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Tata Harrier – First Drive Review

Tata Harrier – First Drive Review

Snapshot: Tata Harrier comes as a new entrant in the SUV segment from Tata, so let’s find out what it has to give a fight to its rivals.

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A new entrant is about to make its way in the SUV segment and that is the Tata Harrier. This one seems just similar to the H5X concept showcased at the Auto Expo. Tata Motors have made their plans to lure the SUV buyers, with this nice looking SUV. In effect, Tata is also ensuring that the updated version will create some buzz for the brand and ensure that competition (like  Jeep Compass) are left in the lurch.

Exterior

Wearing Tata’s latest Impact design – 2.0, the Harrier gets all SUV design prowess. The SUV has a bold and aggressive look with its stone cold stance. The facade of this SUV is something that no one can think of ignoring is just attractive, where the sleek LED DRLs are place instead of the headlamps and HIDs are placed on the bumper and fog lamps underneath. The creases on the bonnet ensure the chin-up face matches the standard.

Giving it a meaningful look, the strong character line runs on the sides all the way to the rear and chrome strip running through roofline. Being based on Land Rover L8’s platform, it is huge in size and 2741 mm wheelbase ensures that sizing also translates a roomy interior. It is not just face that looks attractive but the rear will leave the head-turners with awe. The rear gets 3D LED taillamps and it’s not easy to get your eyes off.

Interior

Get inside the Harrier and you will be welcomed with an oak brown theme. Tata designers have worked pretty well to prove that the interior styling in their product has been taken to a whole another level with the thick slice wood finishing, soft-touch dash, perforated brown leather seat (Benecke Kaliko) and good use of chrome as well. The Harrier gets an 8.8-inch touchscreen panel for the infotainment and also a 7-inch instrument cluster, but with an analogue speedometer. The floating infotainment system is housed with central ac vent keeping it as a single unit and the glossy soft-touch controls add more charm. Tata does not have to speak of the interior quality, the fit and finish would just surprise you, lauding about the marvel it has on the inside.

Seats are supportive when driving through twisties and are also well cushioned to be dwelled in. you get plentiful space inside for all five adults. Another, add on about the space comes in the boot, which 425-litres (2litres more than jeep compass). The boot though is of a massive variety and very, very impressive. The square shape ensures that it can take on the biggest loads and there is hardly a loading lip, so big boxes should be easy to heave in.

Engine, performance and gearbox

The 2.0-litre diesel engine makes a good 138bhp of power, though the engine is the same Fiat-sourced that also powers the Jeep Compass, but tuned-down. The Harrier gets a 6-speed manual only. The gearshift and clutch pedal both are light, which is surprisingly a good thing when driving a diesel. You get three drive – Eco, City and Sport. Eco mode feels a bit dull and sedate in driving, while City mode gives you a linear power delivery. The Sport mode is what you will like to drive with. the grunting noise just makes it revving up, but you will also feel a bit of mechanical vibration and the also gets more with its growl.

Ride and handling

The SUV is comfortable to ride in. Like other typical SUVs in India, the Harrier’s steering feels responsive, but comes with a bit heavier steering wheel, even at low city speeds (it’s a hydraulic arrangement, so it has to be) and there’s no harm in that to make you feel as if a giant is being driven. With a supple ride, one can enjoy the high-speed stability of the SUV. The suspension set up has been tuned to hover through rough patches with ease. A minimal body roll is acceptable when driving an SUV (as it’s not a sportscar, but a big SUV).

Summary

Overall, the Harrier comes across as an SUV with chin-up styling, generous cabin space, feature loaded and some off-road capability along with a great ride comfort. Surprisingly, good fit and finish make it a good package to look for in the SUV segment and we’d recommend you to go to nearest and Tata dealership and check out the Tata Harrier, once it launches in January 2019.

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