By : RACHNA TYAGI
That the Tata Harrier is a very good-looking SUV is well-known. Besides road presence, a great build quality and roomy interiors, it now, gets an automatic transmission that makes it even more desirable. It goes up against the Mahindra XUV 500, Kia Seltos, Jeep Compass, the Hyundai Creta and the MG Hector. So, should you buy one? Read on to find out.
The Tata Harrier Automatic is a full-blown SUV with all the goodies that you’d expect from any car manufacturer that had its mind set on delivering an all-around SUV and it wouldn’t be far-fetched to say that Tata Motors has done an exceptional job. Take a look at the Harrier Automatic and what you see is an SUV with the OMEGARC architecture that has been derived from Land Rover’s D8 platform. While there is nothing that will tell you that this is an Automatic from the outside, atleast not in terms of badging, it does get a blacked-out roof, diamond cut alloys, arrow tail lamps, a few chrome highlights, and a piano black applique at the rear, all of which give the Harrier Automatic a distinct touch.
Our Press demonstrator came in a bewitching Calypso Red which we quite liked but for those who think they’re too old for Red, there are other colours such as Camo, Atlas Black, Orcus White and Telesto Grey also, to choose from.
Inside, the interiors feel really premium. The seats as well as door pads get beautifully finished Oak Brown coloured perforated leather, while the door handles get a brushed aluminum finish and this combination lends a very upmarket feel to the interiors.
The dashboard also uses soft touch materials and gets a generously sized Oak Brown wooden finish along with Nappa leather. There is the 6-way powered driver’s seat to ensure that you get the best driving position after you have adjusted the grained leather finish steering for both reach and rake. While the front seats are comfortable, the rear seats could do with more thigh support, we felt. Overall visibility offered is excellent and now, it also gets an auto dimming IRVM.
The 7-inch instrument cluster is sharp and we quite liked its display.
The 8.8-inch floating Touchscreen infotainment system is good, we felt, but a slightly bigger Touchscreen would have been nicer with the icons on the screen also being slightly bigger. However, having said that, it must be said that the physical buttons and knobs on the Harrier Automatic are very well-sized and there’s a very slim chance that you will end up pressing the wrong button on the dashboard with your left hand while gripping the steering with your right hand whilst driving. Of course, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto have also been provided to make your drive even more comfortable.
Overall, there is plenty of space inside the Harrier Automatic for you to stash away your bits and bobs in the form of cubby holes and even a place to even keep your cell phone. In fact, the little crevice that the rear seat passengers get to conveniently stow away their cell phones in the door pads is a nice design touch. We also liked the large panoramic sunroof with the anti-pinch function which gives the Harrier Automatic a roomier feeling.
Besides, there is also 425-liters of boot space so that you can carry your world with you when you’re on the road with your mile muncher.
The Tata Harrier Automatic gets a 4-cylinder, 2.0-liter (1956cc), BS6, Kryotec engine, that belts out 168bhp @ 3750 rpm and 350Nm @1750-2500 rpm of torque. The 6-speed torque converter gearbox has been sourced from Hyundai and does a great job on the Harrier Automatic.
We, were supremely impressed with the driving engagement of the Harrier Automatic. The steering was not only great to grip, it was also precise, the brakes had enough bite to bring this mammoth SUV to a standstill within seconds of brake application and overall, the Harrier Automatic responded beautifully to throttle inputs.
We never got the feeling that this big SUV that was making life difficult in terms of its size to maneuver in the city or even on the highways. In fact, it was a breeze to negotiate city traffic with the Harrier Automatic and on the highways, let’s just say it offered a stellar performance with linear power delivery, the kind that leaves you grinning from ear to ear. Its power delivery is best experienced between 1500 rpm and 4500 rpm when it really comes into its own and if you find an empty stretch of road, a mere touch of the throttle will show you exactly what we’re talking about. Body roll was also a bare minimum – always a good thing in our books. Driving it in Sport mode was where we unleashed all the fun that the Harrier Automatic was capable of and with a ground clearance of 205mm we did not really face any problems with speed breakers, especially the unauthorized ones, during our drive.
The ride quality was pliant and even the rear seat passengers are bound to enjoy it once they’ve gotten used to the thigh support, which can be further improved. While there are different modes for you to switch between such as Eco, Sport and City, you can make the most of them depending on whatever kind of driving you want to indulge in and also the kind of terrain that you want to drive on.
Of course, while this SUV is no off-roader, the front wheel drive does offer its share of fun and with NVH levels having been further worked on, it does make it a great buy. Not to mention a plethora of safety features that it comes with as standard such as six airbags, ESP, Traction Control, Hill Descent Control, Hill hold, plus many more which really do make it an enticing buy.
So, if you’re looking for an automatic SUV in the price range of 20 lakhs with great driving dynamics that makes every drive an unforgettable one, comes with plenty of space, and is packed to the gills with safety features, look no further. You will love the Tata Harrier Automatic and if well maintained it will love you back too, giving you miles and miles of hassle-free driving pleasure.