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Old 13th August 2020, 10:03   #1
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Default 2020 Tata Harrier Automatic : Official Review

The Tata Harrier Automatic is on sale in India at a price of between Rs. 13.84 - 20.30 lakhs (ex-showroom).

What you'll like:

Smooth & competent 6-speed automatic transmission
• Far improved over the 2019 work-in-progress Harrier beta
• Stunning looks & strong road presence. Solid build too
• Classy, spacious cabin with comfortable seats & a chilling air-con
• Fantastic 9-speaker audio system. Sound quality & bass are enjoyable
• The Harrier's 2.0L diesel now gets 30 BHP more & offers good performance
• 205 mm of ground clearance + terrain response system. Latter will make monsoon driving safer
• Topnotch safety kit includes 6 airbags, ESP, break reminder, hill hold, brake disc wiping & more
• Features such as the panoramic sunroof, Eco & Sport modes, auto headlamps & wipers, cruise control…

What you won't:

• Heavy steering gets cumbersome at parking / u-turn / crawling speeds (<5 km/h)
• Harrier AT’s focus is on smoothness & comfort; gearbox is not the most responsive
• Concerns over niggles & long-term reliability associated with Tata cars
• Service visit every 6 months / 7,500 km (12-months is the norm today)
• Diesel engine does get loud at 3,500 rpm & its engine note is quite sad too
• No petrol option (almost all competitors offer it). No AWD for enthusiasts either
• Although improved, the Harrier's steering @ 120 km/h is still a level too sensitive
• Price has increased by ~1.5 lakhs ex-showroom since launch. Unwise for a slow-seller
• Tata's after-sales service quality is a hit or miss. Remains a gamble


Last edited by Aditya : 13th August 2020 at 12:12.
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Old 13th August 2020, 10:04   #2
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Since the Tata Harrier has already been reviewed by Team-BHP, this report will only focus on changes made to the 2020 AT variant. To read the full test-drive, click here.


Last edited by GTO : 13th August 2020 at 10:55.
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Old 13th August 2020, 10:04   #3
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When Tata Motors launched the Harrier in early 2019, we loved it for its stylish looks, classy interiors and fine audio system. It had a punchy 2.0L diesel engine as well. In the initial months, the car sold fairly well, but the sales then fell off a cliff. There was a reason for this = as we mentioned in our '19 review, the car had some glaring faults & was full of niggles. It wasn't ready for sale.

The 2020 Harrier is here and this is the car that Tata should have launched originally. With automobiles, quality is more important than deadline. The '20 Harrier is a lot more sorted. Now, there is more power and a competent Automatic gearbox too. Believe it or not, this 6-speed Hyundai-sourced AT works better with FCA's engine than FCA's 9-speed does in the Compass! The AT is the most important addition as premium car customers love automatics. In a welcome move, ESP is now standard on all variants. These improvements & BS6 have led to a noticeable price hike. Honestly, if you bought a '19 Harrier, we feel bad for you because the '20 Harrier is way superior.

2020 Tata Harrier Automatic : Official Review-tata-harrier.png

Besides the above-mentioned changes, Tata has also introduced "PentaCare" - a warranty package that can be extended from the standard 2 years / 1 lakh km to 5 years / unlimited km. While it covers the usual mechanical & electronic areas, any maintenance related to the malfunctioning of the clutch and suspension is now covered up to 50,000 km. It must be noted that the old Harrier came with a standard warranty of 2 years / unlimited km that could be extended only to 4 years / 130,000 km. Goes without saying that you MUST pick this extended warranty without a second thought.

So, what's new on the outside?

The Harrier looks stunning in this new Calypso Red colour + black roof. It's a very premium looking shade. The chrome bits you see all over the car are a part of the Style chrome pack (accessories at an additional cost):


The second new colour added to the palette is this equally deadly Sparkle Cocoa shade. Imagine this with black rims:


At the front is a reworked bumper:


The rear too features a restyled bumper. We can't decide what looks better = the handsome front or this tight rear:


Changes to the side include redesigned ORVMs and alloy wheels:


The skid plate at the bottom is now black. I feel it looks better this way. The earlier one had a busier appearance:


Smaller ORVMs reduce the driver's blind spots. The integrated LED turn-indicators have been restyled as well:


Puddle lamps below the ORVMs are gone! 1 step forward, but half-a-step back?


