Tata Hexa Hatchback First Drive & Gearbox

Tata Hexa Overview

Tata Motors has announced its re-entry in the full-size SUV segment by introducing the Hexa crossover in the Indian market. The full-size SUV segment was created by the company with the launch of Aria in October 2010, but to its utmost dismay, the Aria turned out to be an absolute dud. Hence, in what seems to be an attempt to cover the lost ground, the company has presented the Tata Hexa SUV to replace the Aria. The Hexa, being the Mumbai-based automaker’s new flagship product, is the second company model to be based on the new IMPACT design philosophy. The company has bagged nearly 3000 orders for the SUV and it would have a minimum waiting period of around 8 weeks. The magical combination of impeccable interior cabin with lots of first-in-segment features and staggering pricing is all set to make it a sure-shot winner in the Indian market. View offers on Tata Cars from Tata dealers in Hyderabad at Autozhop

Check for Tata Hexa On Road Price in Pune

Tata Hexa Exterior

The Tata Hexa might be based on the Aria platform and possibly have similar lines but it’s a completely new vehicle. Where the Aria was curvy and a bit round, the Hexa is muscular, and in-your-face. It achieves this thanks to the chrome laced grille and gold coloured bumper. Complementing this is a modern looking lighting package comprising big headlamps and LED DRLs. The side reveals the MPV silhouette of the vehicle. However, it does get sharply raked A-pillars and really nice looking 19 inch wheels which increase the sporty quotient. The rear, despite having so many elements, looks too square but this is not such a bad thing as the boxy rear-end has been a defining trait of Tata’s SUVs over the ages.

Tata Hexa Interior

It’s quite a step up into the Hexa’s high-set cabin but once inside you’ll have to remind yourself you are in a Tata. What you get are some of the best seats in the business and a superb level of quality you would find hard to associate with Tata cars. The carmaker’s investment in getting the look and feel right has reaped rewards because the cabin scores brilliantly on perceived quality. Right from the knitted roof lining and contrast stitching on the leather seats to the brushed aluminium effect on the side air-con vents and knurled finish on the climate control knobs, there’s a certain premiumness to just about everything. Tata has even gone to the extent of giving the door locks a textured finish! At places, however, panel gaps are larger than warranted but the cabin’s black theme ensures they don’t necessarily stand out.The Hexa’s dashboard is relatively simply styled but it does have a solid look. The centre console is neatly split between the air-con vents, infotainment system and climate control buttons and each section uses a gloss-black trim and chrome detailing to good effect.

But given how in-car connectivity and entertainment have been areas of focus at Tata for a while now, it’s a bit disappointing to know the Hexa shares its infotainment system with the cheaper Bolt and Zest. The 5.0-inch touchscreen looks small in such a wide car.Functionality-wise though, Tata has packed the system with features including downloadable mobile apps for offline navigation, jukebox (songs from multiple phones can be added to a playlist on a primary synced phone), remote control for the audio system, vehicle service and the owner’s manual. As we learned, the apps are quite heavy in terms of battery usage so perhaps Tata could have been more generous with USB ports – there are only two. But you do get three 12V sockets which includes one in the boot.

Fine-tuned specifically for the Hexa, The incredible sounding 10-speaker JBL system delivers immense power and clarity for all three rows of seats. And to set the tone, there is eight colour configurable ambient lighting too! Cruise control, auto headlamps and wipers and reverse camera with dynamic guide lines are also standard. However, a sunroof and push button start, features you now expect, are missing.The seats are, in a word, brilliant. Well-shaped, richly finished and very supportive, they are one of the highlights on the Hexa. Their multi-density foam offers just the right amount of cushioning which means you can spend hours in them and emerge feeling fresh. Foldable armrests and adjustable lumbar support just add to the comfort quotient. If there’s anything to criticise, it’s that the seats are overly generous! The base is too long for shorter occupants and digs into their legs behind the knees

