Tata Harrier Road Test Review – A Beautiful Beast
We decided to put the Tata Harrier through a more thorough test to understand the intricacies of the premium SUV and understand if design is the only selling point of Harrier?
Tata Harrier. (Photo: News18.com)
From Tiago, to Tigor and Nexon, Tata Motors have shown remarkable improvement as far as the design of their new products is concerned and the Tata Harrier is no different. The Tata Harrier, in many ways is a benchmark for the industry and happens to be the Tata's most aspirational car ever. We drove the SUV during the first drive event organized by Tata Motors and came out impressed with the overall package. This time around, we decided to put the Tata Harrier through a more thorough test to understand the intricacies of the premium SUV and understand if design is the only selling point or if Harrier has more than that. Here’s our Tata Harrier Road Test Review-
We have said it earlier and we are saying it again, Tata Harrier might very well be the best looking Indian SUV ever. But you have to see it in the flesh to understand how well designed this product is. Tata has slotted this product as a premium 5-seater SUV, making it the flagship product of the Indian car manufacturer. Upfront are the horizontally placed thin LED DRLs that look aggressive in night. The grille is called the Humanity line grille with gloss black finish.
While the front exudes posh stance, the side has a muscular profile with large wheel arches, raised window line, floating roof design and brushed panel with Harrier name. The tyres left us wanting for more though. Move to the rear and you see a glossy black strip with tail lights on the either ends, an embossed Harrier logo and a large rear skid plate too. Overall, the Harrier has a balanced road presence with both a strong and well-designed stance.
Which brings us to the cabin of the Harrier, which leaves you wondering for a couple of minutes – if it is a Tata product at all. The simple, minimalistic cabin gets the chocolate brown seats, soft touch dashboard, thick wood coloured panel and a brushed silver line to differentiate the dash with central tunnel. The fit and finish is superior and you won’t find any rough edges around. The seats, both in the front and the back are comfortable, big and offers ample cushioning.
The cabin space is as generous as it can get with enough headroom, shoulder room and kneeroom. And there are many nicely thought cubbyholes to keep your water bottles, mobile phone and other stuff. The boot is also nicely shaped and offers 425-litre of cargo space. The instrument cluster is also a welcome change from other Tata vehicles and has a large 7.0-inch screen and displays various driving modes with nice graphics.
The cabin of the Harrier also offers many exciting features like an aircraft inspired handbrake lever, a 8.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system that supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and JBL speakers with a subwoofer for a fabulous sound output. Other features include a rear parking camera with dynamic guidelines, vanity mirror with light, cruise control, auto headlamps and wipers, cooled central armrest box, and more.
Moving away from the positive bits, Tata Harrier missed some features which rivals are offering like the electronically controlled driver seat, sunroof, lock-unlock door button, and most importantly, rear temperature control AC vents. The infotainment system also suffered a lot of lag while operating the screen.
Moving to the driving bit now, the Tata Harrier is powered by a Fiat-sourced 2.0-litre Multijet II engine, which Tata call a Kryotec engine and produces 140hp, with 350Nm of torque. The engine is mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox and misses big time on both the automatic gearbox and an all-wheel drive system. However, there are drive modes to choose from – ECO, City and Sport, along with terrain response system with Wet, Sport and Normal modes.
While the engine felt powerful and torquey enough, it was noisy as a bee throughout the rev range, more so while pushing hard. If you are a lazy driver, eco mode is your best friend, but if you are a normal driver, that like to occasionally overtake cars, Sport mode is what you need. Most importantly, we got a stunning mileage of 15+ kmpl throughout our time with the Harrier, which comprised 100% of city driving.
As for the gearbox it felt smooth while shifting gears, and was responsive too, but is not the best manual gearbox out there. The steering is tuned to make it feel light while operating such a heavy vehicle, however Tata has made the steering overtly light, which is a problem while high speed highway driving. The ride quality is super and thanks to the Land Rover’s architecture and front suspension, this SUV is stellar at taking on bad roads. But at low city speeds, it feels a bit edgy, a bit stiff.
Tata is offering the Harrier with a variety of safety equipment, ranging from the off-road-specific ABS, hill-start assist, hill-descent control, traction control, stability control, corner-stability control, rollover mitigation and 6 airbags. There’s also a speed warning beep, but that is largely subdued by the engine noise.
Tata has hit a home run with the Harrier SUV, although it still needs a bit of polishing before we can truly call it a premium SUV, especially in terms of the equipment it gets. The design is definitely the highlight of the Harrier and helps the SUV grab all the attention on the road, especially the Orange coloured car we drove. Our impressions remain more or less the same as our first drive review. The Tata Harrier drives good, feels premium and is every bit a competent SUV. A big thumbs up from our side to the Tata’s effort.
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