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Auto Expo 2016: Tata Hexa unveiled, launch soon

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  • Auto Expo 2016: Tata Hexa unveiled, launch soon

    Tata Motors unveiled the all-new Hexa SUV at the 13th Auto Expo in Greater Noida. The Hexa, when launched in likely to compete with Mahindra’s XUV 500 and Toyota’s upcoming Innova Crysta. The Hexa, thanks to its butch and rugged looks, will be aimed at car buyers who want the practicality of an MPV but need the street presence of an SUV. In that sense, the Tata Hexa hits the sweet spot as not only does it look tough, it will come with All-Wheel Drive as an option for those brief off-road runs.
    The Hexa looks like a proper hunk. That model though, not so much
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    What you’ll like about the Tata Hexa
    • The butch design that means business
    • Shift-on-fly All-wheel drive with Terrain Response System borrowed from Land Rover
    • Premium interior
    • ConnectNext Infotainment system developed by Harman
    • Automatic climate control on middle and top variant
    • 154bhp of max power and 400Nm of peak torque
    • 6-speed manual and AMT option available
    • Driving modes
    • 6- and 7-seater option
    What you won’t like about the Tata Hexa
    • Steering wheel borrowed from the Zest/Bolt doesn’t look too premium
    • 5-inch screen for infotainment system seems to small for this segment
    Exterior
    The profile of the Tata Hexa may be quite familiar to some of you. That’s only because the Hexa is based on the now discontinued Tata Aria MPV. The Aria’s biggest failure was it’s van-like proportions. The design and the exorbitant price tag with which the Aria was launched was one of its biggest downfalls and led to poor sales. But one glance at the Hexa and you realise the amount of effort the designers at Tata have made to set the Hexa apart from the Aria. Gone is the van-like proportions. Instead, you get a very rugged looking SUV with a very functional-looking body cladding all around.
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    At the front, the Hexa gets a completely reworked fascia when compared to the older Aria MPV. The Hexa gets a large chrome-lined grille with honeycomb pattern with a large ’T’ logo stuck bang in the middle. The bumpers are more squarish and chunkier than the Aria’s. The Hexa gets blackened-out headlamps with classy-looking projector headlamps. The LED day-time running lights (DRLs) with chrome-surround are housed just above the fog lamps on the chunky bumper. The faux air intake on the bumper looks like a design element borrowed from the Tata-owned Range Rover cars. The air dam at the front is quite large and makes the Hexa look more rugged than the Aria.
    The profile of the Hexa may be familiar with some of you. That's because the Hexa is based on the now discontinued Aria MPV. The designers have done a splendid job in making the Hexa look less van-like and body cladding and wide wheel arches lend the Hexa a very tough look
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    The clamshell bonnet with a muscular bulge running down the middle adds to the Hexa's imposing street presence. The Hexa's design looks more cohesive than it's main rival - Mahindra's XUV500. The front is more squarish than the Aria's too.
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    Here is a shot of the older Aria for comparison

    The Hexa gets projector headlamps as standard
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    The LED DRLs and fog lamps are housed in the faux air dam. The overall design feels like it's been lifted off a Land Rover
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    Don't they look a lot like the ones on the Land Rover Discovery Sport below

    I guess it's only right since Tata owns Jaguar Land Rover!
    The bonnet gets a clamshell design with muscular bulges running right through the middle. The front fascia, in my opinion, is more butch than Mahindra’s XUV 500 and I’d gladly move out of the way if I see one barreling down the road on my rear view mirror. Unlike the XUV 500, there is no mishmash of design elements and looks more cohesive than its rival from Mahindra.
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    The XUV 500 certainly looks like a true blue SUV, the Hexa isn't bad either
    A side-on shot reveals the gargantuan size of the Hexa. Since it shares the same platform as the Aria, the dimensions are pretty much the same. The Hexa measures 4,746mm in length, 1,895mm in width and an imposing 1,780mm in height. That means the Hexa is 160mm longer and 5mm wider than the XUV 500. The Mahindra SUV, however, stands a tad bit higher than the Hexa by 5mm.

