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Old 13th October 2010, 02:39   #136
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I only wish I could accompany you guys to the TDs !

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
“Double barrel” headlights with the low-beam being a projector type. Stunning design!
Impressive design indeed. However, do note the shift in flushness (wrt body work) of the headlight : it is bordering over-flush near its top and goes under-flushed downwards. Won't hurt though.

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Rubber lining protects the bumper from scraping:
Neat ! I just hope that the sacrificed (scrapped in bits) rubber isn't visible from the front !

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Spare tyre, 5-link coil-spring rear suspension and actual dual tail-pipes - all tucked away above the 200 mm ground clearance:


The twin chrome exhaust tips add character. Even though the actual tail pipes are puny, it’s the thick exhaust tip that gives out a “meaty” effect:
Q. Why would a manufacturer "want to" show a twin exhaust system in an inline engine car ?
A. I dunno
In order to maintain adequate back pressure (i hope they didn't lose out on it just to fork it) they had to decrease the dia of the forked pipes. and then add flared up covers to give an image of something it is not ! Wannabe Feature me thinks!


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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
The ORVMs feel like they are from an overgrown F430 or the likes. Super rearward view:
IN a car this size, Blindspot mirrors would've been better.

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Pronounced Are-ya, not Air-ya:
Kudos to the Attention to craftsmanship ! Very few cars have the lettering as separate letters and not in a "joined at hips-n-shoulders" lettering. like in Innova or even Fortuner.
Superlike ! A R I A

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Flared wheel arches bring muscle. However, the tapering in at the bottom + wide tyres still result in mud splatter on the body:
Am not complaining for the mud .
But yes, I have never been a big fan of flared wheel arches in Tata vehicles. They haven't been done neatly so far (ref. Indica V2 wheel arches :yuk).
Hope this design is better. Though, it still looks similar from the outskirts.
and oh thankfully, the wheel arch plastic doesn't run till the sill valence cover ! phew ..
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Super wide panel gap that you can insert a finger in!
Panel gaps lead to bad bad water ingress problems. Although I assume Tata must've worked on the water ingress issue, I really suggest a proper 2bar pressure 360 degree water jet for 15 mins followed by ripping open as many carpets and trims to check for dampness.
I hope the panel gap issue remains on the outside panels.
That reminds me: panel gaps might be acceptable if they are uniform along their lengths. in one of the pics above, you'd see the panel gap b/w te door and the fender increases as one goes towards the top. Ditto @ port side bumper-fender meeting line...

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Another display of the intended SUV DNA in the Aria. Mounting for a tow-ball so you can lug along a trailer, boat etc.
Much appreciated !

Last edited by Rehaan : 13th October 2010 at 15:08. Reason: Reduced size of quote pics.
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Old 13th October 2010, 04:03   #137
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i am seeing here people cribbling about tata launching the car in a wrong segment and no one will be willing to put 16 lacs on tata.

however i feel this is a big leap ahead for tata.
even if this is not a hit in indian territory i am sure exports will speak the volume.

i remember the Bill Of Material (BOM) itself was 10 lacs plus which all high quality parts going in without a compromise.
so one cannot say they priced it above safari and all. its not about pricing its about BOM-cost + manufacturing cost + profit margin.

when tata used to price low, we cribbled that the quality is not upto the mark, now then they have put in high quality costly parts we say i cannot spend more on tata even if they put high quality parts.

i am driving a dodge avenger here in US and i can post how poor the quality and finish of plastics is in the cabin on such a premium car.

our interiors are way ahead if i compare them with that of aria
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Old 13th October 2010, 05:41   #138
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^^ OT: Having driven a Dodge Avenger myself, I can completely concur with what you said, it has very shoddy interiors.

