Tata Tigor EV first drive review

The Tata Tigor EV is the debutant in the passenger electric vehicle space and is the most affordable one in that space, at least for now. But the question is, how well does it really stack up against its rivals or can the Tigor EV be an ideal choice for smaller budget entrants?
 

Words by:- Harshit Srinivas
Photographs by: Tata Motors

Until now, you all must’ve heard about the Tigor EV in the commercial space. However, it’s the same EV, barring a few changes of course, but this time in a passenger vehicle space. And, since this one joins the EV portfolio of Tata Motors below the Nexon EV, it might be a tough contender to its own tribe. But, with its aggressive pricing, the Tigor EV strictly does go next to neck with the Nexon EV. Apart from this, there is a lot more going into the Tigor EV and hence let’s dive straight into our detailed review to see what Tata Motors has done to its compact sedan to make it an affordable and a desirable one.

Design
Needless to mention, overall, the Tigor EV resembles the Tigor petrol variant, but some cosmetic changes have definitely given it a distinct look as you can see. Offered in two colors of Signature Teal Blue and Daytona Grey, the Tigor EV gets the signature EV blue accents over the fascia, front bumpers and on the wheels. The thin blue strip runs around the fog lamps and below the revamped grille, making it evident of being an EV. And to add more to its EV character, it carries the EV badging in the same signature blue shade across the front fenders and the tailgate. And if this is not enough, you can have it in a dual-tone paint scheme in the available colors with a completely blacked-out roof, which is based on the XZ+ top-end variant and is available after a premium of Rs 15,000 over the ex-showroom price for the same. On the rear, the looks of the Tigor petrol are retained, while the EV badging makes it distinct. Also, to say, if someone utters that it looks the same as the ICE version, you know what to tell them! However, if you are one of those prospective buyers you just know how different your car is.

Electric Drivetrain
Tata Motors have featured their staple Ziptron technology, which has surely been reworked for better performance and range. In my view, it hardly required any rework, but since Tata Motors is adapting with the times and the modern age, the Tigor EV now packs in a great deal with this tech. Powered by a Permanent Magnetic Synchronous Motor (PMSM), the peak output produced is 55kW and 170Nm, which is paired to a single-speed transmission unit and can make the EV sprint from 0-60 kmph mark in just 5.7 seconds, claims Tata Motors. There are two drive modes in the Tigor EV, the Drive mode which comes with a bit of lag during at high speeds but switch to the Sports mode, and that right there not only unleashed the beast but it was swift, smooth and gave an enthusiastic driving experience.

Tata Motors claims an ARAI-certified range of 306 kilometers, which may vary in real-world conditions, and that’s why we got an approximate range of 249 kilometers when the batteries were all juiced up. Though the pure electric range has to do a lot with your driving behaviors, one can expect 250 kilometers at least, which is not a matter of concern as Tata’s widespread network of charging stations across the country through dealerships, you will definitely find one to keep you on the go and if not, there are quite a few fast-charging stations that will help you juice it up under 60 minutes only if DC charging is available. Lastly, the most you can rely on is the option of the wall box that charges the EV from 10 percent to 90 percent in just 8.5 hours.

Features
On the features front, the Tigor EV is fully loaded. It is equipped with a 17.78 cm touchscreen infotainment system, automatic climate control, push-button start, electronically operated ORVMs, and a tailgate opener. Although some features like the integrated Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, Harman speakers, and car connected features do make it more appealing for the ones looking for a feature-loaded electric car. Now I know, a thought bubble must have popped up that you get these features in other cars from other brands as well and that too at a much lower price. But, what we need to understand is, obviously with an EV, you do end up spending more but the savings are inversely proportional to that amount spent.

And, since the other brands have made no official announcement an EV sibling of their petrol cars in the compact sedan segment soon, the Tigor EV could serve as an option. Hence, the Tigor petrol could be an affordable one compared to its rivals, especially looking at the price difference between the Tigor EV and the petrol cars in this segment. That said, if there is an EV sibling to the other petrol cars in this segment, expect them to demand a premium of almost a lakh or more over the Tigor EV.

Ride and Handling
Tata Motors has always delivered better on this front, and this time, with the Tigor EV, the result was even better than the expectations. Whatever kilometers I did on the Tigor EV whether, in the city or the highways, the Tigor EV for me was stable. The steering felt heavy in the city but there’s nothing to complain about on the highway since it positively responded with a good amount of assurance, much-needed feedback on our highways. Speaking of which, the Tigor EV felt flat if I may? Meaning, the roll that I felt on a long curve was almost next to negligible which isn’t bad for a small family car. And I reckon it is thanks to its underlying battery pack, which gave me a sense of reassurance and allowed me to push it harder. The firm suspension setup was also accountable for some stiffness which resulted in making me feel the big potholes, I mean obviously, but anything smaller or less deep than that wasn’t felt in the cabin. Also, I think it is worth mentioning that the car felt properly tied down on long undulations on the highways and nice city roads.

Verdict  
With fuel prices hitting the hundred rupee mark, or above in most of the cities, the Tigor EV, appears to be a good deal at this price. Of course, you might think of it as a no-brainer as you end up paying a premium of almost Rs 3.50 lakh or more, over the prices of its rivals like the Swift Dzire, which has been the dominant one in this segment for years now. But, what most of us tend to miss out here is, the premium we end up paying here comes back to us in a form of our annual savings. Speaking of which, the per kilometer running cost while using an EV goes down by almost ninety percent every month plus you also get some incentives from the local government (if applicable in your respective state) and while you also strengthen your commitment towards keeping your environment clean and green, which is need of the hour. On the other hand, the comfort and convenience in the Tigor EV is almost similar to the Swift Dzire, but the Dzire might allow you more space at the rear while seating three abreast. On the other hand, the Tigor EV accounts for more headroom and advanced features. Hence, looking at the future, the Tigor EV, for now, accounts for an affordable electric vehicle in the market and that too without drilling a deep hole in your pocket, which even if it does, it’ll make sure that stitches it up with its long term and future returns, which I think should be one of the USPs of an EV, what do you think?