Mahindra has carved a niche for itself in commercial vehicles market, however the launch of XUV has established that it has all the credentials to become a premium car manufacturing concern as well. The aggressive looks of the XUV with an innovatively designed grill, a nice roof line, great body lines and big, flared wheel arches really amaze you at first glance. The feeling of sportiness is further enhanced by the nice curve provided above the rear wheel.
The Tata Aria, deemed the first Indian crossover, is a unique blend of a SUV and a station wagon. With large aggressive headlamps, fog lamps, full chrome front grille etc., the huge built of Tata Aria stands out from the rest.
The target customers for both these “soft-roaders” are the same, with carrying capacity of seven passengers, comfort driving for long journeys and the capacity to negotiate rough terrain. Also, both these vehicles fall in the same price bracket of Rs 11 lakh to Rs 14 lakh. So, which vehicle outshines the other is a question that this article will attempt to find out.
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The extra length of the Aria, owing to its crossover roots, gives plenty of space on the inside, however the width of the vehicles are at par and this one difference would not significantly tilt scales in anyone’s favor.
On the style aspect, it is the Mahindra XUV500 which will defiitely catch your eye, when both the vehicles are parked alongside. It does not demean the Aria which has a high-set grille and sleek headlights, and its design also has a degree of solidity attached, which is hard to miss.
However, the Mahindra XUV500 by sticking to the SUV design rulebook, with a high bonnet, muscular wheel arches and clearly distinguished greenhouse gives it a robust look. Contemporary designs to have been incorporated with character lines on the doors and a rising window line.
A trip inside the Tata Aria illuminates that it is easily the best interior designed by Tata. Spacious front seats offer comfortability with great visibility. The XUV doesn’t do too badly either with spacious front seats and good enough visibility from the slightly higher position. However, its in the middle rows, where the XUV scores, with ample spacing enabling passengers to stretch out, even when the front seats are pushed right back.
Both motors have identical bore and stoke, 85 x 96 mm, both displace 2.2 liters and output is similar: 138 bhp in Aria and 140 bhp in XUV. The Aria’s DICOR motor has a relaxed nature, and once past 2000 rpm, settles into a comfortable rhythm, making stress-free driving in highways. But the gear-box being slightly slippery and the clutch being a bit heavier, it is hard driving in peak city traffic.
The XUV, with a 200 kg weight advantage, is livelier at any speed, reaching 100 kmph in under 12.5 seconds, a near one and half second faster than Aria.
The XUV scores slightly better here with a figure of 10.2 kmpl on city roads peaking 10 14.2 kmpl on highways whereas the Aria returned figures of 10 kmpl and 13.9 kmpl respectively on the same parameters.
At lower speeds, the XUV scores over the Aria, as there is a sort of lumpiness associated with the latter. But with speed, the quality of ride in the Aria improves and it can even take the sharpest of bumps at ease, which the XUV fails to deliver. The XUV is more agile and easier to park, but handling wise the Aria scores much better.
The Price Factor:
What finally tilts the balance in favour of the XUV is the pricing of the vehicles, the two variants of XUV500 come to you at prices of Rs 10.8 lakh to Rs. 11.9 lakh, whereas the cheapest version of the Aria comes at Rs 12.6 lakh at least.