2020 Tata Harrier BS6 Review

Just after a year of its launch, Tata Motors has updated the Harrier with a BS6 engine and automatic transmission along with some styling and features upgrades. We drive the new Tata Harrier BS6 to know how much added value the updates bring in the Harrier.

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The Tata Harrier now gets a 2.0-litre BS6 diesel engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.

Highlights

  • The Tata Harrier gets a BS6 engine mated to a new 6-speed auto gearbox.
  • The exterior has been modestly updated and gets new body colour range.
  • It gets a bunch of updates in the features department as well.

In the past if you would have visited Tata Showrooms looking for a compact SUV, all you would have been offered was a Tata Harrier with a diesel engine mated to a manual transmission. Those looking for more options had to turn to other brands and that was one reason why Harrier didn't turn out to be as big a hit as we expected and sales went down eventually. Well! Tata always had a plan to bring in an automatic Harrier just that it took some time in coming. Though it's not just the new automatic transmission, the Harrier now gets a BS6 compliant engine along with a bunch of updates inside-out. Let's take you through all that's new while we also try to answer that are these updates enough to make up for the lost ground.

Also Read: 2020 Tata Harrier BS6: Variants Explained

Tata Harrier

13.69 Lakh * On Road Price (New Delhi)
Tata Harrier

The Style Quotient

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Up front, the Harrier gets new optional chrome highlights around the Headlamps, DRls and underlining the grille.

The Tata Harrier sticks to its original IMPACT 2.0 design which is good as that macho appeal with curvaceous proportions has been well acclaimed. That said, there is a fresh aura around it because of this new dual-tone Calypso Red paint with gloss black roof. In fact, the entire body colour range has been updated and there are now five colours to choose from- Cocoa Sparkle, Tolesto Grey, Black Dark Edition, Orcus White and of course this Calypso Red.

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The new Tata Harrier also gets new 17-inch diamond cut alloy wheels and redesigned wing mirrors.

A little flash can be added with a dash of chrome around the Headlamps and DRLs along with the grille. Adding to the stance are new 17-inch diamond cut alloy wheels in the top-end XZA+ trim and wing mirrors finished in gloss are redesigned as well.

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At the rear changes are limited to chrome finish on the exhaust mufflers.

Optional chrome package also includes a strip highlighting the wheelbase and even at the rear changes are limited to the chrome finish on the pseudo exhaust mufflers.

Features Department

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The design and fit and finish of the cabin remain unchanged.

The cabin too is a familiar space seeing no changes in the layout or fit and finish. But there are new features. The top of the line XZA+ trim gets panoramic sunroof and then there is the 6-way power adjustable driver's seat along with auto-dimming rear view mirror and adblue solution gauge on the instrument panel right under the rev counter.

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The Tata Harrier now gets panoramic sunroof, power adjustable driver seat and auto dimming mirror and adblue solution gauge.

Then as always, there's the 8.8-inch touchscreen system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Connectivity system, auto climate control and a 9-speaker JBL sound system. There's still no connected car tech on it though. We've seen it on the Nexon EV from the company and not having it in the Harrier where almost the majority of rivals are offering, is a big miss in our opinion.

The Big Update

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The 2.0-litre BS6 engine in the updated Harrier puts out 30 bhp more and is mated to a Hyundai sourced six-speed auto gearbox.

Under the hood there's still the Fiat-sourced 2.0-litre, four-cylinder engine which is now BS6 complaint. At 168 bhp it belts out about 30 bhp more while the torque remains the same at 350 Nm. It's mated to a brand new 6-speed automatic transmission sourced from Hyundai and that will be our main focus for this drive.

TATA HARRIER BS6 SPECIFICATIONS
DISPLACEMENT 1956 cc, 4 Cylinder
MAX POWER 168 bhp @ 3750 rpm
PEAK TORQUE 350 Nm @ 1750 - 2500 rpm
TRANSMISSION 6-SPEED MANUAL / AUTOMATIC
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The automatic gearbox feels more energetic compared to the manual transmission.

This six-speed gearbox feels a bit friskier in the way it delivers the power when you compare it to the manual transmission. There is just a bit of hesitation when you kick down, after which it takes off and power build up is right up to 3800 rpm, offering a good mid-range.

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It feels a bit stressed at the top end.

There is ample torque at the low end too kicking in at just below 1800 rpm. While the top end has improved marginally with that slight upsurge in power output, it is still not fond of being revved hard.

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Shifts in the manual transmission feels smoother compared to the BS4 model.

We also got the opportunity to drive the manual transmission where the shifts felt smoother compared to the BS4 models and that's about it. It's the driving modes that need some explaining. The difference between them is most perceptible in the Harrier among all the Tata cars we have driven. So, when you are driving in city mode the revs won't build up higher letting you cruise in a relaxed way. But as soon as you switch to sports, things get aggressive, rpms go right to the red line and it gives you a reassurance while you are overtaking or even when you are being a little harsh with your throttle inputs.

How It Drives

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The suspension absorbs the bends well but a hint of body roll is felt at sharp bends.

The Harrier impresses with its supple ride quality as well. The suspension soaks up bumps quite well and as it's a big car and there's a hint of body roll when cornering at high speeds but still it's not unnerving. That said, we could do with better steering feedback. It's adequately weighs up at higher speeds but you would like to have more feedback while changing directions. Then there's torque steer where you feel a tremor in the front wheels when low-end torque kicks in, a big reason why such a big SUV would be better off with rear wheel drive setup.

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The Sports drive mode gets the best out of the drivetrain. Brakes feel spongy and need better bites.

There are enough electronics on-board ensuring stability. Standard features include Traction Control, Rollover Mitigation, Electronic Stability Program and Corner Stability Control among others. Though, the brakes feel spongy and we hoped it had a better bite to it.

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Higher variants get Terrain Response Modes (Normal, Rough, Wet) and six-airbags.

While ABS with EBD and dual airbags remain standard, in higher variants you also get six airbags, ISOFIX child seat anchorage, Terrain response modes, off-road ABS and more.

How Well Is It Priced

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The Tata Harrier Automatic will be sold in three variants, while there are five variants available in total.

The Tata Harrier automatic is available in three variants- XMA, XZA and the range-topping XZA+ Prices for the Harrier start at ₹ 13.69 lakh for the manual and ₹ 16.25 lakh for the Automatic, topping out at ₹ 20.25 lakh.

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The Tata Harrier undercuts the Jeep Compass diesel automatic by ₹ 5.71 lakh.

It's around ₹ 2.71 lakh more expensive than the Kia Seltos Diesel Automatic while undercuts the Jeep Compass diesel automatic by a good ₹ 5.71 lakh. It even fares up closely against the MG Hector petrol automatic which is just ₹ 31,000 cheaper than the Harrier.

Verdict

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The Tata Harrier has definitely stepped up in the segment but its not going to be an easy fight with competition heating up.

So with some styling updates, quite a few updates in the features department and a BS6 engine that's now available with an automatic transmission, the Tata Harrier is stepping up in the game. That said, even competition offers it all and the next thing that we see coming is the diesel automatic MG Hector that too gets the same 2.0-litre engine which is a Fiat sourced engine. So it's definitely not going to be an easy fight and we hope Tata Motors also brings a petrol engine in the Harrier sooner than later to tap that side of the segment as well.

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Picture Courtesy: Pawan Dagia

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