    But more than the dimensions, what grabbed my attention was the changes Tata has made to the side of the car to keep it apart from the Aria MPV. The changes are substantial, starting with the body cladding I mentioned before which are subtle and not too -in-your-face’.
    The Aria looked too plain and the van-like proportions didn't help sales either
    The Hexa previewed at the Auto Expo was shod with 19-inch wheels with 235/55 rubber. To me, these wheels looked quite large for the Hexa. In fact, it looked like something people would do to their cars on ‘Pimp My Ride’. Expect the final production variant of the Hexa to come with 18-inch wheels as standard with the top-end variant getting the option of 19-inchers.
    19-inch wheels look too large. I'd rather prefer 18-inch wheels with chunky rubber
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    Dual exhaust outlets scream for attention. This plus a wicked exhaust note should get the enthusiasts' heart pumping
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    Tata will also equip the Hexa with ORVMs with integrated turn-indicators as that is the norm in the segment these days. Both the XUV 500 and the upcoming Toyota Innova Crysta will come equipped with ORVMs with turn indicators.

    The Hexa’s glasshouse is identical to the Aria’s but to give it a different look, Tata has added a little kink finished in chrome at the C-pillar with the words ‘HEXA’ etched into it. The B, C, and D-pillar get the blackened-out treatment to give the roof a floating effect. The final effect is quite striking and manages to make the Hexa more premium that its rivals.
    From the rear, the Hexa looks completely different from the Aria MPV it is based on. Gone are the Indica-like upward stacked tail lights. Instead, the Hexa gets all-new LED tail lamps that wraps around the rear. But the most noticeable feature at the rear are definitely the twin exhaust outlets that just screams for attention. Overall, Tata designers have done a splendid job in making the Hexa look rugged. The macho design is surely going to lure a lot of customers who would otherwise have considered buying the XUV 500. Most importantly though, the design is so un-MPVish that it makes the Toyotal Innova Crysta look like a jaded people carrier.
    The Aria-roots are visible only from this angle. But the Hexa has enough elements to set it apart from its predecessor. The 'christmas tree' tail lights on the Aria has made way for a horizontally-placed tail lamps. The chrome bar connecting the tail lamps are a bit too garish in my opinion.
    At the Auto Expo, Tata even showcased a special edition version of the SUV called Hexa Tuff. Tata says the Hexa Tuff is a personalised version aimed at “active lifestyle seekers” (read: off-rad enthusiasts). So what do you get on the Tuff variant?
    • A more muscular-looking body kit.
    • 3D mats on the inside
    • Head-up display
    • Tyre monitoring system
    • Navigation system
    • Cycle carrier
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    Expect some of these features to make it to the top-end version of the Hexa as well.Images courtesy indianautosblog.com, team-bhp.com

    Attached Files
    Last edited by NikilSJ; 24-02-16, 01:17 PM.

