OLX Part 3. Tata Zest AMT D.


Mediocre me
So last 3 years have been busy for us from car exchange perspective.

Read OLX Part1 here:

Where is Part2? I am yet to post a review. Well, This small Picture can tell what the OLX part 2 was. make a guess.
Nano AMT.jpg

Coming to Part3:
We just bought a Tata Zest XMA Diesel AMT Dark Gray. At the time of purchase she was 23.5 months old and did 36400 KM.
Have driven her 1000KM and so far I am very impressed with the car. =D>

3.5 years back, 28 July 2014, We bought a 6.5 year driven SX4 petrol (Link above).
Last year we bought a Nano XTA AMT. And this year Zest. All from OLX.
SX4 has served us 35K km since then and has taken us some remote places while keeping us comfortable. Had to spend good amount of time on keeping her in top shape. CNG kept cost low. Happy Happy.

The Estilo, our first car, was doing fine, did 73K km and good car for city drives, except it had no soul. Neither me nor wife wanted to take her out. So One fine day, I posted her on OLX and at 9:45PM, we sold her. She went to someone we knew, I real gentleman and I am so happy that she is in good hands.

The Nano is in home town, driven by my Dad. Thanks to nano AMT, Daddy learnt driving at the age of 67 years. The person I bought the Nano from, again was a thorough gentleman. Something I cannot describe in words, the humbleness has to be experienced.

So far, 2 cars bought, 1 sold. I had to replace Estilo with a practical, reliable, safe and comfortable option. Here came Zest.
Again, I bought it from an IT company employee and such a nice gentleman. I would not hesitate asking for help or vice-versa.

As a Policy: I do not sell to or buy from Dealers. Dealing with Individuals is so rewarding, pleasing and I made good friends, every time.
Can I say, I did not deal the car, I dealt the Person. I hardly took test drive of Zest, or looked into Service History, because I was sold on the truthfulness of the seller.

Some pictures. Anyone?

Exterior Side.jpg

Exterior Quarter1.jpg
Exterior Quarter2.jpg

About Zest:
Exterior Looks: To each his own. I am OK with it. Many people do not like the Egg-Shell shape. I find it overall better than Desire at least.

Interiors: For me those work great. Black interiors with highlights of Cream/White. Material quality is wonderful. Only sour point is zero bottle holders. Thankfully, Previous owner had installed Accessory for 2 bottle holders.

ICE: HARMAN connect music system is superb. 4+4 speakers and quality that puts expensive sedans to shame. The XTA model comes with large screen and Integrated camera etc which are missing in XMA.

Engine: Fiat 1.3 Multijet 90PS diesel with Variable Geometry Turbo. Enough is said about this engine and it works the same way in this car too. Coming from Tata, overall fitment of Engine, Insulation firewall, Engine plastic Cover, ECU placement etc is done very nicely. I dont see any corners cut which is generally the case in Maruti implementation sometimes.

Gearbox: Yeah.. The AMT is the highlight of the car. Unit is from "magneti marelli", same company that sells to Maruti (Celerio, Dezire etc) and Renault (Kwid). But this is a better version of the unit.

Kwid AMT has no Gear lever, you cannot put it in manual mode. It is outright dangerous while overtaking if you ask me. 80% times while overtaking, the AMT will upshift and you are out of power band. Renault saves 10-15 thousand ruppees by providing cheaper AMT since it shares ECU from Car. FYI, Duster AMT is an expensive one.

Maruti's implementation if AMT is same as of Tata except that Tata does give you a "Sports Mode" button. A must if you ask me. On Zest I use Sport mode almost everytime I overtake a fast vehicle and it is so easy to Switch this mode On and Off. It does not take even a second. Why Maruti does not provide sport mode? Cost may be.
Dezire AMT does have an upside. From standstill, it is more eager to Inch-Forward, while Zest waits longer for accelerator input. Difference is like half second, but that matters a lot.

More on AMT later..........

Build quality: Sheet metal strength is good. Though, nowhere near Punto, Lenia, Ecosport, but way better than current market of Dezires, Balenos, etc. Crash rating wise 2016 Zest had great results, 2015 was not bad either.
Car does feel solid from Doors, bonnet, Dash, Fender, underbody etc. I could put this as strong as Fiesta classic or Figo.
At 1170KG , being 4 meter, it is a heavy car.

Tyres: Came with Bridgestone 185/60R15 steel. Grip is great. Car has 165mm of GC and does not scrap anywhere under load. Though I am inclines to put 195/60R15 next year. That will increase GC by 8mm and Width by 10mm. I dont know if the height will make car look bad or will cause body roll. I have used 2 size bigger tyres in Estilo and results were awesome.
Lets see.

More Photos: ??

AMT in AUTO mode, present position - Neutral.
AMT Sports.jpg

AMT in Manual mode.

AMT Manual.jpg
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Mediocre me

AMT is in AUTO Mode, she is in 3rd gear at 900 RPM, doing 19kmph. Without downshifting in a hurry.

3rd gear crowl.jpg

Engine is tractable and AMT has its Dedicated ECU which is programmed well. Auto gearbox would downshift in such situation, but not Zest. It crawls. Thats what you want.
However if you are driving hard, or car is on load, she dowsnshifts at 1100 RPM or even early.
In sports mode, she upshifts late and downshifts early. Exactly how it should be.

