Tata Motors has been churning out new models over the past 3 years in a bid to reintroduce and rebrand itself. The OEM is trying to make sure that the old image of quality, poor after sales and unappealing cars is gone. And if we look at their current line up that consists of the Tiago, Tigor, Altroz, Nexon, Harrier and Safari – its a very different Tata Motors we are looking at, which caters to the passenger segment. All new products, oriented towards, great build quality, safety, good specs and decently feature loaded. After the launch of the Safari we now wait for the Tata HBX. A all-new product coming soon in our market. So let’s ask ourselves some questions about it and also go over what we already know.
Tata HBX – Where does it sit?
We have seen the Tata HBX at the Auto Expo in the past. The car will be built on the ALFA architecture from Tata Motors that currently underpins the Altroz. But this car as we can see from the pictures is tall and bit more aggressive. The HBX will be a crossover. A proper urban car for those who do not need a lot of car footprint but want some SUVish characteristics. The HBX will be positioned between the Tata Altroz and Nexon in the current model line-up. Our question is where does that leave the Tata Tiago NRG (bridges the gap between the Tiago and Altroz) which is trying to do the same thing but at a cheaper price and has been spotted testing recently too with a facelift.
What design and features do we expect?
As Tata is trying to implement its Impact 2.0 design language and make most cars in the portfolio look similar, we can expect a familiar family design. The HBX as seen, borrows its aggressive front from the Tata Safari and Harrier. Its gets brow DRLs. The hood is lifted and looks massive. On the side, the car has a sedate and cool look. It is going to be a sub-four meter car and the rear is where Tata has experimented with cool looking side fins on the back of C-pillar and LED tailights. The will be one funky looking – in your face kind of design.
On the inside, expect a dashboard inspired by the Altroz and Nexon. One will get a semi digital instrument cluster, floating touchscreen and driving modes. We can expect the car to get iRA connected technology too.
Specifications, Engine and Safety
With the Tata HBX, we expect Tata to give the car the 1.2-litre petrol engine and the 1.5-litre diesel engine. The power these engines currently make on the Altroz should remain the same on the HBX. We really hope that when this car comes, Tata gets an automatic and the option of a turbo petrol from the start.
As mentioned before, the HBX will be a sub-four meter based on the ALFA platform. Now will it have a longer wheelbase than the Altroz? We can’t say that but space will be a concern to who choses this over the Altroz. The car will be taller than Tiago and Altroz and as wide as them. We hope Tata keeps the 90-degree door opening feature from its premium hatchback here.
In terms of safety in this segment we hope Tata ups the ante even more. The Ford Freestyle here comes with six airbags. The upcoming Hyundai AX1 can also borrow six airbags from the Venue. So having atleast four airbags is something we expect the Tata to get. Like most Tata cars, we expect ESP to be standard and a quick Global NCAP rating to follow soon.
Tata HBX Competition and launch
The HBX will compete with the Ford Freestlye, Mahindra KUV100 and the upcoming Hyundai AX1. But as we have seen the current batch of compact SUVs like Magnite and Kiger with low pricing, the competition to fill that price gap becomes even more difficult. So these crossovers will be really important launches in the future. The HBX could be launched sometime in the month of August or September.
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