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Old 3rd June 2017, 16:32   #1
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Default Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue

DISCLAIMER : This is my first compilation on Team-BHP. So, kindly excuse me for committing any error in the post. If there's any error made in the post below, then please feel free to correct me. This review is based on the experience of a 16-year old who has not driven the car. It's purely what I've felt sitting in the passenger seat and the opinion of my dad who drives this car. Also please excuse some grammatical mistakes made here and there. This post would be a long one. So, grab your popcorn or else you wouldn't be able to do so.

Odometer reading at the time of the review : 5,700 kms

What I Like :
  • Pricing is just spot-on and it now undercuts all its chief competitors, the Mahindra XUV500 and the Toyota Innova Crysta by a huge margin (thanks to the Goods and Services Tax). It now truly is a Value-for-Money (VFM) proposition and I donot see a reason to pick this over its competitors. Me and my dad are hitting our heads against the wall as to why didn't we wait for the GST to come in (we could've saved around 2 lakhs which was almost equal to the selling price of my erstwhile Linea and as per today's standard, 2 lakhs is still a huge amount for us conservative Indians).
  • Understated looks all over the car which screams, "Road-Presence". Almost everyone gives this guy a second look!
  • First-in Segment features such as Super-Drive Modes, Pull-up sunshade for rear passengers, 10-Speaker JBL System, ORVM Demister, 19"alloys, 8-colour mood lighting,etc.
  • 6-Seater Captain seat version is probably the best place to be in with ample legroom, headroom and its pampering in the second row with the rear pull-up sunshade and multiple charging ports.
  • Ride Quality is probably the best in the segment. It easily beats the Segment leader, The Toyota Innova Crysta and the best compact SUV(IMO), the Renault Duster in terms of ride and handling.
  • Someone at TATA has really worked on the attention-to-detail aspect and it shows. On the front you get a leather-wrapped dashboard, soft plastics and the rich feel in the cabin cannot be matched by its competitor, The XUV500. There are some hard plastics in the cabin but they are away from the eye and touch.
  • The seats with the variable density foam and lumbar support for all 4 seats in the 6-seater version has added up to the comfort levels of the car.
  • The refinement and NVH levels are probably the best and one cannot hear the diesel clatter.
  • The Torque-On Demand (TOD) All-Wheel Drive system from BorgWarner is probably the best seen in this segment vis-a-vis, The Mahindra XUV500.
  • The 6-Speed Automatic Transmission (AT) gearbox sourced from Punch-Powerglide is perfectly mated to the 2.2 Varicor 400 and has the first in segment race-car mode in the gearbox.
  • The AT variant is easy to amble around in the city despite its huge dimensions.
  • The fuel efficiency for such a big vehicle that too for an AT is quite commendable.
  • The steering though heavy at low speeds actually gives you a good feedback at the corners.
  • The car is a very capable Long-Distance tourer. During our maiden road trip in which we covered 1,700+ kms over 3 days and we had no fatigue at all at the end of the trip. The car is very comfortable over these long trips and we're now looking for a reason to take this beast out of the city every now and then
  • TATA's after-sales service is no more a gamble. Out of all the vehicle brands we own, the TATA has impressed me big-time! In my city, you cannot compare a TATA's after-sales with that of a Mahindra (I'm really not satisfied with the services offered by Mahindra for its flagship. Guess, its something to do with the attitude of the Mahindra's after-sales service). They give utmost priority to their flagship car owners and that treatment is to be experienced not said!

What I Don't :
  • The manual transmission (MT) in particular is notchy to use in the city(TD experience). The MT also has a wee-bit of lag which is slightly noticeable. Those who have to do a lot of city commute, go for the AT without a second thought. The MT variant is cumbersome to drive in the city. The AT doesn't have any lag w.r.t MT.
  • The AT is unavailable in the AWD iteration.
  • The missing features on the AT such as Super-Drive Modes, ESP, Hill-Descent control, Hydraulic Brake regeneration are conspicuous by their absence.
  • The hefty 2,280 kg kerb weight has taken a toll on the power-to-weight ratio and probably due to this reason the 0-100 timings for the Manual is rated at 15.xx seconds whereas the Automatic is rated at 12.25 seconds.
  • No standalone navigation provided. At this price point this sucks! Even after spending 22 big ones for the top-end trim, I'm still relying on the Google maps!
  • Kickback from the steering in extremely bad roads is a small irritant.
  • Missing features from the competition such as the Tyre-Pressure Monitor system(TPMS), Start-Stop button, sunroof and an Auto-dimming IRVM are some of the glaring ommissions in such a well-kitted car.
  • Some owners feel that the ergonomics are a bit messed up. Myself or my dad didn't feel that the ergonomics were messed up as my Fiat Linea has even more messed up ergonomics w.r.t the Hexa.
  • Tata must tighten their quality check(QC). My car had some QC issues and were rectified in my presence at the service centre during the P.D.I

What I've decided to live with:
  • An Armrest which has a flawed design, is good for nothing for shorter drivers (like my dad).
  • No Telescopic(reach) adjustment for the Steering Wheel. Those with Laid-Back seating position will miss this feature(like my dad).
  • Though I mentioned that it was easy to amble in the city but now my dad feels that the Heavy Steering, huge dimensions and a few messed-up ergonomics add up to the misery to drive this beast on a Day-to-Day basis in the city conditions. I'm not saying that it is bad but you can live with it if you've bought the car without using your head a bit too much but its a lot easier to drive in the city w.r.t the Linea.
  • Slotting the beast in the smallest of the parking lots is a problem.
  • Small touchscreen in such a huge cabin looks a bit out of place but you can live with it (thanks to the features and interface which it has to offer).
  • Some minor quality issues with the interior parts of the car.

Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0307.jpg

I am a 16-Year old boy whose only fantasy at this age are the cars. People of my age are usually tech-savvys, gamers, etc. But I'm different from those. My friends usually talk about the latest phones and stuff. I was never interested in those stuff. Whenever there was a party or a get-together, once I get started with my talk, people ask me a question,"Why do you always have to talk about cars and don't you have anything else to speak of?" I can't answer their question and probably can never answer it . Such is my passion for cars. I've tried many DIY's on my dad's Fiat Linea and probably only 60-70% of my DIY's were successful. I inherited this passion of cars from my dad who himself is an auto-enthusiast and who happens to be a FIAT lover till date is now a TATA fan. He is an avid auto-enthusiast who loves to drive and who truly lives to drive. We have almost explored all the places by travelling in the car with my dad behind the wheel during those massive road trips.

Though the cars are my only fantasy, there's much more to life which I relish. I was once an avid cyclist who put both of the bikes I owned to the paces and used to have a wide smile across my face. Going off the trail was once my regular activity. The seasons of monsoons happened to be my favourite to put my bikes through their paces. I still live in a habitat which is surrounded by greenery all around and still doesn't have paved roads in some localities. These unpaved roads turn into the off-roading track for us in the monsoons. Once, the cycling was my only alternative for my daily commute (8kms to and fro) but now since I've graduated from a school to a Junior college and that Junior college is located in the heart of the other part of the city in which I live. So, this meant that I had to give up cycling. Other than cycling, I used to enjoy playing a Guitar and was an amateur in this field. Recently, I acquired the art of photography and I did put my DSLR though its paces. Apart from the above list of things, I'm also a bookworm and a fan of the books authored by Chetan Bhagat. I'm best known as a car enthusiast in my family and relatives.

To be a part of this community at this age, I consider this to be one of my greatest achievements in my lifetime. Thinking that I'm alone, then better think again. I've got fellow bhpians Vishy76, karthi.stark and Petrolhead_Neel to my rescue. For the folks who haven't come across my intro -

Why a new car ?
We, in particular were happy with our '09 Fiat Linea 1.3MJD with over 1,24,000 kms on the odo, was serving us well without any problems. Add to that, we were also having a Ford Figo 1.4 TDCI with 60,000 kms on the odo which is a mainly a city car and a Maruti Ertiga 1.3 DDIS which took care of all the outstation trips if there were more than 4 occupants and it is only a highway runner and thanks to our limited highway runs, it just saw 25,000 kms on its odo over a period of 5 years. A Tata Nano was a beater in our garage which took all kinds of abuse and due to the frequent changes of drivers it sees, it saw a clutch replacement too early in its life at around 14,000 kms on the odo. It now has around 25,000 kms on the odo. My maternal grandfather has been using it for his short city runabouts once in a while and is properly maintained and contrary to our other cars, this car is still on its original factory paint (not in a case of a beater) barring a few scratches which are hardly visible and that Colorado Red has a shine of its own in our garage and is the most vibrant and cute-looking car in our garage. So, the upgrade was out of equation for a few years (atleast that's what my dad thought!) and my dad was enjoying his EMI-free period of his life for over 2 years as he had pre-closed our house-loan a lot earlier than the said duration. So, we saved quite a bit due to no EMI's and we were loving it (thanks to my dad who is a good planner when it comes to the planning and investing of the finances).

This April, we had my parents 25th wedding anniversary. Myself and brother (currently abroad) were thinking as of what to do for their 25th anniversary to make it special. As my brother left India, a couple of car's usage significantly decreased and the idea of buying a new car comes in my mind by selling our other cars which were rarely used. My dad and mom liked the idea of buying a car by replacing our other cars which were seeing a bit less running and my dad was even more happy because we were getting a bit more of real-estate at our disposal. The set timeline to buy a car was from the month of March (my mom's 44th B'Day) and at the latest by 15th April 2017(the much awaited 25th wedding anniversary of my parents). We, however were more inclined towards the latter date because that car would be a memory which my dad and mom were gonna cherish for their lifetime. So, we zeroed onto the latter without much of a thought.

