Tata Ace HT vs Ace EX vs Ace Dicor vs Ace Mega Comparison Review

Which is the right Tata Ace for your requirement?

Today, we'll be reviewing the Tata Ace and give you a definitive answer as to which version of the Tata Ace is right for your needs, the Ace HT, Ace EX, Ace Dicor or Ace Mega.

Launched in 2005, the Tata Ace is Tata Motors’ biggest success story, since the 407's launch in 1985. The original idea, was to tread into a territory, which was dominated by 3 wheelers from Bajaj, Ape and the Firodiyas.
The original Ace, carried a payload capability of 750 Kgs, as the rated load. But owners were known to load the vehicle north of 2 tons, a typical Tata trait, which was greatly appreciated by the Indian market.

While the Ace was the smallest 4 wheeler around, it also broke the continuity of the single cylinder diesel engine, in the sub 1 tonne Goods carrier market, and single handedly broke the monopoly, of the 360cc, air-cooled, Greaves engine, in the category. With the passage of time and a major facelift later, today we have many variants of the Tata Ace, and hence we have genuine concerns on which would be the model or  the variant which would suit one's applications. 

Here we will set the record straight, on the variants which are available, and how it would suit your needs. Today, the Ace sells in Ace HT, Ace Ex, Ace Mega and Ace Mega XL variants, with clear differences between these models.

The most rudimentary and rugged, is the Ace HT with HT denoting high torque achieved through deeper gear ratios. This is an overload friendly model and has a gradeability of 22% and a restart gradeability of 21%.

The Gearbox, is a 4 speed unit, coupled to an inline, twin-cylinder, 700 cc, diesel mill. The engine churns out a respectable 16 HP with 3.8 mkg of torque. This model can take on the rougher terrains in the rural and semi urban markets with aplomb. Also, the simple naturally aspirated engine, ensures that the vehicle could be serviced anywhere. The 12 inch wheels ensures the lowest Ownership Cost to the operator among all other variants of the Ace, along with better torque at the wheels. Top speed is capped at 60 KMPH. The suspension, is made of parabolic leaf springs in the front and the rear, and operators, are known to add additional leaves in the rear, to aid overloading, especially for construction applications, and conversion to mobile kitchens.

Ace EX is tuned more towards highway usage, for lesser overload applications. It has a higher road speed of 70 kmph due to bigger 13 inch wheels, which also offer better road grip. Though the engine specs are same as the HT, the tranny adds an additional cog, which makes it a 5 speed unit. The Ex has a slightly lower gradeability of 21%, and restart gradeability is even lower at 16%, implying that the vehicle is not to be used in a terrain, which has abundance of slopes.

For all those who would want the power of the HT, and the speed of the EX, there is always the Ace DICOR NA, which is fitted with an 800cc common rail engine, without a turbocharger. This engine pumps out 20 PS power and 55 Nm of torque. The rest of the features match that of the EX variant.

Tata Ace Mega, has a different heart and a very different one at that. The Mega is fitted with an all new 800 cc twin cylinder turbocharged engine, which pumps out 40 Ps of power, compared to the earlier 16 PS from the 700 cc NA engine of the HT and the EX. This engine is India’s smallest twin cylinder turbo diesel unit, present in the market. While the Mega does it basic job of carrying heavy loads from point A to B, what it does better than the other variants, is the turnaround time between trips, with a rated top speed of 90 Kmph. The 40 PS engine ensures that you clock better road speeds, compared to the other ACE variants. So if you are straying a little bit outside the city, onto the highway for a captive application, Mega is simply the vehicle for you, as you will do more number of trips in a day. The vehicle also has a 1 ton rated payload, and is fitted with larger 165 mm 14 inch wheels and tyres, which also give it an upright stance. The gradeability is also better at 30%, compared to 22% for the Ace HT. These figures make the Ace Mega a worthy alternative to the Ashok Leyland Dost, if the load body dimensions are adequate, for the operator.

All the 3 models mentioned above, have a 2140 x 1430 x 300 mm load body. For all those wanting a larger load body, and the additional comforts of a power steering, with tubeless tyres, there is the Ace Mega XL, available with load body dimensions of 2,450 x 1,430 x 300 mm. This vehicle is essentially the Ace Mega, with similar specifications, except for the changes mentioned above. The rated payload at 990 kgs, is similar to the 1 ton payload of the Mega variant. The only problem with this model presently is that, it is very recently launched, and pan India availability of this model, is not confirmed yet.

The vehicle which you should choose, will entirely depend on the type of application, the type of loads carried, and most importantly the terrain and distance. Let us take a few examples. If you are a captive customer, wanting to transport grains or fertilizers in gunny sacks, over a distance of 40 – 50 kms or so, with at least 40 – 50% of highway travel, the vehicle you should consider is the Mega. If the loading pattern requires that you carry crates and pallets, which require a larger volume, the vehicle you should consider is the Mega XL, with its larger load body. If you run an appliances showroom and needs a vehicle, to transport white goods and home appliances to doorsteps, the vehicle to consider is the Ace EX, which is more of a light load carrier, offering slightly better road speed and fuel efficiency. If the loads are heavier, you may look at the NA Dicor.

If the vehicle is for a shared, multi-purpose business model, and is expected to cover short distances over rough terrains, with uncertain loads, look no further, the HT is the vehicle for you. If you plan to take your vehicle for servicing at Ramu kaka’s workshop, pls steer clear of the 800 cc variants (i.e. the Dicor and Mega), as these are electronically controlled engines, and need diagnostic tools for servicing. The 700 cc twins are old school indirect injection engines, with no common rail system, which can be taken care by the endless number of Ramu Kakas’ workshops dotting our motorways.

Coming to the most important aspect which is the price of these variants. The BSIV prices are as follows:

The HT, which is the cheapest starts at about 3.7 lacs and goes upto 3.8 lacs for the EX variant. The 800 cc variants are slightly more expensive, with the NA Dicor starting at 3.95 lacs going upto 4.05 lacs for the Turbocharged variant. With such close pricing, it boils down to your specific requirements which needs attention. If you are still confused, pls write to us with your specific applications and concerns. Till then Good day!