Like many have mentioned earlier, the review was succinct and made for a good read. I think there are certain intangibles associated with the Aria launch, people might accuse me of clutching at straws, but here goes:

a. I think a premium vehicle in a showroom rubs off on the rest of the vehicles present there. Think of it this way, earlier when one stepped into the Tata showroom, one was greeted with the Indica, the Safari and the Sumo. All with poor quality finish. Things improved with the Vista and Manza but as we all know, people still have a very negative opinion about the Tata stable (perhaps rightly so in certain aspects).
Now, when you go to a Tata showroom, look at the Aria, see that it feels plush; then even if you jump at the price and move on, if you now look at the Vista (and Manza), you'd probably think that it's not so bad. I personally consider the Vista's interiors to be of quality that's better than the Figo's.

b. Carrying on from the first point, as we have seen that it is very hard for a manufacturer to sell an expensive car after being popular in the budget segment. Look at Hyundai (with the Sonata, Tucson etc.) for proof. So, in this case, going down the ladder is actually easier than going up in terms of market perception. Luckily for Tata, they've always had the Safari; so while they are considered to be a car manufacturer for the budget conscious buyer, there is a chance (small but still there) that this might work. What would be required is a massive marketing push that tries to tap into this line of thought, perhaps even go as far as making the "Aria" name get precedence over the Tata badge.

Of course, all of that, the massive list of features etc. would come to nothing if the Aria is not ultra reliable. For Tata, it's important to make sure that nothing goes wrong with this car, that quality is uncompromised. Reputation would take care of itself.
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Old 13th October 2010, 07:04   #139
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The third row seating seems to be bad. Almost unusable except for kids. There seems to be a decent amount of space available in the boot. As someone has pointed out, the best option for the Tata is to fit in sliders for the 3rd row seats. Also GTO's review was a bit confusing as to if he recommends the car or not. He has clearly pointed out the goods & the bads but i wonder if it serves the purpose for which it was intended. Of course you dont have any alternatives at the price point but i definitely think that the intended purpose for the Aria can be easily fulfilled by the options available at either end of the Aria' s price spectrum. Tata seems to have targeted it towards a very narrow audience.
Commercial users will be loathe to spend extra for the Aria when you have a very convincing Innova.
But i just love the premium lustrous paint finish on the car. Such a lustre would not look out of place on cars that cost thrice as much.

@ GTO : Would it be possible to maintain a list of suggestions that have been provided to the manufacturer post each test drive. May be we can post that list on the forum itself somewhere so that actual users can append to it after the Mods approval. That way car manufacturers can know what exactly the market is looking for. That way may be we can do our bit towards improving the motoring scene?? Just a passing thought!!

Last edited by coldice4u : 13th October 2010 at 07:09.
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Old 13th October 2010, 08:00   #140
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Great Review GTO/Rehaan!

I liked the driver console, the seats, the layout a lot. And the pictures here give a very spacious and clean feel to the interiors.

The Chrome on the inner handles definitely add a touch of class.

The steering wheel does feel meaty. I like it. I hate all the other TATA steering wheels.

I agree that the tail light may be a bit out-dated, but the rear does look complete. It is surely 100 times better than a Xylo rear and it looks like the CHEVY TAHOEs I love them btw.

If it was priced in the 12-13 Lakh range, i would pick this ahead of Innova and the Ford for sure.

Regards
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Old 13th October 2010, 08:01   #141
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Quote:
condor : And is not standard business practice.
anu21v : Well its not as if this practice bends any croporates laws. Lets be fair here.
Yes, let's be fair. Why should Corus / Tata Steel give up it's profits for you & me ? Corus & Tata Steel have their business to take care of.

Common Sense, my friend. If you want to donate for charity, will ask your brother to do it for your from his pocket ? (And not make good for that ? )

To Each his own. And just because Tata group has two steel companies, does not mean that they are getting all their steel requirements internally. It may make more business & logistic sense to procure steel from other places too.
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Old 13th October 2010, 08:05   #142
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airbender View Post
Had it come with decent third row space, pricing won't be a problem. They would have decreased the luggage space and moved the third row by about 2 to 3 inches.
I agree to this 100 %.

