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Old 31st December 2013, 16:09   #931
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Default Re: Tata Aria : Test Drive & Review

Essentially, the issues faced were of 2 types.

One related to drivetrain which necessitated replacement of DMF with SMF, several front suspension parts & steering parts over the course of my 27 months of ownership. I am currently driving the Aria with SMF, which I am not happy with since it tends to transmit some vibrations & a rocking motion onto the gear lever at certain rpm's. Tata Motors needs to seriously work on this and make it as smooth as it was with DMF.

I have averaged over 36,000 kms per year which might have contributed to accelerated wear of some parts. I believe, Tata Motors are still sorting out problems associated with Double wishbone suspension coupled with 4x4 drivetrain & the heavy front end of the Aria, though the fact that my tyres lasted 60,000 ams speak well for the overall suspension & steering geometry being maintained over varied terrain.

Second issues were with Navigation, Steering Stalks & other electronic componentry that needed to be replaced between 15 - 20 months of ownership & my AC compressor replaced under warranty at approx 78,000 kms.

I am a fairly nit picky & critical guy who can not tolerate anything out of place in my vehicle & all the vehicles that I own or have owned have always been maintained in an excellent state to be ready to go anywhere at any point of time. From that standpoint, i have never maintained any doubts of my Aria's reliability.

One thing that may have contributed to a better ownership experience for me could also be the fact that I generally service my Aria & have the engine oil, oil filter changed between 5 - 6000 kms while have my fuel & air filter cleaned at the same time. I am personally not a believer in long service intervals under Indian driving cycle with our heat, dust, pollution & stop - go type of driving. I strongly believe that the Japanese car cos, Toyota & Honda have correctly identified this as a possible cause of problems & that is why they specify a 5,000 km maintenance cycle.
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Old 31st December 2013, 17:31   #932
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Default Re: Tata Aria : Test Drive & Review

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I have had an Aria Pure for about 2 years and it has been niggle free [touchwood].... This is our 4 th Tata vehicle in the last 13 years [Indica, Indigo, Vista, Nano and Aria]. We have pretty much a very happy time with all of them. The Nano and Indica were from the bunch that was launched. There were some minor issues which was promptly attended by TASS [some by Prerana and some by Concorde].

I would really go for an Aria once again if given a chance.
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I own an Aria Pride 4x4 since Oct 2011 that has done 85000 kms so far. I have taken my Aria to Coorg, Himachal & Kutch from Mumbai and regularly use it for Mumbai Nashik & Mumbai Pune runs, at least 4 times a month. The first set of tyres were replaced at 60000 kms & the current set look good for another 40000 kms. Have also made several trips to Goa including during monsoon and enjoyed the greater grip afforded by 4x4 drivetrain & the peace of mind with traction control & ESP, especially on the ghat sections.

While, I have had issues & problems, it has never stranded me in the middle of nowhere. The vehicle is completely rattle free & the noise insulation is superb. Before this I had an Innova that I drove for 1,40,000 kms over 5 years & I can safely say that the Aria is a far superior product than the Innova. Recently I had an opportunity to travel in a brand new innova & the ride quality, invasion of outside noise & the sheer lightness of the vehicle was in complete contrast to the settled & pliant ride that I get in my Aria.

My vehicle is serviced regularly at Concorde Motors, Worli, Mumbai & they have been pretty responsive & take special care to resolve issues. Frankly, issues should never arise in the first place but I guess that Tata is still on a steep learning curve & the most difficult part is the feedback of problems, taking the right lessons from it & improving the next iteration or model to make it bullet proof & reliable....

At the price it is offered, I believe no other vehicle in similar price range offeres a complete package in terms of safety, ruggedness, comfort, high speed cruising etc.
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Little late with the inputs noh?

Here we're all thinking people have only had problems with the Aria. Except ACM's thread, there are very few reports to even know the actual situation. Please consider starting ownership threads so others can benefit knowing its capabilities & shortfalls and how the overall ownership is.
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Old 31st December 2013, 19:34   #933
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Default Re: Tata Aria : Test Drive & Review

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Here we're all thinking people have only had problems with the Aria. Except ACM's thread, there are very few reports to even know the actual situation. Please consider starting ownership threads so others can benefit knowing its capabilities & shortfalls and how the overall ownership is.
Yeah that would be helpful. I don't own an Aria but three of my very close friends do and they all have bought it in last 1-1.5 years, done an avg 30k kilometers. I have never ever heard about any problems, not even niggles from them. They say, they would buy Aria again anytime. I have traveled with them and can vouch that no vehicle comes even close to the comfortable ride that Aria provides.

Its just that internet is used more to vent out problems rather than appreciate good things. My two cents.

[No I am not a Tata fan-boy]
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Old 1st January 2014, 09:11   #934
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Default Re: Tata Aria : Test Drive & Review

Thanks GrammerNazi for your prodding. I did read with great interest your posts on the visit to Tata Motors under the Ideator thread.

