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Old 21st June 2022, 11:24   #1
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Default Head vs Heart | Bought a used Tata Hexa over a new Kia Carens

Having been away from writing in the past 10 years, my grammar has been ruined by Indian IT.

But here we go:

The Prelude

I purchased my first bike - the Gixxer in April 2015. Rode it a lot ( 30,000 kms in 2 years). And she never once strained. I was a big fan of how it handled in the city, how stress free the engine was and whatnot. At the same time, I had absolutely no idea about cars. And once I got married, getting a car was the next step. I had always been a teenage fanboy of sedans and had never owned one, so I had no idea what practicality in a car meant. To me, a car was always about how fast it could go and how it made you feel.

Then came the day when we finally made up our mind to buy a car. The wife wanted a large 7-seater, but I was concerned about how much it would cost. I capped my budget at 7L Ex showroom. The thought of spending about 40% of my monthly salary on insurance was scary, and so was the fuel consumption, tyres, and other maintenance for any large car.

Due to the profile my wife works in, she had a lot of colleagues and seniors who had XUV, Innova, Scorpio and other 7 seater MPVs and SUVs

For a 7 seater, buying a used car was my choice, but since we had never owned a car before, we didn't really want to get ourselves in trouble with the issues that come up with used cars.

Back then, we visited Ford ( Aspire), Tata ( Nexon/Tigor), and Honda (Amaze). Aspire and Tigor were dropped due to the small rear seat. Nexon was dropped because of pathetic sales experience.

Imagine going for a pre-booked TD and the salesperson asks you to sit in a dirty car in a yard-like area. It was surrounded by 6 cars, so we couldn't move, and the SA went away for 20 minutes to get the keys to those 6 cars, while having the audacity to tell us that the car's AC and music system were excellent, so we should enjoy them while she gets the keys to the other 6 cars to move them. Frustrated, we dropped Tata, promising ourselves to never buy a Tata car.

The experience at Honda was surreal. A courteous SA greeted us, and a good test drive and answers to all of our questions sealed the deal for us. My wife liked the look of the Amaze, and the rear seat and boot were more generous than we thought.

We booked the car, got it delivered in 2 weeks (the colour of our choice was available) and have been using it for a good 3.5 years.

A Picture of our Amaze
Head vs Heart | Bought a used Tata Hexa over a new Kia Carens-img_20191026_1801062.jpg

The Pandemic

Thankfully for us, pandemic hit. Due to the nature of my wife's work, she was posted in Bathinda. I used to travel to and from Noida every week via train.

When work from home began, life became very easy for me. And as many of us did, we also got ourselves a pup and thankfully, this was the best decision ever. We wanted to get two of them, but the lack of a seven-seater meant that we could only get one.

We did a few road trips from Punjab to Bihar (my hometown). Each time we went to Bangalore ( her place), we would have to drop the pup to a friend's place as the Amaze just didn't have it to stretch till Bangalore. To my hometown, it would reach without issues, but the Amaze wasn't comfortable doing 120 on the expressway. The lack of underbody protection meant that all the gravels would hit the arches causing irritating sound. Road noise and tyre noise would simply prevent you from driving hard for longer distances. We had no choice but to listen to music. Also the body pain post short or long trips was noticeable. I started to realise the mistake. We could and should have pushed our budget to get the car she wanted, but didn't.

The Baby

Three months ago, we welcomed our first child, and a few trips to the doctor later, we realised that the dog (who was now a grown adult) and the baby could never adjust in the rear seat of the car. There would always be the risk of the dog stepping on the baby, and unintentionally hurting him.

Hence started the search for a used car. This time, we knew our priorities. We wanted to get a car that could munch miles without breaking a sweat. Fuel was not a concern as we do not live in Delhi. Space for the passengers and the dog was the priority.

Also, the car should be able to seat 5 people plus a dog (my parents, child, wife, and dog) and go wherever I want it to go.

In the past 2 years, I had driven a Marazzo - the manual was quite weird to use and the car didn't feel the best. Two of my friends were using Tata Hexa (one had a manual XM, other had an XTA - Both had dogs!).

