Tata Motors showed its new multi-utility vehicle at Auto Expo February 2014 and this is called Movus. In effect it is a re-branded version of Sumo Grande and comes in 7, 8 and 9 seat versions with flexible seat configuration options. After the initial exhibit at the event, Tata Movus was formally launched for the markets in May 2014 and the price for base 7 seater, BS4 version starts at Rs 7.14 lakhs (ex showroom price Delhi).
This car is powered by 2.2 litre VARICOR diesel engine that churns out 118 bhp at 4000 rpm and 25.4 kgm of torque at 1500-3000 rpm. It is paired with double synchromesh 5 +1 speed gearbox. This unit also powers Tata Safari and Safari Storme in a higher state of tune. Tata Motors has claimed a fuel economy of 15.16 km/litre for the vehicle.
Movus has a new rack and pinion steering and a self-adjusting clutch. Reportedly, the clutch pedal effort has been reduced with revised master cylinder design and its life is claimed to have been improved to 1,00,000 kms. The steering wheel has a turning radius of 5.35 meters which is smaller as compared to that in Mahindra Xylo and Toyota Innova. This multi-utility vehicle has strong independent, double Wishbone with coil springs suspension setup for front and a Parabolic Leaf Spring at the rear - this is to make it capable of dealing with some tough Indian roads. For braking there are single pot caliper discs for front, and drum brakes at the rear.
In terms of looks and features, Tata’s new multi-utility vehicle is a replica of its predecessor Sumo Grande. It has the same boxy profile and there are hardly any changes in the front design. The three slat grille is flanked by simple looking clear lens headlamps and the hefty front bumper that was in body colour for Grande MKII has been blackened here for some cost-cutting.
From sides too the resemblance to the previous version of this MUV is instantly recognisable. The wheel arches are beefy and wheel wells are quite large for the 215/75 R15 LT tubeless tyres. An aluminium stepping board is provided on the sides (top end trim only) but there is no running strip on the door panels as was seen in the facelifted Sumo Grande MKII. Instead there are decals to make the brawny vehicle look more appealing. More importantly, Tata has added a carrier on the roof of Movus. This makes the vehicle more practical as a people mover in the commercial sector – with all the extra luggage strapped on top, cabin space can be used to its fullest. Movus is 4421 mm in length and has a wheelbase of 2550 mm. Its ground clearance measures a good 180 mm.
Walk up to the back and you see stylish wrap-around tail lamps. These look less boxy and more elongated than the ones on older model. The chrome garnish above the number plate has been replaced by simple black plastic cladding. There is Movus badge on the bottom left of the tailgate and the variant name (CX/VX) on its right. A stepping board is also affixed for ease of entry to the rear part of the cabin. The high mount stop lamp is standard attribute.
The interior of Movus is plain but as expected in a Tata car there is adequate legroom and headroom on front and second row of seats. The 7 and 9 seater variants get side facing third row seats and another 7 seater variant comes with captain seats for third row. In the 8 seater layout, all the seats face forward. Tata Movus has 2 trims - base CX and the top end LX. The variants with captain seats provide an easier access to the third row. Seats in both the trims are upholstered in fabric + vinyl based material.
Dashboard has a simple layout with just the basic features – a mobile holder in the centre console (there’s no audio system), illuminated ignition key slot, digital tripmeter and cable operated remote fuel flap. The manual air conditioner with heating, ventilation (HVAC) system comes only with the LX version and the base CX has heating-only feature. The steering wheel is tilt adaptable and light intensity on the instrument panel can be adjusted. For storage of knick knacks, the doors do have map pocket and for a degree of aesthetics there are fabric inserts on door trims.
Being a basic people mover, Movus gets only the ordinary safety features – height adjustable seat belts, child lock, anti glare feature on internal rear view mirror, headlamps adjustment and driver door ajar warning.
Tata Motors offers a warranty of 3 years or 1,00,000 kms – whichever is earlier – on the Movus. The body colour options are Artic Silver or Artic White.
Aggressively priced between Rs 7.14 lakhs and 7.41 lakhs (ex showroom price, Delhi), the Movus is chiefly targeted at the commercial sector. Ample cabin space with comfortable seats is something that Tata cars are known for, and the latest utility vehicle from their stable is no exception. The Movus may not be loaded with equipment and some materials lack refinement but this vehicle readily does what it is expected to do – move people and luggage between destinations – and so it makes for an acceptable and practical multi utility vehicle.