New 17" diamond cut dual-tone alloy wheels look great...way better than the outgoing car's rims. 235/65 section rubber remains unchanged:


One of the feature additions to the 2020 Harrier is this panoramic sunroof (available in the XZ+ and XZA+ variants). As sunroof fans, we love it


It sure covers a huge portion of the roof:


The rear windshield gets interesting animal-themed detailing. Here's a big cat and her two cubs. These kind of small touches always tell us there are enthusiasts designing a car:


Like the front bumper, the rear one also loses its silver skid plate. The black plastic bit on the lower edge of the tailgate has been dropped:


Panel gaps & shutlines are more uniform now, although some are still wider than we'd like. On the '19 review thread, GTO had made a recommendation to wait for the 2020 Harrier; drive this car and you'll experience the validation of that statement. This is the Harrier that Tata should have originally launched, even if it was delayed by a year (related thread on getting the launch right). I have no doubt that the market would have bought more of the Harrier if Tata had gotten it right the 1st time (including this superb Diesel AT variant):

Last edited by GTO : 13th August 2020 at 10:56.
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Old 13th August 2020, 10:04   #4
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So, what's new on the inside?

Like the exterior, the interior of the Harrier has received mild changes. Here's a look at the AT variant:


Things have improved & the fitting is better. Here's the gap where the doorpads meet the dashboard on the right side...


...and on the left:


The instrument cluster has been mildly reworked. There is a new gauge to display the diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) level (bottom left). The digital temperature gauge has moved a little to the right and the indicator for the DRLs is now green (it was orange in the outgoing car):


Zooming in on the DEF tank gauge. It's easy for someone unfamiliar to mistake it for the fuel gauge. IMHO, the icon should've been different and perhaps, 0 - 100% should have been used instead of "E" and "F":


Just like we saw in the Altroz, the instrument cluster's colour theme can be changed. Here it is in red...


...and in green:


XZ+ and XZA+ variants now get a 6-way power adjustable driver's seat. Manual lumbar adjustment has been carried over from the outgoing car:


ORVMs have become smaller in size, resulting in the blind spot being reduced greatly. While the mirrors are smaller, they are still well-sized and practical. There is no compromise on usability:


However, like in many modern cars, the A-Pillar is very thick. So, you still have to be careful of blind spots:


A very welcome feature addition is the auto-dimming IRVM. While it is "ON" by default, it can be switched off by pressing a button. When it is active, a green light glows:


8.8-inch floating touchscreen head-unit now lets you choose themes. Here is the red theme (you also get blue & green). While the sound system is good, playing bassy dance tracks at high volume did make some of the interior panels vibrate. Of course, this didn't happen on less bassy songs. If you like your music loud, you will have to invest in proper damping:


Thankfully, the head-unit didn't hang like it had in our test car from 2019. But it still had a bug. GTO was listening to music really loud and got a call. After answering the call, he hung up and all the volumes went low. Not only did the music’s max volume output at level 30 decrease, but even the voice prompts that you get (e.g. "sport mode activated") went lower. Weird - check it out in the video. This was sorted after restarting the car. The 2nd bug we faced with the Harrier was, after parking it overnight, the driver's door request sensor didn't work in the morning. GTO had to use the smartkey's unlock button to open the door. While we didn't see as many bugs as in 2019, the presence of 2 bugs in 2 days is discomforting:


In our review, we had pointed out that the USB & AUX ports at the base of the center fascia were inconveniently located too low & deep. Tata Motors has brought these ports forward to make them more accessible:


A quick charging USB port has been added in the storage bin below the driver armrest. As a result, storage space has been marginally reduced:


XZ+ and XZA+ variants get a panoramic sunroof with rain-sensing closure. Owners & their families will LOVE this! The sunroof switch console has replaced the sunglass holder:


Panoramic sunroof is fully automatic. Each function gets a separate button:


Even the cover is electrically operated (a premium car feature)! The panoramic sunroof measures 1,240 mm x 870 mm. Tata claims it is the widest in the segment:


