Unconventional Comparison: Skoda Yeti, Maruti Ertiga and Tata Aria

Skoda Yeti:-

From the German automaker, is the crossover which we at IndianDrives are just in love with. It is smart and more practical than most SUVs out there, and is the only crossover offered by Skoda. Yes, it’s the Skoda Yeti.

For some reason, it did not perform so well in the Indian market, however, we have tested it and also tested the new 4X2 version and it definitely gives more than a match to luxury segment SUVs in the market. And why not? it is more compact, cleaner, and offers a fuel-economy that wont burn holes in your pocket.

Exterior:

From outside, it is the arguably the most stunning to look at. On the front, it features chrome radiator grille, which is surrounded by bold headlamps and massive fog lamps, featuring corner function that guide you through turns in the dark. The headlamp sweeps across to the fender of the body and is provided by daytime running lights. It is the first Skoda to feature chrome bumper brush guard surrounded by black slats.

Skoda Yeti

With some great ground-clearance and roof running rails, it has a sporty guise. Moreover, with the compact and sleek design you can never make out how spacious it is from the inside. The Skoda Yeti has black color waistline molding and side skirts; the roof sports silver shade rails, running across till the C-pillar. The wheel arches are pretty wide that accommodate 16-inch alloys.

Skoda Yeti

For a dramatic climax, the tail lamp hugs the wings and the letter ‘C’ lights up when you hit the brakes.

Interior:

Windows have a good view from the outside, and on the inside, there is greater visibility. However, the seats are lower than the usual SUVs an average 5’7” can have trouble seeing across. Controls are sensibly laid out with proper marking, and its excellent when it comes to ergonomics.

Skoda Yeti interior

The two rows can accommodate five passengers and loads of luggage at the same time. The rear seats can be folded, tumbled or removed for a larger boot space. Rear sliding seats provides extra space to already spacious leg-room.

With the basic variant, you get the AC, power window, CD player and for a little extra money, you can upgrade to alloy wheels, fog lamps and rear power windows. Dig a little deeper into your pocket, and your Yeti will feature, climate control, parking sensors, leather upholstery and xenon headlights.

Skoda Yeti engine

In terms of safety, Yeti sports 6 airbags and anti whiplash head restrain, while the stability control is exclusive for the top variant only.

Verdict:

This is one of the smartest SUVs out in the market, and is style conscious too, but with just 5 seats, is it really practical for an SUV?

Maruti Ertiga:-

The thing about Ertiga is, it is built for the Indian roads, Indian people, Indian style, good fuel economy and with very shallow price tag, it is designed keeping in mind the everyday needs.

Maruti Suzuki launched the second generation Swift hatch back in 2004. It was such an impressive car, that Suzuki went on to add a trunk on its rear, turning it into the Dzire Sedan. And now since they have become an expert at it, they reproduced the styling into an oversized hatch or lets say an undersized SUV, the Ertiga.

Exterior:

On the front you get a glimpse of the Ritz hatchback with bulging bonnet and wide bumpers. Of course, to distinguish the MPV from the hatch, there is larger air inlet under the body color bumper and fog lamps. The headlights are more or less Swift-y with the sporty appearance and sweeping sideways.

Maruti Ertiga

Being a MPV, Suzuki increased its wheelbase and ride height. While on the rear, it features these tail lights hugging the body, like in most Suzukis. Coming along with the increased wheelbase is the extra room on the rear. However, it does not look hideous like the Dzire’s boot added out of curiosity. It has quarter glass panel that gives the third row passengers somewhat clear view of the outside. Alloy wheels and wheel cover just enhance its MPV factor. The Ertiga’s rear windshield has been tainted in a manner to give a pillar-less appearance when viewed from the rear, however, the tail lamps are not very impressive.

Maruti Ertiga

Interior:

Japanese cars are not known for boasting luxury, and you can expect the same from Ertiga. Though it is spacious and very practical, it does not sparkle when it comes to quality. From the driver’s point of view, it is very much the Swift, however, the Ertiga features three rows of seating – two in the front, three elders or five children in the middle and again two elders at the rear. With more or less features borrowed from the Swift, it is lightweight and has mid-segment features.

Maruti Ertiga interior

Maruti Ertiga has made the best out of the space inside, with seven seats along with flexible usage of space. The second and third row passengers enjoy individual AC vents and armrest with cupholders. The bootspace is not very roomy, but with the third row seats folded, you get sufficient room for luggage.

In terms of comfort, the Ertiga features power windows, power steering, AC, multi trip meters as standard for the LXI model. For the mid range segment, you get central locking, electronically folding RVMs and keyless entry. If you go for the top variant, the Ertiga will sport ABS, EBD, dual SRS Airbags, Leather Upholstery and Music system.

Maruti Ertiga engine

Verdict:

Coming to your Maruti showrooms in April, the Ertiga is sure to impress. It is more practical, more spacious, better fuel economic, than the Yeti. However, it fails to impress when it comes to power and quality. So will it sell?

Tata Aria:-

There are two reasons to buy the Aria. One – its Tata. Two – its Tata, I mean why would you not buy the most trusted Indian brand?