Tata Hexa Gearbox

The Hexa is the first model after the latest iteration of the Safari to use Tata’s new Varicor400 engine. This unit’s 2,179cc makes a healthy 156hp and 400Nm (hence the ‘400’ in the engine name), but the figures are not so impressive when you account for the fact that the motor also has to lug 2.2-tonnes plus. The engine can be had mated to a new six-speed manual gearbox offered in 4×2 and 4×4 versions, as well as with a six-speed automatic transmission that sends power solely to the rear axle.It was the latter we sampled first and it immediately impressed us. The engine is surprisingly responsive and has a nice, linear spread of power, pulling cleanly from about 1,500rpm. There’s no spiky mid-range surge, just a mild swell of torque across a very broad rpm band. Automatic gearshifts are quick, smooth and very fluid and it makes the most of the Hexa’s performance. In fact, the automatic is substantially quicker than the manual and a 0-100kph time of 12.71 seconds for such a behemoth is pretty respectable.

If there is one niggle, its that auto transmission is overly eager to drop a gear or two with even a gentle flex of your right foot, only to have the system upshift to the original ratio shortly after.The Punch-sourced ’box also offers a Sport mode where the system only upshifts at the redline and you also have the option to shift manually using the gear lever itself, and it must be said the gearbox is quick to respond. Before you think otherwise, the Hexa isn’t a sporty car but it’s nice that the gearbox has provisions to make the driving experience more involving. Where the Hexa auto feels its best is cruising out on the highway, when the sufficient power and good engine refinement come into play.After the automatic, the manual Hexa turned out to be a let down and isn’t half as nice to drive as the auto. The issues, really, are centred around the gearbox and clutch. The six-speed manual has long throws and the gearshifts are rubbery. What makes matters worse is that the clutch action is not progressive making it hard to modulate at slow speeds.The all-wheel-drive-equipped Hexa offers four drive modes that can be selected via a rotary controller at the base of the centre console. The modes, namely Comfort, Dynamic, Rough and Auto have different settings for the engine, all-wheel- drive system and related electronics.

Tata Hexa Driving

The Hexa’s all-wheel-drive system is latently rear-biased but will send power to the front axle when it senses a loss of grip. There’s hill descent control too. The safety suite too is very comprehensive and includes six airbags and ESP with rollover mitigation.

The Hexa is a large vehicle and feels its size in tight city confines. The steering calls for much effort at low speeds and U-turns are pretty cumbersome. The wooden-feeling brakes too don’t inspire confidence and there’s always the sense that the Hexa’s weight will overwhelm the all-round disc brakes. However, we repeatedly simulated a panic-stop braking from 80kph to standstill, and each time the Hexa came to a halt without any drama.The one area where the Hexa outshines the competition is in ride comfort. The Hexa is the first Tata car to use variable rate dampers and, coupled with the 19-inch wheels, the result is really good. The tyres just bulldoze over small potholes while the suspension happily (read quietly) soaks up any road shock to isolate the passengers. There’s no doubt that the Hexa is easily the best riding vehicle in its segment.

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 Price in Mumbai

Tata Hexa Ex-Showroom Price in Mumbai ranges from 11,69,533/- (Hexa XE) to 17,04,562/- (Hexa XT 4X4). Get best offers for Tata Hexa from Tata Dealers in Mumbai. Check for Hexa price in Mumbai at Carzprice

Tata Hexa Verdict

Hexa is a sure-shot winner, courtesy the exorbitant exterior appearance, impeccable interior cabin and power-packed performance. On top of all these factors, its price has given it an edge above its rivals. It would slay the SUV segment and is here to stay, and rule, perhYes, there are a few rough edges and the engineering finesse falls short of the best global standards, but as a standalone product in our market, the Hexa is hugely impressive. Attractive on the outside, well appointed on the inside and feature-loaded, the Hexa strikes a chord at many levels. The big Tata is a supremely comfortable family car and the lavish use of high-grade materials delivers a sense of luxury that would certainly appeal to premium car buyers. We’d give the manual gearbox version a pass and go for the auto instead. It’s not got the 4×4 hardware but as an everyday vehicle it’s easily the better pick.