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 Renault Lodgy may just have what it takes to worry the Toyota Innova. We have an exclusive India drive, and a whole lot more in our March 2015 issue.
What's in this issue?

Most Read
Find a car review

Latest Car Reviews

2015 Mercedes-Benz B 200 CDI India review, test drive

2015 Mercedes-Benz B 200 CDI India review, test drive

1 day 13 hours ago
The styling may not have taken a huge leap forward in the B-class facelift,...
Tata Bolt review, road test

Tata Bolt review, road test

1 day 21 hours ago
It’s Tata’s best hatchback yet, but does it appeal to the heart?
Mercedes-AMG C 63 S review, test drive

Mercedes-AMG C 63 S review, test drive

4 days ago
We get behind the wheel of the AMG-treated, high-performance version of a...
Honda Amaze VX (O) review, test drive

Honda Amaze VX (O) review, test drive

5 days ago
We drive the new top-end variant of the Honda Amaze.
2015 Maruti Swift Dzire facelift first look

2015 Maruti Swift Dzire facelift first look

Feb 23, 2015
We take a close look at the updated 2015 Swift Dzire compact sedan.
Latest News
Lexus LF-SA concept unveiled in Geneva
Lexus concept comes with hi-tech infotainment system; hybrid powertrain...
15 hours ago   1 picture
BMW showcases optimised in-car connectivity
Mini cellular tech used improve in-car wireless connectivity.
19 hours ago   1 picture
New Triumph Tiger to launch on March 12
Globally, Triumph has already launched four new mid-size Tigers - XC, XR,...
1 day 13 hours ago   2 pictures
Fiat introduces ‘5x5’ extensive offer
‘5x5’ includes five separate offers clubbed into one; valid on...
1 day 18 hours ago   1 picture
New Morgan Aero 8 revealed at Geneva
Morgan revives Aero 8 name; car sports new chassis, suspension, fresh...
2 days ago   2 pictures

Autocar Magazine

Issue: 187 | Autocar India: March 2015

The Renault Lodgy may just have what it takes to worry the Toyota Innova. We have an exclusive India drive, and a whole lot more in our March 2015 issue.
Autocar Magazine