Tigor vs Zest Comparison Review

Published on: Mar 31, 2017
Tata Zest vs Tigor Comparison Review:

Part I
Comparison of Pricing & Features:
The Tigor ‘XZ O’ petrol retails for 6.9 lakh Rs. on road, Delhi, which is 60,000 Rs. cheaper, than the Zest ‘XT’, costing 7.5 Lakh Rs. In spite of being 60,000 Rs. cheaper, the Tigor ‘XZ O’ has a Reversing Camera, which is absent in the Zest ‘XT’, but then it misses out on the LED DRLs of the Zest ‘XT’. Of course, the Parking camera is a far more useful feature than LED DRLs!

The Tigor ‘XZ’ petrol retails for 6.5 lakh Rs. on road, Delhi, which is 40,000 Rs cheaper the Zest ‘XMS’, costing 6.9 Lakh Rs. In spite of being 40,000 Rs. cheaper, the Tigor ‘XZ’ has Parking Sensors, Rear Defogger and Alloy Wheels, over the Zest ‘XMS’. The Zest ‘XMS’ doesn’t have even a single extra feature over the Tigor ‘XZ’. That being said all the petrol Zests get a turbocharger, while the petrol Tigors remain naturally aspirated.

The difference between the diesels is even greater. The Tigor ‘XZ O’ is 90,000 Rs. cheaper than the Zest ‘XT’ and the Tigor ‘XZ’ is 50,000 Rs. cheaper than the Zest 'XMS'. But then the Zest is powered by the excellent Multi-jet engine sourced from Fiat, while the Tigor gets Tata’s own unit. Zest is also available in diesel-automatic variants, with the XMA costing 8.9 Lakh Rs. and the XTA retailing for 9.9 Lakh.

Tigor ‘XZ O’ vs Zest ‘XT’:
Common Features: ABS, Airbags-2, Automatic Climate Control, Power Steering, Power Windows, Central Locking by Remote, Parking Sensors, Electrically Adjustable Mirrors, Rear Defogger, Infotainment: FM, USB, Aux, Bluetooth + 4 Speakers, Steering Wheel Switches, Touchscreen, Navigation, Driver’s Seat Height Adjust, Projector Headlamps, Alloy Wheels, Fog Lamps

Extra Features in Tigor (XZ O): Parking Camera

Extra Features in Zest (XT): LED DRLs

Tigor ‘XZ’ vs Zest ‘XMS’:
Common Features: ABS, Airbags-2, AC, Power Steering, Power Windows, Central Locking by Remote, Electrically Adjustable Mirrors, and Stereo: FM, USB, Aux, Bluetooth + 4 Speakers, Steering Wheel Switches, Projector Headlamps, Driver’s Seat Height Adjust and Fog Lamps

Extra Features in Tigor (XZ): Parking Sensors, Rear Defogger, Alloy Wheels

Extra Features in Zest (XMS): none

Part II
Tigor vs Zest Comparison of Performance & Dynamics:
Although both cars are powered by 1200 cc petrol engines called 'Revotron', by Tata, the Tigor gets a new-generation 3-cylinder unit, while the Zest uses a 4-cylinder older-generation unit. The Tigor is naturally aspirated, while the Zest is turbocharged. But when the rubber hits the road, both cars turn out to be equally matched in terms of performance. The Zest has an upper hand when it comes to drivability around town as well as overtaking punch compared to the Tigor. The Zest also sounds a bit nicer and feels marginally more refined than the Tigor. But all this comes at a huge disadvantage in terms of fuel-efficiency over the Tigor.

Power to Weight Ratio (PS/ton): Tigor - 80, Zest – 79
Torque to Weight Ratio (Nm/ton): Tigor - 107, Zest – 123 (difference 15%)

Power (PS@rpm): Tigor – 85@6000, Zest – 90@5000
Torque (Nm@rpm): Tigor – 114@3500, Zest – 140@1500-4000
Kerb Weight (kg): Tigor - 1062, Zest – 1135

When it comes to diesels, the Tigor uses a downsized version of Indigo's 1400 cc engine, while the Zest uses the Multijet engine sourced from Fiat. The Zest is immensely superior to the Tigor, be it in terms of performance, mid-range punch as well as refinement. The difference is most evident on the Highways, where a Zest can effortlessly overtake the trucks and lorries, while the Tigor really struggles to overtake at speeds as low as 80 kmph. Tigor's only saving grace is that is that it has decent drivability around town.

