In the bright red of our test car, it looks quite well suited to the track. But what happens when you actually put your foot down?
Ever since it was first unveiled, I’ve thought that the Bolt looked pretty good. And it’s the i20, I think, that’s shown the power of good design in the mainstream segment. The rest of the car notwithstanding, the i20’s striking looks have had people lined up at Hyundai showrooms ever since the day it first appeared on the roads. And so, outwardly at least, the Bolt appears to have started off on a good note as well. We’ve already talked about the fact that some of the plastics on the Zest could be better, so we’ll gloss over that for now. Fortunately, like the Zest, the Bolt has impressive seats, as well as loaded cabin with a Harman-engineered touch-screen infotainment system.
When you get going in this car, however, things start to unravel a little bit. While the 90PS in the Zest feels adequate, the 75 in this machine makes it feel as though it’s struggling to deliver the goods. And while you can forgive the Bolt its shift linkage and missing dead pedal, you simply can’t get over the numb steering. While in the Zest, the steering feels well weighted and direct – although even there it weighs up a little too much in the bends – in the Bolt it just feels heavy and really quite clumsy.
And while the Xcent was quite close in terms of lap time, it was the Bolt that brought up the rear. It has the makings of a great driving hatch – because it has the same inherent balance and chassis set up of the Zest – but somewhere in the execution it’s all gone wrong for the Bolt, at least when it comes to throwing it around a racetrack. On the road, it maintains a compliant ride and retains excellent drivability. At the BIC, however, it’s been found wanting...
- Tata Bolt Quadrajet 1.3
Engine: 1,248cc / 4 Cylinders / 16 Valves / Common Rail Direct-Injection / Turbocharged
Transmission: 5-Speed Manual / Front-Wheel Drive
Power: 74bhp @ 4,000rpm
Torque: 190Nm @ 1,750-3,000rpm
Price: Rs.7.31 lakhs (Ex-showroom, Delhi)