The Tata Ace Zip is a small LCV based on the Ace model, but it also uses components from the Nano. Powered by a 611cc water cooled engine, the Ace zip is by no means a sporty vehicle, but it receives high marks in the functionality department as thanks to its generous load area it can be used for a wide range of commercial applications. Resembling a conventional pick-up truck the small Tata Ace Zip has a payload capacity of up 600 kg. There is also a passenger version of the Zip and is named the Magic Iris.
The Tata Ace Zip is in the same class with models like the Daihatsu Hijet, DFSK Loadhopper and Piaggio Porter and comes with a warranty of 36000 km/ 12-month.
The Tata Ace Zip has a pretty bold design and some could even consider it modern. Its cab-over engine configuration gives it the typical look of a mini LCV which is enhanced by the tall cab and the lack of nose.
Up front there is no radiator grille and we find a pretty clean bonnet which is fitted only with the company logo and two oversized headlights. The bumper is pretty small, but it shares the same design language with the rest of the cab and it’s equipped with two circular fog lamps.
Despite its compact dimensions the vehicle is very practical and everything was designed with functionality in mind. For instance, the doors are very big and offer easy access inside, while the load are is pretty generous and measures 1685 x 1480 x 400 mm.
To make its small truck look more aerodynamic, Tata give it a heavy raked windscreen which is also fairly big improving the straight road visibility. The mini pick-up sits on tiny 12 inch wheels which despite their small dimensions, cope well with the rest of the body.
Access inside is made easy, as the doors are fairly big and the vehicle has a pretty low ground clearance. Given its compact exterior dimensions, the Ace zip has a surprisingly big cabin and both the driver and passenger have plenty of legroom because the engine is placed under the seats.
Though don’t expect much comfort from the seats, as they are hard and flat, without any lateral support. The dashboard design is inspired by the Nano and features a big storage box mounted in front of the passenger.
The center console is pretty simple and it’s fitted with a rudimentary audio system and a few basic controls which are fairly easy to reach.
On the other hand, the tinny body and poor build quality means that the plastic bits will tend to rattle with age and the cab doesn’t feel well put together.
The gearlever is mounted directly in the dash and thanks to its ergonomic position it comes easy into hand. We also like the steering wheel which is not intrusive and offers a good grab. The all-round visibility is also good and the generous windscreen gives you a clear view of the road.
Despite its rudimentary interior, the Ace Zip has everything it needs to offer a satisfactory comfort. There are also a few useful storage places available so you’ll have where to store your things.
Engines and performance
The Tata Ace Zip is powered by a small 610 cc water cooled engine which develops 11 hp @ 3000 rpm with a peak torque of 31 Nm achieved between 1600 and 1800 rpm.
The engine is mated on a five speed synchromesh gearbox which has short ratios so you’ll need to change gears pretty often.
The 11 hp need to deal with a kerb weight of 685 kg and the engine feels a bit sluggish and underpowered, especially when the vehicle is fully loaded. Things will start to get even worse if you are dealing with uphill sections and the cabin is also constantly filled with noise and vibrations. The engine makes its presence felt more and more as you go up the revcounter and gets harsh towards the redline.
Moreover you’ll feel more like driving a moped than a car, but in the end the Tata Ace Zip will be able to finish its job with dignity.
Tata Ace Zip Engines Specifications
| Engine capacity || hp @ rpm || Nm @ rpm |
| 610 cc ||11 @ 3000 ||31 @ 1600- 1800 |
Ride and handling
At the front, the Tata Ace Zip is equipped with MacPherson struts, while at the back it gets coil springs with semi-trailing arm and hydraulic telescopic shock absorbers. The suspensions however, aren’t able to soak the road bumps without affecting the passengers comfort. Moreover, the tires don’t do much to cushion you from the road either and the ride isn’t what it should be.
On the other hand, the suspension is designed to carry loads and works better when the vehicle is fully loaded.
Turning into a corner, you are well aware of the Ace Zip’s height which hampers your confidence. It’s better to drive it sanely as it’s not something you’d like to drive on twisty roads.
The steering is pretty good and thanks to the compact dimensions the Ace zip can be driven around town very easy, as it also has a turning circle of only 3.8 meters.
The Tata Ace Zip is an interesting product. Despite its compact dimensions it’s a pretty practical LCV and can be considered a reliable option if you are searching for a small, economical and unhurried partner.
It’s true that the cabin is rudimentary and the comfort is part of the third class, but the road visibility is good and you won’t feel any back pains even after a full day of work.
The engine however could’ve been more powerful, as when the vehicle is fully loaded you’ll need to be very patient until he’ll get the job done.