A year back, Tata Motors wasn’t a name that people used to feel proud or confident about. Dwindling sales, old portfolio, boring models and an infamous after-sales and service network – everything for the Indian automaker was going downhill. However, year 2016 has seen the brand undergoing a turnaround for the good; all thanks to the company’s all-new hatchback: the Tata Tiago!
But when we talk about hatchbacks in the Indian market, there is one automaker that stands out to be the biggest player – Maruti Suzuki. As a result, when the Tiago was being developed, Tata knew that they would eventually need to compete against a Maruti hatchback. Now here’s where it all gets interesting.
Since the Tiago has a 1.2-litre engine, it should ideally compete against the likes of the Maruti Swift. However, being a three-cylinder unit, the Tiago’s engine has helped Tata to place it at a lot more aggressive price tag. As a result, with respect to on-road price, the Tiago falls in the territory of the Maruti Suzuki Celerio, which is essentially a 1.0-litre hatch. But it isn’t just about the engine capacity!
Here are 3 areas where the Tata Tiago manages to overpower the Maruti Celerio with a huge margin!
Looks, Design and Appeal
There is simply no doubt about the fact that the Celerio is a bland looking car. The front fascia gets a boxy pair of headlights that is joined with a chrome lined grille. The hood doesn’t get any contours, while the bumper too appears to be just a piece of plastic. The same story is repeated at the side profile as well as rear of the car. The absence of any free-flowing character lines makes the Celerio look boring, and a lot older than it actually is.
On the other hand, the Tiago brings a wind of fresh air to the segment. It has a design that will appeal to all and offend none. The front gets a smiling face that includes a glossy black front grille with an intelligently designed pattern that brings the face in perspective. The swept-back headlamps are beautifully designed and jut out from the body-line a bit to give an added detail. A strong and prominent shoulder line travels from the headlamps, through the side doors and ends in the tailgate to give the car an integrated profile. It thus looks a lot contemporary, especially when parked side-by-side the Maruti Celerio.
Interior quality, fit and finish
The Maruti Celerio has an average cabin. The dashboard gets a dual tone layout, there is a 2-DIN music system on offer and the seats are high enough to suit a diverse range of heights. However, the lack of any soft touch plastic makes the ambience look a bit bland. Then there are a few parts sharing elements as well, including the power window switches, steering wheel and gear lever. The dashboard plastics are hard, while the glove box too isn’t that well-built either.
Get inside the Tata Tiago and the Celerio suddenly starts feeling a lot worse than it actually felt in the first place. The interior quality, fit and finish are unprecedented in this segment, and can even beat a few cars from a couple of segments above. Then there are some tasteful bits added, like the side AC vents that are inspired from those found in Jaguar luxury sedans. Moreover, the fact that the Tiago is a completely fresh car which doesn’t really share major components with other Tata cars makes the cabin look a bit more refreshing.
Features on Offer
The Tiago scores big on this one! It comes with many features that the Celerio doesn’t. In fact, the Tiago is clearly more feature granting on every trim level. The car’s second-highest trim, the XT, is more well-equipped than the Celerio’s range-topping ZXi. Following are a few features where the Tiago scores over the Celerio:
- The amazing Harman-Kardon music system
- Rear parking sensors
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Cooled glove box
Moreover, there is a safety pack on offer with every trim level that offers dual airbags and ABS. However, this optional variant is currently hard to get due to huge delivery backlog.
All-in-all, the Tiago beats the Celerio in all major segments. The only thing going in the favour of the Celerio is Maruti’s trusted brand name and the presence of the AMT gearbox. Well, Tata is surely going to attack the latter with the launch of the new Tata Tiago AMT in May this year. We hope Tata somehow also manages to find a sweet spot in the customer’s heart, something that Maruti has successfully achieved in the Indian market.