Seeing the pictures posted by GTO & Rehaan (reproduced again below), I think this should be possible, in their later models in the near future, hopefully. Surprising that customer feedback was not taken on this aspect during the design / initial testing phase by Tata.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post



My guess is that since they were unable to have adequate headroom for the 3rd row in the present design, they had to place the seats at a low height, resulting in poor thigh support for adults, and therefore decided to have the 3rd row for kids and small adults only, thereby releasing more boot space in the process. But with all this, I agree that it cannot be called a true 7 seater, as already mentioned by several others.
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Old 13th October 2010, 09:16   #143
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manas View Post
Just a small clarification: talking about R&D budgets and their mention in the balance sheets, please remember that for long projects, the costs are spread over the duration of the research and not in one FY.
Hence, the 1500cr figure (citation needed), though represents the amount of money allocated to R&D activities in that FY, it doesn't necessarily represent the amount spend on any one particular project.
Exactly that's what my point is. To develop a new car in India you need between 500-600 crores. I understand this 600 crores expenditure is spread over a number of FYs. I also understand the 1500 crores that TML has spent in the last FY spread over a number of projects.

But in MSIL's case, it is the 1780-crore royalty (for a single FY) that they paid to their parent keeps Suzuki alive! I think you missed that news, also an interesting thread available in our forum.

Pl do a search for it, don't be a part of the crowd who go ga-ga about the great MSIL products that Suzuki has mercifully licensed!.

The figures/facts taken from:
This could end up killing Maruti Suzuki! : Rediff.com Business

Last edited by sandeepmdas : 13th October 2010 at 09:17.
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Old 13th October 2010, 09:55   #144
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
Would like to have more technical details of the traction control/ ESP/ 4x4 system.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
Could you shed some light on the drivetrain, esp TC (Torsen? Clutchpack? Something else?), how the ESP and Traction control work...
+1.
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Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
The Motorbeam video: Either it was in 4x2 mode, or (most likely) it has freewheeling front hubs. If so WHY?
Just had a look at that video - indeed, there's rear wheelspin with none on the front (which should have been there if in 4x4 mode). Or is it that torque transfer to the front wheels happens after the rear wheelspin achieves a certain speed?

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Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post
HAha! You are so right!
...neither did my brain spark when SS-Traveller mentioned that it was transverse mounted engine and questioned the default RWD in an earlier comment.
Here's a closeup that confirms that:
Attachment 438071
Apologies Rehaan. My bad - should have looked closer. But then, who would have expected the engine cover to be mounted at right angles to the engine axis?

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Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
...reason for (sophisticated) 4x4 is handling. But 140 bhp rwd is not a problem at all.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
...why 4x4 was incorporated in the product matrix?
A RWD system incorporating ESP & TC would definitely have kept the handling in control - and Tata anyway decided not to trust the Indian driver and offered no ESP/TC "OFF" switch. I agree with what you said, Sutripta-da, about RWD being more than enough to handle 140 bhp. With a 300 bhp engine (building my dream car! ), 4x4 would have helped in putting down the power to the tarmac better.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
And what about KISS?
You mean the Kicka$s Independent Suspension System? Or is it that the Aria is meant to be a Kids' Independent Salary Showcase?
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Old 13th October 2010, 10:14   #145
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Originally Posted by acidkill View Post
1. The car is outlandishly priced for a 'Tata' - a brand is associated with quantity over quality
Precisely thats the point, its more of perception than fact. Fact is car may be rightly priced or slightly higher to get some premium. But its the perception - Hey its TATA.. how dare they charge premium!! No one cries foul for foreign manufacturers charging high. Have not read a single post that says the Bill of Material for a Merc should be only 25 lakhs, why is it charging 65 lakhs. I am not crying foul or praising Tata in anyway, but my humble submission is that lets evaluate this product singular and not with baggage of history.

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Originally Posted by acidkill View Post
3. Tata will make it unavailable to the Taxi market (which usually provides the volumes for MPV segment)
I dont think they are targeting volumes with this car anyways. They have not done this with Safari even.

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Originally Posted by acidkill View Post
4. Even if the Kit and Fit and Finish is the best Tata has ever managed, i wonder if anyone would buy a Tata Aria for 16L over a more SUV looking Capitva and Fortuner for 20 L. Besides, the Innova is a whole 3 Lakhs cheaper!

