Tata Hexa XE (Cheapest Variant) Review

I've driven the Tata Hexa earlier-in Hyderabad during its media drive way back in 2016. Also drove it in Chennai during Hexa Experience in January 2017. But all these were in Hexa's top variants- the most expensive, fully loaded XT and XTA variants. Even showrooms offer top trim for test drive. So when Zoomcar added Tata Hexa to its fleet first thing I checked was the variant- they had listed as Hexa XE. XE is Hexa's cheapest variant without any bells and whistles. So I was curious to check out how is Hexa's base trim.

Rental agencies usually by cheaper variants to save on cost. Same was true with Zoomcar's Hexa fleet. Soon they realized that displaying variant name is not a good idea and removed XE from website while showing car name. Now the website only says Hexa. Anyway I booked a Hexa XE for 4 hours on a weekday (so that I can spend bare minimum amount). Got 4 hours/20 kms of ride for Rs 525. Drove it around Chennai Airport area for a while. This post gives you the pictures and detailed review of Hexa's base variant.

The more expensive variants get lots of goodies- 4x4, AT, Drive modes, mood lighting, Alloy wheels and many more. You can read my earlier posts here:

The XE trim costs under 12 lakhs ex-showroom and is tasked with bringing prospects into the showroom. Higher variants cost upto 17.5 lakhs ex-showroom, on-road price ranging between 14 to 21 lakhs approx

Looks:
The main visible difference between Hexa XE vs XT are the tyres. While top end XT gets big (biggest in its class) 19 inch alloy wheels, XE gets 16 inch steel rim

Above: Wheel of Tata Hexa XE (235/70 R16), Notice the thickness (around 165mm, compared to thinner tyres on XT's 130mm). With this extra thickness, XE is able to maintain same level of ground clearance (200mm) as its expensive cousins
Below: Wheel of Tata Hexa XT (235/55, R19). MRF Wanderer off road tyres here, compared to cheaper Bridgestone basic tyre in XE)

Point to be noted there's no compromise on the width of the tyres in Hexa XE. All variants get 235mm. (Many manufacturers add tyres with less width in cheaper variants- in Nexon top end gets 215/60 R16 whereas cheaper variants get 195/60 R16

The other visible difference is obviously in the front- fog lamp, chrome bits, projector headlamp etc are given a miss to save cost, standard industry practice. Rear view mirror is black (not body coloured, thoug hard to notice in the pic as car is Arizona Blue colour)
Above-Hexa XE front corner look
Below- Hexa XTA front look for reference
XE headlamp closeup
Most differences are on the inside.
Steering wheel does get some audio controls which is great, because some manufacturers give a plain simple steering wheel in base trim to save few hundred rupees. Obviously cruise control is not to be expected in cheaper variants. But no leather wrapping around steering wheel in XE.
Tata Hexa XE won't get the 4 drive modes that is available in XT- Auto, Comfort, Rough Road, Dynamic. XE gets a slightly less powerful engine- 150 PS, 320 NM compared to 156PS and 400 NM in all other variants. Also no 6th gear in XE, obviously no 4x4 or Automatic option. The rented car had speed governor installed in it, set at 80kmph. So I couldn't experience the car properly to check how the engine feels. Difference is hard to feel in normal city usage.

XE also gets a Harman music system,but a non touch screen version. 4 speakers and 2 tweeters are included in XE. This is good because some manufacturers completely remove entertainment system from cheapest variants, so that it saves a few more thousand rupees and cheapest variant can be priced even lower. No door trim inserts. But the red light at the bottom of the door is provided
I can't think of anything missing from the instrument cluster- assuming this part is standard across variant, but not very sure.
Second row is a bench seat in XE, you can see the AC vent and charger option (XT comes in 6 seat configuration with bucket seats in second row)

XE gets two airbags as standard, disc brakes on all wheels, ABS+ EBD etc. So good on safety front.  XT gets hill hold control, hill descent control, ESP with corner stability & rollover mitigation and side curtains extra.

Summary:
Good to see that Tata Motors hasn't compromised too much on Hexa's cheapest variants. If Tata had removed airbags, rear disc brakes, music system, width of tyres etc they could have priced it another lakh or two cheaper, but that would have either compromised on safety of the car or force customers to spend extra after buying the car.

So should you buy XE variant of Tata Hexa?
If you're extremely cash strapped or if you need the car to be used as a Taxi then may be XE is sufficient. If you can afford another 2 lakhs I would recommend XM variant as it gets better engine with 6th gear, and few extra bells and whistles, such as 3 drive modes, touch screen etc.

You can check Hexa brochure here for variant wise features. Also do spot my feedback on Hexa being displayed in select Tata Motors showrooms.

Also read: Hexa vs Innova vs XUV500 * Hexa's offroad capabilities explained
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6 comments:

  1. You could read and rewrite the broucher well.
    Why could you not include how is the ride quality, power and pickup on the xe? Something which is more useful than just writing what's in the broucher and what everyone will know.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wrote whatever I could observe within the short time I had the car with me, along with limitations like speed governor.

      My apologies if it was not useful to you.

      Delete
    2. Don't appologize to these jerks who just post anonymously with no value add comments. You did a great job. Cheers. In my opinion, XE variant is pretty much value for money.

      Delete
    3. it is alright- I don't take them personally. Thanks for your support

      Delete

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