Manza Club Class - Has Tata Motors Finally Got it Right?
What a question to be asked about India's 3rd largest car company. Unfortunately, that's the Tata legacy. Whilst, each of their cars are known for great value for money, they however don't stand for Quality. So unfortunate, for a car company that gave India its first home made car - Indica and then world's cheapest car; The Nano.
All previous avatar's of Manza starting with the Indigo, never offered the quality that sedan buyer in India have got used to, thanks to quality cars from Maruti Suzuzki, Honda, Hyundai, Toyota and many other car companies operating in India. With background, we at www.ecardlr.com went to test drive the New Manza Club Class.
As we were walking towards the car, our belief of Manza Club Class, being one more marketing effort from Tata Motors to create excitement around an existing car started to firm up further in the negative territory.
Yes the black colour on the Manza Club Class did have the metallic finish which the older version standing beside it did not have. Yes there are enough chrome inserts all around the car be it in the front and rear bumper protection and door protection strips and the door handles. Yes the EXL version being given to us had a colour Infinity Contrast roof top adding to the overall look of the Club Class, but the niggling question 'So what's new about Manza Club Class' kept bothering us. The sales manager was not leaving any stone unturned to convince us that the car standing in front of us was indeed a new car. But we had to say, Nah!
And then, yes, And then, the sales manager opened the passenger side door and made us walk inside the car (The Ex Version of Manza Club Class). One look inside, the Manza Club Class story took a U turn in our minds. It was a surprise, a pleasant surprise, to say the least. We were looking at fit, finish and tactile feel befitting a 10 lac car. First thing one notices is the shimmering top-of-the class dual tone (Purple and Black) fabric upholstery. Interior colour scheme was a continuation with purple and black dash, chrome interior handles, chrome top gear shift knob and a complementing matt finished grey door armrest. Manza Club Class was living to its name. Add to this the touch screen navigation and stereo system with 6 speakers and a Blue Tooth Facility to which one can pair 5 different phones. Unlike the current Manza that I am driving the Blue tooth of Manza Club Class recognised even my Nokia E7. This to me was the icing on the cake, my Nokia E7 getting paired with cars blue tooth functionality, the only reason I had bought the old Manza but could never pair any of my phones with it.
Automatic climate control, power windows with express up & down on driver side, lumbar support, driver seat height adjustable, rear defogger and loads fo space front and back are all there for one to enjoy. High quality plastic when compared to all Manza, Manza Club Class interiors are in a class of their own. Post the interiors one's negativity toward the Manza Club Class has diminished to a great extent.
And then, Yes, and Then came the icing on the cake. Manza Club Class's club class drive. Whilst it has the same 1.3 ltr quadrajet engine like all it's predecessors, but it's far quiter, the idle was just a quite purr unlike my old Manza. The steering felt good, seat belts strapped, my E7 synced to the blue tooth and navigation system given necessary inputs and we were ready for a drive. Manza Club Class picked up quite smoothly, one did not feel any diesel lag, so evident in my old Manza. With speedo and rpm inching close to my dreaded 1600-1800 Rpm mark, I was preparing myself for the diesel power surge so evident in my old Manza, that did not happen in the Manza Club Class. Ooh! what a was comforting feeling. The car just kept gaining speed in a far more linear fashion and very soon we were close to the three digit mark on the gurgaon highway.
Steering even though hydraulically assisted like my old Manza, was far more easy to manoeuvre and responsive, yes it did feel light at three digit speed mark.
The next obvious difference was the suspension, its far more stiffer and ready to take corner more confidently unlike the old Manza. It does show some bad old habits of roll and sway but not as dangerously like the old Manza. Even in the straight line, the Manza Club Class behaved far more planted at high speeds as compared to its earlier counterpart. All in all a far more positive drive experience than what all of us expected.
Manza Club Class comes with Dual front Airbags, EBD, ABS and other necessary safety features, but they are not class leading and yet quite in line with its peer in its price bracket. Only wish it offered a Reverse Parking Sensor to overcome parking fears thanks to its tall rear.
The final verdict, externally nothing much to distinguish the Manza Club Class with it's older versions, irrespective of the sales spiel. But the real Manza Club Class experience lies in its drive and interiors.
The only question one needs to answer is whether, you would like to put Rs.10 lacs plus on the table for a Tata Motors car? We would for the Manza Club Class.