The Tata Harrier has just received a mean-looking paint scheme, and the SUV in this trim is called the Dark Edition. It’s based on the top-end XZ trim and is priced at Rs. 16.76 lakhs, ex-showroom Delhi. This is the same price at which the dual tone XZ variant of the Harrier sells at. The new paint scheme should make the Harrier quite attractive to more buyers. Apart from the all-black paint scheme on the outside, Tata Motors also offers black and grey interiors on this SUV. The faux wood trims on the dashboard have also been replaced by a ‘Blackstone Matrix’ insert. The brown bits on the interiors give way to grey bits, darkening the whole cabin for a sportier feel while the black art leather seats get white contrast stitching. The mechanicals remain unchanged, although more power and torque would have been welcome, and would have allowed Tata to position the Dark Edition as a high performance variant. There’s talk that JTP is coming up with a sportier Harrier.
Meanwhile, the engine the powers the Harrier Dark Edition is the same 2 liter Fiat Multijet turbocharged diesel with 140 Bhp-350 Nm. A 6 speed manual gearbox drives the front wheels. By the end of this year, this engine is expected to get a 6 speed torque converter automatic gearbox option, which is another sales booster shot the SUV will get. A lot of people are waiting on the sidelines for the automatic variant of the Harrier.
Tata Motors is also expected to roll out a more powerful state of tune for the 2 liter diesel engine when it is made Bharat Stage compliant. The Harrier BS6 is likely to make 170 Bhp-350 Nm, which is the same state of tune in which it is offered with the Jeep Compass Diesel BS6 model. These changes will come with a significant price increase though. Those who want to skip the price hike must buy the Harrier now.
What Tata Motors will not offer with the current Harrier, even in the future is an all wheel drive layout. That’s one bit that would have made the Harrier range complete in India. Currently, the Tata Harrier does offer a moderate off road capability with ample ground clearance, good suspension articulation and a rough road drive mode that varies traction between the front wheels in low grip conditions.
Sales of the Harrier have been slipping due to new competition. MG Motor has launched the Hector, a well-priced SUV which is outselling the Harrier while there’s even more competition in the offing with Kia just having launched the Seltos. Constant product interventions by Tata Motors is meant to keep the Harrier’s appeal fresh. Soon, we’ll find out if it’s working.