Tata Nexon Overview

After taking a marathon test of Indian buyers, Tata Nexon has finally made its way in the country. First things first, the Nexon marks Tata’s entry into the highly lucrative sub 4-meter SUV segment, and it is the fourth product after Tiago, Hexa and Tigor to be based on the company’s IMPACT design philosophy. Tata Nexon had its world premiere in concept form at the 2014 Auto Expo, while the production version saw the daylight a couple of years later at the 2016 Auto Expo. It is being presented in both petrol and diesel fuel trims in five grades: XE, XM, XT, XZ+ and XZ+ Dual Tone. The sub-compact SUV debuts several new comfort features in the Indian market, while paramount importance has been given to the safety of the occupants as well. Tata Nexon gets 1.2L Revotron petrol and 1.5L Revotorq diesel engines with 108bhp power, making it the most powerful in the segment. For the time being, it is offered with a manual transmission only, while the AMT gearbox is scheduled for a later stage.  Tata Nexon On road price starts from 5,85,000/-. Check for price details of Tata Nexon in CarzPrice.

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Tata Nexon Design

The Nexon is an attention magnet. Its overall design and styling are so radically different from what we’ve seen from Tata Motors, even over the past two years, that the badges are the only big giveaways of its company of manufacture. Tata’s compact SUV looks almost concept-car-like and actually makes the Maruti Brezza from 2016 look decidedly boxy and old-fashioned.

The compact, rounded-off nose, the high-mounted headlights with ‘blisters’, the big wheel arches and the spot-on stance, give the Nexon a bold, confident look. The silhouette of the roofline, especially at the rear, is fairly conventional but the impression it delivers is that it is extremely low. The trick Tata’s design team have employed is to use a very aggressively dropping window line and a sharply rising belt line. The roof is in a contrast colour, and adding to the modern feel are the unique ceramic-like white highlights that underline the fog lights, run around the waist of the Nexon and then end in an ‘X’ at the rear. In fact, the pinched rear of the SUV, with its myriad surfaces, colours and complex forms, is actually the Nexon’s best angle. Getting all the panels and various elements to align perfectly has, however, been quite of a challenge, and this is visible in the C-pillar area where the interplay of multiple surfaces and materials don’t align quite perfectly.

Tata Nexon Cabin

We are used to seeing interiors that are a big step up from Tata, especially on cars like the Tiago and the Hexa, and here on the Nexon, the carmaker has taken yet another little step up. The steering wheel and the instrument panel may have been carried over from the Tiago and Tigor, but the new central console with its gloss black and metallic finish and the layered dash create quite an impact. The dash is well finished, there are plenty of tastefully highlighted chrome bits, and the vents, glovebox release button and starter button are well integrated too. Material quality on the whole is good and the dash design is attractive, but the panel gaps are nowhere near as tight-fitting or consistent as those on some top German and Japanese cars. And there are some other odd bits, like the blank area between the air-con knobs, where you’d expect to see a temperature or blower speed display. The air-con settings, among other items, are displayed on the ‘floating’ screen at the top of the centre console. Tata says the screen’s high position minimises ‘eyes off the road time’ and it does display the essentials in clear sight.

The 6.5-inch screen is a touch-unit and is superior to the one on the Tigor and Hexa in size and response, but it’s not the largest or most responsive by class standards. However, if you can get used to that little bit of lag in touch inputs, you will like the screen and user interface. The infotainment system does without onboard sat-nav but there’s Android Auto for navigation requirements. Apple CarPlay will be added soon, though Apple maps does not work in India. We missed having an integrated navigation system with on-board maps as in areas where there is no 3G or any network, Google maps tends to fumble. We should have downloaded the maps of our test drive route, which is one solution. We must mention 8 speaker Harman system which is simply outstanding and gives you a level of sound quality never seen (or heard) before in this class of car.

There are plenty of well-executed, clever touches in the Nexon’s cabin. The massive cooled glovebox has recesses for holding cans, the front door pads have a smart holder for small folding umbrellas with channels to drain out water, and even the elbow box comes with a magnetic lid. There is plenty to speak of about the centre space between the seats as well. The offset-to-the-left (strangely) hand brake lever frees some amount of usable space, and Tata has used this space to create a storage area that runs all the way back to the elbow box. The sliding shutter that conceals this space is a real premium touch; the likes of which you’d expect to see in a Jaguar! Wish the flip-up cup holders inside were easier to operate though. Of the other things, some of the buttons on the dashboard are a bit small, while the rotary drive mode selector, borrowed from the Hexa, is too large for its limited purpose. The reverse camera could do with a few more pixels too, though the dynamic guidelines are handy.