Which Car?
This was quite a confusion because in the used market you're spoilt of choices. For the kind of budget we set, there were quite a few used Bimmers(3'er), Mercs, Audis, VWs and Skodas falling in our budget vicinity. Our main requirement was that the car shouldn't have many miles under its belt, have a clean history and if a diesel not more than 3-4 years old (thanks to the NGT). Since the options were more (unlike the new car market), we decided to pen-down the requirements and even though there was a lot of room to stretch our budget, we initially limited ourselves to a budget of Rs.10 Lacs. The cars shortlisted were :
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This car was really a strong contender as it made a strong case for itself and to my luck I found a 2009, Superb 3.6 FSI 4x4 (as SKODA calls it) and was neatly maintained by the previous owner. The car was available at a competitive price of Rs.7,50,000/-. The car had aftermarket alloys and that 6-Cylinder VR6 was too good to be ignored. It was wrapped over in beautiful black colour but the only downer was that it had done around 80,000 kms under its belt. Add to that its scary ASS and even the FNG's out there were incapable of handling her and the $$$ we'll have to spend for each service if we had bought one. My dad felt that it was a risk not worth taking. So, striked the 3.6 off the list with a heavy heart. We were now looking for the 1.8 TSI and 2.0 TDI but couldn't find any good used example and we were running out of time and we left out the superb but we were still in search of one. So, the +ves and -ves of the superb (according to me):
Pro's :
  • A proper executive sedan.
  • Those jaw-dropping yet understated looks were to my taste.
  • The sheer options of engines and transmissions on offer.
  • Were available below the set Rs.10 Lac range.
  • That N/A 3.6 FSI is a wettest dream for any enthusiast and can make any enthusiast go gaga!
  • That Luxury Status earned in your family members and relatives is priceless while you get down from one.
  • Loaded to the gills and had all the features that we were craving for in our next upgrade.
  • 5-Star safety features such as 8-Airbags, ABS, ESP,....etc.
  • Was 2 segments higher from our existing car.
Con's :
  • Spartan FE due to the higher Power and Displacement on offer.
  • Niggling issues over the Awesome-yet-troublesome DSG gearbox.
  • Scary ASS stories.
  • Heavy bills to be incurred for each service would give a blow to our finances.
  • A good used example (except the 3.6 FSI mentioned above) wasn't found in our exhaustive search.
Pic source : @dkaile sir's ownership report.


Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-skodalauravrs21.jpg
A car which was more of a bang for the buck for what it had to offer and were priced dirt cheap compared to the Superb. But, in terms of features we were missing a lot from our previous car and really didn't feel like and upgrade from the Linea. We did try to find a VRS but no luck.
Pro's :
  • A proper enthusiast car for sale in the used market for throw-away prices.
  • A more bang for the buck preposition in the used car segment.
  • Had all the basic features and all the safety features from the Linea.
  • Can be a proper Project car for someone (thanks to the level of modability being a VAG).
Con's :
  • Didnot really feel like an upgrade from the Linea in terms of features.
  • Missing features from the Linea such as Automatic Climate Control, steering mounted controls,...etc in the Ambition variant as I was not successful in searching a L&K or Elegance trim.
  • The bigger sibling(Superb) wasn't too far away in terms of pricing.
  • The same 'ol SKODA ASS stories which are scary at its best.
Pic source : Team-BHP official review.


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My dad drove this car a couple of years back when his cousin had bought one and instantly fell-in for the 2.0 TCDI engine. The car also had all the features we craved for and was falling in the vicinity(in terms of price) of the Laura. But, the ASS was even worse when compared to a Skoda and the lack of spares in the open market made the situations worse for us for even getting it serviced in our FNG. The final nail in the coffin was when the rumours of Chevrolet exiting the Indian markets were doing rounds. Striked it off the list without a second thought.
Pro's :
  • The car is quite a looker and I'm an ardent fan of its bold looks.
  • Feature-loaded and felt like a real upgrade from our Linea in terms of feature (unlike the Laura).
  • Had all the basic safety features we were expecting.
  • Was cheaper than the Laura and we were getting more kit for the same $$$.
Con's :
  • No ASS support and lack of spares in the open market made us look elsewhere.
  • The company itself shut shops and that gave a negative vibe for the potential customers in the new and used car markets.
Pic source : Team-BHP official Review.

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These cars were abundant in the used car markets of Hyderabad in our budget and found quite a few well-maintained used cars and decided to stretch our budget in-order to afford them. So, the new budget allocated for the used car was Rs.15 lacs plus or minus a lac and not beyond that. But the fact that we will be using it mostly in the city and its huge dimensions were something that we were worried of and add to that the spartan mileage of 6-7kmpl it gives in the city. The car didn't feel like an upgrade from our Linea in-terms of features. So, here goes the truck.
Pro's :
  • The bold looks of an ancient Ladder-on-Frame SUV.
  • A capable off-roader and a decent highway cruiser.
  • Spacious interiors.
  • No more worries about scrapping your car on those ill-designed speed-breakers where my Linea with the upgraded GC scrapped twice.
  • Had all the basic comfort and safety features one would expect
  • Toyota's ASS assures peace of mind.
Con's :
  • The car missed out on creature comforts which my Linea offered. We were in no mood to sacrifice as we were paying a premium for it and that compromise meant that we were downgrading in-terms of features which was totally not acceptable
  • Only 2-Airbags for such a huge car was a downer.
  • The FE it gives in the city commute.
  • Extremely large dimensions are not suitable for city commute. Secondly, it wasn't fitting in our parking slot.
Pic Source : Team-BHP official review.

3rd Gen SKODA OCTAVIA 1.8 TSI/2.0 TDI :

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These cars were there in quite a number in our used car markets and we considered this because we stretched our budget and we thought that they would fit in this budget. Later on, we came to know that we will have to stretch our budget significantly that, in-order to get one used we'd rather go for a new 2.0/1.8 Ambition plus trim or stretch a bit more and get a new 1.8 TSI/2.0 TDI Style Plus variant itself. So, here goes the Octavia.
Pro's :
  • A proper Czech inside-out and was living upto the name of its predecessor.
  • Feature-loaded and all the creature comforts which we were expecting.
  • 5-Star safety features with 6-Airbags (2013-14 Octavias had only 6 of 'em), ABS, ESP,...etc.
  • Those understated looks at the front (unlike the newly launched facelift)with those crystalline elements properly contained in the design was to my taste.
  • Engine and transmission choices on offer.
  • An all-rounded car and felt like a true successor for the linea.
  • Torquey diesel and a deadly(I mean it) turbocharged petrol satisfied the enthusiast inside my dad.
  • Potential for MODS(this is the reason I like VAG cars).
Con's :
  • The Diesel counterpart was having an inferior torsion-beam at the rear when compared to the Multi-Link in the petrol counterpart(1.8 TSI).
  • Was priced higher than the expected market trend in the used car market of Hyd.
  • Scary Skoda ASS.
  • Gruesome reliability and the deadly 7-speed DSG (the infamous DQ200) gearbox mated to the 1.8 TSI was deadly in-terms of reliability and my dad stayed away from the deadly combo. Compared to the 1.8 TSI, the 2.0 TDI was tad better in-terms of reliability.
Pic source : Team-BHP official review.

Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-rexton.jpg
We were fed-up with the exhaustive search and then one fine day, I was just glancing through the list of cars available on OLX and I stumbled upon a less used Ssangyong Rexton RX7 (AT) which had done only 25,000kms and was just serviced a month back. The car had all the service records and the previous owner didn't even remove the plastic covers on all the seats and the car felt new as per the pics. Later on, when I tried contacting the seller, I was disappointed to know that he was a dealer. But reading his reviews online, we decided to bite the bullet and visit him once because the car was too good to resist. Once we stepped in the dealers premises, the cars up for sale felt like new cars and we felt like we were in a showroom(I mean literally). Most of his cars on display are less used and well-maintained. The best part is that even the owner of the dealership, Mr.Vishnukant Heda was quite a car enthusiast and even has the Team-BHP app installed on his phone and he also mentions that he makes it a point to visit the forum atleast once a day. FYI, the dealership name is Sub5 Cars. So, bhpians looking for used cars in Hyderabad can definitely give him a visit to purchase your dream ride.(DISCLAIMER : I am in no way related to Sub5 cars and this is my perspective about them. If it offends the rules of team-bhp, then I would request the Moderators to delete the post where I've put in my perspective)
So after a test drive of the Rexton, we immediately paid a token amount and booked it and promised to pay the balance by the end of the week. But, before taking the delivery, I wanted to get it inspected at Mahindra Service centre. After the inspection came to an end, the mechanic and SA gave their nod to go ahead with the purchase. So, we paid 80% of the car's cost on the same day which happens to be a day earlier than the D-Day. Excited about the new entrant, my dad called one of his cousin to inform this. He was shocked that we were going in for a Rexton. He then gave his cousin's number who owns a same vehicle of the same vintage and listed down all its brickbats and we were in a dilemma as to what to do about it. We kept thinking about it throughout the night and we were going through the Rexton's niggle thread and we decided to backoff. We informed the seller on the D-day and he immediately gave back our money except for the token amount which we paid him in-order to reserve the car. Myself and my dad felt sad about it as we both liked it as it was a purchase to-be made from the heart. But, at the end head took over the heart and we backed off.
Pro's :
  • The feeling of owning a Merc in disguise! That feeling was wandering over my dads head for quite sometime even after dropping out of the sale
  • The car was quite a looker and didn't feel too big like the Fortuner.
  • Was decently kitted with all the creature comforts we craved for.
  • The 5-Speed CVT gearbox though slow-shifting did the job for us.
  • Was available at a steal price which satisfied both the head and heart.
  • The car which we were about to own was impeccably maintained and also came with quite a few Mahindra Genuine accessories which were tasteful and quite useful for us.
  • The car was detailed thrice at the 3M outlet in the 3-years it spent with its first owner. It shows on how the previous owner maintained it.
  • Except for a couple of minor scratches(which were hardly visible), the car didnot have any blemishes of any sort.
Con's :
  • Niggles reported by many owners on Team-BHP.
  • The reliability of the car was a question mark for the people who plan to keep the car for long(like us).
  • The Mahindra After-sales service felt like a 3rd class FNG out there in Hyderabad and I didnot get the feel of owning a flagship while during the few days of ownership of my erstwhile XUV500 and this was proved right after we went for an inspection to the dealer and he was least interested in giving their flagship car customers the service they deserve.

Pic source : Team-BHP official preview

Now, we were back to square one and ended up with nothing in our 1-month's research. After the Rexton's ordeal, my uncle and brother were stubborn that we should go in for a new car as the car would be there with us for atleast for another 8 years. So, we started-off with a starting budget of Rs.20 lacs and my dad said he could stretch till Rs.28 lacs and not beyond that and he had started liking the automatics for the added convenience and this was a priority in our next car we were buying. So, the shortlisted cars were :

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Test-drove it and my dad liked the same old torquey 2.2 MHawk Engine which our erstwhile XUV500 had and also the smooth-shifting 6-Speed AT gearbox too. Selected for the second round.
Pro's :
  • The 6-Speed TCT sourced from Aisin was perfectly mated to the torquey 2.2Ltr Mhawk.
  • The car was feature-loaded and had all the good-to-have features.
  • Torquey 2.2Ltr Mhawk was more than adequate for our needs .
  • 5-Star safety features with 6-Airbags, ABS, ESP, Hill-Hold,...etc on offer.
  • The second-row of seats were even more spacious as there was no floor hump in the middle like other cars.
Con's :
  • The plastic quality is ridiculous when you compare it to the likes of the Crytsa and Hexa.
  • After experiencing the Hexa, the ride-quality felt harsh and the potholes absorbing in the cabin was glaringly obvious(no offence to the owners).
  • Absolutely no luggage space with all the three rows up.
  • No sliding 2nd row seats. Due to this, the third row feels cramped and is best suited only for kids/below-average height adults.

