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Tata Hexa vs Mahindra XUV500 Detailed Comparison Review

The new Tata Hexa has disrupted the SUV market, especially the segment in which Mahindra XUV500 has been the undisputed king. We test drive both these capable 7 seater SUVs, and tell which is the better of the two.

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Our first look at the Tata Hexa back at Auto Expo did make us look forward to what the final car would look like. The concept of a redesigned Aria was difficult to analyse in entirety rightaway. Yes, it looked muscular with that face, and huge rims but I was in doubt if it was going to be a totally new car as suggested. Since then, months have gone by. And now the Hexa sits in my garage, and a good look upclose guarantees it is more than a Aria facelift.

The sheet metal feels thicker. Mechanicals are more refined. And interiors, we’re loving it. Tata is in the direction to chip away at competition with its Hexa, projected to grow as a successful car. We’re driving the top of the line Tata Hexa XTA variant armed with a 6-speed Automatic gearbox. To add some points of reference, is the XUV500 W10 variant with a 6-speed automatic transmission as well.

Tata Hexa vs Mahindra XUV500 Price Comparison

Tata Hexa XE 4×2 MT Rs 11.07 Lakh Mahindra XUV500 W4 MT Rs. 12.2 lakh
Tata Hexa XM 4×2 MT Rs 12.75 Lakh Mahindra XUV500 W6 MT Rs. 13.49 lakh
Tata Hexa XT 4×2 MT Rs 15.07 Lakh Mahindra XUV500 W6 AT Rs. 14.36 lakh
Tata Hexa XT 4×4 MT Rs 16.25 Lakh Mahindra XUV500 W8 MT Rs. 15.18 lakh
Tata Hexa XMA 4×2 AT Rs 13.83Lakh Mahindra XUV500 W8 AT Rs.16.23 lakh
Tata Hexa XTA 4×2 AT Rs 16.15 Lakh Mahindra XUV500 W8 4×4 MT Rs.16.01 lakh
Mahindra XUV500 W10 MT NA
Mahindra XUV500 W10 AT Rs. 17.05 lakh
Mahindra XUV500 W10 4×4 MT Rs. 17.11 lakh
Mahindra XUV500 W10 4×4 AT Rs. 18.11 lakh

Design

Both cars have planetary differences in terms of their size and appeal. XUV500 looks like a versatile studio apartment, Hexa is a full fledge 2 BHK house. It is no doubt massive. Beside Hexa being mammoth, it also appeals to masculine preferences. Cuts and creases are bold, and accentuate the Rocky Balboa feel. XUV is a little sedate on this front, and age is catching up despite its recent facelift. There’s only that many nips and tucks that can help.

The grill pattern on Hexa is a lift from the Range Rover cars. It makes it look way more premium than the plastic cladded XUV grill which is glossy and sprinkled with a few slashes of chrome. At the side, the first thing one notices are the massive 19-inch alloy wheels on Hexa as compared to XUVs 17-inch ones. The length of the Hexa is phenomenal. It is 200mm longer than XUV, which translates to more room on the inside. At the rear, both the cars are closely ranked.

There are thick slats of chrome over the number plate, twin exhausts and massive tail lamps. XUV tail lamps are installed vertically, and Hexa uses smart two-piece horizontal ones. Hexa has a wider boot lid. The off-road worthy plastic cladding is thick too but the boot lip is a tad higher than the XUV’s, which mean if you’re short-ish, you’ll crib when loading in heavier items if the need arises.

Interiors

Tata Hexa Dashboard
Tata Hexa Dashboard
XUV500 Dashboard

First impression of Hexa’s interior comes from its doors. Much like opening gates of a fort. Large and heavy. Getting into the car requires finesse and practice as Hexa sits higher than all cars in competition. Once you settle in, you begin to appreciate the fine work and market know how Tata has taken into consideration while working on the aesthetics of the car. Seats are nice and wide making the ride comfortable for tall people.

Tata Hexa Instrument Control
Tata Hexa Instrument Cluster
Instrument cluster of XUV500

Bolstering is impeccable. The leather is soft touch, and attention to detail on the stitching is top drawer. The lone fly in the ointment is that Hexa is equipped with manually adjustable driver’s seat. XUV has electronic seat adjustment in the top end W10 trim. When considering equipment on the inside, both cars are well kitted.

Tata Hexa Front Seats
Tata Hexa Front Seats
Front Seats XUV500

XUV comes with a large 8-inch screen with inbuilt navigation software by MapMyIndia and various infotainment options including Apple carplay and android auto. Hexa has a tinier 5-inch touchscreen, which isn’t as intuitive to use and has the least number of features as compared to XUV. The Hexa JBL Hi Fi surround sound system with a sub-woofer is a treat to the ears.

