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Old 18th July 2012, 12:35   #736
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Default Re: Tata Aria : Test Drive & Review

Excellent reports @kaviprem and @amolpol. BTW I have a few question about Experience the Aria thing.

What is the motive behind this exercise by TaMo? Is it to spread the word about Aria or to get feedback and come up with a refreshed model?

There were reports/posts about a new stripped down variant priced much lower. Was this discussed during the meet?
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Old 18th July 2012, 19:09   #737
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Default Re: Tata Aria : Test Drive & Review

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Originally Posted by safari_lover View Post
What is the motive behind this exercise by TaMo? Is it to spread the word about Aria or to get feedback and come up with a refreshed model?
There were reports/posts about a new stripped down variant priced much lower. Was this discussed during the meet?
Well, I think, it would be too early for a "refreshed" model so soon. I see this [Drive the ARIA] as a promotional affair that would spread some solid feedback about the vehicle, ARIA.
So far, we have seen either an official review OR "no Tata vehicle for me" kind of review. But, this exercise provides a "day to day" feedback which is more important, according to me.

Prem.
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Old 18th July 2012, 20:57   #738
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Default Re: Tata Aria : Test Drive & Review

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What is the motive behind this exercise by TaMo? Is it to spread the word about Aria or to get feedback and come up with a refreshed model?
@ safari_Lover, though your question seems to be directed towards Kaviprem and Amolpol, I would like to take the liberty of answering it as I was closely associated with the planning and execution of the event.
This was neither for promotion or feedback for improvements in the Aria. This was something which culminated after discussions with the MD of Prerana Motors on a flight from Blr to Pune and the return.
We discussed a lot of things as to what auto enthusiasts like our forum members really like and how he as a car dealer, can contribute. So, it was Mr. Premanand Shenoy's idea to let a few auto enthusiasts experience the most premium car from the Tata stable. He was very clear right from the outset that it was not going to be a venture with a commercial motive, this was also reiterated in his speech as well.
I on my part, felt that if the personnel from Tata Motors are involved in the exercise, our friends would really enjoy interacting with them. This was immediately accepted by the Prerana team and hence the presence of TML in the event.
Mr. Prem also personally felt that the Aria is a very underrated vehicle and only when one drives it does one really get to know how good it is, hence the feedback form accompanying each drive. And now that some of the 29 invitees have actually experienced the Aria, the general feedback has been very positive, hope TML take the feedback in a positive way and incorporate possible changes in the Aria as well as their other vehicles.
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Old 18th July 2012, 21:37   #739
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Default Re: Tata Aria : Test Drive & Review

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Originally Posted by safari_lover View Post
Excellent reports @kaviprem and @amolpol. BTW I have a few question about Experience the Aria thing.

What is the motive behind this exercise by TaMo? Is it to spread the word about Aria or to get feedback and come up with a refreshed model?

There were reports/posts about a new stripped down variant priced much lower. Was this discussed during the meet?
I too was present at the event, my inputs

1) This is Premanand Shenoy - MD Prerana Motors initiative
2) Event organised to only a small group of Auto Enthusiasts ( Lukeskywalker's friends )
3) People from TATA Motors were also present and made it very clear that there was no motive behind the event.
4) Initiative to the small group to experience their Premium car from their stable.
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Old 18th July 2012, 22:04   #740
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Default Re: Tata Aria : Test Drive & Review

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Originally Posted by Lukeskywalker View Post
@ safari_Lover, This was something which culminated after discussions with the MD of Prerana Motors
I think TM can do similar promotions pan india basis. In my village, i realized there are many people who currently own cars (some with Indicas) never heard of Aria at all.
One more practice i have seen abraod, especially with the higher end cars, when you give your old car for service, they will give you a brand new, latest model car as loaner for the duration while your car is in service. Some times you will get follow up mails/calls with "Do you want to swap your current car with the latest model" kind of messages. When you give your Safari for service, get an Aria as a loaner!, (No need to give for all, but depending on what model you drive now and your profile etc). It will go a long way in customer satisfaction and also the owner will be able to experience the advancement with the models.
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Old 18th July 2012, 22:26   #741
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Default Re: Tata Aria : Test Drive & Review

