The mystery behind new badge less Tata and Maruti Suzuki cars in India

Bought a Tata Tiago or a Maruti Swift recently? If you did, you must have had a doubt that someone out there has already flicked your badges or perhaps the dealer forgot to fix them before delivering the car. Fret not. Your car is absolutely normal and there has been no tampering done with it. It’s just a new policy by few automakers in India. Allow me to explain.

A recent study done by a few automobile giants in India suggested that buyers don’t really want a diesel or petrol badging written on their cars. For some strange reason, they believe that the aesthetics of the car are spoiled by a badge. All they want is the manufacturer’s logo and the name of the car. The other reason provided is that the customers don’t want others to judge them based on the trim of the car selected. For example, with Maruti, the entry point trim is called LXi or LDi depending on the fuel selected. So, a customer who has just got a LXi doesn’t want to feel inferior in front of another one who has a ZXi (the top trim). During service visits, customers claim to have been meted out treatment based on the trim they have chosen. It so helps that even the car manufacturers are keen on adopting this idea as it helps them save some moolah in the process. So a new Maruti Suzuki Swift is devoid of any badging at the back that proclaims the fuel that the engine sips or even the trim level. Heck there is nothing telling you if its a diesel or petrol either. This isn’t a new procedure as abroad, a customer can choose not to have any badging on the car, not even the name, during the time of delivery. In India, however, it still isn’t prevalent as of now. May be manufacturers like Tata and Maruti can inspire others to follow suit.

So assuming you’re a layman or someone who just learnt driving, how do you tell the attendant the fuel if you have just borrowed your friend’s new Swift and want to tank up? You open the fuel flap to see if there is any marking on it. Maruti is putting up a diesel marking on the flap but not for the petrol. So if there is no badge underneath, its a petrol. Second way of finding out is you check the rev counter. If the red line start from around 6,000rpm, its a petrol. If it begins from 3,500, then it’s a diesel. Third option is to listen to the engine. If its relatively silent, its a petrol. If it makes an audible clatter, its a diesel. Fourth option is to open the hood and look at the badging. A Maruti Swift petrol engine will have the 16V badge on it while the diesel has a DDiS badging. Speaking of which the DDiS badging is also there on the side of the car near the front wheel arch. It is expected that all Maruti cars in the future will follow the Nexa style wherein which the cars being sold from there are devoid of any distinguishing badges.

Its hard to tell from the badges whether this is a petrol or diesel Elite i20. However, once you start the engine, look at the rev counter or open the fuel flap, the choice of fuel is clear

If you have the Tata Tiago or Tigor, the fuel flap has the indication on it. With the rev counter, it’s hard to say here because there is no marking anywhere. It’s only when you rev the engine in neutral that you can find out. Listening to the engine may also help here because the NVH levels are a tad higher for the diesel. Opening the hood will reveal the fuel used in the car. Revotron signals a petrol car while Revotorq symbolises diesel.

There is another way for recognising Tata cars from the cabin. It is the presence of the glow plug. Before you start the vehicle, the on-board computer does a whole check of the car’s systems. This is the time when you will see the glow plug illumination coming on in the dashboard. It resembles a horizontal spring. You can check the images below and see for yourself.

This is the Tata Nexon’s meter console. This is shared with most other Tata cars too. The symbol right between the lower part of the 4,000-5,000rpm marking is the glow plug. It is present only in diesel vehicles
Here, the petrol’s unit doesn’t have a glow plug


My suggestion to the manufacturers will be to just put in a badging on the fuel flap that tells newbies what fuel are they filling in. Perhaps consider putting a badge near the rev counter too.


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