The Tata Sumo Gold is an entry level SUV from Tata Motors that promises tough characteristics and aggressive pricing. It’s been in the market for quite a while. Tata had showcased their upcoming cars in the month of June this year, in HORZONEXT where cars such as the Tata Nano CNG e-max, and the Tata Sumo Gold were launched.
The Tata Sumo Gold has been a consistent player in its segment and to keep it updated, the company launched it with a levy of updates inside-out which make it look even more exclusive. With the new looks and the competitive pricing, does this SUV stands out to fulfill the needs of its target audience?
The design of the Sumo was derived from the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen and the connect is clearly visible. However, because of several updates it has somewhat different.
It gets a new front grille with chrome on the upper lip and with GOLD embossed on it. The clamshell hood is retained and the ruggedness in its styling is retained.
The side profile is the same, however it has been tweaked with some graphics and floating roof elements have been added to differentiate from the outgoing version. We believe that the company has gone overboard with the graphics. The rear too just gets extra graphics and that’s about it. There are no other major changes in the design as all the same panels are retained.
As you step inside, you’ll be delighted to notice the changes that have been made. The airy cabin has been made more spacious by 20%, which means that there will be ample headroom and legroom for seven passengers, a rare quality found in an entry level SUV. The cabin quality has improved with the addition of not only a new fabric for the seats but also the addition of wooden inserts into the control panel. The gear shift knob gets a chrome treatment which, overall, enhances the plushness inside Sumo Gold. The cabin consists of a seating arrangement for seven people including the driver. The ample headroom, shoulder space and legroom allows for comfortable seating arrangement for everybody. Add to that, both the front seats come with the required lumber support. The ‘boxy’ center console also receives wooden inserts that houses a host of entertainment features like:
– A modern music system with USB and Bluetooth connectivity, – A supporting hands-free calling, and – A pair of powerful dual air condition (first time in the segment).
The comfort features include one-touch power windows and engine immobilizer. To make the drive easier, the company has added power steering which helps in easier maneuvering within congested city roads. To make people’s journey soothing and relaxed, the NVH (Noise, Vibration and Harshness) level has been reduced to a great extent.
Get the Sumo started and the 3.0L Diesel engine is at its loud best. If anyone has driven earlier generation models, the experience of driving the Sumo was not very memorable considering the vibrations and discomfort. Not that the vibrations have gone off completely but then the new CR4 engine feels comparatively refined.
We decided to be adventurous with this one and thus got the vehicle dropped just the Gateway of India in Mumbai. The traffic scene in peak hours is very chaotic with visitors flocking it to see the iconic landmark of Mumbai. In city traffic, steering the Sumo was very easy.The clutch is surprisingly smooth and the shifts too were decent. At lower engine speeds, the engine gets evidently audible because of its large displacement but then once the windows are rolled up; it gets cancelled with the good level of insulation inside the cabin.
And now how the Sumo feels on highways. Firstly, it has a tall design and thus the body roll around corners at high speeds is evident. The tyres start screeching thus limiting acceleration. It does not come with fancy safety bits like ABS and traction but even then the Sumo manages its way.The 3.0L unit gets the Sumo to reach speeds of 110 km/h but then post that it needs a really long stretch of road to push the speedo further. Obviously, the Sumo is not a high speed car it is for rugged applications. The external ORVMs which jet out obstruct the wind flow creating an irritating noise. This happens as the speed goes on increasing.
DRIVNG DYNAMICS ;
The Sumo Gold has been designed for good ride. It is meant to take occupants from point A to point B, and it does its good well.The Sumo Gold’s ride suppleness is excellent and the thick tyres absorb most of the road shocks, giving a pliant ride. We drove it through bad and rough roads and we were impressed in the manner the Sumo Gold glided over potholes.The handling of the Sumo Gold is decent. It’s a performance-oriented vehicle and it has a high centre of gravity due to its height. But, the vehicle behaves in a better manner when it is completely loaded, when compared to an empty car. The steering wheel is also light and easy to manoeuvre in tight spots because of its smaller turning radius.
BRAKING AND SAFETY ;
The braking setup on the Sumo Gold includes disc brakes on the front runners and drum brakes on the rear wheels. All doors get side intrusion beam. ABS or airbags aren’t available. There’s engine immobilizer on the top-spec GX variant, and so is central locking and keyless entry.Door ajar and seatbelt warning, both are present on GX only.
We agree it is a practical SUV and also can drive almost everywhere with its tall ride height and sturdy suspensions but then it also demand great number of updates which Tata Motors should seriously consider. They should begin by giving it a new modern design which will make the urban consumers connect with the brand enthusiastically.Spacious and roomy cabin in the Sumo is great but then why not give it a complete makeover instead of just adding a music system which was not a great addition as the aftermarket is filled with such options. Perhaps the Horizonnext initiative will eventually bless the Sumo with modern changes.