Full Test: 2012 Tata Sumo Gold Road Test

Memories of those days are still fresh with me when NH1 (the highway that connects Delhi to my hometown, Punjab) was single laned with a green belt throughout. Days when it took more than 6 hours to cover some 230 odd kilometers, the time when there were not these Innovas and Xylos to carry 7 in comfort. That was when Tata’s Sumo entered the market as the most premium people mover, and it was considered quite quick back then. It was Sumo only that started to rake in some serious moolah for the cabbies and in no time became the perfect vehicle to displace more than five lives.

New Tata Sumo Gold Side View

2012 Tata Sumo Gold Road Test & Review


3 star rating

Tata Sumo Gold Introduction: The Old Workhorse

With time however, the Sumo remained the same while the standard it initially set was bested by the Qualis and then the Innova. Those were however a little dearer but a lot more upmarket, refined and reliable. Time for the Sumo to get a makeover then, the role however remains the same, to carry 5 or more in comfort. In comes the new Tata Sumo Gold and BurnYourFuel tries to find out if it still inherits its abilities while keeping pace with time or not. Let’s find out if old is still gold.

2012 Tata Sumo Gold Front


No matter how big I am a fan of the Mercedes G Wagon, I can still bet that the boxy looks aren’t the talk of the town anymore. Yes, the looks do take you some 10 years back in the memory lane but getting nip and tuck jobs wasn’t the need of the hour, it should have been a serious makeover, a plastic surgery for that matter.

The new Sumo gold looks boxy; a little dated and retains the same old lines. The front now gets clearer headlamps and chrome detailing in the centre with SUMO engraving. Fog lamps are however a nice modern touch and the bumpers too look good. The front does remind a lot about the first gen Sumo while being distinct in its own right. The sides again get the same old boxy styling with near horizontal lines with rear suspensions being slightly lifted for them to carry some serious loads. The ORVMs are the toughest to operate till date; the body graphics however try hard to revive the Sumo brand. The tail is neatly done minus the spare wheel on the rear door. The rear gets wiper and defogger in the Sumo Gold GX model we drove and the bumper reflectors and some more graphics try hard to up the ante. From the rear the Sumo looks very tall but the wheels seem to be very skinny which does contribute to not so good grip levels.

2012 Tata Sumo Gold Dashboard


For a vehicle with such focused role in the market, the job to understand the services it should offer is relatively easier. The Sumo will in most cases be used commercially for carrying people, and for that purpose the space concern is the most sought after thing. And the Sumo does deliver truly on that. It has loads of space, in the driver’s seat, passenger’s seat, second row or the last mutually facing seats. Leg room, knee room, shoulder room and head room, the Sumo delivers almost what it should effectively do well. But in this day and age, the quality is given utmost preference and with the kind of spending power that Indians possess these days, they don’t mind to shell out a few extra bucks for comfort and luxury.

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