It’s 9.00 a.m. You are standing outside your house, waiting for your cab to arrive. You check the app and discover the driver hasn’t moved towards the pick up point. You are forced to cancel, pay the penalty and look for another. And then another. This goes on until a taxi finally arrives. You mumble a prayer, enter the cab and try to settle down.
Once inside you take a look around. The upholstery looks like it has seen better days. An odd smell lingers in the cabin. You don’t want to guess what it is. And then you notice the AC is taking far too long to kick in.
“Fan toh hai na, ma’am (what’s the fan there for, ma’am?)”, the driver helpfully points out. Drenched in sweat you stare at the tiny blades furiously rotating and throwing whiffs of warm air in your general direction. You think of leaving a bad review on the app and then wonder if this even makes a difference anymore.
Now imagine going through this every day. This was my life just a few months ago until one day I decided to change things for good and get my own car.
A bit About Me:
I am Ananya Dwivedi, a 30-year-old resident of Gurgaon. I run my own business called Creator Company in Sushant Lok where I teach the art and science of music production to students 7 years and above.
I started following music as a full-time profession because I felt I could empower others by sharing what I knew well and felt passionate about. Soon enough, I realized there were practical challenges to running your own venture. One of them had to do with mobility: I couldn’t, for example, reach the office late and expect my team to be on time.
Now, the 7-odd kilometers between my residence and my office may not sound like a long commute. But add long queues at overcrowded metro stations, circuitous train routes, poor availability of autos and a punishing North Indian summer to the mix and you get the right picture.
I used to swear by ride-hailing apps, but the decline in their services has been alarming. Drivers now ask questions such as ‘what’s your destination?’ or ‘Cash or online payment?’ and then refuse to turn up if the destination or mode of payment doesn’t suit them.
In general I was dependent on others to travel anywhere – to work, to meet friends, to even go to the grocery store a block away when I ran out of coffee. I needed a car, and I needed it asap.
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Used Tata Tiago 2019 Automatic: User Review
What Did I Want From My Car?
I was certain about a few things. I wanted a car that was relatively new: nothing older than a 2019 registration. I had taken driving lessons about five years ago and was out of practice since then, so I also wanted a car that was easy to learn and drive. My budget was somewhere between 4 and 5 lakh rupees.
Safety was another concern: I wanted a car that not just kept me and other occupants secure, but also helped me be more aware of my surroundings and become a responsible driver.
But Why A Used Car?
A car is a depreciating asset – a new car’s value drops sharply the moment you turn the ignition key and head home. The sharpest dip in valuation happens in the first year itself! And at the time of resale, there’s rarely an offer that comes close to what you shelled out for a brand new set of wheels.
I wanted to be able to learn fast and hit the roads as soon as possible. With a new car, who knows how long that would have taken? I may have forever felt unsure on busier busy roads or avoided narrow bylanes with a brand new vehicle.
In addition, I had heard about Spinny from people who had bought from them and knew that their Assured cars were high quality that went through strict quality evaluation. I also knew they sold non-accidental vehicles, so I felt that a used car bought from a reliable source would check all my boxes without burning through my savings.
Which cars did I consider? My Shortlist:
My wish-list in hand, I started visiting online used car platforms and assessing my options. In the end I felt the most confident about Spinny for reasons I would share in detail later. After a lot of research and discussions, I narrowed my search to these four cars:
2020 Renault Kwid RXL
Designed as a really compact SUV, this 2020 Renault Kwid’s sporty looks won my heart and also checked a lot of the boxes as far as features, fuel economy and general comfort level as a driver were concerned. It was also the most pocket-friendly option of them all. In the end it fell just a bit short of expectations on space.
2017 Tata Nexon XZ Plus
At the other end of the size spectrum was the Tata Nexon. I could immediately see why this compact SUV has been such a hit among buyers, but as a first-time driver who was mostly going to be driving alone, it seemed too big and overwhelming. I thought I might consider the Nexon as my next upgrade but for now I decided to give it a pass.
2019 Tata Tiago NRG
The Tiago Revotron NRG was a strong contender from the earliest stages of my car search. While it boasted Tata’s safety credentials, it also looked more premium and was available in my preferred dark gray color. I was almost ready to pay the booking amount, but the available unit was a manual. There wasn’t an automatic version I could have taken home immediately, and since I was in a hurry, I decided to drop the option and move on.
