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      Tata Venture Review

      Aditya Chatterjee

      Aditya Chatterjee

      Opening

      Making utility vehicles is a forte of Tata Motors. Much before entering the passenger car space, they were already an established name in the Truck segment. 

      Heavy duty, all terrain drivability and great performance were some of the traits that Tata trucks have always possessed. This was also backed by a good service network. However, in an attempt of increasing their market presence, they forayed in the passenger car space.

      A trend started with rugged SUVs like the Sumo and the Sierra, till date, apart from the Indica and the Indigo series of cars, the utility segment of Tata vehicles occupies the main attention.

      One such proponent of Tata Motors is the Tata Venture. Launched in 2011, Venture is pitched as the safest and most cost effective van ever.
      The van segment in India has been ruled by Maruti's Omni, and the Eeco was also well accepted. To verify if Tata’s version of a small van really gives the van segment a new benchmark, we review the Tata Venture GX.

      Appearance Exterior

      If one thinks that Vans can’t be better looking than a bread box, the Venture may be a surprise for them.Tata Venture can be described as a cute looking van. It looks very much in line with Tata’s bus range. Scaling down proportions in all extent, the Venture looks very balanced.

      Large front windshield with the trademark radiator grille won’t mistake you for any other manufacturer’s vehicle. The front windshield also gets the Aria inspired butterfly wipers.Tata Super Ace also shares the same front face with the Venture. Headlights are placed comparatively lower and the dainty fog lamps also find themselves a good housing on the front bumper.

      A-Pillar is aerodynamic and helps in increasing the visibility of the driver. Side profile looks divided into two parts; first half is till the B-pillar and the second half is from the B-pillar till the end of the vehicle.The black glasses camouflage a majority portion of the car and give it a very nice profile to the usually very boring van looks. A wedge line runs throughout on the side profile.

      Body coloured ORVMs and door handles come on the top end variant, while the CX and EX get black colored ones.Tall and slender tail lamps occupy the rear end of the car. Rear profile remains clean with no unnecessary lines but just the name and a centrally placed logo. 

      To conclude, the Venture’s exterior looks really impressed me. I would rate the Tata Venture higher than the Japanese brothers Omni-Eeco. 

      Appearance Interior

      The driving position can be something one could take time to get accustomed to especially if one is not used to driving a van type of vehicle.

      Climb yourself to the driving cabin with the help of an internal door handle on the A-pillar. Once seated inside, it’s a mini bus.

      The 3-spoke collapsible steering wheel gives a good feeling about the control of the vehicle. Instrumental panel remains simple with a tachometer, Speedometer and a Fuel leve/engine temperature gauge.Front dashboard is not a chunky one with great spacings as vans don’t have an elaborate dashboard. The central zone starts with a digital watch followed by the AC vents. This is continued by a music system console and Air-Con controls.

      The music system console, if had been the integrated types would have looked better. Presently, it looks more of an aftermarket fitment. We got a good taste of the quality of the console, when its external frame kept on peeling out from the console till we finally decided to shove it somewhere. The same happened with the rear speaker covers too.

      Light leveling, Front power window switches and the rear zone AC controls also feature here. The power window switches are occupied in the middle because the doors are very slim.A short transmission stick and an oil chamber are next in line on the central console.

      Front row seating in the Tata Venture is very uncomfortable. There is headroom but legroom is something you won’t find at all. The driver would feel too cramped especially if he is 6’1. Check out the images of the pedals. The miniscule accelerator pedal makes you think about its design. The pedals are too closely placed to each other.However, if you are a passenger, you would not experience any discomfort. There is generous legroom and headroom for both the rear rows.

      One big issue for the rear half of the vehicle is getting inside the cabin. Even though, it’s a small van, the ride height is comparatively high. You have to climb up the rear cabin and unlike the internal handle on the A-pillar for the driver/co-driver, there is no support handle for the rear passengers to help get inside. This can be a big issue if you have someone elderly in the family.

      Second issue is the passenger door. The Venture has a left only door and is not a breeze to operate. Opening the door is more of a task for the middle row passenger. The door is also equipped with Child lock safety feature. The Tata Venture GX, we were reviewing, was a 6-months old vehicle but still it was plagued with a jammed passenger door. It was surprising for a new vehicle to illustrate such issues in such a short tenure.

      Venture GX has dual AC with different speed controls for the front half and the rear half of the cabin. The rear half gets roof mounted louvers.Storage options in the Tata Venture included 2 glove box arrangements on the front dashboard, which were not of any great utility and popped out on irregular terrain. The front doors have pockets, which would get crowded if you shove some documents in it.

      To conclude, Interiors of the Tata Venture earn appreciation only if you are a passenger and not a driver. 

      Performance Drive

      The Tata Venture comes with a 1.4L 475 IDI Turbo- Diesel Engine. The unit on the GX and EX variants produces a power of 71 PS at 4500 rpm and a torque of 135Nm at 2500 rpm while the unit on the CX variant produces 50 PS at 4500 rpm and a torque of 85 Nm at 4500 rpm. The unit also comes with a 5 speed GBS 65-5/4.19 gearbox. The present gearbox is a new gearbox compared to the one with which the Venture was launched and claims to have fixed all the issues of its earlier generation.

      Crank up the engine and you will be made to realize that it is not a cute but sturdy ride. The suspensions are soft and that’s the reason the venture cradles its way when started or stopped.

      The gearbox still lacks refinement, even though it has been changed to a newer version and shifting it to and fro is not a very smooth experience. Handling the vehicle needs some good judgment and is not for the first-timers considering the overall dimensions of the vehicle. The view while reversing the vehicle is blocked by the head restraints of the last row.

