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Old 3rd February 2019, 19:18   #1
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Default Tata: Hexa or Harrier?

Okay, I am in a bit of a dilemma here. I took a test drive of both Hexa and Harrier today. And, I am a bit confused what should I opt for.

First of all, the biggest deciding factor is 4x4. Hexa offers one, but Harrier doesn't.

I am not a hardcore offroader. But, I like travelling and definitely want to try out some offroading like:
  1. Driving in the dunes in Jaisalmer
  2. Winter drive in Spiti valley
  3. Going to a bit off-road spots for camping

I dream about above expeditions and I am sure Harrier cannot do them. But, those only contribute to 3-4% of the drives that I would do. I believe Harrier can conquer typical Himalayan terrains, but anything more requires 4x4.

Apart from that, below are pros and cons of each:

Harrier
Pros
  • Better looking interiors
  • More comfortable seats
  • Smaller and lighter than Hexa
Cons
  • OVRMS and pillars cause a blind spot, visibility in Hexa is better which might help in difficult terrains
  • Seating position is bit low, again which might cause problems in difficult terrains

Hexa
Pros
  • Better visibility, better seating position
  • Ladder-on-frame - can handle more rough road abuse
Cons
  • Big vehicle, we don't really need a 7 seater
  • Interiors are bit outdated (though still look good)
  • Notchy gear shifts

So, the question comes down to:
  1. Can Hexa do the off-roads I mentioned above? Or I would need a more capable vehicle.
  2. Is it okay to have a 7 seater, but rarely use it?
  3. If you were in my shoes, what would you choose?

Any other points you could add would help. This is my first big purchase and I want a vehicle to keep for the long term and not regret later, or need to upgrade too soon.

Thanks
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Old 3rd February 2019, 22:16   #2
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Default re: Tata: Hexa or Harrier?

The areas of application where a Hexa can go thanks to its AWD (with a theoretical maximum of 33% power to the front wheels in a heavy RWD car) and the smaller, lighter FWD Harrier can't is small.

Avenue 2 - Straight up, just about any car can do Spiti in the winter - white Spiti is a different matter though. That's when the Hexa's AWD will make a difference (snow cases only). Again though, heavy rear biased with not much of an AWD isn't that much better than a better GC/Wheelbase ratio-ed, lighter FWD when climbing hairpins on mountains. That said, as far as Spiti goes, you can go in winter and see the snow separately (nice and close) without needing to drive on it.

Avenue 3 - Off-roading to campsites needs to be judged on a case to case basis - there'll be places a Harrier would reach, and places where even a G-Wagon or Wrangler wouldn't.

Avenue 1 - The heavy RWD Hexa with such a limited power distribution won't manage dunes. The lighter Harrier won't either, but again, the (lower) weight might even be an advantage in certain situations.

FWIW, I just did Spiti and the Dunes just about back to back (15th Nov to 1st Dec, then 5th Jan to 15th Jan). Saw many cars stuck in the sand - not dunes mind you, sand covered roads stretching across the DNP.

Given what I see of what you've asked, I'd recommend the Harrier for you. IMO the Hexa is a great car, but not an off-roader. If I didn't need a seven seater, I'd pick the Harrier any day. For an expedition, they are equivalent in terms of number of people which can be ferried. The Harrier is newer and lighter and will be nicer to use daily. Most expeditions practically don't require a 4x4 - you can do without one 99% of the time by being a little cautious, sensible and willing to walk more. That said, nothing like the freedom a proper 4x4 gives you. Which the Hexa won't.

That said, the Hexa is a proven, trouble-free vehicle by now. The Harrier a new one. Also, for Indian conditions, I personally prefer body on frame - especially since you intend to keep the vehicle long term. But then the Hexa is aging (possibly even on its way out if some are to be believed), the Harrier modern.

In you shoes, I'd wait for the Harrier to be in the market for a year, and then pick it up. If you want a more off-road focused vehicle (mostly for the dunes given the parameters so far), you must either increase your budget, or go for a utilitarian off-roader that'll leave you with the risk of multiple disc herniations over the course of an expedition (mild exaggeration).

Oh, and it's absolutely okay to have a seven seater and not use it mostly - the day you need the space, it really comes in handy. Also, sometimes, even just two up, my car is full - with off-road equipment and camera gear etc.

Finally, I think I understand what I've been trying to get at all through this post:
Practically there isn't much of a difference. Both have advantages and disadvantages. Just go for the one you LIKE more. I would personally pick the modern car.
And remember 90 - 98% of an expedition is highways/sealed tarmac. Beyond that, there'll be places every car has to stop at. Be clear about your priorities.
If you want to true freedom, sacrifice comfort or money.

