Car Reviews

2019 Tata Harrier – Review | Tata’s Alpha

Tata Harrier

Ever since Tata had launched the Sierra, the Sumo, and the Safari, there was hardly any SUV which made them stand out from the crowd. It was after a long gap, Tata has finally introduced an SUV in their fleet which makes them stand out from the rest of the SUVs. It was a long time coming! We check out what makes the Harrier the most awaited car from Tata. 

How Does It Look?

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“This is what an SUV should look like,” is what my initial impressions were when I first saw the H5X in the Auto Expo 2018. From Tata’s H5X concept vehicle design, they have done an exceptional job in retaining most of its exterior design in the Harrier. Its design is derived from Land Rover’s legendary D8 platform which Tata calls it the Optimal Modular Efficient Global Advanced Architecture. You would never expect a Tata product to look that good, with all due respect to its older generation of vehicles. The front has an aggressive look with the LED DRLs performing dual functions of the turn indicators. They are seamlessly merged into the piano black grille. I’m glad that they have not given the grille a chrome look. Below the LED DRLs sit the Xenon HID Projector Headlamps and underneath that lies the fog lamps. Well, if you look at it from the sides, it looks massive and you get chrome treatment on the door handles. The ORVMs are chunky and in the night you can see the Harrier logo being projected on the ground. At the rear, you get 3D LED tail lamps again with a sporty piano black finish and a relatively compact rear windshield. It stance could have been increased with bigger wheels, currently, in the XZ variant, you get 235/ 65 R17 alloy wheels. Overall, it is hands down the best looking SUV under 20 lakh rupees.

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How Is It on the Inside?

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There was a time when Tata had to meet benchmarks of other brands when it came to interiors, now, times have changed and Tata is beginning to match the quality of other manufacturers. The Oak Brown colour scheme runs down from the dashboard to the seats. What was even more surprising that the amount of legroom offered at the back will have the tall individuals enjoying good space to stretch their legs, along with under-thigh support. Tata has worked on its infotainment system getting a total of 9 speakers from JBL. In terms of safety, there are 6 airbags on offer, ESP, and rear parking camera with a sensor. Its rear parking camera has three views wherein you can have a wider image, zoomed in image, and normal image. Its camera quality could have been better and for a car as huge as the Harrier it should have had a front parking sensor at least. The voice recognition feature on the Harrier is able to detect the voice command and is pretty accurate. The instrument cluster is a mixture of both digital and analogue display. You get vehicle-related information and map directions on the digital display, which is quite useful while driving. This feature only works on Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Talking about practicality, the 60:40 split extends the 425 litres of boot space to 810 litres in total. 

How Does It Drive?

Now the Harrier’s 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel powertrain has been sourced from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) but is in the lower state of tune as compared to the engine offered in the Jeep Compass. Also, the engine gets extremely noisy when you go beyond 3,000rpm. The turbo lag is evident when you want to overtake, but is sufficient for city driving. You can choose to drive in three different modes, the default mode is set to City where you will get power as per your driving, the Eco and Sport mode can be selected from the button on the centre console. Eco mode is convenient for giving better mileage in the city, and Sport mode improves the throttle response and acceleration. We got an average of 10.3 km/l, which can be extracted to 12 km/l in Eco mode. The steering wheel is lighter and is a lot easier to handle in the city, but feels a bit uneasy over triple-digit speeds. Its commanding driver’s seat offers a good field of view but those chunky ORVMs and the A-pillar is a definite blind spot. Apart from that, the ride quality and comfort on patchy and unpaved roads was above average. The 6-speed manual gearbox is responsive and there’s small space which acts as the dead pedal. Rumour has it that Tata will roll in the automatic gearbox for the Harrier in September. The clutch is light to operate and there is some vibration, which is typical of Tata cars. There are three terrain modes namely Normal, Wet, and Rough which ensure that the wheels do not lose traction. 

Verdict: 

Tata has produced a fabulous product in the Harrier and if I am looking for an SUV in the market with some road presence then I’d prefer the Harrier in that Telesto Grey colour scheme with blacked-out alloys, but if I want more features then I’d have to look elsewhere. Only if Tata get its act together and add in some more features in the future on the Harrier then there’s no question its sales figure will be vertically taking off like the Harrier Jump Jet we had in the Indian Navy. 

Specifications

Engine: Kryotec 2.0-litre Turbocharged Diesel Engine
Power: 138 Bhp
Torque: 350 Nm
Transmission: 6-speed manual

Starting Price: ₹ 12,99,755

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