Tata Motors have silently thrown in a subtle update to the Altroz's interior, and it makes a world of a difference. Keeping up with new trends and in a bid to make the Altroz's experience a little more digital, Tata Motors have removed the stack of physical buttons and dials for the infotainment system from below the central AC vents. Instead, now there's a new 'Altroz' sticker that sits on the dashboard. The functions of the physical buttons have now been relegated to the touchscreen. A similar update was also introduced on the Tata Nexon about a month ago.
These buttons on the dashboard were offered with the 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system that is available from the XT variant and above. The stack of six buttons had the following functions - Home, Favourites, Back, Smartphone and Next / Previous. Tata Motors have also removed the rotary dials for the volume and the tuner from either end. All functions can now only be accessed through the touchscreen, while some can also be operated through buttons on the steering wheel. There's also a new 'Harman' branding on top of the infotainment screen.
Now, this is never ending debate between touchscreen controls and physical buttons and dials. Both have their pros and cons. In terms of aesthetic, less buttons and touch-based controls free up a lot of clutter on the dashboard. The increased techy and digital experience also hugely appeal to a lot of customers. On the contrary, touch-based controls are simply not practical and completely betray ease-of-use. They constantly require you to take your eyes off the road to operate them, which can potentially be very dangerous. With the physical set of buttons now deleted, you can still use voice commands to access some of the functions of the infotainment screen.
Conversely, physicals buttons and dials may not be as aesthetic as touchscreens and some may even think its old school, but they are actually the most convenient to use. And that's what you really need them to be - should be easy to use, fall easily in hand and most importantly, be safe to use. With practise, one can easily remember the position of the physical buttons. These can be used without taking the eyes off the road. And even buttons and dials can be made to look aesthetic, as we have seen for so many years before the digital era.
The Altroz is currently available in seven trim levels - XE, XM, XM+, XT, XZ, XZ(O) and XZ+. The turbo-petrol engine is available only with the top four trims. The Tata Altroz gets three engine options under its hood - an 86hp, 1.2-litre naturally aspirated petrol; a 90hp, 1.5-litre diesel; and a 110hp, 1.2-litre turbo-petrol. However all these engines are currently only available with a manual gearbox. Tata Motors will be debuting a DCT automatic gearbox in the Altroz range in the near future. Prices for the Tata Altroz currently range between INR 5.69 lakh and INR 9.45 lakh (ex-showroom).