Go Back   Team-BHP > BHP India > Team-BHP Reviews > Test-Drives & Initial Ownership Reports


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 23rd May 2011, 20:44   #1
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Delhi
Posts: 4,674
Thanked: 3,402 Times
Default Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review

TATA VENTURE 1.4 TDI

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-21.jpg


List Price (Ex Showroom Ambala-BS III) in rupees:
  • CX (Non AC, 1.4 475 IDI, 54 PS)= 4,19,980
  • EX (AC+PS, 1.4 475 IDI turbo, 71 PS)= 4,70,297
  • GX (Fully loaded, 1.4 475 IDI turbo, 71 PS)= 5,20,536
Warranty:
  • Standard: 24 months
  • Extendable to: 24 months for Rs. 5,000
Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-22.jpg
sidindica is offline   (8) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 23rd May 2011, 22:20   #2
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Delhi
Posts: 4,674
Thanked: 3,402 Times
Default Re: Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review

TATA VENTURE GX
Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-36.jpg
What you'll like:
  • The only diesel microvan on sale in India
  • Contemporary exterior design for a people mover. Unmistakeably a Tata
  • Acres of space at the middle row
  • Comfortable seating (for a van)
  • Top end GX model loaded with features
  • Matured ride quality
  • Rugged underpinnings and decent build quality
What you won't
  • Questionable pricing. 4.xx lakhs for a non AC variant
  • Below par braking, shockingly no disc brakes provided
  • Turbo motor is wheezy and sluggish, esp with AC on
  • Refinement levels below average
  • High speed stability suspect
  • Still No BS 4 version available
Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-25.jpg
sidindica is offline   (8) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 28th May 2011, 11:16   #3
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Delhi
Posts: 4,674
Thanked: 3,402 Times
Default Re: Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review

VAN-TASTIC!

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-20.jpg
Rewind.
Lets go back to history.
The year 1984 saw the launch of Maruti Omni, the country's first MPV, or people mover nee Multi Purpose Vehicle in layman's term. Simple, crude, basic yet effective at a dirt cheap price, it had the ability to carry 5 persons and their paraphernalia in a decent sized package. Was comfortable for its time and no direct competition meant that it was a smash hit with lakhs of examples even roaming around the streets today.
27 years later, a humongous lot of omnis can be found here, there and everywhere. It still has its basic attributes of 5 and 8 seat options, cheapest price to utility quotient, fuel efficient if an underpowered 800 cc motor and ability to withstand abuse dispute primitive deign and a prehistoric bodyshell with shoddy crash safety reputation.
The main functionality of vans is to carry a family of 7 or 8 in decent space and comfort and provide a credible alternative to big sized MUVs like the innova, sumo, tavera, bolero or xylo which can be cumbersome to drive due to their huge size and truck based ladder frame chassis. Out of all these, the innova is billed as the most "car like" to drive. Yet, it feels big and its priced high.

On the other hand, in 2001, the qualis was ruling the roost and Maruti thought it was a perfect opportunity to operate in the lucerative micro can segment and launched its MPV-the 7-8 seater Versa. Basically the omni's great grandson, it was three generations ahead of the omni and was a rebadged version of Japan's Suzuki every landy microvan. It priomised all the strong attributes of the omni in a bigger and supposedly on paper, better package.
It drove well for a people mover and was very refined and fast for a van and the G13BB petrol engine with 82 bhp did well for pulling passengers and luggage. It was billed as a first proper alternative for a passenger car with more than 5 seats. But it bombed badly. Why?
It was overpriced from launch. At 5plus lakhs for a base model, the market was not matured enough and its undesirable image took a toll on MSIL. No two bachchans are the same and nor is the public. And nor its tagline of "two luxury cars in one" helped either. Calling a van a luxury car is nothing short of sacrilege.
Two years later, a non AC model was launched and price as dropped by more than a lakh, yet the versa was billed as a sales dud. Production ended in late 2009. Rest, they say, is history.