Its a diff of 4 Lakhs, Sir. I dont think everyone would simply be willing to spend extra 4 Lakh. While there certainly will be some, but Aria might have its fair share of buyers.

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Originally Posted by acidkill View Post
I think this Aria project was an unnecessary distraction for TATA. They are not yet ready as a brand to be in this segment.
common sir.. thats real harsh. Lets not be so judgmental and simply write off the product. Tata can do lot more to elebate brand perception than spend 5 years and crores and crores of rs in Aria. So I dont think I would buy your logic here.

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Originally Posted by acidkill View Post
Im sure that the only purpose of the Aria is to elevate the perception of Tata as a car manufacturer. The returns objective for this car is probably exists only in export markets (that too for its base variants )
I dont understand the logic. Export market will buy the car and give volumes even with its "poor image and over price", but Indian market wont ??

Nothing personal against you sir.. just my humble opinion
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Old 13th October 2010, 10:53   #146
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Originally Posted by dhuli View Post
BTW, the dealer's chart seem to indicate 4 versions lowest end PURE (not launched, dont know when scheduled) followed by PLEASURE, PRESTIGE & PRIDE.
Interesting find, and inevitable too.

Thanks for the 3rd row legroom pics - good ones!

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Originally Posted by Manas View Post
Impressive design indeed. However, do note the shift in flushness (wrt body work) of the headlight : it is bordering over-flush near its top and goes under-flushed downwards. Won't hurt though.
Perhaps its hard to tell in the picture, but i didn't notice any issues here.

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Originally Posted by Manas View Post
Neat ! I just hope that the sacrificed (scrapped in bits) rubber isn't visible from the front !
Do re-read the 2nd post of this thread, the caption for that picture has been updated with some more information!

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Originally Posted by Manas View Post
twin exhaust
In order to maintain adequate back pressure (i hope they didn't lose out on it just to fork it) they had to decrease the dia of the forked pipes. and then add flared up covers to give an image of something it is not ! Wannabe Feature me thinks!
Its very unlikely to have a <3L engine, or even a bigger engine for that matter with twin pipes of that diameter!

I don't know how to argue with this one, other than to show you a picture of a Rolls-Royce that does the same thing. Noone complained there?


Scorcher's pic from this thread.

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Originally Posted by Amartya View Post
a. I think a premium vehicle in a showroom rubs off on the rest of the vehicles present there. Think of it this way, earlier when one stepped into the Tata showroom, one was greeted with the Indica, the Safari and the Sumo. All with poor quality finish. Things improved with the Vista and Manza but as we all know, people still have a very negative opinion about the Tata stable (perhaps rightly so in certain aspects).
Now, when you go to a Tata showroom, look at the Aria, see that it feels plush; then even if you jump at the price and move on, if you now look at the Vista (and Manza), you'd probably think that it's not so bad.
Absolutely!

Also, if Tata wants to move into the higher segments, they have to start somewhere! They have to break the mold, and peoples mindsets about "how much a Tata car should cost". This could be seen as a step in that direction. Stuff like this doesn't happen overnight.

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Just had a look at that video - indeed, there's rear wheelspin with none on the front (which should have been there if in 4x4 mode). Or is it that torque transfer to the front wheels happens after the rear wheelspin achieves a certain speed?
I haven't watched the video fully, but wet grass sure is one of the slipperiest surfaces to drive on. I'd imagine the car was in 4x4 and it was doing its best to juggle the torque.

cya
R
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Old 13th October 2010, 10:55   #147
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
Could you shed some light on the drivetrain, esp TC (Torsen? Clutchpack? Something else?), how the ESP and Traction control work,
Sutripta,

In the short time with the Tata team we barely went into those details as there were a lot of other things to cover. All i know is that there is a single electronic clutch for the F/R bias and then mechanical diffs beyond that.

Here's the extent of what was shared with us regarding engine / drivetrain :
(i apologise for the quality of pictures, wasn't intending to share em!)

