The Tata Venture is an MPV with sliding doors and was unveiled in January 2010 at the 2010 Delhi Auto Expo. It belongs to a class of cars which are more commonly referred to as vans. While the segment leader, the Maruti Suzuki Omni, has remained more or less the same over the past two decades, Tata has attempted to attract the audience with practicality packaged as a fresh-looking modern product. The people who buy vans are generally looking for a hassle free ownership experience with low maintenance and Tata promises the same with the Venture.
As vans are quite popular in rural areas, Tata has based the Venture on rugged underpinnings from the Super Ace to make it robust. The Venture looks comparatively modern as compared to the other vans sold in the country, though the design might not fit everyone’s tastes. It does look awfully similar to Tata’s light commercial vehicles, which might dissuade some customers from opting for it. The front features arc shaped headlamps, a big grill with a chrome slat on top and a curved windshield with butterfly style wipers. The rear door of the Venture has a very interesting design which, despite being a sliding door, does not require a sliding rail on the outside of the car. This increases the visual appeal of the car though surprisingly, the sliding door is offered only on the left side. At the rear, the vertical tail lamp assembly and chrome inserts try to disguise the boxy design of the Venture.
As expected from a van, the Venture provides flexible seating and is available in five, six and seven seater variants. The third row of seat can be folded flat to get some extra bootspace. Legroom is adequate and better than its rivals. The car gets two-tone interiors and comes with power steering, power windows, keyless entry, reverse parking aid and engine immobilizer. A music system is offered only in the top-end GX variant. Many components of the Venture are shared with other Tata vehicles which helps the manufacturer save costs.
The Venture is powered by a 1.4-litre IDI diesel engine producing 70bhp and 135Nm of torque. Refinement levels of this engine are low and the turbo is sluggish, though Tata has tuned it to extract maximum efficiency out of it. The Venture returns an ARAI certified efficiency of 15.42kmpl, which is one of the highest in its segment. The engine is located below the front seats and sends power through a five-speed manual gearbox.
Price and Competition
The Venture is available in three variants – LX, EX and GX and is slotted below the bigger Winger van. The Venture is more expensive than its closest rival, the Maruti Suzuki Eeco though it does offer more in terms of comfort and is a more modern offering. Also, unlike the Eeco, the Venture is a diesel-powered van, which should give it the upper hand in India’s diesel hungry market. The base petrol variant of the Chevrolet Enjoy also falls in the Venture’s price range.