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One more practice i have seen abraod, especially with the higher end cars, when you give your old car for service, they will give you a brand new, latest model car as loaner for the duration while your car is in service. Some times you will get follow up mails/calls with "Do you want to swap your current car with the latest model" kind of messages.
You are right. Here too the owners of a Tata/Fiat car are getting a complimentary service check while the Aria is in their possession. The difference is no one will be calling anyone asking if they even are thinking of a swap or buy . It is pure goodwill from Prerana and shows the value of the forum when it comes to dealerships.
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Old 19th July 2012, 10:28   #742
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Default Re: Tata Aria : Test Drive & Review

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Originally Posted by amolpol View Post
I don't think the engine has had any change. It could also be that the car had just 650kms when i got it and hadn't even done one service.

Also, I couldn't get an exact measure of the mileage since i don't know the amount of diesel that was in the tank when i started. So my observations could be a bit skewed as well, however the MID showed range information pretty close to what i calculated as well. The fuel consumption on MID showed 15 lit/100kms so im wondering if the range is based on that calculation.

Overall I do feel it was lower than the Safari in similar conditions but can't say by how much with 100% confidence.
First service should improve the mileage. 15 L /100 km is too high a consumption. Anything wrong with MID.

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Originally Posted by teamveevee View Post
One more practice i have seen abraod, especially with the higher end cars, when you give your old car for service, they will give you a brand new, latest model car as loaner for the duration while your car is in service. Some times you will get follow up mails/calls with "Do you want to swap your current car with the latest model" kind of messages. When you give your Safari for service, get an Aria as a loaner!, (No need to give for all, but depending on what model you drive now and your profile etc). It will go a long way in customer satisfaction and also the owner will be able to experience the advancement with the models.
Interesting marketing proposal. Makes a lot of sense especially if you want to promote cars like Aria which are not present in Huge numbers.
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Old 19th July 2012, 10:42   #743
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indian21r
First service should improve the mileage. 15 L /100 km is too high a consumption. Anything wrong with MID
I'm not sure if it was left idling before i got it since that would hike up the fuel consumption figures so can't comment on the MID accuracy. The range however showed less than 400kms when i started and that was with the tank just above the last notch on the gauge so I'm guessing it wouldn't do more than 450kms max before going on the red line. And I did fill up at Ooty since it almost touched the red line with about 320+ kms covered.

Any idea on how much is in the tank when it reaches the red line? 10litres?

Last edited by amolpol : 19th July 2012 at 10:44.
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Old 19th July 2012, 10:47   #744
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Default Re: Tata Aria : Test Drive & Review

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Any idea on how much is in the tank when it reaches the red line? 10litres?
Have not checked the veracity of the statement, but a Tata Motors company service guy told me once that in the Indica's / Indigo's, Vista's & Manza's its around 8 litres after the needle kisses the red notch, whereas in the Grande's, Sumo's , Safari's, Aria's its around 9-10 litres.
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Old 19th July 2012, 14:04   #745
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Originally Posted by arjab

Have not checked the veracity of the statement, but a Tata Motors company service guy told me once that in the Indica's / Indigo's, Vista's & Manza's its around 8 litres after the needle kisses the red notch, whereas in the Grande's, Sumo's , Safari's, Aria's its around 9-10 litres.
The Safari does have around 10litres when the fuel warning light comes on. But it also has a 65litre tank vs 60litres in the Aria so im not sure if it will still be 10 litres reserve in the Aria.
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Old 19th July 2012, 19:06   #746
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Default Re: Tata Aria : Test Drive & Review

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Originally Posted by amolpol View Post
Any idea on how much is in the tank when it reaches the red line? 10litres?
Quote:
Originally Posted by arjab View Post
HIndica's / Indigo's, Vista's & Manza's its around 8 litres after the needle kisses the red notch, whereas in the Grande's, Sumo's , Safari's, Aria's its around 9-10 litres.
Yes this info is right. My Office Cabbies share the same figures. A Sumo runs around 70-75 kms once its reaches the red line in traffic with AC.
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Old 19th July 2012, 20:52   #747
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Default A Weekend, An Aria, And 950kms of Driving!