Pic source : Team-BHP official review of XUV500 AT


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My dad gave his nod for the Innova as well after a longish test-drive. But, the price tag of Rs.28 lacs OTR Hyderabad put him off and he wasn't getting more equipment over the competition. But he said that he liked it because of the reliability and peace of mind associated with the 'T' badge. So, selected for second round.
Pro's :
  • Decently feature-loaded when compared to its predecessor.
  • Upmarket interiors especially this applies to the top-of-the-line trim, ZX.
  • The 2.4 and 2.8Ltr powertrains boast of having the segment topping numbers in-terms of performance.
  • The 6-Speed AT was smooth-shifting and very much likeable.
  • 5-Star safety kit with 7-Airbags, ABS, ESP,....etc.
  • Toyota's ASS ensures peace of mind.
Con's :
  • Pricey. The Price tag is more expensive than its already expensive predecessor.
  • Lower-variants look too basic for the price they command.
  • The NVH levels were absurd at its best.
  • Poor sound quality from ICE and we felt like it needed an upgrade.
  • The short service interval of mere 5,000 kms.
  • Niggles as reported by many Crysta owners and the niggle thread at Team-BHP didnot inspire us to go ahead with the Crysta.

Pic Source : Team-BHP official review.

SKODA OCTAVIA 1.8 TSI/2.0 TDI STYLE PLUS :Name:  skodaoctavia10.jpg
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This car was a serious contender till the end as it had everything what we needed and particularly was within our budget but the scary SKODA A.S.S stories on Team-BHP itself was enough to break the deal for my dad. So, unfortunately the Octavia had to be scrapped-off the list with a heavy heart.
Pro's :
  • A proper Czech inside-out.
  • Feature-loaded and all the creature comforts which we were expecting.
  • 5-Star safety features with 8-Airbags(from late 2015 or early 2016), ABS, ESP,...etc.
  • The understated looks at the front(unlike the newly launched facelift) with those crystalline elements properly contained in the design was to my taste.
  • Engine and transmission choices on offer.
  • An all-rounded car and felt like a true successor for the linea.
  • Torquey diesel and a deadly(I mean it) turbocharged petrol satisfied the enthusiast inside my dad.
  • Potential for MODS(this is the reason I like VAG cars).
Con's :
  • The diesel counterpart was having an inferior torsion beam at the rear when compared to the Multi-Link in the 1.8 TSI.
  • Scary Skoda ASS.
  • Gruesome reliability and the deadly 7-speed DSG (the infamous DQ200) gearbox mated to the 1.8 TSI was deadly in-terms of reliability and my dad stayed away from the deadly combo. Compared to the 1.8 TSI, the 2.0 TDI was tad better in-terms of reliability.

Pic source : Team-BHP official review.

Finally about the car we finally bought :

Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0309.jpg
Before finalising onto the XUV500 or the Innova, we decided to give it a shot as my dad was very much impressed by the reviews of Hexa on team-bhp. So, there was the Hexa experience centre setup right after my final exams in Hyderabad. So, I convinced dad that we should go to the experience centre in-order to get a feel of the vehicle when its on the trail and off the trail. After experiencing this big fella, he just forgot about the XUV500 and the Crysta. My dad was in love with the Hexa and I could already sense that this was indeed coming in our garage! But, before doing anything, my dad consults my uncle (mom's bro) and its the same with my uncle as well. So, before splurging 22 big ones on a Tata, my dad asked my uncle about his opinion and he was like, "Bawa are you sure that you're spending 22 big ones on a Tata?" (Bawa in Telugu means Brother-in-law). So, on the same day we (me and my dad) went to the Tata dealership with my uncle and his 9-year old son. We went for a test-drive. It's first my dad who takes the wheel. My uncle's happily sitting in the captain seats and experiencing the stellar ride quality and the ambience inside the cabin. Then, it was my uncle's turn to get behind the wheel. He got into the driver's seat and slot the gear-shifter into D. The car starts to move without any inputs from the accelerator. He, then drives it for sometime in the D-mode and says to my dad, "Bawa, the gearbox is perfectly mated to the engine and the engine is so well-refined. I'm loving it!". This is what he said and then, the SA says him to shift the gear into the Sport-mode and my uncle does accordingly and he gets a push behind in his seat and I could notice that wide grin on his face which itself spoke a hundred words. Then, he says to my dad, "This is it! We'll buy it and no second thoughts about it!". So, the very next day i.e on 30th March 2017, we booked our beast in blue without much of a thought. Coincidentally, this day happens to be my brother's birthday.

The Most dreaded part of the car purchase : The Waiting Period :
As said earlier, we booked the car on 30th March. The dealership folks made sure that the car would be in our porch on or before 15th of April. Finally, after a bit of haggling, the dealership folks promised us to deliver the car by 12th April 2017. From 30th March, the wait started and I couldn't sleep well for that 13 days till the car arrived. I kept dreaming of her coming into my garage and me taking the wheel (I know there's still 2 more years for it!) of the beast. Those 13 days felt like 13 years for me and every day felt like the day got a bit too elongated and I was literally losing my patience. For every enthusiast, the waiting period seems to be the villain of the beginning of one's love story with his/her love. So, was the same with me. But to wade through those days of waiting, my dad might've test-driven the beast for 3-4 times maybe and got himself well-versed with the car well before its arrival and we were completely ready and excited to welcome our new family member. But hey, what 'bout the PDI? Well, I did perform one and was satisfied with the car. I've elaborated on that front in the next post.

Pre-Delivery Inspection : A must before buying a new car in India :
Amidst all the confusion from the dealership folks, they give me a day for doing my own PDI since I made it clear that, "No PDI, No Purchase". So, they allowed me to do the PDI accordingly. So,a day before the delivery i.e on 11th of April, I get to see my beast for the first time and was very excited to have a glimpse of her and I took all the necessary stuff required for the PDI and made sure that I carried the Team-BHP checklist and in additional to that, I created an additional checklist of mine which can be found below :
A few pics captured on the day of PDI :
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_20170804_221432.jpg
Me and my beast meet and greet each other for the first time. Hope that I'll never part ways with it (another sad ending of a love story for an enthusiast which I'll make sure that will not take place in my story atleast)
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_20170804_221456.jpg
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_20170731_194521.jpg
Interiors fresh out of the oven
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_20170804_221359.jpg
So, I did perform my PDI, Everything was okay apart from a small thing that the front Driver door wouldn't unlock using the keyless entry. The dealership executives were clueless about it. So, with a driver from the showroom, they sent me to their workshop cum stockyard at Tolichowki, Hyderabad. Then, the Customer Relationship Manager(CRM) attached a couple of Service Executives and a handful of electricians to work on my car. The Service executives gave me a minute-to-minute update about the car. Then, I was standing close by the car and was looking as to what they were doing. Then, they plugged in the OBD scanner and found the error but were not able to correct it. They kept trying for hours together and then the CRM comes into the picture as to know the exact issue. He, then escalated the issue to the Workshop Manager and then finally the General Manager. Then, all three of them, the CRM, Workshop Manager and General Manager come to me and apologise for the inconvenience caused and they were regretful about it. One thing I have to say is that the After sales service is probably one of the best I've experienced. Later, they promised me that either the issue will be rectified, if not successful they said they'll allot me another car. Somehow, they found that it was a software glitch and they updated the software and the issue disappeared. If I were to rate them on a scale of 10, I would give them a full 10/10. So, the car was delivered on the evening of 12th April 2017 and I couldn't sleep that night at all and I couldn't believe that finally the beast is really parked in my porch. I spent the whole night familiarising myself with the beast.

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Old 17th July 2017, 14:16   #2
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Default Exteriors :

For a layman, the Hexa might appear more as a facelifted Aria (especially when you view its side profile). This attempt from TATA at start looks like a 2nd Gen Aria (which it is). For its time though, the Aria was a brilliant and an all-rounded package but the lesser we talk about its pricing, the better. The car at the launch itself got bombed as the Indian consumers couldn't digest the fact that a Tata was costing more than a Toyota(that was the case back then and see the contrast situation in the Indian Car Scene now). Despite 'N' number of attempts from Tata on improving the Aria, it somehow didn't recover. Now comes 2017 and we have a facelifted Aria, which boasts of having more equipment and kit, better road manners, understated looks and even a new name 'HEXA'. The market has changed from how things were in 2010 when the Aria was launched. Tata would definitely have been encouraged by the success of the XUV500 & Innova. Nothing was wrong with the Aria as a product; this, everyone knew. Thus, what was needed for the 'HEXA' was a smarter positioning, a distinct identity and bringing the car up to date with current customer expectations. I can say that the Tata Motors is quite successful in doing so.

The Hexa uses the same hydroformed X2 platform as the Aria (& updated Safari Storme), but its cosmetically enhanced exterior and tweaked interior makes it significantly more visually appealing than the original car. Under the hood is the same 2.2L VARICOR 400 turbo-diesel as the Storme 400 VARICOR. Like the Storme, the Hexa gets a 6-speed manual transmission; what's new is the optional 6-speed AT. Additionally, the vehicle is equipped with features such as automatic headlights, automatic wipers, 4 driving modes(only on MT Variants) and a JBL 10-speaker touchscreen infotainment system, among other things. On the safety front, the Hexa gets 6 airbags (front, side and curtain), ESP (only on high-end manual variants) ABS with EBD, hill hold control and hill descent control (only on high-end manual variants)

The new styling makes the Hexa look more SUV'ish than the van-like Aria. It uses the company's 'Impact design language' and all over, the rounded look of the old car is gone. Still, from certain angles (especially the side), there's no escaping the Aria / van origins. The bonnet is flatter, there is a roof-mounted rear spoiler and a plastic cladding running along the wheel arches + sides giving the Hexa a rugged look. The twin-barrel smoked headlights are new, while the Indica-esque tail-lamps have (thankfully) made way for more modern wraparound LED units. Other changes include a contemporary mesh grille with a large air dam, new bumpers, LED daytime running lights and huge 19-inch alloy wheels ( I still regret that Tata has given 19"inchers ).

