Review

2017 Tata Hexa review, road test

Tata throws everything it can at its new flagship in the quest to go upmarket.

RATING
8 / 10
DETAILS
22
photos

Tata Motors’ ongoing effort at brand reinvention started, in earnest, with the Tiago, a car that got the whole country to sit up and take notice again. The sales numbers back that up too, with an average of 5,000 units every month. It was quite an impressive feat – giving a mid-range hatchback a truly premium look and feel – something the brand was never previously known for.

However, the job at the other end of Tata’s model range was arguably a lot harder. When the car in question is a premium SUV costing Rs 12-18 lakh, expectations are a fair bit higher, and the erstwhile Aria never managed to pull it off. Under the skin, it had the right hardware –
the then-new ‘X2’ platform’s hydroformed ladder-frame chassis, a robust suspension that offered superb comfort and stability, and even four-wheel drive. But it looked too much like an MPV and lacked a premium feel, which is all too important at this price point.

The Aria has been succeeded by this, the Hexa, and it tackles those problems head on. It looks appropriately rugged and the interiors are on a new level for Tata, while the tough X2 underpinnings have been retained and given a makeover. Additionally, apart from just the feel-good factor and the styling, Tata says it drives like a proper SUV now – at least the top-spec manual version does, which gets 4x4 and a set of drive modes to choose from. So, the question we’re here to answer is, does the Hexa have what it takes to stand tall in the competitive premium SUV segment, and in doing so, can it leave us as impressed as its little sibling, the Tiago, did last year.

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notSet

Still a bulky, upright dash but a far more interesting design
this time. Quality at a new high for Tata and there’s a good mix of colours and materials too.
Well-engineered front chairs have support in all the right places; comfy too.
Captain chair option replicates front seat comfort; 60:40 bench is standard.
Comfy seat, big windows and enough width make third row better than most.
There are some truly well-crafted bits, like these knurled door locks.
Big, solid doors require a strong heave to shut; big storage bins though.
Colour MID screen is very informative, showing fuel data, drive modes, gear selection and more.
Contrast stitched, perforated faux-leather
feels suitably upmarket.
Auto climate control is single-zone only; AC cools well but blower whirr is noisy even at lowest speed.
Limited cubbyholes for driver; this small bin, cup holder and door pocket bottle holder are all you get.
Lack of sunroof a shame as it’s a big hit with premium SUV buyers; knitted roof lining nice though.
Even with all rows up it’ll take a suitcase easily if you straighten the seatbacks.
Super-responsive motor does its best work in the low and mid range.
New nose is far more SUV-like. Lots of elements but still looks tasteful.
Massive 19-inch alloys look good; seem sunken into the arches though.
Black pillars give floating roof effect; chromed Hexa badge is nice.
Honda Civic-like wipers swipe in opposite directions for a wide spread.
We’ve exclusively driven the third-gen Maruti Swift, compared the Dzire with all its compact sedan rivals, and tested the all-new Volvo XC60. That and lots more in the July 2017 issue!
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Autocar Magazine

Issue: 215 | Autocar India: July 2017

We’ve exclusively driven the third-gen Maruti Swift, compared the Dzire with all its compact sedan rivals, and tested the all-new Volvo XC60. That and lots more in the July 2017 issue!
Autocar Magazine
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