Running costs and resale value have a great impact on vehicle owners’ long-term happiness. Tata has managed to balance instant gratification and overall satisfaction
Just a part of the good news for those motorists considering buying a Tata Xenon double-cab bakkie is its affordable components pricing. In fact, according to the 2014 Kinsey Report, it is without peer, once again emerging out front in the Double-Cabs segment, with the total cost of a basket of parts substantially less than that of its nearest rival. Tata has succeeded in making this section of the survey its own, with the reliable and tough four-door bakkie enjoying an unbroken run of victories since 2011.
Tata offers South African consumers a range of products that are suited to our specific driving conditions, as well as affordable to buy and own. Ensuring those consumers enjoy competitive parts pricing is only one facet of this strategy to appeal to motorists on all levels. And the Tata Xenon XT – the latest member of the hard-wearing bakkie range – meets all these criteria.
Some of the critical numbers speak for themselves. Every Tata Xenon is sold with a four-year or 120 000 km warranty, five-year or 75 000 km service plan and four years of roadside assistance. This all guarantees that the vehicle is a safe bet when it comes to the quality of long-term ownership.
However, it’s an attractive proposition in the short term as well. The Xenon XT seamlessly blends looks, safety, comfort, convenience and performance – thanks to a winning combination of sophisticated European styling, convenient Bluetooth compatibility, the availability of satnav technology, dual air bags, ABS, and diff lock (in the double-cab) or limited-slip diff (in the single-cabs).
XT stands for XTreme Technology, and the engine cover proudly carries the branding ‘VVT DiCOR’ (Variable Turbine Technology, Direct Injection Common Rail). Yet, a combination of features results in high fuel efficiency and low emissions to compliment the vehicle’s impressive performance.
All four models are driven by a 2.2l common-rail turbo-diesel engine, which delivers high power and torque to provide the kind of overall performance expected of an efficient workhorse single-cab and a lifestyle-focused double-cab. They also boast an exceptionally flat torque curve, making them very responsive both in everyday driving and when running with a heavy load.
A five-speed manual transmission is found in all models, with four-wheel-drive versions boasting a ‘shift-on-the-fly’ feature that allows the driver to change into 4×4 mode without having to come to a complete standstill. The diff lock enhances the off-road ability of the 4×4 variants, and the limited-slip differential on the 4×2s improves traction on loose or slippery surfaces.
But it’s not all about performance. Extra care has also been taken to ensure driver and passenger wellbeing, with the inclusion of advanced features for both active and passive safety. Dual air bags; and seat belts with pre-tensioners, load limiters and retractors are standard and reduce the risk of injury in the event of a crash. The chassis incorporates multiple crumple zones; side-impact beams help maintain the integrity of the passenger cell during collisions; and standard anti-lock braking prevents the wheels from locking and skidding in the case of an emergency.
The Xenon XT makes a distinctive visual statement too. It has an attractive look, with Tata’s signature chrome grille and clear headlights complimented by flared wheel arches. Alloy wheels add to its overall appeal.
Purchases in the light-commercial vehicle market tend to be all about logic; while, in the leisure double-cab market, style, off-road credibility and safety levels become more important. Fortunately for buyers in both areas, the Xenon is capable of meeting all their wants and needs.
TATA XENON XT 2.2L DC 4×2
Engine 2 179 cc, turbocharged diesel
Cylinders four, in-line, longitudinal
Power 110 kW @ 4 000 rpm
Torque 320 Nm @ 1 500 rpm
Drivetrain five-speed manual, RWD
0–100 km/h information currently unavailable
Top speed 160 km/h
Overall fuel consumption 7.7 l/100 km
CO² emissions information currently unavailable
Driving aid ABS
Warranty four-year / 120 000 km
Service plan five-year / 75 000 km
Service intervals 15 000 km
Price R249 995
Photography Quickpic, Tata South Africa
(This article was first published in the spring 2014 issue of AA traveller magazine)