When the Indica Vista came along, it was obvious that like its younger sibling, the Indica, the Vista too would spawn a sedan in the time to come. Within one and half year of the Vista’s birth, the obvious happened and the Indigo Manza was born. But contrary to the Indigo’s market placement, the Manza comes across as a premium sedan instead of a cheap booted version of some entry-level hatchback.
Design & Features
Tata have largely benefitted form their alliance with Fiat – and this face is evident right from the first glance at the Manza. What Tata did not learn from Mercedes Benz over a decade ago, they learnt from Fiat in a couple of years – paint quality! Look at the Manza in any shade and it looks as well finished and glossy as Linea. Even the body lines of the Manza look classy unlike the yesteryear Indigo – which looked like an Indica with crooked box hanging out of its backside. The boot on the Manza is flat and large and complements the rakish lines of the rest of the body. The wineglass shaped taillights look equally classy while the chrome lining on the boot-lip add to the premium quotient of the Manza.
Upfront the Manza looks a lot similar to the Vista. But Tata have made subtle but necessary changes here. The headlights are similarly shaped to the those of the Vista, but the internal arrangement of the upper, dipper and blinker elements have been reshuffled and restyled to suit the sedan body form. Like the tail, the front too gets its premium bits via the chrome grill unlike the black plastic smiley grill of the Vista. Overall, the Manza looks more balanced than the old Indigo, however I feel the car could have done with bigger wheels - for even the 15-inchers look slightly undersized for the Manza’s body.
The interiors are yet another step forward for Tata and look quite up-market as compared to other Tatas below the 10-lakh-rupee mark. Furthermore Tata has integrated most of the desirables from the Linea like a Bluetooth™-enabled audio system, adjustable steering wheel, steering mounted audio and phone controls, cup holder for the rear bench etc. Depending on the variant, the Manza offers safety features like ABS and airbags as well!
Drivability and comfort
The most talked about feature in the Manza is its light steering. For a moment you’ll almost forget that this car came from the same engineers who have brought you truck-like models like the Sumo and Safari. The Manza has been engineered to suit the driving capabilities of an average Indian driver, hence easy maneuverability at low as well as high speeds has been given special attention. However, if you indulge in some spirited driving around twisties, your confidence will be dampened as the Manza tends to understeer. But spirited driving aside, the Manza is a great city car with a well sorted out suspension setup for Indian roads. Furthermore, the large cabin space and generous legroom for the back bench makes it an ideal car for weekend getaways with the family.
The Manza-Linea love story continues in the engine bay as well. Tata has chosen to use the 1.3-litre Mtultijet diesel and the 1.4-litre FIRE petrol mills from the Fiat inventory for the Manza. The Multijet diesel (MJD) has proved its worth times without number in various vehicles like the Linea, Swift Dezire, Swift hatch, Vista, Punto and the list goes on…For the Manza the 1.3 MJD gets 90 horses meaning that its state of tune is similar to that of the Linea. The 200 Nm torque is available between 1750 to 2500 revs, giving the Manza great tractability in the city. The petrol engine on the hand gives a lesser torque output of 116 Nm, but gives a similar 90PS of power and a cheaper price tag. Fuel efficiency for the diesel and petrol engines lie in the range of 17-20 kmpl and 11-14 kmpl respectively.
At the Rs.4.8-6.8 lakh sticker prices, the Manza competes with the Ford Ikon, Renault Logan, Hyundai Accent and most importantly, the Swift Dezire. The Manza not only offers better features than most others but is also easier to procure than the Dezire (which has an ever increasing waiting period). The only thing that works against the Manza is the consumer’s lack of faith in Tata quality.