Tata Nexon : Official Review
The Tata Nexon is on sale in India at a price of between Rs. 5.85 - 9.45 lakhs (ex-Delhi).
What you’ll like:
• Very well-priced for what it offers. Undercuts all rivals
• Funky styling ensures that the Nexon stands out from the crowd
• 5-star NCAP safety rating & a solid build, unlike many of its flimsy competitors
• Nice, spacious cabin with comfortable seats. You get a practical 350-liter boot too
• 1.5L diesel & 1.2L petrol offer good performance. Diesel is especially impressive
• Balanced road manners for such a tall car. Fine EPS & 209 mm of ground clearance!
• Loaded with features: Driving modes, LED DRLs, reversing camera, 8-speaker ICE etc.
• Dual airbags, ABS & Isofix child seat mounts are standard on all variants
What you won’t:
• Overdone design will be a turnoff for many of you. Rear end is way too busy
• Jiggly low speed ride; bumps are felt in the city (unlike other Tata cars)
• 3-cylinder petrol can't match 4-cylinder competition in NVH. Has lag too
• The observant eye will notice some rough edges in fit, finish & quality
• Concerns over long-term reliability, more so of the freshly developed engines
• Missing essentials (telescopic steering adjustment, auto-dimming IRVM, proper dead pedal)
• Tata's inconsistent after-sales experience is far from that of Maruti & Hyundai
• Shorter service / checkup interval of 6 months & 7,500 km (rivals have 12-month gaps)
Check out the high stance & sheer ground clearance of the car:
Tata Motors has traditionally focused on full-size UVs like the Safari & Hexa, or hatchbacks and compact sedans like the Zest, Bolt, Tiago and Tigor. They haven't tried their hand at making a sub-4 meter SUV / Crossover. The introduction of the Nexon changes that. Ford got a head start with the successful EcoSport; Maruti followed suit with the Brezza, which became an instant hit and is currently the highest selling SUV in India doing 10,000+ units consistently every month. Honda too has tasted reasonable success with the recently launched WR-V.
The Nexon is the first compact SUV from the company's stable and an important car in its model line-up. Tata had shown us the Nexon Concept at the 2014 Auto Expo. The production version was unveiled 2 years later at the 2016 Auto Expo, with the first batch of cars rolling off the production line at the Tata-Fiat plant in Ranjangaon in July 2017. Tata will be hoping for a repeat of the Tiago's formula here. Design, quality, VFM pricing & features contributed to the Tiago's success and we see some of those same attributes in the Nexon too. Products like the Nexon are what Tata Motors is hoping will give them a boost to achieve their target of being the No. 3 car maker by 2019.
The Nexon isn't based on a new platform like the Tiago and Tigor, but uses the same old X1 platform that underpins the Zest & Bolt (first seen in the Indica Vista). Tata Motors is reportedly developing a modular platform, which will probably be the base for future cars, but the Nexon couldn't wait for that platform to be ready. Even though the Nexon's platform is from the Zest and Bolt, we couldn't find any parts being carried over. It has been heavily worked upon and unlike some manufacturers, isn't just a cross version of a hatchback. The Nexon has been designed to look like a crossover from the beginning, with a raised stance and the usual 'urban SUV' elements, such as roof rails and black plastic cladding (along the sides and wheel arches). Other than these elements, the car gets muscular bumpers with black inserts, beefy wheel arches and large wheels with wide tyres.
Tata has tried to differentiate the Nexon from the crowd of compact SUVs with a funky design. Rather than going for the conventional boxy squared-off SUV design (read Vitara Brezza), Tata has mixed in elements like a sloping coupe-like roof line, heavily raked front windshield, angled rear and a short front bonnet. To top it off, there are some quirky touches like a thick white ceramic-finished beltline. While all these design traits definitely work to make the Nexon stand out in traffic, it will lead to polarized opinions. You'll either love it or hate it - a risky proposition as the rear (especially) & side styling will put off a lot of people, but then, Tata decided to 'differentiate' & get some eye balls rather than blend in with the crowd. Vid6639 thought the design was definitely fresh, but he felt opinion will be divided as to whether or not it is a heavily reworked hatchback that has been jacked up to look like an SUV.