A pearl white Aria with signs of a good rain drive, splattered with road dirt, is not something most people love to look at. But then, most of us don’t belong to the category of “most people”, that which makes us a part of this forum. And thats how my last weekend came to a close.

A few weeks back, Lukeskywalker reached me to check on my willingness to be a part of a program that was being driven by Prerana Motors and Tata Motors. Huh, is that something you even have to ask?!! This lead to an invite asking me (and a bunch of others, whose reports you would have read by now, and more will spring up shortly, I guess) to attend a meeting with the mentioned stakeholders at Lalit Ashok on 7th July. Skipping exact details of what was discussed etc, moving on to the meat of the discussion, Prerana Motors MD, Premanad Shenoy, decided that all of us required to Experience the Aria over a couple of days, to get a better understanding of the capabilities of the vehicle. Thank You Mr Shenoy for the opportunity, it was and is a Pleasure.

Scene skip to last weekend (14th & 15th July). A Pearl White Aria Pure gets delivered to my place, with just 139kms on the odo (it even had the plastic covers on!). Pure is the base version for Aria. Let that not fool you though, included in the Pure is:

- ABS with EBD
- Engine Immobilizer and Perimetric Alarm System
- All Disc Brakes
- 2 DIN Music system with Aux In and USB; 6 speakers
- Driver Info System (which shows a whole load of info)
- Dual AC
- Rear Wash wipe and Demistifier
- Follow Me Home lights
- Electrically Adjustable ORVMs
- Dual barrel headlamp with projector beam

There are many more features, but these are some that stood out for me, even though it’s the base version.

Tata Aria : Test Drive & Review-img_6309.jpg

Well, so we had the Aria to drive, a 7 seater, and just 3 of us (wife, kid and me). Time to call in a few resources to occupy some of the free seats, and in comes 2 friends! One travelled all the way to Bangalore from Trivandrum to join us for this two day drive!! It was decided that we would go to Coorg. Saturday morning was hurried. Picked up additions to the bunch and loaded up the Aria with luggage. Any one with a 3 year old or there abouts, would know how much luggage is needed even if it’s a 2 day trip.

Bangalore – Mysore – Madikeri was the route charted, and we started off with the NICE road to get out of Bangalore. The usual weekend rush onwards to Mysore helped me realize that even though I was driving the Aria for the first time, it did not feel huge. The vehicle in actual is long and wide, just like any other MUV, but on the move, the size is not a deterrent. Quick lane changes, shooting into gaps and some scare tactics are all handled well. The engine is a gem:

- Goes all the way up the rev range smooth, and quick.
- Acceleration/Pick Up feels great.
- Turbo lag, if in the right gear, is not a problem.
- Loved the turbo whoosh!
- Powerful at 140PS and 320Nm.
- NVH handled well. Engine noise in the cabin is never intrusive.

Tata has for sure worked some wonders with the gearbox. This is surer slotting, and smoother than the Safari one. Vibes on the gear lever was something of a bother though. By vibes, I am not referring to the gear lever shaking as in the Innova or Scorpio, but the vibes you feel when you rest your hand on the gear lever. A bad habit, but I do leave a hand on the gear, while the other steers, at least till I get to the top gear (but then we are talking about the Aria and the drive, rather than my driving habits here!!)

Tata Aria : Test Drive & Review-img_6297.jpg

The drive till Coorg was pretty uneventful, except for some hard braking for the ever present unmarked-village-bumps. We didn’t have the ABS kick in any time on this stretch, even when braking from triple digit speeds, and the vehicle held its line. There was no tail wagging or nervousness what so ever. We had taken turns driving and, agree in unison that brakes are a high point for the Aria. I did manage to trigger the ABS once, when I had to brake for an elephant-trap of a pothole, and this was more so due to sand/gravel strewn on the road. We reached Coorg around lunch time. Even though initial plan was to settle down at Coorg, the weather, and the vehicle, egged us on. We took the Sampaje Ghat onwards to Kasargod, Kerala!!

