Tata Harrier hits the self-drive car circuit

Well, self-drive rental car operators in India have already begun opting for the recently launched Tata Harrier SUV. The first such Tata Harrier that will be available as a self-drive rental was spied in Rajasthan. The SUV in question is a XM variant, which is one trim above the base XE model. The Tata Harrier with a black-yellow plate was spotted in Rajasthan, and a quick registration details check reveals that it belongs to Orix, which is a big cab company that offers both chauffeur driven and self driven cars, ranging from the humble Toyota Etios to high-end offerings such as the BMW 5-Series and Mercedes Benz E-Class. The Harrier is also likely to be inducted into self-drive car fleets such as ZoomCar and Drivezy in the coming months as it’s not uncommon for cars priced between Rs. 15-20 lakhs to be offered by these companies. In fact, the Mahindra XUV500, which is priced similar to the Harrier, is already being offered by ZoomCar and we are sure car enthusiasts will love the idea of experiencing the Harrier without having to own it!

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Meanwhile, Tata Motors is all set to give the Harrier a small cosmetic makeover by offering a dual tone paint scheme, with the roof getting a contrast wrap. The Harrier with the dual tone paint scheme is likely to cost Rs. 20,000-25,000 more than the regular variants, and this paint scheme is expected only on the top-end XZ trim. Tata Motors has already put out a teaser of the upcoming dual tone Harrier, and the SUV is likely to launched shortly given the fact that competition has just increased in a big way with the launch of the very competitively priced MG Hector. In about a month from now, Kia will launch the Seltos – another SUV that is expected to directly take on the Tata Harrier mainly due to its pricing. The Harrier’s prices were increased recently, with the base variant now costing close to Rs. 13 lakhs and the top-end XZ trim costing about Rs. 16.5 lakhs, ex-showroom.

By the end of this year, the Tata Harrier will get major mechanical changes. 1) A 6 speed torque converter automatic gearbox will be offered on the SUV. Sourced from Hyundai, this automatic gearbox will make the SUV more appealing to buyers as the Harrier is currently offered only with a 6 speed manual gearbox. 2) A more powerful BS6 variant of the Tata Harrier will be launched, and the SUV’s 2 liter Fiat Multijet turbocharged diesel engine will make 170 Bhp-250 Nm, a clean 30 Bhp increase from the power rating of the BS4 variant. The more powerful version of the Tata Harrier is likely to cost Rs. 50,000-1 lakh more than equivalent BS4 variants as the BS6 model will need expensive emission control equipment in the form of a Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) unit. The 2 liter Fiat Multijet diesel engine in such a form is already available in the recently launched Jeep Compass TrailHawk trim.