And the car I brought home was…
2019 Tata Tiago XZA Revotron Petrol: Driven about 19,000 km, this 2019 Tata hatchback fell comfortably within the price range I had in mind. The car’s famed safety ratings (whose real-life implications I saw in action soon) and equipment, its automatic gearbox and its robust overall feature list helped me make up my mind.
The team at the hub took me through every detail of the vehicle, told me exactly how it would serve my requirements, and explained the purchase and delivery process thoroughly. I test drove the vehicle, and quite liked the way I felt inside it.
It was settled. I was bringing home a Tata Tiago.
Purchase Process: Paperwork, Delivery & Payment
Paperwork: Paperwork toh kuch tha hi nahi (there wasn’t any complicated paperwork at all). I submitted all the documents online. The overall process was faster than what I had expected.
Delivery: The customer relations folks helped me not just explore options most suited to my needs, but also delivered the car right at my doorsteps. The experience was special.
Mode of Payment: I paid in cash and through bank transfers. I didn’t avail a loan because I didn’t want to pay a big sum as interest every month.
Used 2019 Tata Tiago (automatic): First Impressions
To be honest, I had a black or darker gray shade in mind whereas what I ended up buying was a light gray hatchback. Also looks-wise this vehicle did slightly pale in comparison to the Tiago NRG. That said, I couldn’t find any fault otherwise or notice any design drawbacks. My Tiago was a compact, shiny, and pleasing-to-the-eye hatchback with a good presence on the road, too.
From a used car point of view, did I detect any dents or scratches? There were some moderate scratches on the right ORVM and on the driver’s door handle. But otherwise from the bumper and the front grille through the fenders and doors, right up to the rear and the roof – everything looked good.
There weren’t even those thin lines on the body that you get over a period of time. !The tires and the underbody had little signs of wear and tear. I haven’t noticed any problems as far as the paint quality is concerned, but I will be happy to return in 6-12 months and provide an update. Watch this space. 🙂
Interiors: comfort, space & features
Upholstery & overall ‘Freshness’: The car seat covers looked nice and well taken care of; the dashboard and other material also felt good to the touch. The black and beige combination on the doors and other parts may look standard to some but I felt they lent a pleasantly familiar and reassuring look to the cabin.
When I first sat inside the car, it looked and smelled like, well, a new car. The dashboard had no telltale scratches, the roof was spotless, the handles, the buttons and the knobs worked like new. I could tell the previous owner had taken good care of the vehicle, and the folks at the Hub did a thorough job of ensuring squeaky clean interiors that you felt nice and proud about, as a first-time car owner.
Cooling: The cooling for this car is phenomenal – in fact, sometimes I feel it is a little too effective. Initially I wasn’t too careful about the settings and it ended up leaving my hands freeling frozen (they say women feel colder than men but trust me, male co-passenger have felt the chill as well!). Is it something you can complain about? No. You just adjust the temperature closer to your comfort level and carry on.
April heat: 0, Ananya: 1.
Sound System: Typically most cars come fitted with woofers that increase the bass sound, but the Tata Tiago had tweeters as well, which amplify the sharp sounds. As a music professional I was thrilled when I noticed four tiny little Harman tweeters tucked away under the side mirrors.
You may think it isn’t such a big deal, but it was this little gem that elevated my driving experience to a whole new level. I take my car out for a spin every evening, with the music system belting out my favorites the way they were meant to be played – and heard. A deal clincher for me.
Seats: The seats are comfortable; you sit inside and somehow you feel you are being held by the seats. The rear seats are plush too. I have been inside higher-end, more premium cars and I feel some of them don’t offer rear seat comfort as well as they should. My Tiago scores on that front. Back and thigh support are also nothing to worry about and allow you to drive comfortably even for longer distances.
Features: Since the Tiago I bought is a relatively new model, the feature list for the price point more than passed muster for me and my family. I found the foldable side view mirrors, the cooled glove compartment, and the cup holders smart, utility-driven features.
I would have appreciated the infotainment screen to show my playlist, but the steering-mounted audio controls are quite responsive and work well enough for me.
