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. Request a test drive for Hexa in Tryaldrive
Tata Hexa Design & Style
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 dashboard layout of the Hexa looks premium thanks to the new design additions and controls made of fresh-looking materials like chrome trim used with glossy black and soft grain plastic. The instrument cluster is easy to read and except for the low-set air-con controls, all functions are easily accessible on the dash. We however noticed that the centre console was devoid of storage spaces barring the cup holder behind the gear shifter and the centre armrest. The seats are draped in a leather look-alike upholstery with contrast stitching that feels rich. In fact the front seats offer a comfortable drive thanks to the ample contours with lumbar, good back and appropriate thigh support.
Similarly, the middle row seats have identical contours and offer good support, headroom and lots of legroom for the occupants. Entry to the third row of seats is by tumbling the second row, and while the seats offer hardly any support, headroom and space for adults is also confined. With the last row up, the boot can only take a few soft bags and a thin suitcase at the most. To stuff anything more, the last row needs to be folded but it doesn’t fold flat either. The Hexa equipment list consists of six airbags, ESP, traction control, ABS with EBD, climate control with vents on all three rows, auto headlamps, rain sensing wipers, and reverse parking sensors with a camera. There’s also power mirrors with demister, cruise control, rear sun blinds, an eight-way adjustable driver’s seat (non-electric), a multi-function steering wheel, and a 5-inch touchscreen infotainment system with JBL speakers, to name a few.
It does miss out on features like powered seats and keyless go, which is a norm in the segment. There’s no sunroof either, which the rivals offer. In short, manual gearbox variants include XM and XT in six and seven seater options along with the choice of automatic transmissions called XMA and XTA. A 4×4 manual model is also available on the XT variant.
Tata Hexa Engine & Gearbox
The Hexa’s engine is the same 2.2-litre Varicor 400 diesel engine that is currently available in the top trim Safari Storme. The refined 2,179cc diesel engine is already popular and makes its way into the Hexa in the same state of tune as it is in the Safari Storme. So, the engine generates a peak power of 156PS and a peak torque of 400Nm. Of course, left alone these numbers don’t exactly paint the right picture. The Hexa is almost the same weight as its predecessor (about 2,300kgs) because of the number of new features, even though some weight savings were achieved. But the tuning enables the powertrain to deliver a very peppy performance.
The Hexa is quick off the block and offers enough pulling power all the way till about 4,000 rpm. There is only a hint of turbolag and there is no sense of hesitation or perceived vulnerability even in the way the vehicle behaves on the road. Straight-line stability is excellent and there are electronic aids like ESP and traction control helping correct errors if any wheel slippage is detected. Body roll is still there, inevitable with the suspension also set up for a fairly pliant ride.
The engine is offered with two gearbox options — a 6-speed manual and a 6-speed automatic transmission. Working your way up the gears is easy in the manual too with most of the torque already available from about 1,500rpm (idling is set at 800rpm). The only crib we’ll have is the slightly rubbery shift feel in the manual gearbox. Surprisingly, the automatic is an excellent gearbox, with perfectly space gears. The auto comes with a sports mode and what Tata calls an auto detect race car mode. The manual gearbox on the other hand has four super drive modes for altering the car’s performance based on the driving surface. The modes are Auto, Comfort, Dynamic and Rough Road. The Hexa will also be available in 4X2 and 4X4 variants. The all-wheel drive system in the 4X4 is an electronically unit via an adaptive system developed by Borg Wagner.
Tata Hexa Ride & Handling
The Aria’s chassis has been stiffened before applied to the Tata Hexa, and this is evident from the minimal flex felt over our roads. The suspension comprising of a double wishbone and coil springs in the front, along with a five-link suspension with coil springs at the rear, is firm. At slow speeds the road unevenness filters into the cabin but thankfully there’s very little side-to-side movement. As speeds pick up, the ride quality is quite flat and this SUV is unfazed even when it goes over broken surfaces.However, weighing in at between 2170kg and 2260kg (Auto/Manual), there’s no running away from the fact that the Hexa is heavy. And it shows in the way it rolls when pushed around a corner, but never to the point where it feels unpredictable. Plus, the 4×2 feels markedly lighter than the 4×4 due to the absence of the 4WD system. There’s less weight at the axle too, which makes the steering lighter on the automatic 4×2 when compared to the 4×4 version. Overall, the Hexa’s steering is slightly heavy and vague off the dead centre, but makes changes in direction without much fuss.
The manual 4×4 Hexa is quite capable off-road due to the Rough Road mode that alters power delivery and makes the ESP less intrusive. The electronics are set up quite well and most of the time power is sent only to the rear wheels. It’s when the rear starts losing grip that the 4WD sends up to 40 per cent of the torque to the front wheels, even in on-the-road situations. Furthermore, under intense braking situations, the Hexa felt quite composed for an SUV of this size, and came to a standstill from 80kmph in 26m.
Tata Hexa Safety & Security
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 Ex-Showroom Price in Bangalore ranges from 11,69,580/- (Hexa XE) to 17,03,908/- (Hexa XT 4X4). Get best offers for Tata Hexa from Tata Dealers in Bangalore. Check for Hexa price in Bangalore at Crazprice
Tata Hexa Bottomline
Depending on the trim level, the Hexa is loaded with a big list of safety tech including 6 airbags, ABS with EBD, Hill Hold and Hill descent control etc. But, the big, most impressive change in the Hexa is of course, the level of refinement that has been achieved. NVH performance is at a new high for a Tata vehicle and in fact rivals many competitors’ vehicles. Ergonomics and choice of materials is similarly at a new high. Braking performance could have been better. During our test drive the brakes seemed to bite late after a bit of pedal travel. But, overall the perceived reliability levels, including the feedback one gets about the electronics in the vehicle is excellent. We expect the Hexa to be priced in the ₹10 lakh to ₹16 lakh range. And we expect this vehicle to contribute to the revival in interest for Tata cars.