Tata Aria : Test Drive & Review-img_6283.jpg

Tata Aria : Test Drive & Review-img_6286.jpg

For a vehicle this size, the Aria took the ghat section without any issues. Body roll though present was well under control. There was none of the going-to-tip-over feeling that a few SUVs exhibit to be seen on the Aria. The suspension is well sorted, and is evident in the way it takes wavy undulations of the highway to pothole ridden ghat/forest roads. It feels stable, and when ever there were smaller (unfortunate?!) vehicles taking a dip in one of the water filled potholes, I would put two wheel off the tarmac and move one. The passengers did not have any complaints about comfort over any of the varied terrains that we drove through, and we did have our fair share of real bad roads & pot holes. The ghat sections that we drove on the way to and from Kasargod (different routes to and fro) brought to the forefront the engines capability to keep pulling. A missed down shift wont make you stall (unless in extreme conditions and you are being lazy), and the engine will keep humming along, pulling all of approximately 3tonnes without a fuss. Drivability is great, and I guess the VTT (Variable Turbine Technology) has a role to play here. Even though lag is minimal, the surge in power once the engine hits 1800-2000 RPM is addictive! I used to love the mHawk engine for the way it revs up and gives you power. Now, I have a new favorite! You really wouldn’t expect a vehicle this big to be this agile.

Tata Aria : Test Drive & Review-img_6291.jpg

Steering is responsive, though a bit heavy at parking speeds. No complaints here, since I prefer heavy steering over the over-servoed light ones. I did miss the audio controls on the steering wheel though, which is not present in the Pure variant. Now that we are on the topic of Audio, the music player and speakers are pretty capable. They sound good, and hold bass well for something that’s a default fit from a manufacturer. The menu keys on the fascia are not intuitive. For example, the Mute button is in between 2-3 buttons, instead of being placed at a corner/prominently!

Tata Aria : Test Drive & Review-img_6288.jpg

Tata Aria : Test Drive & Review-img_6289.jpg

Interiors are a step up from the Safari, as is expected of a vehicle from a higher price bracket, however, the plastics and finish does not look/feel nice. My first gen Fiesta, has better switch gear and interior plastic. Sharp corners and gaps are seen all over the interior. What did I love about the interiors? Well, you have enough cubby holes and roof utility bins to stuff all your and your neighbors’ knick knacks!!! There are three 12v points across the car, which came into use when I had a GPS unit running off one and a mobile charging off another. Small things, but good ones! All this shows that a lot of thought has gone into creating the interiors. The door opening lever on the inside is classy, and feels good to use. Door locks are placed at a weird place. Tata needs to understand that we have moved away from having door locks placed near our armpits (ok, I am exaggerating, this happens only for front passenger and driver, and it auto-locks once the vehicle crosses 20kmph, still). If only they had used better plastics, and done the extra bit to give it a premium feel.

Tata Aria : Test Drive & Review-img_6293.jpg

AC is powerful, and for most we just had the front unit working with fan speed at 1. Only once did we use the middle row AC controls, and that was when the Aria was parked under hot after noon sun for a while during lunch stop. The AC controls feel nice to operate, and are smooth. On that note, I did find a bit of heat creeping into the footwell from the firewall. Maybe more cladding is required to keep the 2.2’s heat away. Or like one of the others told, it’s nice to have some warmth on a rainy drive!

I was introduced to the world of puddle lamps when we got into KFC for dinner after Mysore, on the way back. It had rained, and the place was muddy. Well, voila, all you need is to swing your door open and puddle lamps do their job. Show you the puddle that is! Another of those little, but meaningful things. Aria has a bunch of them.

One thing we noticed was the amount of eyes on the Aria where ever it went. Especially in the color we had, it looks imposing and covers a lot of acreage!!

Tata Aria : Test Drive & Review-img_6311.jpg

End of the drive:

I didn’t expect the Aria to be this good. After all this was a Tata Motors product and, all of us here on the forum have heard of the horror stories that Safari, Indigo and Indica owners have had to face. Aria was a surprise, and a very pleasant one at that.