The sunroof spans the length of the cabin and lets in a lot of light. It has anti-pinch and automatic rain-sensing closure features. The sunroof further gets a "Global Close" feature in which it shuts automatically when the ignition is turned off and the vehicle is parked with the doors locked. Quite well thought out:


Only the front half is openable. You can pop the sunroof up for ventilation:


The front portion slides over the rear (we don't like this about panoramic sunroofs - looks ugly from the outside). A wind deflector pops up the moment the sunroof is opened:


The times we live in . This is how media cars are now delivered to us, all sanitized. Tata should have fixed the driver armrest as it could be used 100% of the time in an AT (like the dead pedal). The Harrier's armrest isn't adjustable and we felt it was placed too far behind. 80% of drivers will find it useless:

Last edited by GTO : 13th August 2020 at 10:57.
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Old 13th August 2020, 10:04   #5
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Driving the 2.0L Diesel Automatic

1 of the 2 most significant changes to the Harrier is the introduction of a more powerful version of the 2.0L diesel engine. Called "Kryotec170", the motor now produces 168 BHP (@ 3,750 rpm) and 350 Nm (@ 1,750 - 2,500 rpm). That is a gain of 30 BHP over the old Harrier! And the good news keeps coming. The Harrier finally gets a 6-speed AT. One line summary = this is the gearbox to buy, don't even consider the MT. The automatic is priced at a premium of between Rs. 1.10 - 1.30 lakhs over the manual variants. Totally worth it IMHO.

While power has been bumped up, the Harrier hasn't been watching its diet. The SUV now tips the scale at 1,710 kg (1,719 kg for the automatic) against 1,675 kg of the old car. Still, with a power-to-weight ratio of 98 BHP / ton, it does better than the old car’s 82 BHP / ton. The torque-to-weight ratio is lesser than the 209 Nm / ton of the outgoing version though. Compared to its rivals, the Harrier falls behind the Hector's 104 BHP / ton and the Compass’ 111 BHP / ton. Kia hasn't shared the Seltos' kerb weight, but back-of-the-envelope calculations put it in a similar region to the Harrier.

The automatic gearbox has been sourced from Hyundai and is very smooth & competent (like Hyundai ATs, it's not the fastest though). Get this = the engine and AT mating is superior to that of the Jeep Compass! Just like Maruti did a better job of tuning the 1.3L MJD engine in the Swift, Tata has done a better job with the 2.0 Diesel AT than FCA.

Tata has put in effort to reduce the NVH levels & it shows. On start up, the body shake we experienced in the old car has reduced. The AT is superbly tuned and enjoys a good partnership with the Kryotec170. This smooth-shifting AT makes the Harrier far easier to drive in the city. Lift off the brake pedal and the Harrier will start crawling forward instantly. The SUV moves off seamlessly from a standstill & there is no lag to speak of. Light accelerator input is all you'll need to commute. The accelerator pedal is also feather-light, which just makes this AT that much nicer to drive. With an easy right foot, the gearbox shifts up early and shift quality is very smooth.

We will say that the AT's overall response time is "average" to "above average", as is usually the case with Hyundai torque-converters. It's not the fastest out there or the most responsive to kickdown commands and there are a few situations where you'll feel it takes longer to downshift than you'd like. That being said, the AT does a good job 98% of the time. The focus of Hyundai & Tata has clearly been on smoothness because even when it drops a gear in full kickdown mode, there's no jerk. It's polished.

On the open road, the 168 horses & 350 Nm give the Harrier AT enough muscle to please even enthusiastic drivers. Fast drivers won't be left wanting on long expressways. The acceleration is quick enough (on par with any diesel AT from the segment) and there is sufficient punch on tap. This SUV is a capable cruiser that munches miles comfortably, seeing 100 km/h @ just 1,700 rpm and 120 km/h @ 2,200 rpm. Overtaking slower moving traffic is an effortless experience too & the Harrier AT is a brilliant long-distance companion.

