Tata MUVs and SUVs in India: prices, specs and variants

After making trucks for decades, Tata decided to move into smaller cargo vehicles, people movers and eventually to passenger vehicles in the 1990s. Its first brush with SUVs was with the Tata Sierra and the Tata Estate in the early 1990’s that were based on its 207 pickup truck chassis.

The Sierra and Estate were well-received, but quality problems and a market that was not ready for those kinds of vehicles meant that Tata had to withdraw them early. However, the platform and the base engine continued as Tata forayed into proper MUVs with the Tata Sumo (based on the 207 chassis and engine).

And Tata’s range of MUVs and SUVs has expanded quite a bit. Here’s a look at the line up. You can also read our detailed resource on Tata cars in India

Tata Sumo Victa / Spacio

tata sumo victa photo
The Tata Sumo first appeared in the mid 1990’s and has since been given a few face lifts and touch-ups. It has withstood the growth of the cab culture, the call-centre revolution, the Qualis invasion and many other people-carriers alike. The Sumo quickly made a name for itself in a market which had never seen anything more modern than old Mahindra vehicles (the Mahindra Bolero is the market leader). But the Tata Sumo can by all means rightfully claim to have created the utility vehicle segment in India, providing more space (and ferrying more passengers). The Sumo isn’t known for its good looks, but is an all out rugged people-mover.There were few changes made to the Sumo and nothing drastic that created a stir. Overall, it still looks like a bread box with a sturdy build. Right now the Spacio and the Victa platforms that are on offer differ only in terms of load-carrying capacity and very subtle exterior changes. The Spacio is a 10-seater, and has a 3.0 litre engine that churns out 68 bhp at 2800rpm whereas the Victa with its many variants has a 2.0 litre engine pumping out 90 bhp at 2800rpm. Both run solely on diesel.The ride quality is good, but the considerable amount of body roll due to its height limits the handling. The stability and poise at high speeds is impressive, however. The interior space of these vehicles has been its biggest strength. The interiors have been revamped and build quality has improved. The Sumo gives a mileage figure of about 10 kmpl on average.Tata SpacioEngine: 3 litre diesel Power: 68 bhp @ 3000 rpm Torque: 223 Nm @ 1600-2200 rpm Price range: Rs. 460,899 – Rs. 497,359 (ex-showroom Delhi)Tata Sumo Victa IDI Engine: 2 litre diesel Power: 90 bhp @ 3000 rpm Torque: 190 Nm @ 2250 rpm Price range: Rs. 5,35,553 – Rs. 6,45,547 (ex-showroom Delhi)Sumo Grande MkIIPhoto: New Tata Sumo Grande MK II

The Grande is the handsome big brother of the Sumo. The metamorphosis of the Sumo into the Sumo Grande is witnessed in virtually every section of the vehicle. And it should be as Tata has spent more than Rs. 300 crore to make it look significantly more modern and pleasing.

The exteriors have been accentuated by a new chrome lined grill, side rub rails with chrome inserts and indicators on the mirrors, and wraparound tail lamps. The interiors have been refreshed to give the vehicle a completely new, contemporary look with a two tone theme complemented by a new faux wood centre console and new fabric upholstery. Related: Tata Sumo Grande MKII road test and photo gallery, prices and specifications

The changed drive ratio in the Grande MK II gives a boost to low speed performance in city driving conditions. While a modified suspension ensures a comfortable ride, particularly for second and third row occupants, optimised anti-roll bars reduce body roll to a minimum during cornering. The existing low NVH levels have been further refined.
Several ergonomic improvements have been made in the Grande MK II — significant among these are a smaller steering wheel, a grab handle on the ‘C’ pillar to aid egress of third row passengers, and new inner door handles.
Dual HVAC with roof integrated blowers, motorised outside rearview mirrors, height adjustable driver’s seat and a state of the art CD/MP3 music system are some of the other features Grande MK II sports. The vehicle is powered by Tata’s new generation 2.2 litre DICOR engine fitted with a variable geometry turbocharger which delivers maximum power and torque of 120 PS and 250 Nm respectively.

Engine: 2.2 litre diesel
Power: 120 PS @ 4000 rpm
Torque: 250 Nm @ 1500-3000 rpm
Price range: Rs. 5,80,215 – Rs. 7,79,043 (ex-showroom Delhi)

Tata Safari 2.2 Dicor

The Tata Safari has been symbolic of the Indian SUV market. Initially, it shared the same chassis and suspension as its cousins, the Sierra, the Sumo and so on. But Tata has worked assiduously to keep it off the metal heap and let the Safari be seen as a cattle carrier. Tata has decided not to replace the aging Safari, but to give it a heart transplant and some anti-ageing treatment. Related: There is a new version of the Safari in the works, named Tata Merlin (code-name).

