First Drive

2016 Tata Hexa review, test drive

With the Hexa, Tata opens a new chapter in the premium SUV segment. Here are our first impressions of the car.

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What is it?

Image is everything. And Tata Motors, stuck with the image of being a budget carmaker is determined to change this perception. With the success of the Tiago in the market, Tata is now targeting a more demanding set of premium buyers with the new Hexa. At one level, the Hexa is Tata Motors’ new flagship aimed squarely at the Mahindra XUV500 but at a larger level, this model will be the acid test for the brand in the upper echelons of the market. Is the Hexa up to the task?

What is it like?

The Hexa is based on the Aria platform and that’s no bad thing as it gets the benefit of a ‘hydroformed’ ladder chassis that is rigid and tough. Other than in side profile, where the carryover roof and glasshouse is obvious, there isn’t much of a visual link to the Aria – each body panel is new.

Where the Aria’s part-SUV-part-MPV design seemed lost in translation, the Hexa makes a much bolder impression. Tata won’t go so far as to call the Hexa an SUV, but that’s clearly the look it has gone for. There are lots SUV design cues, like the black cladding that runs around the car and well chiselled angular details on the body.

The chunky clamshell bonnet, upright grille (nicely detailed with hexagons) and stretched-back headlamps gel really well. Adding the desired dose of aggression without looking overdone is the stylish front bumper that houses a large central air dam and comes embellished with attractive daytime-running LED lights.

There are no undue cuts and creases on the sides and the resulting look is one of robustness. LED elements for the brake lights, boomerang-shaped reflectors on the bumper, dual exhausts and a large scuff plate also does a lot for the Hexa’s strong-shouldered look. The Hexa’s certainly got the size (it’s 4,788mm long and 1,791mm tall) and the ground clearance (200mm) to pass off as the more rugged of the species.

The 19-inch wheels are the largest in class but amidst the vast body, they look a bit sunken which spoils the stance a bit.

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Issue: 212 | Autocar India: April 2017

Our reviews of the Tata Tigor, the Honda WR-V, the Audi A5 Cabriolet, comparison of the Audi A4 diesel and its rivals and plenty more await you inside.
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