Tata Altroz DCA (automatic) review: Should you buy it?
Automatic cars have achieved widespread popularity in India over the years due to our traffic conditions coupled with the fact that awareness about automatic gearboxes has drastically increased. Hence, for Tata Motors, it was the right time to introduce the Altroz DCA equipped with a dual-clutch automatic gearbox. It is the first car from Tata Motors equipped with such a gearbox. Here's our review.
- Previously, we have seen various cars with dual-clutch automatic gearboxes being offered in India.
- However, Tata Motors claims that the Altroz DCA has a gearbox which has been developed for our road conditions and climate along with being a lot more reliable.
- Post the launch of this car and the market reaction, we can expect more cars from Tata Motors getting this gearbox.
Apart from a 'DCA' badge at the rear and new blue color, the Altroz DCA is identical to the standard model. Even after two years, the design of the Altroz looks fresh and attractive with its sharp lines. Top-end variants get 16-inch alloy wheels and they add a touch of sportiness to the stance as well along with the dual-tone roof.
The interior design is amongst the best that we have seen from Tata Motors with a sweeping dashboard design along with a pleasing beige/black upholstery. The sporty 3-spoke steering wheel is nice to hold while the silver finish to the dashboard is a premium touch. Quality levels are good and it feels well built. Space on offer is similar to the standard Altroz.
The equipment list on the Altroz DCA includes a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment console, automatic climate control, connected car technology, cruise control, and a rear-view camera with rear parking sensors. You also get leatherette upholstery, rear AC vents, a height-adjustable driver's seat and a Xpress cooling function for faster cooling. That said, it lacks features like a sunroof or a 360-degree-view camera.
The Altroz DCA is only available with the 1.2-liter petrol engine which makes 86hp/ 113Nm. Hence, while performance is adequate, the gearbox works best by reducing lag with this engine. The dual-clutch automatic works smoothly in city or highway conditions while gearshifts are pretty quick. While paddle shifters are not provided, there is manual control option available via the gear lever.
While the automatic gearbox makes life easy behind the wheel of the Altroz, the suspension is also well tuned to cope with our roads. We found the steering light in the city while weighing up perfectly at high speeds. One advantage of a dual-clutch automatic gearbox is that the fuel efficiency does not suffer. The Altroz DCA will give around 10-12km/l.
The top-end automatic variant as tested here costs Rs. 9.6 lakh (ex-showroom). Compared to the equivalent manual variant, the Altroz DCA charges a premium of around Rs. 1.07 lakh. We think the pricing is justified owing to the smoothness of the automatic gearbox and the convenience that it brings. Overall, the Tata Altroz DCA makes for an attractive proposition as a premium automatic hatchback.