How I eventually bought a Tata Harrier: 7 things I love and 4 misses

I did a test drive of the Toyota Innova Hycross but it failed to impress me. The car looked more MUV-ish than an SUV.

BHPian loneagl09 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Just got the XZA PLUS OPTION delivered yesterday and would like to post initial impressions.

Options considered before getting the Harrier


The most obvious comparison. But a few things steered me away:

  • The digital instrument cluster being too ‘in the face’. I like the traditional cowl with the cluster some distance away.
  • Not a fan of the white interior aesthetic
  • No ventilated seats
  • The biggest one for me – the whole software experience was unsatisfactory – laggy touchscreen, the Alexa would not work during TD and the biggest one for me – the cameras are laggy- stuff on the camera seems to be moving at 10fps! This, I thought, was unforgivable in any car.


  • Thought all that chrome looked gaudy
  • A touchscreen for all functions is a big no to me


Excellent driving, great safety across all variants and a premium experience but:

  • The new ‘club’ edition that I got an ad for is basically the base version
  • The base edition is pretty expensive as is and features gate-walled to higher versions ( eg sunroof)
  • Understated road presence (my opinion)


Steered clear because of all the horror stories on this forum. Also, no Skoda and Kia where I live. I did TD both the 1L and 1.5L Virtus and loved the drive. My brother has a Venue and remarked that the VW 1L turbo petrol seemed smoother and better than the Hyundai 1L turbo petrol. Don’t know how that works out. But the red interiors were not great to me. The red, especially, seemed garish, too bright. The AC also seemed underwhelming.


Looked too MUV-ish to me, plus the interiors failed to impress (personal opinion).


Have a friend’s relative who works in Nexa and he advised against getting one, as it was full of niggles and rattles. I did still go and take a look:

  • The interiors look great and the stitched parts look premium.
  • The HUD is a really great feature that I would love to see expanded across other brands.
  • Ventilated seats and 360 degree camera make for useful additions.

However, the underwhelming 3 pot review in this forum made me think about spending 20 lakh plus. Also personally, the exterior did not impress me. Maybe larger wheels would have helped.


I only mention this at the end because I ended up buying it. I actually TD it around the VW visit and the drive quality and new interiors still stood out to me after Virtus and Compass TDs.

Things I love

  1. The interiors are beautiful in person. The red is much more ‘denatured’ than the Virtus. Closer to Astor but more understated. The ventilated seats are a joy to use and are firmly in the ‘did not know I needed them till I used them’ category.
  2. The infotainment system in TD is a breeze to use, and the one in the production model is even smoother. The infotainment is mostly brown and yellow and is maybe a bit too understated. But I am not complaining and love this direction Tata has taken. In fact, it may be the best-looking system (UI-wise) amongst Suzuki, Mahindra, VW and MG. Hyundai also has great-looking infotainment, and I believe at this point it comes to personal choice. I just loved the layout and colours of Tata more. Never thought I’d say that. I mean, I have seen videos of the old Harrier infotainment.
  3. The digital dial has a proper cowl and pleasing colours (think yellow, brown umber, shades of light green). It’s an unusual combination of colours for a car system. It’s very understated and I am surprised Tata actually went ahead with it. The centre part has all sorts of scrollable features like trip, live mileage etc. and even a cool graphic of power and torque. In fact, there’s so many symbols and alerts (all with different notes) that I am still working through their meanings. Even Tata SA does not seem to know all about ADAS.
  4. The ADAS features are basic and definitely not level 2, as some videos seem to claim. For instance, there’s no adaptive cruise control. But the ‘car protective’ functions are pretty good – and do work flawlessly. Except for autonomous emergency braking, I’ve tested all the functions (touch wood). I’ve seen discussions regarding their efficacy and can say they definitely have their place even in Indian conditions. Rear cross-traffic alert, door opening alert (radar checks oncoming traffic and alerts if it's safe to open door to exit) and overtaking alert have all been very useful. Headlight assist, in particular, automatically makes me a better driver. ADAS features can be individually switched off and if on, their volumes and sensitivity can be tweaked. Lane departure warning will remain switched off, which is honestly useless in city and most highway conditions.
  5. The 360 camera is again a useful addition and the quality of the image is surprisingly great. Each camera can be individually switched on. Helped me in a couple of tight spots. Eg – bikes parked on both sides of a narrow road with some sticking out. No longer do I have to rely on the judgements of random people guiding me frantically through a maze of ill-positioned vehicles. The 3d camera is a cool addition but more of a gimmick. Switch on the right or left indicator and the corresponding camera will display on the infotainment. This is much better in my opinion than say, Alacazar, which displays on the torque/speedometer dial according to direction. In my TD of Alcazar I found that the turning steering wheel often blocks the camera view.
  6. I won’t say much about exterior looks, as these are basically unchanged except for minimum red accents. I absolutely love the butch looks, and they played a major factor in making the choice.
  7. Again, the engine, and steering has been exhaustively discussed and are basically unchanged. The hydraulic steering does come across a bit heavy though.

Some misses

  1. Haven’t figured out a way to start the phone app directly from the steering buttons.
  2. Wish they had a dial which displays temperature continuously like Hyundai. For now, the temperature is only briefly shown when I turn the climate control dial. This can be easily made a part of the display - in the status bar for example.
  3. No volume control knob – seriously Tata?
  4. Did not find a way to switch off the infotainment display. Swiping left brings up a screensaver-like display with a clock.

I guess this is it.

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