The Innova is very practical, and it has got the ergonomics spot-on. You walk into the car, find a good driving position easily thanks to tilt adjustable steering and a driver’s seat with height adjustment, and all the controls fall readily to hand. Steering-mounted controls are a boon while driving but the quality of the audio from the factory-fitted system leaves a lot to be desired. Also Read - 'Mann Ki Baat' Today: PM Modi's First Radio Address After India Entered Into Lockdown Mode to Fight COVID-19
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The materials are of a high quality but the fake wood inserts in this particular variant look too fake to be a positive thing. This variant also has got captain’s chairs in the second row which are enormously comfortable. There is a lot of very usable storage space in the Innova for all three rows, which is the sort of thing Toyota is good at. The third row is very usable, but the Aria manages the third row better. Noise levels are well contained in the cabin, with not much wind and tyre roar at speed. Also Read - BSF Officer, Posted at Quarantine Centre in Madhya Pradesh, Tests Positive; Wife With Travel History to UK Isolated
The Aria’s interior alternately disappoints and delights. There is enough space to have a game of box cricket inside the car, which is really impressive. Getting height-adjustable seat belts and a USB and aux-compatible audio system with quality audio output on a base variant is definitely one of the high points of the Aria.
There is a lot of storage space as well, like the dual gloveboxes. Some of it is puzzling: for example, the row of roof-mounted cubbyholes. Tata didn’t seriously expect everyone seated in the car to want to store their sunglasses in the car at the same time, did they? And the more the moving plastic bits you put into a car, the more the likelihood of rattles developing. There are other bits that puzzle – like the fact that you can’t use the front cup holders and plug in a USB port or aux cable at the same time.
That apart, the steering wheel needs to have more grip through either a steering cover or softer plastic, and its raised boss gets in the way when turning quickly, making Rohit and me wince every time we blew the horn inadvertently.
Getting used to the European-style headlamp switch on an Indian-made car also takes some getting used to. Despite all the ergonomic boo-boos, the good far outweighs the bad – the great seats, the 1-litre bottle holders in the rear doors, the space in the third row – and this is the place we’d rather be.