The Tata Harrier has been a the topic of discussion in the Indian car market lately. We drove the most anticipated SUV of 2018 last week (watch video) and were thoroughly impressed with Tata’s latest offering that locks horns with market leaders like the Creta and the XUV500. Talking of which, the latter offers 7 seats and will be considered by those looking at family SUV.
Which among the two then, the Harrier and XUV500 is better suited for a family man is what we discuss right here, right now!
Before we start, the only remaining piece of the entire puzzle for Tata’s latest offering is its price. This will be revealed next month but we have a fair indication of the range, somewhere between 12-16 lakh in terms of ex-showroom price. The XUV500 is priced from Rs 12.5 lakh onwards (ex-showroom, Delhi) and has decent discounts and offers from showrooms. This means, both the SUVs here compete in the same price segment.
How do they look?
The Harrier is the newer kid on the block and we all are a big fan of the way it looks. Muscular, intimidating and stunning at the same time – these were exactly the same adjective we all used for the XUV500 when it was launched 6-7 years back. The latest update keeps it fresh but truth be told, the Harrier will turn more heads on the road then its Mahindra counterpart. The aggressive front end with the wide DRLs, sculpted bumper, flared arches and a beautiful rear make it stand out. Without a doubt then, as a family man, your kids will love to be seen in a Harrier over the XUV500 in our fair opinion. My only question here is – why not offer diamond cut alloy wheels on the Harrier, Tata?
Are the cabins family oriented?
This is where the XUV500 hits back with an ever important 3rd row of seats. The XUV5OO is a 7 seater and even though the last row is best meant for short adults or kids, as a family man, you simply cannot ignore this SUV. If you travel with your parents, better half and little ones multiple times every month, look no further. That said, if you are a nuclear family, the Harrier certainly is our pick. The 2nd row is as spacious as the XUV’s and so is the boot.
The Harrier offers a brilliant cabin no doubt but the lack of a 3rd row will keep large family buyers away from it. And this will be a shame because the cabin is well laid out and looks far better than the XUV’s. This includes the visual aspect as well as quality of materials used on the inside. Round two then clearly goes to the XUV500.
Will your family enjoy the features?
Tata has literally loaded up the Harrier in terms of features. From the ‘oh so awesome’ 9 speak JBL audio system to the largest touchscreen in the segment, this one also offers a huge speedometer display, cooled compartment under the arm-rest, logo projection via the outside mirrors, 6 airbags and a very advanced electronic stability program.
That said, the XUV500 clearly has an edge here. We all know kids love to have a sunroof in their dad’s car and the XUV500 offers that. Further, you get a powered driver’s seat and ambient lighting, something missing in the Harrier. One crucial feature here that the XUV offers is a conversation mirror which is a great way of keeping an eye on the kids behind. Brownie points of the Mahindra SUV for sure. As an XUV owner, I will also add that the cooled compartment under the front arm-rest is larger than that of the Harrier’s and as a driver, the tyre-tronics adds to the peace of mind factor during long drives in the middle of nowhere. The XUV then takes the crown for round three too.
How do they drive?
Closely matched. The Harrier puts out 140 PS of power and 350 Nm of torque from the 2 litre Diesel engine. The XUV on the other hand is good for 155 PS and 360 Nm from its 2.2-litre motor. But its heavier too, so more or less, both the SUVs offer equally good performance.
But, if you want to show your loved ones fresh snowfall this winter, the XUV500 will tempt you, thanks to optional AWD. This really gives it an edge for adventure holidays. Likewise, an automatic is sorely missed on the Harrier : we all love holding our better half’s hand on the go, don’t we? Sorry Tata, but the XUV again wins this round as well, thanks to the convenience of an automatic transmission, thus freeing your left hand! It even has lower NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) levels than the Harrier as I found out during my drive a few days back.
Verdict : Harrier or XUV500 then?
So there you go. The XUV500 offers more features to keep your kids impressed, has that essential AWD and an automatic option and most importantly, gets a 3rd row of seats. But as we mentioned above, if you have a nuclear family, the equation suddenly tilts towards the Harrier as this one is a good, spacious 5 seater SUV. Price wise too, both are more or less equally matched and both Mahindra and Tata vehicles are known to last long. So if you are a family man looking for a new 7 seater SUV in the Rs 12-18 lakh bracket, you know which showroom to head to! If you can live with two seats less, wait for a month for the prices of the Harrier to come out. Happy shopping!