Measuring 3,994 mm in length, the Nexon runs about as long as its main rivals - the Vitara Brezza, WR-V and EcoSport. However, with a width of 1,811 mm, it is wider than all of them. Its height of 1,607 mm puts it behind the EcoSport and Vitara Brezza and its wheelbase of 2,498 mm is the shortest among its competitors. On the other hand, the unladen ground clearance of 209 mm is class-leading. When it comes to weight, the Nexon is a fatty just like all Tata cars. With a kerb weight of 1,305 kg for the diesel, it is the heaviest car in the segment. Tata needs to consult a dietician as weight penalises performance & efficiency, both. To put things in perspective, the substantially larger Skoda Octavia diesel weighs just 35 kg more!
The Nexon is the fourth car from Tata Motors to sport the company's "Impact design language". The front end of the car is probably the most traditional in design vs the rest, featuring a sloping hood, sweptback headlamps and a wide, glossy black honeycomb mesh grille that looks like it's smiling. A chrome strip runs under the grille and the headlamps. The round foglamps have black housings with thick white borders running along their sides and lower edges. The use of white is a unique design element by Tata. On the sides, the Nexon has some interesting design cues. The flared wheel arches with black cladding give it a beefier look. But the standout element is the thick beltline finished in ceramic white and the sloping roof that ends in a thick C-pillar with a floating design. The rear of the Nexon also stands out. The same ceramic white finished plastic wraps itself around the tail-lamps and runs across the width of the rear to form an "X" design, which is identical to the concept car. The small windshield gets a roof mounted spoiler. Below this white border is a thick, glossy black insert on the tail-gate. The massive rear bumper has a large black insert with reflectors on either side. All of these design details are intentional from Tata Motors. Had the Nexon's design been conventional, it might have gotten lost with the others and sunk without a trace in this competitive segment.
Panel gaps are even for the most part, except for the bonnet and tail-gate that weren't perfectly aligned on some of the cars we saw. The white ceramic-finished plastics especially, could have been better finished. The overall paint quality is good and the car feels solid. The build quality feels strong, with the doors and bonnet feeling quite heavy. The sheet metal is thick and doesn't flex much when you try to push any panel with your thumb.
Coming to safety, the Nexon gets two airbags, ABS and ISOFIX child seat anchors as standard across all variants. While the car has not been crash tested by an independent authority, it may be recalled that the improved Zest scored 4 stars in crash tests conducted by the Global NCAP. Since the Nexon is based on the same platform as the Zest, we hope it performs as well as (if not better than) the older Zest. The Nexon does miss out on 6 airbags, which only the Ford EcoSport has in this segment.