I had ridden in them a few times, and loved the ride quality they offered. Having seen and read so much about the build of the Toyotas, Innova was on top of my list. But the Crysta was expensive, and a well kept used one would set me back by about 18 Lakhs - This was money I didn't have.

We really liked the Kia Carens too - and booked it as well. The Space and how it was utilised, was absolutely fantastic. Flat folding rear seats, enough space for the dog, decent engines and easy driveability were big pluses in our book.

A new one (turbo petrol) would cost us 16.5 lakhs, which was still a little out of our price range. But I was fine with it because the delivery was a while away and I could manage without taking out a loan.

The bigger problem (or opportunity) was my wife's maternity leave. It was 11 months, and she really wanted to go and visit places with the baby.

So what we really needed was an MPV that was safe, spacious, and would take all our luggage, dog, and us—and carry us all to places in comfort.

Even the Carens failed to tick the perceived safety box. The rest of it was fantastic!

Along came a used Hexa XTA from one of my Facebook posts in the Hexa Owners group (THOR). A gentleman informed me that he was the second (technically) owner of the 62K run car because it was a company lease car, and that he was selling it because he was moving to the United States.

The budget matched, allowing me to potentially upgrade from my Amaze for about 6L. The car was 2017 manufactured ( first batch of Hexas), and the long line of issues that Hexas had faced were in my head. Engine head gasket, EGR, air conditioning, and power windows were all issues that could have cost me my life.

I spoke to him, and took an overnight train to inspect the car.

He had smartly updated the alloys to 16 inchers and the Conti Cross contacts were almost new. The insurance was barely a month old and covered the engine separately. The sad part was the Extended Warranty was over.

The car had a few minor scratches and dents and he promptly showed me all of those. It had a clean service history, and had faced none of the issues that many Hexas had!

He claimed to have used it on the highways for about 50k kms out of 62k. This was good news, as a highway-running car would be prone to much less wear than a city runabout.

The owner was kind enough to include a box of car wax, a 12v tyre inflator, and an App Based TPMS (which I have yet to use) with the car because they would be useless to him once he left the country.

He took me on a test drive, and it was good! The Hexa is an absolute monster when the turbo kicks in, hurling the 2.2 tonne monster at a speed you don't expect it to go. The suspension was the best bit-probably next only to the one on the C5 Aircross.
  1. I was not fully convinced about the space. Maybe it was the ladder frame that ate into the cabin, but it was much less spacious than the Carens.
  2. The absence of flat folding seats was an issue that my dog would have to manage somehow, and the 128 litre boot was barely enough for tactical luggage (snacks, laptop bag etc)
  3. The larger bags would probably have to go on the roof (I would have to buy a roof rack).
  4. I would probably have to pay some more to my car cleaner to maintain the black interior.
  5. The last few statements probably clarify that this was a heart-over-head decision.

To be honest- out of all my options, the Hexa was the only car that I was ready to 'name'. Others were too bland to be named, maybe a little too perfect.

I had read all the horror stories of Hexa owners-especially post warranty. This car had barely finished its warranty period. This was ( and somewhere, it still is)

"If you want to do something- look at the one reason why you should do it, instead of a thousand reasons why you shouldn't "

We made up our mind and decided to get hold of the beast.

The car was well loved-but had had a few niggles on its journey.

The sidesteps were broken, there were a couple of dents and a large scratch on the A-pillar, which was due to a flowerpot falling on the car.

There were minor scratches all around. One of the rear doors was very slightly damaged ( promptly notified by the owner) due to a kid opening the door while the car was being reversed.
Some poor pictures of the when I first saw it
Head vs Heart | Bought a used Tata Hexa over a new Kia Carens-pxl_20220521_055510007.mp2.jpg

Head vs Heart | Bought a used Tata Hexa over a new Kia Carens-pxl_20220521_055455405.jpg

I had made up my mind to get the car detailed ( inspired by the good folks at Brotomotiv).

