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

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.
The Chevrolet Trailblazer, new Skoda Superb and Tata Hexa are the stars of our 16th Anniversary issue. And that, of course, is just the tip of the iceberg. Read on.
What's in this issue?

Most Read
Find a car review

Latest Car Reviews

Range Rover LWB review, test drive

Range Rover LWB review, test drive

3 days ago
The Range Rover LWB is one of the largest, plushest and most spacious cars...
Maruti Ciaz long term review, second report

Maruti Ciaz long term review, second report

5 days ago
Our longtermer handles the concrete jungle with aplomb.
2015 Audi A6 Matrix 35 TDI review, test drive

2015 Audi A6 Matrix 35 TDI review, test drive

Aug 26, 2015
This facelift trims the Audi A6 range down to just one variant, but you can...
Maruti Ciaz SHVS diesel hybrid review, test drive

Maruti Ciaz SHVS diesel hybrid review, test drive

Aug 25, 2015
The Maruti Ciaz becomes even more frugal, thanks to the clever fuel-saving...
Abarth Punto Evo review, test drive

Abarth Punto Evo review, test drive

Aug 22, 2015
The wait for driving enthusiasts is over. India has finally got its first...
Latest News
Audi Q7 scores five stars in Euro NCAP crash test
Euro ACAP's top grade was awarded to the Q7 for its effective active and...
55 minutes ago   1 picture
Audi A3 40 TFSI Premium launched at Rs 25.50 lakh
The new entry-level trim is the only petrol variant in the A3 line-up;...
16 hours ago   1 picture
Land Rover Discovery Sport launched at 46.1 lakh
The Discovery Sport comes in four trim levels; powered by a 2,179cc diesel...
17 hours ago   3 pictures
Mercedes S-class Cabriolet revealed
The new S-class Cabriolet marks return of drop-top S-class after 44 years;...
19 hours ago   3 pictures
Maruti to equip more cars with SHVS tech
The frugal fuel-saving technology is expected to be used in the Maruti Dzire...
23 hours ago   1 picture

Autocar Magazine

Issue: 193 | Autocar India: September 2015

The Chevrolet Trailblazer, new Skoda Superb and Tata Hexa are the stars of our 16th Anniversary issue. And that, of course, is just the tip of the iceberg. Read on.
Autocar Magazine