According to Tata, the Aria was an MPV while the ereinexa in an SUV. Really? Well, we take all the facts, figures and visuals to analyse if the new Hexa is really an SUV or just a MPV.
What we think: MPV
The design elements of Hexa screams MPV. The sloping A-Pillar which connects to bonnet at a large angle gives it a very sleek but not butch looks. The bonnet size is not as big as the ones found on full-sized SUVs and the front wheel arches are intersected by the A-Pillar.
Even though Tata has tried very hard to make it look like an SUV but it looks like that the Aria has just shed its skin and came out with some new lines. The Hexa comes with 19-inch forged alloy wheels but the absence of strong body lines makes it more like an improvised MPV rather than full-on SUV. The Hexa misses out on looking brutal.
What we think: SUV
The Hexa offers a load of equipment that can make it go off the road like a breeze. The whole equipment list of the Hexa revolves around the terrain management system or the “Super Drive Modes” as Tata calls it. It is no marketing gimmick. The adaptive drive modes comes from Borg Warner and the vehicle also features torque on demand, which works very well when the situation demands.
The system is similar to the Terrain Response System in the Land Rover vehicles and the modes can be cycles between Auto, Comfort, Dynamic, and Rough Road. The modes can change the engine maps to provide easy drive through any situation and can also switch between 4X2 and 4X4. The adaptive drive system is augmented with limited-slip differential on both the axles that really helps during challenging situations.
The ground clearance is 200 mm and the water wading depth is 400 mm, both of which make the Hexa a pretty capable water crosser. The premium Tata also offers commendable approach and depart angles, which can make it climb on steep inclines and can also come down of sharp declines without scrapping the bumpers of the car. The car comes with hill decline assist which maintains a speed of 8 km/h even when the car is in neutral.
What about Innova? Toyota Innova is a rear-wheel driven car with an impeccable suspension set-up. The car can take on bad road with ease but when it comes to light off-road situation, Innova fails hands-down. The segment leader, Innova is not much of a doer when it goes off the tarmac. Herein lies the difference. The Hexa may look like a MPV but it performs like a SUV.
P.S. -To remind you, the Super Drive mode is not available with the automatic version of the Hexa and also, it comes only in 4X2 set-up.
What we think: MPV
The Hexa targeted at the premium customers and the car is equipped with a feature list that longer than its brochure space. The car comes with state-of-the-art features that will make the occupants feel like that they are sitting in a very expensive shell. The seats are shrouded with leather upholstery and the panels are soft-touch. The car also features mood lighting in several different colours.
At the centre of the dashboard, sits the ConnectNext infotainment system by Harman and a 10-speaker system by JBL. Even though it should be only available with the top-end variant, we should mention that there is no other system in this price segment in the Indian market.
The Hexa also features individual AC vents for all the three rows and there are individual 12V sockets too. The ConnectNext infotainment system connects to any smart phone through an app and can mirror the navigation on the infotainment screen. The Hexa is also huge, with ample space for the third-row passengers too. All these features make the Hexa very heavy, hence the off-road capability is hampered.
What about Innova? The Innova is a real comfortable vehicle with spacious interiors and ample space to fit 7 adults comfortably. The Innova Crysta also comes with smart features like adjusting the front seat from the middle row. Aircraft style food tray for the middle-row passengers and a good infotainment system.
What we feel: MPV
The Hexa is built of the Safari Storm platform. The engine is also shared with the Safari Storme 400. The 2.2-litre VARICOR 400 diesel engine produces a maximum of 154 BHP and a humongous torque of 400 Nm. The Hexa is a heavy vehicle and does drive like one. The car feels very stable on the highway even at high speeds.
However, maneuverability is serious hampered due to the excess weight it carries. The Hexa has a lot of body roll too and doesn’t like high-speed corners. The suspension is tuned to provide comfort, not better driving pleasure. There are no sporty bits in the way the Hexa drives, which makes us push it into the MPV territory.
What we feel: SUV
The Hexa has a bucket load of presence when it is on the road. We managed to turn almost all the heads on the road when we drove the car in Hyderabad. The large proportions of the car and a very heavy stance of the vehicle highlights its extreme presence on the road. The Hexa sure has a road presence of a true SUV.
The Hexa has characteristics of both MPV and SUV but it is inclined more towards the MPV side. Tata says that the car has such characteristics to make it more practical but we cannot ignore the MPV inspired looks, features and driving feel of the car. Even though Tata says that the car is an SUV, we say that it is a very capable MPV.