2021 Tata Tigor EV First Drive Review: The everyday EV?

Tata Motors has renewed the Tigor EV with a new spark of life. It now packs in more power and practicality than ever before. But is it enough to make it stand against oil burning sedans in the segment?

By:Updated: Sep 10, 2021 2:22 PM
2021 Tata Tigor EV static front

When you think of Tata Motors, which is the first vehicle that comes to your mind? I can confidently guess that it was probably not the Tigor and much less the Tigor EV. While the Tigor EV managed to find some success in fleet operations, the car failed to catch on with the masses. However, it is possible that that is going to change with the launch of the new and updated Tigor EV which is now powered by Tata’s Ziptron platform. This technology has already proven its merit in the Nexon EV and will now be powering the new Tigor EV. But are these changes enough to convince people and make them switch to this vehicle instead of any internal combustion engine powered car?

2021 Tata Tigor EV Exterior Design & Styling

2021 Tata Tigor EV gets a redesigned front fascia

When you look at the new Tigor EV, you will see that while it has not changed a whole lot, it still looks better than before. Maybe it is largely due to the Signature Teal Blue colour with a black roof. Apart from this one, you can also get the car in Daytona Grey. There is a new grille at the front which will remind you of the one seen on Nexon EV. The chrome line under the grille and headlamps along with chrome surround on fog lamps has been replaced by blue elements. Sadly, the car still does not come with LED headlamps and sports halogen projector lamps. The newly designed bumper is dotted with the tri-arrow pattern and comes with LED DRLs with fog lamps. You will find the EV badge on the grille, sides and rear of the car. While the regular Tigor comes with 15-inch alloys in the top trim, this one comes with 14-inch X-shaped units with blue accents. I am still not convinced that this is a pleasing design but it is not an eyesore either.

2021 Tata Tigor EV rear

2021 Tata Tigor EV Interior Space & Features

2021 Tata Tigor EV dashboard

Even on the inside, the changes are minimal and you will find blue accents inside the cabin. The seats have darker stitching that looks nice with the blue accents. A plus side is that while the black seats look good, they are also harder to get stains on. The top half of the dashboard and door panels are darker in colour compared to the almost cream-coloured lower part. You get almost the same kit that you would find in the regular Tigor. There is a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment screen with support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. It also supports 35 connected car features including things like getting vehicle stats on your phone, remote start, geo-fencing and more. You can also use the Zconnect app to locate the nearest charging stations or ones that fall along your chosen route.  The completely digital MID looks rather charming and the information is very legible. There are two bars on either side of the instrument cluster that show the amount of power used and the level of regen braking applied. These can be handy when you are trying to drive in an economical manner.

2021 Tata Tigor EV digital instrument cluster

Changes aside, the cabin of the Tigor is very spacious and there is enough room for taller people as well. Second-row occupants get an armrest but no rear AC vents or even a USB charging point. These things could have been easily added to the Tigor package considering the amount of money you will be shelling out. Second-row passengers on either side get big head restraints which are fixed but offer a good amount of comfort and there is a small one for the middle passenger too. There is a smaller one for the middle passenger but it would only be good for smaller occupants or children. The floor is mostly flat and seating three people would be a little easier in this car when compared to some others.

2021 Tata Tigor EV second-row space

I did observe some panel gaps in our test unit but we suspect it is not going to be the same for most vehicles. But I will say that I would have liked to see some more features or a more premium-looking cabin considering the price-point the car sits at.

2021 Tata Tigor EV Driving Performance & Specifications

2021 Tata Tigor EV battery & motor

The biggest change in the Tigor EV is the inclusion of the Ziptron technology. There is a bigger 26kWh liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery which has resulted in an ARAI certified range of 306km in a single charge. This is a marked improvement over the previous model and people who have range anxiety will find this car a little easier to live with. The bigger battery also comes with a reduction in charging times. Tata claims that you can charge the car from 0 to 80 per cent in just 25 minutes if you use a 25kW fast charger. This is achieved at an ambient temperature of 25 degrees Celsius but even if the temperature is at 30 or above, the charging time will go up by only a few minutes. The car also comes with a charger that plugs into regular 15amp sockets found at homes. If you use this charger then getting up to 80 per cent will take a claimed 8 hours and 45 minutes.

2021 Tata Tigor EV driving right

The first and perhaps the most impressive character related to how the new Tigor EV drives is how smooth and linear it is. Despite the 170Nm of torque being available on tap, the car moves at a steady pace. Unlike many other EVs, the delivery is not jerky and you might even feel like you are driving around in an extremely refined petrol-powered car. When you drive the Tigor EV, you do not have to consciously acclimatise yourself to the fact that it is an EV. Many first time EV buyers will really appreciate that.

2021 Tata Tigor EV driving left

There is a dial on the centre console that is used to switch between the two drive modes – Drive and Sport. This same dial is also used to switch the car into neutral or reverse. The Drive mode is good for normal city use and even for most cases, it will be enough. But if you are feeling a little adventurous, you can turn the dial to Sport mode. In Sport mode, you have access to the entire 170Nm of torque and it also sharpens the accelerator response. At one point we were climbing a flyover and with two people and some luggage in the car and yet we achieved the 100kmph mark with relative ease. Put your foot down on the accelerator pedal at low speed and you will be treated to some wheel spin. Needless to say, this car packs a punch when it comes to performance. Tata claims a 0-60kmph time of 5.7 seconds and while I could not exactly test the same, I think it is a fair claim. The car tops out at around 120kmph and that is enough for cruising on highways.

2021 Tata Tigor EV Ride & Handling

You do get regenerative braking with this car and as mentioned before, there is an indicator on the right side of the instrument cluster that shows you the level of regen braking applied. While there is no way to switch between the level of regen braking, the default setting works well. I did not find it too intrusive and got used to it very quickly. You get disc brakes at the front and drum brakes at the rear. The bite and progression of the brakes are fairly decent for city use. Just like the regular Tigor, the Tigor EV also scored 4-stars in the Global NCAP testing. It comes with dual airbags, reverse parking sensors, ABS and EBD as standard. Apart from this you also have a rear parking camera, hill ascent and hill descent control.

2021 Tata Tigor EV gets 14-inch alloys

The suspension and steering have been tuned for comfort and that means you can glide over bad roads and navigate through traffic without feeling too fatigued. The steering wheel feels a little spongy but is light for the most part.

Verdict

After having driven the new Tigor EV, I can surely say that it is a great option for people who want a second vehicle that could act as a daily driver. The car feels extremely smooth to drive and has a healthy range as well. Yes, the cabin does not feel very premium but it is very spacious for most families. With the starting price of Rs 11.99 lakh (ex-showroom), the vehicle might look expensive compared to some IC engine powered vehicles in the segment. But if you look at EVs, then this is a very good deal and one that does not come with any major downsides.

2021 Tata Tigor EV Specifications & Dimensions

2021 Tata Tigor EV variants and pricing:

XE – Rs 11.99 lakh

XM – Rs 12.49 lakh

XZ+ – Rs 12.99 lakh

XZ+ DT – Rs 13.14 lakh

All prices are ex-showroom, Pan-India.

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