Tata Altroz iTurbo – First Drive Report
- Published On: 23 January 2021
- 7 min read
On the eve of its first Anniversary, Tata Motors has given the Altroz a boost in the form of a turbo charged petrol engine. We drive it to find out how much of a thrill does it provide against its rivals.
How is it to look at?
Tata Altroz has been a good looker from the word go. In fact, even in its concept form the hatchback looked quite stunning and that is why the company decided to stick with this design. Speaking of the way the Altroz i-Turbo seems from the outside, there isn’t much to differentiate it from the normal hatch. The biggest change is the introduction of a new paint shade. The iTurbo now comes in a Harbor Blue paint job that further accentuates its overall appeal. Talking about the appeal, this car has attracted many buyers towards it by way of key design highlights that include a piano black finished grille, pulled back headlamps, large pair of fog lights, sporty bumper and a muscular hood. Onto to the side, the story line has not changed a wee bit. Thus what you find here are the same diamond cut alloy wheels as before and a black finish window beltline on either side that adds an element of premium feel to the vehicle alongside flared wheel arches.
Towards the rear, the tailgate too remains unchanged apart from the iTurbo badge that has been placed on it to differentiate it from the normal vehicle. Thus what you see here is an elegant looking rear profile which has been one of its strongest selling points according to me. The presence of sleek tail light clusters, an Altroz moniker running right across the face of the lid, and a sporty bumper really help in bringing out the best of the design from within.
What are its interiors like?
When you step inside the cabin, the Altroz iTurbo might seem like a familiar place to be in courtesy the layout that remains more or less the same as before. However having said this, there are a few updates like the dual tone interior that comes in a combination of black and off-white. The dashboard design is identical, as it stands to provide a sporty instrument cluster, leather wrapped steering wheel with mounted controls, a 17-inch touchscreen infotainment system that provides Apple CarPlay & Android Auto compatibility. Couple of upgrades within the system include ‘Local for Vocal’ which is basically related to the voice command function that not only accepts English language but Hindi and Hinglish as well. Plus now there is Doodle that helps personalize the wallpaper of your infotainment screen.
It also provides What3Words technology which basically aims to make navigation easier for the user. From an entertainment point of view, the hot hatch comes equipped with an Harman sound system that offers 8-speakers. One of the key highlights of the interior is the presence of perforated leatherette seats instead of the fabric seats that were being provided earlier. As a result, they feel well cushioned and provide great comfort to occupants upfront and towards the rear. The car also stands to offer Intelligent Real-Time Assist (IRA) connected car technology with remote access.
What is its performance and drive like?
The drastic change in Tata Altroz iTurbo comes in the form of its heart. Thus what you get here is a 1.2-litre 3-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine under the hood. This powerplant is capable of delivering a maximum power output of 108 bhp with 140 Nm of peak torque. Turn on the ignition and the engine comes to life with an instant grunt stating its pedigree. Put it through its pace, the 1199cc unit feels fairly responsive and refined both in the city and on the highway. It offers two driving modes namely City and Sport. In reference to the City Drive Mode – the power plant appears to be calm and willing to do its job as per the requirement of the user. However in the Sport Mode, the engine feels more alive and ready to pounce onto the tarmac thus providing more thrill than the other driving mode.
Coming to the transmission, this particular variant is only fitted with a manual gearbox which is a slight catch as competition does offer the automatic stick as an option. That aside, the manual transmission gels well with the engine to provide decent gear-shifts. Since performance is the key, its ride quality is fairly good given that the hot hatch can swallow broken roads and potholes with utter ease. As for its handling characteristics, well it does not disappoint either. With all these aspects put on the plate, personally I did feel that the car could have offered a bit more of a punch despite the Sports Mode. Though from a driving aspect it does impress, but the cherry on the cake could have been better power delivery.
Priced between the range of Rs 7.73 lakhs to 8.85 lakhs (ex-showroom), the Tata Altroz iTurbo stands to offer the thrill of driving given its 1.2-litre, 3 cylinder turbocharged petrol engine. An updated cabin with its premium upholstery and added features to the infotainment system provides the hot hatch the right kind of ammunition to take on the likes of Next-Gen Hyundai i20 Turbo, Volkswagen Polo GT and Maruti Baleno RS in its segment. Performance-wise also it keeps up with its competitors. However going by the pricing, this one seems to have an edge when it comes to the term ‘Value for Money’. Thus according to me with great looks, the Altroz i-Turbo is definitely going to make heads turn and result in prospective customers making a bee line to the nearest Tata Motors showroom to make that purchase.