Tata Nexon Hatchback First Look Review

Icadl2013

Tata Nexon Overview

he Tata Nexon may be Tata’s first attempt to crack the sub-4 metre segment but it’s one that’s making headlines for all the right reasons. It’s the first made-in-India car to score the full 5 stars for safety in Global NCAP’s crash tests. The Tata Nexon is also the only sub-4 metre SUV to offer the option of an automatic transmission with both its petrol and diesel engine options.

It rivals the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Ford EcoSport & Mahindra XUV300. The Tata Nexon brings to the table a funky and daring design, a comfortable, feature-rich cabin, and the option of a 1.2-litre turbo-petrol or a 1.5-litre turbo-diesel engine, both available with a 6-speed manual transmission or 6-speed AMT. Does all of this come together to make for a package that’s convincing enough to be chosen over its competition? Time to get the answer!

The Nexon is a great value proposition and feels like a step up for the segment. It’s a very well-rounded car, offering a good balance of safety, features, style, comfort and practicality. The diesel engine, in particular, is a major draw for the Nexon, as it offers excellent driveability and performance.While the diesel engine, with the 6-speed manual transmission or AMT is a great drive, we recommend the petrol AMT over the MT. The 3-cylinder petrol engine does have some issues with turbo-lag and the tuning of the automated manual transmission makes it more hassle-free to work around this. Check for Tata Nexon  price in Ahmedabad at Tryaldrive.

Tata Nexon Style

This SUV made its debut as a concept at the 2014 Auto Expo and carries forward most of the design elements. The honeycomb mesh grille in black gets a tastefully done chrome slat extending into the projector headlamps with DRLs. The blue and red are fetching colours which allow the lines to come shining through. This includes the bonnet, a well-defined belt-line and massive wheel arches over the five-spoke alloy wheels.

The white strip on the shoulder line is something unique. The focus, however, remains on the well-executed D-pillar in grey and the manner in which the roof drops towards the rear – very similar to a Range-Rover Evoque. The rear too lacks chrome but uses the white strip extending towards the LED tail lamps. The tailgate and rear bumper design too is well-executed completing the new look.

Tata Nexon Space

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.

While the touchscreen infotainment system was only available with Android Auto at launch, the system also comes with Apple CarPlay for models sold from August 2018. Owners who bought their car earlier can have their systems updated to offer Apple CarPlay through their service centre. 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.

Comfort

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. For more information on Tata Nexon visit Kokoliko

To seat three at the rear, it’s the Maruti Vitara Brezza that does a slightly better job, offering 1400mm of shoulder room vs the Nexon’s 1385mm. At 1220mm, the Nexon’s seat base is also narrower than the Vitara Brezza’s (1300mm). However, when you only have two occupants in the rear row, the Tata Nexon proves to be more comfortable. Not only does it offer 20mm of added headroom over the Vitara Brezza, it also has more knee room – 715mm-905mm vs the Maruti’s 625mm-860mm.

Get into the front seat of the Nexon, and you’re in the lap of comfort here as well. With 965mm-1020mm of headroom in the driver’s seat, it’s plenty accommodating even for taller drivers. Yes, the driver’s seat is height-adjustable, the steering is adjustable for rake (not reach), and the seats provide excellent lower back support. So, it’s easy to get into a good driving position. The 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 Gearbox

The Tata Nexon is offered with two new turbocharged engine options, a 1.2-litre petrol and 1.5-litre diesel, both producing 109bhp of power and 170Nm, 260Nm of torque respectively. They are both mated to a new TA6300 six-speed manual transmission and offer three driving modes – Eco, City and Sport. We began with the petrol model in red, whose three-cylinder engine started with a thrum and settled into a quiet note. This is a refined mill but lacks the punch in the Eco mode even when you keep flat on the floor. At lower engine speeds there’s a lag, meaning constant lowering of gears and keeping the revs high. The tall gearing further doesn’t help. However, the 170Nm of torque is best used above 2,000rpm when the turbo spools in and keeps the 1,237 kg car going. Shift to the city mode and the stark difference in the engine response is evident. There’s not much difference when one shifts from city to sport, but the motor feels more energetic in these two modes. The Sport mode is what we used mostly and it gave the best driving experience. The engine has a better top-end here even if it falls flat post the 5,000rpm mark.