Well, I also thought that I should start my own post but I am not sure if I can sustain this since I travel extensively on work. Therefore, I will take the liberty of posting my thoughts on this well written thread.

In addition to my Aria, I also own a Thunderbird 500, which I ride on weekends. Driving & Riding are my passions & I have would have driven over 5 Lakh kms since I began driving in 1982. My drives have taken me all over India with particular preference to the Himalayas.

Being an Engineer myself with passion for Cars, I am able to connect with my vehicles immediately or for that matter with any vehicle that I drive for even a short period of time. I believe the word is "Seat of the Pants feel" .

When you compare the specifications of Aria vis a vis Innova or XUV 500, Aria clearly comes out trumps. It therefore pains me when well designed & engineered cars like the Aria do not do well in the market place.

Sure, a lot of the blame goes to Tata Motors for faulty pricing & positioning. They would have had a winner on their hands had they priced it 50 - 75k less than every competing Innova model & kept pace with Innova pricing over the past few years. Hope they have learnt their lesson though it is difficult to undo the damage done by irrational policy overnight.

With the current absurd pricing of the Innova top end model, a window of opportunity had opened up for the Aria provided they make several changes & improve the quality of the various sub components. My experience has been positive also due to the fact that my vehicle is serviced at Tata Motors own workshop situated in Mumbai. Had I been subjected to indifferent dealer experience somewhere else in the country, maybe my posts would have echoed the same negative comments as the others in this forum regarding Aria.

Therein lies the challenge for Tata Motors. How do you make owning a Tata car, a high end one like Aria at that, a hassle free & pleasurable experience across dealers, across geographies. There has been a lot of discussion in these forums about the technological expertise of Toyota & Honda over Indian cos leading to better products & stress free ownership experience. The key differentiator according to me is the Training these cos. provide to their dealers which is missing from homegrown automakers like Tata & Mahindra. This provides a seamless, dealer agnostic ownership experience to a car owner leading to stickiness for the brand.

This is the intangible, invisible asset of the Japanese cos. & unless Tata, Mahindra invest heart & soul in these activities, they will forever trail Toyota & Honda in market share, customer perceptions & profitability. This is not something you achieve as Strategy. It has to be core company value & should be in the company dna.

I have made a list of improvement that I would like to see in the next iteration of Aria, based on my ownership experience that I would like to mention in my next post sometime soon. Hopefully this develops into a healthy discussion on the merits & demerits of the same & if somebody at Tata Motors is actually following these threads at Team BHP, we might see some improvements based on customer feedback.
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Old 1st January 2014, 11:07   #935
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Default Re: Tata Aria : Test Drive & Review

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When you compare the specifications of Aria vis a vis Innova or XUV 500, Aria clearly comes out trumps. It therefore pains me when well designed & engineered cars like the Aria do not do well in the market place.
Can you point out where the Aria trumps the XUV? I feel both are neck to neck.

Aria is a great car, I agree. But we have to accept now that the mass market does not trust the Tata/Aria brand anymore.

It is better if Tata moves on and makes something really good out of the same platform, rather than clinging on to it with hopes of success.
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Old 1st January 2014, 11:33   #936
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Default Re: Tata Aria : Test Drive & Review

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Can you point out where the Aria trumps the XUV? I feel both are neck to neck.
The ride. It is something where it is in a class of its own.

Though, it is a bit ponderous to pilot around.
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Old 1st January 2014, 11:48   #937
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The ride. It is something where it is in a class of its own.

Though, it is a bit ponderous to pilot around.
'AAD' mentioned specifications.

Ride, styling, handling, etc. are totally subjective and can be debated upon. Specifications such as power, weight, torque, features, etc. cannot be debated.

P.S.: Yes, I agree that the Aria has a better ride and XUV has better handling.
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Old 1st January 2014, 12:09   #938
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Default Re: Tata Aria : Test Drive & Review

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The key differentiator according to me is the Training these cos. provide to their dealers which is missing from homegrown automakers like Tata & Mahindra. This provides a seamless, dealer agnostic ownership experience to a car owner leading to stickiness for the brand.

This is the intangible, invisible asset of the Japanese cos. & unless Tata, Mahindra invest heart & soul in these activities, they will forever trail Toyota & Honda in market share, customer perceptions & profitability. This is not something you achieve as Strategy. It has to be core company value & should be in the company dna.
I completely agree with your point. Recently I have test driven Storme and ARIA from KHT and Concorde. Till date, not a single follow up call from them to gather my feedback and decision. Being an existing TATA customer, I am used to this ignorance. I know I can just walk into the showroom and proceed with the booking and then do all the follow up by myself till I own the car. On the other hand, the friendly Maruti Dealer guy keep on calling to find out if I like to try out Ertiga one more time.