Tata Hexa 2nd Row Seats 7 Seater
Tata Hexa 2nd Row Seats 7 Seater
XUV500 2nd Row

The central information screen in the instrument cluster is coloured and gives almost all legible details. Dashboard on Hexa is structured with plenty of practical cubby spaces, which are good enough to station your pet hamster while at a long drive with your family.

Steering is leather wrapped and thick to hold. On the highway, it has proven to be one of the most comfortable steering wheels I’ve ever experienced in a MUV. At the rear, the Hexa’s gargantuan nature blossoms. Rear captain seats are the same as the ones in the front. Massive! Acres of knee room and shoulder room translates to a comfortable back seat for the longest of drives one can possibly plan. In the XUV, there is no captain seat configuration available. What we have are bench seat options.

Tata Hexa Luggage Space
Tata Hexa 3rd row and luggage Space
XUV500 3rd row and luggage space

Space at the rear is pretty generous on the Mahindra, and seats are cushy too, but it cannot match the substantial space Hexa has on the inside. This substantial-ness is more prominent in the third row of seats. XUV third row is designed specifically for kids. Hexa third row seating can accommodate adults in a very comfortable position.

Tata Hexa vs Mahindra XUV500 Specifications Comparison

Mahindra XUV500 Tata Hexa
Displacement 2.2 L litre Diesel 2.2 litre Varicor Diesel / Varicor 400 Diesel
Power 142 PS 150 PS/156 PS
Torque 330 Nm 320 Nm/400 Nm
Efficiency 16 kmpl/13.85 kmpl -NA-
Transmission 6-speed MT/6-speed AT 5 Speed Manual/ 6 speed Manual and 6 speed Auto
Dimensions (LxWxH) 4585 x 1890 x 1785 mm 4788 x 1903 x 1791 mm

Engine

XUV gets power from a 2.2 litre turbo-charged diesel engine producing 143 bhp and 330 Nm of torque. Hexa’s 2.2 litre Varicor motor produces a healthy 156 bhp and a massive 400 Nm of torque. That is 70 more Nm of torque from virtually the exact displacement engine. Both cars are mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission (as tested). XUV’s gearbox is smooth and jerk free, but it is the Hexa unit , which feels quicker and smoother. When shifted to sport mode, the Hexa gearbox has a noticeable sporty rev-matching feature, which allows for efficient deacceleration at high revs. XUV W10 is a front wheel drive (FWD) setup. Hexa is based on a ladder on frame chassis, and hence is a rear wheel drive (RWD) setup in its automatic gearbox guise.

Tata Hexa vs Mahindra XUV500 Dimensions Comparison

  Tata Hexa Mahindra XUV500
Length 4788 mm 4585 mm
Width 1903 mm 1890 mm
Height 1791 mm 1785 mm
Wheelbase 2850 mm 2700 mm
Ground Clearance 200 mm 200 mm

Driving Experience

On the road, the difference between Hexa and XUV isn’t easy to judge. Both cars are extremely smooth, and have a nice linear acceleration. When the right foot goes down heavy, Hexa’s heavy weight proportion plays like a trump card. Suspension on Hexa is stiffly sprung. That means any undulation on the road is flattened out instantly, and with large tyres, potholes are easily ironed out. It also instruments to the fact that at higher speed, Hexa feels like the most sure-footed MUV in the market today.

XUV’s oftly sprung setup offers much more cushioning in city limits, it starts to bounce about a bit when navigating the higher spectrum of highway speeds. Steering on the Hexa feels more planted and direct on highways. The heavy weighted steering is quite a muscle match in city driving, and this is where XUV scores over Hexa. Brakes on Hexa work in full capacity to stop the bulk of the car as it is one third a tonne heavier than XUV. Driving both cars back to back made me realise how intimidating Hexa really is, and that can take time getting used to. This isn’t a problem once you begin to understand its driving dynamics.

Verdict

Both cars are incredibly potent, and have their own valuable marks in different aspects. Where the Hexa gets gold in being a true Go Anywhere-mobil, XUV is more sophisticated and well suited for urban thrashing. Tata Hexa makes a greater case for itself in this comparison. It is massive outside and equally massive inside. The infotainment screen though tiny is packed with the best sounding speaker setup I have experienced in a car offered at a price below Rs 20 lakhs. Hexa has the most comfortable seats in the segment and is backed by fool proof TATA service centres across the country. It is in our opinion, the better choice of the comparison.

Further Read –

Tata Hexa Review
Mahindra XUV500 Review

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