Bon-Voyage

1996.
A new chapter is written in the Indian automobile history when Mahindra does the unthinkable. Known for crude jeeps and UVs, it burns fingers by exploring the unexplored "premium MPV" segment by launching its first diesel powered van-the VOYAGER. Remember this? Its basically a remodelled version of 1982-1990 Mitsubishi L300 van with the armada grand's Peugeot XD3 diesel engine. Wide, shamelessly boxy and comfortable, it makes prefect sense for a joint family. An AC and a deluxe model is also available later but its an even bigger flop show.
What manufacturers did not understand is that the Indian public was image conscious. Paying 5-6 lakhs for a time when cars like esteem and later, the cielo, the 309 and Mahindra's Armada itself were billed as vehicles for the image conscious, the Voyager flopped badly and made a blink-and-you-miss-me appearance.

Sigma-tec

Once burnt, twice shy.
While the omni was chugging along, its competition was providing flop shows after flop shows, more episodes that could put Jaspal Bhatti's show to shame. In the wee years of the new millennium, a competition from an unexpected manufacturer was about to give a dastak to the omni.
Enter the Premier Sigma, a diesel microvan from newly rejuvenated PAL Limited. Based on a remodelled Mitsubishi verica model that was also made somewhere in China, it was powered by an HM sourced 2.0 isuzu diesel engine and priced at a shockingly band of 3.7-4.0 lakh rupees for BS-2 models. When was the last time we saw a premier sigma on the roads? Obviously, always say never.

Never say Never eeco-nomically

Meanwhile, a secret project was getting conceived behind the curtains at MSIL. It needed to maintain a foothold in the van segment and so a project, internally codenamed as O2 was conceived. Speculations were rife as to weather it will be the omni's spiritual successor or a versa replacement or whatsoever. Later, just before auto expo 2010, images leaked online of this so called van to be billed as EECO. Nothing but a versa with a flattened roof and new lights, it was billed to be another disaster in the making for MSIL.
Then came a shock.
A price band of just 2.57 to 3.20 lakhs, 5 and 7 seater options, AC option in the 5 seater and later a CNG option too. Powered by a de specced 1.2 litre G series engine with 73 hp and made BS 4 compliant, the vehicle has proven to be a smash hit for MSIL and a perfect upgrade for omni buyers and commercial business users, despite brutal cost cutting and equipment deletion. No PS is offered, not even an option! But its price-to-utility quotient, the factor that made the omni ever-so-popular with private and fleet buyers in the past two and a half decades, was kept intact and the eeco enjoys wait lists of upto 2 months in some regions, proving fact that cut the price, give maximum utility for the buck and customers will enter the showrooms in hordes to buy your product.

A dis-joint venture


Auto expo 2010 was also a game of rivalries between MSIL and Tata. Not letting MSIL hog all the limelight, tata looked for an opportunity and played its strengths quite well. It needed that the Indian market requires a robust diesel people mover which can be easy to drive as a car yet is fuel efficient, has good ride and handling balance, space and comfort and packed with features.
Enter the tata venture. It looked shockingly good for a Tata and that too for a van and exuded a so called premium feel. Powered by a 1.4 diesel engine, its billed as a credible diesel alternative to the eeco, especially at a time when petrol costs a whopping 68 rupees an diesel about 36-39 rupees per litre, a difference of 27-30 rupees depending upon regions.

The venture is currently being launched in a phased manner and will be the first tata vehicle to be sold both private and commercial dealerships in select cities. Priced between 4.19 to 5.20 lakhs ex showroom and only available in BS 3 versions, Tata's step currently can be best termed as cautious. But the big question is: how really good is the venture and can it really hard the eeco's sales in the long run? Or will it continue to play the second fiddle to the Marutis in the unexplored microvan segment?
Read on to find out.

