Tata has made an effort to improve key areas in the Indigo eCS. Kedar Jaidev has details about the updated car

With the Indigo eCS, Tata pioneered the sub four-metre segment here. And now, to win back some attention and boost sales numbers, the carmaker has launched the updated Indigo eCS.

Tata claims it’s improved the car’s powertrain, cabin, suspension and gearbox.

Let’s start with the positives first. The most impressive — the Feather-shift gearbox, which as the name suggests should be as light as a feather to engage. There’s no doubt the fact that this is one of the lightest gearboxes to engage in a city car, it’s a significant improvement over the old unit. Gearshifts are really easy to engage, but they lack that chunky click when you slot them.

The improved 1.4-litre diesel engine has also been tweaked to better its tractability. And it’s an improvement from the old car, which had quite a tractable engine too. Turbo-lag is not as noticeable as say in the Dzire, and in the city it feels up to the mark, but out on the highway it does feel out of breath.

Tata claims that the eCS is India’s most fuel-efficient sedan in India, and according to our tests, it returned 15.3kpl in the city and 19.6kpl on the highway. Ride has also been significantly improved — the tweaked suspension soaks up everything the city can throw at you quite well.

On the outside, the new diamond-shaped grille is new, and there are new chrome-ringed fog lamps and new smoked headlamp as well. The bumper gets minor tweaks and the alloys on the higher trim are also new. The rest of the exterior is mostly unchanged.

On the inside, the new dual-tone interiors lift the air in the cabin quite well, and that old T-shaped steering has made way for a nicer looking, more conventional four-spoke wheel.

Tata has also worked on improving the NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) levels in the cabin, and it has managed to do quite a good job. The cabin is quiet with very few noises creeping in.

Tata has reworked the cabin entirely. The new dual-tone scheme looks far more upmarket than the old car’s taxi-like interiors. But, the all-black dash plastics are not very impressive, the switches don’t feel as robust.

The driving position is not very comfortable, and important bits such as steering height adjust are missing.

Better R&D

Tata has stated that the ex-showroom price of this car is Rs. 4.99 lakh, but look closer and you’ll realise that it’s the price of the BS III version that’s sold in Ahmednagar.

For us folks in the metros, it costs Rs 5.29 lakh for the BS IV version.

Tata has made an effort to improve a lot of key areas in the Indigo eCS but it needs to step up its R&D and give the competition some real fight.