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Tata Xenon - quick, capable

By unknown | Jan 30, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Bruce Fraser

Bruce Fraser

Tata Motors recently caused a stir in the motoring world when they launched the new Nano - or the People's Car, which retails at an unbelievable R17500.

If it ever manages to reach our shores, imagine what it will do to our already congested roads, never mind the second-hand car market which these days is flatter than Table Mountain.

The Indian giant arrived in South Africa three years ago and at times have taken flak over the quality of some of their vehicles.

I mean, in all honesty, the Telcoline bakkie looks like it was designed by a first-year student at Mumbai Technikon.

One thing is certain though, Tata Motors is here to stay.

Their latest offering to the South African motorist is the Xenon bakkie.

At first glance the vehicle looks like, well, many of the other bakkies on our roads. And I mean that in a complimentary way. If you can produce a vehicle that looks like your competitors, plus is R80000 cheaper than your competitors, you can't be doing too badly.

Locally, the Xenon will be available in two derivatives - a 4x2 double-cab (R169995) and a 4x4 double-cab (R194995).

Both come with a 3,0-litre diesel engine which produces 84,5 kW and 300 Nm.

Driving on an off-road trail in Volksrust, the Xenon proved capable.

Scaling peaks quicker than a Tibetan Sherpa, it took on the ruggedness of the region with ease.

The lines of the vehicle are smooth and the interior offers plenty of space.

The Xenon has a claimed top speed of 143 km/ph and the 5-speed gearbox was smooth.

Colour-coded door handles and 16-inch alloy wheels, along with a radio/CD with MP3 sound system, are all standard features as are power steering and electric windows.

Admittedly, buying a Tata is not everyone's idea of being hip, but if you put your prejudices aside and are looking for a genuine workhorse, the Tata Xenon might just be the vehicle for you.


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