There is no need to tell you that the SUV segment is booming in India and around the world. The Harrier comes in a segment which is the start for most SUV owners throughout the world. We tell you this because the Harrier and Buzzard are SUV’s are set to go international as well. However, their rivals have made it to Indian shores too and hence Tata is now on a constant spree to updating its product portfolio. When we first drove the Harrier we did get rather impressed. However, because of a few big SUV features missing, it didn’t click with most out there. With this update, Tata aims to click with all types of customers. You get a brand new automatic gearbox, more powerful engine and with more goodies. Let’s find out how it does.
Most of the design and interior part is the same. The red and black colour scheme suits the SUV the best somehow. The most common colours are coming out just well. The 18-inch calypso wheels are best in the business/segment by far seen in any Indian car. The grille, the fantastic LED DRL’s and tail-lamp continue to wow. Interior design continues to be the same for the large dashboard which soft-touch plastics on the top and large wood slab running throughout the dash with coffee brown upholstery colour along with black to make the cabin look rich and quite luxurious for the segment it is in.
Space continues to be almost segment best when it comes to leg, knee, shoulder room is aplenty. At 425 litre of boot space, it could be been better but since it’s crafted well it can still hold a lot of luggage. NVH levels are better than before, but still not segment best. Sure, once you have a music system on and people on board, it won’t bother you much.
The safety feature list includes six Airbags (Driver & Co-Driver), Electronic Stability Program (ESP). Hill Hold Control, Traction Control, Roll Over Mitigation, Corner Stability Control, Brake Disc Wiping, ABS with EBD, Rear Parking Sensors, Perimetric Alarm System, Hill Descent Control, Off-Road ABS, Child Seat ISOFIX Anchor Points: Rear Outer Seats and Remote Central Locking.
Tilt & Telescopic Adjustable Steering Wheel, Projector Headlamps with Xenon lights, Dual Function DRLs with Turn Indicators,3 USB Ports (front & rear), Power Windows, Steering Wheel with Controls, Follow Me Home Headlamps, Rear Parking Sensor with Display on Infotainment, Electrically Adjustable Outer Mirrors, Rear Wiper Washer, Soft Touch Dashboard with Anti Reflective ‘Nappa’ Grain Top Layer, Android AutoTM & Apple CarPlayTM Connectivity, Reverse Parking Camera, Push Button Start (PEPS), Fully Automatic Temperature Control (FATC) with HVAC and Dual Function LED DRLs with Turn Indicator.
Harrier also has the usual Rain Sensing Wipers, Auto Headlamps, Cruise Controls, Electrically Foldable Outer Mirrors, Rear Armrest with Cup Holders, Front Fog Lamps with Cornering Function, Leather Wrapped Steering Wheel & Gear Shift Knob, Floating Island 22.35 cm (8.8″) Touchscreen Infotainment System with High-Resolution Display, a fantastic sounding 9 JBLTM Speakers (4 Speakers + 4 Tweeters & Subwoofer) with Amplifier, Acoustics Tuned by JBLTM, Instrument Cluster with 17.76 cm (7″) Colour TFT Display, Foldable 60:40 Rear Seat Split, Dual Tone (Optional), Panoramic Sunroof, 6 Way Power Adjustable Driver Seat with Adjustable Lumbar Support, Auto-Dimming IRVM and R17 Two Tone Diamond Cut Alloys. The feature list may sound a little less over its rivals, but with well-spaced and specced variants, the Harrier offers more value than all its rivals.
Harrier has options when it comes to driving as well. You get Multi Drive Modes 2.0 (Eco, City, Sport) for the road and Terrain Response Modes (Normal, Rough, Wet) off driving off the road. The bump of power and torque to 170 PS and 350 Nm of torque and a brand new 6-speed gearbox is clearly very good news. The mid-range punches through the kerb weight rather well and feels quite sporty and performance-oriented than before.
The 100-150 km/hr run just puts a big grin on an unrestricted mode of the expressway. The low-end torque and gearbox tuning means that the driveability is quite good and the downshifts along with upshifts are smooth and fast enough to not irritate an enthusiast or a normal driver. A sport mode for the gearbox would make things even better. Eco mode is best for bumper to bumper traffic, rest of the time leave it normal (city) mode and when you are in the mood, you can switch to sport mode and enjoy more seamless power and torque deliver quickly.
Ride and handling are again excellent just like any other recent Tata car. The suspension is compliant enough for our roads and at the same time, body roll which is the reaction of the same is well controlled as well. The steering is a bit sensitive. It requires less effort to do bigger manoeuvres which is great for some and not so great for enthusiasts. Brakes on our test car were good despite drums at the back and disc at the front.
Flury of passive electronics kept things in check in the corners when we accelerated in and out of them which also included braking. Feedback through the steering was good but could be better. Overall, with excellent ride quality, it was taking the highway, broken and city roads really well at any given speed. Be it 60 km/hr or 160 km/hr.
Tata Harrier Diesel Automatic Review, Verdict
On paper, you would think that the Harrier lacks features over its rivals. Closer inspection reveals that it has one of the best-specced variant lineups you can get. With 2021 set to get more updates. The 5-seater Harrier could get more exciting as if this current version isn’t enough. It has a lot to offer. A very good looking SUV is a rarity in this segment when you compare with the fact that the larger dimensions make its street presence segment-leading. The engine, gearbox and platform are already made the driving experience so good, that it can turn sedan enthusiast fall for this SUV. With a strong value card that the Harrier holds, it makes the definitive SUV in this segment.
Tata Harrier Diesel Automatic Review