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Mahindra XUV500 v/s Tata Aria- Battleground

By Jameskenrich Subscribe to RSS | November 29th 2011 | Views:
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With the launch of Tata Aria, home grown auto brand Tata Motors has introduced India's first four wheel drive crossover. Tata Aria shares appearance of a sedan and stylish features of an SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle). And with the launch of much touted Mahindra XUV 500, both Mahindra & Mahindra and India's car enthusiasts wait has come to a halt. The XUV 500 and the Aria don’t look like the most obvious rivals. Let’s check out if they emerge as competitors or they will paddle their own canoes.

Structure

The XUV 500 is built around a car like monocoque, it uses a transversely mounted engine, and drive is sent only to the front wheels. In total contrast, the Aria has a conventional body-on-frame construction and the rear wheels are driven by a longitudinally mounted engine but its new platform (X2) which is hydroformed and lighter than the ageing ladder frame of the Safari. But though their paths may differ, both the XUV 500and the Aria are targeted at exactly the same set of customers.

Style

Also stand these two cars together and you will be instantly drawn to the XUV, with its stand-out styling and muscular stance. Whereas, Aria is part- SUV, part- MPV, and that unfortunately means it lacks the commanding look of a true-blue SUV. It’s not that the Aria lacks presence. The sleek headlights and high-set grille give it an imposing front. With the XUV, Mahindra has stuck to the SUV design rulebook. Its high bonnet, clearly distinguished greenhouse and muscular wheels arches give it much more ‘swagger’.

Interior

There are some ergonomic glitches as well. The steering, for example, is set too close to the driver and the audio controls on the steering wheel are too poorly positioned- it is easy to accidently press the button. But the spacious front seats are hugely comfortable and visibility is good too. The XUV doesn’t do too badly for the front-seat comfort either In fact. The seat is very spacious and visibility from the slightly higher perch is still better.

Personalities

The XUV’s engine is louder and always audible. The Aria seems to have benefited from its body-on-frame chassis, which absorbs noise and vibrations better than the XUV’s monocoque. Also when it comes to performance, Mahindra usually has the edge over Tata and with the XUV it’s no exception. With a 200 kg weight advantage, the XUV feels livelier at any speed and there’s a spring in its step which is missing in the Tata.

Indeed, Aria is a pretty competent vehicle with a better overall ride and a bit more space too. The interiors are pretty plush as well. The optimistic price marks the Aria down in this comparison. Even XUV500 stands out in some key areas. It has those SUV looks most shoppers in this segment crave, the rear seat is comfy and performance is terrific. However, the interior quality is a letdown, the transmission is hard work and the ride and handling don’t feel sorted either. In short, it won’t be wrong to say, ‘while the XUV is exciting and feature- rich, the Aria is more of a workhorse’.

Jameskenrich - About Author:
Jameskenrich is a well known author and has written articles on Mahindra XUV 500, Tata Cars, Chevrolet Spark, Arrow shirts, online shop and many other subjects.

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