Exterior

A huge capsule is what it is. Though it has a sophisticated friendly appearance, it does not please the younger crowd, who demand a cooler and more aggressive appeal.

Tata Aria

It is undoubtedly the biggest crossover of the three. With the front fascia of traditional Tata and the body line similar to those of Innova, the Aria stands tall and fierce. What distinguishes the Aria from Manza or Vista, is the dual barrel front headlamp that features darkness sensing. And why we called it a capsule, is because the bumpers and wheel arches have the same body color, giving a more humongous overall appearance.

The five door MPV has 17-inch alloys with tubeless radial tyres. Tata Aria’s rear tail-gate rises like a hatch with high mounted vertically stacked tail lamps. That is attention to details and which is why we love Tata. It goes without saying, Aria has a very-very good built quality.

Tata Aria

Interior:

On the inside, the Aria features practical functionality, things that a driver uses even for a trip around the town. It can accommodate 7 full-grown passengers comfortably. Moreover, the third and second row seats can be folded over for making room for extra luggage. In terms of luxury, it can give the premium class SUVs a run for their money. With big chunky buttons of audio and phone control, on the already adjustable steering wheel, the ergonomics are simply superb. The instrument cluster has the good-old analogue tachometer and speedometer, which is very smart. No fancy digi system, and attention is paid to what lies beneath, and that is where it matters.

Tata Aria interior

Featuring two-tone interiors, the Aria gives an elegant feel. Contrasting with the dark instrument cluster is the LCD screen, which sits in middle of the dash, also comes standard. On the top of the range Aria Pride, there are 6 airbags, (count along) ESP, TCS, Sat-Nav, Tata Blue (something that pairs up to 5 phone devices), reverse guide system, dual AC with Climate control, rain sensing vipers, glove box chiller and full leather upholstery.

Tata Aria engine

verdict:

For final words, the only problem with any car loaded with tonnes of features is that, things can and do go wrong, and it is no different with Tata Aria. Moreover, it fails to justify the sharp price tag on a longer run.

But it is arguably the most comfortable and practical car in this category.

Specifications:-

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Tata cars at the 2011 Surat Auto Expo covered by Indiandrives team

One of India’s largest car manufacturers, Tata Motors was present in full force at the Surat Auto Expo 2011. Except for their world renowned trucks, the company had displayed all their cars and buses. We would have wished the all new Tata Safari Merlin to be also unveiled at this show however that didn’t happen.

The world’s cheapest 4 door car, the Tata Nano isn’t the star attraction anymore however Tata Motors still had it on display. It was relatively deserted. But then you can take my word for it, the Tata Nano is not only the world’s cheapest car but also is very spacious considering its exterior dimensions. The instrumentation is basic but then they serve the purpose. Come on Tata, we Indians are awaiting the more upmarket Nano Europa in here.

Tata Manza Elan was also displayed at this show and yes, it did have its fair share of visitors thronging in. The car in wine red color looked fabulous plus the multi colored brushed alloys seem fabulous and were more like an aftermarket job. Interiors are the most spacious in its class and maybe a class above as well. It has almost Toyota Camry like space. The interior quality has noticeably increased but some panel gaps were uneven. Driving position is no longer awkward like the one in the old Indica and is much improved now. There is Bluetooth connectivity and many convenience features. Boot space is also class apart. This is one perfect car for both the chauffer and self driving individuals.


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The biggest car from the Tata Motors range, the Tata Aria was also present and was in a not so flattering white color. The Tata Aria is spacious no doubt but it is very pricey. If Tata Motors could just bring the price down, then they have a sure shot winner on their hands. The Aria also boasts of a high quality of materials in its cabin. It has got features galore however the most irritating one is the 7 sunglass holders in the roof. Now, that beats logic as to why would anyone need 7 sunglass holders?

The Tata Venture in a golden honey color was present at the show and certainly was checked out by many people. Like we had mentioned earlier, this is one of the most spacious MUVs in its class and definitely has better wearing interiors than the Maruti Eeco. The entire Indiandrives team was so impressed with this car that we felt that we should book one for office use. Don’t know when that is going to materialize but then it is still at the back of our minds.

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The Tata Magic, which is one step below the Tata Venture was the one car which had lots many flocking to it. This Magic was available with a CNG version. The 700 cc engine develops 22 Hp of power and a 5 speed gearbox linked to it. Build quality is expectedly so, not so good. The engine sits right besides the driver whereas the coolant is stuffed beneath where the passenger glove box should have been. Instrumentation is bare basic and interiors and driving position are truck like. The front passenger however doesn’t get any adjustment for his seat. The driver’s position is a “one size fits all kind” of seats. The rear seats are also very comfortable for its class. Unfortunately there is no airconditioner offered. If it’s a small business owner with a chauffer, he can use the Magic for his daily commute. Tata Ace was the other CNG variant which is spawned on the same platform as the Tata Magic. This one is more of the cargo loader types. It also uses the same Magic engine and develops same power as well. The interiors also look the same from the Magic.

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Then there was the 24 seater Tata Starbus and also the 48 seater one.

Comparison between Tata Aria and Toyota Innova


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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