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The new Tata Altroz is going for the gold. Tata Motors hope their new premium hatchback spearhead has what it takes, but could it topple the segment altogether?

Tata Altroz

Spearheading is never an easy job, especially when the arena has some gladiators that with a take-no-prisoners attitude. The battle is intense between those vying for the pie yet, those who contribute to the pie do so with a clear head. The “premium compact hatchback” segment has many takers and has shown a consistent growth over the years. The discerning buyer knows what’s around and sees more value in a lot packaged in less than the other way around. This sort of buyer will get a top-of-the-line premium hatch rather than an entry sedan. This a view that Mayank Pareek, President of Tata Motors, also shares. In fact, following the drive, we had the opportunity to sit down and discuss all sorts of details with him, among which was also that these very buyers get down to distinguishing the 3.8-metre long cars from the 3.99-metre ones. The Altroz, then, is Tata’s first offering in this space.

Tata Altroz

Built on the new ALFA (Agile Lightweight Flexible Advanced) architecture, the Altroz certainly feels up to the mark. The platform is modular and will allow them to introduce more models of all sizes, with the freedom of increasing track width and wheelbase to suit model needs as well as the provision for electrification to fulfil future needs. That said, the new Altroz brings a design that is true to the concept with a jazzy silhouette and some outstanding design elements, including bold wraparound headlamps and a floating tail-lamp. The 45X Concept’s elements have truly transcended into the present production form and, thus, looks like few other cars on the road and certainly grabs eyeballs. The unique front-end, flowing side profile, flared wheel-arches with 195/55 rubber on 16-inch alloy wheels, blacked-out rear section with those chiselled tail-lamp clusters and the black roof, in this dual-tone XZ top-spec variant, all look thoroughly modern and should appeal to many.

Tata Altroz

The interior, too, has definitely had a sensible job for the most part. The quality of materials is good. The fit-and-finish of the panels and elements has seen a remarkable improvement. In the new Tata Altroz, the door panels are well-finished, the door pockets fit large bottles with easy access, the arm-rest is flat and ergonomic, the mirror controls are now within reach and the umbrella holder is also present and is easy to use. All ticks there. Good job! The flat-bottomed steering wheel is a nice touch and it has controls on either side for the multimedia and info-display controls. That information display behind it has a fully-digital left half with a full-colour tachometer and fuel capacity display, efficiency, remaining range, alerts, and even power and torque graphics, while the right is an analog speedo. Accompanying those displays is a 7.0-inch floating centre touchscreen from Harman. The Altroz also gets automatic headlamps, rain-sensing wipers, a reverse parking camera with guidelines, a 345-litre boot, and two unique aspects as a result of its platform: a flat floor and doors that open a full 90 degrees — the right angle to easy ingress and egress as well as ease of using a child-seat.

Tata Altroz

That said, safety has been a top priority for the Tata Altroz and it benefits from a slew of features built into the body and electronics assistants that are part of the standard kit. These include a crash-energy mitigating chassis construction with side intrusion beams in the doors. The car, which weighs in at just over a tonne, looks modern but feels solid, and planted, but we’ll get to that in a little bit. The brakes are backed by ABS with EBD and corner brake control for safer overall performance. Three-point seat-belts with load-limiters and a crash-locking tongue are employed for the four main seats with the middle rear seat making do with a two-point lap  belt. There are dual front airbags offered as standard, too.

More on page 2>

 

About the author: Jim Gorde

 

Automotive Correspondent at Bike India and Car India.
Believes that learning never stops. Loves V8 engines as much as a good breakfast.
t: @BikeIndia / @CarIndia

 

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