Review – 2014 Tata Aria

Posted on: May 29, 2014 - 2:53pm IST

Launched in 2010, the Tata Aria sold very few units, while its main rivals, the XUV500 and the Innova, are turning out to be bread and butter products. Relaunched now as the 2014 Aria, Tata has tweaked the engine while offering minor exterior and interior improvements. Here is our review of the updated Aria –

Exteriors:

2014 Tata Aria Review front quarters
Exteriors of Aria are not dated despite the car being over four years old.

If this review praises anything about the Aria, it has to be the exteriors which still look fresh and modern despite being over four years old. Though the body surfaces of the Aria are plain, the overall shape and profile of the crossover appear as though the car was designed only recently.

The 2014 Aria has minimal exterior changes. The first being the blackened-out headlights, which look cool on this dark shade of the car. Towards the rear, the taillights are given clear lenses on their top portion, while the side of the Aria gets body decals, which manage to not look conspicuous. Overall, while the changes may be minimal, the 2014 Aria manages to look fresh.

Interiors:

2014 Tata Aria Review cabin
The interiors look a bit dated.

As soon as you step inside the Aria, things start going downhill. Firstly, the design of the dashboard and steering wheel look a bit dated.

The next disappointment is the ergonomics of the car: When the driver seat height is increased, the driver’s thigh rubs against the key-in-ignition. The footwell too is a bit narrow and devoid of a dead-clutch. And finally, the steering wheel is too large in diameter for city driving conditions. Tata could have improved upon in these areas to make the Aria more driver friendly.

The quality of materials used inside varies from average to above-average. For example, the buttons on the steering wheel feel a bit cheap, whereas the buttons on the center console feel good to operate.

2014 Tata Aria Review storage
Storage boxes are in plenty on the Aria.

A positive thing about the interiors are the panel gaps, which appear uniform throughout. In the current crop of Tata cars (excluding the upcoming Zest and Bolt), the Aria’s interior is the best in terms of fit and build quality.

The rear seat has generous space, be it in width, headroom or knee-room. The same cannot be said about the third row, which is best occupied by children. Getting in-and-out of the third row is not as easy as say in an Innova.

Features:

2014 Tata Aria Review reverse camera
Parking sensors along with the camera would have made parking much easier.

The top-end Aria you see here comes with 6 airbags, ABS, EBD, ESP, TCS, automatic climate control, 2-DIN music system with Bluetooth and navigation, cruise control, automatic wipers, automatic headlights, 17-inch alloy wheels and projector headlights.

While a reverse camera is provided, the image quality from this camera is pretty poor. Tata should have included parking sensors as well given the size of the Aria. Special mention goes for the air-conditioning system which has no problems cooling the cabin despite the temperature outside.

Engine and Gearbox:

2014 Tata Aria Review engine
Engine now produces 10 PS more power.

The Aria is powered by the same four-cylinder 2.2-liter diesel engine. However, engineers have now retuned this engine to produce 150 PS at 4,000 rpm and 320 Nm of torque between 1,500-3,000 rpm.

At idle, the Aria sounds as quiet as a modern day diesel car. Even on the move, for the most part, you can only hear the turbo whistle of this engine.

While the noise levels have been addressed, we cannot say the same about vibrations. If you’re used to driving a car with your left palm resting on the gearknob, you will constantly feel the gearbox working. Tata needs to address this issue if it wants the product to attract a 15 lakh rupee customer.

2014 Tata Aria Review gear
Vibrations on the gearknob should be better controlled.

Tata’s move to increase the Aria’s engine power by 10 PS has not gone in vain. The motor spreads its torque very well in the low-mid regions, and unless you’re below 2,000 rpm, there is no reason to shift down a gear for quick overtaking. We also noticed that the engine is a bit more free revving, and doesn’t mind being stretched to about 4,000 rpm. Speaking about the clutch, the clutch pedal is on the heavier side.

Overall, the engine of the Aria is noticeably improved upon compared to the previous model. We would have liked similar improvements to the vibrations of the car. 

Ride and Handling:

2014 Tata Aria Review steering wheel
A smaller diameter steering wheel would make city driving easier.

Ride quality is the Aria’s biggest forte, as the car manages to glide over most potholes and bad roads. The chunky 235/65 Bridgestone Dueler tires aid in the ride of the car as well. Even without much load, the Aria doesn’t get bouncy over uneven terrain.

The Aria’s handling is best described average. The steering, despite feeling heavy, provides little feedback, while the dynamics of the car indicate it to be tail-heavy. Straight line stability at speeds below 120 km/h is rather good. Speaking about speed, the Aria feels best when driven below that speed, as the steering wheel feels a bit uneasy at speeds beyond.

Brakes and Safety:

2014 Tata Aria Review wheel
Aria’s brakes help shed speed very well.

Braking is one area where we were completely satisfied with the Aria. The Aria gets disc brakes on all its wheels, which provide good stopping power. The brake pedal is one of the better units fitted to a Tata car, and feels assuring to use. The grip from the tires is commendable as well.

To top it off, the Aria comes equipped with 6 airbags, ABS, EBD, ESP and TCS.

Fuel Efficiency:

2014 Tata Aria Review efficiency

While Tata says the Aria will do 15.05 km/l, our tests saw the crossover returning 8.62 km/l. For most part, we drove the car in 4×2 mode.

Prices:

The 2014 Aria is available in three variants: Pure LX, Pleasure and Pride 4×4. The prices range from INR 9.95 lakhs to INR 14.74 lakhs, ex-Showroom, New Delhi.

Verdict:

2014 Tata Aria Review rear quarters
The Aria has plenty of room for improvement still.

No doubt, the 2014 Tata Aria is mechanically improved compared to its predecessor. However, fact remains that the Aria is still a chore to drive because of its heavy steering wheel, the average ergonomics, the vibrations in the gearlever and the slightly heavy clutch.

While the Aria’s ride quality and rear seat comfort are two class leading features, behind the wheel, you’re not as comfortable as you should be. An automatic transmission would do a world of difference here.

At the end of the day, you’re left feeling that Tata could have done a more thorough job of updating the car. It is for this reason that we would still recommend the Toyota Innova for anyone looking for an MPV at INR 15 lakhs.

2014 Tata Review Image Gallery

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12 thoughts on “Review – 2014 Tata Aria

  1. Shitanshu Jain says:

    Aria pure and pleasure are slight overpriced their worth, though the pride 4×4 is a luxury to drive and in luxury u spend and do not see the average. I believe that the (base)pure version is good enough to compete with innova. Let me tell u guys i drove it without any reviews or history or blogs and found Aria to be perfect and far better then innova g.
    Great looks, power, performance and price.

    Reply
  2. swapnamoy says:

    innova is a just a lagger but the xuv is a winner because of some features matching with the land rovers like the hill decent control which clearly proves that it is much more fun 2 drive

    Reply
  3. Hardeep says:

    I bought ARIA 2014 model over Innova and trust me car returns a average of 12.5 or 13 kmpl in regular delhi traffic. Awesome car, Great power & features, All disk brakes & that beautiful smiley grill at front. In exclusivity because of few aria’s on road. I got mine pure lx 4*2 for just only 10.8 lac on road. which is almost 2 lac lower than Innova mid variant.

    Reply
  4. Bharat Shah says:

    Mr Raviji,

    who are the competitors to the Aria?

    over which of them would you recommend the Aria?

    you feedback will be appreciated.

    BS

    Reply
    1. Anjan Ravi says:

      Hi Bharat,

      The direct competitor is the XUV500 (a crossover that seats 7), while the indirect competitor is the Innova (priced likewise). Our pick of the lot is the Innova. Between the XUV and Aria, the XUV feels easier to drive in city driving conditions.

      Reply
  5. Ganesha Prasad says:

    I have test driven the Aria and made feature wise comparision with Innova. At INR15 Lakhs on road for Aria Pleasure variant versus the Innova-G 8 seater variant at INR16.6 Lakhs, its a whopping INR1.5Lakh difference. Feature wise Innova doesnot even match Aria at the suggested price. Quality of Ride and Handling has improved so much and Innova is being hyped to very great extent. If Tatas rejigs their service to offer better lebels of quality, then we have a game changer in Aria. Test drive the new Aria and find out – I really came out very impressed.

    Reply
  6. R K says:

    It’s not a 15 lac car. Period. The quality of interiors don’t match even to some of those that are priced half of this car.

    Reply
  7. Aj says:

    With brands like Jag and rover under its belt Tata should definitely do a lot better with its cars in terms of design and quality. Still not very impressed to buy the Aria.

    Reply
  8. Mohit Verma says:

    Well I don’t think so that Innova is even comparable to Aria at the price point of 15 lacs looking at the engine power, performance and the features that the Mighty Aria provide.

    Reply
    1. Ganesha Prasad says:

      Completely agree with you.

      Reply

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About the Author
Anjan
Anjan Ravi

I'm a true-blooded petrolhead. Hope you enjoy our news stories, launch coverages, motorshow coverages and test drive reports.