Tata Aria Coupe
Keywords: tata motors,tata aria,tata aria facelift,new tata aria,2014 tata aria,new tata aria review,aria review
Description: Tata Motors is now ready to belt out a new Aria. So listen closely, because the once unsuccessful MUV is back - refreshed and ready to take on the market yet again, in a slightly new avatar.
Tata Motors is now ready to belt out a new Aria. So listen closely, because the once unsuccessful MUV is back - refreshed and ready to take on the market yet again, in a slightly new avatar.
Tata Motors had first driven in the Aria in 2010. It was big, butch and had a bunch of features to boot. With car-like comfort, the go-anywhere promise of an SUV, and the space and practicality of an MUV, it seemed perfect for India. But there was one major flaw in the plan - namely pricing - which was in the 12.9 - 15.5 lakh range. In a bid to make the Aria aspirational and luxurious Tata had got the pricing horribly wrong. The car also had sub-par plastics and a heavy drive feel - both countered by the Toyota Innova - which it was inevitably compared to.
Fast forward to 2014, and it seems Tata is trying hard to fix its faults courtesy a facelift and better pricing.
The updated Aria now starts at a more practical 9.95 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) and if you fancy the top-end 4x4 version, it will set you back by 14.74 lakh (ex showroom Delhi). Just to put things in perspective, the base LX model is now cheaper by almost 3 lakh and the top-end spec is cheaper by 75 grand.
With the entry level LX sporting a sub 10 lakh sticker price its clear that Tata is finally aiming at the segment leader - the Toyota Innova.
Now the Aria still looks pretty much the same. So what's really new besides the prices? Well, not much on the outside. Look hard, and you will see the front headlamps have been blacked out. There is an Aria decal running around the side, and the rear get clear lens taillights. On the cosmetic front that is that! But, there is more to it than meets the eye.
The real work has gone in retuning and refining the 2.2 litre Varicor diesel engine. Thanks to the tuning tweaks, it now puts out 148 bhp, 10 horses more than the previous Aria. The problem with the previous Aria was it lacked refinement and we are pleased to report, that problem has been fixed. Start the car, and the vibrations and engine clatter don't filter into the cabin. Drive out and the engine still feels smoother and more silent than before.
The previous car lacked low end grunt. You had to constantly work the gears to keep the engine on the boil. The tweaked motor hits its peak torque of 320 Nm from as low as 1500 rpm. The retune is a significantly good job done by the Tata engineers.
The 5 speed gearbox still feels a bit soft though. Gearshifts are not notchy or precise. Though it is a short throw gearbox you feel lost while shuffling gears. The ride and handling though stays the same - with the suspension soaking up most of what our roads throw at it. The Aria is pretty planted on straight line sprints, but a hit a corner fast, and you will feel its 2.8 ton heft. Thanks to the bulk, body roll is still pronounced on the bends. But, then again this is not a car that you are meant to go corner carving in!
The top of the line 4X4 Pride trim comes with a fair amount of kit. You get 6 airbags, traction control, stability systems ABS & EBD. And what's more, the top-spec Aria has a Harman infotainment system!
So it is a minor facelift but the bigger changes come from the greater sense of refinement, and more competitive price tag. It does retain its grand and imposing looks, and so it seems ready for its second outing into the market. So should the Toyota Innova be worried? Maybe not when it comes to fleet sales, but a few urban individual buyers would now be compelled to consider the Aria. After all neither the Nissan Evalia/Ashok Leyland Stile, nor the Chevrolet Enjoy have proved to be any competition to the mighty Innova have they?
Photogallery Tata Aria Coupe:
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