  • #2
    Interiors
    The Hexa previewed at the Auto Expo came in a 6 seater format (2+2+2) although a seven seater version is also likely to make it to production. The interior quality of the Hexa is a couple of notches above the Aria’s. Tata has used premium materials like soft-touch plastic and chrome surround for the AC vents. The Hexa gets all-black treatment for the interiors. I am a big fan of cars with black interiors as they make the cabin look more cozy and also makes it feel sportier.
    The Hexa will come with a 6- and 7-seater option. The captain chairs in the middle are comfortable and there is plenty of room to stretch your foot too.
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    The Hexa’s closest rival, the XUV500, received a mild update in 2015 with a two-tone scheme for the interiors. The upper portion getting the black treatment and the lower portion getting a beige tone. While that does make the cabin of the XUV 500 more airy, I am not a big fan of it. The Hexa appeals to me more because it feels less quirky inside compared to the XUV 500.
    The XUV500's dashboard looks too busy in my opinion. Fit-and-finish of the cabin is decent but the Hexa's cabin is more appealing
    As soon as you step inside the cabin, the first thing you tend to notice is the well designed and functional dashboard. The dashboard is an updated version of the one first seen on the Aria MPV. The left side of the dashboard gets soft-touch material and if you look closely you can even spot the word ‘HEXA’ etched into the material. The Hexa gets two glovboxes like the XUV 500, however, unlike the Mahindra, the Hexa gets a deep storage bin above the glove boxes as well. This bin is best used for keeping your mobile phone and other knick knacks.
    The upper-half of the Hexa's dashboard is covered with soft touch plastics that feels great to touch. Fit-and-finish is far better than older Tata cars. Also note the words 'HEXA' engrained on the left side of the dashboard. The AC vents get a piano black surround and looks quite nice. But it will definitely be a fingerprint magnet though
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    The steering wheel is borrowed from the Zest compact sedan and Bolt hatchback. Tata could have given the Hexa a better wheel to match its premium positioning
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    The instrument cluster sits under a hooded binacle. An MID (multi-information display) between the speedo and tacho displays information ranging from trip meter, distance-to-empty, fuel level and also shows what doors are open at any given point of time
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    The steering wheels is similar to the one found in the Zest, Bolt and the Tiago hatchback. This, I feel, is just not acceptable because a premium car like this begs for something more upmarket. I for one would feel shortchanged if my premium SUV had a steering wheel from a budget hatchback. But nonetheless, the Hexa’s steering wheel does get controls for the ICE (in-car entertainment) and bluetooth functions for phone calls. The instrument cluster sits under a hexagonal hood and looks classy. The MID (multi-information display) unit wedged between the tachometer and the speedometer is a coloured unit and shows all sorts of information like distance-to-empty, fuel level, trip meter and odometer. It cal also display which of the doors are open at any given time.
    The five-inch screen for the ConnectNext infotainment system is way too small for a car this size. The XIV500 on the other hand gets a larger 7-inch screen
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    The middle and top-end variant of the Hexa will get automatic climate control. The Terrain Response System can be controlled via the rotary knob just below the AC controls. A USB and Aux-in port is also part of standard equipment. The Hexa will come with two 12V chargers
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    The AC vents on the side get a dull chrome finish. Expect Tata to offer the option of customising the colour of these surrounds like on the Tiago hatchback.
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    Note SD card slot under the infotainment system for storing navigation data and media. The Hexa also gets park assist and Hill Descent Control in the top-end trim
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    AC vents get a 'Hexa'-gonal pattern and looks classy with metal rings for controlling air flow
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    The ICE (in-car entertainment) in the Hexa is similar to the one found in the Zest and the Bolt. Called ConnectNext, the infotainment system was developed by Tata in conjunction with Harman. Having used the system for a fair amount of time on the Zest, I can confidently say that it is one of the most intuitive systems out there. Pairing a phone to the system takes barely a minute and the system also downloads all your contacts and messages for future use. The best part about the ConnectNext system though is the fact that it stays on even you switch your ignition off, say at like a traffic signal. The benefit of this is that the connected phone needn’t be paired again overtime you switch the ignition on. Also, it can play uninterrupted music even at a traffic signal.

    However, Tata has overlooked the need for a bigger screen on a big SUV like the Hexa. So instead of a big 7-inch screen you’d normally find in rivals like the Mahindra XUV 500, you only get a tiny 5-inch screen for all your infotainment needs. But that said, Tata does give you a SD slot other than the standard USB and aux-in ports to access navigation data and also to store some tunes.
    The AC vents on the Hexa are neatly designed and chrome surrounds. The rotary knobs to control the flow of air too look premium. The AC vents on the extreme left and right also get a metallic surround. Like the Tiago, these surrounds can either be specced in champagne silver or can even be had in same colour as the body like you get on the new Tiago hatchback.
    Like its competition, the Tata Hexa will get automatic climate control on the middle and top-variant. But expect the lower-variant to get manual controls with rotary knobs for AC controls. Below the AC controls you’ll find a 12V charger next to the USB and aux-in slot. On the all wheel drive version, you’ll even find a control knob for the four different driving modes. The knob is quite similar to the Terrain Response System found on Land Rovers and Range Rovers. You can read more on the Terrain Response System here.