I would not expect this level tractability from AMT petrol.

Here she crawls at 9kmph in 2nd gear. Hardly 900 rpm. She car drive most ramps in 2nd gear if you are above 1100 rpm. I am so happy with this.
AMT Crowling 2nd gear.jpg

2nd Gear in SPORTS mode, doing almost 40kmph before upshifting.

AMT Sports 2nd gear AUTO.jpg

18.4 KMPL as average fuel effeciency as per MID. In reality it is 17.5 KMPL.
AVG FE - 672 KM.jpg

If driven sanely, she can return 22 kmpl on highway and 17+ in City.
AMT gives good FE irrespective of Driver's skills. However if you keep pushing her hard, FE will drop a bit.

On the topic of Gear shifts, AMT does shift more frequently than an expert driver would. Since there is no clutch, she cannt run in neutral, right... Tata engineer said that there would not be need for clutch replacement upto 2 lac KM. I doubt it.

Gear shift from 1st to 2nd is jerky. 2 to 3 is Good. Higher gear shifting is butter smooth. Downshifting is smoother than upshifting.
And Yes, you can choose to use Manual gears anytime you like. I mostly overtakes in Sports mode. If you do not want her to shift gears too often, use sports mode. It is sports, but not like crazy.

In CITY mode, she normally upshifts between 2000 - 2400 RPM, depending on how hard you are driving.
In Sports mode, she upshifts between 2900 - 3400 RPM, depending on how hard you are driving.
I would like sports mode to be more aggressive to enjoy the turbo push more. But The way for that is manual gear only.

Few more pictures.

Engine turned off.
AMT Engine off.jpg

Screen says MAN, when lever is put in Manual mode.
AMT Maual Screen.jpg

Screen Displays SPORT in orange color, and a Ding is sounded when you change City - Sport mode.
AMT Sports Screen.jpg

I would not post any pictures but I know that she cannot go beyond 165 KMPH. She does 130KMPH easily while turbo is in full power band. Stability is good.

Wow. It is 1 finger light at parking speeds and tight at high speeds. It is very accurate. It is a nice steering and masses will like it. It does not feel that much grounded as a Hydrolic Steering or Heavy steerings as SX4 but leaving heaviness apart, almost everyone will like this steering.
A lot can be said about this steering, but I guess you get the drift.
More detail coming soon.
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Mediocre me
Lets have some more pictures.

Stock Bridestones are Grippy enough and have neutral ride. 185/60R15 is good size for a 4 meter car. I think City used to come in this size.
But wheel wells are so large that tyres looks small.
Next year I might go for 195/60R15. ( not 55 profile). If someone reports ride quality to be acceptable after putting taller one.
More GC does help in Hills.


One of the key has remote. It is flippy Key. I need to buy one more remote. Tata will obviously charge higher than local people. Any pointers to shop of can program a new remote.


1.3 MJD. With Quadrajet Badge.
Engine 1.jpg

ABS unit and mount visible here. ABS works well, nothing extraordinary or strange. Does have EBD too. No airbags though.
Engine 2.jpg

Heat Insulation is really good. Though it got some water spray from road. Need to find a fabricator who can create a plastic plate to cover some part of engine bottom.
Insulation does very good sound deadening and keeps cabin calm.
Engine 3.jpg

Sufficient gap between radiator and Engine.
Engine 4.jpg

The aluminium plate on which ECU is placed is 4 mm thick and very heavy. I am not sure why.
Previous owner was extremely nice. He had put a new battery just last month. Being an automatic, he did not want to take any chances with Battery. Remember, car was yet to complete 2 years at that time.
Engine 5.jpg

Bonnet gets insulation. Controls the engine noise very well.


Mediocre me
More Photos.

The H4 halogen Projectors.


Instrumentation is as you expect. Missing one touch down function. Dont need it. The power windows are fast enough.
Interior Controls.jpg

Front and rear fog lamp. USB/Ipod and Aux functions.
Interior Ipod and Aux.jpg

Bluetooth mic.
Interior Mic.jpg

HU is nice to use, with Steering mounted control. Bluetooth phone calls are a breeze. HU does get slow sometimes.
Shows phone contacts, phone battery level etc.

Can keep using Music player upto 1 hour even without having the car key with you.
Interior Player.jpg

Rear Sensor+Camera as accessory.
Interior reverse camera.jpg

Rear seats are good. Nothing extraordinary..
Interior Seat Rear.jpg

Skid plats illuminate at night in bright white color. Has LED inside.
Interior Skid Plate.jpg

Nice steering, with tiny hand on steering :)
BTW, nano XTA has same wheel, though the finishing is little different I guess.
Interior Steering.jpg

Zest branded Seat covers.
Interior Zest Seat.jpg

Stalks are soft in use. Feels premium.

1 pedal missing? :)
Interior Padel.jpg



Super User
Congrats Jeet and nice write up.
Zest is really good car the best in the segment. However people have mindset TATA na na...
Maruti .... jai.
I have driven Zest XTA for a short duration and lowed it. Beauty is it did not scrape big speed breakers.
My wife was in love with the Harman Music system.