      A short turning radius of 4.5m is a good support while maneuvering the vehicle through city traffic conditions.  The vacuum assisted brakes halt the car very effectively.Rear passengers are the ones who have all the fun in the Venture. The generous legroom and headroom makes you super comfortable even in long journeys.

      On highways, it handles decently except for some body roll occasions on Ghats. We got the best fuel efficiency of 12 kmpl. The Venture reached a max speed of 120 km/h. After attaining max speed, the vehicle gets unstable so one is compelled to relax on accelerator.One issue that we experienced during driving the Venture is, the oil chamber gets heated excessively and due to its positioning under the arm rest area, the driver and co driver feel the heat too especially around the elbow region.

      The Venture won’t earn accolades for its drive as the engine lacks refinement. Its not just the engine also the drive quality is not too appealing due to the redundant rattling noises in the cabin. I started experiencing the same in my Tata Nano too exactly a month after I bought it. 

      Tech Specs

      Technical Specifications
       Make Tata
       Model Venture
      Variant GX
      Engine 475IDI Turbo Diesel
      Enine capacity 1405/4
      Power in BHP 71PS@4500 RPM
      Torque in NM 135NM@2500 RPM
      GearBox 5/M
      Dimesions in MM
      Length 3950
      Width 1565
      Height 1858
      Ground clearence 160
      Tyre rating 165 R14 LT PR
      Fuel Tank Capacity 33
      Average Mileage in KMPL 15.42
      Gross Weight (Kg) 1990
      Turning circle radius 4.5M
      Seating capacity 5,7,8

      Features

      Features CX EX GX
      Steering Manual Power Power
      HVAC No Yes Yes
      Music system with 4 speakers No No Yes
      Front Power window No No Yes
      Third row seats flat folding Yes Yes Yes
      Rear utility cover No No Yes
      Digital Clock Yes Yes Yes
      Roof Lamps Yes Yes Yes
      Door Open Roof light ON No No Yes
      Vanity mirror No No Yes
      Inner grab handle Yes Yes Yes
      Tachometer No No Yes
      Two Glove box Yes Yes Yes
      Collapsible steering Yes Yes Yes
      Reverse Guide System No No Yes
      Front crash reinforcement Yes Yes Yes
      SideImpact protection beam Yes Yes Yes
      High Mount Stop Lamp Yes Yes Yes
      Engine Immobiliser No No Yes
      Front Fog Lamp No No Yes
      Dual tone Grey and Lenin Interiors Yes Yes No
      Injection moulded passenger cabin trim No Yes Yes
      Body colour bumper No No Yes
      External Antena No Yes No
      Body coloured door handle,outer mirror No No Yes
      Price in Bangalore
      Ex showroom Price NA 484992 535195
      On road Price NA 581920 647035

      Competition All Specs

      Specifications
      Tata
      Venture
      Maruti Suzuki
      Omni
      Maruti Suzuki
      Eeco
      Tata
      Winger
      Variant GX - - -
      Engine 475IDI Turbo Diesel - - -
      Enine capacity 1405/4 796/3 1196/4 1948
      Power in BHP 71PS@ 4500 RPM 35PS/ 5000 RPM 73/ 6000 RPM 91.3/ 4300
      Torque in NM 135NM@ 2500 RPM 60NM/ 3000 RPM 101/ 3000 RPM 190/ 2000
      GearBox 5/M 4/M 5/M 5/M
      Dimesions in MM
      Length 3950 3370 3675 4520
      Width 1565 1190 1475 1940
      Height 1858 1640 1800 2050
      Ground clearence 160 165 165 165
      Tyre rating 165 R14 LT PR 145 R12 LT PR 155 R13 LT 185 R 14, 8PR Radial Tubeless
      Fuel Tank Capacity 33 36 40 60
      Average Mileage in KMPL 15.42 19 18 -
      Gross Weight (Kg) 1990 - 1540 -
      Turning circle radius 4.5M 4.1M 4.5M 5.65M
      Seating capacity 5,7,8 5,8 5,7 13,14
      Steering Power Manual Manual Power
      HVAC Yes No No Yes
      Music system with 4 speakers Yes No No Yes
      Front Power window Yes No No Yes

      Conclusion

      The verdict of our review on Tata Venture is very clear for me. I would definitely shy away from putting my hard earned money in this vehicle. There were a series of issues that we experienced starting from the jammed rear passenger door. It took some odd hours for the Tata showroom guys to fix this issue before delivering the car to us.

      Later on our journey, the door seemed to have its own mind and eventually jammed again locking all the passengers inside, which we managed to open using our own engineering.

      The sloppy plastic quality is terribly disappointing, be it the speaker cover mesh, the glove box cover or the Wire frame of the music console. All were popping out time and again.

      As if the above mentioned issues were not sufficient for us to make our minds, the electricals of the vehicle failed. It all started with a failing music system and ended with a failed Air-Conditioning. We drove a Tata Venture top of the line GX model without an Air-Conditioner for 200+ kms giving us a good taste of hot dusty afternoon. We tried getting in touch with the service guys who conveniently tagged it as a general issue at first and later failed to communicate anything on the issue leaving us helpless.

      So the answer to does the van segment get a new benchmark is very evident. Backed by a large dealer network, Tata Motors still lag behind in quality and refinement compared to their Japanese rivals. We hope the scene changes in the coming times as many players are entering the MUV space. 

      Tata Venture ₹ N/A Onwards
      Tata | Tata Venture | Venture