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Old 7th February 2017, 11:10   #1201
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Default Re: Tata Hexa : Official Review

Sunnyboi and I took a long test drive of the Hexa yesterday.

Let me be honest, somehow Tata motors wanted me to TD the car and post it online. The guy who had come with the car was Mayank Gupta. He wanted me to use hashtags on TBHP and I had to explain to him that it doesn't work that way!

Mayank didnt bug me too much about the car and allowed us to just drive and experience the car.

To begin with, the design of the car is a bit iffy. Looks like a big box from the side profile, but then I really do like the front three quarter profile.

As I got into the car, I realised it was really high. I got in and out of the car about 3-4 times throughout the TD and somehow I was never able to elegantly get in. I am a large person and somehow it always looked or felt awkward.

Once inside, the interior shocked me. The interior fit and finish looks and feels better than many many cars that claim to be superior. Everything felt solid. I am no expert and havent driven too many cars, but I can safely say that I would be very happy with the interior of this car.

The design too is very pleasing. Fit and finish means the car's interiors will last. But what is the point of it, if it doesnt visually appeal to the owner? That's one place where VW typically do a good job. Understated elegance, a sea of black buttons but they look good. Well, now I can safely say Tata can do it too! And I am happy!

Tata Hexa : Official Review-img_2642.jpg

The next thing I did was adjust the seat and steering. The steering is not telescopic. A bummer. However, I did find a comfortable seating position within minutes. And this is surprising. I struggle to get comfortable in a car usually but in the Hexa, I was comfortable very quickly. I instinctively looked for a dead pedal but there was none in the XT Manual Transmission variant I drove. Another bummer.

The seats are leather and are very comfortable. They also look to be of very high quality. I like the perforated leather on the head rest. I dont think it's functional but it looks nice. The stitching too looks very nice.

Tata Hexa : Official Review-img_4654.jpg

Tata Hexa : Official Review-img_6031.jpg

A fun fact: The sun visor has a small plastic plate that extends so you can block more of the sun when you move the visor to your right side. This is very helpful in a car like the Hexa which has a very big window. On the highways, it can be very painful with the sun hitting only the right side of your face.

This plate is there even on the passenger side.

Tata Hexa : Official Review-img_5673.jpg

Tata Hexa : Official Review-img_8539.jpg


Something that Tata missed are the power windows. The driver's and passenger side windows only have Auto Down. No Auto-Up! Why Tata? Why? A glaring omission.


Next it was time to do something I was looking forward to.... No, not drive. How exciting can a big MPV be compared to a turbo charged low slung sedan? I

I was eager to listen to the much touted JBL 10 speaker system.

Without mincing words, I'll say it: This has to be one of the best OEM sound systems in India. Without a doubt. I played Nigel Kennedy's violin cover of the "Riders on the Storm" and I got goosebumps.

Bass-heads may be a bit disappointed because when I played some Trance or EDM or something with a lot of bass, there was a tiny rattle from one side. The bass is still stupendous and the car takes a huge amount of bass without much issue. But true audiophiles will need to do some more damping on the doors. I felt the rattle was coming from somewhere inside the power window switches on the driver's door.

Overall, I will say this audio system is MEGA. I loved it. I would give it 10/10

The interface of the head unit is also fantastic. The screen is a bit small but the resolution of the screen is very good. You can barely see the pixels. The touch-interface is also good. Much better than the aftermarket Pioneer Double DIN I am used to in my car.

It's very simple to navigate too and easy to use. However, using it on the move might be a bit tricky. The bluetooth connectivity was super fast and easy. Probably one of the fastest pairings I have witnessed between a car HU and a phone.

Tata Hexa : Official Review-img_4421.jpg


The guide lines move as you turn the steering wheel to help you park the car. This screen comes on automatically when you slot the car in reverse.
Tata Hexa : Official Review-img_4607.jpg



The touch screen also helps you adjust a few other things in the car including the mood lighting. Mood lighting only lights up the front footwells and the 4 door pockets. Personally, I didnt like it much. If you like this sort of thing, it has 8 different colours.

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The steering mounted controls make it very easy to control the music when you are on the go. The right side stalk also controls the MID on the screen between the speedo and the tacho. It is designed well and looks appealing.
Tata Hexa : Official Review-img_9094.jpg

Then it was time to start the engine. The engine started easily enough and the gear knob started vibrating equally easily! I am not used to this and I could feel the vibrations in the gear knob and the Accelerator and clutch pedals. I did not like this, but I guess all big diesels are like this. Even the Innova has this issue I believe.

If you are outside the car, the engine is barely audible.

As we were ready to set off, I stalled the car! I wasnt used to a diesel clutch!

