I have the new Santro for city drives, the Hexa replacement will be for my office and regular highway trips.
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My Tata Hexa XTA has been serving me and my family very well for the last 5 years and 3 months. There wasn’t a single episode of stalling anywhere, anytime. Covered about 50k kms (I usually do about 15k kms in a year. But the pandemic years caused quite low mileage for about 2 years). It has been a reliable highway rider and could take any road with ease.
Let me list the likes and dislikes of Hexa that I have.
- Capable highway cruiser. Effortless in munching miles.
- Loads of space in the middle-row bench seat. My better half and my 4-year-old son are very happy spending time there.
- About 540L-ish boot space with the third row folded down – can dump a week of family luggage or even more easily. So very good for those long vacations.
- The Sports mode of transmission is very addictive. You can activate it even if you need a bit of engine braking.
- Can tackle broken roads with ease (or even those mars like crater filled non-existent roads)
- The audio system is VFM. Probably the best in the segment still.
- No ESP/Traction Control on AT – this was a compromise I made while purchasing. I recall some really scary moments during heavy rains a few times. ESP would’ve assisted me much better.
- The 5″ touch screen of the ICE is useless. I mounted a Rs 12k Realme tablet on top of it using magnets last year. This helps me in navigation, monitoring tyre pressure, playing music etc.
- TASS – I was ok with the old TASS. At the time I bought Hexa, Tata’s service centres weren’t crowded. They gave Hexa owners some good consideration since Hexa was their flagship car. They spared all time in the world even to go behind the slightest of rattle/niggles. Current Tata ASS is different – they are overwhelmed with a number of cars coming in on a given day. KHT Whitefield (Bangalore) gave me an appointment on the 19th day (18 days from that date was completely booked).
- The person who attended the call even suggested I go to Kropex Marathahalli! Until last year my city in Kerala (Palakkad – District headquarters) didn’t have a single TASS.
- Rattle noises, build quality issues – I never had high expectations. But this probably is a better Tata build compared to other cars. Rattle noises are happening despite the doors being dampened – but this is not an impossible thing to tackle, it just that it needs time and patience.
- Design flaws – R19 tyres were unnecessary and I swapped my R19 for the XM variant’s R16 alloys and tyres. Two exhaust pipes setup had issues and Tata did a recall and replaced the same. The third row doesn’t fall flat – you can’t keep suitcases vertically.
- There are ergonomic issues – difficult to find a good seating position for the driver. No steering reach adjustment.
I have been thinking for quite a long before deciding to replace the car. I had owned a Fiat Punto for 6 years prior to owning Hexa and I was all game for a good driving car and wasn’t bothered much about the ASS network etc. I had time enough to chase niggles and issues of my cars (I have a Hyundai New Santro in the stable as well). Times changed and I became a father and got a lot involved in my work at the office – as a result, I don’t have time to spare to keep pampering my cars. While Santro is used predominantly by my better half and that is the go-to car for city drives, the bigger car will be used for my office drives and highway rides (7-8 of them in a year minimum).
Listing my needs for the new car below:
- Should be an effortless mile muncher – highway drives are first priority. Powerful engine and a good transmission with a nice suspension setup.
- It should be capable of going through broken roads without much struggle (just to tackle the surprises during long drives).
- Comfortable 5-seater with at least 500L of boot space. 7-seater isn’t a priority anymore and is just a good to have.
- Good ergonomics for drivers and passengers.
- NVH – should have good insulation from the factory. A refined engine/power unit is a must. Good build quality is a must.
- Good ASS – service and support backing should be decent.
- Most importantly, it should be a safe car – no compromise on that. I’m someone who bought a baby car seat from week 1 after my child was born and someone who demands all passengers in my car wear seat
- 45L OTR at Bangalore is my max budget.
Options that I consider currently are:
Heart says Tucson, head says Hycross. Inviting opinions/suggestions from fellow BHPians.
Here’s what GTO had to say on the matter:
Yours is a purely heart-over-head decision, but here’s what I will recommend to you = drive your Hexa XTA for another couple of years (even if 2 or 5). The Hexa is a very capable UV that punched above its weight. The engine & AT are well-matched. The options you have listed will be an upgrade, but I don’t think worth the money spent. In fact, some of them won’t even touch the Hexa in ride comfort. The Hexa is a really mature big fellow.
Drive it for a few more years and then, do a real upgrade. This article of mine was practically written for you. When your car is competent, reliable & capable, why change it? Not like it’s small, outdated or underpowered (reasons I would agree apply to an upgrade otherwise). You could also invest the 35 – 40 lakhs you have allocated for the new car wisely and re-enter the auto market with 60 – 70 lakhs in a few years. One more article was written for you.
If your Hexa has some small issues or inconveniences, fix them. Trust me, no new car is perfect either.
Here’s what BHPian Cresterk had to say on the matter:
Hycross is good and is the only one in the market with decent boot space with all 3 rows up. However, it now has a 1-year waiting list so I would probably just get the Tucson. It gets AWD + better quality cameras + more fun to drive.
Here’s what BHPian Shreyans_Jain had to say on the matter:
Fellow 2017 XTA owner here.
I have booked a ZX Hycross, and I will be upgrading to the ZX(o). The fact is that this new Innova is the closest like-for-like replacement for the big Tata, for nothing else can actually seat two adults in the third row in any modicum of comfort and still have boot space for weekend luggage. The hybrid powertrain will offer phenomenal refinement and low running costs. As brilliant as the Hexa is, after 6 years (10-year limit in NCR), BS4 limitations in winters and the deteriorating experience at TASS, I am looking forward to a decade of no-nonsense, fuss-free and high-quality motoring.
Meridian is simply too tight for space, in comparison. And with a Compass in the garage, I can tell you that Jeep maintenance is EXPENSIVE. It is a phenomenal highway machine though. Too bad the AT gearbox sucks in traffic. Overall, too many compromises.
Tucson can be an option but honestly, I am not too impressed. I’d rather spend on the Skoda Kodiaq instead. The big Skoda is perhaps the single most capable, well-rounded and polished car you can buy for 45L. It is the perfect and complete all-rounder. We have one in the family. As long as you don’t have an extremely rough usage scenario, the kind that demands a Fortuner, this is the car for you. The sweet TSi engine makes every other motor in this price range seem pedestrian, petrol or diesel.
Here’s what BHPian GForceEnjoyer had to say on the matter:
I’ll have to add further to your confusion! I’ve experienced the Meridian and Tucson and at least out of both of them, I’d recommend the Meridian diesel. The transmission isn’t the wittiest out there but it’s a wonderful highway machine. Incredibly accomplished at munching miles. The car also feels solidly put together and at least feels solid like the Hexa.
The Tucson has a more powerful diesel but in all other aspects, it felt like a jack of all trades and a master of none. I didn’t find the comfort to be particularly outstanding (which I did in the Meridian, combined with the luxurious-looking dark brown interiors). Had it not been for the questionable reliability of Jeeps, I’d have recommended it immediately.
However, if you’d like to tip your decision a little bit in your heart’s favour, the Meridian is what would suit you best. Test driving all these cars one after the other should help greatly. Good luck with your decision.
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