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-39.jpg
sidindica is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 28th May 2011, 12:34   #4
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Delhi
Posts: 4,674
Thanked: 3,402 Times
Default Re: Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review

DESIGN AND ENGINEERING

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-19.jpg

The venture is designed primarily keeping function over form. The vans are never really meant to be good looking but in my books, the venture till date is a shockingly good looking design for a microvan and looks quite premium in person, despite having that boxy image.

The front borrows cues from Tata's super ace 1T commercial vehicle and can be mistaken for a mini school bus. yet, it manages to look good and unmistakeably Tata. The arc shaped headlights, the smiling grill and simple functional integrated front bumper gel well with the gargantuan curvy front windscreen and looks like a grandson of Tata starbus skool 16 seater version. This is the second tata vehicle, after the aria, to make use of butterfly wipers with integrated spray jets for effective cleaning and wiping of the windscreen. The front is dominated by big sized outer rear view mirrors and integrated chin with standard front fog lamps in the GX version, driven here.

The side is typically bland and boring like what a van should be but Tata has done well to reduce the visual bulk. Blackened B, C and D pilars and a central crease line running throughout the length make it look contemporary and, pretty European in nature. Though the space above the front wheel arch could have been shorter for a more proportional design, which makes it look like a cowl cab has been stuck on to a van body. Unlike the omni and the eeco, which have sliding mechanism for doors outwards appearing cheap and crude, Tata has given the sliding mirror inside atop the corner of the middle row seat, thus making the outside to be clean and contemporary at the same time.
Shockingly, the sliding door is only provided on the left side and not on right side, citing safety reasons. The main purpose of sliding doors is easy entry and exit on narrow lanes and in congested cities, makes perfect sense. But it also depends on the amount and availability of parking space available. Tata should seriously consider to provide a sliding door on the right side also.

The rear is trademark Tata, with pillar mounted vertical taillights (Tata trademark) dominating the theme and reducing visual boxiness. The styling is sure to divide opinion but is considered to be quite pretty and good in the interests of safety and visibility, unlike the dinky taillights of omni and eeco.
The tailgate lifts upwards and is slab sided with huge number plate housing and a cheap looking chrome garnish dominating the design. The rear bumper is small but thankfully protrudes out and its integrated dual reflector design along with tailgate mounted third brake light complete the rear end.

The venture is built on the same platform as the super ace truck, but in the interests of passenger comfort, the leaf spring is replaced with rigid three link trailing arm suspension while an independent suspension sits up front. The engine is mounted underneath the front seats and heavily insulated to avoid heating the front passengers' seat when they sit.
Build quality is robust than the flimsy omni and eeco but the venture lacks that crucial bit of engineering finesse of the eeco. Fit and finish is quite good with the paint job exuding quality, though the interior bits are pretty cheap and crude. Panel gaps are even at some places and somewhere odd, especially at areas where the lower half of the front door and bumper merge. Not to be expected from a van, but considering the 5.20 lakh rupee price tag.

The venture is available in three versions-the base CX without airconditioning and 475 IDI naturally aspirated 50 PS 1.4 litre engine for 4.19 lakh ex showroom ambala, the mid level EX with 71 PS turbocharged version, adding AC and power steering for 60 grand more at 4.79 lakh and the top end GX, pictured here, for a eye popping price tag of 5.20 lakh. This variant is equipped with front power windows, central locking with remote keyless entry, kenwood music system with 4 speakers, hand remote, 4 speakers with MP3/ USB/ AUX-in, body coloured bumpers, beige interiors, tachometer and a rear wash/ wipe and defogger plus, read this, reverse parking sensors with beep function also!
For a variant equipped this much, no safety features are incorporated and shockingly, no front disc brakes are provided in any version, leave alone ABS and airbags. Even the omni (since 2005) and eeco are fitted standard with front disc brakes. This is a retrograde step that Tata must consider address at the earliest.

For a vehicle with this much potential, the pricing is termed as way too optimistic which can raise eyebrows and in a market where Tata has a golden opportunity to make a dent in the eeco's sales, no BS 4 version is available yet.