Also, whatever you go for, buy a shovel and tow-strap before Spiti, and sand ladders before the dunes. Mentally prepare to dig yourself out (real physical rigour may easily be involved), and you can have that freedom I keep harping on about anyway.

P.S. With all the cross shopping activity and chatter, this thread was bound to come up.
I hope this is turned into a poll. Also, I love that it's framed as an expedition vehicle question. Also, clearly the Harrier begs for an AWD (unfortunately economic sense can't be damned by Tata).

Last edited by Mu009 : 3rd February 2019 at 22:38. Reason: Correction(s)
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Old 3rd February 2019, 22:32   #3
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Default re: Tata: Hexa or Harrier?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shashankjain16 View Post

First of all, the biggest deciding factor is 4x4. Hexa offers one, but Harrier doesn't.
Mate - isn't the above pretty much summing up which do you want to go for!? The 4X4 application scenarios come only later on. The HEXA is a proven product by now, and is a no-brainer for a 4X4 need, between the two.

All the best!!
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Old 3rd February 2019, 22:57   #4
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Default re: Tata: Hexa or Harrier?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mu009 View Post
The areas of application where a Hexa can go thanks to its AWD (with a theoretical maximum of 33% power to the front wheels in a heavy RWD car) and the smaller, lighter FWD Harrier can't is small.
I thought Hexa was a quite a capable offroader, but thanks for clarifying. And, thank you so much for taking out the time to type such a long reply

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mu009 View Post
I hope this is turned into a poll. Also, I love that it's framed as an expedition vehicle question. Also, clearly the Harrier begs for an AWD (unfortunately economic sense can't be damned by Tata).
I cannot see an option to turn it into a poll. I think only mods can do it now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by avinash_m View Post
Mate - isn't the above pretty much summing up which do you want to go for!? The 4X4 application scenarios come only later on. The HEXA is a proven product by now, and is a no-brainer for a 4X4 need, between the two.

All the best!!
Well, I am rather confused with Hexa's off-roading ability. That is why I posted that if I can do Spiti or other expeditions or not.
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Old 4th February 2019, 02:22   #5
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Default re: Tata: Hexa or Harrier?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shashankjain16 View Post
[*]Driving in the dunes in Jaisalmer
[*]Winter drive in Spiti valley
[*]Going to a bit off-road spots for camping
Despite of having a rough terrain mode Harrier wont be suitable for any of the above.

I wont recommend driving on the dunes of Jaisalmer even with a Hexa AWD. Without proper recovery vehicle and a person who knows the terrain well, this should not be tried.

Snow drive in Spiti valley can be done in a Hexa AWD.

A bit of offroading can also be done in a Hexa AWD. Where a Harrier cant go, a Hexa AWD will take you there.

Based on your requirements, i will suggest you to take test drives of the following cars - Duster AWD, Isuzu V cross, Scorpio 4x4, Safari Storm 4x4 and Compass AWD.

I at your place would have picked up a V-cross and deck it up! This is the ideal vehicle for camping!

If you strictly want to chose between these two, then Hexa AWD should be your pick. Even in 2 wheel drive mode, Hexa being a rear wheel drive car, it has it's own advantage over a front wheel drive car in rough roads.

Last edited by Samba : 4th February 2019 at 02:28.
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Old 4th February 2019, 08:57   #6
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Default re: Tata: Hexa or Harrier?

Would add just one point here. The 7 seating is not really a decider here. You could be traveling as a group of 4 or 5. The last section with the last row in the Hexa would be used for luggage. Or, if it is the Harrier - then the space behind the 2nd row is for luggage.
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Old 4th February 2019, 09:07   #7
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Default Re: Tata: Hexa or Harrier?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shashankjain16 View Post
First of all, the biggest deciding factor is 4x4. Hexa offers one, but Harrier doesn't.
That nails it, I guess. Go for the Hexa AWD. But do keep in mind that the AT is more impressive than the MT. Sadly, it's not available with the AWD.

Other cars you should consider are:

- Compass AWD. Surprisingly nice off the road. If I were you, this is what I'd get. The Compass is also a lot of fun to drive on the open road.

- XUV500 AWD (available with a sweet AT too).
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Old 4th February 2019, 10:20   #8
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Default Re: Tata: Hexa or Harrier?

The Hexa's Varicor engine is stable. One of guys has covered more than 1.6L km with that engine (Storme). The Fiat engine in the Harrier has it's own strengths.

Regarding the 4x4 part, the AWD in the Hexa may take you a few more places than this Harrier. Then again, a lot depends on the skill of the driver too.

The engines/transmission combo is different in both. This, combined with the weight difference will mean some differences in the way they handle. I suggest you take more TD's of both. Look at things like seating comfort for driver and passenger. See which you like better.
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Old 4th February 2019, 11:12   #9
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Default Re: Tata: Hexa or Harrier?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
- Compass AWD. Surprisingly nice off the road. If I were you, this is what I'd get. The Compass is also a lot of fun to drive on the open road.

