The Harrier has been one of the most waited for car models of recent times, right since it showed up at the 2018 Auto Expo as the H5X concept. With huge hype and anticipation running on the Harrier, Tata Motors had to get it right. Now that the Harrier is revealed, it is all set for its launch in January. We were in freezing, but colorful Jodhpur to get our hands on the latest SUV from Tata Motors and here’s our detailed road test review.
Food for Thought
The Harrier is built on the Land Rover Discovery Sports L550 (D8) OMEGA platform. OMEGA stands for Optimal Modular Efficient Global Advanced Architecture. Its suspension has been developed and fine tuned by JLR in association with Lotus. A 7-seater Harrier is also already under development. The Harrier becomes the 1st vehicle in the lineup to sport the Impact Design 2.0 language.
The Harrier is designed on a very modern and trendy design language. On 1st look, you instantly relate the car with Land Rover models due to its similar character lines and styling. The vehicle has a proper SUV stance and looks very well-proportioned when seen from all angles. The SUV stands at 4598mm in length, 1894mm in width, 1706mm in height and has a wheelbase of 2741mm. Ground clearance is that of 205mm .The face of the Harrier is styled like something that’s not seen before, the strip DRL light is placed on the bonnet, sill line extending from the front fender to the center grill, below this is the projector headlights and under it are the round fog lamps. The center grill comes with signature Tata family humanity grill in piano black finish, but now slightly jutting out, giving it a nice 3D effect. The headlight and fog lamps come in black surrounds, while the lower section of the neatly flushed bumper is left unpainted. A silver faux skid plate adds more character to the SUV styling.
The high bonnet comes with neat design lines. The fenders which look beefy and muscular, come with fiber protectors. The wing mirrors are in dual colors with the top being the body color and the bottom being black. These large wing mirrors get full electric fold unfold and adjust feature, they also come with LED turn lights mounted on them. The wing mirror also gets Harrier logo projection as puddle lamps. The side profile gets a sharp waistline while the door handles come in an all chrome finish. The lower section of the doors come with the fibre protective cladding, basically that comes handy during off roading and also looks brute.
The windows get the blacked out masking on the pillars and a neat-looking chrome strip that runs on the top, starting from the wing mirror, and integrating into the chrome HARRIER badging on the C Pillar above the fixed quarter glass. The sloping roofline gets bisected with the chrome strip, giving it a floating-like look. The roof comes with shark fin radio antenna mounted on it. The rear fender like the front one is also flared up and comes with protective side cladding. The Harrier comes with Goodyear 235/65 R17 spec Wrangler tyres, mounted on 5 Star design silver alloys. The rear profile comes with slim extended design LED tail lamps that are very well integrated into the body line. Mating the tail lamps is a finisher that comes in piano black finish. The boot lid comes with a large spoiler and Harrier branding on it. Like the front, the rear bumper too gets its lower left section unpainted, and also gets the faux skid plate with stop reflectors and stop lamps placed on them.
The Harrier looks extremely catchy and trendy from the outside. Build quality is top class, with the designing of the vehicle being something unseen in the segment.
Step inside the Harrier and you notice the spacious cabin area. The interiors come in dual tone with an oak brown color scheme. The dash gets a soft touch top section, while the middle section comes in faux wood and satin metal inserts below. The instrument cluster is a mixed one with the left in LCD which includes the RPM meter, fuel meter, engine temperature and other indicators. The right section gets the mechanical Speedo dial and needle. The chunky leather wrapped steering wheel is a 4 spoke design with manual adjust for height and reach. The steering gets all the control buttons along with Cruise control buttons mounted. The center dash gets an 8.8 inches touch screen unit compatible with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, telephony, FM, USB etc. GPS is not inbuilt, but works once your Smartphone is connected to the unit.