On the move, the car is easy to drive. Doesnt feel as big as it is. 2nd gear is very good to use in the city. It makes the car behave like one with an A/T. You just dont need to touch the clutch at slow city speeds. I didnt try slipping the clutch in 2nd gear and moving from a stand still.

The AC fan is a bit too loud for my taste. Even with the fan in the lowest speed setting, it is audible. That is a fail in my books. This is almost a luxurious car and the fan shouldnt be that audible. The entire AC system though cools extremely well. It can pretty much recreate winter inside the car if you so desire! The outside temperature was around 30-32 deg C and the AC fan speed was at the lowest setting all the time with the thermostat set to 17 deg C. Absolutely chilled the crap out of us!

In the city, the steering is surprisingly heavy. I like it but Sunny didnt like it much. The turning radius though left us shocked. I dont know the specific numbers but it was absolutely stupendous for a car this size. It is extremely small and taking tight U turns in the city is a piece of cake!

We drove through some very narrow roads of NR Colony, Vidyapeetha Circle before finally hitting the Ring Road near PESIT college and going onto the Tolled NICE road.

On the highway, we put the car in Dynamic mode and could immediately feel the suspension become firmer. Especially at high speed, the car felt much more planted. I dont think I felt any difference in the throttle response or steering. If Tata have programmed those, I need a longer test drive.

The car reaches highway speeds of 120(the speed limit on this NICE ROAD) extremely easily. We even hit 140 at one point of time on one of the closed stretches of NICE road.

For me, this is the party piece. The engine is barely audible unless you rev really hard. The car is so planted, it is incredible. I have not driven the XUV, so no comparisons. However, I was shocked that a car this size, this high and this heavy is this composed on the highways. Shows the true depth of engineering in this car. Lane changes at 120 were easy. Absolutely no drama. Overall sound insulation too is excellent and a couple of times we were going faster than we though simply because the car isolated us so well from the road. The body roll is also very very well controlled. I was expecting a lot of body roll but I barely felt anything. It is noticeable of course, especially if you're used to a low slung sedan, but nothing scary or worrying. Once you get used to it, you will be very comfortable.

One grouse I have though is that there is air leaking from the door beadings. I noticed this on the driver's side door when I was driving and on the passenger's side door when Sunny was driving. That slight whistling noise was annoying the hell out of me. Tata has done an absolutely fantastic job designing this car but they failed on this aspect of insulation. I really think they should have cut this noise out entirely. The horn also felt a little loud inside the car. Or maybe it's just me. Sunny though it was perfectly fine.

The ride comfort on the highways is exceptional. Undulations, small breaks in the road, small ruts, large ruts, everything is absorbed very well and you barely feel anything. It feels like a European car.

Braking is extremely good. However, I wished for a slightly better brake pedal feel. The pedals dont communicate well and the brakes dont feel sharp. However, this is mostly nitpicking as the car stops very well from 100-120.

At highway speeds, the steering feel is also very nice. I am not sure if the steering is Hydraulic one or an Electric Power steering, but it feels decent on the highways and doesnt feel very loose.

The engine is apt for the car. It is capable of accelerating the car even from 80kph to 120 in 4th or 5th gear. It's good as long as the revs are above 2000 rpm.

One thing here is that the lack of an armrest makes it's presence felt. Tata calls it an arm rest but it doesnt support the driver's arm at all. Even for the passenger, it's too short and lacks support. At best, it can be used as a cubby hole to store small things.

For the last bit of our drive back, I sat in the rear seat. This model came with Captain seats and the moment I sat there, I sighed loudly and regretted that I had only 15-20 minutes to enjoy this. The seat was extremely comfortable. It is not super-soft or too hard. It's perfect for a long drive. The rear captain seats can be adjusted for seat back incline and front and rear travel. The leg space is more than enough for me and overall, I was extremely comfortable. Typically, I feel car-sick when sitting in the rear seat in any car but the Hexa was different. I didnt feel nauseous at all.

The rear windows also have sun shades which work well. And when they are lowered, they fit perfectly into the door frame. Looks and feels very high quality.
Tata Hexa : Official Review-img_5857.jpg

One annoyance though is when I switched on the rear AC Vents, the AC Vents for the third row was right behind my left ear and it was VERY loud! That was super annoying. This was at fan speed 3. At fan speed 2, it wasnt too loud but it was making a high pitched whistling noise.

Later on, I realised that I should have just reached back and closed the 3rd row AC vent.

The front seats have pockets at the back and they seem to be lined with a felt-like material on the inside. Felt really nice and it felt that Tata has really gone into the details with this car.

There is a sunglass holder on top of the driver's side window.

The XT also comes with a hill hold feature. When you are on an incline and you release the brakes, the brakes hold the car for 3 seconds to give you time to get on the throttle and release the clutch. That is a very very useful feature.

