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Light & smooth

entertainment Updated: Oct 21, 2011 23:52 IST

The 4x2 Aria is powered by 2179cc, 138bhp DiCOR engine. But ditching the four-wheel-drive hardware means it's a lot lighter - 194kg to be exact. That translates into a faster 0-100kph time of 13.90 seconds, which is nearly two seconds quicker than the four-wheel-drive car.

The 2.2-litre motor is very smooth, thanks to a dual mass flywheel which damps vibrations, and good sound deadening which keeps the cabin quite hushed at most speeds. Though at idle you sense a little bit of shake because of the soft engine mounts. The clutch is quite heavy and the notchy gearshift is cumbersome to operate. It does have a short throw but it isn't exactly slick and still needs an extra bit of a shove.

Unlike most turbo-diesels, which are peaky and have a narrow rev band, this DiCOR unit has a nice and linear power delivery and can rev easily to 4600rpm though it's best to shift up well before then. In traffic you can get bogged down with turbo-lag, which means more gearshifts than you want.

The punchy mid-range makes overtaking effortless and the Aria can be deceptively quick on open roads. Aria is pretty good when it comes to in-gear acceleration too - a happy cruiser at 100kph, with the motor turning over lazily at 2100rpm making this big crossover well suited for long-distance journeys.

The cabin is carried over from the 4x4 version and the interiors is the best we have seen on a Tata product yet. Plastic quality is decent, the rotary headlight switch feels solid, and even the stalks are nice and chunky.

There are a few ergonomic nightmares - the driving position isn't ideal as the steering is close to the driver and pedals too high. What makes it worse is the narrow footwell. Also, you keep hitting the steering-mounted audio controls unintentionally.

What you will really enjoy is the size of the big and airy cabin with generous seating. Rear seat or middle row passengers have more legroom and adjustable backrest. What's also good is the large and flat loading area when the seats are flipped forward. - Autocar India