    The middle row seats are quite large but knee room is a bit short. Best suited for kids rather than adults
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    Boot space with the last row up is good enough for a weekend getaway...
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    Second row gets AC vents and a 12V charger as well
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    The button on the right spoke of the steering wheel is for activating voice command
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    The controls for the ICE is on the left spoke
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    Images courtesy: indianautosblog.com, team-bhp.com
    Attached Files

    Comment


    • #3
      Tata Hexa seen being tested on open roads. Quite nice to look at, it defines the crossover term perfectly for me. Side profile looks neat, with that floating roof look. Alloys & Hexa badging looks odd!
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      Rear looks interesting, I quite like the wrap-around tail lamps. Large windscreen at the back.
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      Image courtesy:- mynewcar.com
      Last edited by JijoMalayil; 24-02-16, 03:48 PM.
      if everything comes your way, you are in the wrong lane.

      Comment


      • #4
        Drivetrain
        The Tata Hexa is likely to be powered by a 2.2-litre four-cylinder VARICOR diesel engine that is capable of churning out 154bhp of power and 400Nm of peak torque. The engine is the same as the one found under the hood of the recently launched Safari VARICOR 400. With the recent ban on diesel cars with engines above 2000cc, expect Tata to spec the Hexa with a modified version of the same engine like Mahindra.
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        The 2.2-litre motor will be mated to a 6-speed manual transmission and will come with a shift-on-fly 4WD option as well. A 6-speed AMT (automated manual transmission) is also likely to be offered as an option. However, it isn’t clear if this gearbox will get the 4WD option.
        The 6-speed AMT gearbox on the Tata Hexa
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        Safety
        The Hexa, like the Aria it is based on, will get a number of safety features to keep the driver and the occupants safe in case of a crash. The Hexa will get two airbags as standard across all variants, with the higher trims getting upto 6 airbags. The Hexa will also be equipped with ABS, Electronic Stability Program, Traction Control System, seat belts with pretensions and keyless entry with immobiliser.
        The Hexa will also get four driving modes which include Auto, Comfort, Dynamic and Rough Road which alters throttle response. Rough Road mode is basically a full-time AWD.

        Verdict
        The Hexa is likely to be priced in the Rs 13-18 lakh SUV segment which puts it in the same category as the Mahindra XUV 500 SUV and upcoming Toyota Innova Crysta MPV. Other options in the segment are Renault’s Lodgy MPV, Tata’s own Safari VARICOR 400. At this price point, the Tata Hexa would be a worthy alternative to the XUV 500.
        The Hexa certainly has all the features you’d need from a premium SUV. The Terrain Response System is also something you’d find on more expensive cars like the Ford Endeavour and Land Rovers.
        Attached Files

        Comment


        • #5
          Will the automatic version come with 4x4 option? What was the tyre size of the HEXA on display? It looks like 235/55 R19.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by ksdr View Post
            Will the automatic version come with 4x4 option? What was the tyre size of the HEXA on display? It looks like 235/55 R19.
            Yeah, Tata Hexa will be offered in an AWD 6-speed automatic variant. The production variant will have 235/65/R17 tyres.
            if everything comes your way, you are in the wrong lane.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by JijoMalayil View Post

              Yeah, Tata Hexa will be offered in an AWD 6-speed automatic variant. The production variant will have 235/65/R17 tyres.
              But the automatic model displayed at the Auto Expo was a 2wd version did anybody notice that? It also came with fabric seats and the climate control console was different from the manual 4x4 displayed.

