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Interiors and Comfort
The Aria is a quantum leap ahead of the Safari and much better than anything we’ve seen from Tata before. The jury’s out on the design and layout of the dashboard, but the inescapable truth is it’s much better built than any other Tata to date. The fit, finish and feel are vastly superior and the highest spec ‘Pride’ version that we drove came with two-tone leather seats and trim on the dashboard. Of course, the reddish-brown (‘plum’ in Tata-speak) and black combo wasn’t to everybody’s liking, but then the fact remains that Tata does offer more than one colour option.

The infotainment system takes pride of place on the dashboard and also acts as the screen for the reversing camera. The infotainment system is operated by buttons on the centre console, but the navigation option isn’t easy to use. It took more than a few attempts for us to get it right. Tata should look at the interface and software navigation function to make this system easier to use. The steering wheel is strangely shaped and doesn’t fit comfortably in your hands. The steering-mounted buttons foul with your palms as well. The front air-conditioner vents are awkwardly placed, which means most of the draught is directed towards one’s knees and knuckles than cooling much else of the cabin. Higher placed vents would have been more useful, especially given the space available on the dashboard.
The front seats are ample and quite comfortable and the middle row can seat three abreast with ease. The third row is a bit cramped, though, and is best reserved for children or adults of a small stature.
The middle row can be adjusted back and forth too to help liberate a bit of legroom for the third row.
However, given the Aria’s sheer size and long wheelbase, the available interior room isn’t what could have been maximised from the same footprint. Part of the problem lies in the packaging; the engine itself has been pushed back against the firewall, presumably for better weight distribution, but then a lot of space has been lost in the bargain. For a family carrier, that’s not an ideal solution.
The row of storage boxes in the roof may attempt to add to practicality, but the reality is that they’re quite flat and shallow and do not offer too much by way of storage.
The Aria boasts of good ride quality over broken tarmac and its good ground clearance means it won’t be challenged even by a spot of off-roading. However, at higher speeds the Aria has a tendency to feel as if it’s boating a little bit, which can be disconcerting. True, it rides better with more people on board, but its high speed manners don’t inspire as much confidence as behind the helm of an Innova.


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