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Old 22nd October 2010, 09:09   #16
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Wow, looks neat.

No way can we compare the Venture with the likes of the EECO and the Omni, the Venture certainly seems to be well designed than the latter's.

Waiting for the TD review akhilesh51
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Old 22nd October 2010, 09:12   #17
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Looks like Tata was waiting for the Aria to launch, before launching the Venture.

Maybe they do not want the Venture to take away a part of the Aria's thunder (I know Aria is a different, high end product altogether, but still, they might have played safe). This could be the reason for the soft launch. Also, they may be waiting for customer feedback from the initial batch of Ventures, before publicising the vehicle on a larger scale.

Waiting for the formal test drive details from Team BHP, including the ride, handling and comfort aspects.

Last edited by mooza : 22nd October 2010 at 09:14.
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Old 22nd October 2010, 12:09   #18
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I want to book a venture. But whoever I call has no idea about this. Someone told me I need to contact tata commercial cars, whereas I was calling tata passenger cars. But where do i get the number of a commercial car dealer? I cant find it online...
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Old 23rd October 2010, 20:00   #19
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Hey Akhilesh, have you returned from your test drive


Waiting eagerly for your further inputs
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Old 23rd October 2010, 21:25   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mooza View Post
Hey Akhilesh, have you returned from your test drive


Waiting eagerly for your further inputs
@akhilesh : Yes, 4 days of waiting ....

@mooza : If I re-read his opening post, I guess he already completed the test drive before opening this thread.
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Old 26th October 2010, 14:21   #21
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ENGINE & PERFORMANCE

Tata Venture is powered by the run of the mill 1.4 ltr TCIC engine doing duty in most Tata vehicles. There has been some refinement here, though and the vehicle will also be sold in a turbocharged avatar called ‘Turbomax’ as was launched in Tata Indica few weeks back.

Engine options in Venture comply to both Euro III (TCIC) and Euro IV (Turbomax) regulations which ups its ante against the Maruti Omni. All engine options are in Diesel option which will suit commercial buyers and taxi operators.

Engine is stowed under the front seating compartment as is with Omni. There is a small lid near the handbrake to access engine compartment from vehicle innards itself. This is particularly useful to check and replace engine liquids.

The engine is tuned to provide 71BHP of power at 4500 rpm and a torque of 135Nm @ 2500 rpm which is ample for the usage purpose of this vehicle and is way better than its competition.

Venture is sluggish on initial press of the accelerator but the power delivery improves soon after. The gearbox too has been tuned for bumper to bumper traffic with a very wide range. Yes, it does impact outright acceleration but improves in-city ride. On highway, it takes its sweet own time to reach peak speeds and must admit, I wasn’t expecting any better.

It cruises well in speed band of 60-90 kmph and push any further and you will be disappointed with the response. Further, I must add here that the vehicle still comes with drum brakes and in today’s age, this is probably a glaring error from Tata Motors. This vehicle (and its competitors) give shivers to drivers when it comes to braking. Travel distance in full braking from 60 kmph is heinously high.

Tata should have provided discs on the front wheels (at the very least!), period. On the other hand, what they did provide is power steering. I know, it is a norm for vehicles of today but you would be surprised to know that Omni has survived the decades without one and this is what makes this feature so special for Venture. It is a welcome feature for the vehicle of this size and aids in enhancing driving pleasure. Makes me wonder why Maruti kept it out of its loyal workhorse for so long.


RIDE AND HANDLING

Like all Tata Cars, Venture too is made for Indian roads and Indian driving conditions. While the suspension on this car can’t and doesn’t rival any of the hatchbacks or sedans, it surely scores well over its competitors. The seats too are comfortable for passengers and almost car like. There is sufficient leg room and thigh room for all the passengers. The ride in front compartment is a little too high (engine seats underneath front compartment) for comfort but is acceptable. The front passenger even gets heated seats complimentary!

On a more serious note, Venture does suffer from some body roll and last row of passengers have the feeling of being seated right on the wheel with much of vibrations from wheel moving into the compartment.

Noise and harshness levels in this vehicle are uncomfortably high and would surely score down when compared to Omni, Eeco and Versa reminding you once again of its Tata Ace lineage. Vibrations can be observed on every panel and is unsettling for first-time rider. Tata should consider dampening this vehicle more.

FIT AND FINISH

High NVH levels of the vehicle pose a bigger question for the Venture. Fit and Finish. Can Tata control rattling in vehicle with these high levels of NVH. Fit and Finish itself is below par even for the competition. Butterfly wipers are atrocious. They fell off in first use (I accidentally turned wipers on when I actually wanted to turn on indicators). Driver Seat belt in my vehicle was actually entagled in the seat so much so that the seat had to removed to get it out. The seats itself had a bit of rocking feel.

But after I have said this, I must also mention that it is not a complete disaster in fit and finish. It is still leaps ahead of older generation of Tata Vehicles. Gates shut with even gaps. There is hardly any trouble as far as dashboard design goes. Further, all plastic panels are nice to touch (at least for the segment), seats have fabric inserts on top models and even vinyl ones don’t look too cheap.