I got the paperwork completed, and decided to drive the car home after a service at TASS( a minor service was pending)

After being used to one of the best service experiences at Honda, TASS was an absolute disaster. Multiple areas within the car were still dirty, they used a gooey material to clean up the dash, missed cleaning one alloy altogether, quoted the wrong price for a broken air con controller, forgot to remove the sidesteps, and i cannot even remember what else.

Having not driven a silent and powerful car like the Hexa, I ended up doing a speed violation on the Delhi-Rohtak Highway. But in the next 6 hours, I was home.

As expected, the Hexa didn't break a sweat on the journey. Cars like these can do 90-100 kmph all day long without a hint of strain. Unlike my Amaze, I was April fresh when I reached home.

The wife was excited to see the car, but didn't like the rusting chrome add-ons ( on the grill and the side mouldings).

The owner is a BHPian and Team-BHP stickers were all around-on the mirrors, rear window, and tailgate.

We drove to a friend's place in Jalandhar, and found a nice FNG ( very highly rated) and asked them for a quote to:

a. Fix all 3 dents and big scratches- This would require some repainting and I was cautious of colour match failing, but the FNG owner was confident that this would not be an issue.

b. Rubbing and polishing the exteriors and dry-cleaning the interiors.

c. Remove all the chrome and take care of the gum residue (this was trickier than I thought).

d. Adjust the doors

e. Clean up the alloys

f. Teflon coat the car - I had planned to get Ceramic coating done but this would require me to shell out additional 10k or so. Decided to get it teflon coated for now. Would worry about ceramic coating later

He took 5 days to give me the car back - and man was it worth every penny!!

We met a Navy Commander (Retd.) who paid compliments to the car and asked if the Hexa was still selling as he thought the car was brand new and I was getting it coated from the FNG instead of TASS.

This time, wife and a few other friends ( another fellow Hexa owner) were thoroughly impressed and loved the work done by the FNG!

Head vs Heart | Bought a used Tata Hexa over a new Kia Carens-post-detail.jpg

The last few days in Punjab have been rainy, and the next morning, this is what she looked like:

Head vs Heart | Bought a used Tata Hexa over a new Kia Carens-post-rain.jpg

Head vs Heart | Bought a used Tata Hexa over a new Kia Carens-rear.jpg

On the next day, we packed our luggage and left for Palampur for a trip. Me, Wife, our 3 Month old toddler and 2 year old dog- along with all sorts of luggage.

Needless to say , a slushbox is a boon in the mountains. I wasn't aware of how confident it made me feel.

The size of the beast reduces to half thanks to the autobox.

For your viewing pleasure
Head vs Heart | Bought a used Tata Hexa over a new Kia Carens-palampur.jpg

My final thoughts at the end of this article:

1. Like many folks have said, Tata Hexa is an engineering marvel. It was made at a time when the public did not appreciate it's value, and that became the reason for its downfall. In the current age of FWD Monocoque Crossovers, it stands tall as a proper old school SUV/MUV Hybrid and will munch mile after mile after mile, no sweat.

2. The AT box—hands down, the best driving experience I've ever had. I was a manual gearbox fanatic once, but the AT is just so much easier. I have never driven any other automatics, but if they aren't as smoothly mated as the Hexas, it probably doesn't make sense to buy those ATs anyway..

3. Space Management: Passenger comfort has clearly been given higher priority over flat folding seats and what not. However, given my requirements it is totally fine. Also, I do not like the fact that there is no space for my phone next to the driver's seat area.

4. Ride - Superlative. I have been a fan of Tata's suspension since I drove my sister's Tiago. And this one doesn't disappoint. The way it simply decimates the irregularities on the road is miles ahead of anything I have ever driven. Only the Citroen C5 Aircross is probably better. The previous owner was smart enough to remove the 19 inchers and put 16 inchers in place

5. Power - Enough for anything. In the past few weeks we have driven solo, with 6 folks onboard and with wife, kid, dog and a lot of luggage onboard too. The Sport Mode is a hoot, but I don't think i will be using it much.

6. TASS - Easily the worst part of Tata. The personnel do not have sufficient knowledge, are sloppy with their work, and do not even attempt to talk to you. I have been to the same TASS Twice ( Noida sector 5) and zero change in 4 years.

