Stereotypes are hard to break!
Every time Tata launches a car, I am one of the people who stand in the front quarter of the queue who question, doubt and deny their product. Not once or twice, multiple times. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate them or their products, it's just that the trust is too weak when it comes to the 'T' that is not from Japan. I have owned only 2 Tata cars in past, one lost in an accident and another was filled with niggles. The first one was actually a very reliable one while the second one was simply not up to the mark. Stereotype:
No matter what, if it is a Tata, it is a cheap car and it is cheap because it is made out of cheap components and low quality parts. It may fell off, break down or may even prove to be unsafe too. Thankfully, Tata motors have made sure in past that this stereotype keeps on getting stronger with time.
I have driven other cars quite a bit, have owned an XUV in past and Innova has always been our family favorite. where is the place for Safari or Aria or Hexa? Well, they were never in the list! That said, I have pushed 2 people in my circles to get Hexa and 7 people to upgrade to Endy or Fortuner or Crysta A/T from their choice of Hexa, as they had the budget. I went for test drives: XUV 5OO:
Test driven in Gurgaon, AT vehicle. Going by my past experience and the way the new vehicle has been improvised at points, XUV is indeed very close to being a near perfect urban SUV. It looks cool, has a long list of features, powered driver seat and sunroof are show stealing features (Tata motors, I tell you; give them in Hexa and see the demand, these features fascinate the people who upgrade from smaller cars).
Front seats are snug and supportive, decently placed armrest, well designed and savvy looking instrument cluster, roominess felt due to dual tone interior and because of the light entering via the sunroof. The engine that is very urgent and the performance that can even shock the new drivers, everything feels like a perfect recipe for an average Indian customer - well, it is. The gearbox is also a decent one, very less to complain about.
Then I get into rear seat, it is placed way higher than the front ones (This is an issue for me and since I am at least 50% chauffy driven, this is a make or break for me) the seat itself is placed at right height in terms of legroom, thigh support etc, but I, personally, just can't feel comfortable being seated that way. Additionally the bench seat is nowhere close to the captain seats offered by Crysta or Hexa. Third row I won't discuss about as it is any ways going to remain folded for 99% of the ownership interval. Ride quality feels quite okay while in the front seats but since you are seated a bit higher in the middle row, you are bound to feel a bit more body movements (Believe me, I have designed Baja buggy chassis and even an inch matters). Third row I know from my previous experience - is any ways bad. Boot space better not talked about. Innova Crysta A/T
Toyota dealership experience was definitely better than that at Mahindra and so was the driving experience. Cars driven were Innova Crysta 2.7 petrol AT and 2.8 diesel AT. Since I have more than enough experience with Crysta 2.4 and 2.8, my prime focus was 2.7.
Interior is very nice, probably the best driver's seat to be in, everything looks and works in a premium manner and NVH is definitely decent. only thing missing was a sunroof, else Crysta simply ticks every single box you can think of when it comes to buying a people mover. Both 2.7 and 2.8L engines are potent enough that XUV or Hexa can't simply hold their candle in front of these beasts when they are angry. What went wrong then?
Well, comfort and price. Don't be shocked when I use the term comfort. It is more like and analytical issue where you need to get every constraint in right ratio to get the maximum out of the available constraints. Seats are very comfortable, but ride quality isn't much absorbent, now you have comfortable seats to have to seated there but every shock or bump which is higher than say 3 inches is going to make you feel its presence on the road (Same applies to XUV). There goes the comfortable seat for a toss, it has perfect thigh support, perfect cushioning and perfect everything - but the suspension makes sure that shocks do get transferred to you. Don't get me wrong, the Crysta is maybe thrice as comfortable as an XUV (Especially middle row) but an immaculate ride quality with a comfortable set of seats is what makes for an actually comfortable vehicle.
Price: 2.7 Petrol ZX A/T costs around 22.6 on road Gurgaon and 2.8 ZX costs around 26 on road Gurgaon.
That means I am paying (Hexa has insurance free):
- 3.3 lac over Hexa XTA for 2.7 petrol
- 6.7 lac over Hexa XTA for 2.8 diesel
Don't bring the GX Crysta into equation, it looks and feels worse enough to be compared to Scorpio from inside.
In terms of emi. this means a flat difference of 8-15k in terms of emi itself for 5 years.
A fraction of fuel, full maintenance and at least 3/4th insurance will be all compensated by this EMI difference itself.
Then we thought of resale, after 1 lac kms of ownership, I won't think about the Crysta petrol resale as it is any ways going to be abysmal. Comes the point of the resale of Crysta diesel.
Let's take resale for Hexa as 33% and Crysta 2.8D as 50% after 1 lac kms on odo (BTW
after say 8 years, both will have poor resale as their life will be only 10 years).
- 33% for Hexa = 6.33 lac
- 50% for Crysta 2.8D = 13 lac
Net difference = 6.67 lac
Difference between initial purchase price = 6.7 lac
Let me go to exact emi terms taking 9.75% as interest rate for a down payment of 10.3 lac and 5 years term:
- EMI = INR 21,124
- Total payment to bank = INR 12,67,455
- Total money paid towards the car = INR 22,97,455
Innova Crysta 2.8 Z:
- EMI = INR 33,165
- Total payment to bank = INR 19,89,904
- Total money paid towards the car = INR 30,19,904
These calculations themselves do nullify the resale advantage of the Crysta 2.8 as compared to the Hexa, especially when I haven't taken into investment opportunities which can help double those 6 lac in the same term. Now let me come to Hexa:
Other than the fully dark interior and slightly tighter middle row as compared to the Crysta and XUV, I do get a lot more in form of:
Class leading ride quality - best in class comfort
Much much usable third row (same applies to Crysta too though)
Best in class ICE
What I lose?
- No keyless entry and push button start: If I am capable to drive, probably my fingers will be good enough for pressing a button on remote and slotting the key in keyhole.
- Smaller touch screen - bigger the better
- No satnav - It is indeed needed
- Electric front seat adjust - Charge 50k more and get me one
Overall: More test drives needed, its still not me buying the car, for someone else and we guys are torn between Hexa and Crysta 2.8