Tata Hexa Facelift First Drive & Gearbox
February 15, 2019
Tata Hexa Overview
It’s a new SUV from Tata and one that has come by after a significant period. Yes, we are talking about the Hexa which was unveiled at the 2016 Auto Expo and will be launched in early 2017. The Aria replacement shares the same underpinnings but has been completely redesigned and fitted with everything that will make the car appealing to new-age buyers. But is this enough to help the automaker succeed in a segment where it struggled for a while now? Read on to find out… Request a test drive for Hexa in Hyderabad at Tryaldrive
Tata Hexa Design & Look
Tata Hexa production ready model that was showcased at the 2016 Delhi Auto Expo hugely resembles the concept which was showcased earlier in Geneva. The looks have been given a muscular appeal, but the butch appearance didn’t affect its stylish character that has been designed keeping in mind the tastes of urban customers.
The front profile of the Tata Hexa gets automatic projector headlamps with LED daytime running lamps, while the muscular looking front grille and trapezoidal shaped lower bumper adds a striking presence to the Hexa. Two air dams at both sides of the large front bumper makes the appearance beefy, while the fog lamps have been unusually shaped. The car gets a higher bonnet, which automatically enhances the bolder appearance of the Hexa. The hood sports a few crisp character lines running towards the nose, which manage to give the Hexa a bold and dynamic face.
Walk towards the side, and the Hexa’s inspiration from the Aria MPV becomes a lot more apparent. The entire silhouette of the Tata Hexa is nearly identical to that of its MPV twin. The ORVMs get LED side turning lamps, the wheel arches look big enough to give the car a bold look and are highlighted with a cladding. The 19 inch five twin-spoke alloy wheels ensure that the Tata Hexa does not get a bland angle to look at. The car gets a thick cladding at the bottom all around, while the greenhouse area comes with resemblances from the predecessor Tata Aria. It gets a chrome bar at the bottom of the greenhouse area, while the roofline gets roof rails on both sides.
The rear profile gets redesigned with horizontally stacked tail lamps, which actually look nice. The faux skid plates can be seen at the rear bottom with dual exhausts integrated to it. This makes the Hexa look like an SUV, while retaining the simplicity of its MPV sibling.
Tata Hexa Cabin & Comfort
The Indian automaker has spent a lot of time in making the cabin of the Hexa comfortable, convenient, premium and appealing. You need to climb into the cabin since it has a healthy 208 mm of ground clearance. Surprisingly the interiors feel very plush in this Tata. The instrument cluster gets a big multi-information display. The height adjustable and leather wrapped steering wheel integrates controls for the infotainment system and cruise control system. It doesn’t offer push button start/stop feature but there are automatic headlamps and rain sensing wipers. The overall quality, fit and finish feels great and there is good attention to detail inside the cabin.
The centre console comes with a neatly integrated ConnectNext infotainment system which is designed by Harman. It offers a 10-speaker JBL audio system including a sub-woofer and power amplifier. The sound quality is super rich and unrealistic for this segment. There is a 5-inch touch screen display that offers good touch quality but is a tad small in size. It comes with extensive smartphone integration with ConnectNext Apps. These apps let you access navigation, create a mobile hotspot for sharing music, change the mood lighting of the car with 8 colour options and access the digital manual of the car. However, these apps are only available for Android devices for now. Other features of the infotainment include USB, AUX, Bluetooth connectivity along with voice recognition, navigation, on-screen SMS display, SMS readout and rear view camera display with parking guidelines.
The Tata Hexa comes with automatic climate control and dual air conditioning for the front and rear passengers. For quick cooling in all three rows, it gets rear AC vents on the floor console and on the B and C pillars. The seats are very comfortable and supportive having ideal cushioning for your back and under-thigh support. There is an option of captain and bench seats for the second row. The legroom and headroom is excellent even for the tall passengers. You get window blinds in the second row that adds to the comfort in bright sunlight. The third row of seats are practical as well but on long drives it might get a bit tight for adults. You get power sockets for all three rows. There is ample amount of storage spaces in the car to keep the cabin neat and tidy. All three rows get bottle holders while the last row gets an additional cooled compartment. The seats are very flexible so you can fold down the third and second row of seats to enhance the luggage space. For more detail on Tata Hexa check ieso2013.in
Tata Hexa Engine & Gearbox
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.On the ride quality front, the Hexa feels a bit stiff at lower speeds but it is not something that will really affect you. The plus side of this slightly stiff ride is that the car feels relatively stable when you go faster and is able to keep its composure when you decide to venture down the road less paved. Given the large size and heavy weight of the vehicle, it does roll through corners but it is not overly exaggerated as one would expect from a ladder on frame chassis vehicle.
Tata Hexa Driving Dynamics
Tata Motors is known to offer fantastic ride quality right from the Tiago hatchback up to the Safari Storme. Same is the case with the Hexa, it just glides over the bumps and potholes. Be it low speeds or highway speeds, the cabin gets minimal vertical movement and thanks to the excellent damping, the thuds are not loud and clunky. The Hexa is a heavy car and it has some body roll when you push it around the curves but the roll is not as pronounced as the Safari because it isn’t as top heavy. The steering is lighter than the Storme and feels predictive. The Hexa is a capable off-roader too, comes with AWD torque on demand system that offers great traction on slippery conditions and the 208 mm ground clearance further helps it clear the obstacles easily. There is Hill Hold Assist and Hill Descent Control to take care of the rest. The Hexa comes with all-wheel discs along with ABS as standard that offers fantastic stopping power with tactile pedal bite.
Tata Hexa Braking & Safety
The Tata Hexa gets plenty of safety features to begin with it gets 6 airbags, in total which includes duel front as well as side and curtain airbags. It further also gets Electronic Stability Program (ESP) with Roll-over Mitigation, traction control system, Hill Hold Control (HHC), Hill Descent Control (HDC), ABS with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and Corner Stability Control etc.
Tata Hexa On-Road Price in Chennai ranges from 14,28,958 to 20,70,619 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 Chennai. Check for Hexa price in Chennai at Carzprice
Tata Hexa Conclusion
Tata done enough with the Hexa to let it succeed? We think so as this car has everything expected from a vehicle in the segment. It lacks things like keyless start, proper front storage spaces and is quite massive in terms of length- an issue that will pop up for parking space starved city dwellers. But on the positive side the feature list is comprehensive; it is quite spacious, has solid road presence and will let you go to most places without thinking twice. For the Hexa to now completely succeed Tata must price it in such a way that it undercuts its main rival- the Mahindra XUV500 variant-for-variant. Given the price range that we believe it will exist in, the Hexa is also a competitor for the range of D-segment sedans.