Tata Hexa Long Term Review
The Hexa is a great attempt by Tata Motors in making a genuinely good car
Tata Motors' flagship car, the Hexa isn't an all new car, it is basically a heavily updated Aria, better summed up as the Aria facelift. However, the appeal of the Hexa is ten folds because of multiple reasons, like the design being the primary one here. The Aria itself was a brilliant car, launched at a time when the crossover and SUV craze was just getting started and thus it didn't sell. With the Hexa, Tata Motors has come out strong with a car that is impressive on multiple areas. Part of MotorBeam's long term fleet, the first month of the Hexa has been with both ups and downs.
For starters, the Tata Hexa is a huge car, it's long, it's wide and yes, it's tall too. This obviously translates to generous interior room but makes parking a pain in the derriere, specially in cities like Mumbai where finding a parking spot for a hatchback is itself considered a boon. The good thing though is, the ground clearance is ample enough so you can just clip the divider when parking, without having to worry about scratching the bodywork.
However, getting in and out of the Tata Hexa isn't easy at all, it's quite a bit of an effort if you are the kind who doesn't visit the gym often, this is obviously accentuated by the fact that the car doesn't get a side step which is a grave omission for a car of this size. So you do end up climbing inside but that means the commanding drive position let's you see far far ahead and the visibility is great too. But the windscreen is raked and the dashboard is huge, the Hexa doesn't offer the same driving view as the Safari.
The Tata Hexa is a comfortable 7-seater but not the easiest to access the third row of seats as tumbling the second row isn't that easy. Yes, the captain seats in the second row are very comfortable and also offer a sense of luxury (no one dare to put a third passenger in the second row so you can keep your stuff between the seats).
The Hexa is very heavy but it is also quite tough & rugged for our bad roads
In times where weight reduction seems to be the primary agenda for both automakers and individuals alike, Tata Motors has used a body-on-frame platform which supposedly is more rugged but also heavier. There is no getting away from the fact that the Hexa is a heavy car and it feels that way too when you get behind the wheel. You do get the traditional SUV feel with the body roll but it also takes a toll on the efficiency, we have been managing 8.9 km/l, ours is the automatic.
The Tata Hexa's 2.2-litre Varicor diesel engine outputs an impressive 400 Nm of torque, that's more twisting force than foreign SUVs. Power delivery is splendid and there is some lag lower down but post 2000 RPM, the motor pulls cleanly. What is the most rewarding in the powertrain package is the gearbox, it's just super slick with shifts and offers very fast downshifts too. The ride too is excellent and the car remains planted at high speeds.
Our Tata Hexa tester isn't in the best condition, one of the rear windows won't open, the spare tyre is broken, reverse parking sensors malfunction and cruise control works at its own behest. There are some niggles in the car but we believe later batches will have these issues resolved as our car is from the very first batch. When you compare the Hexa with the Toyota Innova, you end up saving a lot of monies. When you compare it to the XUV500, you do miss out on a lot of features but the ruggedness and feel of an SUV is where this Tata outshines the Mahindra! More in the next report.
* Good space and comfort on offer
* Ride quality is excellent
* Engine + AT combo offers nice driveability
What's Not So Cool
* Fuel efficiency isn't very high
* Some niggles are present in our car
* Storage spaces at the front are very less
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