Tata Nexon Overview
The sub 4-metre subcompact SUV segment of which the new Tata Nexon is one of the most popular and most aspirational automotive segments in the country. Maruti Suzuki consistently sells over 10,000 units of the Vitara Brezza every month and the Ecosport single handedly helped recover Ford India’s lull a few years ago. Mahindra has four SUVs in this segment too – the TUV 300, the Bolero Power+, the KUV 100 and the NuvoSport and even Hyundai and Datsun will soon launch brand new SUVs in this segment. So it was only obvious that sooner or later, any automaker who wants to be a real volume player in the Indian market needs to have a model present in this segment. Tata Motors first showcased a concept compact SUV called the Nexon at the 2014 Indian Auto Expo and an almost production ready version of the Tata Nexon at the 2016 Indian Auto Expo. While most of us expected the production SUV to be watered down version of the concept, the Indian automaker has surprised us by launching the Tata Nexon subcompact SUV that is very close to the concept’s original look and design. And the last time that happened was when Jaguar launched the F-Pace! So read on to know more about the brand new 2017 Tata Nexon! For information on contact details of Tata car dealers in New Delhi
Tata Nexon Design & Look
To begin with let us first inform you that the Nexon is based on the XO platform which is the same platform that also underpins almost all of their new generation compact cars including the Bolt, Zest and even the Tiago and Tigor.Take a look at the production variant of the Nexon, and you will instantly mistake it with the concept car which was showcased almost three years back at the 2014 Auto Expo with some practical additions. This compact SUV stands apart from the crowd because of certain factors which include its modern looking face, a sloping roofline like silhouette, big extended X like design towards the rear which has been finished in Ivory white ceramic type element that we can also find towards the side profile and also under the front fog lamps. The big 16-inch chunky alloy wheels, high ground clearance of 200 mm, projector headlamps and LED taillamps are some other highlights which make the SUV looks quite modern and well equipped and practical at the same time.
The premium looking front grille has been finished in Piano black and has the Tata logo at the centre while a chrome slat sits on the base of the grille and extends all the way towards the side headlamps edges (Tata Motors calls it a humanity line). The Nexon also gets LED DRL’s positioned below the projector headlamps units. Towards the lower front face, the round fog lamps placed slightly higher to perhaps highlighting the high ground clearance.Towards the side profile is where you will witness all the crease lines and bulges. The muscular wheel arches and the big 16 inch wheels along with black plastic claddings further add to its muscular stance. Just below the window line is where you will also find the Ivory white strip which you will also notice towards the front and rear profile of the SUV. One of the other highlights of the side profile of the SUV is its coupe like sloping roofline which is further accentuated by the Contrasting roof colour.Towards the rear profile the Nexon gets an X shaped element which is positioned just below the rear windscreen. The floating roof spoiler towards the rear also features a LED stop lamps
Tata Nexon Cabin & Comfort
The Nexon’s interior has three prominent layers. The upper portion is finished in dark grey plastic, and its quality is on par with its peers. The middle layer gets an aluminium finish, and it looks particularly upmarket. The thickness and solidity of this layer throughout the cabin makes you feel like you’re sitting inside a more premium car. The third and the lowermost layer is a plastic of greyish shade of beige. This plastic is hard to touch, and the fit and finish levels aren’t too high either. For instance, the glovebox requires more than one attempt to shut, and the fit on the lower portion of the doors is questionable, especially around the door pockets. These two are probably the only touch points where fit and finish feels compromised. Otherwise, Tata has managed to do a good job of ensuring satisfactory quality levels at contact points. Sitting atop the Nexon’s dashboard is a 6.5-inch Harman infotainment system that’s fixed to the dashboard. There’s simply no missing it. More importantly, it feels high quality and well thought out. The display is crisp and readable even under harsh sunlight. It’s only the camera display that is a bit grainy. However, that must have more to do with the output of the camera than the screen itself.
The user interface is friendly and easy to use as it gets hot spots at corners for quick access to functions like air con settings, audio source and the mega menu. The touchscreen isn’t the most intuitive, and there’s a slight delay every time you operate it. However, it doesn’t skip inputs much. It’s quicker to respond when you use the physical buttons and knobs, which Tata has thoughtfully placed well within reach to operate on the go.Tata intends to offer Apple CarPlay at launch, and the test cars we drove only featured Android Auto. The driver side instrument binnacle is simple in terms of design and gets a multi-info display unit between the speedometer and tachometer. You get two trip meters, average fuel efficiency display, distance to empty and the usual readouts there.The centre console extends from under the central AC vents and goes all the way to the rear. Apart from the automatic climate control knobs, it houses a USB and an AUX port and the Drive Select knob as well. It also gets a pair of cup holders that can be shut with a Tambour door, which is a roller shutter that you see on some of the higher-end cars. Visually, it leaves you impressed. However, the cubby holes are an ergonomic failure: it’s too deep and crammed to be used for keeping and taking out cups. Move further behind, and there’s the armrest that opens up a small glove box with enough space to keep your smartphone and your wallet. This should have ideally been the place for having USB and AUX sockets. The centre arm stretches all the way to the rear cabin and houses air con blowers for the rear passengers.