The Safari Dicor has a sporty yet classy look with its chrome-plated exteriors. The front is dominated by powerful new clear lens headlights and the familiar Tata logo with a chrome grill. The fog lights are placed low and inset into the bumper. The door mirrors are plated with chrome as well. The rear of the Safari Dicor looks much the same as Safaris of old, except for revamped tail lamps and rear wheel cover.

Dark graphite and beige interiors are complemented by graphite and perforated tan coloured leather combination upholstery. Faux wood on the centre console, a steering wheel leather wrap and a new instrument cluster create a look of sophistication. The seats are height adjustable and the VX/VXI version of the Safari comes with leather interiors and a DVD player, which show that Tata has really pushed the envelope as far as equipment goes.

There has been a remarkable performance change in the 2010 Tata Safari Dicor. The four-wheel drive option of the Safari allows it to tread any ground with ease. The suspension systems are designed to give passengers a smooth ride. ABS, SRS seatbelts, dual airbags complement the safety that comes with a vehicle of its size.

Engine: 2.2 litre diesel
Power: 140 PS @ 4000 rpm
Torque: 320 Nm @ 1700-3700 rpm
Price range: Rs. 7,65,179 – Rs. 11,97,795 (ex-showroom Delhi)

Tata Aria

tata aria photo
Tata Aria at the Auto Expo 2010

The Tata Aria was launched in India last month. This big, 4.7 metre long, five-door crossover is a giant leap for Tata and it’s not just because it looks good. The design, while not spectacular, is eye-catching, largely due to its sheer bulk. The proportions look right, and its high ground clearance with on-demand four-wheel drive makes it a remarkable crossover. While comparisons with the Innova and Xylo aren’t really fair as the Aria is in a different price league, the Toyota and Mahindra are its closest competitors in terms of function.

The interiors of the Aria look like a large leap in terms of quality fit and finish for Tata. With specials like the roof storage bins, B-pillar mounted AC vents for the second row occupants, the Aria undoubtedly has the best interiors in the Tata range. The top-end version comes fully loaded. It’s got satellite navigation and the usual bells and whistles like a CD changer, bluetooth connectivity, USB/aux-in port, a reverse camera with parking sensors, eight airbags, climate control, cruise control and for the first time in a Tata, an electronic stability program and traction control system.

The Aria is powered by the Safari’s 2.2 litre Dicor engine with variable turbine technology with a 32-bit ECU. It delivers an impressive 138 bhp (140 PS) of peak power and 320 Nm of torque at 1700-2700 rpm.

The 4×4 Adapterra Torque-on-Demand System senses terrain conditions and automatically supplies torque in varying proportions between the front and rear axles, depending on the terrain. It helps off-road driving as well as stability on normal roads.

Engine: 2.2 litre diesel
Power: 140 PS @ 4000 rpm
Torque: 320 Nm @ 1700-3700 rpm
Price range: Rs. 12,90,901 – Rs. 15,50,000 (ex-showroom Delhi)

Tata Xenon XT

A lifestyle pick-up truck is an entirely new concept for the Indian car market. However, in the year 2005, Tata had launched a similar kind of product by the name Tata TL 4×4. Unfortunately, the pickup was pushed out of the market because of its high price tag. Now with the introduction of the Xenon XT, Tata is looking to tap the “lifestyle segment” in the country after witnessing its success in Thailand, Algeria, Italy, Poland, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa.

The Xenon XT is positioned as a lifestyle SUV not a pickup. It features a dual cab and can comfortably seat 5. The load bed is a 1518 mm x 1414 mm area which lends itself to carrying equipment or “having fun”, as desired.

The Xenon’s front looks like the recently launched Tata Sumo Grande. The aggressive frontal styling is dominated by the now trademark ‘Tata’ grill complemented by large wraparound clear lens headlamps and flared fenders. The side indicators are mounted on the outside rear view mirrors while the roof rails come as standard. The Tata Xenon XT can be customised to suit individual tastes and styles through a wide range of accessories such as bed-liners, fog lamps, canopy, boot lid, rollover bars and the like which will be on sale along with the vehicle.

Xenon XT comes with a 2179cc direct injection common rail (Dicor) diesel engine, which also does duty in the Tata Safari and Aria. It also comes with a shift-on-the-fly four-wheel drive system, with a low-ratio option just like the Safari. The common rail diesel engine develops maximum power of 140 bhp at 4,000 rpm and maximum torque of 320 Nm at 1,700 rpm. It is available in 4X2 and 4X4 variants.

Engine: 2.2 litre diesel
Power: 140 PS @ 4000 rpm
Torque: 320 Nm @ 1700-3700 rpm
Price range: Rs. 7,62,000 – Rs. 8,58,000 (ex-showroom Delhi)