It has been a long time coming but finally the Aria replacement is here and the Hexa is without doubt the best car yet by Tata Motors. Bristling with tech and loaded with features, it is the perfect follow-up to the successful Tiago. The Hexa enters this space to compete with similarly priced SUVs but also the Toyota Innova. As far as competition goes this is as tough as it gets but the Hexa is more than well equipped to fight this battle as you will read below. The Hexa is available with two diesel engines and three trim levels.
Powertrain & Performance
There are two diesel engines in the Hexa range and no petrol as yet. The base trim XE gets a 148 bhp, 320Nm 2.2 LTR. VARICOR 320 diesel while higher up in the range you have the 2.2 LTR. VARICOR 400 diesel with 154 bhp and 400Nm. The base XE gets only a 5-speed manual while the rest of the range is available with a 6-speed auto and manual. The AWD is not available with an automatic though.
It is clear that the automatic is the one to buy. This 6-speed torque converter is extremely well with this motor with ample torque giving it strong cruising abilities. We like this gearbox and it is smooth plus being responsive. Sports mode and manual shifting make things even better and the Hexa responds well to spirited driving. But it is the highways and every city conditions that this autobox will endear to many.
Compared to the automatic, the manual with its weighty clutch and gearbox is not as smooth but if you want AWD, you have to get it with a manual. The much hyped drive modes also work well and do alter the character of the car. In terms of off-roading the massive ground clearance plus all the necessary hardware make much more competent than what its looks might suggest. However the surprise is in the ride and handling. The ride is just brilliant- easily class best with the massive wheels and tyres along with its suspension just eat all the bad roads with next to none being filtered. It also handles pretty well with roll being in control. It is also not unwieldy to drive in the city but the steering is a bit heavy at low speeds.
Build & Styling
Walk up to the Hexa and it is an impressive design with truck loads of presence. Yes it is a crossover but with a healthy dose of SUV being injected in. It has the dimensions (Length-4788mm, Width- 1903mm, Height- 1791mm). Coupled with 200mm ground clearance, cladding and those massive 19 inch wheels- the Hexa scores top marks in styling. It is not over top with needless cuts and creases instead it is well designed and is a big change over the Aria. Inside Tata Motors has made a giant leap forward in terms of quality and design. The interiors look and feel premium and the dash is well laid out though the touchscreen looks small in such a big car plus we missed a dead pedal too. Other than that, the large leather seats, the TFT screen for the MID, the all black cabin looks classy.
In terms of features you get plenty in form of a Harman touchscreen infotainment system, smartphone integration, voice recognition plus navigation, sms read out, rear view camera, 6 airbags, ambient lighting, 10 speaker JBL audio system, rear ac vents. Space is excellent, especially with the captain-seats where you get lots of space and excellent comfort with those fabulous seats, plus you have goodies like USB charging point, rear ac vents along with window sun blinds. Even the third row has more than enough space.
There is no doubt that the Hexa is a very good car and a turnaround moment for Tata Motors. It is not just a very good Tata but among the class best. Full stop. The dynamic polish is there and so is the quality along with the traditional Tata strengths. We suggest the automatic as it makes more sense and at this price the Tata Hexa is just brilliant value.