This is my First ownership review so spare me the errors if any.
After having Driven a Hatchback (Maruti Alto 2007), a Compact Sedan (Tata Zest 2015) and a Saloon (Nissan Sunny 2012), my heart was raring to go for the love of my life since young age - A full Blown Heavy Duty Monstrous Looking SUV, since the late 90s I was in awe of the Tata Safari, it's Behemoth like structure, huge wheels and a supremely safe structure(Owing to it's Weight) and then the Mahindra Scorpio was launched which was equally Masculine and all this was after the era of the Tata Estates & the Sierras, I was just totally in love with these SUVs and wanted to have one of my own but I wanted a Automatic.
In the mid of 2016 I finally decided to have one of my own and the Options were
1. Tata Safari Storme ( Dream Car Since young age )
2. Mahindra Scorpio ( Another Contender )
3. Mahindra XUV 5OO ( Latest on the Wish list )
Needless to Say , Test Drove all the Vehicles and below are my impressions.
1. Safari Storme
Beast Like Structure
, Heavy Steering, First Gear throw is quite long, I had to literally ask the Test Drive Guy to give back the gear lever after putting it in 1st gear, Solid Built and very stable on Top Speeds although in the Test Drive all I could manage was 90 KMPH still it felt rock solid, Huge Space in the Car, (was seriously impressed first time by any car other than my CAAAAAAR - the Nissan Sunny which had acres of space), needless to say Huge Road presence due to the sheer size and weight but awfully short of gadgets and safety instruments.
Even at this price (INR 13.7 Lakhs Ex Showroom) , No Automatic AC, Reverse Camera, Dead Pedal, 3rd Row Seats were a Joke etc. etc. Plus the worst thing (Strictly my Opinion) was that the Spare wheel was removed from the back side and moved below which seriously gave the Safari that Killer Look!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Also the Deal Breaker was that it didn't offered an Automatic Option.
2. Mahindra Scorpio
Although My mind was already set on the XUV 5OO but still tried the Scorpio, first impressions were a very stiff ride, absolutely tight in the first row of seats even if you adjust it to the max level, very hard seats and sitting angle (Almost 80 degrees), Gear Lever being Tilted ( Still thinking why So), Again the 3rd Row Seats was a joke.
3. Mahindra XUV 5OO
What Can I say of this Giant, Absolutely beautiful since the early age XUV model depicting a Cheetah although must say that the New DRLs Styling gave it a look of those Mystical Characters like Ravana with false long teeth coming out, Seriously hated it but everything else was good, the Gadgets - Automatic Drive, Safety Kits including Airbags, ESP( First time in an Indian Car) etc, Sunroof & Start/Stop Button (Although not much of a fan of these) Still some niggles like the Cramped last row making it effectively a 5 Seater only and also had heard the horror stories of the XUV accidents and people often saying that most of it is made of plastic etc. etc.
Still had made up my Mind of buying one and naming it Duma like some other owners had done but then one fine Day a Bomb exploded and along came a BEAST named HEXA and Boy was I floored after just one Look!!!!!!!!!!!
Immediately went for Test Drive and seriously, Is there anything that this car ( Read Truck) doesn't have!!
1. Behemoth Size ( Wider than a Toyota Fortuner and almost equal in Length & Height)
2. Biggest 19 Inch Wheels I have ever seen in any Indian car.
3. Acres of Space inside all the 3 rows although the 1st Row still isn't that Spacious like My Sunny.
4. Brilliant Ride Quality as someone rightly mentioned (Roads or No Roads, Hexa Takes it all), this I think should be the most important aspect while buying a new car owing to the conditions of our roads although it has improved tremendously in last few years especially the Highways.
5. Harman ICE ( I was Already Impressed by them using it in my Tata Zest) along with JBL Speakers -- Divine!!!!
6. High Ground Clearance thus all those stupidly made speed breakers were put to rest ( Had a harrowing time driving my Sunny over them)
7. Automatic Gearbox and that also the same used in a Cadillac.
8. Seats with Lumbar Support and that also for 1st & 2nd Row in the 6 Seater Version -- WOW, even BMW or Mercedes don't give that.
9. Above all a beautifully looking car designed by Tata ( Did I heard JLR ) which oozes premium quality whether you see it from exterior or interiors, almost 15 Products from different EU Countries & USA thrown inside this BEAST which exemplifies the sheer amount of work done in making it especially after the debacle of Aria (Other Topic which I will share some other time, Some Still say that it's not as bad as it's Projected to be)
Anyways needless to say that I was floored by the Hexa and immediately made my mind, rather heart of Buying one for myself, now the Next Question was which Model to Buy, Manual was simply out of question as I needed an Automatic only, XMA was my First Choice and Tungsten Silver the Color of choice (Since I Already had a Sky Grey Zest so didn't wanted 2 cars of same color, This Grey color-- think I have a fetish for it, all my cars are of Grey Colour Only).