- XUV500 AWD (available with a sweet AT too).
I don't want to go with Compass because of relatively low ground clearance and lack of cruise control.

XUV500 because of ride quality. I did not test drive it, but going by reviews, ride quality of Hexa and Harrier is much better - absolutely needed for long drives.
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Old 4th February 2019, 12:31   #10
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Default Re: Tata: Hexa or Harrier?

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.....but going by reviews, ride quality of Hexa and Harrier is much better - absolutely needed for long drives.
If you are okay with buying a vehicle launched a few years ago (Dec 2015 to be precise), then please do check out the Safari Storme Varicor 400 (Tata Safari Storme Varicor 400 : Official Review). It has everything you need, and then some more - space, ride quality, comfy seats, 4x4 and it should fit in your budget.

As for keeping it for the long term, I know people (off the forum) who are happily using their classic Safaris bought 8-10 years ago, without any reliability or spares issues. So don't see why it shouldn't be the same for the Storme.

Cheers,
Vikram
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Old 4th February 2019, 13:03   #11
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Default Re: Tata: Hexa or Harrier?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shashankjain16 View Post
I am not a hardcore offroader. But, I like traveling and definitely want to try out some offroading like
I spent weeks in a similar dilemma between Creta and Duster 2 years back. But then I realized with the time and bandwidth I get, I might do these extreme adventures once or twice during the term of ownership and the vehicle will remain on the tarmac for over 90% of its mileage. I mean I would still like to do them but 25,000kms later, I'm happy I got the urban cruiser instead.

Also, if I really came to do winter Spiti, I'd rather hire a good 4x4 off zoom-car and spend a little extra than putting my purchase decision around it.

Do consider this line of thought. The head dreams a lot during the purchase decision which might not dominate the term of your ownership

Also, slightly off topic, but consider Duster AWD. End of product life cycle but an incredibly popular choice for off-roaders. Lightweight, nimble and powerful. Comfortable in the city and off the road too. Might save you some $$$ which you can use to overhaul the disappointing interiors.
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Old 4th February 2019, 13:35   #12
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Default Re: Tata: Hexa or Harrier?

This offroad test conducted by Carwale is interesting. You can also compare it with the other cars they have tested.
https://www.carwale.com/tata-cars/he...tata-hexa-4x4/

Overall score is 7/10.
This is concerning "Its electronically-controlled AWD system uses a clutch to send power up front. The system engages the clutch when it detects that the rear wheels are spinning. The big downside to this is that the constant clutch actuation generates heat and to protect the clutch, the AWD system eventually stops engaging it. This was particularly evident when we neared the top of the steep grade as the Hexa nearly refused to climb the last few meters. We ultimately had to let the clutch cool down before having another go at completing the climb."

Note that the car scores 10/10 on a 'beaker test' which is measured by how much water is retained/spilled while driving over a rough patch.
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Old 4th February 2019, 13:59   #13
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Default Re: Tata: Hexa or Harrier?

Honestly, I would find the Harrier to be a more practical car in India. Easier to park, easier to make turns in cramped spaces. The last row of the Hexa isn't exactly ideal for long drives with adults seated. This might not be a deal breaker for you but I understand the Harrier is equipped with Android Auto; whilst the Hexa is not.

And if off-roading, save the few lakhs you might save on the Harrier and rent it out from Zoom or Revv or a bunch of others which now seem to offer self-drive options. As it is, better to offroad with a rental than your own car, no?
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Old 4th February 2019, 16:31   #14
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Default Re: Tata: Hexa or Harrier?

Neither of these two I would say, Hexa big no for its Van like looks and Harrier due to missing 4wd or AWD which is necessary if you plan something related to off roading. You should look out for Jeep or XUV they will serve the purpose.
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Old 4th February 2019, 17:03   #15
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Default Re: Tata: Hexa or Harrier?

Being a Hexa XTA owner, I will recommend you go for the Harrier.

I know you've mentioned 4x4 as a requirement, but practically how many times do you intend to go off road with a 20lac car ? and if this is your first big purchase you will tend to baby it than take it off road.

How many times would you go with 7 passengers and luggage ? My 3rd row is folded down all the time. I wouldn't put an adult in the 3rd row for a highway run.

I've not TD the Harrier, and have seen it in the showroom. The Harrier is more practical in terms of size, the rear seats are supremely comfy, with the front seats pushed all the way back, i had a few inches of knee room.

The Hexa is not a fuel efficient vehicle in city runs. In Bangalore traffic you will get no more than 8.5 to 9 kpl. Hopefully the Harrier is better given its weight and lighter engine.

Will I change to Harrier - Maybe if and when the AT comes out in Arizona Blue.

cheers
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