Thursday, October 27, 2016

The #HexaExperience at Hyderabad

I had been a part of the previous Indiblogger Tata Motors Launch for Tiago (Previously Zica) in December 2015 at Goa. It was a great trip where we had fun, met a lot of awesome bloggers and took back memories to cherish. So when I saw the applications open for this one, I instantly applied.

I was then caught up with work and soon got to know that I was confirmed for the meet, and saw my name and profile pic flash amongst 60 other faces! Most of them were new faces with just a few 5-10 people from the old batch. Though I was disappointed to not meet old buddies, I was looking forward to make new friends.

Another great thing was that it was a 1pm flight to Hyderabad from Mumbai, which meant no getting up at 4am and heading to the airport. I packed light and off I was. We travelled in Jet Airways both ways, with smooth flights with a slight delay because of the maintenance work going on at the CSIA, though the food in Jet Airways doesn't delight me at all.

We reached Hyderabad and it was happy to know that we would be staying at Novotel Hyderabad Airport, which is hardly ten minutes away from the Rajiv Gandhi Intl Airport, means no unnecessary travel, but it also meant we wouldn't go inside the city. Novotel Hyderabad Airport is a beautiful hotel with a great temperature control pool, beautiful lawns and cozy rooms. The food was okay, I guess I am too picky since being  food blogger means access to really awesome food.

Anyways, we freshened up and went for the brief where the speakers - Ashish Sahni, Richard & Ravindra took us through the key features of the car followed by a Q&A session. The car is named Hexa because it was meant to be a 6 seater (though the manual version will have a option to be 7 seater), with 6 gears and will apparently come in 6 variants. It was a powerful beast in both looks and features.

Things that interested me were the 19" Alloy wheels - first of a kind in the category, ambient mood lighting, AMT version (Automatic Manual Transmission) and the terrain management system. I couldn't wait to go for a ride the next day! We were soon asked to make teams of 3 and me and another female from Mumbai were looking for someone and at the same time Karthik Murali from Chennai was also looking for 2 people, and in an instant it was decided! We were Team 8.

There was then a standup comedy act by Biswa Kalyan Rath which we all enjoyed, followed by dinner & drinks. There was a caricature artist, a boxing booth & message board too. Unfortunately I could not enjoy the night because of a terrible headache induced maybe by the change in weather, so I turned in early which happened to be a good thing because I was quite fresh for the drive next morning.

I was ready at 6am and we quickly took a group picture and took off. My team member Karthik drove the Automatic on the way to the resort where we were to stop for refreshments. Hexa literally sailed smoothly at 100 without much noise, and the scenic routes were a pleasure to the eyes. The climate was amazing, and we played some tunes on the JBL Harman infotainment unit, while getting navigation updates from the connected device.

While I sat behind, it was very comfortable, a lot of leg space even for someone who would be tall. There is so much space to move about, I wanted my bag from behind, I could almost stand and get it. I can totally imagine my kid running around playing in the car, as if it were his fort. There are cooling vents in the middle as well as back, which is brilliant. There is also a cool box to store drinks, there is also a charging plug in the centre unit for people sitting in the back to use. No more plugging devices in the front and taking the cable back, which would create a mess and also disturb the driver and the gears.

We tried the different modes - Automatic, Comfort, Sports and could feel the difference in the torque and pick-up. The car can handle potholes (more like elephant holes these days), water-logging and most of the other obstacles commonly faced even in cities like Mumbai these days. We reached Hills & Valley resort and spotted a peacock on the way! Too bad it got scared by the fleet of cars and vanished. After refreshments, we headed for the drive back after swapping our car to a manual. We had a Tata engineer with us all the time incase there was any assistance we required, he kept explaining the different features to us.

The ride back in the manual was driven by me. Honestly, I had not driven a car for months (I did not tell anyone that), I used to drive a Nano earlier but after pregnancy and having a kid I have lost touch and must have driven only on a couple of occasions in the last 2-3 years. To add to it, I was driving an SUV for the very first time. It took me 5-10 minutes to get used to the car, the brakes and gear-box but I was soon comfortable and have to say, thoroughly enjoyed the ride. I have always been a hatchback girl, Mini Cooper is my dream car, never did I think I would enjoy driving the Hexa so much!

When Richard was taking us through the designing of the code-name Eagle (Hexa), he told us about how the trend is shifting towards SUVs and people love the commanding height, it was true. I felt like the I owned the road. There are buttons on the steering wheel if you want to control the infotainment system on your own.

We even took the car to 190KMPH at the Ring road, and finally reached the hotel. It was a great experience, and I couldn't wait for the off-road experience they had created especially for us. The off-road was a 20 minute thing, where we had a Tata expert take us through a obstacle path that started with elephant holes that had 2 of the Hexa's wheel in air while the car's terrain management system helps the car get out of it on the other wheels.

Then we climbed uphill and went down hill to test the hill-hold and came down without brakes, basically Hexa senses your needs and adapts to it, technology is brilliant! We also went on a slant incline and the car drove like a peace of cake. We also tested the wheels on a slab of ice and in a small water outlet. Basically, the Hexa can handle a lot more in stressful times than you can.

Be it a quick getaway to the Tiger Hills in Lonavala or a road-trip to Ladakh, the Tata Hexa suits the lifestyle you choose. We finished off with lunch and were on our respective ways back home after meeting some awesome bloggers, the amazing Tata & Indi teams and some souvenirs. I also picked up some Karachi Sweets biscuits and Hyderabadi Biryani at the airport.


  1. Good summary. I think AMT is wrong term to use. You may cross check.

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