Tata Nexon Engine

We got to drive both the petrol and diesel version of the Tata Nexon with the six-speed AMT gearbox, and we’ll start off with the diesel version first. Since we’ve already driven the diesel manual version earlier, the idea was to gauge how well the AMT gearbox fares. The 1.5-litre diesel motor’s 108bhp and 260Nm of torque just allows it to quickly get off the mark and gather speed with absolutely no fuss. There is some shift lag, like with all AMTs, especially when you’re gaining pace in a hurry. But essentially, the key is to hold revs when the shift is actuating and get on the throttle in a steady manner.Just like its manual sibling, drivability is a strong point and there’s a meaty surge of power all the way to the 4500rpm redline,making overtaking a breeze. Most importantly, you can control the power output through the Eco, City and Sport drive modes, depending on your choice. It goes without saying that the Eco mode shunts the power output in the interest of extracting more fuel efficiency. On a personal note

But by all meansAll the same, it was the Nexon with the 1.2-litre petrol AMT which raised our eyebrows. We clearly remembered the manual version to have lots of turbo-lag below 2000rpm. This lag, along with its tall gears, meant that you had to work the manual gearbox constantly to keep it in the powerband for any sort of go at low speeds – a pain to drive in traffic. However, that’s changed for the better in the Nexon petrol AMT. Although it doesn’t get off the mark as strongly as the diesel version, the six-speed AMT has been programmed to hold gears and offer better response at lower speeds. This thankfully translates into adequate grunt in bumper-to-bumper traffic situations.Of course, this motor originally didn’t have any concerns after the turbo spooled up, so performance post 2200rpm is more than sufficient. So whether it is keeping up with other cars at highway speeds, or that much needed overtake, this petrol AMT suffices. And to add to its list of repertoires, the three drive modes and the tip-tronic manual shifting feature is available here too. Just so that you can customise that driving experience.

Tata Nexon Rideing

The performance of Tata Nexon petrol is a bit sluggish for the highways, but it performs decently on the narrow and thick city roads. The power delivery is linear and the gearshits are smooth. As for the diesel, it is way better than its petrol counterpart as it performs pretty good with super power and torque delivery. The refined NVH levels further accentuate the driving pleasure.In the ride and handling front, not much has changed despite being slightly heavier by about 20-40kg. On the whole, the petrol and diesel Nexon with AMT gearboxes behave similarly to manual transmission versions. Ride quality continues to be a strong point since it drives over the majority of our roads with a relatively flat ride overall. But that said, the petrol versions still benefit from better handling when compared to the diesels, owing to the lighter weight it has to haul around. View offers on Tata Cars from Tata dealers in Hyderabad at Autozhop

Tata Nexon Safety

Tata Nexon comes packed with a plethora of safety features such as dual front airbags, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Immobilizer and Seatbelt with pretensioners and load limiters as standard. The high-end variants also boast of Park Assist with Camera, Front fog lamps with cornering assistance, rear fog lamps and speed dependent auto door locks features.

Tata Nexon Price

Tata Nexon Ex-Showroom Price in India ranges from 5,85,000/- (Nexon Revotron XE) to 9,44,900/- (Nexon Revotorq XZ Plus Dual Tone). Get best offers for Tata Nexon from Tata Dealers in India

Tata Nexon Verdict

If you are one of the many sold on the looks of the Nexon, you should be happy to know there is also genuine substance behind its style. Tata’s compact SUV is well equipped and made from expensive materials that make it look and feel more upmarket than its rivals, even if fit could be better at places. The needs of comfort and practicality are also abundantly addressed in the Nexon, ride comfort is really good and, as an added bonus, handling is excellent. Yes, the engines are not as exciting as their power numbers suggest but are adequate nonetheless.

Fuel economy remains a question mark for the moment, but, as things stand, the Nexon is a fine package. Tata has also priced the Nexon aggressively, with prices starting at Rs 5.85 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) for the base petrol version and topping off at Rs 9.45 lakh for the top-spec diesel. All pointers suggest the Nexon could be Tata’s Swift moment – the car that changes its image for good.

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