The Nexon’s cabin is so comfortable that it deserves a special mention. To make things clear up front, the Nexon is a car best suited for four. And when we say that, it doesn’t mean that the cabin is not spacious, just that the rear seats are designed such. So, while you get a bench at the rear, the seats are properly contoured buckets for two passengers. There’s a central armrest which folds up in case you wish to seat a third passenger. But you wouldn’t want to do that unless you’re doing short distances.Other than that, the Nexon’s cabin appears to be one of the most comfortable cabins in the sub-4m vehicle category. The steering is adjustable for rake, the driver’s seat is height adjustable and provides excellent lower back support. So, it’s easy to get into a good driving position. The bucket seats are big enough to accommodate people of varied shapes and sizes, and the extra under-thigh support just makes things more comfortable. The same goes for the rear seats too. Think of the two seats at the back as captain ones (yes, they’re so well defined in terms of their design), and you sit snug into them. The seat back angle is such that it is set into comfort mode by default. The regions around lumbar and under-thigh have been given more cushion in comparison to the other places, and the seats just feel made-to-order.
Tata Nexon Engine & Transmission
Tata is offering all-new petrol and diesel engines in the Nexon. Both can be upgraded to BS-VI norms as and when the mandate comes in. While the basic architecture of the 1.2-litre indirect injection turbo-petrol engine is the same as the Tiago’s 3-cylinder motor, Tata says that they have used all the know-how from the Zest’s turbopetrol unit and incorporated it here. So while the block remains the same, the engine is lighter than the Zest’s turbocharged unit and also makes 110PS of power and 170Nm of torque. These figures in the compact SUV segment are lower than that of only the EcoSport’s 125PS turbo-petrol engine.The diesel, in the meanwhile, is a 1.5-litre unit that makes the same amount of power as the petrol but a significantly higher 260Nm of torque. Both the engines are mated to 6-speed manual transmissions, with AMTs to be slotted in at a later date. Tata also offers the aforementioned Drive modes in both the variants. The Drive modes can be accessed via the rotary knob and can be changed on the move. The good part about this dial is that whatever mode you’ve selected, there will be an audio note telling you the selection and the colour of the infotainment system too changes a la Mini Cooper style. The dial also remembers the last selection made and sticks to it even after the car has been switched off.
We had a go at the turbopetrol engine first. At start-up, the engine has decent refinement; however, on the move, it is audible. There is some amount of turbolag and the motor isn’t that happy sitting at high revs. What it is happy doing is cruising. At around 1,600rpm, the engine is doing 100 clicks in top gear. Good for those efficiency numbers then. It is also tractable and even at a higher gear and low revs, the engine is happy. For example 40kmph in fourth gear is possible and the engine doesn’t really protest. But if you want quick acceleration, you need to drop a couple of gears before making any progress. The hairpins up Idukki dam were taken in second gear; however, the moment brisk acceleration was called for uphill, I had to downshift. Rowing through the gears though is pretty much fun as the gearbox is slick. Vibrations are present though and manifest through the pedals and gear lever. However, they aren’t at an alarming level.The diesel, in the meanwhile, sounds as refined as the Brezza’s unit. It, however, is the punchier of the two motors. The clutch is light and has a short travel while the gearshift too is smooth. Surprisingly, the diesel is a bit more eager to rev than the petrol. Tractability remains common for both with the exception that hurried progress doesn’t really require dropping a gear in the diesel. This will be the engine to watch out amongst the two. It has less turbolag and gets the job done in a better fashion.The Drive modes do alter the engine mapping and throttle setting, but over the years Tata Motors has refined it. The Sport mode no longer feels snappy. Instead it is quite linear. Around 70 per cent of our first drive review was done in this mode. City is the apt one for err in the city while Eco dulls out the throttle response and requires a bit more of patience when hurried progress is to be made.
Tata Nexon Ride & Handling
The Nexon gets McPherson struts up front and a twist beam setup at the rear. The ride is a nice compromise between hard and soft and because there’s not much body roll, it feels plush on the inside. It deals with potholes in the manner of bigger SUVs. So all you feel inside is a toned down thud and a little vertical movement that settles down pretty quick. The diesel Nexon is 68kg heavier than the petrol one, and the added weight results in keeping the cabin slightly more stable when going over a rough patch or at high speeds.The diesel Nexon pays the price of the added weight when it comes to handling, but not by a big margin. The difference lies in the fact that the diesel Nexon tends to understeer slightly when you get into a turn while the petrol Nexon feels sharper in comparison. Overall, the Nexon feels quite confident on the road, and stability at highway speeds is not a concern either.With discs at the front and drums at the rear, it feels confident when braking hard. But the brakes don’t offer instant bite, thus requiring you to vary the braking pressure according to the situation.
Tata Nexon Safety & Security
The Nexon will come with a lot of standard safety equipment like dual airbags and ABS + EBD across the variants. It also gets ISOFIX hooks for child seats and height adjustable front seat belts.
Tata Nexon Price
Tata Nexon Ex-Showroom Price in Chennai ranges from 5,94,633/- (Nexon Revotron XE) to 9,54,695/- (Nexon Revotorq XZ Plus Dual Tone). Get best offers for Tata Nexon from Tata Dealers in Chennai. Check for Nexon price in Chennai
Tata Nexon Verdict
So it seems, Tata’s holistic approach towards the Nexon has paid off. The flamboyant styling, superbly finished cabin, modern tech along with impressive performance are sure to win many hearts. Moreover, Tata is already revamping the dealership and aftersales experience to welcome the Nexon.Yet, we all know that it’s not going to be cakewalk for the Nexon as it will be running into formidable competition from the heavyweights like the Vitara Brezza and the Ecosport. However, despite a few minor niggles, the Tata Nexon is well-placed to put the competition to shame and rake in good numbers.