There is a very interesting commercial running on TV currently. It shows a team of Japanese automotive technicians led by Hiroshi Tanuka of (fictitious) Nippon Motors checking out the new Manza. Every time Tanuka-san asks 'We have?', a crestfallen technician answers “No, Tanuka-san”. The idea obviously is to imply that the new Manza is so good in every department, it has the Japanese worried.While the commercial is very well put together, I found myself asking if it really is better. Has Tata Motors at last put out a product that rivals or even betters other Asian products currently in the market? I had to find out for myself. So, a few emails later I had a brand new Tata Manza with me for a weekend.
Dhingra Motors supplied the car I drove, a Manza Diesel in Elan trim, which is the top-of-the-line variant. That means it had the works, like tilt-adjustable power steering, power windows at front and rear, height-adjustable driver's seat with full-fabric upholstery, a 2-DIN, four-speaker music system with steering mounted controls (which strangely are not back lit unlike the rest of the controls and so is difficult to see in the dark), a new two-tone interior scheme of Burgundy and Vanilla Beige as well as ABS brakes with EBD, dual airbags and the ability to operate the power windows up to 30 seconds after switching the ignition off. The Manza is available in five basic colours – Dew White, Jet Silver, Monarch Red, and Sienna Gold. The Elan variants are also available in an exclusive shade, Tyrian Wine which costs extra. The ex-showroom price in Gurgaon for the car with me (Sienna Gold) Rs 7,55,032.
In terms of external looks, the Manza is not too different from the car I had sampled in 2009. It does look a little odd from the rear because of the high stance and the skinny tyres. But open the doors and you are greeted by a rather cheerful interior – the burgundy and beige combination obviously works. What is obvious is that unlike European and Asian cars that are predominantly driver-focused and so the rear gets overlooked, Tata Motors has made the Manza more to the liking of Indians with large families travelling with large amounts of luggage. The other positive factors are the doors which open wide and make it easy to get in and out of the car.
Read Full Test Drive Report : New Tata Manza : You do have, Tanuka-san!