I will look for a trusted FNG near my place for the Hexa, and get parts from Boodmo.

7. Running Costs - The AT is expensive and thirsty. The service is probably going to be more expensive too. With my amaze I got it serviced once a year - no issues have ever come and will never come, given how reliable and friendly Honda service is. My all Terrain tyres dont help either, but its fine. I do want to know if these tyres end up ageing the mechanicals ( wear and tear) faster, and if yes, should I discard these tyres and get new ones?


No doubt that the Kia Carens is an amazing vehicle and packs so much. Amazing VFM. But it just doesn't tick the heart box as well as the Hexa Does.

Last edited by Aditya : 23rd June 2022 at 05:39. Reason: Punctuation, spacing
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Old 22nd June 2022, 09:40   #2
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Default Re: Head vs Heart | Bought a used Tata Hexa over a new Kia Carens

Truly an MPV that punches above its weight, and is way superior to even many SUVs on sale today. I love the Hexa, it's a well-engineered vehicle. Just hope that the Tata niggles don't bother you much . Fingers crossed, wishing you thousands of kms of road-trips. Take her out on the highway frequently, that's where the Hexa truly shines.
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Old 22nd June 2022, 17:22   #3
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Default Re: Head vs Heart | Bought a used Tata Hexa over a new Kia Carens

Wonderful review, lovely pictures and an excellent choice.

I own one of the last batch of Hexa XTAs made and am very happy with it. Don't change the tyres. Other than a bit of road noise, all-terrain tyres do not affect the mechanicals. So run them till they have a decent amount of tread on them.

For storing cellphones, get yourself a seat-side cubby on Amazon. They fit well, don't move around and are perfectly positioned for connecting the phone to the touchscreen for Android Auto.

The only other accessories I fitted are side-steps for the elders in my family, replaced all the front lamps with LEDs because the OE halogens are seriously wanting. Fog and heavy rain are not a concern where I stay, so LEDs are fine. I put in one additional powered sub-woofer under the codriver's seat from my earlier Safari Storme. So my Hexa XTA is a 9 + 2 subwoofers.

Safe driving and enjoy the beast. Besides the Hexa, I'd love to see some pics of your dog. Big SUV people are also dog people by default, you know!
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Old 23rd June 2022, 10:00   #4
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Default Re: Head vs Heart | Bought a used Tata Hexa over a new Kia Carens

Congrats on your purchase. Wish you may more miles of niggle free ownership experience.

My requirements are the same as yours, barring the dog, every other requirement matches. I too sold my Grand i10 in 3.5 years because the car was not great for long distances (and lack of space). I too have a toddler and suddenly comfort and space became the number 1 criteria. I went with the Carens though. Unfortunately, the Hexa sold in low numbers and a well maintained example is hard to come by. Glad you could find a vehicle sold by a fellow BHPian.

Hexa is an underrated vehicle. As you rightly said, it was ahead of it’s time. Thanks to the pandemic, people have slowly began to realise the value of MPVs. If the Hexa was still being sold today, I would’ve picked one eyes closed over the Carens.
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Old 23rd June 2022, 10:30   #5
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Default Re: Head vs Heart | Bought a used Tata Hexa over a new Kia Carens

Congratulations! the detailing work seems really good. If you can do detailing work every 3-4 years why look for any other option.
I would have suggested you to look for TATA AMC if the extended warranty is over but the concern is not about the company its about the technicians/workers at the dealer of ASC that's the real "kind of" threat, more so when TATA sales have picked up now a days...
The only other option would be to look for a better ASC even if it is at a distance (Do rapport building even if don't wish to) or a good FNG...