Coming to the paint job and fit & finish, it is the best I've seen on a Tata vehicle till date. There is no orange-peel effect on the paint like the Innova Crysta and the shade varieties on the Hexa are only 5, but the colours look good on the Hexa (except for the platinum silver though). All the colours have their unique speciality and give the Hexa a distinct look. My favourite colour though is the Arizona Blue (The shade which we own). The colours though left us confused and polarised opinions at my home. Though, we initially booked the Arizona Blue, my dad liked Tungsten Silver better because it's a colour which is easy to maintain. My mom liked the Sky Grey better and my brother was okay with both the Arizona Blue as well as Sky Grey. Tungsten silver wasn't considered because we already own a Silver Ertiga and owned a couple of other cars in silver over a past few years. Sky Grey wasn't considered because we had to wait for a month for that particular shade and we weren't interested in doing so (Remember we needed the car for my parents 25th Wedding anniversary). So, it was decided on the Arizona Blue. Now coming back to the car, this car feels premium, and it feels substantial. The panel gaps are consistent overall. Yes, around the clamshell bonnet, they are rather wide, but still consistent edge to edge ( carried over from its predecessor, ARIA ). Even the plastic cladding looks like a part of the car's body (and not like something added later on). The Hexa is well built and solidly put together and thanks to this solidity that the car has a hefty kerb weight of 2,280kgs! I feel that this Tata should go on a serious diet as its around 400 to 450kgs heavier than its competition. Due to this hefty kerb weight, I sometimes feel that this has affected its performance and fuel-efficiency.
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0317.jpg
The Hexa looks a lot more matured and SUV'ish than the Aria. Wider tyres give a Planted stance to the Hexa. When you compare the Hexa's face with its competition i.e the XUV500 and Innova Crysta, this looks less aggressive but definitely looks a lot better than the latter. The Hexa looks understated, if I have to sum it up on the looks up- front.
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0330.jpg
The rear also has seen a whole lot of changes with respect to the Aria. Tata has given upon the long Indica-esque tail-lights and plonked in a much more modern LED units sourced from South-Korea which look Uber-Cool during the night. Also, the second thing what I love is the dual-exhaust which is on the either side (Just the way I prefer). IMO, it adds to the character to the looks at the back too.
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0311.jpg
This is where the Aria's resemblance is most apparent. Though the flared wheel arches, the cladding and the new 5-Spoke 19"inch alloys are the only give-aways.
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The hump on the bonnet adds to some aggression on the face of the Hexa.
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0323.jpg
A closer look on the hump present on the bonnet. Also, take a look at the butterfly wipers. They also come equipped with Automatic Wipers with variable intensity. This variable intensity feature for the auto-wipers(more on this later) was very handy during the heavy shower from our maiden road-trip conquered amongst Thunderstorms and heavy showers.
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My beast's always ready to hit the road just like its masters who tame this beast
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The smoked Projector headlamps looks so classy!!! I wish if they were Xenons (c'mon TATA even a Rs.10 lac Baleno has this)
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The DRL's add to the looks up-front and with the DRL's on, almost everyone gives a second look to my beast which it deserves(you know what I'm talking 'bout right?)
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0316.jpg
'Understated Elegance' which the competition doesn't have .
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Though I usually hate chrome (which our market loves!), I kinda started liking its tasteful application here and I feel that this Bull-Horn Shaped Chrome strip and the Hexagonal elements in the grill looks good and adds to the character of the looks up-front.
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0321.jpg
The larger air-dam and the skid plate which stands out on darker shades gives the HEXA a SUV stance.
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0322.jpg
For me, this is the probably the best angle to view my beast!
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0324.jpg
The new 5-Spoke Alloy Wheel design looks awesome on the Hexa and the 19"Inch fill the wheel-well nicely. I feel that TATA shouldn't have given the 19"inchers because apart from aesthetics, there's no point having a 19"incher on a MPV/SUV. I feel that TATA should've given the Hexa a 16"/17"inch alloy supported with broader sidewall to withstand the abuse thrown at the tyres.
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Unlike the tasteful application of chrome up-front, the rear is loaded with loads of chrome which I hate! I even convinced my dad that we'll blacken the chrome out using Gloss Vinyl from 3M. But slowly it started growing on me and also it looks a lot better on the darker colours. I feel that TATA should've given us the option to choose this as an accessory fitment over the standard fitment. The base XE and mid XM variants look a lot better as they do not have this chrome garnishes at the back.
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0327.jpg
The badge which denotes the name of the heart beneath the hood.
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The HEXA badge around the rear window looks a bit loud and is not to my taste.
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The HEXA badging on the left side of the boot.......
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Whereas the badge to denote the trim is on the right (XTA)
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0334.jpg
The reverse camera is affixed above the license-plate. I feel that the integration of the camera could've been better (e.g XUV500)
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0335.jpg
The LED's for the License-Plate as well.
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0347.jpg
The ORVM's are a straight lift from the Aria.

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Old 17th July 2017, 17:10   #3
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Default Interiors :

Interiors :

Interiors - First Row
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0486.jpg
The doors of the Hexa open up in a triple-stage action in-order to aide better ingress/egress. While the doors aren't heavy as my Linea, but they're heavy enough in its own sense. They even lack the 'European Thud' which is present on my Linea and other VAG Cars (e.g VW Polo, Vento, Skoda Rapid), but you'll have to put in some decent amount of force in-order to close them. Getting in and out is very much easy when you compare it with an Endeavour or a Fortuner but when you bring the XUV500 into the picture, you'll definitely prefer the XUV500 since its ingress/egress is more of a car like. The ingress/egress is a bit difficult for the elderly though. My maternal grandma finds it a bit difficult to get into the car due to the lack of a side-step and my 9-year old cousin also finds it difficult to get in and out of the Hexa and in-order to get out of the Hexa, he jumps as he finds it to be a lot easier than getting down as usual.

The Hexa gets the all-black interiors which is to my taste. Though, I feel that TATA should've given an option for the beige interiors as well. But, I do feel that the All-Black interiors looks sporty, ages well and doesn't show the mud/muck accumulated over time. Despite having a dark-coloured interior, the interior does not feel claustrophobic owing to the large window area and the whitish-grey roof-liner and pillars add to the roomy feel on the inside.

The interior design is probably the best seen on a TATA ever and is a lot different form the Aria though there are some common parts such as :
  • The stalks mounted on the steering column and Euro-Style designed headlamp controls.
  • The AC vents on the second and third rows.
  • The roof-mounted lamps in all the three rows.
  • All the pillars are the same including the design given for the tweeter enclosure
  • The subwoofer enclosure which was a dummy in the Aria now comes equipped with a subwoofer as standard on the top-spec XT variants.
  • The glove-box and chiller though look a bit changed on the outside, it's got the same amount of volume on the inside. The lower glovebox which is lockable, actually cannot even accommodate a bunch a Owner's manual which have come along with the car (same was the case with the Aria as well).
Now coming back to the interiors, You get a hard leather which runs across the Dash, you get a smoked chrome, brushed aluminium and piano black inserts at various places on the dashboard, center fascia and doorpads; this helps to add some character. 8-Colour Ambient lighting has also been provided to improve the feel of the cabin. IMO, the Dark Blue colour improves the feel of the cabin better during the night when compared to the other 7 colours which are available as an option to customise.

