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Old 12th October 2010, 22:32   #121
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Sorry, but couldn't help about it.
Just saw the mahindra SUV thread just after going through this thread.
What i found ironic or funny is that the Aria is a body-on-frame vehicle with the power bias towards the rear(in fact it's RWD almost) with on demand AWD(IMO, perfect for indian conditions)
Whereas the world car mahindra is monocoque, transverse engine layout, FWD bias , and THAT is called an SUV. Both target country differs but still.
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Old 12th October 2010, 22:52   #122
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Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
If you check the pictures of the engine given in the e-brochure, you'll find that the engine cover axis is square to the crank axis. Cause for confusion. So traditional NS orientation.
HAha! You are so right!
I didn't get the chance to think about this when i was looking at the car with the hood open (i guess we are so used to transverse engines these days!), neither did my brain spark when SS-Traveller mentioned that it was transverse mounted engine and questioned the default RWD in an earlier comment.

Now that i have a minute to think, i clearly remember admiring the belts snaking around the front of the engine along an East-West plane, if you will.

Here's a closeup that confirms that:

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Originally Posted by v12 View Post
... The JLR takeover was one of the best things to happen to TATA and this really shows in the Aria...
Tata engineers were quick to point out that every single nut and bolt has been developed by Tata - and the Aria project started way back in 2006, before the JLR deal. They did however mention that there was a healthy and useful knowledge exchange with JLR, that did help the Aria in its own way.

There's a couple of questions about the 3rd row of seats - I'll let GTO answer them since he spent some time back there.


Last edited by Rehaan : 12th October 2010 at 23:00.
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Old 12th October 2010, 23:12   #123
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GTO nice review, 5 stars from me.

Have seen the Aria, sat in it, fiddled with the contols, but not driven it, while I have drive the fortuner around for a short distance.

Found the Fortuner seating position to be flat like in then innova / cars and it just did not have the option of rasing the seat enough to get an errect seating position like in the Safari etc,

The Aria allows for both type of seating due to the large range in which the steering adjusts as well large range for the height asjustment. One can go for either the errect or the flat (legs stretched out in front position.) plus the Lumber support was perfect.

From a owner driver point of view - an owner who self drives - and who has a family of max of 4 adults including self + max of 2 small children which would be a better deal, if the brand value is kept asside? Which would be more comfortable to drive, and give joy - assuming the interior looks also matter? Fortuner or Aria? For the joy of driving (city and highways no OTR)
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Old 12th October 2010, 23:15   #124
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@ GTO and Rehan
Could you shed some light on the drivetrain, esp TC (Torsen? Clutchpack? Something else?), how the ESP and Traction control work, and most important (for me that is) why 4x4 was incorporated in the product matrix? And what about KISS?

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Old 12th October 2010, 23:29   #125
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Tata , in the recent past, has generated huge fan following from all around, with each new product from the Tata stable, setting new benchmarks. The turnaround started with the Indica Vista, where customers got to see a Tata vehicle with a level of finesse that was till then not associated with Tata. Then came the Manza, which, with its refreshed looks and loads of space and features raised the bar even further. But the most notable improvement was in the quality, rising exponentially with every new car.
So with Tata having launched an all new product, and with the kind of buzz surrounding it, owing to Tata’s online marketing initiatives, I had no problem in getting a few colleagues to accompany me to the dealership. So we set out, to explore the new kid on the block and to find what special Tata has to offer.

We stepped inside the dealership and were greeted by the personnel, but we were least interested in them. All three pairs of eyes were anxious to catch a glimpse of the new ‘monster’. We were led to the car and on the first glance, from a distance, our mouths opened wide with awe. There she was, a true monster by size, but amazingly calm by appearance and showing off all her glory. We were bowled off by the stunning looks and wide tires and good muscular alloys accentuating her beauty. The chrome surrounding the grille and wide stance further complemented the look, and with a built to last feel, we were almost certain that this car would be the new talk of the town.

Having fully appreciated the exterior build and looks, I decide to move inside. Opening the driver door, I stepped inside. Entering inside was quite comfortable with the floor being neither too high nor too low. A look around, and I was impressed with the kind of features Tata has provided inside. I shut the door and it closed with a great reassuring thud, showing its quality and gave me the assurance of being safe in the vehicle in the event of a crash. The audio looked impressive and had a well put together feel, and the steering and mounted controls were also like a breath of fresh air (compared to Manza, which had the smallest controls possible and required a magnifying glass to figure out). I was expecting to see the GPS, which is a first in class feature, but I was disappointed to find that the car was not a top variant one and had no GPS tracking. The 4X2 switch reminded us of the fact that we are in a car with tremendous off road abilities. The new overhead storage spaces appeared to be of great quality and their damped opening, is truly a treat to watch. The new red color scheme gave a dull feeling and failed to impress us though. The new offset gear lever generated some interest, but it soon subsided when it started twisting in our hands and the questions on quality started to rise. The instrument panel, with its squarish proportions, felt good and nice to touch and feel, but the speedometer console looked so bland and uninspiring. The gap between the console and the door panels was so huge that I could put my palms in it with ease. The quality of plastics used is also not great, giving me a mixed feeling about the vehicle. The seats are also not up to the level of cars in this price range, with hard cushions and bench like thigh support at the front. The arm rests at the front were a relief though.

