Tata Hexa Performance & Test Drive

Tata Hexa Overviewe

Pumped up with the success of its Tata Tiago, Tata Motors is now geared up to bring in the Hexa which had created quite a buzz at its unveiling at the Delhi Auto Expo early this year. The Tiago was no doubt a very crucial product for the company, but I think the Tata Hexa is an even more important vehicle. The reason I say this is because of the fact that Tata Motors was once a significant player in the utility vehicle space, but things haven’t been good for the last half a decade.

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The fall of the legendary brands like Sumo and Safari, and a dud market response for the Aria have certainly upset the Pune based carmaker. So the company is betting big on the Hexa, which is also the company’s flagship product now. But can the Hexa be the vehicle that Tata Motors needs to revive its lost ground in the utility vehicle space, let’s find out in our detailed review. Tata Hexa in Tryaldrive

Tata Hexa Design & Style

Tata Hexa is underpinned on a reworked version of the Aria platform and there are visual similarities between the two. That said, the Hexa has a completely new front and rear. Taking centre stage at the front are Land Rover inspired headlamps housing projector lamps. Sitting between the headlamps is a piano-finish black honeycomb grille, on top of which is a muscular clamshell hood. The surface area of the chrome finish beneath the grille is just about enough to look premium without going overboard. Lower in the bumper are LED daytime running lamps (DRLs) with fog lamps below them.

Moving on to the side, the silhouette is reminiscent of the Aria but the body panels are visibly different. The roof tapers a bit at the end but is mostly straight. While the design team wanted a steeper rake, it wasn’t given a go ahead in favour of headroom for the third-row passengers. The wheel arches are massive, adding to the muscular appeal. Thankfully, the 19-inch twin-spoke alloy wheels fill up the huge arches adequately.

At the rear, there’s a chrome finish slat, flanked by sleek wraparound LED tail lamps. These tail lamps, we were told, are imported from a European supplier as Tata couldn’t find a local supplier with the required capabilities for this part. Rounding up the rear are the twin-exhaust pipes, which in chrome finish, look elegant.Overall, the Hexa came across as an impressively designed vehicle,which lend it a muscular look, which is easy on the eye. Unlike the loud design of the Mahindra XUV500 or the futuristic Toyota Innova Crysta, the Hexa is a vehicle one would be pleased to see day after day for years.

Tata Hexa Cabin & Space

The interiors of the Tata Hexa are truly welcoming; thanks to the all-black cabin with superb finishing that gives the feel of a premium vehicle. The car features piano-back inserts and brushed grey plastic and the effort seems to be towards making the dashboard look cool. However, by utilizing several materials and plastics, it looks like the design is lacking classiness. The steering wheel reminds us of the newer generation cars coming out of Tata’s stable. There are mounted controls for audio, telephony and cruise on the large 4-spoke tilt adjustable steering. Sadly, the steering is only rake adjustable not reach and this is certainly a down considering the price this car falls in.

Tata has really upped the game in terms of advanced features. The Hexa features instrument cluster with two large analogue dials along with a 3.5-inch advanced driver information display resting in between. The driver information display (DIS) give loads of information and one can switch through the information by using stalks on the right hand side of the steering. Coming to the centre console, it has been gracefully divided with the top portion featuring ac vents and chrome accents and below there is a 5-inch touchscreen infotainment unit.

The ConnectNext infotainment with chrome surrounds looks pretty and in fact similar in size fitted in other Tata cars such as Bolt and Zest. But it does the required job as it is loaded with plenty of tech such as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The unit also supports plenty of apps including Juke App through which a song playlist can be automatically created to playback desired songs of all the passengers. The ConnectNext app suite also includes NaviMaps for navigation and Tata Smart Remote App for controlling lighting, audio and media screen. The decibels are provided by JBL with 10-speaker setup which is unexpectedly low on output.

The car features climate control the setup of which sits right below the infotainment. With individual ac vents on the floor-mounted console, the cabin takes no time in cooling. Though the HVAC unit give access to control all the blowers across the cabin, the speed can also be controlled independently via roof-mounted console. Just below the climate controls, there you get 12V charging point, USB/Aux-In connectivity as well as rotary selector for ‘Super Drive Modes’.

The door lock and unlock buttons are placed on the centre console instead of usual driver side door pad so some might feel a bit confusing initially but these things get accustomed with time. Moreover, in case you need to open the individual doors from inside, the only option are the pull-type locks which need some effort. The leather covering with white contrast stitching on the seats lends a nice look and feel. The seats are nicely cushioned and are well bolstered as well. Hop on to the driver’s seat and you will find that it can be adjustable in 8 different ways and also comes with lumbar support. However, the footwell is a bit tight since the central tunnel takes some space invading the room available for the left foot.

