After two years of launching its budget sedan, the Indigo CS, Tata Motors came up with a new range of Indigo CS called the Indigo eCS series. This new car’s engine is BS IV emission norms compliant which make the car eligible to be sold in the 13 cities which have upgraded to BS IV emission norms. The car is built on the erstwhile Indica platform, utilising much of the same underpinnings including the suspension, chassis and engines. The Indigo CS was the original compact sedan, designed to take advantage of the excise duty benefits applicable to cars less than four metres long. It was an engineering master-stroke from Tata, and the fact that Maruti has chosen a similar approach for the new Dzire is a good indicator of the value of the concept.
Design & Engineering
The Tata Indigo eCS is 3988mm long, 1620mm wide and 1540mm high. Despite being less than four metres in length it boasts of a 380 litre boot. The exterior of the eCS features body coloured bumpers, tinted glasses, chrome garnished rub rails, front and rear fog lamps, and electrically adjustable ORVMs. Overall, the exterior of the eCS is identical to the CS barring a few additional features like the turn indicators on the ORVM's which is available in the top variant. The quality of the paint job has definitely improved compared to the previous CS. On the whole, the eCS looks quite sober.
Under the hood of the diesel eCS is a 1.4 common rail, four cylinder, 16-valve, DOHC engine (also used in the Indica eV2) which pumps 70PS @ 4000rpm and 14o Nm @ 1800-3000rpm. The Indigo eCS is also available with a 1.2 litre MPFI petrol engine which churns out 65PS @ 5000rpm and 100Nm @ 2700rpm. Both the engines are BS IV emission norms compliant. The DiCOR (Direct Injection Common Rail) engine is mated with 5 speed manual gearbox.
The eCS comes in a range of five colours and four variants. The MPFI petrol features the eGLS and eGLX versions equipped with petrol engines and eLS and eLX versions are equipped with CR4 diesel engines. The letter ‘e’ of the nomenclature ‘eCS’ signifies that the new car’s engine is BS IV emission norms compliant which makes the car eligible to be sold in the 13 cities which have upgraded to BS IV emission norms.
Interiors & Comfort
You must have heard the proverb that looks can sometimes be deceptive. Well, it holds true in the case of the Indigo eCS because despite of being a compact sedan which otherwise stretches 3988mm in length boasts of a surprisingly roomy passenger compartment. Its wheelbase stretches 2450mm which is 50mm longer than the Indica.
It has a dual tone beige and cocoa brown interior which looks quite sober. The plastics that have been used are definitely of an improved quality than what was earlier used in the CS or the Indica. The seats felt slightly hard, but nonetheless, offer good all round support. The high driving position of the car is definitely a positive and offer excellent frontal visibility.
The eCS has a long horizontal dashboard with four AC vents, AC controls, audio system, digital clock, and the switch of parking lights in place. The top variants sport a wooden finish centre console. The ‘T’ shaped three-spoke beige coloured steering wheel with one vertical broad spoke and two slim horizontal spokes looks decent. The central console flows down to the bottom of the gear and the handbrake. The gearshift knob matches with the colour of the interior with an option of leather wrapping on the top variant. The standard features from the Indigo CS like power steering and front power windows are available in the eCS. The rear power windows, though, are only available in the top variant. Power steering is standard across all variants. The top variant of the eCS comes with an instrument cluster with has chrome rings featuring fuel and coolant levels. All the models of the Indigo eCS now come with a tachometer which was earlier offered only in the top variant.
The rear seat offers ample head, leg, and shoulder room to accommodate three medium-built adults. Stepping in and out of the eCS felt comfortable. Despite being less than four metres in length, the eCS has a 380 litres boot which can accommodate decent amounts of luggage. It is perfect for your weekend family holidays or those trips to the airport to receive or see off a friend or kin.
Performance & Handling
The new Indigo’s drive is similar to the old one, since the parts are the same and no changes have been effected in suspension, steering, et al. While driving the car within the city, the compact size of the sedan makes parking quite easy and simpler to manoeuvre in city roads. The small potholes and uneven stretches on the road were effortlessly swallowed and the larger ones too didn’t unsettle the passengers. What aids the car’s cruise-happy nature is its good straight-line stability; a result of the car being slightly stiffly sprung. The eCS has independent McPherson struts with coil spring at the front and independent 3-link suspension with antiroll bar at the rear which enables a smooth ride even over distressed roads. The front brakes are ventilated discs while the rear ones are drums. At high rpm the engine could get a bit clattery and the noise penetrates into the passenger compartment.
The diesel eCS is a 1.4 common rail, four cylinder, 16-valve, DOHC engine which pumps 70PS @ 4000rpm and 14o Nm @ 1800-3000rpm, while the 1.2 litre MPFI petrol engine churns out 65PS @ 5000rpm and 100Nm @ 2700rpm. Both the engines are BS IV emission norms compliant. The diesel variant that we drove had the DiCOR (Direct Injection Common Rail) engine which felt slightly gruff and noisy, but boasts of good drivability and very little turbo-lag. The engine is mated with 5 speed manual gearbox.
The Indigo eCS variant that we tested came with a diesel 1.4 litre Common Rail, 4 cylinder engine and which boasts of an ARAI-ratified mileage of 23 kmpl, although this figure might be difficult to achieve in real driving scenario.
Since the Indigo eCS' DiCOR motor has very little turbo lag, the easy drivability ensures that you don't stomp on the accelerator too much, which helps the fuel efficency.
In terms of safety, the Indigo eCS comes with central locking with key, high mounted rear stop lamp, child safety locks on rear doors, warning buzzer for driver door open, warning buzzer for seatbelts not fastened and recrank protection. While central locking and child safety locks on rear door are standard features, rear defoggers, audio warning for driver’s seat belt and door open warning are available of the top end variants. However, airbags and ABS is not even offered as an option.
Based on the erstwhile Indica platform, the eCS fits in with vehicle choice for those who wish to graduate from a hatchback to a sedan without burning a big hole in their pockets. Also, its low maintenance and running cost will definitely attract those who don’t wish to spend too much on their car every month. The car is nice and spacious with ample boot space and the top variant comes with many features.
In fact, it would make more sense in buying the top variant since the price difference is quite insignificant. The eLS (base model diesel) is priced at Rs 5.77 (ex-showroom Kolkata) and for just Rs 23000 more you could buy the top variant (eLX) which has many additional features like electrically adjustable ORVM's, body coloured ORVM'S with turn indicators, leather wrapped gear shift knob, body coloured rub rails with chrome inserts, heater, both front and rear power windows, rear defogger, Bluetooth connectivity, music system with aux-in, four speakers (two front and two rear), audio warning for drivers seat belt and keyless entry.
The exterior of the eCS remains unchanged from the old Indigo CS barring the addition of turn indicators on the OVRMs which is available in the top petrol and diesel variants. All the models of the Indigo eCS now come with a tachometer which was earlier offered only in the top variant. However, Tata has discontinued the VX variant which had alloy wheels, USB connectivity and ABS.