Tata Hexa Hatchback First Drive Review

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Tata Hexa Overview

After sincere, but ineffective attempts at changing its image with the Zest and the Bolt, Tata Motors has seen some success after the surge in interest for the Tiago, which was unveiled last year. The small car seemed jinxed initially with its first name Zica unfortunately sounding like the Zika virus and coinciding with its outbreak. But with the new moniker and a refreshed launch strategy, the Tiago still managed to bring Tata back into the reckoning in the car market. Whether its brand ambassador – footballer Lionel Messi – helped in the revival or not, the Tiago has managed to score the key goal of winning back the trust of car buyers.

Tata Motors believes that a big reason for the success of the Tiago was the new Impact design language and the engineering changes that were effected as part of the new strategy. The next vehicle from the Tata stable that will benefit from Impact design is the new Hexa. And going by our experience with the new Hexa, it is clear that this will also be another vehicle from Tata Motors that has the potential to boost the brand’s image.

Tata Hexa Look & 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. Check for Tata Hexa price in Hyderabad at Tryaldrive.

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 Comfort & Space

The sheer step up in design and quality are obvious when you step into the Hexa. Shut lines and the overall quality of the plastics and materials used are by far the best we have ever seen on any 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. For more information on Tata Hexa visit Controlenter

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.

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 Engine & Gearbox

Tata has used the VARICOR400 engine, that powers the top-end Safari Storme. With the Hexa, the same state of tune has been used and power is at a respectable 154 hp, but the talking point is the 400Nm torque. In simple words, the torque is ample to move the two-tonne-plus MPV over paved terrain with utmost ease. For most of our driving duration on the highway, the Hexa was in the 1,500 to 3,000 rpm range and it returned an impressive figure of 13.1 km/l on the MID (or Multi Information Display).

This engine has two transmission options, a 6-speed manual transmission which is exactly the same as found in the Storme and a Punch Powerglide Strasbourg 6-speed automatic transmission. It is a torque converter unit, but this gearbox is well tuned for the engine. The engine noise doesn’t filter much into the cabin, partly due to the good Noise, Vibration & Harshness (NVH) proofing.While most torque converters have the inherent issue of shift shocks, this automatic is one of the most refined units we have driven so far.

The gear shifts are quick and the turbo lag is well-controlled. The transmission responds quickly to kick-downs. Along with the ‘D’ mode, the driver also gets to choose from a ‘Sport’ or ‘Dynamic’ mode where each gear is held for longer for an engaging drive when needed. It can be shifted to a manual mode where a tip-tronic lets you change gears when you want to. There isn’t a paddle shift arrangement, but with the Dynamic mode is pretty good too. The manual gearbox, on the other hand, was slightly notchy and sometime slotting the gear was a bit of a problem.

In addition, at every overtake on the highway, a higher gear change became imperative as the engine would reach its limit for that particular gear. Since the vehicles being overtaken here were trucks, the overtake happened in second gear, but shifting to the third cog while doing the overtake became necessary. Also, there isn’t any space for a dead pedal in the manual version, so you don’t get one.

Before the media drive, Tata issued an official statement about different drive modes. This became clear when we drove the manual as it came with a 4X4 system. A knob on the centre console controlled the 4X4 system which isn’t a conventional one. This unit has a torque-on-demand that works in tandem with other electronics such as hill descent, hill hold, traction control and the locking differentials upfront and rear to send maximum power to the wheels with most traction. An off-road track was laid out just to showcase this system and how the Hexa handles the rough terrain so well.

Once the drive mode was set to Rough Road, the MPV went through chicken holes or pot holes dug up alternatively, an incline where the car was taken sideways to showcase the lean capability, a small section where one side of the car was on ice and the other on gravel and so on. Here, the Tata Hexa did not fail to impress and we can bet that this system would work on an even tougher track.

Tata Hexa Ride & Handling

The Hexa’s sheer weight does come into play when you drive the car and it does seem to take a lot more effort as compared to most of its peers. At standstill, the power assisted steering does feel a little heavy and this could be a problem when it comes to parking it in tight spots. Get it going though and the steering effort becomes much better and the steering weighs up just enough at higher speeds to make it easier to drive. The 19-inch wheels seem to have dramatically altered the way the car drives in terms of overall handling and the Hexa feels a lot less vague as compared to the Aria or even the Safari Storme. And now we come to what is possibly the cherry on the cake – ride quality.

The Hexa’s sheer ride comfort is very impressive and although there is a hint of bumpiness at low speeds, get the SUV above 50-60kmph and it glides over bumps and potholes like it doesn’t exist. The Hexa is stiff enough to handle the several roads obstacles that all our Indian streets have and yet pliant enough to feel very planted at high speeds. That said, there is some noticeable body roll when you take a corner at higher speeds. We do have a bit of concern with the pedal feel that the brakes offer. Yes, the Hexa does get disc brakes on all four corners and the SUV will brake efficiently when you slam on the brakes, but at slower speeds, pedal feedback is lacking and could do with a bit faster response.

Tata Hexa Safety & Security

Tata has made no compromise here and safety aspect has also been well taken care of and that too with a very close attention. Both versions have ABS (Anti-locking Braking System) with EBD (Electronic Brake Distribution). Interestingly, there was another system to inspire confidence while panic braking. The Hexa would understand how quickly the right foot is shifted from the accelerator pedal, sensing imminent panic braking. The EBP or Electronic Brake Pre-fill then would force brake fluid through the brake lines, that would enhance braking efficiency . A test in the off-road experience was about hard braking where this system worked perfectly. Apart from this, the Hexa also has dual front SRS airbags, side and curtain airbags to cocoon its occupants in utmost safety. As safety is now becoming a paramount deciding factor, Tata should consider to keep the safety systems standard across its variant range.

Tata Hexa Price in Hyderabad

Tata Hexa On Road Price is 15,75,454/- and Ex-showroom Price is 12,99,000/- in Hyderabad. Tata Hexa comes in 5 colours, namely Arizone Blue,Platinum Silver,Pearl White,Tungsten Silver,Sky Grey. Tata Hexa comes with RWD with 2179 CC Displacement and 4 Cylinders with Maximum Power 148 bhp@4000 rpm and Peak Torque 320 Nm@1700-2700 rpm DRIVE TRAIN RWD and reaches 100 KMPH at N/A . Tata Hexa comes with Manual Transmission with RWD .

Tata Hexa Summing Up

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.

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