Tata Aria spotted testing in Pune

They say that a keen eye for detail will never go unrewarded and it came true during my recent short trip to Pune, India's second automotive hub after Chennai. Having determined to spot something interesting related to automobiles there, I was overwhelmed with what I saw. The diverse range of yet to be launched vehicles that I spotted testing in Pune city ranged from a completely camouflaged bike, most probably a new model from Bajaj to a Mercedes-Benz City Bus doing intracity trial runs. But sadly, except this Tata Aria test vehicle, the other surprises could not be captured through my lenses.

When I first saw this new model from Tata during it's premiere at the Auto Expo 2010, I knew what I saw was big. But, I just did not expect it to be so big until I spotted this cool Tata Aria parked casually on a busy Pune thoroughfare. It was really huge, which is apparently obvious with the Indica (in the shot) as a reference. The Aria is surely going to be one size up than the competing models like Toyota Innova and Mahindra Xylo. If the magic carpet ride of the current Tata Safari is anything to go by, the Aria is sure to transport people in ultra comfort as it shares the platform with the yet to be launched new Safari.

The styling of the Aria is so conservative that it hardly turned heads, but the imposing road presence that the Aria commands cannot be denied either. The front end has been styled quite aggressively with big, peeled back headlamps that extends so far back into the fender that it almost touches the A-Pillar. But the design of the grille, with three horizontal slats leaves a lot to be desired, with it's high positioning giving it a slightly awkward look. The rear styling is comparatively more pleasant and pleasing to look at with Tata's signature Christmas-tree taillight cluster, which in this case is tapered at the bottom. The chrome-tipped dual circular exhausts lends it a sporty look, which is further accentuated by the chrome number plate garnish and the v-shaped rear windscreen. This car also had slots where the rear parking sensors are supposed to be fitted.

There was an old gentleman sitting in the driver's seat and the windows were kept wide open which allowed me to peep into the interiors. The quality seems to be leaps and bounds ahead of what Tata has produced till now barring the Vista and the Manza. If those two models took Tata build quality to a new high, this is going to take it further up the order. Having seen one on the road now, I am only more curious to see the response of the general public to the costliest Tata yet.

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