Forget about horsepower, quarter-mile drag strips or even racetracks; the most important aspect for most of us Indians is the number of kilometres a car can clock on a single litre of fuel. Not surprisingly, automobile manufacturers too have been harping about this particular aspect lately to get our attention for their new offerings. The most recent, of course, is the Tata Indica eV2, the car we are reviewing here. You might have come across the car’s commercials on television and roadside billboards claiming the new Indica eV2, with its fuel efficiency of 25kmpl, is the most fuel efficient car on sale in India. But, is it really true? And, is there more to the eV2 than just fuel economy? Let’s find out. Highlights – - The Indica eV2 today is the cheapest diesel car with prices starting at Rs 3.95lakh. - On the Indica eV2 now one needs to depress the clutch to crank it to life. So, accidental in-gear jumps during start ups is now history. - The Tata Indica eV2 range is available in four colours- Apple Green, Neo Orange, Arctic Silver and Mint White. - The Indica eV2 comes with a warranty of 24 months or 75,000km whichever is earlier GUD THINGS-- Frugal diesel engine, space BAD THINGS-- Plastic quality, old design On the looks front, there’s no significant change to the design of the car. But, you can still tell the eV2 apart by its new 14-inch alloys, body graphics and of course, the all important eV2 badge at the rear. Climb inside the car and you will notice the instrument panel, the centre console with faux wood finish, front power window switches, the leather wrapped gear lever and an aftermarket music system with Bluetooth connectivity (for the top of the line versions) are new touches as well. All of which are a direct pick from the Indigo eCS, by the way. The rest of the kit remains identical. Tata Motors has upgraded the engine of the old Indica Turbo from indirect injection to common rail direct injection for the eV2. The result is better fuel economy, more power and lesser pollution, making it BS-IV compliant. The Indica eV2 boasts of 70bhp@4000rpm and produces a maximum torque of 140Nm. This feisty engine is responsive and torquey. There is adequate reserve of power on tap and overtaking in city and highways is easy. Tata has worked on the NVH levels of the car as well, and the engine feels highly refined as lesser sound intrudes into the cabin compared to older diesel powered Indicas. At higher engine speeds, the sweet and pleasant turbo whistle is audible. In our performance run, the eV2 got to 100kph from a standstill in 15.2 seconds, which is quick if we consider the fact that it returned a shocking 18.13kpl in city (now that’s phenomenal!). The gear lever meanwhile is small and perfectly sized, but the shifts continue to remain rubbery as on older Indicas. There hasn’t been a sea of change in the driving dynamics of the eV2 thanks mainly to the underpinnings remaining unchanged. Not that it’s a bad thing because the Indica has always been one of the best entry-level cars to sport a good ride and handling compromise. It has always had a pliant ride and now with 14-inch tyres, the ride is more pliant still. The car does well to iron out most undulations, bumps or potholes accompanied with just a muted thud on most occasions rather than a rude jolt typical of other cars in its class. As far as handling is concerned, the Indica running a softer setup has always been prone to body roll, but never enough to put the driver off around a corner. The eV2 is similar as well. And with its reasonably good steering – it’s light enough to make the eV2 easy to manoeuvre in the city and the feedback doesn’t feel artificial either - one doesn’t mind pushing it hard around bends. Having said that, the limiting factor on the eV2 has to be the new set of larger tyres. The tyres, which are of the low rolling resistance variety to help fuel economy, begin to squeal and lose grip a lot sooner that one would expect going around a bend. The Indica eV2 is the cheapest and one of the most efficient diesel cars available in the country, no question. It might not be as attractive a proposition in its top of the line avatar that costs Rs 5.44 lakh on-road in Mumbai, but the less expensive versions make a lot of sense. Moreover, the feisty engine and spacious interiors make it a practical car. Tata has come a long way in the powertrain department but now we reckon, quality of plastics and the build needs looking into. The eV2’s plastic quality has improved over the older Indica but it’s still not at par with the competition. Overall though, we recommend buying the eV2 for its affordable to buy and run. We would however not advise buying the top-of-the-line LX variant; rather settle for a mid-level trim and utilise the saved money to customize the car as per your taste.