Saturday, October 1, 2011

Tata Grande loses the Sumo Moniker; Soft launched with a Facelift

Continuing the new found focus of Tata Motors to hive off its vehicles into separate brands that do not conflict with each other, the Tata Sumo Grande will now simply be called the Tata Grande DICOR. This is a typical Tata move to re-brand vehicles which share names with previous offerings that has been previously practiced with cars like the Tata Indica Vista which is now the Tata Vista and the Tata Indigo Manza, which now is the Tata Manza. Thus, Sumo being an abbreviation of long time ex-TELCO boss Suman Moolgaonkar’s name has finally been vanquished from the Grande for good.

While we expected quite a lot from the Grande’s makeover along with this repositioning, the resulting product is merely a mid career visual facelift than any significant change. To be fair to Tata, the car maker didn’t really promise anything with this makeover, which is quite apparent why the Grande didn’t even see an official launch or for that matter a press release to signify its arrival into the market. In fact, it was the Vista’s recent makeover with better interiors and new design bits on the exterior that prompted us to expect much from the Grande.

Any which ways, the Tata Grande MPV now gets a facelifted exterior that includes a chromed front grille and side finishers, outer rear view mirrors with integrated turn indicators, chromed rub rails, chromed door handles(And, this bit will also make it to the Tata Merlin SUV), blacked out B and C-pillars which are nice touches and finally, new graphics which quite frankly aren’t too appealing visually. So, Tata has indeed given the Grande a refresh on the exteriors and this is something the automaker has to be credited for. On the interiors though, not much has changed.

The only difference is that most of the stuff Tata has printed in the brochure as “new” being marketing chutzpah. In fact, we’re quite surprised that Tata is actually misleading prospective customers by calling many of the features as new even though the features in question have been in existence even on the Sumo Grande Mark II. It isn’t to say that the Grande doesn’t have positives, yes sir it does but naming things differently and expecting the customer to fall for it is hitting below the belt Tata, and that isn’t something customers might not take lightly.
The supremely comfortable seats remain, with the 2 captain seats, a three seater bench layout and two seats at the rear in 7 seater and 8 seater configurations. Rear AC vents for both the second and the third rows are superb touches that make living in the Grande a very comfortable experience. These are points which Tata actually needs to advertise instead of harping on things which simply aren’t there or perhaps, Tata has forgotten to upgrade the Grande’s webpage selectively. That is about the Grande’s interiors.

Coming to the engine which powers the Grande, the same tried and tested 2.2 Liter DICOR common rail, turbo diesel engine albeit in a detuned form does duty on this MPV. the engine produces 120 Bhp of peak power and 250 Nm of peak torque, which is higher than the competition, read the Innova and the Xylo. But what is missing on the Grande are safety features like ABS and Airbags, which the competition provides. Suspension too doesn’t see any change with independently mounted coil springs up front and parabolic leaf springs at the rear. 

So, if you’re expecting any change in the bumpy ride quality that was the bugbear of Grande(in Sumo form), you would be disappointed. The Grande is also available with a 2 liter, 90 Bhp turbo diesel engine for BS3 towns and cities. All, the Grande with the 2.2 liter DICOR engine offers a decent package for the money you pay for as the entry level Grande begins at INR 7.1 Lakh Rupees, ex-showroom Delhi. The Grande comes with a 3 year, 100,000 Km warrant, extendable to a 4 year, 150,000 warranty. This is a price level which is just a little lesser than of the Xylo while the Innova remains significantly more expensive.
Source: Indian Cars Bikes

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