At the front, the centre armrest comes handy while the large door pads offer enough space to dump one large bottle along with small knick knacks. Coming to the second row bench seats, they are comfortable as they have fore and aft adjustment and also reclining functionality so that you can sit with your leg crossed. Further, the second row can be split folded in 60:40 ratio while the occupants will also like the side shades which are manually deployable. And just like most 7-seater vehicles, the third row passengers will be least comfortable. The last row can be accessed by tumble folding the second-row seats.Check for Tata Hexa in basna.in

Though it has low under-thigh support, adult can sit there for short highway journeys. Another noticeable flaw is that the curtain airbags only extends to the c-pillar that means the passengers at the third row aren’t protected by them. However, the passengers at the third row do get individual headrests, 3-point seatbelts as well as convenient storage space. The headroom and legroom is just adequate and best for shorter distances as mentioned earlier. With the second and third row seats up, the boot space is 128L which is quite good as compared to cars such as XUV500 which practically gives nothing. Fold the third row seats and it frees up more space while the maximum capacity of luggage is 671L with both second and third row seats folded. Overall, Tata has done a commendable job in terms of providing comfort and practicality in this car.

Tata Hexa Engine & Performance

The Tata Hexa features a 2.2-litre Varicor 400 diesel engine, and is available with a 6-speed manual and a 6-speed automatic transmission options. Capable of churning out a max power output of 154bhp and a peak torque of 400Nm, this is the same engine that does duty in the Safari Storme. While the automatic gearbox gets only rear-wheel drive, the manual version is available in both two-wheel drive and all-wheel drive options. The manual version also gets super drive modes – Comfort, Dynamic, Rough Road and Auto.

The automatic version feels quite refined unlike other automatic transmission-equipped cars in the segment. There is barely any delay in the response, as the shifts are smooth and quick. And it becomes even more exciting in the ‘sports’ mode as there’s sudden surge in power and torque. As against the regular mode’s 150bhp and 320Nm, the Sports mode offers you 156bhp and 400Nm.

Impressed with the performance of the Hexa automatic, I had high expectations from the manual too. But honestly, the manual wasn’t as fun as the automatic despite the fact that the former gets four drive modes and a 4×4. Since the torque kicks in only at 1750rpm, the engine feels out of breath before that due to which I had to constantly shift gears at low speeds. In case you are doing about 20-25kmph in the second gear or about 40kmph in the fourth gear and need to gain pace it would take its own time to speed up no matter how hard you try. But as soon as you cross the 1750rpm mark, the car pulls impressively well, an the power delivery is linear across the mid-range..

Thanks to its very well tuned suspension, the Hexa can handle all sorts of terrains with no problems at all. With new dampers, its ability to absorb undulations is far better than its rivals. For regular rough patches on open roads when you are doing over 120-130kmph, you’ll not even have to slow down as it takes care of them really well without making its passengers feel uncomfortable. And even if you are plying on challenging terrains with steep incline/decline, muddy patches and pits, just slow down and put it on off-road mode and this thing will take care of that as well. What also helps it handle bad roads so well is its 200mm ground clearance and meaty 19-inch wheels.

Tata Hexa Driving Dynamics

Ride quality is one aspect where Tata has mostly excelled. With the Hexa, the case was no different. Although the Hydroform platform is shared by its predecessor, the Aria and this MPV, the revised setup of the suspension and the chassis meant tackling potholes was as easy as it has been for any Tata vehicle, only better in the Hexa. Whether one is driving or enjoying the scenery in any passenger seat, there is negligible jerk felt by any occupant. When it comes to handling, the Hexa is confident while taking sharp turns and even if the ESP (Electronic Stability Program) kicks in, it does so very gently without intimidating the driver. There is body roll, but the Hexa maintains its line through a corner without much drama.

Tata Hexa Braking & Safety

Despite the car having all-disc brake setup, it does not inspire confidence and there is always a feeling that the heavy weight will overpower the braking mechanism. However, from high-speeds of about 80kmph, the car comes to halt without any drama.The safety kit includes a total of 6 airbags with 2 airbags, ABS with EBD and corner stability control forms the part of standard equipment. Other features include electronic stability program with roll-over mitigation, traction control, hill hold control, hill descent control, reverse parking sensors with camera and front and rear fog lamps.

Tata Hexa Cost in Gurgaon

Tata Hexa Ex-Showroom Price in Gurgaon ranges from 11,85,984/- (Hexa XE) to 17,31,985/- (Hexa XT 4X4). Get best offers for Tata Hexa from Tata Dealers in Gurgaon. Check for Hexa price in Gurgaon in Carzprice

Tata Hexa Conclusion

The Tata Hexa is unlike any other Tata vehicle and has equipment found usually in luxury SUVs. It has brilliant NVH (Noise Vibration and Harshness) levels and an impressive automatic gearbox, which is a quantum leap for the carmaker. However, pricing will be critical to the Hexa’s success and it should undercut the Toyota Innova Crysta AT by a considerable. For the manual, it should be priced below the XUV5OO’s top-end trim. Things such as only one touch down on the driver window and lower plastic quality for the rear HVAC control panel are some shortcomings. That said, the Hexa is a big indicator of change for Tata Motors and hopefully production models and upcoming models maintain consistency.