Tata Motors is all set to foray into the micro-SUV segment with the Tata HBX, which made its global debut at the 2020 Auto Expo. The company already has a presence in the other SUV segments with the likes of Tata Nexon & Tata Harrier but now it intends to have a share in the micro-SUV segment too. Tata HBX will directly challenge Maruti Ignis in the Indian market, which recently received a subtle makeover in terms of design and interior alongside a BS6 compliant petrol engine. Though, there is still a minimum of six months left in the launch of Tata HBX but lets see how it fares against its arch rival Ignis in terms of styling, interior, features, engine specifications and price:
Tata HBX made its world premiere at the 2020 Auto Expo and it adorns the company's IMPACT 2.0 design language. The front fascia flaunts a split LED headlamp setup with daytime running lamps (DRLs) and a single-slat grille. Boasting of flared and squared-out wheel arches, it rides on the newly-designed alloy wheels with rear door handles integrated in the C-pillar, ala Maruti Swift. The rear profile gets vertical reflectors while the number plate is positioned on the bumper with a high mounted stop lamp. The Tata HBX is expected to be introduced in several single-tone and dual-tone color options. Overall, the SUVish stance and fresh styling lends it a sporty appearance.
On the other hand, the 2020 Maruti Ignis facelift which was also showcased at the Auto Expo comes with a handful of subtle cosmetic updates. It gets a new front grille which is inspired by the S-Presso hatch. The front bumper has been revamped along with an addition of faux scuff plate. It rides on alloy wheels and roof rails too are a part of the standard fitment. The rear end is pretty similar to the pre-facelifted version, except for the restyled bumper. Though, the company has added a couple of new single-tone colors in the form of Lucent Orange and Turquoise while there are three dual-tone color options as well. The overall design is decent with boxy layout but if we compare it to the HBX, it appears a bit conventional and traditional.
Interior & Features:
Tata HBX would share most of its cabin with the recently launched Altroz hatchback. The dashboard will resemble to several recent Tata cars with the main highlight being the free-standing touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There will be a colored semi-digital instrument cluster as standard along with a compass in the centre console. The top trims will come with multi-function steering wheel, automatic climate control, Harman Kardon audio system, keyless entry with push-button start etc. among others.
On the other hand, the 2020 Maruti Ignis facelift interior has not changed much from the previous model except for a few handful of updates. The dashboard is carried over from the pre-facelift model while the dual-tone black and beige upholstery is retained as well. As for features, it gets MID with TFT screen, automatic climate control, tilt steering, 60:40 rear seat split, push start/stop button, steering mounted audio and phone controls etc. to name a few. However, the primary highlight of the cabin remains the latest 7-inch SmartPlay touchscreen infotainment system with navigation and voice commands. The S-Connect connectivity suite is available as an option with the infotainment system.
The safety features in the Tata HBX might include dual front airbags, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), ISOFIX child seat anchors and rear parking sensors as standard. Basically, it is expected to have every advanced and latest feature that you may desire in a sub 10 Lakh car. On the other hand, the Ignis micro-SUV comes with pedestrian protection compliance and full frontal & side impact compliance as well. Other safety features include dual front airbags, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), seatbelt pretensioners with force limiters, ISOFIX child seat anchors etc. as standard.
The 2020 Maruti Ignis facelift is powered by the BS 6 version of the same 1.2L 4-cylinder K12B petrol engine which develops 83bhp and 113Nm, identical to the BS 4 version. Transmission duties are helmed by a 5-speed manual and a 5-speed AMT gearbox. Mechanically, Tata Hornbill will be powered by a BS6 compliant 1.2L Revotron petrol engine which we have already seen in the Tata Tiago and Tigor. The power output and torque performance figures are not known yet but they are expected to be identical to the hatchback and compact sedan. This engine will be linked to a 5-speed manual transmission as standard while the AMT gearbox will also be offered as optional. So, as far as performance is concerned, both the HBX and Ignis look almost evenly matched, at least on paper.
The 2020 Maruti Ignis facelift price range of Rs 4.89-7.20 Lakhs (Ex. Showroom, Delhi) in the country. Being sold through the NEXA premium range of outlets, it is being offered in a total of seven variants: Sigma, Delta, Delta AMT, Zeta, Zeta AMT, Alpha and Alpha AMT. On the other hand, the Tata HBX is expected to be priced in a range of Rs 5.50-9 Lakhs (Ex. Showroom). Though, the launch is still a good six months away but pricing would be a substantial factor here to decide if the HBX can really give the Ignis a run for its money.