- Would I pick up an Aria if I had the money to: Yes. A Big YES. I have not been in any other vehicle till date, which looks and feels this capable of handling bad roads, ghats and highways at a go. Tata has indeed created a Cross Over, as some of the earlier advts used to show, an amalgamation of SUV and Sedan. Good Job Tata Motors.
- One of the most comfortable vehicles I have travelled in.
- Pricey. All things said and done, it’s a Tata. XUV 500 is eating into what ever market share it has.
- There are small things that could have been done better. Nothing that you cant live with.

Huge thanks to Lukeskywalker and Mr Shenoy, for organizing such an event. It did, truly live up to its name, Experience the Aria. We did. Thank you.

Tata Aria : Test Drive & Review-img_6312.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 23rd July 2012 at 17:19. Reason: As requested
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Old 19th July 2012, 21:14   #748
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Default Re: Tata Aria : Test Drive & Review

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Thanks Srihari

On the mileage bit, I'm not sure if it was because of the AWD or simply because the Aria weighs more than the Safari or may be both. My issue isn't so much about the average, but about the range it offers. With a 60 liter tank, if the car can only do 450 or max 500kms, it's going to be an issue for people like me who drive long distances and rely on fuel stops at bigger towns/cities. For eg. I don't think I'll be able to reach Goa with the Aria unless I take a deviation and refuel somwhere inside Hubli, whereas I make it there in a single tank with the Safari.

Given that the engine feels tuned down (refined) a bit than the Safari, I was hoping to see mileage numbers better than the Safari, but it turned out to be the other way round.
Agreeing with you on the torque front, but not with the fuel consumption.
I'd got the Pleasure 4x2 variant to drive, and did the fuel consumption test on it. On highways, with regular speeds between 80 and 90km/hr, and driving over 500 kms in one day, of which nearly 40kms was on poor roads, and with AC, the Aria returned 12.7km/l (27.9l between 2 topups over a range of 354kms). The Safari would've returned a similar figure, is my perception.
I should mention that I never felt the fatigue after doing such a gruelling trip in a day.

The vehicle has been built very well, with excellent suspension to handle any type of road. If there's anyone scouting for a Safari, I will suggest taking a look at the Aria too, since it feels more like a car to drive, with the utility factor built in.

Cheers.
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Old 20th July 2012, 23:59   #749
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Default Re: Tata Aria : Test Drive & Review

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Originally Posted by amolpol View Post
Thanks Srihari

On the mileage bit, I'm not sure if it was because of the AWD or simply because the Aria weighs more than the Safari or may be both. My issue isn't so much about the average, but about the range it offers. With a 60 liter tank, if the car can only do 450 or max 500kms, it's going to be an issue for people like me who drive long distances and rely on fuel stops at bigger towns/cities. For eg. I don't think I'll be able to reach Goa with the Aria unless I take a deviation and refuel somwhere inside Hubli, whereas I make it there in a single tank with the Safari.

Given that the engine feels tuned down (refined) a bit than the Safari, I was hoping to see mileage numbers better than the Safari, but it turned out to be the other way round.
I have been using the Aria Pure for now about 10 months. In the city it gives me about 9.5Kmpl [bumper-to-to-bunmper traffic]. On the highway, i have seen it varying from a 13Kmpl on Blr-Mys highway to 16Kmpl on the GQ roads. Couple of things that i have observed is that the MID is dead accurate and the FE drops considerably on roads where there are too many slow downs to be done like the BLR-Mys highway
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Old 21st July 2012, 00:54   #750
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Default Re: Tata Aria : Test Drive & Review

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Originally Posted by dkamath View Post
Agreeing with you on the torque front, but not with the fuel consumption.
The vehicle has been built very well, with excellent suspension to handle any type of road. If there's anyone scouting for a Safari, I will suggest taking a look at the Aria too, since it feels more like a car to drive, with the utility factor built in.

Cheers.
@ dkamath, unni.ak - Did you guys find the torque delivery to be on the tamer side than the safari as amolpol posted ?

I thought its a more refined unit with electronic gadgetry taking care of the power delivery (better ECU than safari). Does it struggle in Ghats in 2nd gear? I seriously found Aria to be my next S(M)UV as an upgrade from a petrol swift for touring purposes and lots of Ghat section thrown in. Is it game or not to pull effortlessly.

Thanks ,
Chaos
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