Tata Motors is undoubtedly one of the biggest names in the automotive industry all around the globe. But little do we know that the international automobile giant had a reverse faith in the Indian passenger automobile market until the last couple of years, when the company seemed to be on a revival phase, rebuilding its future and developing technologies that would be able to knock down its competitors any day. The Most recent, the Tata Hexa SUV, is one such product that has turned out to be a major trump card for the company.
Tata Motors was the one who had pioneered a new passenger car segment in India. This idea of forming a car that would be the perfect replacement for costlier sedans was picked up and thus came the Tata Indigo CS, a compact sedan that promised sedan-like comfort at hatchback-like price. However, at a later stage, Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire outsmarted the Indigo to become the best-selling compact sedan in the domestic market.
At the backdrop of this, there was another segment that witnessed Tata’s decline at a considerable rapid pace. The Tata Sumo was almost a legendary car and was still competent to give other cars a run for their money. But it lacked timely upgradations to the technology and eventually failed to make it big. The company did introduce other SUVs as well. But these were not good enough to compete against its arch rival, Mahindra & Mahindra, who introduced cars that are still on the big names in the industry like the Mahindra Scorpio, XUV500, etc.
Tata’s new SUV, the Aria, failed badly at that time and the new Safari Storme did not do that well either, thus marking the downslide.
What makes Hexa so special?
The Tata Hexa, which is born out of the ashes of the Aria, is that one product that the company will bank on heavily. After all, Tata Motors has given everything to making this a grand success. The Hexa involves the Impact design language team from Tata’s various points. The sales and service team has been groomed to perfection. And lastly, it has the technology to back it up.
So let’s find out what makes the Tata Hexa be such a special SUV and what makes it such a powerful contender among the likes of the Mahindra XUV500 and the Toyota Innova.
Multiple drive modes
The Tata Hexa features technological affairs to its brim. The Hexa is available in both automatic as well as manual drive modes. Hence, the company has featured different modes to these variants. The manual transmission option has Auto, Comfort, Dynamic and Rough Road, while the automatic trims offers Economy, Sports, Auto Race Car sensing and an option where the driver can choose the gears manually.
The infotainment system
The Tata Hexa has a touchscreen infotainment system on the centre of the dashboard. The dashboard has connectivity options like ConnectNext. However, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are missing. The mood setting on the inside is enhanced with ambient lighting, JukeBox app and a wonderful sound system that is fitted with 8 JBL speakers, a subwoofer, a centre speaker and an amplifier working them in tandem.
A Safari-like powerful heart
The Hexa SUV is driven by the same engine that presently drives the Safari Storme. It has a 2.2-litre turbocharged VARICOR diesel engine. The power output is enormous with 154 bhp of highest power and 400 Nm of maximum torque. The base variant is tuned to make a maximum power of 148 bhp and a highest torque of 320 Nm.
The transmission duties are taken care of by options of 5-speed manual, 6-speed manual and 6-speed automatic transmission gearbox. The presence of an AWD drivetrain makes off roading much more secure.
Against its competitors
The Tata Hexa is a direct rival to the Mahindra XUV500 and the premium Toyota Innova Crysta. However, considering the price range of these three car, the Hexa is definitely priced to kill. This means, half of the battle is already won. The company succeeded in churning up 3,000 bookings within the first week of its launch.
Hence, at a time when conventional and powerful 7-seater SUVs are priced at no less than Rs. 13 lakhs to Rs. 14 lakhs, the Tata Hexa is brought to the customers at a much lesser price, that is, at just Rs. 11.99 lakhs for the base variant. Quite outstanding, right?
Impact on Indian Auto Industry
Tata Motors is presently one of the top five automakers in India. Hence, the way the company performs, be it good or moderate, will affect the auto industry greatly. The Hexa is born in a segment where the prices of cars start from a basic of Rs. 13 lakhs and that is what make it the standout vehicle.
The pre-Hexa period had quality-driven SUV 7-seater starting at a very premium range. But with the introduction of the Hexa at just Rs. 11.9 lakhs has further taken the segment by storm, thereby, pushing the others to work on the price of their cars. Presently, the Hexa is the most affordable and the most value for money 7-seater SUV in the passenger car segment and even threatens to disrupt the premium range, like the Toyota Innova Crysta and the Toyota Fortuner.
The Fortuner and the Innova Crysta are feature-rich cars for sure. But what would pinch the buyers is the expensive price tag. The Fortuner just has a few enhanced features compared to the Hexa. But in return, the Toyota SUV is retailed at over Rs. 10 lakhs more than the Tata car.
Moreover, another important factor that the Hexa might have just succeeded in launching is the technology. The technology that is used in the Hexa by far defies the current trend in the field of 7-seaters SUV at that range. Multiple drive modes dedicated for both automatic as well as manual, ambient lighting, 4×4 drive drivetrain, 10-speaker music system, etc. is what you get at the price. In fact, the lower end variants have a fun-to-drive rear wheel drive. The cooled glovebox get the sultriness at the minimum.
When you get all of such features, plus a superior power than that of the Mahindra XUV500 and Scorpio, at the given price, you know that there is some serious amount of competition going on and that the Hexa is giving its competitors a run for their money, big time.
So, in the longer run, the prices of the other SUVs will either hit a low range or these respective company will need to upgrade and adapt to the latest feature to match up to the Hexa.