The much-awaited Tata Harrier will be launched on January 23, 2019. The product from the Tata Motors stables had wowed guests at the Auto Expo last year with its design, and within a year of being displayed, the SUV has begun rolling off the Tata Motors production plant in Pune. The bookings, both at the Tata Motors showrooms as well as online, commenced a few weeks back.
Though the Tata Harrier is based on the Land Rover’s D8 architecture, which went on to sell one million of them worldwide, the challenge for the design team as well as the engineering team at Tata Motors was to make it as distinct as possible, both in terms of looks as well as drivability, giving it the Tata Motors’ famed DNA, but ensuring that it was more Tata Motors than Land Rover, said Pratap Bose, head, Design, Tata Motors.
At the outset, the first thing that grabs your attention is the Tata Harrier’s distinct design which follows the Impact Design 2.0 philosophy, adding not just oodles of appeal but also ensuring that the Harrier doesn’t fail to impress when it comes to road presence. Everything on the 5-seater Tata Harrier seems to be well-proportioned. Though the Harrier looks best from the side angles, the front is rather impressive with its muscular bulging bonnet, flared wheel arches and its Xenon HID Projector headlamps, which sit below the sleek LED DRLs (Daytime Running Lights). The 205 mm of ground clearance and its five-spoke, 17-inch alloy wheels complete the Tata Harrier’s macho look.
Inside, the Tata Harrier has an extremely premium feel. The signature oak brown interiors with perforated leather upholstery and door pad inserts, soft touch dashboard, brushed aluminum finishes on the doors, the 8.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with 9 JBL speakers, eight-way adjustable driver seats and the aero-throttle styled piano black lever which is actually the parking brake, are all pretty impressive! The Harrier gets a push button start, cruise control and a tilt, and telescopic steering, which is a leather wrapped one. It also feels nice and chunky in your hands while driving.
The Tata Harrier comes only with the Kryotec 2.0-liter (1956cc), Turbocharged diesel engine, that is mated to a six-speed manual transmission, which belts out 140 PS @ 3750 rpm and 350 Nm of torque @ 1750-2500 rpm (The automatic transmission will soon be here too). Though the engine seems eager, it is also a tad bit noisy, and that is something that buyers need to pay heed to. However, with three different terrain response modes (Normal, Rough and Wet), the Tata Harrier doesn’t disappoint. In fact, it is quite the Highway Star, as we discovered, while driving it on the highways of Jodhpur and Khimsar in Rajasthan. The suspensions, both front and rear, have been specially tuned for Indian driving conditions, claims Tata Motors. And true to their claim, the ride, we thought, was pliant. With disc brakes for the front wheels and drum brakes for the rear wheels, they have enough bite to come to a halt in a satisfactory manner, on demand, and it is also a safe place to be in, God forbid, one is involved in an accident. With six airbags, ESP, Roll Over Mitigation, Corner Stability Control as well as Hill Descent Control, the safety features list is pretty impressive, too.
The rear seat lacks thigh support and cannot be reclined, taller and heavier set people may find that ever-so-slightly inconvenient; however, the seats are plush and feel very upmarket. We felt that the rear armrest with the cup holders is a nice touch but it would have been nicer, had it had been slightly longer. But having said that, the inside of the Tata Harrier is overall, a very swanky place to be.
The Tata Harrier should sell well, once launched. At Tata Motors, not only have they tested it extensively for 2.2 million kms on various terrains but they have also come up with a well-designed product that doesn’t disappoint in terms of its performance. Not to mention, there is a dearth of 2.0-litre diesel engine vehicles in the Indian market at present. However, the crucial thing will be the price tag, and if only Tata Motors can get that right, there will just be no stopping this Highway Star!
Length: 4598 mm
Width: 1894 mm (Without Mirrors)
Height: 1706 mm
Ground Clearance: 205 mm (Unladen)
Fuel Tank Capacity: 50 Liters