Overall, I am very very very impressed. If Tata Motors continues on this path, I will gladly buy a Tata car in my life (assuming they can sort out their service issues and customer service). It seems like a major course correction has happened at Tata Motors and the Indian automobile industry should be thankful.

I will gladly recommend the Hexa to anyone who wants a big car. I have not driven it's direct competitor, the XUV 500, but I dont think anyone can go wrong with the Hexa as a product.

I found very little to fault this big car. It exceeded my expectation in every way. And I started with reasonably high expectations to begin with after reading various reviews of the car.

I can only hope the Tata Hexa is a success along with the Tiago. Some serious effort like this from a company should be rewarded with financial success. That should motivate other companies to follow in their footsteps rather than make nonsense cars with crap build quality.
Attached Thumbnails
Tata Hexa : Official Review-img_4387.jpg  

Tata Hexa : Official Review-img_5416.jpg  


Last edited by Vid6639 : 8th February 2017 at 13:59. Reason: editing few typos.
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Old 7th February 2017, 11:24   #1202
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Originally Posted by RavenAvi View Post
Team,

Here is the Tata Hexa's AVN Infotainment system manual
Hey I just read in slide number 5 that video will be stopped once the vehicle starts moving. Does that mean while driving on speed >5km/hr videos can't be played?

Can we buypass this situation in case passengers wan't to enjoy some good time in Hexa?

I am sure I misunderstood but just wanted to confirm.
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Old 7th February 2017, 11:43   #1203
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Originally Posted by roby_dk View Post
Hey I just read in slide number 5 that video will be stopped once the vehicle starts moving. Does that mean while driving on speed >5km/hr videos can't be played?
I believe this holds true for every system with video playback capabilities where video will stop once the vehicle starts moving. I think Hexa is no different in this regard either. Video playback in moving vehicle would anyways be a big safety hazard.
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Old 7th February 2017, 12:36   #1204
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Default Re: Tata Hexa : Official Review

Talking about TATA' s marketing for the HEXA (or the lack of it)...here's the Hexa propped up by the WEH, Bandra

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Quote:
Originally Posted by roby_dk View Post
Hey I just read in slide number 5 that video will be stopped once the vehicle starts moving. Does that mean while driving on speed >5km/hr videos can't be played?

Can we buypass this situation in case passengers wan't to enjoy some good time in Hexa?

I am sure I misunderstood but just wanted to confirm.
This video playing while driving would definitely be a distraction for the driver even if intended only for passengers. I see a lot of commercial(?) WagonRs/EECOs in NCR fitting aftermarket screens on top of the windscreens and watching movies while driving!. Seriously hazardous!

For passengers, the best option would be seat head rest mounted screens or pads mounted on seat backs.

Last edited by vigneshkumar31 : 7th February 2017 at 12:49. Reason: added text
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Old 7th February 2017, 14:19   #1205
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Originally Posted by vigneshkumar31 View Post
This video playing while driving would definitely be a distraction for the driver even if intended only for passengers. I see a lot of commercial(?) WagonRs/EECOs in NCR fitting aftermarket screens on top of the windscreens and watching movies while driving!. Seriously hazardous!

For passengers, the best option would be seat head rest mounted screens or pads mounted on seat backs.

Yes that is right. Even in initial days when I started driving I prefer to keep music system turned off. Don't know how many other would have done that.

I always tried for perfect gear changes so I keep on listening to engine revs closely thus wanted a silent environment inside cabin to connect better with car.
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Old 7th February 2017, 17:37   #1206
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Originally Posted by Nikhilb2008 View Post

One grouse I have though is that there is air leaking from the door beadings. I noticed this on the driver's side door when I was driving and on the passenger's side door when Sunny was driving. That slight whistling noise was annoying the hell out of me. Tata has done an absolutely fantastic job designing this car but they failed on this aspect of insulation. I really think they should have cut this noise out entirely. The horn also felt a little loud inside the car. Or maybe it's just me. Sunny though it was perfectly fine.
I felt the same thing on the highway. The SA said that its the turbo whistle. I was not sure, so i reduced speed to 40kmph, and accelerated in 3rd. I could hear the whistle all right, and it resembled an air leak from the door. While up-shifting, however, the sound vanished and appeared again as rpms built up.
Interesting thing is, he said "if you suddenly take your foot off the accelerator pedal, you will hear a "krrk" sound which actually is the sound of turbo fins closing".
Could someone with more knowledge on the same throw some light?

Ps: Am sure he said it employs a VGT. And the sound is audible only if you pay attention.

