One of the first few vehicles to have tapped success in the utility vehicle segment, the Tata Sumo has been around for quite some time. Gone are the rectangular headlamps and in are the new design lights that first made appearance in the Sumo Victa. On the whole, it’s still recognizable but works well as a utility vehicle for the present day. Comes with two engine options, one for BSIII and the other for BSIV markets. On the inside, it has come a long way from the original Sumo, and that helps indeed. Available in a total of five trims for the BSIV version, and three for BSIII version, the Sumo sits in the not so dense UV market. But with the increasing shift towards compact SUVs and MPVs, the segment doesn’t look as strong, especially in Tier-1 cities
DESIGN AND STYLE ;
From the time, the Sumo has not got under the designer’s hand for any major modification in the way it looks except for mild makeovers. I might not get everyone’s vote here but I actually like the no-non-sense styling of the Sumo. It has an old school design with mainly straights and flats.
Our red 8731 Sumo was a GX variant and thus it came with all the goodies Tata offers in its top end variant which included body coloured ORVMs. These ORVMs are internally adjustable. The squarish headlights with a straight cut radiator grille along with a plain no frill bumper constitutes the front look. This look has been retained for many years perhaps to make everyone connect with the design.
Body coloured mirrors, vinyls and a side step board is what comes standard in this trim. The roof line progresses upwards before ending at the rear section. In order to make it look contemporary, they shunned the spare wheel from the tail gate and got it repositioned under the floor. We guess the previous one on the tail door made it look more rugged as presently in order to fill the void, there are vinyls pasted on the tail door but then it does not compensate for the missing spare wheel.
CABIN AND COMFORT ;
It is the interior that has seen a sea of changes. The new Sumo Gold has refreshed its instrument panel design as it gets the four-spoke steering wheel from the Indigo and Indica family.The centre console is simple and basic as it comes with air-con and some other buttons to control rear wash and wiper and defogger. There is an aftermarket music system that comes on the top-end model and it has Bluetooth integration too.
The power window switches are located near the gear lever, which makes it a bit inconvenient to use it. The twin dial instrument panel is easy to read as well. This is the first SUV to have dual AC in its segment. The upholstery is also stylish and it does feel good too.The quality and the fit and finish has been improved by several notches and the interiors of the Sumo Gold are good.
The space on offer can shock many, as it has good head-room and knee-room even in the second row. The third row is also spacious and comfortable to sit in. It is a lot more spacious than competition and even more comfortable too.
ENGINE AND GEARBOX ;
The Sumo Gold now gets a BS IV compliant turbocharged diesel heart. The 2956cc mill churns out 85PS of power at 3000rpm and 250Nm of torque between 1000 and 2000rpm. The 250Nm of torque means that this Sumo will still be the best at what it does – moving around a bunch of people without batting an eyelid. But when it comes to moving fast, the Sumo is not a vehicle that is eager. The MUV takes a painful 31.68 seconds to get to 100kmph. But then considering this is not a vehicle made for high speed performance, this is completely forgivable. During our test we saw a top speed of 102.7kmph. Beyond this, the UV became truly scary to drive. The diesel burner gives a mileage of 12.42kmpl in the city and 16.47kmpl in the highway adding up to an average of 13.42kmpl, which is a very reasonable figure for a car like this. In comparison the Bolero DI 2WD gives 9.2kmpl on average. The guys at Tata claim that the gearbox now has shorter throws, but even if this has been worked on, the UV still has really long throws. However, the shift quality is not that bad if you can ignore the gnashing noises the box makes.
RIDE AND HANDLING ;
The reason for the Sumo Gold to stand out mightier than the others in its class is the usage of the independent double wishbone as its front suspension with coil springs & antiroll bar instead of conventional Macpherson Struts. The rear has parabolic leaf springs and antiroll bars. The front also comes with adjustable camber and toe and the damping has been increased to improve ride comfort. It not only helps the SUV to glide over uneven road conditions (bumps and potholes) in the city but also provides a strong grip on the road thereby reducing the uneven wear and tear on the tyres and extreme stability during high speeds. Adding to that, the 5m wide turning radius and the anti-roll bar allows best-in-class ride in narrow lanes and rough terrains with a sense of high stability at faster speeds. The braking system has been also improved with uprated disc brakes at the front and drums at the rear.
SAFETY FEATURES ;
For the safety of occupants, Sumo equips provisions including engine immobilizer, central locking, front fog lamps, rear high mount stop lamp etc. Body graphics on the side panels add to the sporty flair. The face equips square like clear lens headlamps, chrome finished radiator grille, air-intakes and wide bumper. For easy ingress and egress, the UV is equipped with side stepper. Inside, there is a
If we describe the Tata Sumo in few word it can be termed as a “poor man’s SUV”. The Tata Sumo Gold is a feature packed avatar of the Sumo which comes with many useful features to compete with other sub 10 lakh SUV in the market. With the added features and updated looks, it will definitely give the other SUVs a tough competition in terms of space, maintenance costs and pricing.