in outright power, it makes up for with its linearity and smooth power delivery. The clutch is light and progressive and, thanks to the responsive nature of the engine, it’s the more relaxing car to drive in town. Acceleration is strong till about 3500rpm, but past that speed, there is not much grunt and it’s best to shift up to the next gear to keep the motor in the meat of its power band. Performance figures are very close to that of the Indigo. The sprint to hundred takes a similar 16.07 seconds and it hits a top speed of 144kph. But, thanks to the motors linear and instant power delivery, its in-gear times are very impressive. The sprint from 20-80kph in third takes 12.45 seconds and 40-100kph in fourth takes a scant 15.92 seconds, which makes it much quicker than the Indigo.
Ride & handling
The Tata’s soft all-independent suspension does a decent job of dealing with speed-breakers and potholes, and appears well up to the task of dealing with Indian roads. This is especially true at low and medium speeds. As you up the pace, you begin to notice inconsistencies in the way the Indigo rides. Over patchy roads, there is too much vertical motion, which can get uncomfortable. There is some body roll too, and the steering, though light, feels vague at high speeds. This means it isn’t as confidence inspiring.
The Vibe in contrast is rock solid at high speeds. It feels safe and predictable in high-speed corners and you do enjoy driving at a good pace. It doesn’t want to change direction quickly, however. It needs to be coaxed into a corner and that takes some of the fun out of driving briskly. It also rolls quite a bit in bends, and while the light steering gets heavier the faster you go, it doesn’t get heavy enough. Thanks to the soft suspension, the Vibe rides well at slow speeds and the suspension feels good at taking the sting out of nasty bumps.
What are they like inside?
None of these cars will win any design awards for their cabins, and