Happy mile munching anyways!
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Old 23rd June 2022, 10:49   #6
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Default Re: Head vs Heart | Bought a used Tata Hexa over a new Kia Carens

Thanks for sharing your buying experience. I had two worries in my mind when I decided to sell the Hexa. The first one was to get a buyer who is passionate about Hexa and will take care of my car as I never planned to sell it so early and it was driving so well without a single issue till date. The second one still exists which will be VFM SUV to replace my daily car in the USA. I am not yet able to find a car that fits the budget and is comfortable and big as Hexa. You understand the true value of team-bhp when two bhpians are involved in a transaction, it was very smooth and stress-free and more over I was feeling so happy that the car is going to someone who will take care of it.
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Old 23rd June 2022, 12:32   #7
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Default Re: Head vs Heart | Bought a used Tata Hexa over a new Kia Carens

Excellent choice mate, HEXA is indeed an engineering marvel by Tata. Mine is Dec 2018 and I am in constant "LOVE" with it. Just came back after a trip to Spiti.

The coating work is indeed awesome, great work done by your FNG. BTW the missing LTD Sticker needs to come back.

If the Noida TASS you are referring to is Sagar Motors, then it is an absolute NO GO. I take mine either to Arya Motors, Gurgaon (75kms one way for me from Greater Noida) or Sab Motors, Sarita Vihar. Recently also experienced Treo Motors, Okhla which was a great experience.

Many congratulations once again.
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Old 23rd June 2022, 12:58   #8
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Default Re: Head vs Heart | Bought a used Tata Hexa over a new Kia Carens

You have made the right choice buddy. I am the proud proud owner of a Hexa XTA - the last one to be produced in India( at least that’s what my contact in the factory told me) and i must say after having happily used a Ertiga for 6years/1,00,000kms the Hexa feels like a battle tank. Its ride comfort cannot be compared to anything but a Merc E class with the added advantage of the ground clearance and the commanding driving position/ seating positions. All the small lakes that we never saw in the last 6 years are now all visible. I can just go on n on n on………but there is one thing for sire it’s impossible to find a replacement for this thing. So we’ve decide to keep it untill its no longer drivable or servicable.
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Old 23rd June 2022, 14:56   #9
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Default Re: Head vs Heart | Bought a used Tata Hexa over a new Kia Carens

Congratulations & thanks for the detailed post. I too own the first batch of Hexa XTs (Manual) from 2017 and it's one of the best cars in that price range. It's done 1.25L kms., mostly on the highways (mileage touching 18-20 kmpl at times) without major hassles in the warranty period. I'm overall happy with TASS too. It's now time to sell this car sadly so waiting for the right buyer like you. Happy driving yours.
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Old 23rd June 2022, 15:07   #10
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Default Re: Head vs Heart | Bought a used Tata Hexa over a new Kia Carens

Congrats on the purchase. For most of us Hexa owners, it's a heart over head story. I got mine in Nov, 2018 and she will be with me for at least a decade. Hope spares won't be an issue. Enjoy the beast.
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Old 23rd June 2022, 15:18   #11
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Default Re: Head vs Heart | Bought a used Tata Hexa over a new Kia Carens

Quote:
Originally Posted by mixxer View Post
Tata Hexa is an engineering marvel. It was made at a time when the public did not appreciate it's value, and that became the reason for its downfall. In the current age of FWD Monocoque Crossovers, it stands tall as a proper old school SUV/MUV Hybrid and will munch mile after mile after mile, no sweat.
Congratulations on your purchase! Hexa is one of the best people movers that I have ever driven.

Neither do I own this beauty, nor anyone in my family owns it. But I had two long trips in a rented Zoomcar Hexa. One was Pune - Goa - Pune (5 days road trip with 6 on board) and the other one was Pune - Kashid - Alibaug - Lonavala - Mahabaleshwar - Pune (8 days of absolute fun with 10 people, we had a Scorpio too). And I can say hands down, this car is as much fun to drive as it's to sit in and soak the waft-ability of the suspension that this offers. The engine is punchy and responsive as well. I liked it better to drive than TUV300, XUV500, and Renault Lodgy. (Have driven all those from Zoomcar).

Good choice mate!
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Old 23rd June 2022, 16:14   #12
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Default Re: Head vs Heart | Bought a used Tata Hexa over a new Kia Carens

What a timing!

On the day Kia Carens scored a below average 3 star GNCAP rating, you have posted your purchase of Hexa over the Carens. Hexa rides plusher than the Carens too.

While Hexa is not tested by GNCAP, it definitely felt super-sturdy. Congratulations on the purchase.

