Tata's Xenon Dicor

2010-10-11 00:00

South Africa has two kinds of bakkie drivers: those in a Hilux; and those in other bakkies. The other-bakkie-drivers could do a lot worse than to go kick the wheels of Tata’s new Xenon 2.2 Dicor and its price contender, the Colt Triton

The Triton's are being run out by Mitsubishi dealers at less than R200k, making them a bargain. Which means you can also arm wrestle the Tata dealer for a better price on the Xenon single cab 4x4, which has a recommended retail price of just over R200k.

But how good are the Tata's you ask?

First off, all Tatas are serious load carriers. Second, the new Bosch-designed Dicor diesel plant can now actually move that load as well.

On tar, the long wheelbase of the R207,460 double-cab 4x2 will also allow you to balance a load between the axles, and the passengers to stretch out on the back bench.

Under the hood, the Newtons kick in from 1,700 rpm, empowering the Xenon 4x4 to idle up steep inclines which to date had only shown had Hilux tracks.

Yes, the cladding is still hard, old fashioned plastic, and all the launch models had handbrakes that were mounted slightly skew, but this only proves that the Tata dynasty is still sticking to the family principle of employing people rather than robots. While this means you get a hand-built bakkie which should remind you of Rolls Royce, just pray to Lord Krishna that you don't get a Xenon which was hand-built after a major Hindu festival involving lots of wine.

I tested the Xenon Dicor on Mpumalanga's escarpment, dashing up and down the high mountains surrounding Waterval-Boven. The air is thinner than a politician's morals up there and shows up any turbo lag from the first rev. The Xenon's turbo lag was - surprise! - was no worse than that of the Navara. In fact, dare I say it was better?

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