1. Low running cost
At the time of driving the Tiago i-CNG, the petrol price in Mumbai was Rs 111 for a litre. In comparison, the CNG was Rs 76 for a kilogram. Let’s do some calculations. Consider an average city car that gives a mileage of about 15kmpl for your daily commute. With Rs 111 for a litre, the per kilometer cost of the petrol-powered car comes to around Rs 7.5. For a commute of 50km, it would lighten the pocket by Rs 370.
While it was with us, we did a real-world fuel efficiency test for the Tiago CNG and found that it returned close to 17km/kg in the city and around 33km/kg on the highway. That gives us a combined efficiency of just over 21km/kg on CNG. The ARAI claim of the Tiago i-CNG is 26.49km/kg. Applying the calculations similar to a petrol-powered car, we get a per-kilometre cost of Rs 3.61 for this CNG version. And if you do a 50km commute, it will cost you just Rs 180. That’s half of what you’d spend for the same kilometres in a petrol-powered car.
We also did a range test of the CNG tank in this Tiago. That is, we tanked up the CNG tank to the maximum and drove till the tank ran dry. Driving in real-world conditions, the CNG tank gave us a range of around 227km. And when we tanked it up back again, it took in close to 9.0kg of CNG. For the tank up, it cost us around Rs 684. That’s Rs 684 for 227km. Just Rs 3 per kilometer once again.
2. CNG options available across all trim levels
When Tata launched the factory-fitted CNG version of the Tiago, it wasn’t available just in one or two trims or with missing features and comfort. The Tiago CNG is available in four trims: XE, XM, XT, and what we have here – the XZ+. Prices for the XE version start at Rs 6.28 lakh, the XM is priced at Rs 6.55 lakh, and the XT retails at Rs 6.85 lakh.
This top-spec XZ+ comes at Rs 7.68 lakh and, if you want, it can also be had in a dual-tone finish. All prices are ex-showroom. Offering a CNG version across all the trims provides more choices to the buyer without being deprived of the conventional feature list.
3. Feature loaded
Talking about the feature list, the fully-loaded XZ+ trim comes with a lot of bells and whistles. This includes projector headlamps, roof-mounted spoiler, 14-inch steel rims with a smart-looking cover, shark fin antenna, handsome-looking tri-arrow grille, rear windscreen wiper with washer, LED daytime running lights, and chrome-finished door handles.
On the inside, you get a seven-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity by Harman with eight speakers, an all-digital instrument cluster, steering-mounted controls, cooled glovebox, auto-fold ORVMs, tilt adjustment for steering, height adjustment for driver’s seat, all-four power windows, dead pedal, and rear parking camera.
As with all modern-day Tata cars, the Tiago is also high on safety. Under the NCAP testing, the Tiago has bagged a handsome four-star rating, even in this iCNG guise. The standard safety equipment includes dual airbags, ABS with EBD and corner stability control, a rear parking sensor with camera, and a puncture repair kit. Also, this being a CNG-powered car, as per the mandate for CNG cars, it has a provision for a fire extinguisher under the front passenger seat. There’s also a micro-switch that automatically turns off the engine when the fuel cap is opened, and the motor won’t start as long as it’s open. The CNG cylinder also gets leak and thermal protection along with a pressure-release nozzle.
5. Performance – no major drop in CNG
Lastly, we come to the crucial part of any CNG-powered car – driving. When we first drove the Tigor, we came back impressed with how little difference there is between the CNG mode and petrol mode. And the same can be noticed here in the Tiago as well. When starting up, it starts in default in the CNG mode. No unnecessary business of starting in petrol and waiting for it to switch to CNG, or manually revving the motor to switch it to CNG. Even the switch between the petrol and CNG is seamless and you wouldn’t even notice it.
As for the driving, the 1.2-litre engine in this Tiago produces 86bhp and 113Nm in the petrol mode. But in the CNG, these figures drop to 73bhp and 95Nm. But here’s the best part – you barely notice the drop in performance. Sure, it’s a little noisy when driven in CNG, and it’s not only quieter but also slightly smoother when driven in petrol mode. But the difference is barely noticeable for everyday city driving. Even on the highway, the performance of the motor is more than adequate.