Review: Zesty times with Tata Zest in Goa!

I am in Goa as part of a group of 50 top bloggers from India on an invitation from Tata Motors to test drive their brand new offering Tata Zest (not yet officially launched). The following is a review of the car, which will, hopefully, be different from the expert car reviewers - I am writing this as a travel blogger who loves long and relaxed road-trips, city rides and even just being in a car to go places :)

The event has been organised by Blogadda.

tata zest review blogadda pune
Tata Zest in all its Goan glory :)
As I stepped into the car, I first thanked my stars! I was in a car with two beautiful ladies and none of them wanted to be on the wheel! :) Imagine driving for 50 kilometres through the beautiful winding roads of Goa to test drive the all new Tata Zest...its just pure bliss :)

We had a masterclass the previous evening from the Design head and engineering leads of Tata Motors which gave us quite an overview of about the car, the technology behind it as well as the people who made this car possible. However, no matter what you hear and see, eventually the experience of the car can be had only when you are on the driver's seat and do what you love doing - DRIVE :)

The beautiful rear. Ref: Tata Motors
The team! :
Selfie time :)
Over the last one year I have simply fallen in love with driving cars. I have constant fights with M on driving her car when we go for long rides because when I do get on the driver's I never leave it. And that's the exact reason why I was so happy today...

We test drove two different versions of the car:
  1. Petrol manual transmission 1.2L Revotron 1.2T
  2. Diesel automatic transmission Quadrajet 1.3
Before I get into the specifics of the car and the driving experience, I will quickly give my overall verdict on the car. And the very clear answer is - 


I think after years of attempting revival of the Indica platform, Tata did a good thing - it junked it! And what has come in its place is a beautiful and fresh new car which not only boasts of superior features, it's also beautifully crafted. Whether its the human line of the front or the bold slingshot line on the sides or the rear LED lights, the design of Zest simply hits the right spots. And its absolutely delicious :)

LED tail lamps

If there is one feature which totally wins me over, its the overall integration of some really beautiful design elements. Its not a design which will win all the design awards, but it will surely win you over - it s perfect combination of bold with a little bit of Indian consevativesness. 

Now let's come down to the meat of the post - the Test Drive! 



A - Test Drive Petrol Revotron 1.2T manual:

Amongst the two versions my clear favourite is the Petrol manual transmission.

This totally works!

The car really responds well and I actually quite enjoyed the three driving modes - City, Eco and Sport. I used sport mode overtime we came across a long straight and empty patch, and it impressed me every time. It was a joy to hear the happy aah from the my co-passengers whenever we moved to the zoom-sport mode :)

There is quite a bit of room space for the passengers in the rear seat which came as a bit of a surprise as the car actually looks quite compact from outside. Good work there!

The car essentially has three key pillars of Design!

DesignNext - youthful and contemporary
DriveNext - 1.2T high performance engine
ConnectNext - next generation infotainment system

Full marks to the design and the engineering team for the first two pillars! The designers at Tata have done a fantastic job at these.

The front honeycomb grille is beautifully designed and looks posh. The shoulder line gives it strong, yet fun personality. The front as well as the rear lamps are quite classy as well.

Needs fine-tuning

However, it was the third pillar which I was most looking forward to and it also ended up being the one thing I struggled the most with, though its certainly a step in the right direction. The car has a touch screen which can be used for control multiple car functions, especially after you sync your phones with it. There is voice command (and it recognises Indian accent...woohoo!) with the driver and you can change music, send messages, make calls, change radio stations amongst a number of other functions.

Console panel
However, when it came to the actual use, I was a little less impressed. Since I was on the wheel all the time, I could never test it myself, however, I did witness the struggles of my co-passengers when they tried to sync their phones with it to simply play music. The voice command for the driver also never worked - I tried a couple of times and then simply gave up. It was a feature I was certainly very keen on, but realised while driving that I could simply do away with it! Its fancy for sure, but I would rather not have it if it does not work perfectly. Having said that, I think Tata has taken this step in the right direction and with time it will evolve into something very desirable. They plan to introduce Tata app store for apps specific to this, and I would keenly look forward to how the plan rolls out. It new and innovative and full marks to Tata for taking up this rather daunting challenge.

Another small glitch was reading the speedometer when on the driver's seat - I really cloud not, especially when the speed touches 100 kmph. Design oversight? There is another digital speedometer on the dashboard which shows the speed digitally, but it looks like an afterthought.

However, minor glitches apart, my clear verdict is: Tata has really got something innovative and classy here, something that's not a step but a leap in the right direction - I will buy this car if I could :)

Tata Zest Petrol manual: 8/10

B - Test drive Diesel Quadrajet 1.3 automatic:

Test driving the diesel automatic was a very different experience as compared to the petrol version. This was also my first time ever with a an automatic car and all I can is that the experience could have been more zesty :)

The car looks exactly like the its petrol cousin but behaves differently. The response is much slower, and even at maximum acceleration it takes a could of seconds to respond in anyway. Maybe this is how most automatic cars are, and perhaps its an acquired taste.

However, I did like the sports mode in the car which gives a good acceleration jump whenever you need to overtake a vehicle or just bring in zestiness in your drive :)

Tata Zest Diesel automatic: 6/10


Here is a short video of me on the wheels :) Video credit: Rukhmini

Both the cars will be available on roads next month onwards. The price is yet to be declared.

Here are the detailed specs:

Please do read some of the more expert car reviews at the following links:

BBC Top Gear
Autocar India

And finally a couple of fun pictures from the mini road trip :)

The lovely Goan roses we drove on
And we found these kids test driving a bike on the way :)


  1. I am confused between Honda Amaze Ex petrol and Tata Zest XM petrol. Need courage to buy a Tata Zest.

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