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Tata Tigor CNG Automatic Review: India’s First Sedan Melding Eco-Friendly Innovation with Seamless Performance

The Tata Tigor, an Indian subcompact sedan, was launched in 2017 and has since evolved into its first-generation facelift variant in 2024, which we are reviewing today. This top model, the XZA+, is available in both petrol and CNG versions, with prices starting from ₹6.30 lakh and going up to ₹9.54 lakh for the top-end model. An electric version is also available, starting at ₹12.49 lakh. Tata Motors claims this to be India’s first automatic CNG sedan, with the automatic CNG Tigor starting at ₹8.84 lakh.

The Tigor can be started directly in CNG mode and is assembled in Sanand. It replaced the Tata Zest and has been a successful model for Tata Motors, selling over 1.3 lakh CNG cars in two years. The company offers a 3-year/1 lakh km warranty on the Tigor, and there’s currently a ₹20,000 offer on this model.

This sedan can automatically switch between petrol and CNG. It features twin cylinder iCNG tanks and a single advanced ECU for jerk-free shifting between petrol and CNG modes. The car boasts chrome-ringed fog lamps with LED DRLs, a tri-arrow motif front grille in chrome finish, and automatic 3D projector headlamps with ‘follow me home’ and approach lamps. Other features include rain-sensing wipers, electrically adjustable auto fold outside mirrors with LED turn indicators, and a badge commemorating Tata Motors’ milestone of selling 50 lakh cars.

The Tigor has a length of 4 meters, a width of 1.7 meters, a height of 1.5 meters, a ground clearance of 165 mm, and a kerb weight of 1150 kg. It comes with 14-inch hyperstyle steel wheels (15-inch alloy wheels for the petrol model), disc brakes at the front and drum brakes at the rear, and 175/65 R14 86T Apollo Amazer XP tires. The model reviewed here is in a meteor bronze color, with white, red, grey, and blue as other color options. It has tinted glass on the windows and tailgate.

Built on Tata’s X1 platform, which also underpins the Tiago and Nexon, this front-wheel-drive sedan comes with a 15-inch steel spare wheel, crystal-inspired LED tail lamps, a rear defogger, a high-mounted LED stop lamp, and similar petrol engine performance and comfort. The suspension system includes an independent McPherson strut with coil spring and lower wishbone at the front, and a semi-independent, closed-profile twist beam suspension at the rear.

For safety, the Tigor has received 4 stars out of 5 from Global NCAP. It features an energy-absorbing body structure, two airbags, ABS, EBD, corner stability control, ISOFIX child seat mounting, an engine immobilizer, seat belt reminder, rear parking sensor, speed-dependent auto door locks, rear camera, tyre pressure monitoring system, central locking, keyless entry, and 3-point seatbelts with pretensioners and load limiters for the front seats.

The car offers a variety of accessories, including seat covers, door visor, armrest, spoiler, chrome garnish, and many more. It has a boot space of approximately 200 liters (419 liters in the petrol model) and twin CNG cylinders with a capacity of 70 liters, placed beneath the luggage area. The Tigor is equipped with an 8-speaker Harman surround sound system, beige Benecke Kaliko leatherette upholstery (with a grey fabric option), theatre dimming interior lamps, body-colored coordinated AC vents, a fire extinguisher under the passenger seat, and a driver-side one-shot down power window.

The driver’s seat is height adjustable, and the steering is tilt-adjustable. The fuel lid opens with an automatic car shut-off feature and a special nozzle for quick and safe refueling. Transmission options include a 5-speed AMT automatic and a 5-speed manual. The car features fully automatic temperature control AC, a 7-inch Harman touchscreen infotainment system supporting various connectivity options such as USB, Bluetooth, FM, radio, audio streaming, phone book access, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, ConnectNext App Suite, and a smaller 3.5-inch infotainment system in lower models.

The Tigor also has a cooled glovebox with tablet storage, a day-night rear-view mirror, a leather-wrapped power steering wheel with controls for phone, volume, and infotainment, and a fully digital instrument cluster displaying a digital clock, gear shift indicator, trip meter, average, range, and various warning lights.

Finally, the engine is a 1199 cc, Inline 3-cylinder Revotron petrol engine, offering 84 horsepower and 113 Nm torque in petrol mode, and 72 horsepower and 95 Nm torque in CNG mode. The fuel efficiency is 28 km/kg in CNG & 19 kmpl in petrol with a 35-liter petrol tank and a 70-liter CNG tank.

Drive review-

The Tata Tigor CNG Automatic positions itself as a noteworthy entrant in India’s automotive market, being the first sedan available in a CNG variant. This introduction is particularly beneficial for those leaning towards CNG for its cost-effectiveness and environmental friendliness.

In terms of performance and driveability, the Tigor maintains a close parity between its CNG (72 horsepower) and petrol (84 horsepower) versions, ensuring a consistent driving experience on both fuels. The vehicle benefits from a finely tuned calibration, enhancing its performance regardless of the fuel type.

One of the Tigor’s key features is its advanced ECU, which facilitates a smooth transition between CNG and petrol modes. This not only improves fuel efficiency but also includes an auto switch feature that automatically changes to petrol mode when CNG levels drop. However, refueling can be a bit of a hassle due to the typically long queues at CNG stations. To mitigate the environmental impact, Tata has equipped the Tigor with a modular fuel filter, which is more eco-friendly as it only requires cartridge changes rather than full filter replacements.

The transmission quality in the Tigor is quite smooth, closely resembling that of a petrol AMT. Nevertheless, drivers might notice a slight delay in gear shifting during rapid acceleration. Stability and control at high speeds are impressive, and the suspension has been retuned for better comfort across various terrains. Its compact sedan size offers ease of maneuverability in city conditions and tight spaces.

Design-wise, the Tigor stands out with its attractive styling, featuring a coupe-like design at the back that sets it apart from typical sedans. The interior quality is robust, with features like rain-sensing wipers, auto headlamps, and a cooled glovebox adding to the car’s appeal. However, the infotainment system does feel a bit outdated compared to the newer Nexon models.

On the downside, road noise becomes noticeable at speeds above 80 kmph. While the Tigor comfortably accommodates four passengers, fitting a fifth person in the back seat might require some adjustments. Despite housing twin CNG cylinders, the boot space remains practically usable.

Safety in the Tigor is taken seriously, with features like a fire extinguisher and a gas leak detection system that automatically switches the car from CNG to petrol mode in case of a leak. In the event of thermal incidents, the car is designed to cut off CNG supply automatically from the engine and release gas to the atmosphere through a special nozzle, ensuring safety.

The Tigor CNG Automatic is a value-for-money offering, equipped with all the essential features one would expect. However, potential buyers should consider the variability in Tata’s after-sales service quality. The car is particularly suitable for city dwellers who commute daily, offering the convenience of an automatic transmission along with the cost-effectiveness and safety of a Tata vehicle. Its position as a budget-friendly family car is bolstered by its fuel efficiency and safety features.

In conclusion, the Tata Tigor CNG Automatic is a solid choice for those prioritizing fuel efficiency, safety, and affordability, especially in areas with good CNG availability. It strikes a fine balance between the practical needs of a daily commuter and the efficiency demands of a modern family car.

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