Name:  20101006 11.22.07 copy copy.jpg
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Improvements of the Safari's engine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
and most important (for me that is) why 4x4 was incorporated in the product matrix?
This is something that really puzzled me as well!
As mentioned in an earlier post, cost, weight, complexity and fuel efficiency could have all been saved with a 4x2.

However, i think the reason 4x4 was included was to enable the Aria to be positioned as a 'crossover'. A differentiator from the Xylos and Innovas (MPVs), and a USP of the Aria that can let it be presented as more of a lifestyle vehicle, closer to the Fortuners and Captivas.

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Originally Posted by druva View Post
Can someone explain what is this?
What GTO meant by that comment is that the button wouldn't be out of place in a higher segment car, since it was of good quality.

cya
R

Last edited by Rehaan : 13th October 2010 at 10:57.
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Old 13th October 2010, 10:57   #148
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Originally Posted by condor View Post
Yes, let's be fair. Why should Corus / Tata Steel give up it's profits for you & me ? Corus & Tata Steel have their business to take care of.

Common Sense, my friend. If you want to donate for charity, will ask your brother to do it for your from his pocket ? (And not make good for that ? )
I am sure you have heard the word "cross-subsidization".

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Originally Posted by condor View Post
To Each his own. And just because Tata group has two steel companies, does not mean that they are getting all their steel requirements internally. It may make more business & logistic sense to procure steel from other places too.
Yeah why not, even after knowing well that , "Tata Steel is World's lowest cost Steel manufacturer" [Sorry]

Lets take back discussion to this glorious car/Crossover. Lets not talk about the pricing henceforth at all. Everyone knows here how spot on that is.

Last edited by anu21v : 13th October 2010 at 10:58.
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Old 13th October 2010, 11:13   #149
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I am impressed with a Tata product for the first time. (Besides JLR ofcourse )

I love it when car makers push the envelope to give that extra bit much and thereby force competition to deliver better VFM. Classic example is the BMW effect on MBIL.

Toyota needed a wake-up call and Tata has woken up not only the Innova but also the Fortuner.

Hope Toyota doesn't take things for granted like the other Jap- Honda


Btw, the hydraulic jack is a first? I haven't seen it even on 1cr priced cars !

Last edited by Sahil : 13th October 2010 at 11:15.
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Old 13th October 2010, 11:25   #150
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Originally Posted by VeluM View Post

So, does that mean Indians would more readily buy the Vista/Manza/Aria if they were simply re-branded to something other than Tata?
Perhaps I should have explained myself more clearly. In the 80s, some of the leading Japanese brands launched luxury marques to compete with the world's best: Toyota launched Lexus, Honda: Acura, Mazda: Infiniti and so on. Goes without saying that it was a conscious attempt to rid the negative image that Japanese products suffered at the time, especially in the US. Now were these products VASTLY different from the standard Japanese offerings at the time? Hardly: in fact, a lot of Acuras were rebadged Hondas from the home market. Hoever by creating an aura around the new line and keeping the distribution and service channels distinct from the mass brand, the Japanese did succeed in what they set out to do: who can dispute that Lexus takes on the BMWs and Benzes of the world head-on today?

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Are you serious? I use GPS (the humble, phone based version) quite often on my trips around Bangalore. Places I've never been to and such. Quite useful, you should try it.
The number of times I have landed at Chickpet instead of Malleshwaram while driving in the city, I probably should . But in all seriousness, most non-arterial roads in Indian metros are unnamed. Even those that have names, have several: e.g. the Western Express Highway is (or used to be) Ali Yavar Jung Marg- check around how many Mumbaikars know that! We don't even have decent road maps to start with, is GPS really a "must-have" option on our cars? I am not so sure.

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Originally Posted by VeluM View Post
You seem uncomfortable being Indian. Why disparaging "Aria" and "Hanuman ki tekdi"? Does "Lexus" even mean anything?
Naaah... am very desi at heart. In fact that's what cheeses me off: despite owning the world's most premier luxury marques, Tata isn't impressing me much with their entry plans into the higher-end segment. I do hope they succeed, though, and all the best to them!
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