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Tata Aria 4x2 review
Driven November 2011
One year into the sales charts, and the Aria still hasn’t become the success story Tata Motors had hoped it would be. To address that, Tata has launched the 4x2 variant, aimed at Toyota’s popular Innova.
It’s the most imposing MPV on the roads. Pottering around the city, we got lots of attention. We don’t know if it’s the size or the design that people like but it does carry some kind of positive halo around, aided by that broad slab-sided design, sleek front, and flared wheel arches with 16-inch rims.
Speaking of bulk, the passenger cabin is a tad too high off the street. Er, can we get a step here, pronto? Once you’re in though, the interiors scream ‘Land Rover’. Fit and finish is nice, no uneven panel gaps, no low-rent plastic.
We got the base Pure variant, and it was decently specced – ABS, EBD, all windows powered, rear defogger, electronically adjustable wing mirrors and a six-speaker system. And steel rims shaped like alloy wheels. Nice. A set of parking sensors would have been handy, especially for a vehicle as big as the Aria.
The 2.2-litre common rail diesel engine is the same as the one found in the Safari and the Grande. In the Aria however, it feels a lot more refined. That and the smooth five-speed manual gearbox make the Aria a breeze even in city traffic.
Ride and handling in fact are its strong suit. It’s decent at low speeds, soaking up every bump on the road. And at higher speeds, it actually feels good, sprung nice and soft but not too soft. Just mind the steering, which has a little bit of play off centre.
It’s not meant to be thrown around corners, but surprisingly, it does have lots of grip. It’s meant to carry eight passengers in comfort and it does that well.
So, is the Aria 4x2 a good buy? Yes. It’s well built, spacious, comfortable and did 13.1kpl. The 4x2 is our choice over the 4x4 since it’s mostly going to see on-road duty, for which 4x2 is good enough. It’ll also be cheaper than the 4x4 and return better kpl.