Hoping to find no further faults and hamper the image the car had in my mind, I hopped on to the rear seat. There was ample room for three and the legroom and headroom were also great. It was then I noticed the pillar mounted AC vents, totally different form all Innovas and Xylos and Scorpios I had seen till now.

Having seen enough, I moved on to the last row of seats, with my friends occupying the centre seats. The seats were decently comfortable unless we folded the middle row seats. But once folded, their hard board back started rubbing against my knees and I found it difficult to be inside for more than a minute. The seating position was no better and with my knees facing skyward and my head touching the roof (Oh… forgot to say…I’m 5’10” long and average built), it was like a nightmare. Happy to find a couple of cup holders in the rear seat like in Innova, I tried opening them. It was as if they didn’t want to be opened and they protested by opening in a way similar to the creaky doors in ghost movies. The only good point I could find was the generous outside visibility, even at the third row. Also I was surprised to find a side window defogger, but only on the side opposite to the driver, maybe to help his visibility while parking.

Overall, we came out of the car with mixed bag of emotions. All of us were unanimous in our feelings. The car though loaded with features and equipments, has terribly let us down. The expectations of finding an exponential rise in quality, like from Vista to Manza was thrashed, and finally it all came down to one question. Is this car the sort of value for money that we have seen in cars from the Tata stable?
At a starting price of 12.9 lakhs (Ex. Showroom Delhi), we feel there are much better ways of putting your hard earned money to full worth. But being a Tata fan for all they have done till now, I hope Tata comes out with some magic of turning around the car, just like they did in the case of Sumo Grande to Grande Mark II.

The car was not yet available for a drive, so will pen down the drive experience later...

Last edited by Rehaan : 13th October 2010 at 10:24. Reason: Adding line-spaces between paragraphs -- will make your post easier to read! :)
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Old 12th October 2010, 23:29   #126
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I guess this will be very important for TATA in growing up in the car segments.

I dont think you can call these crossovers since they have body on frame and are not crossing over from Sedan platforms. That was what crossovers were meant to mean.
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Old 12th October 2010, 23:32   #127
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Power window disable button is premium enough for a Benz:
Can someone explain what is this?

Originally Posted by sandeepmdas View Post
And remember their total R&D budget was 1500 crores for FY09-10. The royalty amount Maruti has paid to its parent Suzuki for the K-series engines: 1700+ crores.
Tatas do employ external consultancy. Not sure whether that is part of R&D or not.

Originally Posted by sanjayatarizona View Post
Another 11 star review by GTO and Rehaan .One thing i can't figure out for the life of me is , why did TATA screw up the space component for the 3rd row. I mean c'mon, this is TATA we are talking about and generous space is their forte.
Even Endy/ Captiva dont have space. THe only one with decent 3rd row space is Xylo. But it has zilch luggage space.

Tatas could have simply put rails in the 3rd row so that it can be slided as required.

So much has been made out about the price. Tatas have definitely priced it higher, so as to keep Safari product line safe. Safari 4x4 VX will cost 12.96 ex-showroom.

They should have rationalized Safari versions and priced the lower Aria model below Innova price.

Now that Tatas have played their cards, it will be interesting to watch how they react to the market rush.

Regarding the service and sales, there are plans to have separate show rooms/ service centers for Nanos.
Not sure about others though.

Last edited by druva : 12th October 2010 at 23:35.
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Old 12th October 2010, 23:44   #128
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Originally Posted by raj_5004 View Post
i wont agree to that. consider my family -

my parents + my brother + his wife + their child + a driver (if any) occupies the front two rows which leaves me occupying the third row. i am 6'2" tall & i am very comfortable in a xylo's 3rd row & moderately comfortable in innova's, but what in the Aria?
Couldn't have put it better Raj.

Tata are indeed projecting this as a large family transport, taxi or not, doesn't matter. When I am sold something which "supposedly" is a crossover and has x number of seats for INR 16-18 lacs, it better have the same "x" number of usable and comfortable seats. This is a no brainer at all.

Which is why GTO has mentioned clearly that with the exception of AWD, the best MPV in India remains the Innova.
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Old 13th October 2010, 00:13   #129
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As expected, one hell of a detailed review!

The after-thought, patch job of sticking and stapling is shoddy, to say the least! At this price range, this is just not right.

Roof cabin seems to have been over done.

I find the pricing competitive with respect to the features offered. But then, the final sales figures will say if TATA has got it right.

