Tata Hexa Facelift First Drive

Tata Hexa Overview

While Tata has now launched the Tata Harrier, the Tata Hexa remains the brand’s flagship 7-seater car. The Hexa is available with a 2.2-litre Varicor engine in two states of tune – 150PS and 156PS. While the former produces 320Nm of torque, the latter generates an impressive 400Nm of torque. It is being offered with a choice of seven variants – XE, XM, XM+, XT, XMA, XTA and XT 4×4. The Tata Hexa looks tough yet classy and is loaded with convenience and safety features even in the base variant. But can that help establish Tata as a premium carmaker and wipe off the sour aftertaste of the Aria? Let’s find out.

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The new Hexa is definitely a huge step up compared to the Aria. It will take on the likes of the Mahindra XUV500 and also slug it out with the lower variants of the Toyota Innova Crysta.The new Hexa from Tata is a compelling product and, at the current price point, we think it is a well-rounded, value-for-money offering. Check for car loan interest rate at Fincarz.

Tata Hexa Look

Tata say that every panel on the Hexa has been redesigned, so nothing is shared with the Aria. It clearly feels that way. Up close you can see that the aggression is crafted with class. There is a bull-horn like chrome strip sitting along the bottom of the grille. Gently rounded hexagonal forms texture the grille, giving a sense of keen attention. The clamshell bonnet with its masculine lines and the gaping air vents below give the Hexa’s claim to being an SUV quite a boost. The double-barrel headlamps are the only familiar bits here.

Switch around to the other end and you will see that there is a distinct squareness to the design. The small spoiler also accentuates a more upright stance. The slim D-pillar-mounted tail lamps have been done away with; instead there are chunky angular lamps that wrap around onto the tail gate. There’s enough chrome on the tailgate to please most Indians. The only awkward bit at the rear are the hockey-stick shaped lights that sit on the bumper.

Viewed from the side, the connection to the Aria is all too obvious. But, the rugged cladding and the 19-inch wheels help the Hexa strike a strong pose. The drop down elements from the roof towards the D-pillar and the fin on the shoulder give it a distinctive look. This is where you realise the Hexa is massive – it is longer and wider than the Mahindra XUV500, and the Innova Crysta. Its 2850mm wheelbase is also the longest, albeit identical to the Aria. There are clear benefits of these dimensions as we can see on the inside.

Tata Hexa Comfort

Tata Motors vehicle in the past. Its great how consistently we have said this of all the recent Tata products – meaning with each car, the company is taking big strides off late. The all-black interior gets a hearty dose of leather on the dashboard and on the door panels along with the leather seats on the top of the line variant. The seats are not only well designed but also feel top notch in terms of their tactile feel with a really good grain of leather running through as well. My only grouse is the slight lack of shoulder support on the front seats and the fact that the padding seems a little harder than it should be.

The central console gets a touchscreen infotainment unit with navigation (that syncs with your smartphone) and an array of options including bluetooth and smartphone integration. There is no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto but the Hexa does offer an app based control system that helps you play your collection of songs from a Juke-Car App – similar to the one in the Tiago. The app also has systems like service and diagnostic tools, navigation support and options to choose the ambient lighting (of which there are eight colour options). The multi-functional steering wheel gets cruise control, audio and telephone controls, and is height adjustable.

The simple gloss black console combined with a chrome wraparound is pleasing to the eye and so are the well placed chrome/brushed aluminium accent pieces around the dashboard and the AC vent. The climate control knobs are placed slightly lower than they should have but you do get used to them very quickly. The horizontal central console on the automatic houses the gear shift lever enclosed in a black bezel. You get just one cup-holder and no real slot to place your smartphone apart from the central flip up storage space between the seats. For Tata Hexa  check getreadyoregon

You can get the Hexa in either a six or seven seater configuration. Rear leg space in both versions is quite healthy and the rear passengers get their own AC vents in the centre and on the B-pillars. The third row could get slightly cramped if you are of average height but passengers do get their own storage space and charging points. The Hexa’s large glass area makes it quite airy on the inside and even without something like a panoramic sunroof, it does feel very bright – especially good considering an all-black interior can seem to make the car appear to be cramped.

Tata Hexa Gearbox

The Hexa will be available with a sole diesel engine, in two states of tune. The 2.2-litre, four-cylinder engine is the same powerplant we’ve seen do duties under the bonnet of the Safari, the Safari Storme and the Aria. The base XE variant of the Hexa gets a 150PS / 320Nm tune, whereas the mid XM and the top-spec XT variant gets 156PS / 400Nm to play around with. The other notable difference happens to be the gearbox. While the lower tune is available exclusively with a 5-speed manual, the latter gets a choice of a 6-speed manual transmission or a 6-speed torque converter automatic.

