How does it feel on the inside?
Tata offerings have never been short on space and the same holds true for the Hexa. It has the same wheelbase as the Aria which means you can literally have a small party inside the cabin but more on that later. Step in and the premium feel is immediately noticeable. The touch and feel of various panels is excellent and anything above the belt-line feels rich and luxurious. You will definitely get what you pay for!
Its an overly black / dark color theme but I am not complaining. The monotony is broken well by silver, chrome and piano black finishes at places. The steering feels good to hold but what catches your attention first is the speedometer console. The small LCD screen shows a lot of information : from driving modes to fuel economy, outside temperature and so on. It is easy to understand and does the job very well. Here is a quick gallery of how it looks.
The infotainment system in the central console could do with a larger screen IMO. That aside, it is a familiar unit as I am used to the one in the Tiago (read my scenic escapade with the Tiago here). You can run navigation via the phone (with pre-loaded apps), run music from other passengers’ phones using Juke-car app and even personalize mood lightning settings.
Due to limited time, I didn’t get to spend much time but did enjoy the music on the go. Tata is emphasizing a lot on the JBL branded system that gets 4 door speakers, 4 tweeters, a center speaker as well as a sub-woofer along with an amplifier. The overall sound quality is certainly the best in segment but I personally felt that bass could have been better at lower volumes. Just a feedback considering the acoustics have been tuned by world leaders, Harman. Nevertheless, it goes without saying that the Hexa’s system is certainly the best in the MPV / SUV segment upto Rs 20 lakh.
Moving on from features, practically, the Hexa is a bag of mixed beans. While the front seats are massively comfortable even for a person of my height (and width / weight), a few things could have been better. The steering is not adjustable for reach and same goes for the fixed arm rest up front. The panels under the steering protrude out a lot which means your knees are just millimeters away. This does not feel comfortable and if you end up being in a crash, your knees will take a hit. To avoid this, if you slide the seat backwards, the steering gets away from you which you can’t adjust for reach. The XUV is a lot better in this regard, giving you ample space (like a sedan) under the steering area for your knees and legs.
There is only one cup holder (the XUV gets two) and there is no place to keep your phone or wallet. The XUV offers space in front of the gear lever and a pop-up box above the air-con vents. Likewise, you don’t get a conversation mirror or a dead pedal either. There is no start-stop feature on offer and the top end does not get proper leather seats (they get Benecke Kaliko leather-feel upholstrey). Don’t get me wrong here – Tata might look at offering the XZ version after a few months with all these features. Currently the XT is the top-end version but as seen in the Tiago, there is space for the XZ at a later stage.
The cabin is a big leap in terms of quality and feel for a Tata product. You genuinely feel impressed and the same continues once you step into the 2nd row. The space here is excellent and icing on the cake is the optional 6 seat configuration. This means you can opt for independent bucket seats for the 2nd row too.
You also get a high output USB charging outlet and standard across the line-up are the sun blinds – a huge plus point for Indian summers. Visibility from the 2nd row is impressive – the big windows do help a lot.
The XUV suffers from a cramped 3rd row. Further, once in there, you feel hammered in and visibility is poor. The Hexa is so much better in this regard. If you travel a lot kids and want them to feel comfortable on a long drive, pick the Hexa. Same goes for even average sized adults who will feel very comfortable for small trips. The 2nd row can be pushed forward (both bench and bucket seats) and this further means last row leg / knee room can be increased. You also get a charging socket for the 3rd row along with cup holders and air-con vents. Top marks here.
But we aren’t done here yet. With all three rows in place, the XUV has no space left to carry even a shoulder bag. The Hexa on the other side can take in soft luggage easily. The extra length of the chassis and body does help in this regard. This space can be very handy. However, the seats don’t fold down flat.