up-something seen in German cars.

In terms of driving, the 1.3-liter Quadrajet 90 diesel engine pulls eagerly. There's good torque even from low down and it's surprisingly refined. The 5-speed manual that accompanies this engine also engages positively with a light clutch.

On the straightaways, it's stable and light. However on patchy roads, the suspension does send minor shimmers and shudders into the cabin. That said, a crossover-like ground clearance of 165 millimeters means it can take any sort of steep parking garage with ease.

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