TATA has turned up the heat on South Africa's entry-level family sedan segment with the introduction of their new flagship passenger car – the Indigo Manza. Competing with the likes of more expensive brands like the Toyota Etios, VW Polo Vivo and the Ford Ikon sedan, TATA may be hoping to entice entry-level buyers with their unique offering and competitively priced Indigo Manza which is available as a base INI model or a top-end IGNIS variant.
Built in India as part of a joint venture with Fiat, the new Indigo Manza sports an entirely new platform with improved dynamics. The Manza measures 4413 mm in overall length and rides on a 2520 mm wheelbase. With a width of 1707 mm (including side mirrors) and at a height of 1550 mm it becomes evident that the Indigo Manza is almost as tall as it is wide – rather like an early Fiat Uno. There is a dramatic and curvy waistline which links up to sweptback looking three-barreled headlight clusters giving the car a distinctive style. The front treatment is uncluttered with TATA's four-slatted smiling grille as a focal point. The Indigo Manza rides on 15 inch alloys and appears to have a higher ground clearance than its competitors.
The TATA Indigo Manza boasts the largest boot space of all cars for sale in its class. At 460 litres the generous boot can be extended even further by folding the one-piece rear seat back. Fit and finish inside the Indigo Manza are adequate for a car of its class, however Toyota and VW stalwarts might find it offerings subdued in comparison. There is a driver information system on the centre console which provides readings on fuel consumption and temperature while a 'soft-feel' dashboard houses a sporty instrument cluster. The two-tone upholstery fabric is neat but not fancy and the Indigo Manza comes equipped a 2 DIN Music system with Bluetooth and USB connectivity. The audio controls are mounted on the steering wheel. Other specifications include: Aircon and tilt adjustable power steering with a height adjustable driver’s seat. The TATA Indigo Manza's rear-seat legroom is exceptional and includes a fold-down tray and cup holders.
The Indigo Manza is fitted with a 1.4 litre Fiat-sourced Safire petrol engine with multiport fuel-injection, capable of producing 66 kW of power at 6000 rpm and 116 Nm of torque at 4750 rpm. A 1248cc common-rail diesel, presumably also sourced from Fiat, is in the pipeline for later. TATA quotes 0-100 km/h in 14 seconds and a top speed of 165 km/h. Fuel consumption is 6.4 litres per 100 km on a combined cycle and CO2 emissions are at 151 g/km.
Safety features for the Indigo MANZA include a collapsible steering column, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and dual front airbags. A Critical Rev Indicator turns red when the engine crosses its critical RPM and an engine immobilizer and central locking offer additional security.
The new TATA Indigo Manza offers modest performance, adequate interior quality levels and a spacious and comfortable ride. It does not pretend to be something its not and families looking at buying a car in this segment, who need to come in under a tighter budget, would do well to consider this car as an option. Pricing starts at around R119 995 and includes a 3 year/100 000 km factory warranty, standard 3 year/unlimited km Roadside Assistance as well as a 4 year/100 000 km service plan. (Prices may go up or down according to various factors, please consult your dealer for the latest price.)