Its now five months since driving the Beat and I am now ready to give a full fledged review. For any standard, professional auto review, check out sites like zigwheels, carwale, bsmotoring, gaadi.com etc. Here, I am going to share my experience of driving the car, as a layman. I've done ~3700 kms now and am fairly conversant with the car.
What I love about the Beat:
I own a cocktail green LS version. Initially, I had booked a LT version but didn't get the colour and settled for the LS version. Believe me, I am glad I did that, on hindsight! The VFM is in this model. I get to fit the jazziest music system I like and not settle for a factory fitted version which I believe is pits. Secondly, I was enamoured by the roof rails and rear spoiler and was disappointed to not have it. I am quite happy without these frills, although I may still go for the spoiler soon. The best part of the car are the door handles for the rear seats. They are very stylish and masked which gives the car a two door sporty look. And lastly, the LS version looks better with a black contrast in side view mirrors rather than a full body colour outfit that LT has.
The interiors are much nicer than any Maruti and Tata car we are are exposed to at this price. They have a rich feel as compared to the Marutis of the world. Also, the spaces for water, mobiles, perfume, shades, etc are all quite thoughtful and tastefully done. The seat upholstery is also a welcome change after driving the Zen for ten plus years. The boot is pretty decent, enough for a small family to make overnight trips. The fuel efficiency on expressways is a pleasant 19 km/l whilst its 13 km/l within the city. So, its moreorless what the company claims, so that's a first too, most car companies make tall claims that users find hard to emulate:-) The Beat scores on height as well, over the Zen, almost all cars today have this advantage.
What I don't like about the Beat:
I like its rear side but the frontal view borders on 'ugly'. I wonder why they have gone for such a rounded buxom look. Could have looked leaner. Also, there are some blind spots in the car and the driver is caught unawares, probably due to the closed, side view on the rear window. I guess, one gets used to using the side rear view mirrors more often, to overcome these blind spots.
I did like my Zen but the Beat is definitely very sporty and a tad more powerful.