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-28.jpg
Mini bus like front end

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-29.jpg
clean yet bland side profile

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-30.jpg
rear dominated by huge Christmas tree lights

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-31.jpg
slab sided rear

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-32.jpg

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-33.jpg
sliding door only on this side, sliding mechanism inside for a cohesive look

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-34.jpg

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-35.jpg
Curvy front 3/4 looks quite European

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-38.jpg
close up view of the taillights, well integrated on the D pillar

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-40.jpg
reverse parking sensors standard on top end GX

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-42.jpg
165 R 14 C light truck radials. wheel covers only standard on GX.

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-90.jpg
Parked next to its sibling, the super ace. Both are uncannily similar at the front.

Last edited by sidindica : 28th May 2011 at 15:10.
sidindica is offline   (4) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 28th May 2011, 13:37   #5
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Delhi
Posts: 4,674
Thanked: 3,402 Times
Default Re: Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review

THE INSIDE STORY

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-62.jpg

The doors, like many tata cars open close to 90 degrees to enable easy entry and exit. Climb inside and you are greeted with a familiar van-like driving position, with your hands mounted near vertically on the steering wheel and deep placed foot well. Dead pedal is not present and the accelerator, brake and clutch pedals feel cramped, though are decently spaced out for a van and its easy to find a perched driving (for a van) position. The seats are placed higher and you get a commanding view of the road ahead, aided well by the huge front windscreen and glass area. Tilt steering and height adjustable driver's seat is not standard and don't expect a van to be as ergonomically sound as a car.

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-63.jpg

The dash design is simple and functional with many bits and pieces shared from the indica vista. The steering wheel, borrowed from the vista, feels large for the driving size and compared to the rest of the dash, it stands out. The central console is too akin to the vista and has HVAC controls plus a standard stereo and a dash top display displaying outside temperature, date and time is standard on GX.

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-80.jpg

The instrument cluster is an old school basic design with not-so-easy to read fonts which are small and houses a tachometer, 180 kmph marked speedometer, fuel and temperature gauges plus a digital odometer with two trip meters. No fuel consumption meter or trip computer is provided. the drawback of this design is that it reflects badly in sunlight and is barely visible in 45 degrees of intense ambala heat.

Twin gloveboxes are provided but expecting Tata, I was expecting to be big sized until I opened them and found them to be shockingly small. Owner's manual barely fits in, leave alone storing big items. Pint sized items and knick knacks can be stored easily though. The gear console is provided with a small storage rubberized shelf in front of gear lever plus front power window switches and an headlamp leveling device and a 12V charging socket.

The venture is available in 7 and 8 seater confgurations with 2 +3 +3 forward facing seats or 2 +2 +3 forward facing seats. No captain middle row seat is standard and the mid level EX variant can also be ordered with 5 (2 +3) seating configuration.

Boot space with all seats in place is adequate with two vertical mounted suitcases that can be carried easily but with rearmost seats folded, the space is humongous. Whoever thought of providing just a single folding down seat ought to be fired. A flip and folding third row seat should have been provided to increase utility quotient. The middle row seat is foldable to allow easy access to the third row seat.
The stepney is mounted under the third row seat and can be accessed from underneath.

Space and comfort

The front seats are fairly spacious and comfortable, though cushioning is firm and lower back support is just average. The seats are designed flat an can be pretty tiring for long journeys, so additional bolstering is required. But compared to horrendous seats of omni and eeco, the venture's seats feel well padded and very comfy.
Space upfront is good too and legroom is more than adequate. You have to be aware that packaging is important given the van configuration and tata has done well in this aspect. The placement of high seat WRT low level dashboard, a high gear console with a short and stubby gear lever is akin to piloting a mini bus, and the seats are adjustable for sliding, fore and aft.
A word of caution: the plastic housing carrying wiring for front headlights is placed very low under the dash and eats into valuable knee room, so people sitting upfront need to be aware of this fact.

