Tata Zest is a better car than Maruti Dzire

The Tata Zest packs in a serious amount of equipment compared to the Maruti DZire, it’s cheaper too, writes Faisal Ali Khan of MotorBeam.com

T ata Motors’ domestic car sales have been falling in the past few months as the automaker had nothing fresh to suggest customers.

After a gap of almost five years, Tata Motors has ultimately launched an all fresh car, the Zest. The vehicle has a lot railing on it and its success is crucial for the Indica maker.

In fact, the Zest is so significant that Tata Motors has gone out of its way to develop, market and price the vehicle.

The Indigo CS was the very first sub 4-metre compact sedan in India while Maruti Suzuki’s Swift DZire is the segment leader in terms of sales.

Can the Tata Zest give the Maruti DZire a run for its money? We pit both cars head-on to find out.

Tata Zest is a better car than Maruti Dzire

A n area where Tata cars have lacked till now is without doubt the exterior styling. With the Zest, the company has taken a big stride ahead as this vehicle looks truly captivating.

While the rear isn’t as appealing as say a Honda Amaze, the Zest is a good looking car, unlike the DZire which comes off as a Swift with a boot, with not a slick flowing design for the third box.

With so many DZires on the road already, the car doesn’t induce a 2nd glance but the fresh fresh Zest does. It also has better attention to detail and all variants also get alloy wheels as standard.

The best part and also the segment very first features are the projector headlights and daytime running lights, these give the Tata vehicle a very appealing front-end. It’s little doubt then, that the Zest is the more appealing car inbetween the two.

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Tata Zest is a better car than Maruti Dzire

W hen we come to the interiors, the Zest proceeds to impress with an all fresh dashboard and quality you have unseen in a Tata car.

The fit and finish is on par with the Maruti DZire, which has already made its name in the country for its decent quality and appealing interiors.

The Zest has a very European dashboard and that appeals more than the DZire’s which is also a nice unit having a two-tone treatment, just like the Tata car.

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Tata Zest is a better car than Maruti Dzire

W here the Tata Zest downright annihilates the Maruti DZire is equipment levels. While the DZire is fairly loaded with Climate Control system, steering mounted audio controls, multi-information display, the Zest comes with a lot more.

Features like a touch-screen audio system, voice directions, Bluetooth connectivity, go after me home headlamps, switch sides parking sensors are suggested on the Zest.

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Tata Zest is a better car than Maruti Dzire

T he seats on the Maruti DZire are truly good but the Tata Zest isn’t behind either and offers as convenient seats, with excellent back support.

But the space inwards the cabin of the Zest is much more than the DZire, it has way more legroom (the Zest has the longest wheelbase in its class) but it misses out on a rear seat centre arm rest. The boot in the Zest is fatter than the DZire’s puny trunk.

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Tata Zest is a better car than Maruti Dzire

T he ConnectNext system on the Zest is indeed state of the art with exceptional audio quality for a stock unit and a range of connectivity options.

The DZire hammers the Zest is in terms of cabin storage spaces, the Zest having very few with only one cupholder and enormously petite door pockets, there are no magazine pockets either.

Still, with its roomier cabin and more equipment, the Zest is the better car on the interior front.

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Tata Zest is a better car than Maruti Dzire

B oth cars come with petrol and diesel engines, with Tata Motors having a very first in segment for both fuel types.

For the petrol motor, the big news is the 1.2-litre Revotron engine which is a turbocharged unit.

While it produces more or less the same output as the DZire (90 HP vs eighty six HP), the torque output is drastically more at one hundred forty Nm, that’s twenty six Nm over the DZire.

While the DZire’s K-Series engine has always been good, the Revotron mill boasts of better drivability.

The Zest can’t match the DZire in the top-end but the turbocharged Tata car has better low and mid-range spectacle.

It also has three switchable on the fly driving modes (Eco, City and Sports) and as per our VBOX timing tests, there is a difference in all modes with the motor being the most responsive in Sports mode.

The DZire’s engine revs quicker and is more sportier as the Zest even with a turbocharger doesn’t have that kick in the pants feel.

The mileage on the DZire is slightly more as per ARAI but the real world difference is less than a kmpl.

Tata Zest is a better car than Maruti Dzire

W hen we come to the diesel engines, both cars use the same 1.3-litre Fiat sourced diesel motor but the tuning is as different as chalk and cheese.

The DZire comes in a lower state of tune producing seventy five HP and one hundred ninety Nm while the Zest also gets a similar tune but only for the base variant.

All other variants of the Zest come with output figures of ninety HP and two hundred Nm. The DZire again has the better top-end but lacks drastically in the low-end of the power band, having considerable turbolag.

The Zest is again the more drivable car with lag being almost negligible, it pulls cleanly right from the word go but power trails off near four thousand RPM.

While both cars are suggested with a 5-speed manual gearbox, Tata Motors has also matched an AMT automatic transmission to the diesel Zest, making it the cheapest diesel automatic car in the country.

This make the Zest fairly unique as the convenience of an automatic is unparalleled for the convenience seeking person.

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Tata Zest is a better car than Maruti Dzire

T he Tata Zest treats fairly well but it can’t hit the Maruti DZire which simply has the better treating of the two. The Zest also has a good steering wheel but again the Swift based sedan hits it on that regard with better feel and feedback.

The Zest does strike the DZire when it comes to grip as the tyres are better on the Tata. It also has a much better rail quality which is so good that it’s lightly the segment best.

On the braking front too, the Zest performs better, it gets Six pack, EBD and Cornering Brake Control as standard on all variants except the base trim.

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Tata Zest is a better car than Maruti Dzire

S o the crucial question is, has Tata Motors made a better car than Maruti Suzuki’s top selling Swift DZire? The response is yes, a definite yes.

With better styling, more appealing interiors, higher equipment, much more interior room, class leading rail quality and better drivability, the Zest comes across as the better car of the two.

The icing on the cake is the pricing, Tata has priced the Zest from Rs 551,000 going up to Rs 843,000, while the Maruti DZire is priced inbetween Rs. 586,000 to Rs 881,000 (on-road, Mumbai).

Thus by undercutting the segment leader, the Tata Zest is way more car per car and the value suggested is simply unbeatable.

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