Power to Weight Ratio (PS/ton): Tigor - 62, Zest – 77 (difference 24%)
Torque to Weight Ratio (Nm/ton): Tigor - 124, Zest – 195 (difference 57%)

Power (PS@rpm): Tigor – 70@4000, Zest – 90@4000
Torque (Nm@rpm): Tigor – 140@1800-3000, Zest – 200@1750-3000
Kerb Weight (kg): Tigor - 1130, Zest – 1185

Handling & Ride Quality:
Tata deserves full credit for tuning the dynamics of both the cars to near perfection! Both the Tigor as well as the Zest have underpinnings that are just right for our country's roads. Both of them have robust, long travel suspension setups, which can isolate the occupants from the worst of the road conditions. Both cars have a tendency to roll around the curves, but they still have excellent grip and poise during cornering, aided by well weighted steering setups and excellent stability at highway speeds. Overall the Tigor feels slightly more eager and enthusiastic, while the Zest feels a bit more mature and surefooted in terms of their road manners.

Ground Clearance (mm): Tigor – 170, Zest – 175 (Petrol), 165 (Diesel)

Wheelbase (mm): Tigor – 2450, Zest - 2470

Tyre Size:
Tigor: 155/80R13 (XE), 175/65R14 (XT), 175/60R15 (XZ)
Zest: 185/60R15

Tigor vs Zest Comparison of Comfort & Interiors: 
The Zest may look bigger from the outside, but on the inside, the Tigor is just as spacious as its elder sibling. Both cars have more than adequate space in all directions, to comfortably accommodate 5 adults. That being said, it’s the older Zest which scores a couple of brownie points over the Tigor. First is that Zest's front seats are bigger and more supportive and also a touch more comfortable than the Tigor's slightly smaller units. Secondly, Zest has marginally better elbow room than the Tigor, making it just a touch more spacious, for three passengers in the rear.

Apart from that we find the Zest's Interior design, colors and textures more classy and upscale than the Tigor's, but that is a matter of personal taste. Zest's 390 litre boot is in fact 30 litres smaller than the Tigor's class leading, 419 litre capacity. Tigor also uses a more compact mechanism for the boot hinges, compared to the Zest's, making it even more usable in the real world. However, if you look closely, you will still find some rough edges and uneven panel gaps. But overall Tata has really made giant strides in the look and feel of its cabins, and both the Tigor & Zest can now stand shoulder-to-shoulder with their competitors.

Boot-space (lit): Tigor - 419, Zest - 390

Length (mm): Tigor – 3992, Zest - 3995
Width (mm): Tigor – 1677, Zest - 1706
Height (mm): Tigor – 1537, Zest – 1570

Part IV 
Tigor vs Zest Comparison of Fuel Efficiency and Cost of Ownership:
Tigor petrol has an ARAI certified mileage of 20.3 kmpl, which is 2.7 kmpl more than Zest's fuel efficiency of 17.6 kmpl. However, in our real-world tests, the Tigor petrol was consistently 1.5 kmpl more efficient than the Zest.

The Tigor diesel has an ARAI certified fuel economy of 24.4 kmpl, which is 1.3 kmpl more than the manual geared Zest diesel's efficiency of 23 kmpl and 2.8 kmpl more than the Zest AMT's mileage of 21.6 kmpl. In our back-to-back tests, the Tigor was over 2 kpl more efficient than both the manual as well as the automatic variants of the Zest diesel.