The trump card of venture lies in its middle row. Its spacious, comfortable and legroom is expansive, easily the best in class. The seats are placed low, but are well cushioned and after sitting in the venture, you will never want to sit inside any omni or eeco ever again. The lower back support is satisfactory, width is great and thigh support requires improvement. For a compact van, the legroom is amazing and though an inch and a half is eaten by the plastic housing atop the engine, its more than adequate. The windows are sliding type and glass house is huge. This, coupled with beige interiors, make the interior appear pretty voluminous. The middle row seats are also equipped with side adjustable armrest.

The last row of seats are comfortable too, though legroom is decent if not great. Unlike the eeco, the width is tremendous and three average sized adults will feel pretty comfortable and not hemmed in like the eeco. I did not get opportunity to check out the 8 seater version, but width for 2 adults is pretty OK in the middle row seat too, though 6 footers and fat people may find it to be in short supply.

Air conditioning

The EX and GX are equipped with dual AC units with louvres mounted on the roof for all the three rows. In the blazing heat of 46 degrees at ambala-panipat highway, the AC took its own sweet time to cool the cabin and its effectiveness can be rated as above average. Cooling was OK, but the heat generated from the heavy old school diesel motor was not keeping cabin temperature balanced. For best cooling results, its advised to keep all the windows open for 10 minutes and then drive. The large glass area and beige interiors did not help matters either.

Moreover, the noise from the AC radiator fan can be heard everywhere and more so from behind the third row. Not really good from refinement point of view.

In Car Entertainment

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-79.jpg

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-78.jpg

The venture GX is equipped with a kenwood 4 speaker head unit, MP3 CD, USB and aux-in features and a hand remote. Sound quality is nothing to write home about but should suffice most of the purpose. Overall a 5/10 rating. God mid range, but less than stellar bass and too much treble.

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-76.jpg
Upper glove compartment. Adequate for small knick knacks only.

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-77.jpg
Both glove compartments open. Small storage space.

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-68.jpg
Door packets only for magazines. Slim and small.

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-70.jpg
No provision for bottle holders.

Legroom

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-49.jpg
middle row space. speaker mounted below.

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-47.jpg
armrests are adjustable, this version is 7 seater

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-61.jpg
middle row legroom with me in place

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-51.jpg
last row seating for three. three adjustable head restraints standard.

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-50.jpg
a close up view of the fabric

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-52.jpg
legroom is cramped but adequate and better than the omni and eeco.

Boot Space

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-44.jpg
with seats in place.

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-45.jpg
with rear seat folded.

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-65.jpg
date, time and temperature gauges

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-67.jpg
controls for headlamp leveling, rear AC, rear defogger and front power windows.


Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-58.jpg
roof mounted AC vents and central cabin light.


Last edited by sidindica : 28th May 2011 at 16:16.
sidindica is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 28th May 2011, 15:09   #6
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Delhi
Posts: 4,674
Thanked: 3,402 Times
Default Re: Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review

POWERTRAIN, DRIVETRAIN AND PERFORMANCE

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-1.jpg

The tata venture EX and GX are powered by the same engine that powers the Vista TDI and erstwhile indica turbo. The old school 475 IDI motor displacing 1405 cc produces its max power of 71 PS at 4500 rpm and max torque of 135 NM at a highish 2500 rpm. The base CX model comes sans turbo and produces 50 PS and 85 NM respectively. For a vehicle weighing in excess of 1.5 tonnes, this translates into a power to weight ratio of modest 47.3 bhp per tonne for the turbo engine. Not only it sounds sluggish, it feels like that on the road too.

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-2.jpg

Start the engine and it makes its presence felt in a typical clattery fashion. In cabin NVH is very much felt and sitting directly above the diesel motor will make one's pants hot, despite the plastic housing and heavy padding. The engine revs freely to its 5100 rpm redline and once warmed up, the noise is reduced but when AC is turned on, the noisy blowers and fan will make sure that your family may never have that silent conversing zone. The eeco is infinitely much better in this respect and despite being a petrol with minimal insulation, the NVH level is less whiel on the move.

