Tata launched the much-awaited Harrier in the Indian market earlier this year. The all-new SUV was launched at a surprising price, and the market is responding quite well to the latest product from the manufacturer. However, many prospective customers voiced their disappointment due to the non-availability of AWD or 4X4 system with the Harrier. However, Tata offers the Terrain Response System with the Harrier, which has been specifically developed for the SUV. How does it compare with the AWD vehicles like the Renault Duster and the Mahindra XUV500 in real life situations? Well, here is a video that shows you just that.`
The video has been posted on Sumitro YouTube Channel and it shows the Tata Harrier, Renault Duster AWD and Mahindra XUV500 AWD taking the same terrain. The Tata Harrier is the first in the video to take the challenger. It first goes over a rock with the ESP off. The video shows that the front right tyre spins for a bit but it finds grip quickly and gets to the rock. The Harrier takes the challenge again with ESP on. The video shows the Harrier’s left front wheel over the rock and people around are guiding the vehicle to climb the rock. With the ESP on, there is no wheel spins or slipping and the Harrier climbs on the obstacle without any problem.
The Renault Duster AWD comes in next. The Duster struggles quite a bit to climb on the rock as the wheels keep on slipping. We can see how the front and the rear wheels of the Duster keep on slipping and it fails to go forward on the rock. Finally, after a few efforts and tries, the Duster reaches where the Tata Harrier was positioned.
Next, the Mahindra XUV500 comes to take on the same challenge. The Mahindra XUV500 tries a few times to climb on the rock and then it gets on the rock after short wheelspin. It struggled less than the Renault Duster AWD while climbing up.
Is the Harrier a better off-roader despite not having AWD?
Tata has developed the Terrain Response System for the front-wheel-driven Harrier that gets three different modes – Normal, Wet and Rough modes. Tata has not explained what exactly the mode changes the vehicle but it definitely works to make the Harrier more capable. The TRS came in quite handy for the Tata Harrier during this video. It gets advanced Electronic Stability Program (ESP), which has various functions like cornering ABS and off-road stability control. The TRS uses the same system to apply the brake to the wheel, which spins freely to transfer the power to the other wheel in the axle, making the Harrier more capable. It works like a differential lock in the Harrier.
The Renault Duster and the Mahindra XUV500 both get the All-Wheel-Drive system that powers all the four wheels of the car. Both the SUVs also get AWD lock, which keeps the AWD engaged while going through difficult terrains but both the SUVs misses out on differential locks, which means the free moving wheel will spin more when the vehicle is stuck in sticky situations. Also, a major part of the success of the Harrier in this video is the condition of the tyres. The Harrier is a brand-new vehicle with new tyres that provide an extremely high grip when compared to the tyres of the XUV500 and the Renault Duster.
In typical conditions like snow or slush, AWD vehicles may perform better than FWD vehicles like the Harrier but it depends on the situation completely. One way to make the AWD vehicles like XUV500 and Renault Duster more capable is to use better tyres. There are Mud terrain and otherspecialisedd off-roading tyres available in the market that can make the vehicles much more capable.
While the Tata Harrier does not offer AWD or 4X4 system, it definitely is more capable with the Terrain Response System. The FWD set-up keeps the price low and there are no plans of the AWD version of the Harrier in the future.