The Harrier gets two selectable driving modes (apart from the default "City" mode). Because of the powerful engine, "Eco" mode is genuinely usable. It is not weak or poor at all, and we see owners using it in the city as well as for easy expressway cruising. Added benefit = because of duller responses, the drive experience is smoothest in Eco. "City" mode is a good balance between the two, but "Sport" mode is the one you want when you're in the mood for some fun / driving fast. The difference in Sport is immediately felt. There is more power available, and the accelerator itself feels so much more responsive. Sport mode keeps the engine hot by maintaining higher revs, thereby making the motor + gearbox more eager.

Shifting to manual mode automatically engages "Sport" driving mode, although very honestly, manual shifting is pointless in an SUV like this. Even when driving aggressively, we found ourselves simply engaging "Sport" and letting the gearbox do all the work. We foresee owners using "manual mode" very rarely, if at all. It's also tuned conservatively (typical of Hyundai) and doesn't allow aggressive downshifts (like say, the Endeavour). Uniquely, if the gearbox disagrees with your downshift command, a prompt comes up on the MID telling you that your command has been denied. It's nice to see this sort of communication from the car - it's rare.

What I would like to see in the Harrier is an all-wheel drive system. As far as I know, Tata Motors has no plans to introduce an AWD version and the demand is admittedly minuscule, but they should think about it. An AWD AT will make the Harrier a kick-ass tourer, while also bestowing it with more marketing cred.

NVH levels have overall improved. There is lesser body shake on start up & shutdown. The AT shifts up early, hence engine sound isn't a bother when you're driving calmly in the city. However, engine noise is indeed prominent as the rev needle starts climbing and will be a put-off to anyone who compares it to the super-refined Creta & Seltos siblings. While it’s not as annoying as the earlier Harrier, the diesel starts getting loud above 3,000 - 3,500 rpm. Once past 4,000 rpm, the engine note is sad (even by diesel standards). We feel this is an "engine" problem as much as it is an "insulation" problem because the Compass gets noisy at high revs too.

The steering is no longer as sensitive or twitchy as it was in the '19 Harrier we drove. It's not what we would call dangerous anymore & most owners won't complain. That said, I have to state that it's still a level too sensitive at high speeds. Even a slight touch on the steering results in the car changing direction. Tata should dull the high-speed response even more. I wouldn't have a problem with such a steering in a hatchback or low-slung sedan, but in a large + tall + heavy SUV like this, it can make things unnerving at 120 km/h. Even so, the steering's behaviour is no deal breaker and I was taking the expressway curves a lot more confidently than the '19 media car. Will add that straight line stability is fantastic.

What will really bother owners on a daily basis is the steering's weight at parking, crawling and u-turn speeds (0 - 5 km/h). It feels hefty <5 km/h and will totally put off regular folk (especially women) who are used to light Japanese & Korean steerings. No problem once you get above 10 km/h or so. My single wish from Tata Motors is to make the steering lighter at parking / crawling speeds. I don't understand why something as simple as tuning a power steering isn't done perfectly after 1.5 years of the model being on sale.

Additional 30 horses are felt & noticeable. Engine cover with Kryotec170 branding. The Harrier AT has an ARAI-certified fuel economy figure of 14.63 km/l:


Leather-wrapped gear knob wears a glossy black top with attractive detailing. No doubt that this is the Harrier to buy. We'll take the AT over the MT 10 times out of 10. I appreciate how our home boys - Tata & Mahindra - tune their ATs so well (we loved the Hexa & XUV500 ATs too):


Black unlock button is conveniently placed:


Selected gear is denoted in orange. In manual mode, push the lever up to upshift and down to downshift (just the way we like it):


A look at the AT’s footwell. Short dead pedal is carried over from the MT. While it's usable, Tata should have improved the dead pedal in the AT, where it will be used 100% of the time:


"City" mode is shown in white, "Eco" in green & "Sport" in red:


Filler cap for the diesel exhaust fluid (DEF / AdBlue) is located in the boot:


Right below is the 15L DEF tank:


Saw the massive Harrier ad on the expressway while driving the same car...in the same colour:


Disclaimer: Tata invited Team-BHP for the 2020 Harrier AT test-drive. They covered all the travel expenses for this driving event.

Last edited by GTO : 13th August 2020 at 10:57.
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Old 13th August 2020, 11:38   #6
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Default Re: 2020 Tata Harrier Automatic : Official Review

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to Official Reviews. Thanks for sharing!