Like you, I just hope someone from TATA is reading this and pay attention to improving the customer experience from Test Drive to Ownership. Probably a HorizonNext - 2
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Old 1st January 2014, 12:23   #939
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Default Re: Tata Aria : Test Drive & Review

I am using the Aria as a people mover, more on the likes of Innova. So my comment to compare the specifications between XUV & Aria should be seen in that light. Certainly, most figures for torque, power etc are similar but where Aria scores is in size & dimensions. Obviously being larger, there is much more space for everything including people, luggage etc. Also being a ladder on frame construction, it is also more rugged. The fact that there is talk, though unconfirmed of using the Aria chasis for the next gen Defender, speaks for itself.

I do not wish to get into a "which is better, XUV or Aria" argument here. I believe each has its own distinct segment appeal & I clearly see benefits in the Aria over XUV in my type of usage. Regarding Innova, the comparison moves to other spheres such as reliability, resale value etc., which is not debatable.

The market has not appreciated Aria for 2 reasons IMHO. Inappropriate pricing & lack of understanding of Aria as a more sophisticated offering over the Innova.

The high speed road manners thanks to excellent grip & traction offered along with the balanced ride & handling of the Aria in soaking wet, monsoon conditions that I often encounter while travelling to Nashik / Pune is very reassuring. Innova is more skittish & nervous comparatively.
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Old 1st January 2014, 12:32   #940
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The market has not appreciated Aria for 2 reasons IMHO. Inappropriate pricing & lack of understanding of Aria as a more sophisticated offering over the Innova.
.
You forgot the elephant in the room. Lots of kicking screaming and crying customers whose brand new Arias spent more time in the workshop. And before you blame the workshops, remember, a new car should never have to go to a workshop
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Old 1st January 2014, 12:48   #941
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You forgot the elephant in the room. Lots of kicking screaming and crying customers whose brand new Arias spent more time in the workshop. And before you blame the workshops, remember, a new car should never have to go to a workshop
IMHO, sequence of factors which doomed a capable car called Aria -

1) Tata's launched the Aria with an optimistic pricing.
2) No 4x2 option, so people preferred the cheaper Innova, which had a better brand image too.
3) The flagship model of TATA started showing recurring issues. The A.S.S. were incompetent and could not handle/solve the issues.
4) TATA's lacklustre attitude towards it's premium customers - they had to wait for weeks for spares to arrive, that was like adding salt to the injury.

By this time, people were already convinced that Aria is not a reliable car and that TATA is not doing anything to help it's customers who plonked 18 Lacs.

Then TATA did another blunders -

1) They launched the cheaper 4x2 variant, only when the sales started dropping. This seemed more like a desperate effort to revive sales.
2) Then they started offering heavy discounts, to the tune of 1-2 Lac rupees. Premium customers felt cheated. Also, resale value of the Aria plummeted. This further degraded the Aria brand image.
3) Finally, they launched the stripped down Aria LX variant, meant for taxi operators. A car, which was supposed to be their premium and flagship offering, was now being offered for half the price to the taxi segment.

By this time, the Aria was selling in single digit numbers. No amount of discounts, advertising or promotion was helping it. People considered it as a flop car. Existing owners fringe about lack of proper support and poor resale. Prospective owners think twice about putting down their hard earned money on a car, whose future seems bleak.

I am not saying Aria is a bad car, its an excellent product. If only, Tata was more pro-active about solving initial issues and helping out the customers (like M&M did with the XUV), Aria would have sold in decent numbers today.
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Old 1st January 2014, 21:29   #942
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Default Re: Tata Aria : Test Drive & Review

I would like to know if any heads rolled in Tata Motors following Aria fiasco? We keep asking for accountability from Public sector but what about Private sector too? In this case Tata Motors, though private sector company, is a widely held company & 2 fiascos namely Nano & Aria in close succession has eroded Shareholder wealth. Someone should be held responsible.
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Old 1st January 2014, 22:44   #943
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Default Re: Tata Aria : Test Drive & Review

Lets stop speculating/concluding the ARIA to be doomed or flop in its "review" thread. If anyone has any valid inputs, start your own thread please.
Lets get back to real "review" discussion and if we dont have one, lets keep quite !
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Old 2nd January 2014, 11:47   #944
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Lets stop speculating/concluding the ARIA to be doomed or flop in its "review" thread. !
My Apologies. I speculated that Aria is a flop. It has clearly far exceeded it sales targets.
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Old 2nd January 2014, 13:52   #945
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Lets stop speculating/concluding the ARIA to be doomed or flop in its "review" thread. If anyone has any valid inputs, start your own thread please.
Lets get back to real "review" discussion and if we dont have one, lets keep quite !
Even I concluded (not speculated) that the Aria is a flop, unless Tata designed the vehicle with a sales target of 10 cars per month.

Is a review thread only limited to test drives and other experiences? How does one determine what are valid inputs? Has any special standards been set in this thread, or does the general Team-BHP rules apply?

Let's be polite to all and not bring our personal emotions about our favorite vehicle into picture.
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