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Rating 7 7

Tata Xenon XT 4x4

28th Aug 2009 7:00 am

Despite its pick-up truck nature, you can register it as a private car, that saves you the trouble of running around with Taxi Plates

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  • Make : Tata
  • Model : Xenon

The Tata pick-up is well styled. The clean lines penned by the Concept Group give it a mature and modern look. The Xenon is a lifestyle offroader targetted at the weekend warrior adventure crowd.The upswept window line in the rear doors is a neat stylistic touch. Under the skin, the Xenon comes with with front torsion bar suspension, rear leafs and 4WD, with a ‘shift-on-the-fly’ operation. The Xenon also gets a limited slip differential, and alloy wheels as standard.

It looks similar to the Sumo Grande from the front and those bulging wheel archwes give it a lot of presence. At the rear the tailgate also get an embosed 'Tata' Logo.ased on a thoroughly revised tata pick up truck TL chassis, the Xenon is a whopper - longer than a Q7 and wider than a BMW X5.This is an extended cab version with four doors and the load bay is designer to carry 500kg, but 'officially' only  220kgs.

The Xenon has a body on a ladder frame chassis, a live axle at the rear, load-lugging leaf springs and a proper set of low range gear ratios. This is a proper pick-up, the way the Americans know it.

From the driver’s seat, the Xenon feels more contemporary with a simple yet functional design that’s tailored for European tastes. The curved dashboard with duo-tone silver grey interiors, are quite tasteful. There’s also the simple analogue clock, a standard feature in Tata SUVs.  The plastics fail to exude quality but there’s a robustness in the interiors that we haven’t found in other Tata cars. The seating position is pretty good. The tall gear lever falls easily to hand and the well bolstered seats also provide good lateral support – useful with all that body roll. The Xenon is well equipped too, with powered mirrors and an ‘auto down’ function for the driver’s window.

Jump into the rear seat of this pick up and the lack of room comes as a bit of a shock. You really do expect a lot more space and comfort, given the dimensions. The Xenon’s rear seat backrest is too upright, which is tiring on long hauls, but what compensates to a certain degree is the Tata’s comfortable ride. The Xenon’s loading bed is designed to be aesthetic rather than purely functional. It has a range of accessories, like the thick plastic cladding which gives it a more upmarket feel.
 

An unladen rear end (the rear suspension has been designed to carry huge load), lots of torque and a tall body make for interesting dynamics for the Xenon. The steering offers a fair amount of feel and there is decent communication from the front end. The comparatively skinny tyres give you ample warning too, and you can feel the Xenon begin to slide in a controllable manner. Load up the rear with around 200kg and the ride settles down remarkably.

The choppiness in the rear subsides and that pogo effect, especially when you hit a speedbreaker or a sharp pothole, is less severe. On tarmac, the Xenon is very composed and easily manageable too. Off-road though, it isn’t as convincing. While the Xenon’s alloy chin protector for the intercooler looks good, sitting low down it’s quite vulnerable. Besides, the relative soft front has the nose diving agonisingly onto its bump stops. To select four-wheel drive, you need to operate the rather fiddly roller switch that is located behind the steering wheel, on the dashboard. The Xenon has a limited-slip differential though and in slippery conditions this will definitely be to its advantage, although it wasn’t really put to the test on the arid, rocky terrain we took it over.

Tata Xenon XT 4x4
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