5 Features We Think Would Suit The Tata Harrier's Bold Style
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The Tata Harrier is set to make quite a statement with its bold exterior design. But can it do the same when it comes to its feature list too?
Tata Motors is set to launch its flagship SUV, the Harrier, in the first quarter of 2019. The upcoming SUV will be based on the exciting H5X concept that was first showcased at the 2018 Auto Expo. The overall design of the Harrier is expected to be exciting and the recent teaser images from Tata have only piqued our interest further. These images have also left us to wonder about the list of features that Tata could offer to complement the SUV's flamboyant exterior design. But before we reveal our wishlist, here's some interesting insight on recent offerings from the homegrown carmaker.
Tata Motors has always packed some nifty features in its cars, like the brilliant 8-speaker Harman-powered sound system found in the Tiago/Tigor and the Nexon. In fact, unlike most other carmakers in the 90s, Tata never skimped on essential or convenience-enhancing features. After all, it was the first Indian manufacturer to offer features such as a tilt adjustable power steering, electric power windows, disc brakes and air conditioning, among others.
Without further ado, here are five features that we think will do justice to the Harrier's exterior design. PS: As far as its size is concerned, the Harrier is expected to be massive and we think it's going to stand out from regular SUVs that sport butch and boxy designs.
#1 Panoramic Sunroof
Pictured: Tata H5X
It's a well-known fact that car buying trends change over time. However, if the last couple of years are anything to go by, we've noticed that every new car that's offered with a sunroof turn out to be more successful than ones without the feature. In fact, Honda has stated that 80 per cent of the WR-V sold in the country are equipped with a sunroof. This has also forced other carmakers like Hyundai to offer the feature in their best-sellers. The refreshed 2018 Hyundai Creta was the latest car from the South Korean giant to get one.
Interestingly, even Tata offers sunroofs in several of its cars, including the Nano! That said, Tata only provides this feature as an after-sales fitment and not straight off the factory line, as is the case with the range-topping variants of the Nexon and the Hexa. We think it's about time Tata started offering it as standard on the top-spec variants and what better way to do it than with the upcoming Harrier! And please let it be the panoramic sunroof like the one seen on the H5x Concept.
#2 Large screen infotainment system
Pictured: Tata H5X
Although the H5X Concept featured a Mercedes-Benz-like twin-screen setup for the instrument cluster and the infotainment system, the final production model is expected to be offered with a standalone display, like the one in the Nexon. However, we hope Tata Motors equips the Harrier with a larger screen than the 6.5-inch unit seen in the sub-4 metre SUV. We also hope it gets a smoother and more responsive interface. Of late, manufacturers have really stepped up their game when it comes to infotainment systems. The 2018 Ford EcoSport features a 9-inch display, while FCA's (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) flagship 8.4-inch unit is expected to make its way to the upcoming Trailhawk variant of the popular Jeep Compass.
#3 Digital instrument cluster
Pictured: Volkswagen Active Info Display
Even though the show car featured a twin-screen setup a la Mercedes-Benz, Tata is likely to ditch it to keep costs in check. That said, we expect Tata to at least offer the Harrier with a fully-digital instrument cluster housed inside a conventional binnacle. Even VW Group's upcoming Harrier-rival based on the MQB A0-IN platform is expected to feature a large 10.3-inch digital instrument cluster borrowed from the sixth-gen Polo. If not a fully-digital setup, Tata could go for a digital+analogue cluster, like the one seen on the Ford Endeavour. Tata already provides an attractive and informative 3.5-inch MID (multi information display) with the Hexa. Now, all that it has to do is pack a much larger display with the Harrier.
#4 LED Headlamps
The recent teaser images of the Harrier suggest that Tata is likely to go for a split-headlamp setup for its flagship SUV. Based on the images, we think that the main projector units could find a place on the bumper, while a set of LED DRLs (daytime running lamps) flank the grille. Being a flagship model, we expect Tata to equip the Harrier with LED projectors instead of regular halogen units seen on the Hexa. LEDs not only light up the road better than halogen units, they also look a lot more premium once the sun goes down.
#5 Jaguar-like pop-up gear lever
If you've ever been inside any latest offerings from Jaguar, you'll know what we are talking about. Pushing the engine start-stop button on an XE or an XF makes the AC vents pop open and the gear lever to rise up and greet you. And since Tata packed a rotary knob on the H5X Concept, we are quite hopeful that the final production version could feature something similar. After all, Tata Motors owns Jaguar Land Rover and is no stranger to incorporating technology from its premium brands in its own vehicles. Case in point being the tambour door for the storage area on the Nexon's central tunnel.
Pictured: Tata H5X
However, this begs quite an important question. What gearbox could the Harrier's rotary knob gear selector be controlling? The series production model is likely to make its debut with the Fiat's 2.0-litre MultiJet diesel engine. What's interesting to note here is that the same engine also powers diesel variants of the Harrier's arch-rival, the Jeep Compass, in India. We already know that the Trailhawk variant of the Compass will be offered with a 9-speed automatic transmission when launched in India. So there's a possibility that the Harrier too could be offered with the same ZF-sourced transmission. Interestingly, the Land Rover Discovery Sport with which the Harrier shares its platform is also offered with the same transmission.
All in all, the Tata Harrier is expected to be a game changer for the homegrown carmaker. Read in detail about the Tata Harrier here: Tata Harrier vs Tata H5X: How Its Looks Have Evolved