In general I feel smug about the fact that for the exact same bells and whistles I paid at least 1.5 lakh less than what I would have for driving a new car off the lot. 🙂
Space & Storage: I am 5 feet 6 inches tall, and I find legroom and headroom ample both in the back and the front seats (the image should give you an idea). The driver’s seat is height-adjustable anyway, so you can set it however it suits you best. On the rear bench three adults of average height and build can fit in without any fight for elbow room.
As far as boot space goes, I haven’t had a chance to load it up yet, but the Tiago’s 242 liter-capacity seems more than adequate for more than a few large pieces of luggage.
Engine: Pick-up is fairly nice; on a clear stretch of road, for example, you press the pedal and the engine allows you to take off just the way you want it to. Even on busier roads, I hardly notice any lag in engine response when the traffic ahead clears up and I want to cover more distance in a short space of time.
In the two months I have driven the car, engine noise has barely been noticeable, and the cabin has felt pleasantly quiet and insulated – particularly in comparison with my husband’s compact SUV (diesel; manual) I have been ferried around in for some years now!
Handling & drive quality: The car does a good job staying planted while cornering, and responds well to both braking and acceleration, as I mentioned earlier. Another interesting thing is that while driving up a slope if I end up decelerating to the point of near halt, the car doesn’t roll back even with the hand brakes not deployed.
I found the transmission smooth as well. My decision to purchase a clutchless automatic makes more sense each passing day, particularly when I compare the experience to the time I spent driving a stick shift during my learning days half a decade ago. The Tata Tiago was easy to learn and it made city traffic easier to navigate.
Suspension: Let’s face it: apart from its arterial network, Gurgaon roads aren’t the most driver-friendly. There are a lot of connecting roads with potholes every few yards, but in my Tiago the roads’ general state of disrepair doesn’t bother much. I guess it has to do with the car’s suspension; it’s nice and supple, and keeps the ride stable and jerk-free. A few friends who actually own larger SUVs have also remarked how confidently the car rides over the bad patches, especially for its segment.
About two weeks ago, I experienced first-hand why Tata cars are rated high on safety parameters. As I took a right at a cross-section a food-delivery bike came from nowhere, completely ignored my blinkers, and slammed hard into the front right door. At the moment of impact, the other driver must have been moving at 30-40 km an hour, so it wasn’t just a light brush. But when I checked the body for damage, I noticed a dent far smaller than I had feared.
I reached out to Spinny refurb, which promptly responded and took the car away for repair. It was back in 7 days, looking exactly as did before the incident.
Apart from the solid body structure, the Tiago came with dual front airbags, EBD with ABS, corner stability, and rear parking camera. I could rattle off the safety equipment list, but the point here is that the entire package offers great psychological comfort and confidence to me as a first-time driver. I mean, you could be driving with all the care and still, on our roads, there’s no telling who may suddenly try to cut in or switch lanes or jump a signal and leave you in a bad spot. In such a situation a car with above-par safety measures makes all the difference.
Pros and Cons
Easy to learn AMT
Colour wasn't first choice
High safety ratings
Instrument cluster could be fancier
Best-in-class sound system
Compact build eases navigation
When the folks at the Hub first placed the keys in my hands, I thought I was taking home a mere mobility tool. But this car is way more than that. It has given me freedom to move at my convenience, any time of the day. It has made sure I never have to depend on erratic cabs or packed, unsafe public transport or even lifts from friends and family to get around.
Owning a car is empowering in other ways too: for the first time ever, I am taking my husband out for drives instead of the other way around!
A word for the customer relations team. They patiently listened to my requirements, helped me shortlist cars, led me towards the option that most suited my particular preferences (automatic, solid NCAP ratings) and explained the pros and cons of owning different cars. Even post-sales services have been reassuring as I experienced it after the recent accident. The free, 1-year warranty and the buyback promise are both solid value-adds that made me all the more certain about my decision.
What more can I say? Buying a second hand has worked out just as well as a first-hand car would have. The post-pandemic, organized world of used cars is starkly different from how things were a decade ago. There’s a great deal of transparency – every little scratch is documented, which tells you exactly what you are buying.
So if you are thinking of a car, then do give used cars from reliable, trustworthy sources a serious thought. You won’t regret it. 🙂