The big piano black grille, chrome "humanity line" (Tata calls it that!) running below the headlamps and grille, prominent air dam, LED DRLs and its width give the Nexon good road presence. The front looks like it's smiling:
With four different colours and numerous cuts and creases, the rear is way too busy. Looks more like a concept car than a production one! Might be too funky for mass market tastes. Thankfully, the use of chrome has been limited to the badges only. Rear windshield looks small when you consider the metal below:
Nexon is built on the same old X1 platform as the Indica Vista, Zest and Bolt. Side body cladding, raised suspension with larger wheels and roof rails give the car an SUV'ish appearance. Red and Blue exterior colours get this optional dark silver contrasting roof. Again, a lot of colours & funkiness - you'll either love it or hate it:
Sure stands out in the crowd. Design will polarize opinions:
Flared wheel arches give the Nexon some muscle. Finally a Tata with a proper planted stance thanks to the perfect wheel : body ratio!! The Tiago was a step in the right direction, but the Nexon is where Tata has got the stance spot on:
Headlamp clusters have LED daytime running lights (DRLs) & halogen low-beam projectors. Notice the chrome insert:
Headlamps sweep back a loooooong way. Check out how the chrome insert running along the lower edge of the grille and headlamp cluster merges into the headlamp:
With all the lights switched on. DRLs double up as parking lamps; switching on the headlamps makes them dim a little. Headlights have a follow-me-home function, which can be operated by pressing a button on the key fob:
Bright DRLs grab the attention of other road users. They are on by default. To switch them off, turn the light switch to the parking lamp position & back to the off position twice in quick succession:
Shiny black grille sports a large "T" logo & a hexagonal design pattern. Chrome-accented "humanity line" gets thicker below the grille compared to the headlamps. We don't usually like chrome, yet we'll agree with its tasteful application here. In this image, you can clearly see the subtle bulge on the center of the bonnet:
Two prominent creases on the short bonnet run parallel to the headlamp lines:
Front bumper is very curvaceous. Large air dam with horizontal slats:
Foglamps with chrome surrounds and black housings look neat. They work as cornering lamps by lighting up in the direction of the steering wheel. U-shaped ceramic white inserts line the lower edge of the housings:
Thick black plastic inserts on top of the foglamps stick out:
Tow hook is placed here, and the dimple on the cover shows you where you have to press for it to open:
Ground clearance of 209 mm is the best among rivals. Considering Indian road conditions, it's surprising to see Tata Motors have skipped on underbody protection. A wind deflector has been provided:
Frameless wipers look smart and have a good sweep. Notice the angle of the passenger-side wiper blade, which sticks out far too much and looks out of place:
Windshield washers are neatly concealed under the plastic cowl. They squirt out effective sprays (rather than jets) of water. Notice the smart hexagonal detailing on the wiper console (open full-size image to see it):
The corners of the bonnet had to be cut to allow it to open freely:
Front tyres get aero flaps ahead of them:
Short overhangs and high front bumper means it's easy to park over kerbs without scraping:
Front wheel well gets plastic cladding inside:
But the rear gets very little of it:
Smart-looking ORVMs with integrated turn indicators appear identical to the Tigor's:
The base of the A-pillar sees 4 differently-painted panels meet :D:
Arrow-shaped handle area. Door handles feel solid; request sensors on both sides, but keyhole only on the driver's:
Snazzy 16” black and silver machine cut alloy wheels shod with 215/60 Goodyear Excellence tyres fill up the wheel wells. It's so nice to see a well-tyred car. 4 lugnut wheels versus the Vitara Brezza's 5. Lower variants also get 16" rims, but in the 195/60 size:
Flared wheel arches stick out a long way. Thankfully, the wheel-tyre combination does a fair job in filling them up:
Black plastic cladding runs along the wheel arches:
Strong character line runs from the front fender all the way to the tailgate:
Thick, black plastic cladding on the doors - its edges sit flush with the metal. Running board too gets plastic cladding. Open the full-size image and see the small arrows on the body cladding. They indicate the jacking points of the Nexon:
Blackened window panes & B-pillar. Roof is rounded and tapers towards the rear. No quarter glasses - overall greenhouse isn't generous. Thick white strip runs along the window line:
C-pillar is very thick & busy. Like the front, a large number of plastic panels are used at the base of the pillar:
Rear tyres also get aero flaps ahead of them:
Subtle protrusion on the cladding of the rear wheel arch acts as a splash guard:
Slim black & silver roof rails feel firmly attached and enhance that crossover look. Roof doesn't get a ribbed pattern. This isn't a lightweight car with thin sheet metal anyway!