Unlike the '19 Harrier, I actually enjoyed cruising in the '20 Harrier on the expressway . This car is a fantastic long distance mile muncher:
2020 Tata Harrier Automatic : Official Review-20200802-09.00.35.jpg

Party-animal Mod Manson also enjoyed his drive around empty & beautiful Bombay, on a Sunday (his post is here). If you've never partied with Manson, you have surely missed on a unique experience of life:
2020 Tata Harrier Automatic : Official Review-annotation-20200813-111855.png

The 2020 Harrier is much, much improved over the '19 car. In fact, if you bought the '19 car, I feel terrible for you. Not only has the car improved, but the AT is the transmission of choice. It is superbly tuned / mated to the engine. A silky smooth stress-free drive. After spending a weekend with the Harrier AT, the car has moved from my not-recommended list to my recommended list. Only for those who are okay with facing some niggles & the usual Tata ownership experience though. A big draw is its sheer character & size when compared to smaller crossovers like the Creta / Seltos. But in addition to the 2 niggles mentioned in the review, I faced a 3rd = a violent jerk from the gearbox once while it downshifted on a Parel flyover. Don't know whether it was from 4th - 3rd or 3rd -> 2nd (no real-time gear display and I wasn't paying attention), but it was strong. Other than this, no complaints. The Harrier AT is way superior to the Compass AT in terms of engine + AT mating. Don't know how everyone does a better job with Jeep's engines than FCA itself!

I am confident that the '20 Harrier AT would easily be doing 2500 - 3000 units / month consistently if this was the car that was originally launched (whether last year or in 2020). On the flip side, the price has steadily increased which isn't cool for a slow seller in this market. Sure, I accept BS6 as a contributor, but that is Rs 50,000 tops as an OEM cost. See the price comparo. 1.45 lakhs ex-showroom means like 1.7 - 1.8 lakhs OTR (depending on the state):
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Last edited by GTO : 13th August 2020 at 11:45.
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Old 13th August 2020, 11:49   #7
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Default Re: 2020 Tata Harrier Automatic : Official Review

The very fact that Tata has wholeheartedly worked to sort out so many of the initial issues is commendable.

Kudos to TATA motors!

A great review as usual with some amazing pics. The new Red colour is another thing Tata should have offered while launching the car.
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Old 13th August 2020, 12:03   #8
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Default Re: 2020 Tata Harrier Automatic : Official Review

As said many times by almost everyone this should have been the launch car and it would be doing pretty good numbers by now. I would have bought this in Black edition if it was available in December when we got Kodiaq, saving myself few lakhs at the same time.

For someone looking at a proper SUV (not Creta/Seltos) among XUV500, Hector, Compass this would be on top of my list. Nothing can beat its killer looks and as the review says the engine and auto gearbox combo is even better than Compass!
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Old 13th August 2020, 12:37   #9
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The 2020 Harrier Auto is a great vehicle, however in terms of ride quality the Hexa is missed surely. It is terrible we don't have any Body on Frame well sorted SUV after the Hexa/Safari. We have planned to buy a SUV in 25lacs range but post Hexa nothing really provides feeling of satisfaction ( We have two Hexa XTA in friends and they have been amazing for past 3years ).
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Old 13th August 2020, 12:51   #10
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Default Re: 2020 Tata Harrier Automatic : Official Review

The car that should have been originally launched with the same feature set.

While it is now a good product, still not sure if it is worth the near 25L price it commands? Especially the manual, which in its top end guise costs nearly 23 L OTR.Reason being, apparently the niggles still exist. 3 Niggles, in two days of review? For a 25Lakh rupee product, is something which is not my cup of tea.

Additionally, the cost is just too high (specially for the manual trim). The top end varaint costs a mind numbing 22.8L rupees in Pune. The Hector with the same engine costs 21.3L. Mind you despite the feature revisions, Hector still has a pretty long list as compared to Harrier. Since the target audience for both these cars are Family Cruisers, no wonder, the new model is still not finding favors with the customers.

Given a choice, I will still choose the Hector,Hexa and XUV500 over the Harrier.

That said, the Diesel AT is a trump card for the Harrier and TATA should aim to capitalize on this.

