Tata Harrier AWD: Don't Wait For it

According to Tata, the demand doesn’t justify the development costs

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Update: The Tata Harrier has been launched at a very competitive price of Rs 12.69 lakh, ex-showroom Mumbai! All the details here.

Tata Harrier
  • 4WD SUVs only make up for 2 per cent of the total market.
  • In Harrier’s segment, the number is even lower.
  • Development costs would be too high.
  • The cost would need to be distributed across the range, raising the price of the SUV.


Tata Harrier

Considering the facts that Tata’s new flagship SUV, the Harrier is underpinned by a reworked Land Rover Discovery Sport platform and powered by the same powertrain as the Jeep Compass, you would think that the SUV is pretty much 4WD ready. But Tata has confirmed that it has no plans of bringing in a 4WD version of the Harrier at least in the foreseeable future.

Tata Harrier

Tata has attributed its apprehension of developing a 4WD Harrier to the demand for 4WD vehicles or rather the lack of it. The carmaker says that 4WD SUVs make up for only 2 per cent of the Indian SUV market. And that too because quite a few SUVs are offered with 4X4 as default. In the Harrier’s segment, the number is even lower.

Tata Harrier

Yes, the Omega Arc platform is a derivative of Land Rover’s D8 platform. And yes, the Harrier is powered by the same 2.0-litre Multijet diesel and C635 6-speed manual combo that also powers its chief rival, the Jeep Compass. But, according to Tata, the development cost for the 4WD Harrier would be too high to justify the miniscule demand. Not to mention, the cost would inevitably be distributed among rest of the variants which would in turn make the Harrier more expensive. And it is something Tata clearly doesn’t want, especially in a segment as competitive as the one Harrier is attempting to break into.

Tata Harrier

On the bright side though, despite the FWD configuration, you still get an SUV that comes with a terrain management system. Not only is it the only SUV in its segment to do so, but also offers features like traction control, off-road ABS and brake disc wiping to ensure optimum braking power even in wet conditions, which makes the 4WD trade off quite bearable.

Stay tuned to ZigWheels for the first drive review of the Harrier due on 06:00 am on 7 December.

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