When in the early 2010 decade the Tata Aria was launched, it had a lot of potentials. But none of that could be exploited under the Aria name. So once Tata revamped the vehicle and transformed it from an MPV to a crossover MPV, it started to make sense to customers. Now not only does the Tata Hexa manage respectable numbers, but it also doubles up as the flagship offering from the Indian carmaker. It’s still no off-road-ready SUV but considering that you can buy one of the dealerships and head straight to a mild off-road challenge, and the Hexa wouldn’t break a sweat.
The Aria’s design wasn’t a bad start, so the Hexa was bound to look good. But it’s amazing to see how far Tata’s design efforts have brought the Hexa. It looks muscular and far from how a bulky/upright SUV looks. It instead has the panache of something more expensive and premium. And even when you don’t want to do mud dipping in this one, the svelte appearance works quite well. From the use of darkened headlamp cluster to the plastic cladding on the body which makes the Hexa appear slightly wider, there’s something that the competition hasn’t yet managed to attain. The top-spec variant gets 19-inch alloys which bump up the style quotient by a few levels. And if all that fails, there’s always the more stylish Tata Hexa Downtown version.
A solid exterior appearance might get you all the eyeballs, but if the interior’s a bit of a downer, then you’re likely to struggle in justifying the quarter of a crore you’ve spent on the Hexa. Thankfully the interior feels solid and the dashboard layout isn’t too bad, either. It has to be said that the touchscreen infotainment could have been a size or three larger, but apart from that, there’s not much to fault in the Hexa’s cabin. Certain plastics might feel a little on the cheap side, but on the whole, the Hexa doesn’t disappoint. There are other bits which ensure that you do get what you’ve paid for: up to six airbags, ambient lighting, nice supportive seats, and a 10-speaker JBL audio system.
The Tata Hexa is diesel-only and is available with a 2.2-liter ‘VariCOR’ turbocharged diesel engine but in two states of tune. If you purchase the base model, then you’d get a 150 PS version with 320 Nm of torque. The said variant comes only with a 5-speed manual gearbox.
But move up the ladder and there’s the more powerful iteration of the engine. It makes 156 PS and 400 Nm of torque. A 6-speed manual gearbox is standard while a critically acclaimed 6-speed AT can also opt. But if you’re looking at the 4x4 model, it’s available only with a manual gearbox. The drivability of the engine is further expanded with the introduction of Drive Modes, which offer different throttle maps and vary the power delivery depending on the mode chosen.
The Hexa has priced at Rs 12.57 lakh for the base diesel. The aforementioned 400 Nm unit can be had in all models from Rs 14.19 lakh onwards. Only the top-of-the-line version gets 4x4, and is priced at Rs 17.97 lakh. The AT is available from Rs 15.43 lakh onwards. In total there are four trim levels: the base XE, XM, XM+, and XT. The automatic version is available in XMA and XTA.
The Tata Hexa has two main rivals: the Mahindra XUV500 and the Toyota Innova. As a crossover MPV it sits in between the two, and in certain cases, proves to be better than both, too. The Innova shines with its comfortable ride, and insurmountable quality and refinement. Whereas the XUV500 has a sportier intent.