Last edited by 07CR : 13th August 2020 at 13:03.
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Old 13th August 2020, 12:54   #11
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Default Re: 2020 Tata Harrier Automatic : Official Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aditya View Post
205 mm of ground clearance + terrain response system. Latter will make monsoon driving safer
Thanks for the fantastic review Aditya.
However I would like to point out one thing. Ground clearance in BS6 Harrier is reduced by 23 mm due to addition of DEF tank. Laden GC has gone down from 176 mm to 153 mm. So unladen GC would have gone down by 23 mm too(182 mm now from previous 205 mm)
page from 2019 Harrier vs 2020 Harrier user manual:
Attached Thumbnails
2020 Tata Harrier Automatic : Official Review-gc_old.jpg  

2020 Tata Harrier Automatic : Official Review-gc_new.jpg  

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Old 13th August 2020, 12:55   #12
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Default Re: 2020 Tata Harrier Automatic : Official Review

Harrier is a genuinely desirable Tata after Safari for me. Tata has been doing an awesome job with the styling of its latest launches and Harrier is no exception. It looks absolutely fantastic although I am not a fan of the stock alloys still.

All the basic are pretty much sorted -
Soft touch dashboard - Check
Good AT - Check
Stonker of an engine - Check
Panoramic Sunroof - Check
Banging Stereo - Check
Big Screens - Check
Looks - Check
Powered seat - Check
Safety - Check

If I was in the market today, Harrier would be at top of my list. I wont even look at Seltos because this is a segment bigger and I am sure rides and handles like one too. Great job Tata.
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Old 13th August 2020, 13:00   #13
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Default Re: 2020 Tata Harrier Automatic : Official Review

Great review! It is detailed and un-biased as usual.

IIRC the Harrier's ground clearance has reduced after the addition of the DEF tank. If the review could have included some bits on that it would have been helpful to prospective buyers.

MODS kindly delete the post incase it has already been covered in the review and I might have missed out on it while reading the review.
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Old 13th August 2020, 13:08   #14
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Default Re: 2020 Tata Harrier Automatic : Official Review

Cool review of a fantastic car @Aditya. Thanks for sharing. Loved reading it as much as I love this car. With all its shortcomings and flaws in 2019, it was still the only true butch SUV with street cred on this side of 20L INR if one was looking for a car like that.

With the welcome additions, fixes on niggles/misses, the car certainly is a rather complete package & a capable one at that. Typical to Tata cars of a decade ago, the car falls a bit in no-mans-land with no exact competition for like-for-like comparison with size & price bracket. Others are either cheaper/costlier while also being smaller/larger. Pretty unique car this, like the SCross/Marazzo lower in the spectrum.

Even with the update - the car "just-about" gets things loaded on the features list. Compared to the nearest rivals the car is almost bare-bones when it comes to gizmos except sun-roof. Electronic wizardry is minimal to say the least. For the purists (me included) its a boon. A car for driving rather than impressing. But then - for those who want all these tricks, the Harrier would appear still minimalistic.

A special mention to the Auto dim IRVM - its something that they should give as Standard in the Harrier which is a costly car. Also - the finish, quality & overall build of it is IDENTICAL to the one I retrofitted in my Nexon after sourcing from AliExpress for a pretty cheap price. While its good and nothing to complain about, I'd have preferred a sleeker modern unit like in new VW cars at this price point. Even the Rapid has this new smartly finished IRVM. At least with flagship products, Tata should try to match the best out their rather than constantly playing catch-up on the "small but significant things" - that make a difference in the overall ownership experience.

Last edited by Reinhard : 13th August 2020 at 13:12.
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Old 13th August 2020, 13:10   #15
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Default Re: 2020 Tata Harrier Automatic : Official Review

Tata has worked out on the feedback and had opportunity to make Harrier successful. Tata underestimated potential of MG Hector and this product has beaten harrier black and blue. Tata products are usually VFM and they price it below competition and this strategy has worked well. Both cars are not fun to drive, Harrier has road presence, Hector has gizmos and both score well overall. The top spec Harrier is almost 1.5L more than top spec Hector. Only USP for Tata now is the AT box and probably anti China sentiments will help for sometime.
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