The dashboard is functional and very well put together with good fit & finish in general. Soft touch materials are used on the front surface. The switches feel durable as well. If you look hard, there are some rough edges below the dashboard, but one is not likely to touch or see these parts.
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0363.jpg
All-black dashboard with smoked chrome and brushed aluminium inserts looks good and is well laid out. Controls are easy to reach. The high-perched driving position gives you a commanding view of the road ahead, though my brother feels that the angle of the Steering column is a bit tilted towards the left i.e it is tilted towards the controls and not vice-versa as one would expect.
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0389.jpg
The steering looks meaty with the leather wrap on it. You also get finger-contours for the steering. The only grouse what I have is something to do with the part-sharing. TATA gives you the same steering from the Nano plus the leather-wrap, steering mounted audio, cruise and voice controls and the piano black inserts. I feel that TATA should've given a different design for the Steering Wheel for its Flagship SUV. On the flipside though, it looks good to the eyes and the quality of the leather used to wrap the steering is top-notch. The steering mounted audio, cruise and voice control buttons are tactile to use too. Overall it gels with the interiors of the Hexa and nothing doesn't stick out like a sore-thumb.
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0417.jpg
The new instrument cluster looks classy with backlighting of the numbers in White. Though I feel that the numbers should've been a size or two larger than what it is. On a whole, a very much likeable and informative display on-board (unlike the XUV500). Functions of this display are covered in a separate post.
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0296.jpg
The Front Seats are very supportive. The Contrast-White stitching on the black seats is like an icing on the cake! The white stiching looks classy. The seats are perforated as well.
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0357.jpg
The 8-Way Adjustable driver seat with adjustments for fore/aft movement of the seat, Lumbar Support, Recline and Height Adjustments. The only grouse what I've got is that it isn't electrically adjustable. This is where the XUV500 and Innova Trump over the Hexa hands down. On the flipside though, the seat comfort is spot-on and the seat holds you in position and provides the right amount of cushioning required. The Variable-Density foam used in the seats is spot-on. This is where the Hexa trumps over XUV500 and Innova hands down! Also, see the front side Airbag fitted onto the seat. This means that an aftermarket seat-cover fitment is a big no.
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0353.jpg
An array of seat-adjustments present on the passenger seat.
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0355.jpg
The passenger Airbag deactivation switch.
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The indicator which indicates the activation/deactivation of the passenger airbag.
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0374.jpg
The IRVM offers a satisfactory view of the happenings behind. I wish if this was an Auto-dimming unit.
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0380.jpg
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The ORVM's on the either side offer a satisfactory view of the happenings behind. The ORVM's are also equipped with a demister (first in segment)which was quite helpful during our maiden road-trip, which was conquered amidst the rain and fog. There's no separate switch to activate/deactivate the demister. Just simply switch the defogger on and that even activates the demister.
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0368.jpg
The footwell for the driver in the AT variant is a bit spacious when compared to the MT variant due to the absence of a Clutch Pedal. The Dead Pedal in the AT variant is WIDE enough to accommodate a Size-12 Foot. However, sometimes I do feel that the footwell could've been a bit more spacious.
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0358.jpg
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Doorpads have soft plastics at the top and on the armrest. There's a leather insert as well above the armrest. Quality of the materials is excellent and also take a look at the Classy brushed aluminum strip running across the armrest. Looks damn classy!
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0362.jpg
An array of controls available for the driver to control which include the controls for all the 4 Power-Windows, Power-Window lock, Mirror controls.
All the windows have the express-down feature. My Linea even had an express-up for the driver-side in additional to the express-down feature to all the 4 windows.
The top-most button is for folding the mirrors electrically. The only complaint what I've got is that the mirrors do not auto-fold/unfold itself when the vehicle is locked/unlocked (My erstwhile XUV500 had this feature). Even a Grand i10 which costs half the cost of the Base XE trim of the Hexa has this feature. We have to press this button each and every time when we park/unpark the vehicle. Small features like these are a must-have on a car costing 22 big ones!
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0369.jpg
Euro-Style Headlamp switch is a straight lift from the Aria. 'AUTO' headlamps are a standard fitment. The switch feels durable and is very smooth to operate.
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0396.jpg
The 5-inch touchscreen infotainment system from Harman. In terms of features and usability, I rate it a good 9/10 but I feel that this 5-inch screen looks a bit out of place in such a huge crossover. This small-yet-awesome touchscreen is mated to a 10-Speaker JBL audio-system as well (covered in a separate post)
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0395.jpg
Buttons for reverse park assist and central locking for the doors. The MT variants (only top-end) feature a dedicated button for hill-descent control beside the button for park assist. The buttons feel durable and are intuitive to use as well but the blank dummies give an impression that you are missing out on some features. The parking sensor button switches off both - the sensors as well as the camera. When its orange light comes on, both are on. Normally, the orange light comes on when you engage reverse gear. If you press the button while the car is in any other gear, the camera shows the view at the back activating the sensors too if the vehicle is at slow stationary speeds (say <10 kmph). If you press the button while the vehicle is more than the above mentioned speeds, it only activates the camera and displays a message atop the display,"Vehicle Speed too high".
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0394.jpg
The controls for Automatic Climate Control. The AC is a chiller. As the bhpians in Hyderabad would know that this summer was a scorcher as it crossed 42-Degree Celsius. Despite such scorching heat, we never put the Hexa's blower in full speed. We, at the max would've set it's speed at 3. We always used the AC with economy mode 'ON' and this translated into an increase in Fuel-Efficiency of 0.4 kmpl in the city. The only complaint is that the ACC doesn't get a standalone switch to switch the ACC 'OFF'. The blower knob acts as the ON/OFF switch. Turn the knob to the right to increase the fan speed/switch the ACC On. Turn the knob to the left to decrease the fan speed/switch the ACC Off. On the D-Day the ACC was at its highest fan speed and the blower noise was unbearable. The blower makes a bit too much of noise which is really irritating. I wish the blower was a bit silent.
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0385.jpg
The Temperature sensor for ACC. It looks small and neat and secondly doesn't stick out like a sore-thumb unlike some other cars (e.g: My Linea).
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0406.jpg
The ambient temperature sensor. I feel that this sensor shouldn't have been given such a prominent place. In this regard, my Linea had a better placement of the ambient temperature sensor vis-a-vis The Hexa.
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0409.jpg
Audio and call reject buttons are mounted onto the left. A nifty mute button is provided since a lot of manufacturers miss out on this small-yet convenient feature.
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0407.jpg
Cruise Control, Call accept and voice command buttons are mounted onto the right. The voice control is a boon to use and recognises my voice and accent very well. Though my dad and brother miss the Microsoft Blue&ME from my Linea as that used to recognise their voices a lot better when compared to the Hexa. I've got no complaints in this department.
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0370.jpg
Side air-con vents have brushed aluminium surrounds (sourced from a German Company)and a smoked chrome border. There's a bit of chrome on the adjuster as well. You can control the flow of air through the air-volume controller given below the air-con. My dad says that the air spread is comparatively more when compared to our other cars. Is that something to do with the Horizontal placement of the vents vis-a-vis the vertical ones which all our previous cars had?
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0382.jpg
The air-con vents on the centre for the front passengers. This air-con vents are surrounded by smoked chrome and even had the air-volume controller too.
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0451.jpg
Non-adjustable centre armrest at the front. The design itself has some flaw and the passenger can use this armrest better than the driver. The shorter drivers cannot use this armrest at any circumstance (Take my dad for example). For the people who are a bit taller (like me) will be able to use the armrest better.
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0453.jpg
The armrest has an inbox storage and can hold quite a lot of stuff which is a good thing since you do not get so many cubby holes to keep your stuff (like the XUV500).
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0386.jpg
The light and rain sensor are mounted below the windscreen (Just like the Aria). I feel that the sensor sticks out like a sore-thumb and also see the butterfly wipers which aren't concealed.
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0418.jpg
The passenger sunvisor gets an illuminated vanity mirror whereas the driver doesn't give you anything (not even a ticket holder). My Linea which costed less than half of the price of the Hexa back in 2009 (it still costs the same) gives you illuminated vanity mirrors for both the passengers and secondly even the Tiago which costs about Rs.6.xx lacs OTR Hyderabad for the top-end variant gives you vanity mirrors for both the sunvisors. Both the sunvisors get extenders as well. Slightly off-topic; it seems that TATA has changed the AIRBAG info which came pasted to the passenger sunvisor. Link to the pic from the Official Review : http://

Last edited by Varun_HexaGuy : 18th September 2017 at 13:30.
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Old 17th September 2017, 18:16   #4
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Default Interiors :

Interiors (Continued) :

Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0429.jpg
The stalk on the left is completely dedicated for the wiper controls. The 'AUTO' wipers are standard and a feature which the competition doesn't get is the infamous 'Variable Intensity' feature which is quite helpful during the monsoons and can indeed really handle rains of varying intensity and I'm loving this feature.
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0430.jpg
The stalk on the right is for the indicators (which also has the Lane-Change Indicator feature which is activated by giving the stalk a slight touch), High-beam and low-beam adjuster and also houses the controls of the Cool 3.5" Multi-Information Display
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0384.jpg
One of the 10-JBL speakers. This particular speaker does pack in some punch and does help in giving a theatre-like listening experience.
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0378.jpg
Mic for Bluetooth telephony and Voice commands is located right above the front-row light console.
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0377.jpg
The Roof-Mounted lamp is a straight lift from the Aria and the lights have the Theatre-Dimming feature as well.
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0393.jpg
The 4-Drive mode selector or the Super-Drive Modes as TATA calls it which is supposedly a segment-first feature is conspicuous by its absence in the much-selling AT variant. Instead of the mode selector, TATA gives you the 'HEXA' branding in its place. Whenever I look at it, it always comes to my mind that TATA doesn't give a mode-selector for the AT variant which is supposedly a variant which carries a premium tag over its MT counterpart. Not a Good-Sign TATA!
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0450.jpg
The only cubby hole to place your mobile,...etc. and you'll keep fiddling as to where will you place your mobile, wallet,....etc. Tata could've been a bit more generous with the cubby holes atleast. I wish that the handbrake was leather wrapped with the contrast white stitching (Just like the Seats). On the flip-side though, the handbrake also has soft-plastics which is good to use and the tip of the handbrake is finished in chrome (like any other car available in the Indian Market)
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0383.jpg
The upper glove-box with the Hexa Branding looks good to the eye. The quality of leather used is top-notch and don't miss the brushed aluminium strip running across the borderline of the bottom of the lid of the glove-box. The Hard-Leather running across the dash does give you a sense of Premium-ness. Just like the Aria, you do get twin gloveboxes. The one behind the hard-leather is a chiller which can hold upto 4-6 tins whereas the glovebox beneath which is lockable cannot hold a lot of stuff. It isn't deep as one would expect. Guess What? It cannot even hold the Manuals given by TATA (Just like the Aria). Couldn't TATA correct all these minor issues during its 6+ years of Research and Development?
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0448.jpg
Once opened, you'll notice that the glove-box is illuminated and there's also a chiller in place to keep your cokes, chocolates,...etc. cool enough throughout the journey.
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0446.jpg
The spring-loaded grab handle seen in the pic (for the co-driver) is good to hold.
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0471.jpg
The driver gets a sunglass holder instead of a grab handle. The sunglass holder actually cannot even hold my dad's Rayban aviators and the sunglass holder is a bit small in-terms of size

Interiors : Second Row
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0299.jpg
The second row of the Hexa with the captain seats in place is a Flight-on-Wheels. The second row of the Hexa pampers you with oodles and oodles of comfort and you just cannot ask for more. Add to that, the amazing ride quality of the Hexa makes it a perfect car for the Chauffeur driven. For people looking to buy a Chauffeur Driven car, look no further and get this beast eyes closed. My maternal grandpa who's 65 years old, suffering from knee pains was always complaining about the absence of legroom in the Ertiga with all the people in place and was not comfortable over those long drives. Now, he usually occupies one of the captain seat of the second row of the Hexa and happily dozes off. He also says that the seats offer the right amount of cusioning (thanks to the Variable Density foam used by the Tata) and he's happy that the Hexa offers him more than sufficient legroom. The second row does offer unmatched luxurious backseat experience with Multiple charging ports (for charging your phones, iPods,..etc on the go), Sunblinds for the side windows (first-in-segment), Rear Air-Con Vents. The only thing I miss are the LCD monitors mounted onto the back of the front seat. Had this feature been there, it would've been an all-round package. Perhaps, I'm expecting a lot at this price point (silly me).

The ingress and egress is doable for adults and kids. However, the elderly have to make quite an effort to get inside the Hexa. Initially, my dad felt that there was no need of a side step but however getting in and out of the beast for the saree-clad ladies is a problem and my mom is mostly clad in sarees and she's having a tough time getting in and out of the Hexa. Apart from the ingress and egress, my mom has no complaint with the Hexa. My mom just loves to sit in these captain seats and loves to be chauffeured around. Though, I rarely get to sit in these seats as I either occupy the seat of the co-driver or else go to the third row completely for dozing off. Have hardly occupied the second row of seats over the long drives.

Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0455.jpg
Wide door-sill makes the matters worse for the elderly and saree-clad at the time of ingress or egress.
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0457.jpg
Like the front, even the rear doorpad gets a brushed aluminium insert and just like the front, even the rear gets soft-plastics for the place where one would rest his/her hand.
Both the rear windows feature this First-in-segment Rectractable Sunblinds. This is a boon since the sunfilms are banned these days and these blinds do a good job of protecting the rear occupants from direct sunlight and also helps cool the second row of cabin quicker.
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The sole reason my dad bought this car with the 6-seater configuration is because of these captain seats. Bench seats are no match to these captain seats in-terms of overall comfort. Though, there's no denying that the bench seat is a lot practical than these captain seats. But hey, for getting something one has to compromise something. One has to choose between Comfort or Practicality. Take your pick.
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0456.jpg
Gosh! Even the Captain seats get adjustments for Lumbar Support. In a market where most of the car-buyers are not giving a lumbar-support adjustment for the Co-Driver seat, Tata has taken it further and has given this feature for the 4 out of 6 seats the car has
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0459.jpg
Despite the darker interiors, the cabin of the Hexa feels airy (thanks to the lighter-coloured pillars and roof-liner).
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The Roof-Mounted lamp for the second row. Also, take a look at the controls for rear Air-Con vents (2nd & 3rd Rows)
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The spring-loaded grab handle is similar to that of the first row except for the fact that this one features a coat-hook.
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0476.jpg
The Air-Con vents for the second row are mounted on the B-pillar and even this vent gets an Air-volume controller as well. But, these vents feel flimsy and I'm always worried as to when will it break (thankfully it still hasn't happen and shouldn't happen). To describe it, the vent is fragile and the only part of the car which feels flimsy.
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The Air-Con vents on the centre console get individual direction adjusters, but a common air volume control knob. Don't miss the piano-black surround around the vents.
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Passengers in the second row get a 12V power socket as well as a USB fast-charging port for their smartphones and this port can charge any phone within minutes. Reminds me of the Dash-charger of my bro's Oneplus 3T.
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Centre console also houses two foldout cup holders which can also hold 1L Kinley water bottles.

Interiors - Third Row
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img20170918wa0010.jpg
A lot has been talked about the first and second row. Now, its time to check out the third row. In the 6-Seater Version, walking through the middle of the captain seats is the best way to access third row. Why do I say this? It is so because when the captain seats tumble down, there's hardly any space for a person to walk through that space however skinny he/she be. Though getting into the third row of the Captain-Seat version of the Hexa comes with its own share of problems. One has to bend down and get into the third row. The not-so-high transmission tunnel makes the matter worse for the taller people who intend to get into the third seat.

Once in, one wouldn't find a reason to complaint about the third row seat of the Hexa. Overall third row comfort is good but the absence of headroom for the taller passengers at the third row and the under-thigh support offered by the seats for the taller passengers is also average. But, get the Crysta and the XUV500 in the picture, you'll prefer the Hexa over the latter. But get the Xylo or the Ertiga into the picture you'll prefer the other two over the Hexa in-terms of third row seat comfort. Since, there's quite a lot of legroom for the second row passengers, they wouldn't hesitate to move their seats forward and you have a comfortable third row in place.
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0484.jpg
The Roof-Mounted lamp for the third row of seats. The only thing which it doesn't have w.r.t the first two rows of rooflamps is that the rooflamp at the third row do not get the spotlights.
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0475.jpg
The spring-loaded grab handle for the third row is similar to that of the first and second row.
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0480.jpg
The Air-Con Vents for the third row of seats. Even these vents come with Air-Volume Controller.
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0481.jpg
Third row passengers get an armrest which also doubles up as a cup-holder. I usually store my Redmi 2 Prime and my dad's Redmi Note 3 here away from the prying eyes.
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0482.jpg
This is how it looks once it is opened.
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0479.jpg
The 12V port for the third row. Seen beside it is the boot light which can be manually turned on/off. Usually it comes on when the boot is open (like any other car). Secondly, this light cannot be turned on while the car is in motion (tried it twice but no luck).

Last edited by Varun_HexaGuy : 19th September 2017 at 07:26.
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Old 18th September 2017, 15:04   #5
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Default In-Car Entetainment :

In-Car Entertainment (ICE) and Multi-Information Display (MID) :
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0396.jpg
The Hexa gets a Harman-developed Connectnext system with a 5-inch touchscreen which looks a bit out of place in such a huge crossover. Moreover, this unit looks more or less the same Connectnext System which is present in the much cheaper Zest of the same stable. It has all the features what a new-age techie would expect. It gets Voice commands, the usual music inputs (AUX, Bluetooth, USB and SD card), on-screen SMS display and readout, reversing camera display and video playback (from your USB or SD card). The interface is user-friendly and even a layman who's got next to no knowledge about the touchscreen can use it. It's a delight to use.

This 5-inch touchscreen developed by Harman is mated to a 10-Speaker JBL system. A 320W amplifier is in place which takes the responsibility of channelling the music to the 10-Speaker JBL system. The 10-speaker JBL system include :
  • Two Tweeters at the first row.
  • Two Tweeters mounted on the rear doorpads of both the doors.
  • A dashboard-mounted central speaker with the JBL branding.
  • 4-Speakers mounted on all the 4 Doorpads.
  • Lastly, a subwoofer mounted onto the boot door.

Tata claims that the ICE has undergone 1,000+ hours of engineering, which considered the interior volume and sound absorption. The music quality offered by this ICE is top-notch and probably the best ICE southwards of the Rs.30 Lac price-tag. The music-quality is rich. All the highs, mids and lows are equally heard and an audiophile of my kind will enjoy it. BTW, this system is my Stress-Buster as I make it a point to listen to some good audio stuff after coming from my College in the evening everyday for atleast 15-20 min. I just love this system to the bits. I'm literally enjoying the fruit of 1,000+ hours of engineering done by the folks back at Tata and I feel like applauding them for creating a State-of-the-Art music system for my kinda guy .

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As said earlier, the ICE accepts usual music inputs such as AUX, USB, SD Card and Bluetooth Streaming. So, in simple words, this system accepts only new-age media. Call me old fashioned but I've got quite a CD collection ranging from Kishore Kumar's hits to the latest albums of Linkin Park. I just cannot hear to the best of the stuff I've collected over the years in the form of CD's. Wish Tata had given a CD drive for my kinda people atleast.
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0425.jpg
Browsing through the interface is just so simple and there's no complexity of any sort. I usually prefer using Voice commands for playing a particular track of my choice.
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0398.jpg
The Media Source presently in FM.
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The Media Source presently in USB. The touchscreen displays all the required information such as Artist, Album, Track name,..etc. and it's quite easy to browse through 'em using the Voice commands. For playing a particular track, I just simply press the Voice command button present on the steering and give the command, "Play song xxxx" and it plays for me. It's as simple as that.
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0399.jpg
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One can customise anything right from the auto-locking of the doors to the activation/deactivation of the park assist.
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0404.jpg
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Now here comes the favourite part of an audiophile, the system comes with basic equaliser presets from which the user can choose......
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0403.jpg
....Or maybe one can even equalise it to his/her liking. It's basically a 3-Band Equaliser and the settings are quite basic but they indeed work as expected!
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0423.jpg
Mood lighting with 8-Colour options to choose from! You can set their brightness level and how you would want them to work. The Dark-Blue is probably the best of all the 8-colours as it does elevate the overall ambience of the interiors of the vehicle to a next level.

Apart from the list of above things, Tata does give you an Connectnext App Suite which include :
  • Navimaps - A 3D navigation app with offline maps via smartphone screen-mirroring from MapMyIndia (it sucks honestly).
  • Tata Smart Manual App - An app which consists of the basic operations of the vehicle and does get the owner familiarised with the various features of the car without having read the Fat manuals what Tata has provided along with the vehicle. However, I still recommend reading the whole manual if you can do it.
  • Tata Motors Service Connect (TMSC) - An app which allows you to view the service history of the car, various other details such as information on extended warranty, AMC,..etc. One can also book service appointment using the app at the desired dealership where one has decided to give the car for a service. One can also register a complaint using the app and I did this once and I've received a great response after raising my complaint.
  • Tata Smart Control Remote app - With this app installed in your phone, one can basically fiddle with all the settings available on the touchscreen as the app itself is a replica of the touchscreen.
  • Juke-Car App : Frankly, I still haven't used this and have got no idea about its working. So, will try this first and then let me describe it better.

Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0433.jpg
The MID of the Hexa is an attention-grabber. The graphics and fonts all look great and Tata has kept 'em all subtle (The way I like.) It houses a whole lot of information which include :
  • Two tripmetres.
  • Average Fuel Economy Display for both the tripmetres.
  • Display for instantaneous Fuel Economy (for FE enthusiasts).
  • Display for Distance to Empty.
  • A digital temperature gauge (thank goodness Tata has given us something instead of nothing!).
  • A Gear Indicator (both MT and AT).
  • A plethora of warnings which include Door Ajar warning(shows even which door is open), Low fuel Warning, Fasten SeatBelt warning (accompanied with a chime ), Handbrake engaged warning and a few other warnings related to any errors (whcih I don't intend to come across).
The display looks fantastic in flesh and the pics don't do any justice as to how the display looks. Here are some pics of the display in working :
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The MID displaying 'Instantaneous Fuel Economy'. Don't miss the Digital temperature gauge.
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0434.jpg
The MID displaying Average FE for Trip-A with the Trip-A reading below at the borderline of the MID.
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0436.jpg
The MID displaying 'Distance to Empty'.
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A measure of saving costs. Tata could've given a new stalk for this new display in the Hexa but in-order to keep the costs in check, Tata carried forward this stalk from the Aria and as a result, this particular menu doesn't work on the display. If one wants to set the time, he has to use the touchscreen to do so and this particular setting can actually be termed as a dummy .
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The MID indicating the Park (P), Reverse (R), Neutral (N) and Drive (D) positions of the gear-shifter.
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The MID indicating the activation of Sport Mode. Don't miss the Sprinting man! (Just love the attention-to-detail factor what Tata has paid in).
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0444.jpg
The MID indicating the activation of Manual Mode.

Last edited by Varun_HexaGuy : 19th September 2017 at 06:57.
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Old 18th September 2017, 17:25   #6
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Default re: Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue

Ride and Handling :

Ride quality is one of the strongest points of the Hexa. If I have to sum it up in one word, then it is just 'AWESOME'. There's literally no competition to the Hexa in a price range Southwards of Rs.30 Lacs. A friend of mine from my early days of schooling (i.e from 3rd and 4th classes respectively) was giving me a sheepish look at me when I said that I was going in for the Hexa. He asked me a question that, "Why aren't you considering the Innova Crysta and secondly TATA's service and reliability is a gamble. Are you sure that you really wanna go for a TATA?". Then, I answered his question by showing the Innova’s Niggle thread on Team-BHP. So, the conversation went like this :

Me: Where is the reliability and peace of mind associated with a Toyota huh?

