20170119

Tata Hexa launched in India, prices start at INR 11.99 Lakhs

After a series of delays, Tata Motors finally launched the much-awaited Hexa in India yesterday. After the Aria, the Hexa is Tata's second attempt at the premium crossover segment and locks horns squarely with the Mahindra XUV 5OO. First shown to the public at the 2015 Geneva Auto Show, the Hexa has been a long time coming.


Tata has played it smart with the Hexa's styling, making sure the crossover stays away from MPV-ish looks as much as possible. When viewed from the front, the clamshell hood with the prominent power bulge, the blacked-out projector headlights and the solid plastic cladding in the bumper gives the Hexa an imposing look. Tata's excellent attention to detail stands out too, like in the hexagonal meshes that form the grille. While the arching roofline, the blacked-out pillars, the full-length cladding and the massive 19-inch alloy wheels try their best to mask it, the Hexa's MPV roots are still evident in profile. At the rear, a thick chrome bar connects horizontally-stacked LED taillights. 


As posted before, we had been to the Hexa Experience Centre and can vouch for the fact that the Hexa's interiors are easily the best we have seen on a Tata so far. The clean, minimalist design looks European and the build quality is solid. What's more, the Hexa comes loaded with features too. Projector headlights, dual front airbags, power-folding mirrors, 6-speaker infotainment system, steering-mounted audio controls, cooled glovebox and tilt steering are standard across the range. 


The top-end variant gets a whole lot more including automatic climate control, heated mirrors, 3 Super Drive modes, reverse parking sensors, Voice Command Recognition, side and curtain airbags, Electronic Stability Program (ESP) with Rollover Mitigation, Traction Control System (TCS), Hill Hold and Hill Descent Control, Cruise Control, 10-speaker infotainment system, automatic headlamps, rain-sensing wipers, leather seats and leather-wrapped steering wheel.

Available in both six and seven-seat configurations, the Hexa is powered by the 2.2-liter VARICOR diesel engine in two states of tune. While the base variant gets 148 horsepower and 320 Nm of torque, the other variants in Hexa's lineup gets the higher state of tune with 154 horsepower and a solid 400 Nm of torque. The former is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission while the latter is paired with either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic transmission. The 6-speed manual gearbox gets 4 driving modes for the driver to choose from -  Auto, Comfort, Dynamic and Rough Road. The automatic variant gets a Sports mode with Race Car function!


Three trim levels are on offer - XE, XM and XT. The XM and XT gets both manual and automatic variants while the 4x4 is exclusive to the top-end XT variant. Prices range from INR 11.99 Lakhs for the XE to INR 17.49 Lakhs for the top-end XT 4x4 variant. At these prices, the Hexa marginally undercuts it's arch-rival from Mahindra while being significantly cheaper than the Toyota Innova Crysta with which we expect some cross-shopping. But Toyota's rock-solid brand image and the XUV5OO's solid fan following would be tough nuts for Tata to crack. After all, we know what happened to the Aria.

Tata was going through a bad phase in India until the Tiago came in and arrested their free fall. With momentum on its side and value-for-money pricing on the base and mid variants, the Hexa is off to a good start. It remains to be seen if Tata can sustain the interest in the Hexa going forward.

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