On the other hand, the blue Nexon here is a four-cylinder diesel and feels much better to drive. At idling, the new motor has a fair amount of pitter-patter, but this clatter is not at all disturbing. In fact, it feels fairly refined and is not noisy while driving too. Kudos to Tata for doing a good job in noise insulation. Unlike the eco mode in the petrol, the diesel variant offers better driveability. There still is a lag till 1,500rpm, but the throttle response is not jerky and power delivery is linear too. In the eco mode, it feels flat, but it is a step up from the city mode and gets more energetic in the sport mode. Nonetheless, it remains linear throughout. At 1,305kg, the diesel Nexon is heavy but the power flows smoothly and the 260Nm of torque makes it a joy to drive in the city or cruise on the highways. There’s a considerable amount of punch in the mid-range and the car makes brisk progress all the way to 4,000-4,500rpm. Gear shifts do feel a little clunky, but they sit in well. The transmission here feels adept with the closely stacked ratios. Thanks to the abundance of torque, you can continue crawling in a higher gear at low rpms. And still at higher revs, the engine didn’t feel much strained.

Straight-line stability of the Nexon is good and the steering allows turning in nicely in the direction pointed. If you push the vehicle too hard, the steering feels soggy with less feedback. Nonetheless, it’s not bad even when driven at a brisk pace. The ABS equipped front disc and rear drum brakes have enough braking power, but could have been done better with more feel and feedback. The diesel feels a little stiffer than the petrol due to its weight, but both are much planted. We loved the ride quality as it takes the plain roads and even bumpy tarmacs quite nicely. There’s a mild rocking movement at slow speeds on uneven or broken roads, but the side contours on the seats provide nice support restricting the side-to-side movement. The ride is supple, absorbent and silent. Sure the car does thud in sharp-edged and deep potholes, but the ground clearance of 209mm and 16-inch alloys with a high profile help the Nexon take all this in its stride easily.

Tata Nexon Riding

Considering that the XUV300 accelerated and braked better than the Nexon, it would seem that the Mahindra would ace the lap-times as well. Let´s go with the Mahindra first, this time around. It has got 110bhp power, 200Nm of torque and a 6-speed gearbox transferring the power to the front wheels. The XUV300 suspension is set up quite well too and it has a good balance of ride and handling. While it does not have driving modes, it does get a steering mode which, when dialled to sport, weighs it up.

Going around the track, the baby XUV has plenty of grunt for its size to power out of the corners. The steering, even in sport mode, does not offer too much feel but the turn-ins are quick. What really messes up the XUV’s party is the intrusive ESP which keeps acting like a possessed nanny. It kept cutting the power at crucial times when the most drive was needed to shoot out of a corner or when corrections were needed during mid-corners. That hampered the XUV´s true potential by a fair bit and it finally completed the lap in 2m22.08s.

The Nexon was up next. As far as the capabilities are concerned we had already tried the diesel Nexon at the track last year and it proved to be quite an entertaining drive. This time with a lighter petrol engine upfront, it could only get better.And it did. The Nexon was an absolute blast to belt around the track. Good feedback from the steering along with a very neutral chassis meant that the Nexon could easily be coaxed to drive the way we wanted. The Nexon’s lift-off and oversteer properties also helped greatly in corner entries. Lap time? Surprise surprise, the Nexon went around the track in 2m19.59s, almost 3 seconds quicker than the more powerful but restrained XUV300.

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 Cost in Bangalore

Renault Kwid On Road Price is 3,38,700/- and Ex-showroom Price is 2,79,499/- in Bangalore. Renault Kwid comes in 5 colours, namely Fiery Red,Moonlight Silver,Planet Grey,Electric blue,Ice Cool White. Renault Kwid comes with FWD with 799 CC Displacement and 3 Cylinders with Maximum Power 53 bhp@5678 rpm and Peak Torque 72 Nm@4400 rpm DRIVE TRAIN FWD and reaches 100 KMPH at 16.8 seconds . Renault Kwid comes with Manual Transmission with FWD .

Tata Nexon Final Thought

What was clear in this comparison was that having more power does not necessarily guarantee a quicker lap-time. Yes, more power did give the XUV an advantage in a straight line, but when it came to putting down the power during corners, it struggled, with the ESP cutting in and with loads of understeer.

The Nexon, on the other hand, followed the driver´s commands down to the T and that resulted in a lot of fun and quicker lap times, as well. It did suffer when it came to the braking with the XUV´s all-round discs proving far more effective and fade-free. While this comparison on the road would turn out vastly different, on the track it was the Tata Nexon that won our hearts with its playful nature and of course, the better lap-time.