The Hexa has to be one of the most anticipated Tata cars, err, SUVs ever. We Indians have a thing for ‘larger than life’ machines and vehicles like the Hexa fit perfectly into our four-wheeled dreams. The SUV segment has been on fire for the past few years and the same goes for big 7-seater options like the Mahindra XUV and Ford Endeavour as well.
I have a soft corner for the Aria, the MPV on which this new ‘SUV’ is based on. I remember my week long drive around Rajasthan followed by a trip to the roof of the world in a 4×2 version as well – both these trips showcased how capable and immensely comfortable the Aria was. Its a shame though that the MPV never managed to sell well and Tata had to get back to the drawing board to come up with something that could tickle our fantasy and thus was born the Eagle which later came to be known as the Hexa. At the same time, let me add, I also own a XUV5OO AWD for the past few years and this happens to be one of the direct rivals to Tata’s latest model.
Right then, without boring you further, let me get down to the main stuff. I did travel to Hyderabad keeping my past experience with the Aria and my own personal white elephant (nickname of the XUV) in mind. The following is a first drive review of what I feel about the Hexa on the 175km drive route around Hyderabad. Its a long article but well worth the read!
How does she look?
In two words, big and bold. The Hexa is a huge car on the outside. Its longer, wider and taller than the XUV and rides on what are surely the biggest wheels ever seen on a production car in India. The front has a hint of the Aria but just about. A lot has been said about the way the Hexa looks and I will keep it short and simple.
SUVs are supposed to have a butch look with enough muscles and a high ground clearance. The Hexa ticks all these boxes. But I am afraid the lower version with 16-inch wheels will spoil the party. The top end XT trim you see here though leaves no stone un-turned to make sure its an eye magnet on the road. Projector lamps, DRLs, the new grille theme and raised hood lend it an extremely purposeful look. Inch up closer to smaller vehicles in traffic and once they see you in the rear view mirrors, you won’t even need to honk – they will move aside and let you pass immediately!
The side profile again reminds you of the Aria but top marks to the designers to come up with clever styling techniques. I am a fan of those alloy wheels and further black cladding on the side and D pillar help spruce up things a lot.
At the back, the Hexa offers dual exhaust outlets, cladding, lots of chrome and special effect for the tail lamps. Switch on your parking lights and the rear lamps light up with a prominent horizontal red stripe. Press the brake pedal and the lower part illuminates with the LEDs. It does not get a tail gate mounted spare wheel – like the XUV and other new age SUVs, the spare wheel sits under the boot floor.
The Hexa does end up scoring high as far as styling goes. The XUV still looks good but its been around for five years and does not have that ‘OMG’ appeal anymore on the road.
Exterior Image Gallery (click to open image in full size)