The 5 speed GBS 65 gearbox is hard shifting and typically crude like in an old school tata indica. Shift into first, and the heavy turbo motor propels this van in a sprighty manner int he city. Turbo lag can be irritating and to drive well in th city, constant downshift is required as the engine is running below the range of its max torque band (1700-2000 rpm WRT 2500 rpm).

The van scoots forward from 0-50 kmph in a timed 9 seconds and after that progress between 50-90 is woefully slow. The heavy weight and large frontal unaerodynamic shape dos not help matters either. I got enough opportunity to doo all types of tricks on the highway at NH 1 between ambala and karnal stretch and with the AC on and 4 people aboard, the van was clearly struggling to pull the load. 50-90 kmph takes about 20-25 seconds and a full pedal on the third gear to attain the desired speed. With AC off and one person, this can be trimmed by 4 seconds at most. The motor has to be kept on the boil and has to be whipped it to perform, something that the eeco does without so much effort.

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-3.jpg

Acceleration from zero to 100 till third gear takes about half a minute without AC and one person on board, add 3 seconds with AC on. the AC compressor puts a considerable load on the engine and I cannot count the number of times I was embarrassed while being overtaken by 54 bhp indica taxis on the open highway with me driving at 90 on 4th gear with foot stomped at the accelerator pedal with AC on.
Clearly in this day and age, the venture needs a better and lighter motor to keep up with the eeco at the performance stakes.
If not the quadrajet, at least the new CR4 motor with better torque characteristics should help matters to some extent. Also the rated torque should be at a lower rpm in the interests of better pulling power.
The max I could manage was 125 kmph and for that, the engine had to be kept on the boil and was attained on 4th gar. The 5th cog is merely for cruising and aided at improving the fuel economy.
Comparisons with eeco are inevitable and choosing between the two in terms of performance, ease of driving and user friendliness, its the eeco that comes out to be better than the venture. If only it had power steering option which the venture gives you.

Fuel efficiency:


The venture comes with a 33 litre fuel tank. Expect a figure of 10-11 kmpl with AC in city and about 9-10 with load. On highway, the figure should be close to 13-14 kmpl depending upon the driving style and load lugging.

Last edited by sidindica : 28th May 2011 at 16:05.
sidindica is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 28th May 2011, 15:35   #7
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Delhi
Posts: 4,674
Thanked: 3,402 Times
Default Re: Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review

RIDE, HANDLING AND BRAKING

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-43.jpg

Riding on 165 R 14 light truck radials with 8PR rating, the venture rides amazingly, specially in low to medium speeds. The suspension is more on the stiffer side but its design means that minimal shocks are transmitted inside the cabin. A combination of front IFS with struts and car like coil springs with three linkages keep rear passengers almost away from most of the potholes though the noise is persistent at high speeds. The van crashes but stays planted unlike the omni and eeco that can be potentially dangerous due to their bouncy suspensions. The light truck tyres contribute significantly to road noise and high speed stability is suspect due to brick like aerodynamics. At 100 kmph, I was in my toes and on seeing a huge 18 wheeler, I had to start applying brakes gradually.

Its perhaps the braking which is another Achilles heal of the venture. A van not being provided with disc braks in today's day and age is nothing short of sacrilege and stopping the venture requires a careful and a phased approach. Pedal feel is almost non existent and the brake design can be a safety hazard. Brake hard and you know the risk of toppling. This is a concern which Tata should address at the earliest. More over, while the phased approach stops the van in a decent manner, it also takes a bigger distance to stop. A careful distance between the venture and vehicle driving ahead of you, especially on an open highway, should be maintained to minimise the risk.