Anyways the question still doing rounds in my mind was XMA or XTA
------- The First thing which I noticed was that the XMA had 16 Inchers and the sheer ground presence the 19 Incher alloys were bringing to the Hexa couldn't be simply ignored, after all what's a Elephant if he has Giraffe Legs. Plus XMA Lacked Cruise Control ( Was excited as had never used them ), Parking Sensors or Reverse Camera, Leather Seats, Leather Steering Covers, Automatic Headlamps, Wipers, DRLs ( They Give teeth to the BEAST), Electric adjustable ORVMs and retractable too - helps in the tight DEL-NCR Traffic, Rain Sensing Wipers, Chrome Door Handles, all these were absent in the XMA and tilted me to the Top end version XTA.
Booked a XTA Tungsten Silver on January 28th But later on Changed the Colour to Sky Grey after my Fiancee asked me to ( As per her the Silver colour looks girly, well who can win from girls in an argument
, also my heart was for Grey Colour only right from the start so gave it a final go, so Sky Grey it is)
Now started the waiting period, XTA was commanding a waiting period of 6-8 weeks and I couldn't wait for so much time to get my hands on the BEAST hence daily calls to the dealer became a norm!!!!!, in the meantime took 3 test drives just to satisfy my hunger of driving it, Must say that my Sales Guy Mr. Manjeet Singh from Tayal Motors, Faridabad is a gem of a person and really handled it well, in fact he went over the line and my car was slated to be delivered to me quite early by 7th February only but then came the shocker (Factory PDI Quality Check), it took them some 15 days for it but Mr. Manjeet Singh kept on updating me at regular Intervals and also delivered the vehicle in almost 4 weeks only, also a point to mention here is that I took the Gold AMC (3 Years, 60K Kms. and 5 years Extended Warranty), gives me peace of mind.
Finally on 22nd February 2017 The BEAST was delivered to us and oh boy how does HE looks like, A BEHEMOTH, since then I am enjoying driving it on the Highways, City Roads, Village Roads, No Roads and it's like a Knife on a Butter. Odo has clicked 9500 Kms. as of today the 4th of May.
All these days I have seen countless Scorpio, Crysta even Fortuner Owners giving me glares especially Crysta Owners feeling like that they should have waited a little more. A captiva Owner stopped me in Jaipur and I gave the gentleman a brief know how of the BEAST, he was damn impressed with it.
Following are my Observations after driving the BEAST for over 2.5 Months.
> Exteriors and Design: Hexa is extremely beautiful and Premium looking in comparison with Rivals like XUV & Crysta. Solidly Built weighing almost 500 Kgs. more than the Competition and I love it as it gives the feeling of security.
> Interiors and Features: The Interior Plastic Quality is top notch and oozes premiumness about it, all the plastics are soft and there is not an inch of cheapness about them. AC is Super Cool and brings the Hot Cabin temperatures quickly down which is a Boon in North Indian Climate. The Headlight Beam is super strong and the DRLs beautifully and aesthetically designed and placed unlike the XUV 5OO. Music System seriously is top Notch and the JBL speakers really are superb especially if you turn the Bass a little high, Ingress & Egress little tough for elderly as XTA GC is 209 mm but no issues for me( As a reference I am 6' tall).
> Engine and Performance: The Engine has a little bit of Turbo Lag but it's manageable , the engine quickly changes into higher Revs once you floor the Throttle, Plus the Sports Mode and an even higher Race Car Mode can easily make you from running to flying the car in a matter of nano seconds. Brakes are good although can be better, also you have to adjust to them as there's a little play before they actually bite but at no point of time did I felt insecure even at high speed breaking- the 4 disc brakes do their job efficiently. The best part is the smooth gear shifting of the Auto gear Box, although it's a 2nd Automatic I am driving ( 1st being i10 ) but still it's quite smooth as compared to the reviews I have read on different threads about other Automatic vehicles.
> Ride and Handling: Sitting position is little tough for me, maybe because I have come from the Sedan Stable, also the seats are little stiff although Tata Dealer says that it has some special foam and will become softer over a period of time which I also have experienced, NVH is superb and steering little heavy while driving in the city but smooth and light as Butter on Highways. Body Roll can be experienced on high speeds especially on Curvy roads but then it's expected for a vehicle weighing this much, used to have it in my Sunny also although must say that it's not that much when taking into account the weight of this Behemoth, but this sheer weight helps on 150 Plus speeds as the car feels rock solid and planted.
Had a slight niggle in form of a plastic covering the Screws of the Front passenger seat being broken which was immediately taken into consideration and changed by the Dealer as soon as it was available, apart from that the Car has been called twice for Routine Checkups and TATA is really serious on HEXA, the Dealer GM had personally come to my home for Feedback of the Vehicle which I think is a very good gesture.
Finally will end the review by saying that Tata has got a Gem on their hands called Hexa and they are pampering it well, whosoever has a budget of 14-21 Lakhs and wants a full blown SUV then go for Hexa and you won't be disappointed, in fact you will feel elated that you have a BEAST under your Control.