Tata Hexa - Test Drive & A Layman's Review

#HexaExperience

To begin with, I'm not an expert in cars and I'm a novice in driving. With that said, I enjoy long drives and I love travelling and Tata Hexa is one heck of a beauty and beast put together in the same entity that's perfect for anyone who loves to travel whether you're a novice or a car-maniac.

Hexa is an upcoming model of Tata, launching in January. Its a 6 seater MUV, hence the name Hexa. The idea behind Hexa was to come up with an SUV, that doesn't feel bulky, looks sophisticated, does a power packed performance, does high sped with an ease, geared up with gadgets & technology, and be more of a lifestyle vehicle than a typical SUV. The initial concept of the car began 3 years back and today its on road!

The car can be converted to a 7 seater, by making a triple seater 2nd row which is fold-able to access the 3rd row. It has 6 airbags and being someone who's alive coz of side airbags, I'm obsessed about it. The breaks are disk breaks and the suspension was excellent, that even in a bad patch of road, there wasn't much vibration inside the vehicle. The noise control was also excellent that upon closing the windows, even the engine's noise was almost completely cut off. Even at its humongous size, when driving, it doesn't feel so. However the 3rd row too doesn't feel cramped at all, which is the problem with most SUVs. There is enough leg space even in 3rd row.
Being an absolute novice in driving, that's when I was on the highway at 90 and Indrani, Srinidhi & Anand held on to their dearest lives in their hands, lolz!!! The above pic is by Shrinidhi.

I, along with Shrinidhi & Indrani, with Mr.Anand of Tata, had an awesome drive of 176km incl both highway, single lane roads and off road. Of it, 76km was in the manual transmission vehicle and 76km in auto. Later, we also took a proper off-roading session with the vehicle driven by Mr.Abel. The drive started from Novotel Hyderabad Airport and went through the airport road, then on Nehru Outer Ring Road / NH44 (where we put the vehicle to ultimate speed tests & tried out sports mode), then experienced the typical roads with all pits & gravel on the SH4 to Moinabad and then continued on the SH4 which was scenic with lakes and meadows on the sides till Vikarabad (where we managed to get off the road and do some offroading ourselves to test the comfort and capability in a rough terrain; below pics from that route) and headed back and on the track!

Here's first about the Manual vehicle. It has 6 speed gear transmission and 4 driving modes - Auto, Comfort, Dynamic and Rough Road. Auto was the basic, regular mode. In comfort mode the machine by itself made sure that the rpm was maintained at abt 2000 to provide the optimum comfort. The Rough Road feature was the most interesting of it all. The torque of the machine was high even in low acceleration to keep the vehicle going even when off-roading! 
However the best part of the rough road mode was the Hill Hold Control and Hill Descent Control. These get automatically activated with going up and down an inclined surface respectively to prevent the vehicle from sliding down when doing up or maintains a max of 8kmph when going down to prevent a roller coaster effect! 
These driving modes can be changed on the fly with a rotary knob near the gear lever. With its Traction Control System and ABS with EBD, even on very high speeds, they vehicle did manage to come to an abrupt stop in a straight line with only a short braking distance, without any swerve. 
Later on we drove the automatic version. It was smooth as butter! Its comes with the regular P/R/N and D functions. D comes with Sports & Manual modes. The sports mode gets auto activated when driving above 90 continuously.  
In both vehicles, the maximum speed that it could reach was 180. While the MT can be toggled between 4x4 and 4x2, the AT has only 4x2. Here's a bit of specs - the engine is a 2.2l Varicor 400 and runs of diesel and has a 60l fuel capacity. The capacity is 2179cc. The ground clearance is 20cm.
The central touchscreen infotainment system in this vehicle was by Connectnext and the sound system is by JBL. The SD Card slot was just below the display. The media button would toggle between the SD Card, USB & Bluetooth. When the USB is connected the media immediately gets transferred to the phone which is a slight negative, though it can be later transferred back to SD or Radio. Even at the midpoint of 15, the sound was booming with the 10 speakers all around giving the perfect surround sound effect. It doesn't have an inbuilt navingation system, but comes with an app which includes NaviMaps. The route can be displayed onto the display unit and the voice navigation guides as well. Unfortunately there seems to be no way to make the voice navigation work with bluetooth connection, but only USB connection. The bluetooth connection with the phone works with calls and music. In either cases, there was no lag or breakage and the clarity was perfect.
There is a rear camera that gets automatically activated and displays int he main panel when the reverse gear is applied. Also a feature unique here is that this rear camera can also be activated and displayed on the screen even when the car is in forward motion with just a push of a button.
The driver's instrumental panel ofcourse has the Speedometer and Tachometer. Plus it has a central digital display that says the time, temperature, gear level / driving mode, the fuel level and the distance to the next petrol pump (as calculated by Navi maps).

