Tata Motors isn’t a company that likes to rest on its past laurels. The company, which tasted hatchback success with the Indica in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s is keen to dominate the segment once again. And its new Bolt is squarely aiming its guns at class leaders. We’ve decided to take along the Hyundai Grand i10, which is the current top dog in the hatchback segment, along to see how good the new Tata Bolt really is.
For our test drive comparison, we chose the Hyundai Grand i10 1.2 Kappa and Tata Bolt Revotron 1.2!
Tata Bolt Exteriors vs Hyundai Grand i10 Exteriors
Ever since Tata has adopted the HorizoNext design philosophy, every new product they are coming up with, has a new flair attached to it. Be it the Tata Zest sedan or the newly launched Tata Bolt hatchback.
Tata Bolt is without doubt a big car and that is evident by the very first look at it. The car has a sporty stance from the front, though we were a bit disappointed from the rear look of the car, which is simply too plain. The stand-out features include first in segment blackened out headlamps with projector lights, a neatly done grille and a thick black C-Pillar. The rear is small as compared to the overall stance of the car including the rear tail-lamps.
On the other hand, the Hyundai Grand i10 looks more balanced from all the angles. The Fuidic design language that the company has been following for a while looks great on this car. The front resembles the Hyundai i10 and is dominated by a big trapezoidal grille. The rear end is as stylish as the front and gets a clear lens taillight cluster, neatly integrated in a modernistic bumper. The chrome inserts embedded on tailgate compliment the overall looks of the car.
Tata Bolt Interiors vs Hyundai Grand i10 Interiors
Tata Motors seems to have taken a leaf out of Hyundai’s book, and offers a ‘feel-good’ factor inside the cabin. Now this is one area where Tata Bolt excels from Hyundai Grand i10. The neatly laid out cabin comes with an all-black dash which makes the car look sporty and young. The exhaustive feature list includes the automatic climate control, along with GPS-enabled maps. The gauges needle go all the way north when you start up, adding to the visual drama. The seats offer generous cushioning, which is clearly better than the Grand’s.
The Hyundai Grand i10, on the other hand, offers features like rear AC vents, 1GB space on the music system and cooled glove box. The height adjustable driver seat and the push button start/stop functions are useful touches as well. The rear-seats are at par with the Bolt and the headroom is generous. The cabin comes in a dual tone of beige and black giving it a decent look. And yes, not to mention the automatically folding ORVMs.
Engine, Performance and Gearbox
On the engine front, the Bolt comes with a 1.3-litre diesel engine and a 1.2-litre Revotron petrol engine, which we drove during the test. The drive modes - City (which is the default mode), Economy and power toggles between the power output of the car. The maximum power is 90hp and you can instantly feel the surge as soon as you press the power mode. While the City mode is a mix of the other two modes, the economy mode helps you get the best mileage. The engine is refined and very responsive in nature, making it a good city as well as highway car. Though we experienced a bit of lag when in power mode, the engine didn't felt like loosing power or become noisy. The Bolt comes with a 5-speed manual gearbox which is light and accurate to operate.
The Hyundai i10 gets a 1.2-litre Kappa dual VTVT engine, a 1.1-litre U2 diesel engine and a 1.0-litre bi-fuel engine. For our test drive we drove the petrol engine which was as plush as it can get. Like the other Hyundai vehicles, the Grand i10 is extremely soft to drive, which is also the downside of the car. If you have that knack of pushing the car often, you will miss the fun element that Bolt offers. The engine is capable of producing 82 bhp of power and 114Nm of torque and comes mated with a 5-speed manual gearbox or a 4-speed automatic gearbox.
Ride and Handling
Tata cars are never known for soft rides, but the Bolt is an exception and it has a soft edge to its ride. It negotiates small bumps and speed breakers in the city very easily. But one can't compare it with the Hyundai's ride and you tend to feel nervous sometimes when going through traffic. Though, the Bolt is a mature highway car and can be taken to those long drives on weekends.
Of all the attributes of Hyundai cars, the ride quality can very well be the best in India. The McPherson Strut in front and coupled torsion beam axle at the rear makes it as smooth as it can get. The turning radius for the Grand i10 is only 4.8 meters, making it easy to drive in the city. However, the Grand does not feel as reassuring on the highway as the Bolt does.
Safety and Equipment
Tata offers ABS and two airbags as standard in the top-end model. The infotainment system comes with the GPS based navigation system along with a Bluetooth connectivity. The Bolt also gets a climate control on the top end version and alloy wheels as the standard kit. On the base variant, one gets power steering as well as the air conditioning as standard. All-in-all, the Tata Bolt is a well kitted package with all the necessary equipments on offer.
On the other hand, the Hyundai Grand i10 comes with equipments like the engine immobilizer, central locking system, day/night internal rear view mirror, keyless entry, a high mounted stop lamp, and front fog lamps. The top-end variants comes with keyless entry with smart key, and reverse parking sensors. On the safety front, it gets ABS and airbags for both the driver and the front co-passenger.
It is a very tough fight between the Hyundai Grand i10 and the challenger, Tata Bolt. While the Hyundai Grand i10 is a capable city car with adequate features and smooth ride, Tata Bolt manages to match up to the qualities of the Grand i10 pretty well. The Bolt comes with plush cabin and comfortable seats, with generous equipments. It also outweighs the Grand i10 in the styling front and looks much bigger and premium.
All-in-all, it comes to the personal preferences while choosing between the two. If you want a hassle free city experience, the Hyundai is for you and if like to drive on the highway often, go for the Tata.