TATA Motors is an expert in diesel engines, a result of its trucks predating the brand’s cars by decades. These days, Tata is the planet’s fourth-biggest seller of commercial vehicles. These run on diesel.
It’s no surprise then that its cars come with gasoline and diesel engines. And last week Tata’s two car models in the Philippines—the Manza sedan and Vista hatchback—have now be joined by their diesel-propelled siblings.
The Indian brand’s local distributor, Pilipinas Taj Autogroup, brought out the new variants at Tata’s latest showroom, located on Ortigas Avenue Extension in Cainta, Rizal. Called the Manza Aura and Vista Ignis, the pair are powered by the Quadrajet diesel engine, which Tata shares with Fiat, and which Pilipinas Taj said is efficient and refined.
The arrival of the Manza Aura and Vista Ignis forms part of Tata’s strategy in the Philippines, in which the Tata Motors brand and some of its models like the Manza and Vista, and the Xenon, Ace and Super Ace trucks, were launched in April. Tata Motors in Mumbai, India, had actually bared the plan before the brand’s entry into the country.
“We have identified the segments to compete in, and our strength lies in advanced diesel offerings,” said Johnny Oommen, Tata Motors’s head of international business for passenger vehicles, regarding the carmaker’s tact at how best to take on the Philippine market.
The Manza Aura and Vista Ignis are designed to “achieve high fuel mileage, exceptional passenger comfort and a stress-free ownership experience,” according to Pilipinas Taj, which added that buyers of the cars can “take advantage of the long-term benefits diesel-powered vehicles offer, especially when considering the rising prices of gasoline.”
The Manza Aura is powered by the 1.3-liter Quadrajet engine that makes 89hp and 200Nm of torque from 1,750rpm to 3,000rpm. The Vista Ignis gets the same 1.3-liter diesel mill, but in this case makes 74hp and 190Nm of torque within the same rev band.
Both cars are equipped with Tata’s signature chrome “smiling” grille, more chrome accents, fog lamps in front and “three-barrel” headlamps. In the cabin the cars come fitted with steering wheel-mounted audio controls, a head unit that has a USB port and which can link via Bluetooth, driver information system, illuminated keyhole ring and one-touch power window in the driver’s side. The cars also boast cavernous cargo bays, with that on the Vista expandable by way of a folding backseat. Speaking of which, there’s ample legroom in the cars’ rear.
In terms of safety features, the Manza Aura and Vista Ignis have dual airbags in front, side-impact protection beams, ventilated front disc brakes, and ABS with EBD.
Pilipinas Taj said the cars are available for test drives at any of its showrooms. It prices the Manza Aura at P738,000 and the Vista Ignis at P678,000. Paint color choices are Cavern Grey, Porcelain White, Jet Silver, Spice Red and Infinity Black.