Point of concern with how the existing TASS will handle the Aria customers. The current levels of workmanship and quality and awareness is just not there to handle this. Expect the initial set of customer to be either shocked or (in case TATA does something about it in the right direction) awed.
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Old 13th October 2010, 00:16   #130
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Default Aria 3rd row

Guys! Thanks for the nice review. Especially the comments on "storage compartments that you can actually host a treasure hunt contest" and the length of the hand rest "about 2 inches ahead of your elbow". Look forward to hear more on the drive performance.

I saw a Night Shade black Aria (pictures below), today at Prerana motors on Lalbagh road in Bangalore. Interestingly, the conversation was handled by Tata Motors sales dept employees and not the dealer sale person. The Aria being black, there was this chap constantly removing finger prints etc

This was only for display. To add to the discussion, I wanted to share pictures of 3rd row seating. I found them to be cramped for adults (5'19" and shoe size 8.5). It was slightly better with middle row tilted to default and fully forward.
The thigh support was absolutely not there. I do recall that Innova's 3rd row and even the Fortuner 3rd Row, seem to be much better in comfort for an adult. As pointed out by GTO - getting in to the third row is quite difficult due to a curved step like floor that seems higher than the main (2nd row and 1st row) car floor.
Of course, there is a lot more boot space than an Innova. Luggage has to go on to a roof carrier if all seats are occupied in an Innova (family long drive situation).

The night shade color has a curious brown-purplish shade in the black. Liked the Pearl white color from the launch webcast.

Hoping to test drive the vehicle. Some of you may know that I am sitting on the fence for a while on which car to pick up. Started with Innova, shifted to Fortuner, waited for Aria, hmmm!

BTW, the dealer's chart seem to indicate 4 versions lowest end PURE (not launched, dont know when scheduled) followed by PLEASURE, PRESTIGE & PRIDE.
Attached Thumbnails
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Tata Aria : Test Drive & Review-nightshade.gif  

Tata Aria : Test Drive & Review-3rdrow.gif  

Tata Aria : Test Drive & Review-ariacolours.gif  

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Old 13th October 2010, 00:53   #131
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Smile a small clarification

Originally Posted by sandeepmdas View Post
And remember their total R&D budget was 1500 crores for FY09-10. The royalty amount Maruti has paid to its parent Suzuki for the K-series engines: 1700+ crores.
Originally Posted by anu21v View Post
... Engineering cost up for Tatas. But still no where near the other competitions. Read in this thread somewhere How Tata's total Engg. Budget was still less than the Royalties paid by Maruti on just the K-Series engines.
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.

As for the royalty figure, ain't it expected ! Afterall, MSIL does sell more vehicles than all other OEMs put together !

Originally Posted by anu21v View Post
... accumulated all those synergies when they were targetting a Rs 1 Lakh tag for Nano, but it didnt do the same while coming up with this top of the line ...
A reason for the drastic pricing of components of the nano was the promise of the economies of scale. TML must have sold the concept of very high economies of scale (& prestige) to the vendors to slash down the prices for components for nano. Plus, they themselves worked hand in hand with OEMs to innovate (ref. patents on nano) - single aim being - to drive the prices down. .. and then some more .. [sorry]

Further, I remember reading in a magazine years back that This "Crossover" was gonna be Tata's showpiece to the world ! The crowning jewel of sorts. It was never meant to be an "economies of scale" generating product for the related vendors.
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Old 13th October 2010, 01:11   #132
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I wish Tata all the best with the Aria, but im totally dumbstruck with its proposition

1. The car is outlandishly priced for a 'Tata' - a brand is associated with quantity over quality
2. At its price segment, it will never sell in large volumes. I would be surprised if it sold more than 400-500 cars a month
3. Tata will make it unavailable to the Taxi market (which usually provides the volumes for MPV segment)
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!
5. Is a AWD Crossover a USP at all?
6. TATA sales and after sales service is not tuned to the needs of premium car buyers. We all know what challenges FIAPL is facing

In my analysis - 6/10. I think this Aria project was an unnecessary distraction for TATA. They are not yet ready as a brand to be in this segment. There are too many challenges withholding the commercial success of this car (as listed above). 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 )

Last edited by acidkill : 13th October 2010 at 01:16.
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Old 13th October 2010, 01:30   #133
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Ever since Aria was showcased at auto expo the only worry I had was the third row space. Even now it remains a worry. If Tata is marketing this vehicle as a 7 seater then it should atleast have decent space for all rows. This vehicle lacks both the Tata USP's: Space & VFM. 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.
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Old 13th October 2010, 01:42   #134
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Good to see Aria becoming the first Indian Crossover.Tata may have pulled this off.
GTO..as asusual,great review.
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Old 13th October 2010, 02:15   #135
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My first reaction to the pricing was shock, but i thought about it and realized TATA Motors must be onto something. If folks are willing to shell out over 15lacs for a lumpen Altis this is a much better option at similar pricing. Nice and detailed review.
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