Tata Harrier AT first drive review

The Harrier is Tata’s most expensive car, its flagship SUV derived from the first collaboration between Jaguar and Land Rover. Built on the D8 derived platform, the Harrier’s road presence and styling has already made it popular. It has now been launched again as the 2020 Tata Harrier BSVI and it now gets that one missing link – the automatic gearbox. Here is the Tata Harrier AT BS6 review.

Tata Harrier AT styling and interior

The Harrier has always been a looker and the MY 2020 takes it a little further. The added chrome strips on the grille and the fog lamps make it more premium. The large chunky mirrors have now been replaced with sleek aerodynamic units and it also gets a new set of alloy wheels. While the changes on the outside are minimum, the huge panoramic sunroof takes it in to the big league. It has three switches to operate it – one to slide the sun-shade, one to just pop it up and one to open it up. The glass gets heat-resistant film lined for restricting heat into the car.
The internal rear view mirror is now auto-dimming while the external mirrors are electrically adjustable and foldable. The features list also includes automatic climate control, all-four power windows and an 8.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with both Android Auto and Apple Car Play. The driver seat of the Harrier is now 6-way electrically adjustable while the co-driver seat is four-way adjustable. The 2020 Tata Harrier gets new two-tone diamond cut 17-inch alloys and with the 235/65 Apollo Apterra tyres.
In terms of safety, it gets two airbags with ABS standard across the trim and now ESP has been made standard all across the variants right from the base variant.

Tata Harrier AT engine and gearbox

The biggest of the changes is under the hood with the 2.0-litre Fiat-sourced four cylinder turbocharged engine now developing 170PS of power and 350Nm of torque. The power has been bumped up from 140PS and the torque remains the same with the new engine mapping and ECU. The Harrier now gets a six-speed torque-converter automatic along with the six-speed manual gearbox it had before. The gearbox has been sourced from the Hyundai Tucson and has been adapted to work with the Kryotec 170 engine.
The 25 percent power hike is visible as the Harrier goes considerably faster. Even with the automatic, the new Harrier hits three-digit speeds effortlessly. The six-speed automatic gearbox shifts gears according to the throttle input. So, if you have it pinned, it will rev up to redline and if you are somewhere in the middle, the gearbox computes the optimal revs to shift gears. It also has the manual/sport mode option where the car holds on to the gear.

On the go, the kick downs are reasonably quick for a slush-box. Having said that, you still have to plan your overtakes before you commit, but that is valid for cars that cost twice as much as well. Tuned for economy, the Harrier kind of freewheels off-throttle. The wet and off-road modes have been tuned to work with the automatic gearbox. Tata has worked on feedback from the cars it has sold over the past year and as a result, the steering seems to have become lighter. While it feels good in city driving, it is too vague around corners in spite of being a hydraulic unit.
The Land Rover underpinnings are evident in the way it handles and with no changes in the suspension setup, it continues to have the plush ride it always had. The brakes work well, bringing this almost 1.7 ton SUV to a halt. With ESP now standard across trims, it doesn’t scuttle under heavy braking. It also has the pre-fill function where the brake pedal stiffens up faster under panic braking as the ESP gauges it using the ramp rate.

The Harrier gets a 15-litre reservoir for the Ad-Blue which treats the engine exhaust to bring the emissions down to permissible limits. Tata says that the 15-litre reservoir is good for at least 7,500kms at least before it needs a refill and can last up to 10,000kms depending upon how the car is being driven. But, if the car is running, it will go as far as the fuel lasts and bit is advised to drive to the nearest service outlet.

Conclusion

The Tata Harrier AT now has more horsepower and the automatic gearbox also works quite well. The Harrier has always had loads of space in the cabin and now with the panoramic sunroof, it feels even more spacious. The Tata Harrier with its unique design and Land Rover-inspired styling has already been appreciated by buyers. It is a bigger car than the Hyundai Creta or the Kia Seltos, pegging it in the upper echelons of the premium compact SUV segment.
We think that the new Harrier can be a good option for those who are looking at the Jeep Compass or the Hyundai Tucson. Despite its size and it is easy to drive and is a comfortable touring SUV fit to travel the country and also manageable in the city hustle.

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