Hexa comes with the Varicor 400 2.2L, which requires turbo hose replacement at the 60k km mark(as does my Storme Varicor400 according to tata service recommendations). Please check if it has been done already. It's a great engine!

Last edited by PrasannaDhana : 23rd June 2022 at 16:16.
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Old 23rd June 2022, 16:55   #13
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Default Re: Head vs Heart | Bought a used Tata Hexa over a new Kia Carens

Quote:
Originally Posted by mixxer View Post

No doubt that the Kia Carens is an amazing vehicle and packs so much. Amazing VFM. But it just doesn't tick the heart box as well as the Hexa Does.

Great pick! You have the best of the XTA interiors and features, along with the 16 inch alloys; the 19 inchers were the XTA's only weak point.

I recently purchased a 2018 XMA Downtown edition, and am extremely happy with the purchase. Coming from a 2012 XUV 500 W8, I can say that the Hexa is two or three levels above in terms of refinement and engineering, overall.

Two accessories I would strongly recommend:

This one is for phone storage; can be installed next to the gear selector: (It also has a voltmeter to monitor the battery, and two charging sockets)
https://www.amazon.in/gp/product/B09...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

This is very useful for full turns of the steering, only to be used at parking speeds: (unsafe to use at higher speeds)
https://www.amazon.in/gp/product/B08...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I have installed a ton of other accessories; will probably write a detailed post some day, but here's the list:
1. VKOOL sun-film all around, including windshield(>85% VLT)
2. Magnetic sun shades all around
3. Wolfbox mirror dashcam - front and rear recording, with live camera feed IRVM in lieu of the regular mirror IRVM. (great low light visibility, eliminates glare from high beams)
4. Android tablet mounted on dash with magnets for navigation, YouTube etc.
5. Dash mounted Amazon Echo dot
6. 4G Modem router with small router UPS for uninterrupted internet for all devices in the car.
7. Ventilated driver seat add-on (12V DC)
8. Impact wrench (for tightening/loosening wheel nuts, and also for raising/lowering the vehicle on jack- lifesaver!)
9. 55W LEDs for High/Low beam and Fog lamps
10. Hella Chrome horns - more effective than stock, and much less intrusive into the cabin .
11. Internal TPMS with head unit.
12. Rain visors all around
13. Dieseltronics piggyback ECU(Makes engine response very linear, great for city driving)

I had my doubts about the alternator being able to power all of this, but it seems to be holding up so far!

Last edited by Eddy : 23rd June 2022 at 17:16. Reason: Please do not quote a long post. It hampers readability. Kindly quote only the relevant portion. Thanks
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Old 23rd June 2022, 17:09   #14
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Sir! Thanks for the kind words. Forgot to mention you in the review. will see if I am able to edit.

Will take care of her!

Hi. So I stay in Bathinda but thanks for the advice. Will visit if I am there and car needs a service.

About the stickers, I wanted to bring the car as close to stock as possible, and this meant that any sticker had to go. There were multiple other TBHP stickers on the car.

But yes I did keep the rear guard as better sense prevailed. Also got a rusted bracket repainted

Hope thats ok with other fellow BHPians

Thanks GTO. I will. Thankfully its all highways and cantonments where I live.

I do have a gripe with you - I had tried to post a query on TBHP about this decision (Hexa vs Carens) but you didn't let it go live
But maybe its all for good!

Oh thanks for the info. Relieves me a bit.

To be honest, just half an hour ago I was stuck in mud and thanks to the AT tyres it was no problem at all. A fellow ignis driver was stuck too, but lack of rope meant I could not tow

Last edited by Eddy : 23rd June 2022 at 17:17. Reason: Merged. Please use the edit / multiquote functionality instead of back to back posts within 30 mins on the same thread.
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Old 23rd June 2022, 17:43   #15
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Default Re: Head vs Heart | Bought a used Tata Hexa over a new Kia Carens

Thanks a lot friend.

Can you please also post the links to
1. The ventilation add on - No idea how this would hurt battery but i will read about it
2. Dieseltronics - No idea what this is. Can you guide?
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