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2020 Tata Harrier - interior Exterior and Drive

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Tata Harrier diesel-automatic review, test drive

The updated 2020 Harrier gets a more powerful, 170hp diesel engine, a new 6-speed automatic transmission and loads more kit. But just how much of an improvement is it?

What you also instantly notice is the additional 30hp this engine puts out. There is still a fair bit of turbo lag below 2,000rpm; but there’s a stronger tug from the get-go and once you get into the meat of the powerband, the Harrier pulls strongly to the rather lofty (for a diesel) redline of 5,000rpm.
The improvement in performance is tangible and a quick test we conducted revealed a 0-100kph sprint time of 11.25sec as against 12.24sec for the 140hp version; and the gap keeps growing beyond that speed. The gearing remains unchanged, which means you get that the extra grunt with the same stack of ratios gives the Harrier strong in-gear acceleration, or overtaking capability.
The drive modes work particularly well here too, and the gap between them feel most pronounced on part throttle. This is especially true in Sport mode, where the engine feels especially willing and responsive whilst for those interested in greater economy, Eco mode is quite useable in city traffic.

What's it like on the inside?

With no changes to the outside – apart from the smaller mirrors that marginally reduce the big blind spot (one of our criticisms of the earlier car) and the more attractive wheels (we had also panned the ordinary design of the earlier alloys!) – the exterior is very unchanged. This is largely true of the cabin too, which looks all but identical at first glance; the 'floating island' centre console, the very chunky steering wheel, the wide expanse of faux wood, the part-digital instrument panel and the big comfy seats. And don't those 'brushed aluminium' and leather door handles and grab handles on the base of the centre console look good too?
There are some changes on the inside of the 2020 Harrier though. Early Harrier owners will notice that the fit and finish is far improved on the 2020 model with more consistent shut lines and panel gaps. In fact, the overall sense of quality in the cabin with all its plush materials is now genuinely top class. Tata Motors has also made the USB slot in the central console more accessible and you no longer need the finger dexterity of a Swiss watchmaker to plug your phone in (again, something we pointed out). The digital tachometer, however, is still hard to read accurately, the gear indicator on the automatic model lags considerably behind when you shift gears, and the touchscreen still isn't seamless or slick to operate as its competition.

Seat comfort is super-impressive, though. Space inside the cabin, for one, is massive; the large seats support you back, shoulders and thighs superbly and the seat height, especially at the rear, is just perfect. With the acres of legroom in the back (in part due to the 2,741mm wheelbase) and the new panoramic sunroof that brightens up the cabin, this clearly is one of the best SUVs in its class to be chauffeured around in. Tata has cleverly even used a heat-reflecting blind to reduce heat soak from the big glass area; smart.

What features does it get?

The Harrier 2020 is available in five variants, that start with XE at just 13.69 lakh, ex-showroom. There's no touchscreen on this version, but you do get dual airbags, ESP (now standard) and projector headlamps with dual-function DRLs that work as turn indicators. The most affordable automatic version the XMA starts at 16.25 lakh, which is an attractive price. You get a touchscreen on the XMA, driving modes, as well as electrically adjusted mirrors. The top-of-the-line XZ+ (manual) and XZA+ (automatic) trims cost Rs 18.75 and 19.99 lakh respectively. Kit includes the aforementioned big rain-sensing and anti-pinch panoramic sunroof, six-way adjustable powered seat and diamond-cut wheels. Terrain Response Modes, an excellent JBL sub-woofer-equipped audio system and six airbags are part of the package too, but also come on the XZ and XZA variants. Dual-tone versions of the new Harrier are quite affordable, with only a Rs 10,000-15,000 increase in price – and this is true of the popular Dark Edition as well. Features missing on the Harrier (especially considering other SUVs in this class) are connected tech, cooled seats and wireless charging, among some others. And, given the Harrier's price, it isn't unreasonable to expect an electronic parking brake. The thrust lever-like handbrake has been carried forward and remains fiddly to use.

The 2020 Harrier is available with a two-year/one-lakh kilometre warranty, that can be extended to five years and unlimited kilometres for an additional Rs 26,000; an offer that you must take.
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