Long Termer

Tata Aria (Third report)

30,000km report Our Aria continues to rake up the kilometres on the highway and, we’ve realised, it’s quite comfy in the city too.

DETAILS
4
photos

Since our last report, our Aria has been to the arid lands of Kutch playing support car to a distant relative, the Jaguar XKR (July 2012 issue). It did an admirable job of ferrying four men, their luggage and the TV camera gear on the 2000km round trip. Then, with the onset of the monsoons, our photographers seized an opportunity to drive the Aria to the scenic Bhandardara on an ‘official’ getaway, to return with great praise for the Tata’s long-distance comfort. Clearly, we haven’t really treated this Tata with kids’ gloves. So it’s quite remarkable that our Aria has held up quite well. All mechanicals are in good running order and we’ve had no problems with reliability either, though the cabin is beginning to show some signs of wear. The silver finish on the gear knob, for instance, has faded a bit. 

Unlike my country-trotting colleagues, I’ve been using the Aria within town only. Accustomed to the convenience of driving a hatchback or midsize saloon, I initially found the hulking Tata a bit daunting to drive in Mumbai’s traffic. I’d also be hesitant to venture out into the city’s suburbs, where finding parking space is an art in its own. Over time, though, I’ve developed faith in the Aria’s accurate rear-parking sensors. So if you see the MH 01 AX 6076 parked skilfully somewhere, you should know it’s been technology to the rescue. 
 
But what’s really helped the man-machine bonding here is the Aria’s fantastic low speed ride – its supple suspension has seriously got the better of this season’s round of potholes. I’m also greatly impressed by the Aria’s overall refinement. There is little suspension noise and even the engine remains quiet enough. As for the engine, it feels sufficiently powerful for most occasions though some more grunt low-down in the rev range wouldn’t hurt. I also hope Tata can redesign the footwell whenever the facelifted Aria is due – it’s simply too narrow and desperately needs a dead pedal. And while at it, they could also reposition the steering audio controls lower down to a more ergonomic position.
 
This apart, I’m quite happy with the Aria. Even the fuel efficiency has been a pleasant surprise and is quite good for a two-tonner. We’ve managed a best figure of 10kpl in the city and 13.9kpl out on the highway. With so many positives, it’s a real shame the Aria doesn’t sell more. I hear many Tata dealers are selling the Aria 4x2 with discounts of upto Rs 1 lakh, which makes this well-rounded MPV seriously worth considering.
 
NIKHIL BHATIA
 
Odometer 30,067km
Price 15.82 lakh  (on-road, Mumbai)
Test economy 11.9kpl (overall)
Faults Gear knob losing its sheen 
See more about:  tata, aria

Tata Aria (Third report)

notSet

The big wheels and soft suspension shield you from the worst of bumps. Fading silver finish on gear knob is the first of the quality niggles. Quite accurate and a boon 
when parking the massive Aria.
Crossovers, SUVs, supercars and compact sedans: there’s something for everyone in our May 2014 issue.
What's in this issue?

Most Read
Find a car review

Latest Car Reviews

SsangYong Rexton RX6 review, test drive

SsangYong Rexton RX6 review, test drive

4 days ago
The new, mid-level RX6 variant of the Rexton gets all the features of the...
New Tata Aria review, test drive

New Tata Aria review, test drive

Apr 11, 2014
Tata Aria gets its first facelift since launch. Other than subtle cosmetic...
Jaguar XF 2.0-litre petrol review, test drive

Jaguar XF 2.0-litre petrol review, test drive

Apr 10, 2014
Jaguar XF 2.0 petrol sedan is the carmaker's most affordable petrol car...
New Toyota Corolla Altis review, test drive

New Toyota Corolla Altis review, test drive

Apr 10, 2014
Toyota says the new Corolla will appeal to the heart and head. It certainly...
Renault Koleos automatic facelift review, test drive

Renault Koleos automatic facelift review, test drive

Apr 7, 2014
The automatic avatar of Renault's premium SUV drives quite differently from...
Latest News
New Volkswagen Jetta sedan coming early 2015
Volkswagen Jetta sedan to get a substantial styling update; Will hit...
7 hours ago   3 pictures
Beijing 2014: LWB Range Rover Hybrid launched
The long-wheel based Range Rover will be the first diesel-electric hybrid to...
11 hours ago   1 picture
Toyota Yaris facelift revealed
Updated Toyota Yaris, which will adopt some design themes set out by the new...
16 hours ago   1 picture
Beijing 2014: Porsche Macan gets 2.0-litre four cylinder engine
The Porsche Macan will soon come with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol...
19 hours ago   4 pictures
Emphasis on alternative fuel vehicles at Paris 2014
Special track outside the venue will allow visitors to test drive some of...
20 hours ago   1 picture

Autocar Magazine

Issue: 177 | May 2014

Crossovers, SUVs, supercars and compact sedans: there’s something for everyone in our May 2014 issue.
Autocar Magazine
Latest Poll
Which hatchback would you choose out of these two?


or View results
Datsun Go
  56%
 
Maruti Wagon R
  44%
TOTAL VOTES: 1971

Vote now
View previous Polls »