ARAI Mileage (kmpl): 
Petrol - Manual:
Zest - 17.57 kmpl
Tigor - 20.3 kmpl

Diesel - Manual 
Zest - 22.95 kmpl
Tigor - 24.37 kmpl

Diesel Automatic: 
Zest – 21.58 kmpl

Fuel Cost: (for 75,000 km) 
Petrol - Manual:
Zest - 4.35 Lakh
Tigor - 3.80 Lakh

Diesel – Manual: 
Zest - 2.40 Lakh
Tigor - 2.30 Lakh

Diesel – Automatic: 
Zest – 2.60 Lakh

Reliability & After Sales Service:
It is high time, that Tata accepts the glaring shortcomings, in the reliability of its products, and the quality of work delivered at its dealerships. The company's track record at quality and service, has only gotten worse over time, while even its sole Indian competitor Mahindra, has slowly but steadily made decent progress, in this regard. Tigor & Tiago's brand new powertrains make it an even riskier proposition, than the Zest and Bolt, which at least had the option, of Fiat's proven Multijet engine. The added complexity of modern electronics, and Tata's lack of experience of working with them, means it is better to adopt a wait and watch policy for six months, before putting your hard earned money down, on either of these cars.

Resale & Cost of Ownership: 
The Tigor petrol is bound to hold slightly higher residual value than the Zest, due to its advantage in fuel-efficiency. The Tigor diesel on the other hand, is bound to hold lower resale value than the Zest, since the Zest packs the legendary Multijet powertrain sourced from Fiat. Overall the Zest XT petrol works out to be 1.4 Lakh Rs. more expensive than the Tigor XZ O (petrol), in terms of Overall Ownership Cost, which is nothing but Price, plus Fuel Cost, minus Resale Value. The Zest XT diesel works out to be 75,000 Rs. more expensive than the Tigor XZ O (diesel), in the long run.

Interestingly, the Zest XT diesel, works out to be just 20,000 Rs. more expensive than the petrol powered Tigor XZ O, it will make up for its 2 Lakh rupee higher price-tag, with a 1.4 Lakh rupee lower fuel cost, and at least 50,000 rupee higher resale value.

Resale Value (after usage of 5 to 7 years) 
Petrol - Manual:
Zest XT - 3.25 Lakh
Tigor XZ O - 3.50 Lakh

Diesel - Manual: 
Zest XT - 4.00 Lakh
Tigor XZ O - 3.50 Lakh

Diesel - Automatic 
Zest XTA – 3.50

Total Cost of Ownership (Price + Fuel Cost – Resale Value) 
Petrol - Manual:
Zest XT - 8.60 Lakh
Tigor XZ O - 7.20 Lakh

Diesel - Manual: 
Zest XT - 7.40 Lakh
Tigor XZ O - 6.90 Lakh

Diesel – Automatic: 
Zest XTA – 8.95 Lakh

Part V 
Tigor vs Zest Comparison's Final Verdict:
At first glance, the Tigor looks like a no brainer! It is 60,000 Rs. cheaper than an equivalent Zest and gets a Parking Camera over the Zest, plus has better fuel efficiency as well. But there are certain fundamental differences between the two cars, which you won't understand from just reading their brochures. The Zest is based on the 10 year old Vista-Manza platform, while the Tigor is based on the modified Indica platform, which is almost 20 years old.

Automotive Industry made a lot of progress in those intermediate 10 years, in the fields of chassis rigidity and crash safety, which has found its way into the Zest but not the Tigor. When it comes to the various options being compared in this test. The Tigor diesel and Zest petrol get rejected straightaway. The diesel Tigor is too under-powered to be used for anything other than Taxi business. The Zest petrol is too noisy and too much of a gas guzzler, putting it out of contention.

That leaves us with the Tigor petrol and the Zest diesel, powered by the legendary Multijet diesel engine borrowed from Fiat. The Zest XT diesel is 2 Lakh Rs. more expensive to buy than the Tigor XZ O petrol. But then, it has 1.4 Lakh Rs. lower fuel cost and 50,000 Rs better Resale Value making it even, in the long term. So for the same money as the Tigor petrol, the Zest diesel offers twice as much torque, stronger chassis-suspension and a proven, more reliable power-train. Like it or not, logically the Zest diesel is the crystal clear winner of this comparison.

Related CarComparos:

*If you can't find the Comparison you were looking for? Just mention it in the comments section below and we'll put it up as soon as possible.