The sound system is from JBL which is a 320RMS unit, has 9 speakers playing out to its tune that includes 4 speakers, 4 tweeters and 1 subwoofer. The climate control is a single zone unit with vents for the rear passengers too mounted in the door pillars. The dash also gets the drive mode control buttons (Eco & Sport). The center console comes with the rotary dial unit that lets you toggle between the 3 preset drive modes, Normal, Wet and Rough Roads. Behind the gear shifter is the Aero Throttle inspired hand brake lever in glossy piano black. The center armrest comes with storage underneath and also can be cooled if needed. The perforated leather seats in oak brown shade are large in size and the driver’s seat gets manual adjust for height and reach. The rear seats come in 40:60 split configurations with foldable arm rest. There are around 28 utility storage spaces in and around the Harrier’s cabin that includes bottle holders in the doors, can holders etc.
Doors get soft padding from the insides and the door handles come with the satin metal finish on them. There is tons of space inside the cabin of the Tata Harrier with loads of legroom and headroom available, both in the front and rear. The boot space is of 425 litres which can be further increased to 810 litres with the rear seats folded down. The spare tyre is mounted under the vehicle from the outside.
The cabin is very well appointed, with the finish and use of materials being of high quality. Comfort level is very good and the Harrier’s cabin feels extremely premium, SUV like.
Engine – Transmission – Drive
Powering the Tata Harrier is the 2.0L 4-cylinder Turbocharged Diesel engine. This is the Fiat sourced 1956cc motor that Tata terms as the Kryotec engine with a power output of 140Ps and torque figures of 350Nm, mated to the 6-speed manual transmission. Tata Motors have included the engine with Electronically Controlled Variable Geometry Turbocharger (eVGT). This is the same engine that also powers the Jeep Compass Diesel.
Start the engine using the push button and it settles to its idle rev in a few seconds, shift to the 1st gear and you notice the surge of power and torque brewing as the SUV moves ahead. The power delivery is quick, but in a more civilized fashion. Gear shifts are crisp and very precise. The clutch throw is slightly more than needed, but we got used to it by adjusting our seat. The steering feedback is on the heavier side and perfect to highlight the SUVish brute feel. Engine noise does filter into the cabin, but the JBL music system comes to the rescue.
We did a bit of mild, off-roading too and the (Terrain Response) Rough Road mode worked flawlessly, the hill descent function was also very handy when we were getting downhill after our visit to the windmills outside Jodhpur. Then for the highways you can choose between the Economy and the Sport mode. We used the latter one most, to milk out the maximum from the 2.0L gem of an engine. The suspension setup is brilliant with independent lower wishbone McPherson Strut on the front and Twist blade with coil springs on the rear. The guys from JLR and Lotus must be commended for getting the suspension tune spot on for our conditions. At high speeds, the Harrier felt very much home which included speeds of 170kmph on open stretches.
Tata Motors have loaded the Harrier till the brim with safety features that include 6 airbags (driver, co-driver, side seat and curtain), ABS with EBD, Hill Descent, Brake disc wiping, Roll over mitigation, Corner stability control, Electronic traction control, Hill hold, Electronic brake pre fill, Hydraulic Brake assist, Dynamic wheel torque by brake, ISOFIX anchor points, cornering lights, reverse parking camera with sensors, audio warnings, auto headlamps, rain sensing wipers, to name a few.
The Tata Harrier when launched in January 2019 will compete against the likes of the Segment leader Hyundai Creta, Renault Captur, Mahindra XUV 5OO and the Jeep Compass, in terms of size and price. We expect the Tata Harrier to be priced in the Rs.15 Lakh to Rs.19 Lakh price bracket.
Well, in one line if you want to know how the Harrier is… The Harrier is the best ever Tata Motors produced car. It has everything in its favor, from exterior head turning styling to a very well appointed cabin along with a super potent 2.0L engine. We wish there was an AWD option from day one and an automatic transmission version too. But for now, the Harrier is here and it is all ready to shake up the segment from the word GO!
Review – Ritesh Madhok
Photography – Dr Anand Narvekar