Friend: Every car at some point of time will have some niggles but a good After Sales and Service can sort that out.

Me: Then, the sort of gamble which I'm about to take is also a calculated risk and now the TATA ASS are changing for good. So, even if I have to encounter the initial niggles, I'm confident enough that TASS will sort 'em out to my satisfaction.

Friend: Okay then, I have to go ( I could make it out from his face that he still wasn't completely convinced with my decision and secondly I couldn't justify my decision because he wasn't even ready to listen to my argument ).

Conversation ends.

Exactly after a week when the Hexa was delivered to us, me and my dad were passing by his house and then I see him and the conversation starts again :

Friend: Finally you got yourself this TATA amidst all my opposition ?

Me: Let's not get into an argument again. Hop in and see what the Hexa has to offer you.

Friend: (He obliges) Okay.

(After a ride of almost 7 kms which had the best and worst roads)

Me: How's the Hexa?

Friend: Now I get it. The car is a hell of a beast dude! The 10-Speaker JBL system was just awesome and the ride-quality? Huh, I completely forgot about the Crysta. It's that good and the NVH levels. It's a lot silent when compared to the Crysta. The premium feel on the inside is very much comparable to the Crysta and those captain seats? They're the best.

Me: What is the best USP of the Hexa in your opinion as you're a layman to the Hexa?


Me: Have all your apprehensions have an answer?

Friend: Yeah they do.

After a month, he meets me again and says that his dad has booked the XTA variant in Tungsten silver.

Me: Why didn't you consider the Crysta huh?

Friend: Me and my dad were floored by it and I was flattered by the Ride-Quality.

So, as you can see, the ride quality of the Hexa can do wonders. Hexa has converted a person who hated TATA to a person who is now about to own a TATA himself. Do I have to talk anything else with respect to the ride-quality? Now, let's get into the technicalities first. The Hexa uses a double wishbone suspension at the front and a 5-link rigid axle with coil springs at the rear. Tata says they have deployed 'multivalve dampers'. Even with those massive 19" wheels, the suspension provides a comfortable ride. I can only imagine how it would behave with 16 - 17" rims & taller sidewalls. Tata has engineered this suspension in the UK and there's no doubt that Jaguar-Land Rover expertise is at work here. Over bad patches of road, bumps are ironed out very well. Even at higher speeds - on undulations and bad roads alike - it remains impressive. Passengers won't get thrown around as they do in some competitors (like my erstwhile XUV). The 200 mm of ground clearance ensures that you remain worry-free on bad or no tarmac.

The Hexa's straight line stability at high speeds is solid and the vehicle feels planted at all times. Expressway joints & rough patches don't seem to faze it. However, like most body-on-frame UVs, the Hexa exhibits body roll while cornering. It's not unnerving, but you should always keep its height & heavy weight in mind. The 235 mm tyres provide a healthy amount of grip, allowing you to carry good speed through sweeping curves. It's a no low-floor hatchback (eg.Figo), yet is well behaved for a 7-seater UV. In this department, I rate the Hexa a full 10/10 without a second thought.

Last edited by Varun_HexaGuy : 18th September 2017 at 17:33.
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Old 18th September 2017, 17:52   #7
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Default re: Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue

Performance :
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0337.jpg
The heart which matters the most for us enthusiasts !
The engine plonked by the TATA in its flagship SUV is the same 'VARICOR 400' engine which was plonked recently in the Storme 400. So, the tech-specs are similar. This engine is a 16-Valve motor with a Varible Geometry Turbocharger from 'Honeywell'. It develops 156ps (translated to 154 BHP) which develops a healthy torque of 400nm as the name suggests. Compared to the earlier 2.2L powertrain which performed its duties in the ol' Safari and the Aria, this engine has a reworked turbocharger, engine block apart from a few mechanicals. The owner manual claims that the timing-chain has a life of upto 1,50,000 kms and that is also a change worth noting w.r.t the ol' 2.2L powertrain.

While the BHP and torque figures look impressive for a car of this segment, but the sheer 2,280kg kerb weight has a taken a toll on the Power-To-Weight ratios and these ratios are significantly below its chief competition, the Innova Crysta and the XUV500. From the limited knowledge that I've gained during the research of shortlisting, I came to know that the power-to-weight ratios are lesser even compared to the Aria too (which weighed a bit more w.r.t the Hexa). This TATA should really go on a serious diet!!!

TATA gives you an option to choose between 2-transmissions which are paired to work in tandem with the Varicor 400 i.e you get a 6-Speed Manual transmission (which also come with an AWD option) and a 6-Speed Automatic Transmission(which I own and is being reviewed here).

The Automatic Transmission (AT) variant uses the 6-Speed Torque Converter Transmission(TCT) sourced from Punch-Powerglide. It's the same company which supplies gearboxes to BMW, under its License name ZF. This ZF gearbox is equipped in the latest line-up of BMW, right from the X1 to the 7-Series. This gearbox is perfectly mated to the 2.2 Varicor 400 engine. Though there are no Dual clutch fancies, this TCT gets the job done and done how? This is probably a lot superior over the 6-speed Aisin Sourced gearbox equipped in the XUV500. The AT is smooth-shifting and very likeable. I can (Infact even the sales figures) tell you that the automatic is the transmission choice of the Hexa.

Sole disappointment is that the automatic doesn't get the mind-blowing BorgWarner AWD system from the top-end manual variant as an option. We hope that Tata is keeping the AT + AWD combination for later. Like other manufacturers, they might have wanted to avoid the shock at the time of launch so that this doesn't become another Aria. For now, if you want to tour the unexplored parts of India, the AT isn't for you. Though, it can handle a whole lot of rough roads and a few inclines without any hesitation.

Slot the shifter into the “D” position and the Hexa moves off smoothly. The gearbox has a creep function which allows the car to crawl at 7 km/h without accelerator input. This is a helpful feature in bumper-to-bumper traffic as the driver can use only the brake pedal. The torque converter does a good job of masking any lag and the Hexa AT pulls away without hesitation. Throttle response is satisfactory and when driven with a light foot, the transmission shifts up at ~1,800 rpm. The shifts are smooth and no jerk is felt inside the cabin. It is only that change of pitch in the engine note which lets occupants know about gear shifts. Add to this, the 2.2L's power delivery is linear. This, along with low noise levels and smooth shifts, makes riding in the Hexa a pleasant experience. On the highway, the Hexa AT is an effortless mile muncher. It can amble along on open roads at 100 km/h with the engine ticking over @ 1,900 rpm and 120 km/h @ 2,300 rpm. Shifts are performed in a smooth, relaxed manner (no jerks). "D" mode is very usable on expressways and divided highways.

The torque on tap ensures that you keep moving at a decent pace; passing slower moving vehicles is easy for an AT. However, when it comes to undivided highways or situations where quicker shifts are required, "D" mode can feel slow. It's best to shift to "Sport" mode. Sport mode is engaged by shifting the gear lever to the left . In this mode, the transmission map is changed. The gearshifts become more aggressive. Play with the accelerator and you'll experience its eagerness to downshift. Keep the pedal floored and the revv needle climbs to ~4,250 rpm before shifting up. What's more, under braking, the revvs are held at ~2,000 rpm, thus giving you more engine braking. Because the revvs are kept at a higher level, power is instantly accessible. This is definitely the mode to use when you need more muscle.

'Race car' mode works only in sports mode. There is no button to activate it - simply use the accelerator pedal very aggressively. The transmission's ECU detects this and switches the logic to a state even more dynamic. In race car mode, the engine will hit the redline in every gear! It even downshifts harder. We saw the gearbox downshifting at 3,400 rpm, which translated to a resultant 4,000 rpm in the lower gear! When have you seen a diesel AT doing that?! Race car mode will stay engaged as long as your right foot is heavy. Ease off the accelerator pedal and it gets deactivated after a few seconds, with the Hexa returning to regular sport mode. This was by far the most fun we had in our Hexa. The gearbox also features a tiptronic mode, which allows you to manually shift the gears. To engage tiptronic, you have to shift the gear lever to the same position as sport mode. Then, move it up for an upshift & down for a downshift. Even in this manual mode, the gearshift quality is very smooth. It's not lightning-quick though and there can be some delay in executing your command. E.g. if you keep your foot on the accelerator & command an upshift, it'll take a moment or two. Keep the pedal floored and it will have the engine revv to 4,250 rpm before upshifting. This mode can be useful when you desire 2nd gear starts (on slippery surfaces), engine braking or want to downshift before an overtaking manouveur. My brother felt that tiptronic mode gets the job done and done perfectly. Frankly though, I'd just prefer to engage 'sport' or 'race car' mode and let the electronics do all the work (I'm actually a lazy bug who relies on electronics for most of my needs).

During our recent road-trip to Tirupathi, the last 20-30 kms was completely on the ghat section of the road and my brother enjoyed the Hexa as he was driving it with the 'Sport' mode engaged and he is in love with the throttle response and secondly while coming downhill on the same ghat, where we engaged the Hill-Descent control on my erstwhile XUV500, we thought that we'd miss that feature but the Hexa AT proves us wrong! While going down the hill, the Hexa was controlling the speed by itself by shifting the gear into the higher/lower gear as and when required and we didn't feel the lack of it. So, the features we really miss are the ESP and the awesome BorgWarner All-Wheel drive system. If the above mentioned features were available in the automatic, this would've improved the credentials of Hexa being a more all-rounded package over its competition.

