Sibling Showdown: Tata Hexa vs Tata Safari Storme Varicor400
If you've been eyeing the Hexa, we're sure this question has crossed your mind: “Should I get the Safari instead?” The SUV has its own old-school charm, and there's no denying that, even in 2017, it is a very desirable vehicle. On the flip side, the Hexa is as modern as the Tatas can get, and packed to the brim with the latest features. Here's how things pan out when the big brutes from Tata lock horns.
Before we get going though, let's quickly look at their respective price lists.
- XE 4x2 MT - Rs 10.96 lakh
- XM 4x2 MT - Rs 12.81 lakh
- XMA 4x2 AT - Rs 13.91 lakh
- XT 4x2 MT - Rs 15.04 lakh
- XTA 4x2 AT - Rs 16.13 lakh
- XT 4x4 MT - Rs 16.24 lakh
Tata Safari Storme
- Lx 4x2 - Rs 9.79 lakh
- Ex 4x2 - Rs 11.56 lakh
- Vx 4x2 - Rs 13.03 lakh
- Vx 4x4 - Rs 14.47 lakh
(All prices, ex-showroom Delhi)
Though it might not seem like it, the Hexa and the Safari Storme Varicor400 share a lot. For instance, both cars are based on the same hydroformed 'X2' platform. However, the chassis itself has been lightened in the Hexa in order to keep the weight in check.
The 2.2-litre, four-cylinder diesel engine is shared as well, along with the six-speed manual gearbox. The motor produces 156PS of power and 400Nm of torque, which seems plenty for either car. You can head over to our reviews of the Safari Storme Varicor400 and the Hexa to know how it performs.
Then there are the (rather obvious) facts that both can seat seven, both feature 4x4, and both can munch miles effortlessly.
The better 7-seater
While both vehicles in question can seat seven, it is the Hexa that does a better job of it. The front-facing third row isn't just roomier compared to the jump seats that the Safari gets, but is also far more comfortable. What swings it further in the Hexa's favour is the fact that occupants get their own AC vents, and even 12V sockets to charge their phone. Plus, with the third row in place, there's still a respectable 129 litres of bootspace that can easily carry a couple of backpacks. The Storme is left with virtually no space for the luggage if you are travelling full house.
For the chauffeur driven
Pratap Bose, head of design for Tata Motors, told us that the six-seater layout was integral to the Hexa. In fact, that's the reason it's called 'Hexa' in the first place!
Tata wanted the captain seats to be the best in the house, and it has managed to deliver on that front. The second row features a well-contoured captain seat that gets adjust for reach, tilt and lumbar. The only issue with the six-seater version is a slightly tricky access to the third row, which we think is a reasonable compromise.
Easier To Drive
The Safari isn't exactly a nimble ballerina around our infamous city roads. The heavy steering and the long travel (and also heavy) clutch makes piloting the behemoth quite a task. No, the Hexa is no Nano in comparison. It does make its two ton weight felt, and has a heavy steering too, but just not as heavy. The clutch is noticeably lighter too, and in case you cannot be bothered fiddling with it, there's the automatic variant on offer as well!
Then there are the 'Super Drive' modes that let you tailor the car's behaviour depending on what you want it to do. The flexibility of choosing between Comfort, Dynamic, Rough-Road or just leaving it to its own on Auto is great to have.
Unlike the Safari Storme that misses out on a shocking amount of features at the price point, the Hexa happily bundles them in.
The best bit is that the features aren't limited to just the top-spec variants. The base XE variant packs in quite a punch, with features that include projector headlamps, LED tail lamps, six-speaker audio system, and more. The XM and the XT variants are stuffed to the gills with features (recommended read: Tata Hexa – Variants Explained!) which include automatic climate control, cruise control, 19-inch alloy wheels, 10-speaker JBL audio system, and a five-inch touchscreen infotainment unit. There are other feel-good features too, such as daytime running lamps, ambient lighting, reverse camera, and a bunch of supported apps that make the experience richer.
The top-spec Hexa is home to a plethora of safety technology. Here's a quick list:
- Six Airbags
- Anti-Lock Brakes with EBD
- Traction Control
- Hill Hold Control
- Hill Descent Control
- ESP with Rollover Mitigation
- Engine Drag Torque Control
- Corner Stability Control
On the other hand, the Safari has to make do with dual airbags, ABS and EBD – something that's available even on the base version of the Hexa.
Yes, the Hexa has an advanced four-wheel–drive system that works in conjunction with the ESP and the torque-on-demand system to channel power to the wheels with more traction. The Safari, on the other hand, is more analogue – with a simple knob that lets you select between two-wheel and four-wheel drive on the fly. Approach, departure and breakover angles are bound to be better as well, which gives it better cred off-road.
The 'I want one' feeling
Most of us petrolheads have grown up admiring the Safari. The butch and upright 'are you sure you want to mess with me?' stance is still as intimidating as it was in the early 2000s. The design has remained more-or-less unchanged for close to two decades but, oddly enough, it manages to stand out even today.
It is among the few cars that are likely to be bought by the heart and not the head. And no amount of logical reasoning can turn around a heart buy, can it?
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