It’s raining cars from Tata! After the successful launch of Tata Tiago, Tigor and Hexa, the Indian car manufacturer is all set for the launch of Tata Nexon. Me along with a group of selected bloggers were invited to the beautiful city of Kochi in God’s Own Country, Kerala. We had a great time there and the most exciting part was driving Nexon through the hills of Idukki. Oh, Boy! Undoubtedly, Tata Nexon is a fantastic, feature packed, powerful compact SUV which is going to create a noise in the compact SUV segment. Of course, I have some minor issues with the car that I will be discussing in the below paragraphs.
There used to be a time in the history of automobile industry, when you hear the name Tata all that comes to our mind was the Indica ‘taxi’ cabs. We can’t blame Tata for this, in fact, if it was not for Indica we might have had to travel a little more in those old Ambassador cabs. In one way, Tata revolutionized the Automobile industry by launching affordable models like Indica and the cheapest models like Tata Nano. We have even witnessed the acquisition of Jaguar and Land Rover, which has put Tata in the limelight of global car manufacturers and in the mind of international car lovers. Long gone are the days of Indica inspired designs, Tata has started a completely new segment by launching Tiago, Tigor, Hexa and the latest to the this, Tata Nexon. With the launch of Nexon, the company is clearly aiming for the current compact SUV market players like Maruti Brezza and Ford Ecosport.
Tata Nexon - Feature Packaged Compact SUV
Isn’t it always the case that, whenever a premium vehicle is launched by Tata the one thing which stands out is the features of the car! I still remember reading about Tata Aria, a long forgotten SUV which was launched in 2010 and was recently replaced by Tata Hexa. Aria was not great with the design, more like a bulky SUV create in a haste for me, but, the features that car came loaded with created a big talk in the vehicle industry. In case if you are wondering, where all this talk goes? Well, Tata Nexon also follows the same footprints as that of other premium models by Tata. Loaded with a ton of features, this compact SUV is going to directly compete with the big names in the market.
To start off with; the car packs an 8-speaker infotainment system by Harman with a 6.5inch HD touchscreen display, Dual airbags, EBD and ABS to tighten the security, new petrol and diesel engines, a new form of keyless entry, 6 speed manual transmission, a self-adjusting clutch mechanism and to top it all, a ground breaking design for the millennials.
Tata Nexon – Exterior
The design, I loved the overall design especially the front and the sloping roofline. The back side of the car, for me, is more of a ‘you like it’ or ‘hate it’ design. Remember the same sort of criticism that Maruti Ignis has to go through. I guess, this one is not that big of a talk.
In the front, projected lamps with day time running lamps (DRLs). The DRL part though, remind me of the Maruti Baleno. The long chrome strip, which you can see most part of the car, in the front is giving the car a premium look. The big front grill, to which the Tata logo is embossed, is a combination of rounded edge trapezoidal shapes and honeycomb design.
From the sides, the highlight is of course the slopping roof along with white stripes which runs all the way to the back of the car. The 16” inch tires comes with a black and gray 5-spoke alloy rim. There is also roof railings which accentuates the beauty by giving a sporty finish to the car.
In the back, for some, it may feel like a design overkill but, if you take a closer look, you can see the pattern. The stripes that is a continuation from the sides, converges to form an elongated ‘X’ symbol, into which, right at the middle, a Tata branding. The tail lamps are pretty small for a car of this size but, since the slopping roof made the back short in height compensates the tail lamp. The Nexon model was introduced as a concept car back in 2014 and surprisingly, the production model is almost 80% similar in design. However, the big black portion on the back, below the branding, reminds me of Renault Kwid and Mahindra KUV 100.
Though the slopping roof looks great from the sides and from the front, it squeezed the back of the car which makes it look bit small for the SUV segment. The ‘compact SUV’ is the perfect segment for the car.
Tata Nexon – Interior
Like I said, we went for a drive in the hills of Idukki with the Nexon. It was almost 200KM drive and this gave us a lavish amount of time to get acquainted with the interior of the car. First thing, it is feature packed car with comfortable seats, so many button controls, good quality plastic everywhere, dashboard with multi-tone colors. There are so many storage options and finding them is like playing a peekaboo. Yes! There were over 30 storage options in the car.
In the front, starting with the glove box, the large utility glove box comes with a removable tray which can be used to keep your laptop or tablet. There is also storage cut outs for holding cups, small booklets and a pen. There is hand rest provided for the driver as well. The dashboard is a completely new design, feels premium. I loved the elements with glossy finish. The car has an automatic climate control system. The hand break position is, kind of new never seen before, right near to the passenger side. The 6.5-inch touch screen can be controlled by buttons as well. The system supports android auto and an update to include Apple Carplay is on the way. The steering wheel also has buttons to control certain functions like music volume, changing track etc.