              Comment


              • #8
                Has any launch date been confirmed yet? Also, I saw that the price might be in the range of 13-18 lakhs (ex-showroom). Though, I did not see XUV500 being listed as one of the competitors. If this is true, then I don't see a point why a prospective buyer like me would consider this, apart from the additional boot space it offers when compared to 5 double O.
                Last edited by JijoMalayil; 25-02-16, 06:59 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by rohit247 View Post
                  Any launch date that has been confirmed yet. Also I saw that the pricing might be in the range of 13-18 lakhs ex-showroom. Also I did not see XUV500 being listed as one of the competitors. If this is true then I don't see a point why a prospective buyer like me would consider this apart from the boot space it offers as an extra when compared to 5 double oh.
                  You will be getting better ride quality and much better 3 rd row seats with the additional luggage space in HEXA compared to XUV 500.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Don't you guys think that this massive car which has 19 inch alloys, JBL, Harmann, Touchscreen infotainment, Automatic climate control, Drive modes, Rear AC vents, SUPERIOR STYLING and A LOT OF FEATURES; SO IT SHOULD START AROUND 18 lakh !!
                    Last edited by JijoMalayil; 25-02-16, 06:56 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Himanshu19 View Post
                      Don't you guys think that this massive car which has 19 inch alloys, JBL, Harmann, Touchscreen infotainment, Automatic climate control, Drive modes, Rear AC vents, SUPERIOR STYLING and A LOT OF FEATURES; SO IT SHOULD START AROUND 18 lakh !!

                      Yes, it would have been priced at 18 lakhs if it was a Toyota or a Hyundai. But Tata has always been known for giving more features than all competitors at much lesser prices. I believe that's the reason, they would be pricing lower than 18. The Tata Zest also came with Projector headlamps, DRLs, Harmann Touchscreen Infotainment, AMT and still Tata manged to price it lower than most competition. And I also feel, that they would have a stripped down version of the car too, which would be focused for the taxi segment, which would be the lower priced variant.
                      I know a lot about cars, man. I can look at any car's headlights and tell you exactly which way it's coming.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Arjun View Post


                        Yes, it would have been priced at 18 lakhs if it was a Toyota or a Hyundai. But Tata has always been known for giving more features than all competitors at much lesser prices. I believe that's the reason, they would be pricing lower than 18. The Tata Zest also came with Projector headlamps, DRLs, Harmann Touchscreen Infotainment, AMT and still Tata manged to price it lower than most competition. And I also feel, that they would have a stripped down version of the car too, which would be focused for the taxi segment, which would be the lower priced variant.

                        That... and hopefully Tata have learned their lesson after the Aria's disastrous pricing.
                        I feel the Hexa will undercut the XUV500, it's main competitor by a few k's, making it VFM yet premium. It remains to be seen how effective this strategy will turn out to be.

                        As far as the stripped down version of the car is concerned, yes, they might do that but I feel they shouldn't. Instead they should continue with the Aria as a taxi variant. That'll help keep the Hexa's reputation as a personal vehicle.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by kaiserketkar View Post
                          I feel the Hexa will undercut the XUV500, it's main competitor by a few k's, making it VFM yet premium. It remains to be seen how effective this strategy will turn out to be.
                          If they really do this, then I'm game for picking up the mid variant of the HEXA with an OTR of 15-17 lakhs. This post reaffirms my faith to wait for the HEXA to be launched instead of going blind folded with XUV500.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            When can we expect the media drives to happen for HEXA?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Pricing and variants are going to be absolutely critical. A bit too high and prospective buyers will be lured by the Endeavor 2.2, which has similar weight and power output along with A+ looks and street cred plus stellar dynamics. Then, there is the new Innova Crysta lurking around, which will be the go-to vehicle for a majority of buyers. Tata has to walk a tightrope here and I believe it's not a bad idea to hold off the actual launch till after the Crysta, so that they can adjust the pricing accordingly. Tata makes the first move and all Toyota needs to do is go 15-20% above it. Hexa will be dead on arrival and they have another monopoly run.

                              The market has shown time and again that reputation and perception take you further along than actual capability.
                              Last edited by Shreyans; 28-02-16, 12:30 AM.

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