I am not a car enthusiast, but I have been driving more than a decade now. I have driven primarily two cars Wagon R and Honda City. I did drive some rented cars in US and UK – most of which I do not remember except the one Red Renault that I crashed badly in UK more than 10 years back. I always wanted a Red Car, but after I crashed a red one I read some statistics of the insurance industry where they said the Red cars are ones that get hit the most and in some places even the insurance premium for them is higher than other cars. These two data points were enough to deter me from buying a red car, so I was very happy when I got the Red Vista D90 for 3 days to test drive. A wish fulfilled may be for a limited period only.
Incidentally, it was the first Tata car I ever drove, which is strange because living in India it is not very easy to miss out on Tata products that dominate almost all the fields that they exist in. This was also the first Diesel car that I consciously drove. In fact when I was talking to the Tata Motors representative, he kept saying ‘ M’am this is a Diesel Vehicle’ and I kept noting in my mind that I must figure out if that makes a difference to the driving pleasure. It was the first new car I drove in few years now, so it was fun driving it around the city though I drove it only to the extent I needed to, could not bring myself to burn the fuel just for the heck of it.
As an average, not crazy about cars driver, here are some of the features that stood out for me in Tata Vista D90:
The car is quite spacious from inside and back seat has been divided not 50:50 but 60:40, so that three persons can sit comfortably. This essentially means that the person sitting in the middle has a space of her own and does not have to sit on a partition. This works well also when you are travelling with lots of luggage and may need to fold the 60 part of the seat to accommodate the large bags.
The dashboard is very well designed and along with music system it looks sleek and trendy. It comes with many usable features like Bluetooth connectivity that allows you to pair up to five mobile devices with the music system. You can not only receive or make calls but also play music from your devices. Music controls are available on the steering wheel that makes it easy to play your own DJ when driving alone, with no need to fiddle around for the buttons. There is a mileage display along with time and temperature that I think is brilliant, as it can tell you at any point in time how efficient is your driving and hopefully helps you save the precious fuel.
The joystick like device to adjust the rear view mirrors is very easy to use and is placed in a very convenient way. There are two power-charging points one in the front dashboard and the other behind the rear right sea. This is a very small but a very thoughtful feature given the fact that we are such a gadget dependent generation.
The automatic rear wiper operation when you move to reverse gear and if front wipers are on, is another small improvement that can be very helpful during monsoons.
There are other design elements that you can see on the external body like triple barrel headlamps, lot of chrome in the front grill, double colored roof etc for those who like the exterior appeal as much as the interior one.
A few small things that have scope for improvement are – I like to have a clear space to keep a water bottle in the car and I could not fit one anywhere in the front panel or the door panels. I found gear shifting, especially from 1st to 2nd was not smooth, but this could be because the vehicle was too new and needs tuning during first servicing.
Thank you Tata Motors for giving me this opportunity to drive the yet to be launched vehicle, a first for me. Wish you all the best for the launch and the run of Tata Vista D90.