Tata Motors has started production of the Harrier at its plant near Pune in Maharashtra. The first Harrier has rolled off the production plant and we now know what the final-spec Harrier looks like.
The Harrier may have retained most of the concept H5X’s looks but there is one small detail that we don’t like about the upcoming Harrier – its wheels.
You just have to look at the wheels – those beautiful diamond-cut wheels! – of the Tata H5X concept to know why we feel this why. Here they are again, to make you feel a little sad.
When Tata stated that it would be putting the H5X concept into production, the carmaker remarked that the production SUV would retain most of the looks of the concept. The production Harrier has kept that promise, but Tata’s decision to put those 5-spoke alloy wheels have left us with a bad taste in our mouths. So what are the reasons for us shaking our heads and wondering what happened?
The production Harrier seen rolling out of Tata’s production plant sports a twin-spoke alloy design with 5 arms extending from the centre of the wheel to the actual rims. While it may look cool, it reminds us of the Nexon’s wheel design. The Nexon, the smallest SUV in Tata’s range too features a regular 5-spoke alloy wheel design and the Harrier’s basically looks more like a dolled-up version of the ones found on its baby sibling. Sure they look shinier and jazzed up but the H5X’s wheels were nothing short of magnificent and even a slightly toned down version of those rims would have us bending down for a better look.
The H5X was a concept and its oversized wheels matched the larger than life wheel arches seen on the SUV. While Tata may have kept nearly all of the design cues in the Harrier, the wheel sizes are what you would find on a production car, with 17-inches expected to be the largest size on offer. However, the size of the wheel arches has remained the same, which leaves a lot of space free between the wheels and the SUVs body, which looks rather ungainly. Who knows maybe an inch larger and it could look better but with Indian road conditions, Tata is hardly going to go the way of styling if it affects comfort.
So are these issues enough to make us want to not drive a Tata Harrier when it comes out or perhaps even own one? Of course not. There are a whole world of aftermarket wheels out there and finding one to replace the stock ones is something that is easily doable. We’ll just wait till January to make up our mind about everything else the Harrier does, including the way it drives. And we can always hope that the wheels were a deliberate misdirection by Tata – and the actual production version would have attractive wheels instead!