The venture offers hydraulic power steering as standard on EX and GX models unlike the eeco which makes city driving a breeze despite the sluggish motor. The city handling at low speeds, for a van is shockingly good and its easy to pilot and dart the venture. While driving for lunch at the cantonment area, we were amazed at how good this vehicle handles in congested city streets.
Its only at the highway that the steering feels vague and devoid of feel at high speeds. Not really disconnected to the chassis, but inconsistent and not properly communicative. Vans are not really meant to be handlers, but Tata has done a decent job with respect to the steering feel in the venture.

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-41.jpg
Rear suspension.

Like all vans, the limits of physics cannot be ruled out and the venture does feel planted well at moderate speeds but the moment you cross 80, the stability takes a beating and you drive on your toes. Thankfully, the stability factor is eons better than an eeco.
sidindica is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 28th May 2011, 15:55   #8
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Delhi
Posts: 4,674
Thanked: 3,402 Times
Default Re: Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review

Buying, ownership and the final call

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-24.jpg

The venture comes in a price bracket of 4.19 to 5.20 lakh in BS 3 guise. And this can prove to be its biggest weakness. Sure, it's packed with features and has an added advantage of being a diesel. But 4.19 lakhs for a van without AC and just 50 PS IDI engine is not something which a target buyer would look into, especially if in a era of rising fuel prices, MSIL is giving you an option of an eeco with AC plus CNG for about 40,000 rupees less. The mid level model is priced at 4.87 lakh and therein lies the call as many other decently maintained pre owned alternatives are there, including Tata's own sumo victa. And on the other hand, the GX priced at 5.20 lakhs will be a non seller since touching 5.8 lakhs OTR will give you many other better options.

The vehicle carries a standard warranty of 2 years and 75,000 kms from the date of purchase with an option to extend it for 4 years or 1.5 lakh kms for a nominal sum of 5,000 rupees. tata's second largest service network should take care of all service needs and since this vehicle can be serviced at both passenger car dealerships or commercial vehicle dealerships, maintenance should be cheap and parts easily available.

Like all tata vehicles, long term reliability is something that the venture has to prove and judging by the initial impressions, it still has a long way to go. More so for the below par after sales service standards of TASCs. Moreover, the company's step motherly approach towards its marketing and non availability of BS 4 versions only means that maruti can happily rest with its omni and eeco offerings. And the eeco's reliability should be well proven, important in this market.

Currently tata ships about 4-500 ventures to its dealerships and is available in select markets in North and west. Call it test marketing or not, for it to succeed, it will need an urgent price correction plus better quality, reliability and after sales service. or else, it will have its work cut out and that too pretty eeco-nomically.

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-26.jpg


sidindica is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 28th May 2011, 16:03   #9
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Delhi
Posts: 4,674
Thanked: 3,402 Times
Default Re: Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review

Some other points:

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-92.jpg
  • Twas a 600 km drive from covering multiple tos and fros at ambala-karnal-panipt-sonipat belt. Night illumination inadequate. Bulb adequate recommended. Weak high beam.
  • All kinds of roads covered, some irritating interior rattles aside, build quality as decent.
  • Doors do not auto lock while driving.
  • The key less entry remote has a weird tendency to immobilize the engine the moment doors are opened and key is on the ignition. To restart the engine, press the unlock button.
  • Beige interiors absorb heat and reflect badly in sunlight.
  • Huge windscreen=fantastic outer visibility but poor AC effectiveness and easy heat trapping.
  • To check engine oil, just open the cap behind the gear lever.
  • Opening the engine is a chore. Both seats have to be removed and plastic cladding unscrewed.
  • Noisy engine plus cabin ergonomics akin to driving a commuter bus.
  • Four color options-ivory white, champagne gold, lunar silver and glossy black. The base model gets arctic white.
  • Dimensions: 3950 mm length, 1565 mm width, 1858 mm height. Should have translated into competitive sticker price due to excise savings. But the case looks otherwise.
  • 160 mm GC more than adequate and venture did not bottom out even on full load. Stiff suspension being the trump card.
  • More than 800 sales and service network across the country including passenger car and commercial vehicle dealerships.
  • Work on BS 4 version underway. Expect it with Indica E-V2's CR4 engine at auto expo 2012.

