You are here
Tata Hexa vs Toyota Innova Crysta: Heavyweight Hustle
Tata Motors says the Hexa is a bit of both; a people mover and a sports utility vehicle. So in this big car brawl, we pit the crossover against a formidable rival – the Toyota Innova
Marcus Tullius Cicero, a Roman philosopher once said, “If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” He wasn’t completely wrong. But had he been an Indian living in a joint family, he would know the importance of having a big, comfy seven-seater parked alongside that garden. As most of us would agree, being a part of an extended family has its own pros and cons. No, we aren’t going to list them out here, save for this one – the need to travel together. And that need is what has made the Toyota Innova a household name.
Let’s face it, the first-gen Innova had everything you could ever ask for in your big family car. And now with the Innova Crysta, Toyota has set the MPV bar even higher. It has gone premium, continues to be highly practical, and you’ll most likely have to abandon it mid-life as it has a reputation of soldiering on for at least five lakh kilometres. So then, the best MPV India has ever witnessed, and it could go on and dominate the segment for years to come, unless someone decides to disrupt the Crysta party.
And I think we’ve finally found that spoiler. Enter the Tata Hexa, a 2.2 tonne behemoth that doesn’t follow the traditional rules of MPVs. Its butch looks, for instance, isn’t anything like what we’re used to among our people movers and that’s just the beginning. It’s got space, ride comfort and quality going for it and does everything you’d need your MPV to do. But the question to ask here is, does the Hexa do it better than the Innova Crysta?
Surprisingly, the answer to this one is yes, though by a narrow margin. We won’t get into aesthetics here as we’ve seen in the past, MPVs don’t need to look pretty – they need to be practical and that both the cars are. These are XXL vehicles, which means both cars are spacious and while the Innova has slightly more legroom in the middle row, you won’t be complaining sitting in the Hexa. But when it comes to overall cabin quality, wait for it, it’s not Toyota but Tata who has the edge here.
The Hexa’s cabin may look simple compared to the flashy Innova’s but it’s the one with better quality and fit and finish. The Hexa doesn’t stop here, it is also the one with better seat and ride comfort. With supportive seats and superb dampening, the Hexa makes the Innova feel a bit stiff and jittery. The Tata simply irons out the rough stuff and there’s no catching up with the Hexa as far as ride comfort goes. The equation changes a bit in the handling department, though. Both are big MPVs and their bodies do tend to pitch and roll. But the Innova feels slightly better composed around corners and with its light steering, driving in urban conditions isn’t tiresome.
The Crysta continues to score over the Hexa with driveability, too. There’s nothing wrong with the 2.2-litre Varicor motor, despite 154bhp and 400Nm on tap, it’s the 2280kg of mass that hampers the Hexa’s overall performance. While the 1870kg Innova with its bigger 2.8-litre motor and six-speed auto ’box offers better low-range punch, the Hexa with its six-speed auto or the six-speed manual takes a couple more vital seconds to build up speed, and it’s all the more evident when scaling gradients or while trying to pull off an overtake.
The Tata makes you constantly shift cogs and that’s where the Innova has the tiniest of advantages – it has the more flexible motor. However, the Hexa comes back with a stronger mid-range and doesn’t run out of steam easily. Plus, it also feels smoother and more refined of the two motors here.
Overall, the fight between the Hexa and the Innova turned out to be a closer one than expected. The Innova Crysta still has driveability, space and Toyota’s unmatched reliability going for it. But Tata has learnt from its mistakes and has made a well-rounded product in the Hexa that offers similar features to the Innova, has superior ride and cabin quality and isn’t at a huge disadvantage as far as driveability is concerned. Plus, at Rs 21.56 lakh, on-road, Mumbai, the Hexa is Rs 5 lakh cheaper than the Innova Crysta, making the Toyota a pricey proposition.
So, as far as people movers go, the Hexa wins the bout against the Innova Crysta by a small margin.
Tata Hexa XT
Engine: 4cyl, 2179cc, turbo-diesel, 154bhp, 400Nm, 6-speed auto, RWD
Fuel tank: 60 litres, Wheelbase: 2850mm, LxWxH: 4788mmx1903mmx1791mm
Kerb weight: 2280kg
Ground clearance: 200mm
Price: Rs 21.56 lakh (on-road, Mumbai)
Pros: Cabin quality, fit and finish, ride comfort, space
Cons: Low-end driveability
Toyota Innova Crysta
Engine: 4cyl, 2755cc, turbo-diesel, 172bhp, 360Nm, 6-speed auto, RWD
Fuel tank: 55 litres, Wheelbase: 2750mm, LxWxH: 4735mmx1830mmx1795mm
Kerb weight: 1870kg
Ground clearance: 167mm
Price: Rs 26.61 lakh (on-road, Mumbai)
Pros: Space, driveability, reliability