Design and Styling
If you see Aria from sides, suddenly you think of another car. Don’t call the Aria styling as Innova-ish. A sedan can be built with three box whatever you do. Similarly, Tata designers wanted to give an softer profile and they have no further option than building a Innova-ish Aria. Aria was designed with the intention of pleasing the fellow rider rather than deterring. The front end of Aria carries forward the new design theme of Tata family vehicles. Wrap around dual barrell headlamps bounds the signature Tata grille. However the hoodline and wheel arches are high set for imposing road presence.
The styling of side profile is typical of an MUV. The christmas tree tail-lamps greets the rear end of Aria. Its hightime that Tata should find a new alternative to pillar mounted headlamps. However the twin elliptical exhaust is gorgeous. Overall styling of Aria is more of an MUV with SUV tone which many would like.
For an all new vehicle,Tata has surprisingly carried forward the Safari’s 2.2L Dicor engine. But Tata says the engine is completely a different beast relative to one being used in safari or sumo grande. Aria powered by 2.2L DICOR engine produces 140PS at 4000rpm and 320Nm of peak torque between 1700rpm to 2700rpm. The engine has evolved with the addition of dual mass flywheel (DMF) which demands to run the engine at near idle rpms for better fuel efficiency. Tata has worked on the G-76 gearbox (used in safari) for Aria.
Performance and mileage
Out on the road, Aria 2200cc heart feels much responsive to drivers input. The 2.2L mill produces ample torque to push this 2.7 tonned machine over anywhere. The added gift is 320Nm of surplus torque is available from lower rpms. Aria easily hits a top whack of 170kmph which is quiet good to move between cities. But the gearbox still transfers vibrations through the gear-lever. The refinement too is nothing to boast about.
Handling and Ride – I
You would expect a crossover such as Aria as monocoque built (like a CR-V), but Tata has opted for a ladder frame chassis. Tata engineers believe that ladder frame would suit for rugged Indian conditions. If Tata claims Aria has an underpinning of an SUV, it is logically true. But the downside Tata Aria is heavier (fatter than the Toyota fortuner). Aria weighs 2720kg. Tata Aria chassis is said to be 2.5 times stiffer than safari chassis due to hydroform construction for better dynamics. But out on the road, this bulky crossover is hard to handle. No amount of electronics managed to defy this (read ESP,TCS, ABS and disc brakes).
Handling and Ride – II
Aria rides on 235/65 R17 tyres on all wheels. Tata has intentionally added All-wheel drive / 4-wheel drive mode in all variants of Aria (termed as Adapterra). You would defaultly drive Aria in an 4WD mode but you can switch to 2WD only by simple push of button on the dash (see through the dash buttons harder to locate it). Aria is basically a rear wheel drive crossover on activating the 2WD it simply disengages the drive We didn’t get a chance to discern the different driving modes.
Aria will be available in eight colours – Castelie gray, arctic silver, walnut gold, sardinia red, quartz black, pearl white, surf blue and Night shade black. Tata offers different interior options too – Black and plum (seen in pictures), black and black and black and beige. Options are too many, isn’t it?
Tata Aria started in 2006 well before the Jaguar – Land Rover acquisition, yet, we could see a hint of LR styled dashboard in Aria. Aria dash is boxy yet appealing. The use of twin colours adds to the attractive quotient. Aria being the first indian car to come with integrated navigation system gives the dash a complete look. Material for seat cover used is good, yet we would love to see more classical styling (faux wood and chrome would be better)
Steering is relatively smaller compared to Safari/ Sumo Grande. Also it is closer to driver than actually should be. Though the controls fall within your arm’s length, the position of pedals is not perfect. Build quality is a largely improved. We could not find any rattling. Visibility inside the cabin is good credits to the large windscreen. Accessibility to the third row is as good/bad as any 7 seater. The pillar mounted vents is quite useful. But we could not test its effectiveness in Pune.
Space and convenience
Tata claims the Aria is a true seven seater. The 2-3-2 combination of three rows is made perfect. The third row as Tata says is not meant for kids but also average Indian adult. Surprisingly, you have considerable boot space too. Aria verstaility is unique and useful. The second and third row seat can be folded in various shapes to accommodate larger/longer objects. The second row seats (60:40 split) can be slided as well. All the three rows gets reading light and power point to charge the mobiles. The lack of need for the roof mounted vents (due to pillar mounted vents) has freed the roof space which Tata filled with utility bins. You can store everything you wish – binoculars, sun glasses, maps and novels
Ride and comfort
Steering is not too smooth nor too hard and feedback is decent. But Aria ride is nothing short of a roller-coaster. The occupants are sure to scare under hard braking or quick turns. Forget about any adventurous moves/ quick ride over bad roads as you are sure to get tantrums from back-seaters and fellow riders.. Blame the too softer suspension for the Aria handling. Aria rides on double wishbone independent suspension at the front and coil spring at the rear.
Tata Aria is equipped with tons of features – reverse guide camera, inbuilt navigation device, automatic climate control, electrically adjustable ORVM, electrically folding ORVM, Six airbags (includes side and curtain airbags), ESP (electronic stability program), ABS with EBD, alloy wheels, integrated music system with Aux port, steering mounted audio control, cruise control, rain sensing wipers, darkness sensing headlamps, puddle lamps, approach headlamps, glovebox with chiller, height adjustable driver seat and much more
Variants and Price
Tata Aria comes in three variants – Aria pleasure, Aria prestige and Aria pride. Aria being the top end variants sport all the features listed in the previous slide. Aria is priced between Rs12.91 lakhs and Rs15.85 lakhs. For complete price list of Aria click here
Tata Aria clearly offers what is designed for – ruggedness of an SUV, comfort of a sedan and versatility of an MPV. Aria is the first Indian crossover which indirectly means it is the first crossover designed with indians in mind. Tata has left no stone unturned. Aria sports pleasing design, loads of comfort features, spacious and versatile cabin, powerful engine, internationally acclaimed safety features and decent build quality. Hurrah! Aria is the best one to buy. Here’s a word of caution. Behind the steering wheel, Aria is deterring. It drives scary and makes you fearful. But remember, India is a country where most 7-seaters are chauffeur driven.