Tata Hexa Overview
Tata Motors’ ongoing effort at brand reinvention started, in earnest, with the Tiago, a car that got the whole country to sit up and take notice again. The sales numbers back that up too, with an average of 5,000 units every month. It was quite an impressive feat – giving a mid-range hatchback a truly premium look and feel – something the brand was never previously known for.The Aria has been succeeded by this, the Hexa, and it tackles those problems head on. It looks appropriately rugged and the interiors are on a new level for Tata, while the tough X2 underpinnings have been retained and given a makeover. Additionally, apart from just the feel-good factor and the styling, Tata says it drives like a proper SUV now – at least the top-spec manual version does, which gets 4×4 and a set of drive modes to choose from. So, the question we’re here to answer is, does the Hexa have what it takes to stand tall in the competitive premium SUV segment, and in doing so, can it leave us as impressed as its little sibling, the Tiago, did last year. View offers on Tata Cars from Tata dealers in Hyderabad at Autozhop
Tata Hexa Style
The hexa is built to look like an SUV and the car’s fascia boasts of newly designed projector headlamps, a honeycomb grille and new bumper with fog lamps. The horizontal chrome slat under the grille extends towards the headlamps and the honeycomb pattern can also be seen on the front chin. The Hexa measures 4,764mm in length, 1,895mm in length and 1,780mm in height. The vehicle has a long wheelbase of 2,850mm.
Coming to the sides, the newly designed 19-inch alloy wheels can be seen. Though the overall design is similar to the Aria, the Hexa gets a sporty design language which is continued at the rear as well. The rear bumper, with dual exhaust tips, gets a dual-tone paint scheme with a new shape for the reflectors. The tail lamps are horizontal and come with LED units. A new spoiler can also be seen at the back.
Tata Hexa Space
Let’s first talk about what’s changed the least on the inside – the space. It’s a big car so it has a big room, right? Well, not quite. Its beefy body-on-frame construction eats up a lot of space when compared to a similarly-sized SUV with a monocoque chassis. Still, there’s more than ample room for five; it’s just that the last row is best for two people only. Boot space is surprisingly good with all the seats in place; you could get a mid-size suitcase in here, although you will have to haul it high up over the tall sill.
Similarly, access to the cabin is quite a climb up and across the wide door sills. On to the seats, and at the front, you’ll be impressed at how well Tata has crafted the big chairs. The contrast-stitched faux leather feels suitably rich. The cushioning, which uses multi-density foam, is a touch too firm but has the bolstering just where you need it. Our only small grouse is the ‘lump’ around the H-point of the seat which, rather than adding to the support, feels like you’ve sat on your mobile phone. The thick A-pillar can initially cause a blind spot but you learn to look around it. The car’s size and the high driving position can be a little overwhelming until you get used to it.
Finally, the third row – it’s quite a comfy place for two. The high floor chassis means you sit a bit knees-up of course, but it’s not as bad as some other ladder-frame SUVs. The advantage of the MPV-like squared-off rear is that head and shoulder room isn’t compromised in the third row. In fact, you can even recline the backrest, and there are also adjustable headrests. There are, of course, air-con vents for all three rows, but the blower is really quite loud, and when fully cranked up it, can overpower even the engine noise.
So, space and comfort are a highlight in the Hexa but you’ll agree that what really wows you about the interior is the quality of materials. It’s on a level thus far unseen from Tata Motors, and for once has a design to match. The dashboard isn’t a dull collection of flat surfaces anymore. The central stack has a variety of colours, textures and surfaces; here too, like with the exterior, excessive chrome has been substituted with other finishes, like piano black and dull grey plastics. Panel gaps are impressively few and even so, the dark colour scheme helps conceal them. The quality of the switchgear is also rather good (there are even knurled knobs and door locks), apart from a few places like the steering control buttons which feel tiny and fiddly to use. The upper glove box also has a terribly tricky-to-use unlock button for its latch.