Sharkfin antenna sits at the very end of the roof section. Tailgate gets a neatly integrated spoiler, which houses an LED HMSL:
Like other sub-4 meter cars, the rear bumper doesn't protrude out. A rear impact will easily dent the hatch:
Funky tail-lamps with a black border. You can tell that the designers had a relatively free hand with the Nexon. Lots of creativity:
Check out how the tail-lamps stick out:
With all the lights in action. Clockwise starting from the top right – turn indicator, brake light & reversing lamp. Triangular space above the reversing lamp is a blank. Pilot lamp is an LED strip that runs along the bottom of the cluster:
Large white panel forms an “X” shape. Tata calls it the “X-Factor” :D. Large “T” badge sits in the center of the X-Factor. Piano black insert adds yet another colour to the tailgate. Rear windshield is wide, but short, thereby restricting visibility:
Rear windshield sports interesting markings. These two big cats depict a lioness and her cub walking up a hill on the savannah. The other car that has these treats is the Compass. Coincidence that the Nexon and Compass are made in the same plant:
Small rear wiper just about does the job. Can't have a larger unit due to the windscreen's limited height:
Rear washer is located on the wiper spindle itself (rather than being concealed under the rear spoiler like in most cars):
Reversing camera is smartly concealed on the piano black panel of the tailgate. Tata Motors tells us this was a big challenge as the designers wanted a flush-fitting camera that didn't have an entire assembly sticking out. Damn, damn cool:
Massive rear bumper extends all the way up to the tail-lights. The center portion is dominated by a large black insert. Four parking sensors have been provided:
With the smartkey in your pocket, simply press this black request sensor to open the tailgate:
Trim level is indicated on the right. There is no engine badge anywhere on the car:
So many surface levels - this is one busy derrière! See here how the black insert on the bumper sticks out:
Rear number plate gets white LED illumination. Single rear foglamp is located right in the center. Inner parking sensors are also seen here:
Hexagonal design pattern of the front grille is carried over on the black insert at the rear. Stylish, slanting reflectors are placed on either side. Outer parking sensors are located at the corners. Blackened tail-pipe & end can peep out from the right side:
Semi-independent twist beam suspension with coil springs at the rear:
McPherson dual path strut suspension with lower wishbone and coil springs in the front:
Funky meets Funky!
Lack of a tailgate-mounted spare makes the Nexon look less SUV'ish when compared to the EcoSport:
When the EcoSport first came out, it looked futuristic and stood out on our roads. 4 years later, we can say that it's aged well. Nexon's side profile looks weird to our eyes:
Interior - Front
The front doors of the Nexon open and close in a triple-stage action. They are heavy compared to the competition and feel solid enough. The doors require some force to shut, and they close with a thud (not an EcoSport-thud though). Getting into the car isn't very easy. The floor of the Nexon is quite a lot off the ground and the roofline is not high, which means one has to climb in and bend down to get in (tall and / or old folk will feel it the most). Once inside though, there is enough space with abundant headroom & legroom.
The Nexon gets black and beige interiors with silver, piano black and chrome inserts at various places on the dashboard, center fascia and doorpads. The pillars and roof liner are whitish grey, and the big sloping windscreen lets a good amount of light enter the cabin. The cabin's width ensures that front seat occupants don't feel too close to each other.