Last edited by abhi7013 : 7th February 2017 at 17:40.
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Old 7th February 2017, 19:06   #1207
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Originally Posted by abhi7013 View Post
.
Interesting thing is, he said "if you suddenly take your foot off the accelerator pedal, you will hear a "krrk" sound which actually is the sound of turbo fins closing".
Could someone with more knowledge on the same throw some light?
Turbo kicking in or closing is based on the engine RPM and not to do with accelerator pedal position. However experts can clarify this better.
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Old 7th February 2017, 21:04   #1208
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Spare is an alloy wheel - carried below the body. 5-link rigid axle + coil spring rear. 200 mm of ground clearance is excellent:
Okay guys, if this is not fleecing, then I don't know what is. One of my whatsapp contacts has yesterday taken the delivery of his car, as per the invoice, he has paid with a car which has 5 19 inch rims shod with 235/55 rubber. This is how his car's spare wheel looks like:
Tata Hexa : Official Review-img20170206wa0007.jpg

And this is what his invoice says:
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Well, Tata seems to have saved a cool at least 25-30k per car with this small trick they have implemented. Invoice is the bill, which clearly states what you have paid your money for, and this is what you get at the end of the day.

EDIT:
Three more customers shared the same info, including one dealership sales guy who claims that they were made to sign a document stating the same that spare is not an alloy.

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Pics posted with prior permission from owner(s)

Last edited by VKumar : 7th February 2017 at 21:09.
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Old 7th February 2017, 21:21   #1209
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Originally Posted by roby_dk View Post
Hey I just read in slide number 5 that video will be stopped once the vehicle starts moving. Does that mean while driving on speed >5km/hr videos can't be played?

Can we buypass this situation in case passengers wan't to enjoy some good time in Hexa?

I am sure I misunderstood but just wanted to confirm.
No you can't bypass, After crossing 5Km speed you get a warning and irrespective of your action the video Screen closes and Radio starts automatically.
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Old 7th February 2017, 21:34   #1210
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Okay guys, if this is not fleecing, then I don't know what is. One of my whatsapp contacts has yesterday taken the delivery of his car, as per the invoice, he has paid with a car which has 5 19 inch rims shod with 235/55 rubber.
I just called up the SA to confirm. He said doughnut wheels (smaller dimension ones) are offered with all cars, across all manufacturers. He even said endeavour comes with only 4 alloy wheels.
This is done to discourage users using spare wheel for a longer time after puncture as there would be irregular wear and tear.
As for the customers having 5 alloys mentioned in the invoice, either demand a refund of the difference amount, or an alloy wheel instead of a steel one.

Last edited by abhi7013 : 7th February 2017 at 21:36.
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Old 7th February 2017, 21:47   #1211
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I just called up the SA to confirm. He said doughnut wheels (smaller dimension ones) are offered with all cars, across all manufacturers. He even said endeavour comes with only 4 alloy wheels.
Point is, how many have it written '5' in their invoice?

Quote:
This is done to discourage users using spare wheel for a longer time after puncture as there would be irregular wear and tear.
Utter BS, not even worth discussing IMO.


Quote:
As for the customers having 5 alloys mentioned in the invoice, either demand a refund of the difference amount, or an alloy wheel instead of a steel one.
One person even had a word with the regional sales manager, he was denied both.
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Old 7th February 2017, 21:59   #1212
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Utter BS, not even worth discussing IMO.
Nah, i don't agree at all with it being BS.
The wheel alignment all got screwed up in my old car when i used a new spare wheel in the front when the remaining three were worn out. Even if the effect is not much, it still is there, nonetheless.
As far as tata and the invoices are concerned, hope we get a clarification soon.
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Old 7th February 2017, 22:10   #1213
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The wheel alignment all got screwed up in my old car when i used a new spare wheel in the front when the remaining three were worn out. Even if the effect is not much, it still is there, nonetheless.
Does this justify giving 16 incher in place of 19 one? You think it will help with alignment?
In fact, if using the spare screws the alignment, then it should do with every car, after all, the difference between grips between worn out and new tyres will be there for any car, irrespective of size, type or drivetrain.
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Old 7th February 2017, 22:23   #1214
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Looks to me as though this is a swap is being done at the dealer level and not by TML else the invoice wouldn't say 5 alloy wheels since that's a clear case of cheating.
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Old 7th February 2017, 22:29   #1215
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Originally Posted by VKumar View Post
Does this justify giving 16 incher in place of 19 one? You think it will help with alignment?
In fact, if using the spare screws the alignment, then it should do with every car, after all, the difference between grips between worn out and new tyres will be there for any car, irrespective of size, type or drivetrain.
Dude, why don't you read my post again? Did i say it helps in alignment? I have not justified anything with respect to 16" and 19" for spare. I just said what the SA told me. I however said that it screwed the wheel alignment in the case of my OLD CAR because of improper wear and tear.
Hope this clarifies.
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