Other smaller elements that make the car all the more sophisticated incl storage slots, power slots, curved led backlight, ambient mood lighting, breathable upholstry and inbuilt sunblinds. Apart from the usual inbuilt glove compartment, there's also a illuminated cooled glove box just above it, in Tata Hexa. In total there are 29 storage spaces in the car incl water bottle slots on doors & near gear box. There are also waterbottle slots on the 3rd row! Apart from the usual 12V car charging slot in the front, there's one more in the 2nd row, plus there are USB charging slots for the 3rd row as well. The back light is in 3 sections and the main one is made of flexible led that makes the illumination uniform.
The ambient mood lighting is a feature that makes the whole interior lighting of a particular color to match your mood. This comes with 8 color options! The upholstry is very sporty with visible contrasting stitch lines and micro pores. The sunblinds are similar to the commercially available sunblinds with vacuum suction fixing. But this is made of a better material and comes up from the lower rim of the window and attached to the hook on the upper rim. Its gives 30% opacity which is the legally allowed opacity level in India (Yes, these rules are very stringent ever since Nirbhaya incident happened!).

Overall, the car is perfect for both hardcore car driving passionate-s (esp the MT) as well as novice (esp the AT), esp for the traveler and explorer. As our ancestors say, its not the grand things, but the small gestures are what that matter. When it comes to Tata Hexa its something like that - it cannot be compared to its counterpart in Jaguar or similar vehicles, but its these attention to tiny little details is what that makes this stand apart from the rest! 
This is not a typical city vehicle because like any SUV its huge and can get miserable in any city's traffic jam. But when you go on long drives, may it be with loads of luggage or lots of people, may it be friends or family (how about a genervacation?), this is the perfect vehicle.
My stay there was at Novotel Hyderabad Airport. A review of the hotel is coming up next. Stay tuned.

P.S: I was invited by Indiblogger on behalf of Tata Motors to experience Tata Hexa. However the opinions are my own and this post does not to advertise the product/service. A very big thanks to Indiblogger for this wonderful opportunity.

Bhushavali N

An ardent traveler by passion. I am a wanderlust.. Read more about me here.

13 comments:

  1. A well written detailed review indeed. All of us loved the car, and we too had Abel as our Off road driver. The whole experience was fun :)

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  2. You say that you are not an expert in cars but that review is really very detailed and technical -- bravo! I have never driven on the right-hand side before like in you did in your photo. I wonder how it feels?

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  3. good summary. Thanks for the mention

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  4. I've never heard of this car before but it's gorgeous! Also all I could think about in the fields was how great a place it would be for photo shoots! Haha! :D

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  5. I need a car like this with all my extreme adventures. You also were able to show the highlights of the the Tata Hexa.

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  6. This looks like a sturdy car with and of leg space for all the passengers.

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  7. I like such manly cars compared to the toy cars variety. Tata is always a brand to trust!

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  8. Wow! Those are some reliable cars and they're perfect for people who love going on road trips to off road places! You can definitely rely on these for safe driving on tough terrain.

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  9. This is definitely a car to love. You're lucky to be able to get your hands on it.

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  10. Ooohhh! Nice! The car looks spacious inside! And it's amazing what it can do. Will this also be available in the Philippines? I wonder how much it would cost here. :) - Mum Tuscany

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  11. I've heard Tata from Top Gear when I used to work for the local publishing company that prints the Philippine version. This one looks spacious and I like that it has a built-in navigation system. There are only a few units of Tata here in the Philippines though.

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  12. Wow, that's a nice test drive experience! I haven't learn driving, prolly should do it soon, and this is definitely an experience you don't get in Singapore!

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  13. Wow, I love your experienced! What a fun way to test drive, so cool! I think this car is superb!

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