All in all, Fit and finish of the vehicle leaves more to be desired but can be updated in production without the need to wait for a ‘refresh’ or ‘MKII’.

VERDICT

Tata Venture positions itself under Tata’s flagship commercial carrier, Tata Winger. Even in passenger segment, It is sandwiched between old-gen Sumo Victa and New-gen Sumo Grande MKII (both of which are gasping for life).

It takes design cues from Tata Ace and improves on them for a more distinct van like character and achieves it with élan.

It is also the first vehicle to be sold by both Tata Commercial and Tata Passenger dealers giving it a much wider audience.

Barring some niggling Fit and Finish issues, Tata Venture comes out well when competed with others in the segment for this alone, it has the potential to sell large numbers. We assume that Tata will target rural and semi-urban towns to begin with and slowly move into urban cities.

So, Can this beat the Omni? I feel it has the potential. But the crucial point would be the final price points and the reach Tata can create for this vehicle vis-a-vis Maruti Sizuki.
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Old 26th October 2010, 15:32   #22
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Seems to have broken all my expectations after seeing the NVH review, but the most disappointing was the lack of DISC BRAKES!!!
C'mon what was Tata thinking. Atleast nick of the power windows and give disc brakes.
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Old 27th October 2010, 07:45   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akhilesh51 View Post
On highway, it takes its sweet own time to reach peak speeds and must admit, I wasn’t expecting any better.

On a more serious note, Venture does suffer from some body roll and last row of passengers have the feeling of being seated right on the wheel with much of vibrations from wheel moving into the compartment.

What was the number of passengers / load during your test drive ?

Quite a detailed review, Akhilesh, thanks for the same
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Old 27th October 2010, 15:44   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mooza View Post
What was the number of passengers / load during your test drive ?

Quite a detailed review, Akhilesh, thanks for the same
5 passengers, some luggage. I felt pick up was comparable to old indica which is explained by 1.4L engine shared by the siblings.
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Old 27th October 2010, 17:02   #25
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Drum brakes all round? TATA please wake up, I believe the Maruti Omni comes with discs upfront.

Probably it should be made a norm to put the disc brakes atleast on the front. By the way 20 lac fortuner does not come with rear discs, so anything is possible in India
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Old 28th October 2010, 14:55   #26
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TATA seriously needs a new grille/front design.the smiling/grinning look is boring, has become aged and can be seen from Indicas to Manza! Perhaps its their way of establishing a brand look, like the Kidney grille design of BMW.Maruti Omni does have discs up front and was a pleasure to drive even without PS except when it comes to parking in tight spaces.
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Old 28th October 2010, 20:22   #27
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Nice review Akhilesh. A lot would depend on the pricing as well, any idea about that. The USP of Venture is the Diesel heart which the competitors don't have, with its torque and FE it would be ideal for its target market.
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Old 28th October 2010, 23:42   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nkrishnap View Post
Drum brakes all round? TATA please wake up, I believe the Maruti Omni comes with discs upfront.
Not having discs in the front is very glaring considering even omni (with has only half of Venture's power) has been upgraded. We owned an Omni and it was scary to take the car beyond 70KMPH even though the car was capable of reaching three digit speeds. Beyond 70 and you could only stop the car in emergency by down-shifting.

Not sure how hot it is going to get under the seats. The Omni was bearable only for short drives and it was Petrol.

Last edited by DWind : 28th October 2010 at 23:45.
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Old 29th October 2010, 00:45   #29
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I do not understand why Venture related threads are bumped into commercial vehicles section while it's competitors omni and eeco are discussed in the cars section. Even Tata has said they are going to sell venture through car dealerships.

Mods: Can you please explain.
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Old 29th October 2010, 16:46   #30
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Here are some pictures of the test vehicle (middle variant, I presume) :

Tata Venture - Test Drive-img_0469.jpg
Utilitarian front with Butterfly Wipers


Tata Venture - Test Drive-img_0472.jpg
Iconic Tata-esque rear end (It actually beats Omni by a mile)


Tata Venture - Test Drive-img_0473.jpg
Very European Side Profile with sliding window


Tata Venture - Test Drive-img_0475.jpg
Manza inspired Centre Console


Tata Venture - Test Drive-img_0476.jpg
Middle Storage compartment with access to Engine liquids


Tata Venture - Test Drive-img_0478.jpg
Middle and Rear bench with folding access


Tata Venture - Test Drive-img_0484.jpg
Roof mounted AC vents for each seat


Tata Venture - Test Drive-img_0487.jpg
Vista Type Steering wheel, door locks and gear lever

Quote:
Originally Posted by airbender View Post
I do not understand why Venture related threads are bumped into commercial vehicles section while it's competitors omni and eeco are discussed in the cars section. Even Tata has said they are going to sell venture through car dealerships.

Mods: Can you please explain.
I second airbender's thought here. While Eeco, Omni, and Versa are discussed in cars section, why bias is shown against Venture.

The dealership I tested the vehicle was a Passenger Cars dealership and not a commercial vehicles dealership.
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