Tata Hexa Engine
The Tata Hexa is offered with just one diesel engine which in this case is the 2.2-litre four-cylinder unit producing 153.8bhp/400Nm of torque. This can be had with a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic and in the case of the former you also get a torque-on-demand all-wheel drive system.First the manual- Despite the high torque figure, there is noticeable turbo lag under the 2000rpm mark and it is after this point that the engine pulls nicely quite close to the redline. The torque has been spread out in such manner that there is a strong mid-range. Consequently, out on the highway, you need to switch to sixth gear only once you cross the 110kmph mark. The downside to the manual is that the gearbox is notchy and the shifts feel imprecise, especially when you need to go into reverse.
The automatic, does a much better job getting off the line as well as minimising the turbo lag. It shifts at different rpms depending on the throttle input and is intuitive to change down when you need to make a quick overtake. It also comes fitted with a feature which learns your driving style and ensures that there is minimal delay between throttle input and engine response. However, it does not get the driving modes that are offered with the manual.The manual variant also gets the option of four driving modes each of which alters the throttle response. They are auto mode, comfort mode, dynamic mode and rough road mode and you can learn more about them here. We also did some off-roading with the Hexa and in the rough road mode it seems quite capable of tackling most obstacles thanks to the high ground clearance as well as tools like the programmable hill descent control and AWD system which can send up to 40 per cent of torque to the front wheels if the situation calls for it.
Tata Hexa Driving
On the face of it, the Hexa has a number of things that could work against it on the dynamics front – its immense weight, ladder-frame chassis, long wheelbase, robust 4×4 system, 19-inch wheels – and those things considered, it really pulls off something impressive. The ride quality first; it is really good. You will get quite a bit of steering shock (although not the worst we’ve seen in this sort of car) that’s typical of ladder-frame SUVs when you hit a sharp bump. There’s an underlying firmness that you’re constantly aware of, but at very few points could you call it harsh or uncomfortable. The truth is, the Hexa’s variable-rate dampers do a phenomenal job of tackling various road conditions and keep things comfy in the cabin no matter what. It’s at its best out on the highway, with a supremely flat ride and very little movement. What you’ll also be impressed by is how silently it goes about its business; very little suspension, tyre and road noise makes it to the cabin.
Handling expectedly is not in the same league as an SUV with a monocoque chassis. The Hexa rolls around a lot, although, it has to be said that there is a lot of grip, especially in the 4×4 version. The bigger issue, however, is that it just feels too large and heavy for you to ever dream of pushing it even remotely hard around a corner. The hydraulic steering has a bit of slack at the centre position, and is really heavy at low speeds, making parking this big hulk quite a task. This is slightly less pronounced in the 4×2 version, likely because of the lack of front driveshafts. Also, the lack of reach adjustment for the steering is a bit annoying, and you do feel like the wheel is canted slightly forward on the whole.
Tata Hexa Safety
Hexa features disc brakes on all four wheels as standard with a couple of secondary braking systems in the form of Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) at the helm as well.In addition, there is an array of premium safety features offered with the Hexa in the form of six airbags, Corner Stability Control (CSC), Electronic Stability Program (ESP) with Roll-over Mitigation, Traction Control System, Hill Hold Control (HHC), Hill Descent Control (HDC), Hydraulic Brake Assist, etc., to name a few.
Tata Hexa Ex-Showroom Price in Bangalore ranges from 11,71,198/- (Hexa XE) to 17,06,629/- (Hexa XTA). Get best offers for Tata Hexa from Tata Dealers in Bangalore. Check for Hexa price in Bangalore at Carzprice
Tata Hexa Conclusion
What’s clear is that Tata’s endeavour to reinvent itself wasn’t just a flash in the pan. While the Tiago was almost an entirely new car, the Hexa is derived from an older model. But that doesn’t make the result any less impressive. It’s true, its biggest flaws are the ones inherited from the Aria – a heavy, cumbersome drive and ponderous handling, but then, it’s also gifted with its strengths – generous space, superb ride quality (that’s only gotten better) and proper go-anywhere ability; although if go-anywhere ability is not your priority, we’d recommend sticking to the 2WD automatic, as it’s far superior to drive. What it successfully adds to the formula is impressive refinement and an upmarket look and feel, inside and out, which is on a level that’s unprecedented at Tata Motors. Unlike the Aria, this one is definitely worth the money. And hopefully, the quality and reliability issues that have lingered on in Tata cars are now a thing of the past. Tata is a brand that was always tethered to its ‘cheap car’ past and could never crack the premium segments. Now it finally has a product that can.