Tata Motors

Tata Tiago iCNG AMT first impressions

Breaking the norm

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These days, when the Stuff team gets a call from Tata Motors, we expect a facelifted car that showcases their latest design and tech innovations. But this time, it’s not about design or tech, but a combination that finally solves the woes of a customer in the budget or entry-level car segment.

Unpredictable fuel prices and the push for clean propellants have only added to the woes of budget hatchback customers who have already been run down with BS6 and safety norms pushing the prices up. EVs and Hybrids have low running costs but involve steep costs of ownership, which has pushed the demand for CNG cars. Currently, CNG vehicles are available in manual transmission only, but the new Tiago and Tigor iCNG AMT variants change this. We drove the Tiago iCNG AMT in the top XZA+ trim.

Design and Connectivity

Tata has kept the design largely unchanged from the petrol version except for the colours. The car is available in Tornado Blue, Flame Red, Daytona Grey, and Opal White colours. Unlike usual bulky CNG cylinders that occupy the entire boot space, the twin-cylinder iCNG system leaves enough room for a couple of bags. With cylinders in the boot, the spare tyre has been moved to the underside.

The cabin is similar to the petrol variant with the familiar three-spoke steering wheel and basic storage options. The AC vents are furnished with body-coloured elements. The 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system by Harman offers eight speakers for excellent sound quality. You get wired Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and there are USB Type-C, USB Type-A and 12V charging ports in the front.

Safety measures

Safety is a primary concern in the case of highly volatile fuels like CNG, and the Tiago iCNG comes with several safety measures installed. A micro switch near the fuel inlet switches off the car as soon as the fuel lid is opened and keeps it off until the lid is closed. If the system detects a thermal incident, it cuts off CNG supply to the engine and releases gas from the cylinder directly into the atmosphere through a special nozzle. If the sensors detect a gas leak, the system switches from CNG to petrol mode. The cylinders also come with manual shut-off valves. There is also a fire extinguisher placed under the driver’s seat for emergencies.

Drivetrain and Performance

The iCNG twin-cylinder system is mated with a single advanced ECU which facilitates seamless switching between petrol and CNG modes. The vehicle starts directly in CNG mode and switches automatically between fuels. You can of course override this. In CNG mode, the 3-cylinder Revotron 1.2L engine generates up to 73.4 ps power at 6000 rpm while the torque peaks at 95 Nm at 3500 rpm, only slightly lower than in petrol mode. We never felt any lack of power on highways or hilly terrains. Tata Motors claims a mileage of 28.06 km per kg of CNG.

The 5-speed AMT gearbox also feels quite the same as we see in the petrol variant. It won’t disappoint you in city drives with just enough creep to stay in the flow. While overtaking, it’s better to quickly switch to manual and downshift rather than flooring the pedal and letting the transmission do the job. The creep is not strong enough to launch the car on an incline, and hence you have to be quick on the pedal.

Overall, the car felt planted and stable at over 100 kmph. The steering carries enough weight for a comfortable drive even at high speeds. You feel the tyre and tarmac noise on rough and imperfect roads at high speed, but this is not unexpected from a vehicle in this segment.


CNG is making a comeback after the supply issues have been largely sorted and is now considered a sensible fuel option for the small hatchback segment, considering the low running cost and reduced emissions. The lack of boot space has been somewhat addressed by Tata with their iCNG kit, and the addition of AMT transmission makes the Tiago iCNG even more appealing to the budget-conscious customer who is looking for a small hatchback. Prices start at ₹7.90 lakh (ex-showroom).