TATA HEXA-Holding Good Position In Market.
Tata isn’t new to making large utility vehicles that bordered on being ‘sporty’. In fact, it was a pioneer of sorts back in the 1990s when it introduced the Sierra. While not many of you would’ve experienced that, what you may have experienced is another evergreen SUV from its stable: the Safari. Despite this SUV’s old-school roots, it soldiers on even today and we have plenty of reasons to love it – its ride quality and off-road ability continue to impress. So when Tata comes out with another sporty ute – which happens to be the Hexa in this case – you must take note.
Derived from the commercially unsuccessful Aria, the Hexa drew a lot of attention at its earlier motor show outings. The butch styling – radically different from the Aria’s – is attributed to Tata’s ‘Impact’ design philosophy, which we first saw on the Tiago. Which is no bad thing, because the Tiago is easily one of the most modern-looking Tatas ever built. Unlike the Aria that looked more like an MPV, the Hexa is more SUV-like.
At first glance, the Hexa’s rear seems to have a hint of the new Ford Endeavour. Similarly placed rectangular tail-lamps are to be blamed, here. A huge chrome slab running horizontally is probably the least elegant part of the Hexa’s design but has been added purely because potential owners seem to like lots of shiny bits on their car.
But the shiniest bits on the Hexa have to be its engine and gearbox. It gets a 2.2-litre common-rail diesel unit borrowed from the Safari Varicor 400. It delivers 154 horses to the rear wheels. In the 4×4 version, some of this – ranging from 15 to 60bhp – can also be passed on to the front wheels when the need arises. This unit’s highlight, however, is the 400 Newton-metres of torque.
As with any SUV, you sit high-up in a Hexa. The cabin is well-appointed and elegant with an array of soft-touch buttons and switches. Tata hasn’t gone in for anything fancy, here, but it still feels rich. Even the leather seats on this top model was nicely finished. Strangely, there are a few ergonomic issues – the front centre armrest is more useful as a storage bin than an armrest and the climate control display is oddly angled so the driver and co-driver can only see the bottom half. No dead pedal in the manual version will be bothersome over long distances. These issues apart, there is plenty of space.
It looks the part of a plush, full-size SUV. It is powerful, great to drive, spacious and comfortable. To top it off, the Hexa goes up a few notches as an off-road car over its predecessor.