“Survival of the Fittest”. In layman’s language, it means that the fittest of them all, will survive & the rest will perish. This evolutionary theory, is used as a way to describe the mechanism of natural selection in living organisms.
But, times change and with the change in time, this theory has started to apply even to cars. And my perspective is that, if a machine displays human like characteristics, like breaking down or making silly errors then, it more or less is a sentient being. So, if this theory of mine is to be applied then, Yes, Darwin’s evolutionary term stands true for cars as well.
Back in 2008, Tata acquired the Jaguar and Land Rover businesses from Ford. The irony here is that this very company told Tata after the failure of its first compact passenger car, the Indica that, “Why did you enter in the passenger car business when you were not knowing of it. It will be a favour if we buy this business from you”. In order to redeem the lost honour, the JLR deal was finalised for U.S $ 2.3 billion which amounted to Rs. 9300 crore at that time. This did come as a blessing for both Tata & JLR.
When the Aria was launched in 2010, Tata was still honing its skills at car making. The Aria was never a success because, It could be compared to as being on the same stage, where the caterpillar is still cocooned and about to become a butterfly. It is still EVOLVING.
Things have changed however, it seems as if Tata has finally arrived. I have never witnessed Tata taking an aggressive stance. It looks like Tata has all the aces with themselves. The latest of them all being the new Hexa. At first glance, it does remind you of the awful looking Aria but somehow, the awfulness has been hidden beneath all the L.E.D this and Chrome that. And according to me they have done a commendable job. This thing does let you feel its presence but, in a very subtle manner. There is no yelling about like, “Look at me, here I am”.
The interior is what I am a bit skeptical about. It is one of those things that you don’t hate, but don’t like it as well. Tata has tried to up the game in terms of quality of material used as compared to the materials which were used earlier on, which did feel as if they were lifted straight from the Tata 407, in short; Appalling.
The plastics do feel cheap as you move to the lower parts of the door and dashboard, their is still that plastic rattling when you knock the panels. The Lock/Unlock mechanism felt fidgety, one that might break very easily. The A/C Vents up front are too small, forcing the people at Tata to provide with 4 vents even in the second row!! Also, the other reason behind it might be the HUGE window area in the second row. And when I say huge, they are the widest I’ve ever seen in a car of this size, even the sun blinds are not able to cover the window completely. So, privacy is not what you’d get once you are seated in the backseat. Apart from these few niggles, everything was absolutely sublime. The seats at the front and at the back are supremely comfortable and are well bolstered and also boasts of high quality leather. What annoys me the most is the fact that the doors are extremely long and have a very very wide opening. As if they are made for people with height not less than 6ft 5 inches and who weigh more than a 100 kilos. They do make ingress and egress easy but, they might be intimidating for some midgets. The Hexa has even got a touchscreen which is, how should I put it? But, Small is the word I’m looking for there and is also not very intuitive. However, it also has a feature which allows the driver to personalise from his smartphone, if whether he wants Todu Nights with Dj Tarun or he wants Baua to mock people on the radio, also the mood-lighting can be customised to give the feel of a Russian Vodka Bar or that of a strip club. It also has a 10-speaker system by JBL, which does sound rather well. All in all, the interior is a nice and comfortable place to be.
On the performance front, we do witness some electronic witchcraft going on. The engine is the 2.2L Varicor 400 mated to a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission delivering 400 Nm of torque & 156 hp, which I must say are great numbers considering the light weight construction that further allow better performance and fuel efficiency. There are also different driving modes (Auto, Comfort, Dynamic, Rough Road) which are strikingly similar to what we see in a Land Rover. Good move Tata! The All-Wheel Drive (AWD) system also has a Torque-on demand feature that allow for better delivery of torque to each set of wheels.
Tata has utilised the available technology to increase its overall footprint in the market, which is what most brands who own high-end luxurious brands forget to do. At a starting price of Rs. 11.99 Lakh, it offers more car for your money with all the necessary creature comforts. This brand is using everything which is at its disposal and it sincerely deserves another chance. This Hexa is fitter and better than the Aria and does possess the instinct needed to live and not perish. The caterpillar does have transformed into a butterfly.
By- Pranav Mehta