Tata Altroz CNG

CNG tech has improved a lot lately. More folks are choosing built-in kits for their new cars. Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai have been doing this for a while. Tata Motors joined last year with the Tigor and Tiago CNG models. But, none fixed the big issue of losing boot space. Until now. Enter the latest Tata Altroz CNG, aiming to solve this.

Altroz CNG was revealed at Auto Expo 2023. It’s the third model from Tata with a built-in kit. Tata says 40% of Tiago and Tigor sales are CNG models. But for Altroz, putting a cylinder in the boot wasn’t ideal. So, here comes Tata Altroz iCNG, trying to outdo its siblings. Does it succeed?

Tata Altroz CNG Exterior

The Tata Altroz CNG looks exactly like the regular Altroz, except for an iCNG badge on the trunk door. This is great for those who don’t want everyone to know they’re driving a CNG car. The Altroz CNG comes in six trims: XE, XM+, XM+ with sunroof, XZ, XZ+ with sunroof, and XZ+(O) with sunroof.

The hatchback features dual-chamber projector headlights, LED DRLs, 16-inch alloy wheels, a shark-fin antenna, and a black-contrast roof. You can choose from various body colors, like blue, red, white, and grey.

Many people consider the Altroz the best-looking hatchback on the market right now. And since its CNG version looks just as stylish, it could easily be seen as the best-looking hatchback with a CNG kit.

Tata Altroz CNG Interior

The Tata Altroz CNG still offers a pleasing cabin and doesn’t skimp on features. There’s a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear knob, a seven-inch infotainment system, an air-purification system, a cooled glovebox, front mood lighting, and even wireless phone charging.

What sets it apart is the sunroof, which can be controlled using voice commands in English or Hindi. In our testing, it worked quite well.

The Tata Altroz CNG also has wired Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, but during our review, we couldn’t connect to either. Tata’s team assured us they’d look into it, as it might be specific to this review unit.

No modern car has ever boasted 210 liters of boot space. But then, no car has managed to offer this much boot space while being equipped with a large CNG kit. And this is where the Tata Altroz CNG stands out.

Instead of one big cylinder taking up space in the trunk, the Altroz uses twin-cylinder technology. These smaller cylinders are placed side by side under the luggage area. This is possible because the Altroz has always had a deep boot space. The result? 210 liters of luggage space. That’s enough for a big suitcase and a cabin-size bag beside it. You can stack other bags, like backpacks and handbags, on top of each other if you remove the parcel tray.

In addition to the spacious boot, Tata Motors has equipped the Altroz with a bottom-mounted spare wheel. It can be lowered to the ground under the car using a rotary wrench. And if you prefer, you can even forget about the spare wheel because the Altroz comes with a tyre-puncture kit.

With these features alone, the Tata Altroz CNG has a significant advantage over other CNG models, both from Tata and its rivals. You won’t need to compromise on packing for long road trips, and there’s usually no need for a roof carrier.

Tata Altroz CNG Mileage, Ride, and Handling

The Altroz CNG comes with the same 1.2-liter petrol engine, delivering around 87 bhp and 115 Nm of torque, paired with a five-speed manual gearbox. While the Altroz does offer a DCT automatic option, no manufacturer has mastered tuning an automatic with CNG yet. So, the Altroz CNG sticks with the five-speed manual.

One unique feature is that this model starts directly on CNG, eliminating the need to tap the accelerator to switch fuels. Once on the road, it handles city driving effortlessly. The steering and suspension feel similar, with a solid drive character. While there’s a slight dip in power and torque, it’s hardly noticeable in motion.

However, pushing the Altroz CNG or tackling climbs can be a bit challenging. You’ll need to work the manual gearbox aggressively for overtaking or uphill drives. There’s also some engine noise that seeps into the cabin. But once you hit triple-digit speeds, the ride smoothes out, and the car accelerates cleanly.

During our one-day review, we drove the Altroz for 143 kilometers, with 125 kilometers in CNG mode. We checked the CNG mileage, driving 115 kilometers with the air-conditioning on medium and a mix of city and highway driving.

The Altroz CNG returned a mileage of around 16 kilometers per kilogram during our review. It’s worth noting that this test was conducted with the car constantly in motion, except for stops at signals and traffic jams.

Tata Altroz CNG Specifications

Engine Type1.2L iCNG
Engine Displacement1199cc
Max Power72.41 bhp
Max Torque103 Nm
Boot Space210 Liters
Mileage (upto)26.2 km/kg

Tata Altroz CNG Price and Verdict

The Altroz iCNG is priced at Rs 7.55 lakh for the base XE trim and Rs 10.55 lakh for the top-spec XZ+ O (S) (introductory prices, ex-showroom, Delhi). Meanwhile, its rivals, the Baleno CNG and Glanza CNG, cost between Rs 8.35 lakh-9.28 lakh and Rs 8.50 lakh-9.53 lakh, respectively. While they may seem more affordable, they’re only offered in mid-spec trims and miss out on many features that the top-spec Altroz iCNG offers, like a sunroof and leatherette upholstery. Oh! Also, check out our review on 2023 Tata Safari – Finally A XUV Rival?

In conclusion, the Altroz iCNG does a good job of making a CNG car feel premium and not just for taxis or commercial vehicles. Yes, the top-spec variant is pricey (even more than the highest-spec Altroz diesel), but it offers a fully-loaded CNG car option, which was rare in our market before. Moreover, the Altroz is the only car in India available with petrol, diesel, turbo-petrol, and now, CNG powertrain options, giving buyers more choices. If you think CNG cars lack practicality or premium feel compared to petrol or diesel cars, the Altroz iCNG will make you reconsider.

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