Despite being a FWD vehicle, the Tata Harrier features Terrain Response (off-road modes)
Tata Motors introduced the Harrier 5-seater SUV (technically a ‘compact crossover’) back in January 2019 as the brand’s new flagship. Just over a year from then, it was updated to BS6 emission norms alongside improved performance, added features and some critical fixes over the BS4 model. The 2020MY Tata Harrier BS6, priced from 13.69 lakh ex-showroom, is available with a diesel-automatic powertrain as well.
Indian automotive enthusiasts are still disappointed at the fact that Tata Motors is not offering AWD for its present range-topper, at least as an option. Rumours suggest that the upcoming Tata Gravitas (7-seater Harrier) will debut with a front-wheel-biased AWD system since it is often regarded as a proper upgrade from the Hexa or Aria; both of which had 4×4 variants. However, it is still too early to reach a conclusion.
Our market has a serious lack of AWD crossovers/SUVs since automakers are increasing their focus on ‘urban SUVs’ that are essentially raised hatchbacks with bulkier fenders. At the moment, FCA India’s Jeep Compass is the most affordable AWD product coming in the crossover/SUV category. Meanwhile, the Tata Harrier is equipped with Terrain Response (dedicated off-road modes) albeit front-wheel-drive.
Shown here is a Tata Harrier BS4 riding on a set of ‘T/A’ (Traction Advantage) all-terrain tyres by BFGoodrich. Wheels remain stock. As per a post shared on Tata Harrier Club India Facebook group, its owner made the upgrade only recently.
Installing all-terrain tyres — be it on FWD, RWD or AWD vehicles — has its own merits and demerits. If the general purpose is to tackle rough terrain conditions, downsides can be easily ignored. However, all-terrain tyres can create more road noise and a noticeable change in driving characteristics whilst doing higher speeds. Fuel economy could also see a mild decrease.
In this case, the owner states that his previous Renault Duster had Hankook all-terrain tyres and drove without any dealbreaker. This particular Harrier BS4 would be able to face extreme terrain situations with ‘relative ease’ though its sideboards (aftermarket accessory) make a slight compromise on ground clearance. From the owner’s initial driving experience, an increase in grip and cruising comfort (at 80-100km/h) were noted.
The 2019MY Tata Harrier BS4 was powered by a 2.0-litre Kryotec diesel four-cylinder engine (derived from FCA group’s Multijet 2.0 mill) making 138bhp and 350Nm of torque. It was sold only with a 6-speed manual. In BS6 format, the engine makes about 30bhp more. A 6-speed TC automatic transmission (sourced from Hyundai Motor) is optional.