The rear seats, nicely contoured with long squabs offering good under thigh support. There are only two removable head supports, means the seats are designed ideally for 2 persons. You can easily accommodate a child in the middle but, about the adult, it will may get congested depending on the size of the person. If there is no one to sit in the middle, you can pull out the hand rest which comes along with support for 2 cups. There is a decent amount of leg room. Now, the one question I had in mind was the head room, considering the slopping roof, but Tata Nexon surprised me by presenting ample head room even for a tall person. The seats come with isofix mounts which makes it easy for you to attach baby seats.
There is also AC vents for the rear passengers. When Tata could have easily fit in the 12V socket right near to the AC vents they have choose to put it behind the left rear passenger seat, That’s odd! I honestly don’t want wires over my body when I charge and use the phone.
Tata Nexon – The Driver’s Seat
Tata has gone one step further in the innovation level by adding a completely new keyless entry for this car. There are two parts for the key, one wrist band which acts like a keyless entry sensor and unlocks the car. The other one is the normal key with unlock button embed to it. Inspired from the company’s luxury brand Jaguar, the wrist band can act like a key and thereby no need to carry the whole system with you. Apparently, for security reasons, the real keys are deactivated when the wrist activity band is activated and wise versa.
Like I said, we went for a long drive with the car and it was a fun trip. Unlike the hexa, the gear knob is perfectly placed. The buttons are at good reach in perspective to the driver’s seat. Unfortunately I didn’t drive the vehicle myself but, I could share my experience as a passenger on a such a long journey.
Tata Nexon – Engine and Performace
The petrol variant of Nexon is powered by a 1.2L Revotron turbocharged 3-cylinder engine. It shells out a maximum power of 108 BHP @ 5000RPM and has a torque of 170 NM @ 4000RPM. Being a 3-cylinder engine I could hear engine noises at very low RPMs (below 1500) and once you are cruising through the highway the cabin becomes silent. Since the engine produces great amount of torque even at low RPMs, you don’t feel the car lacking power throughout the trip. In our trip, the display was showing around 11KMPL in the mileage department.
The electronic power steering comes in real handy during driving or when you are talking a hard corner. Its precise, accurate and very sensitive to even small changes. Since it was a drive through the hill we had come across many hair pins bends and to be honest, we could feel the substantial amount of body roll. The car weights 1237 Kg, which is more than its competitors.
The diesel variant of Nexon is powered by a 1.5L turbocharged diesel engine produces 108BHP @ 3750RPM and 260 NM @ 1500 – 2750RPM. That is a 90NM extra torque at an even lower RPM compared to the petrol model. The diesel variant produces bit of an engine noise compared to the petrol variant. This engine offers 15KMPL in the mileage department and has a fuel tank capacity of 44 Litres.
There are 3 driving modes available in Nexon. You can switch to each of this by turning the knob right next to the gear. You have City, Eco and Sport mode to switch between. Of course, in the city and eco mode the car’s performance is considerably low and we could easily make out the difference when switched to the sport mode. One thing which intrigued and annoyed me was the voice system which kicks and informs the driver about the current driving mode. I bet it will fun for the first few months and over the period it may surely turn out to be quite annoying.
Another important thing about the car is the self-adjusting mechanism. Now, this is a feature that many of us might underestimate but, have you noticed how the pressure in your clutch changes over time and it is no longer the way how it used to be. Well, this is mainly because of the wear and tear happens to the clutch mechanism. What if you get the same feeling on the clutch as if it is the first day of driving every day? Well, Tata has exactly created the same mechanism for the Tata Nexon drivers.
Tata Nexon – Final Verdict
Tata has finally realized what the millennials want rather than the ‘taxi cab’ looking Indica designs. Tata Nexon is a clear example of some sort of revamp happened in the design department. With a turbo-powered powerful engine, powerful in this segment, which produces high torque at low RPM, tons of features, lot of storage options, good mileage figures, and all new premium looking interiors Tata Nexon is a great car to consider.
Like I said, it is up to an individual that how he/she conceive the design. For me, I liked the front side of the car, which looks muscular and big, rather than the back side which looks little squeezed because of the slopping roof. From side, the car looks sporty, thanks to the strips and roof railings, but, bit small lengthwise. The car also has the largest boot space in the segment, 350 litres with seats and 690 litres with seats folded.
Tata is well known for the affordable cars it makes for the Indian market and there is no exception for this case as well. For a price range of 6 Lakhs to 10 Lakhs, Tata Nexon is a great deal to go for and it is going to put the competitors like Ecosport and Brezza in a tight spot. Checkout the Tata nexon page for more details.