Some Random clicks of the engine bay (Kindly ignore the dusty engine bay) :
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0336.jpg
The Engine-Bay is well-spaced out in-order to facilitate ease of reach of the various components present inside the engine bay. Though, I like the way the tightly-packed engine bay of the XUV500 looks.
Click image for larger version

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The 'Varicor 400' badge present on the engine cover.
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0338.jpg
You do get two pneumatic struts on the either side to lift up the heavy bonnet (even the new gen Innova Crysta and the Fortuner which cost a fortune over the Hexa and XUV500 still don't get this). This pic shows the strut on the left.....
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0339.jpg
.......Whereas this pic shows the strut present on the right side of the bonnet.
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0340.jpg
Want to know the turbocharger present in the Varicor 400? It's the 'Honeywell' turbocharger which is fitted onto the Varicor 400 engine, whereas the Varicor 320 present in the old Safari Storme and the base XE variant of the Hexa gets a 'Garett' turbocharger (checked myself during my recent visit to the workshop which had a new Hexa XE in their stockyard and got to see the engine bay of the Old Safari Storme in the workshop while it was undergoing its service).
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0341.jpg
The air-filter. The air-intake pipe is from the fender as the Hexa is rated for 450mm of water-wading. A
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0344.jpg
The opening funnel for the refilling of washer fluid.
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The fuse box.
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0343.jpg
The coolant reservoir.
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0342.jpg
The access to the auxiliary belt is tight in here as its placed quite close to the fan.
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-img_0346.jpg
My Car has come fitted with an Amaron Din-80 Battery.

Last edited by GTO : 19th September 2017 at 09:57. Reason: Spacing :). Thanks for sharing!
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Old 18th September 2017, 19:06   #8
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Default Hexa and it's Competition :

Other Points :
  • The car honks at you if you lock the car with any of the doors not properly closed (including the bonnet).
  • The Auto-Wipers with the 'Variable Intensity' feature is a delight to use during the monsoons and the Auto-headlamps are a delight to use as well and the headlamps are quick to grasp the darkness and do the necessary action. They're a breeze to use and one can even use high-beam along with the Auto-headlamps (this isn't the case with most of the cars sold in India) but one cannot switch the foglamps on with the headlamps in 'AUTO' mode.
  • Tata has silently deleted the 19" alloy for the spare and what now people get is a 16" steel wheel found on the mid XM and base XE trim. My SA said that this is applicable for the cars manufactured post December 2016 (mine's a January 2017 manufactured).
  • The car has a boot space of 128 litres with all the three-rows up which is good IMO.
  • Tata has skimmed on the adaptive guidelines for the reverse camera on the AT variant which were present on the MT variant.
  • Tata is providing a standard warranty for 3 years or 100,000 kms which can be extended to 5 years or 1,50,000 kms at an additional cost of Rs. 15,700/-. I, personally recommend to go for the extended warranty since this Tata is loaded with complex electronics and I personally feel that spend 15k now on the extended warranty and remain worry-free from any unwanted part failure in the future. The peace-of-mind what the extended warranty gives you is Priceless.
  • Hexa comes with a 60L fuel tank which is bigger than the Crysta's (55 ltrs) but is smaller than the XUV's(70 ltrs).
  • The Hexa is claimed to have gone through 8 lakh kilometres of road-testing (cumulative) and tested across 3 continents - Asia, Australia and Europe, with temperatures ranging from -20 degree celsius to 50 degree celsius.
  • The internal codename for the Hexa project was 'EAGLE'.
  • The Hexa is available in 3 trims namely XE, XM and XT with different engine tunes to choose from.
  • The Hexa comes with a choice of 5-clours i.r the Arizona Blue (the most selling colour), Sky Grey, Tungsten Silver, Platinum Silver and Pearl White.
  • The base XE trim buyers donot have any colour choices to choose from and will unfortunately have to compromise on this front and Tata has made the shade of Pearl-White as standard for the base XE trim.

Hexa and it's competition :
The Hexa is competing against the following cars from the same segment :
  • Mahindra XUV500
  • Toyota Innova Crysta
  • Jeep Compass
and the list of pro's and con's are listed below for the ease of the decision makers (OT : The list of pro's and con's of the respective vehicles are taken from their respective official threads at Team-BHP)
Mahindra XUV500 :
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What you'll like :
  • A well-engineered, contemporary SUV with a value-for-money price tag
  • More mature styling. Front end no longer looks garish
  • Acres of space on the 1st & 2nd seat rows
  • Competent engine delivers fantastic urban driveability, as well as fast
    highway performance
  • Balanced ride & handling package
  • Safety kit includes 6 airbags, ESP with rollover mitigation, ABS + EBD
    and all-wheel disc brakes
  • Expansive feature list (sunroof, touchscreen ICE, powered driver's seat,
    cruise control,etc.).

What you won't :
  • Absolutely no luggage capacity with all the seats in place.
  • Cramped 3rd seat row is best suited to children only. A sliding middle row
    is sorely missed.
  • Interior quality, although better, still has a lot of scope for improvement
  • Clutch is lighter now, but has a long travel range & high resting point.
    Gets cumbersome in traffic.
  • Niggles & issues, as reported by existing XUV500 owners.
  • Mahindra's inconsistent sales & service experiences.

Toyota Innova Crysta :
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What you'll like :
  • Indestructible build & durability. The Innova is known for its bullet-proof reliability
  • Spacious, flexible & practical cabin. An extremely comfortable long distance commuter.
  • Upmarket interiors. The ZX AT variant is very plush.
  • Powerful diesel engines with user-selectable driving modes.
  • Balanced suspension & road manners. High speed stability is rock solid.
  • Top-notch safety kit. 7 airbags, ABS, ESP, TC, Isofix & 3-point seatbelts for all.
  • Feature packed! Leather seats, LED headlamps, mood lighting, cruise control & lots more.
  • Toyota's excellent after-sales service and fuss-free ownership experiences.

What you won't
  • Hefty price tag! 2 - 3 lakhs higher than the already expensive ol' Innova.
  • Top ZX variant is unavailable with a middle-row bench seat (8 seater).
  • Lower variant's interior looks too basic. GX doesn't even get a stereo!
  • 2.8's single-digit urban fuel economy due to the hefty kerb weight, engine size and AT.
  • 2.4's NVH package still has holes to fill (engine clatter, dancing gear lever).
  • Heavy steering at parking / low speeds. Can get cumbersome in the city.
  • Poor sound quality from the ICE. Cheap speakers beg for an upgrade.
  • Short service interval of merely 5,000 km. Inconvenient for those with high usage.

Jeep Compass :
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What you'll like :
  • Handsome Cherokee-inspired styling & loads of character.
  • Solid build. Feels very robust, just as a Jeep should.
  • Powerful 2.0L diesel. Good driveability in the city, fast on the open road.
  • Mature suspension setup, nicely-tuned EPS & rock-solid stability.
  • Capable AWD available (unlike some competitors).
  • City-friendly: Compact size, higher seating, smooth gearshift, soft clutch & low NVH.
  • Topnotch safety: Strong all-disc brakes, a plethora of electronic aids & 6 airbags.
  • We think the Compass is well-priced for what it offers. The driving experience & overall package feel premium.

What you won't :
  • Small size for the price! A sentiment echoed by most people who saw it in person.
  • Suitable for 4 adults, not 5. Narrow cabin.
  • Inexplicably, only the AWD Diesel gets 6 airbags! All other variants have only 2!
  • Tiny dealership network. Plus, after-sales quality & long-term reliability are unknown factors.
  • AWD's premium is over 2 lakh rupees on-the-road. Includes 4 extra airbags, but is still too much.
  • Diesel Automatic is still sometime away (petrol AT coming soon)
  • Turning radius of 5.65m is more than the Safari Storme's. Also, 17º approach angle is too low.
  • Missing goodies (blanks on the steering, auto-dimming IRVM, auto wipers & headlamps, lumbar adjustment, reclinable rear seats).

Summing Up : Am I satisfied with the car? Hell yeah. This beast is a perfect combination of performance, space, ride and comfort and I'm sure I'll have a tough time while I have to upgrade from this beast. This car is a perfect upgrade for my Linea in-terms of every aspect I can think of. This car is truly a VFM and What you feel is that you've got your money's worth and even more. That's more important at the end of the day. Thumbs up for the Pune guys for bringing up such a competent product. Hope it gets the success soon like in the case of the Tiago.

A Parting Shot of the beast :
Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue-20170625021829_img_0536.jpg

Until next time,

Last edited by Varun_HexaGuy : 19th September 2017 at 06:53.
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Old 19th September 2017, 09:58   #9
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Default Re: Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 19th September 2017, 10:21   #10
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Default Re: Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue

Congratulations on the Hexa. Its a lovely vehicle and wish you many miles of trouble free motoring.

Given that you are just 16 years old, Im am very impressed with your writing style- not just your language, but also your attention to detail, and the way you have constructed the narrative. You should seriously consider a profession in automotive journalism!
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Old 19th September 2017, 10:36   #11
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Default Re: Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue

Originally Posted by himanshugoswami View Post
Given that you are just 16 years old, Im am very impressed with your writing style- not just your language, but also your attention to detail, and the way you have constructed the narrative. You should seriously consider a profession in automotive journalism!
I must confess, I've been kind of a "sleeper" on here, but I do pore over articles on this website a LOT. Mostly the ownership reports and the reviews but also the technical articles. That said, I do agree with the comment above - this report is right up there with the best! Nicely done!

Oh, and congratulations on the vehicle. May it give you many miles and smiles!
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Old 19th September 2017, 10:38   #12
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Default Re: Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue

At 16 years old, I couldn't write half of what you've written. That's such a detailed review of everything the car means to you! Good job, man.
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Old 19th September 2017, 11:06   #13
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Default Re: Interiors :

Originally Posted by Varun_HexaGuy View Post

But, get the Crysta ...... you'll prefer the Hexa over the latter. But get the Xylo or the Ertiga into the picture you'll prefer the other two over the Hexa in-terms of third row seat comfort.
Is that so? At 6 feet, I definitely prefer Crysta's 3 rd row over Hexa's. At the same time Ertiga's 3rd row is an absolute no-no for me.
In terms of overall comfort (that also takes into consideration ride and not just space...or in other wors overall sense of well being) I would say my rankings are: Crysta> Xylo = Hexa> Ertiga.
Placed Xylo second only because of the bounce and pitch. In flat roads and on a relatively new vehicle - Xylo is the best by a margin.

As others said, its a very nicely written review. Congratulations and enjoy your SUV.

Last edited by rrsteer : 19th September 2017 at 11:08.
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Old 19th September 2017, 11:07   #14
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Default Re: Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue


Your passion for cars is clearly seen; outstanding review.

Mods: You must invite him to do official new car reviews.
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Old 19th September 2017, 11:36   #15
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Default Re: Tata Hexa XTA : Our new beast in Arizona Blue

Kudos to you on your new ride and special mention for your Brilliantly detailed review.The only thing I see missing are the pictures of the chassis bottom .
Off late we are seeing some amazingly passionate teens writing some amazingly detailed reviews on T-BHP. Keep them coming.
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