Last edited by sidindica : 28th May 2011 at 16:35.
sidindica is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 28th May 2011, 16:13   #10
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Delhi
Posts: 4,674
Thanked: 3,402 Times
Default Re: Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review

The smaller yet significant things:

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-94.jpg
Key fob. Separate remote and RKE not integrated with the key.

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-85.jpg
Rear view mirror visibility and coverage fantastic. Covers a wide area of the road behind. Both mirrors convex.

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-83.jpg
Wiper stalks for front and rear. Note poor finish of the ignition console under the steering column.

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-82.jpg
Light stacks too feel flimsy.

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-75.jpg
Large sunvisors a must for that big windscreen. Vanity mirror standard on GX models.

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-74.jpg
sliding type side windows.

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-46.jpg
butterfly rear windows for ventilation.

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-59.jpg
door sliding mechanism inside, integrated with roof lining.

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-73.jpg
pedal spacing cramped, no space to rest your left foot.

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-72.jpg
Lapse in fit and finish: A mishmash of OBD, springs and steering column.

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-54.jpg
Twin AC vents above the middle row

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-56.jpg
And this above the third row. Vent design borrowed from Sumo Grande.

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-60.jpg
Third row glass area. Pretty huge=less claustrophobia.

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-66.jpg
AC controls feel cheap and crude to operate.

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-48.jpg
The plastic housing is the the engine cover under the front seats.

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-53.jpg
Middle row glass area.

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-71.jpg
large steering wheel stands out like a ore thumb from a small dash.

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-91.jpg
Tail light illumination adequate from safety point of view. Vertical design helps in visibility from behind.

Last edited by sidindica : 28th May 2011 at 16:37.
sidindica is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 28th May 2011, 16:39   #11
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Delhi
Posts: 4,674
Thanked: 3,402 Times
Default Re: Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review

And to top it off...some random exterior shots

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-23.jpg

Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review-img-37.jpg


sidindica is offline   (4) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 28th May 2011, 16:59   #12
Team-BHP Support
 
.anshuman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Good-Gaon
Posts: 7,565
Thanked: 8,062 Times
Default Re: Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review

Note from Moderator: Thread moved to Test drives section. Thanks for sharing.
.anshuman is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 28th May 2011, 19:59   #13
BANNED
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: NAMMA BENGALURU
Posts: 5,613
Thanked: 2,439 Times
Default Re: Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review

Very detailed review.

Should have been in the Official New car reviews.

My 2 cents, this van beats the Eeco and the good old Omni in many aspects

1) Looks
2) Comfort
3) Space
4) Diesel engine
5) A/C
6) Power Steering
7) Much better Fit, finish and build quality.

If only if it was priced a bit better.
PAVAN KADAM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th May 2011, 20:17   #14
BHPian
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Pune
Posts: 283
Thanked: 200 Times
Default Re: Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review

@Sidindica: A very detailed review. Thanks a lot. A buyer need not look anywhere else for any details. Tata has a challenge from Eeco in terms of pricing. Eeco seems VFM. Any plans of Mahindra to enter this space?
Simhi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th May 2011, 21:07   #15
Senior - BHPian
 
TheARUN's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 1,264
Thanked: 478 Times
Default Re: Tata Venture 1.4 TDi: Test Drive and Review

Neat one SID, I was waiting for a review. Today I saw the SUPER ACE and the tyres looked big and its size compared to a VERSA next to it, was trying to imagine the VENTURE by drawing imaginary lines on the SUPER ACE
TheARUN is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Tata Venture - Test Drive akhilesh51 Test-Drives & Initial Ownership Reports 118 7th June 2011 09:59
Tata Indica Vista ABS: Test Drive and review sidindica Test-Drives & Initial Ownership Reports 56 29th April 2010 23:01


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 16:20.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks