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Comparison between Tata Aria and Toyota Innova







Toyota Kirloskar India Limited had introduced their people mover in India in 2006 and since then this has been one of their greatest success stories in India. It got a mid life face lift in 2009 and since then it looks have been more palatable. It had to fend of competition by the name of a desi brand named as Mahindra Xylo. The Mahindra Xylo sure did steal some of the lime light from the Toyota Innova but it was short lived and the Toyota Innova got back its share due to the sheer value of the Toyota brand name. Not that there weren’t other competitors like the Tata Sumo. ICML Rhino and the Chevrolet Tavera. But these were too rural to even break a sweat for the mighty Toyota.

Come October 2010 and a new competitor emerged in the form of the Tata Aria. It was launched as a more up market version of the Toyota Innova and has been packed with goodies galore. So a comparison between both these stalwarts was inevitable. Here is how the show down between the both worked out.

Looks

Toyota Innova – Now, this may be a subjective thing however I personally prefer the Toyota Innova’s bland look to that of the bold in your face style of the Tata Aria. It might be that the Toyota has been around for so long that we conveniently forgot that it features an outdated design. It is too much mini van like. However after the recent botox treatment that it received, the Toyota Innova looks like a desirable car. The corporate grille sits atop its bonnet and houses the Toyota logo on it. The head lamps are big parallelogram shaped and have blacked out inserts in them to give the vehicle a sporty look. The air dam is a slightly smaller affair than the grille and houses two big fog lamps. The wing mirrors are also huge and aren’t body colored. They are of the chrome variety. The door handles are also chrome plated. The wheels are 15 inch alloy ones for the top of the line Toyota Innova VX version. The rear features a big glass area with a roof mounted spoiler and stop lamp. It has a chrome tail gate as well. The tail lamps are clear lens unit post the face lift. Overall, it has a van like silhouette.

Tata Aria – The new kid on the block is a mix of design cues. It borrows heavily from its cousin, the Tata Indigo Manza. The front is Manza type however the Tata Aria features a more raked in version of the same. It has swept back head lamps and has a chrome grille with the Tata logo. The air dam is quite big and has two circular fog lamps complementing it. The front screen wipers are much like the Honda Civic’s. The overall front design is curvier than the Toyota Innova’s. The wing mirrors are quite big as compared to the Innova’s and house the turn indicators in them. The wheels are also considerably huge with their 17 inch size on the Tata Aria Pleasure. The door handles are partly in chrome and partly in body color. The rear is coupe type {note the Honda CR-V inspiration}and has typical MPV style vertically stacked tail lamps. The tail gate handle is in chrome and a notable feature is the twin tail pipes.


Round 1 goes to the Toyota Innova of been looking so fresh inspite of the age it has endured.

Interiors

Toyota Innova – The Toyota Innova is flawless in the interior department. It features highly luxurious interiors. The build quality is impeccable. There are orange wood dash inserts in this car and there are cubby holes as well. The recent face lift brought along with it steering mounted audio controls as well. There are roof mounted air conditioner vents as well. These do a very good job of blowing hair right into the hair of taller passengers and messing them up. The Toyota Innova comes with a usable third row of seats which can seat three in reasonable comfort. The rear seats can fold down completely to give one storage space of about 895 liters. The middle row of seats are captain chairs in the Toyota Innova VX version. The Toyota Innova is still the bench mark in this segment as regards quality is considered.

Tata Aria – I never expected to go wow after looking at a Tata car’s interiors. Well, the Tata Aria Pleasure’s interiors did make me go wow. I really couldn’t suppress it. It is a frog leap or should I say, an antelope’s leap ahead for Tata Motors. The dashboard materials are all soft to touch and feel. Not one plastic looks out of place. Infact, the Tata Aria Pleasure’s 7 roof mounted cubby holes aren’t surpassed by even the mighty Toyota Innova VX. The Tata Aria Pleasure has got beam mounted air conditioner vents. It however doesn’t have captain seats. The seats themselves are quite comfortable be it the front or rear. Speaking of the rear, the third row of seats are only for kids and very uncomfortable for grownups. The steering wheel is also quite easy to fit in the hands and has cruise control, Bluetooth and audio controls in them. There is also a satellite based navigation system, leather upholstery, darkness sensing head lamps, rain sensing wipers, glove box chiller, 6 CD audio system and reverse camera. The space at the rear when the third row of seats are pulled down is 923 liters. The loading lip is also quite low and this makes it quite easy to plonk in one’s luggage.

Round two goes to the Tata Aria for the sheer number of goodies offered and convenience offered. It has build quality to match the Toyota Innova’s as well.

Handling and ride quality

Forget everything and this would be one thing that you would be living with your whole life and that is with the ride and handling quality of your esteemed set of wheels.

Toyota Innova – That the Toyota Innova had a car like handling is well known however its ride tends to pitch and bob a bit is also evident. This is due to the high center of gravity for the IMV platform. It is based on a monocoque chassis and this establishes itself well with the handling capacity. The Toyota Innova just grips at the road and all this at the absence of 4 wheel drive. The Toyota is also quite good to drive with, the steering wheel playing a major role here. It is communicative however not that communicative as I would have liked. It has a dead spot in the center. The Toyota Innova just smothers all the pot holes and small undulations that its encounters with en route.

Tata Aria – Tata Motors products have been always known to have a sorted out ride quality. Throw whatsoever at them and they would come out unscathed with the occupants barely knowing what kind of ordeal the tyres went through. This is true for the Tata Aria as well. Based on its size and those huge tyres. It just smothers everything in its path. It is firmly tuned however not overtly to make some one uneasy after sitting a few hours in the seats. As far as the seats go, I have decided to take them home after the test is over. Hope any of the Tata personnel aren’t hearing or reading this. Automobile journalists have always complained about the handling of Tata Motors products. I wouldn’t complain about the Tata Aria’s though. It seems that Tata Motors have taken a leaf out of their newly acquired property, the Land Rover company. It has been said that Tata Motors took help from the technicians at the Land Rover company for fine tuning the handling of the Tata Aria. It is definitely an improvement from the handling of the Safari and Sumo days. The Tata Aria does roll when leaned into corners however not as much as we would expect. In fact, after driving the Tata Aria, I felt that the Toyota Innova does roll slightly a bit more. Here also, the Tata’s 4 wheel drive comes into play.

Round three goes to the Tata Aria because of its perfectly sorted out ride and handling characteristics though the Toyota Innova doesn’t lag far behind.

Engine,Performance and fuel efficiency

Toyota Innova – The Toyota Innova features a 2.5 liter diesel engine. This has been the bench mark for efficiency as well as NVH characteristics. It is butter smooth and has a 5 speed gear box to complement it. It makes only 102 Ps of power @ 3600 rpm and about 200 Nm of torque between 1400-3400 rpm. It is car like to drive and has good spread of the torque throughout its rev range. Even at close to ton speeds, the rpm needle would be barely ticking at 2200 rpm. You can slot the gear in third and potter around in town at speeds of 30 kmph whole day. The gear box has slightly long throws however slots effortlessly into its gates. The Toyota Innova goes from 0-100 kmph in 17.95 seconds and reaches a top speed of 152 kmph. Braking is handled by 298 mm ventilated discs at the front and  282 mm drums at the rear. Supporting it are ABS and EBD. Safety is taken care by the GOA body of the Innova as well as 4 air bags, side intrusion beams and a collapsible steering column. The Toyota Innova registers a fuel efficiency of 9.8 kmpl in the city whereas on the highways, it gives 16.2 kmpl. Overall, the fuel efficiency works out to be 12.2 kmpl.

Tata Aria
– The Tata Aria makes do with the DICOR engine from the Tata Safari. It is a 2.2 liter diesel motor making 140 Ps @ 4000 rpm and a huge 320 Nm of torque @ 2200 rpm. These figures are enough to haul this crossover from 0-100 kmph in 15.65 seconds. That is considering the nearly 2225 kerb weight of the Tata Aria to that of the 1655 kerb weight of the Toyota Innova. Having a smaller engine and one which glistens with technology helps the Tata Aria post better acceleration figures. It reaches a top speed of 170 kmph. This motor easily overshadows the one found in the Toyota Innova on all counts. It is quite tractable and very silent in its operation. Its only at the top of the rev range does the engine murmur a bit. Braking is done with the help of 320mm ventilated discs at the front and 280 mm solid discs at the rear. These are aided by Electronic Stability Program {ESP}, ABS and traction control. Safety aspect has been taken care with a segment first, 6 air bags, cruise control, side intrusion beams and a collapsible steering column. The Tata Aria returns 10.9 kmpl in the city and an excellent 18.3 kmpl on the highway. This translates to over all figures of 14.6 kmpl.All this was achieved in 4 wheel drive and it can be turned off with the flip of a button.

Round 4 sees the Tata Aria best the Toyota Innova on all counts.

Verdict

Time to announce the winner and as you see, it’s the new kid on the block staking a claim for the ultimate MUV throne. It wins by a decisive margin. Yes, the winner is the Tata Aria and that too over a Toyota product namely the Toyota Innova. The Tata Aria does everything what the Toyota Innova excels in and plus offers some more. It is loaded to gills with features available only in some premium D segment cars. It has good looks to go with as well as effortless performance and fuel efficiency from its 2.2 liter engine. The Toyota Innova on the other hand is a proven war horse and one which has been around since quite a long. The Toyota brand is enough to pull customers to its show rooms even though our test results show the other way. The only things going against the Tata Aria are its brand name as well as the highish price that it commands over the Toyota Innova. The Toyota Innova VX sells for Rs.11.64 lakhs {ex-showroom, Delhi} whereas the Tata Aria Pleasure goes for Rs. 13.48 lakhs {ex-showroom, Delhi}. This about Rs.1.5 lakhs more and I personally feel that not many would fork out that kind of money for a Tata car. However only time can tell if the Tata Aria sells or not. It is not designed to be a bread and butter model and hence Tata should be happy if they manage to move about 800 units per month for starters.

Technical Specifications of the Tata Aria Pleasure

Displacement: 2179cc, DiCOR, 16 Valve Diesel
Maximum Power: 140 Bhp @ 4000 rpm
Maximum Torque: 320 Nm @ 1700 rpm
Suspension: 5 Link Suspension, Ind Double Wishbone
Length: 4783 mm
Height: 1782 mm
Width: 1897 mm
Tyre Size: 235/65 R17
Turning Circle: 5.60 mtrs
Brakes: Front Ventilated discs , Rear Solid Disc
Gears: 5 speed Manual
Steering: Tilt and telescopic, electronically powered
Ground Clearance: 200.00 mm
Fuel Tank: 60.00
Kerb Weight: 2225 kgs
Seating Capacity: 7

Technical Specifications of the Toyota Innova VX

Displacement: 2494cc, 16 Valve, CRDi, diesel
Maximum Power: 102 Bhp @ 3600 rpm
Maximum Torque: 200 Nm @ 1400 rpm
Suspension: Coil Spring, Double Wishbone With Stabilizer
Length: 4570 mm
Height: 1756 mm
Width: 1780 mm
Tyre Size: 205/65 R15
Turning Circle: 5.50 mtrs.
Brakes: Front Disc, Rear Drum
Gears: 5 speed Manual
Steering: Hydraulically assisted with tilt and telescope functions
Ground Clearance: 178.00 mm
Fuel Tank: 55.00
Kerb Weight:1640.00 kgs
Seating Capacity: 8

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One Response

  1. I used to ride a Toyota Qualis, RS. It is a seven seater with captain chairs in the middle and bench seats in the last row. It was more car-like to drive. But there is a problem in owning a Toyota vehicle while you are travelling mostly on the Indian highways. The workshops are too few. On the other hand, there is no dearth of Tata workshops. So, after a few mishaps I switched over to Tata. To, the Tata Safari first then to the more comfortable Grandé. I, for one, would go for the Aria BECAUSE its a Tata product.

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