The engine comes to life with a shake and stir, just like we’re used to with big Tata vehicles. That said, it isn’t audible isn’t the cabin unless you decide to drive somewhere in a hurry. NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) levels are well within control and the cabin feels isolated from most of the fuss outside. The motor isn’t a particularly fun to drive unit, and feels more at ease at cruising speeds. Torque spread is even, and there isn’t a sudden gush of shove that will pin you to your seat. What you get instead is linear power delivery, with perceptible turbo lag under 1500rpm.

On the manual variants, the clutch is relatively light, but isn’t progressive at all. In fact, the first time you drive the Hexa, there’s a high chance you would stall it. The bite point is vague, which keeps you guessing. The other fly in the ointment, is the fact that the gears aren’t sure slotting – especially into fifth and sixth. But, get going and you get used to it pretty quickly.

You also get ‘Super Drive’ modes, that can be toggled on the fly. The effective modes are the result of varying calibrations of the engine and throttle map, the ESP and the ABS module that lets you set up the Hexa for intended usage. The modes on offer include Auto, Comfort, Dynamic and Rough-Road. While it functions as a rear-wheel drive in Comfort and Dynamic, it transmits power to the front wheels in the other two modes. The modes work without a hiccup – but we preferred to leave it in Auto for most of the time we drove it.

The other big talking point about the Hexa is the 6-speed automatic transmission. This engine-transmission is easily one of the best in the segment. Certainly superior to the XUV500 AT. It is our pick out of the two since it makes driving so much easier. Shifts are smooth and quick and there’s barely any head-nod associated with automatics. It’s also reasonably fuel efficient, delivering a tested 11kmpl in city and 14.50kmpl on the highway. The gearbox selects ratios very well and responds to the varying weight of your right foot quickly. For a spot of spirited driving, you can always slot the gearbox into Sports mode, or into Manual altogether, to take charge. The transmission holds the revs in the meaty mid-range, giving you a healthy amount of torque in reserve for those roll-on accelerations. The 20-80kmph (kickdown) took a tested 7.68 seconds, while 0-100kmph takes about 12.3 seconds, which is on par with rivals like the Mahindra XUV500.

Tata Hexa Rideing

There’s no getting away from it, the way the Aria tackles bad roads is very impressive. The 19-inch wheels make short work of lightly broken roads. The way the recalibrated suspension shrugs off bigger potholes and ditches is shocking at first. Tata say that the use of multivalve dampers has helped the suspension tackle off-road better while improving ride quality, too. No doubt, you can feel that at work on our roads, too.

The chassis has also been made more rigid and this has helped tune the suspension better, too. The stiffer setup of the suspension at the rear has been done to make the Hexa more sporty to drive. What is apparent is that at highway speeds, it feels absolutely composed and does well to mask its size when being steered through traffic. However, if hustled hard you will feel the body roll, albeit in a controlled manner.

Disappointingly, the hydraulic steering feels light and vague at highways speeds. There is too much slack at centre and when turning into a corner, it ends up feeling disconnected and vague. Also, despite the disc brake setup all round, prodding the brake pedal inspires little confidence. It’s only when you push hard that pace drops as required. The Hexa could certainly do with more powerful brakes.

Tata Hexa Safety

In terms of safety specs, the Tata Hexa 2019 comes fully loaded with features like 6 airbags, electronic stability program, traction control, hill ascent and descent control and ABS.In terms of safety tech, the Hexa is loaded to the brim with goodies such as 6 airbag, electronic stability program, traction control, hill ascent and descent control and anti-lock brakes.

Tata Hexa Price in Mumbai

Tata Hexa On-Road Price in Mumbai ranges from 14,31,668 to 20,83,927 for variants Hexa XE and Hexa XT 4X4 respectively. Tata Hexa is available in 7 variants and 5 colours. Below are details of Tata Hexa variants price in Mumbai. Check for Hexa price in Mumbai at Tryaldrive.

Tata Hexa bottomline

The Aria’s quite a capable machine and Tata has done well to build on its strengths while making up for its shortcomings. The Hexa’s spacious cabin with three rows of seats, its ability to shrug off bad roads, commanding driving position and easy driving manners make for a great machine to cover long distances in. Yes, it will be a bit cumbersome to steer in the city and fit-finish of the interiors could be better. Nonetheless Tata look to tackle the Mahindra XUV500 head on with the Hexa and if priced right, the Hexa has not just the manners, but the look and the appeal to make it happen this time around. Quite simply, the Hexa is SUV enough, rich enough and fresh enough to deliver an overall experience that feels quite welcome for those looking for a rugged three-row SUV.

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