The interior design is new and the dashboard has an infotainment touchscreen display sticking out from the top (à la Mercedes). No swoopy lines or a 'wow' factor - the design is straight-forward & functional. There are no soft touch plastics used anywhere. The top of the dashboard is black, while the lower part is beige and a thick, glossy silver insert runs across the middle:
Some parts have been taken from other Tata vehicles and while there are no loose fittings, the fit & finish are acceptable. The cabin feel is better than the Vitara Brezza's, but isn't quite Hyundai-like. Ergonomics are good and all the switches & controls are easy to reach:
Windscreen is huge and offers a good view of the road ahead. Owners will enjoy the high seating position. Thick A-pillars (like most modern cars), so be careful on the bends:
Remember the hexagonal detailing on the wiper console? It's carried over to the top of the dashboard as well:
Plastic cowl on top of the instrument cluster has a cheap feel:
Steering wheel is a direct lift from the Zest. Small in diameter, nice to hold, welcome contours where you'd grip it. Sadly, no leather wrapping here. Perforated texture and silver detailing look fab. Hornpad is easy to reach:
Audio & phone controls on the steering wheel. Useful mute button as well. Voice command button from the Zest is there (on the right). The voice command system isn't as sophisticated as some of the high-end cars. These buttons don't give that tactile feedback we like:
Large and glaring round cap covers up the place where the ignition keyhole of the lower variants will be. Looks ugly:
In a car as well-equipped, this is a big mistake from Tata. Steering is only adjustable for height! If you prefer a laid-back driving position, you will find the steering to be too far away. Should've had telescopic adjustment:
Instrument console has clear white lettering. Classy font style. The petrol & diesel cars get an identical revv counter (cost cutting). Always nice to see a temperature gauge which has gone missing in so many new cars. The tachometer needle turns red as it approaches the redline, like in many other Tata cars. We love that:
Control stalks stick out at the bottom of the MID. They feel sturdy to touch, but look unpleasant:
City drive mode is backlit in blue, while…
…Eco drive mode is backlit in green and…
...Sport mode is in orange:
MID displays distance-to-empty, average fuel consumption, time, outside temperature and 2 trip meters. A gauge at the bottom shows you the real-time fuel economy (graph is easier to read on the go than a constantly changing number). MID also points out exactly which door is open. Illumination adjuster adjusts the cluster's brightness and that of all interior switches:
Top left shows you exactly which door is open (yes for tail-gate, nothing for bonnet) and the right pic shows the current gear position. One thing to note is that the current gear position disappears as soon as the clutch is pressed, appearing only when the clutch is completely released:
Shift indicator tells the driver to upshift or downshift to obtain better fuel economy. This is better than the 'current gear indicator' which is frankly useless. A good driver always knows what gear he is in (among other things):
Thick stalks feel durable, but they are not well-finished. Look closely and you can see the unevenly finished borders. Intermittent wiper delay is adjustable. Headlamp leveller is smartly placed on the stalk itself. The dummy buttons are present on the side like in the Tiago (reference image):
Engine start/stop button has an illuminated border. Press the button without the clutch and the indicator lights up in orange ("ignition on" mode). When the engine is running, the indicator turns green. The button's placement is such that the steering does block its visibility:
Air-con vents are symmetrical. They have a chrome border on the sides + bottom and are housed on the silver insert on the dashboard. Nope, their air flow volume cannot be adjusted:
Driver-side cubby hole is fairly deep. The base is slightly lowered in order to hold coins / loose items:
Bonnet release lever is located on the right. It is sturdy and much better finished than the one in the Tigor (reference image):
Like the dashboard, the doorpads have black at the top, a thick silver insert running in the middle and beige on the lower part:
Top of the doorpad gets the same design pattern as the top of the dashboard:
Power window console is lifted from the Zest. Red light on the 'window lock button' appears when all passenger windows are unlocked. Should have been the other way around. Driver's window gets one-touch-down convenience:
Rotary ORVM adjuster. ORVMs can be retracted electrically as well:
Doorpads get a big, soft fabric insert. The area where one will rest his / her elbow is soft:
Door handles are finished in chrome and feel sturdy. Driver's door can be unlocked by just pulling the inside door handle. Other doors need to be unlocked first, before the handle will open the door:
Both front doorpads have very useful umbrella holders. Mind you, the umbrella has to be folded really tightly if you want to insert it into this holder. Wet umbrella? No sweat, it has a drain hole:
Door pockets are deep, wide and useful:
They can easily hold 1 liter bottles and other knick knacks:
Their borders are poorly finished and have rough edges; can nick your fingers. We're not witnessing the attention-to-detail that Tata showed with the Tiago & Hexa (for their respective price points):
Front doorpads get stylishly-placed reflectors:
The running board is not very wide and does not hamper ingress & egress. No scuff plates provided, but floor mats get Nexon branding. See the block-like design pattern on the inside panel:
Seats are upholstered in black fabric (top-end too, no leather). Comfy front seats offer satisfactory support, both - lateral as well as under-thigh, for a person of a medium build and height. The headrests are adjustable and soft. Even the seat cushion is on the softer side. It must be mentioned that soft seats aren't preferred over long distances:
Sturdy metal lever for fore & aft adjustment:
Lever to adjust the height is robust. Lumbar adjustment missing:
Driver’s seat has a healthy travel range. Here it is in the full forward & backward positions. Tall & short drivers alike will comfortably fit in:
Height adjustment range is also sufficient. Even with the seat in its highest position, I had an inch and a half of extra headroom. No issues there:
A closer look at the fabric upholstery's design:
Center armrest is wrapped in artificial leather and has a soft surface. But it isn't adjustable and is too small to be useful:
Seatbelts are height-adjustable. They are soft and easy to pull:
A-B-C pedals and one to rest your left foot. Gap between the clutch & brake pedals is more than we usually see:
Dead pedal is positioned too much on the left. While it is still useable…
...when lifting your foot, it's better to slide it out first as there is little space between the clutch pedal and center console. Weird:
The fuel flap opener is placed on the floor. Notice how the floor mat is shaped so that it doesn’t interfere with its functioning:
The hexagonal ORVMs are properly sized (height and width, both):
IRVM didn't feel firmly attached on our test car. It is wide enough, but the thick C-pillars and small rear windshield restrict visibility:
Large black patch on the top of the windshield is to aid visibility of the infotainment touchscreen (by blocking light / glare on it). While it doesn’t obstruct the driver’s vision, one is always aware of its size & presence:
Rearward view is very poor. C-pillars are thick. Thankfully, Tata has provided a reversing camera and 4 parking sensors, which make backing up easy:
Center fascia features a touchscreen that sticks out from the top of the dashboard – a first for a Tata car. Piano black has been used all over, along with a lot of chrome highlights:
Another look at the Harman-developed 6.5" HD touchscreen. Its functions are covered in detail in a separate post:
Tiny solar sensor (for the climate control) sits in the center of the dashboard:
Air-con vents have a chrome border on the sides and bottom, chrome inserts on the flow directors and a piano black surrounding panel. There is no knob to control the volume of air and these vents cannot be shut either. The cooling power is very good and can chill the interiors quickly, even on hot days. Small buttons to control the infotainment system are located below the vents:
Rotary climate control knobs have chrome inserts. Climate control settings are shown on the infotainment screen. The temperature goes up to 30 degrees centigrade before hitting HI and down to 17.5 degrees centigrade before hitting LO. The blower has 7 levels of adjustment. It is quiet on level 1, audible on levels 2 & 3, loud on levels 4 & 5 and very loud on levels 6 & 7. The ECON button when activated, cuts off the compressor more frequently than the normal A/C - this is for fuel-economy addicts. The black dot between the A/C and ECON buttons is actually the in-car temperature sensor! Notice how the gap between the rotary knobs has been bridged by the plastic insert.
Buttons for the reverse parking sensor, front & rear foglamps (strange placement for these), central locking system and boot release are located below. These are of good quality & the chrome border between them looks fab. The parking sensor button switches off both - the sensors as well as the camera. When its orange light comes on, both are on. Normally, the orange light comes on when you engage reverse gear. If you press the button while the car is in any other gear, the camera shows the view at the back. There is just one blank in this row of switches:
12V power socket with USB & AUX ports located at the base of the center fascia. See that key sign? You place the smartkey here to start the car (when the smartkey's battery goes dead):
Small gap (below) the silver bar and center fascia reminds one of Land Rover designs:
Hexagonal design pattern at the base of the center console in both footwells. The vents are fake:
Bird's eye view of the center console. Silver inserts are used on the gear lever and on the sides, while piano black is applied in the middle. Handbrake is strangely on the passenger's side. Be careful not to brush the lady's legs by mistake!
Gear lever is common between the petrol and diesel. It has a silver insert at the top and a leather boot:
Rotary knob to switch between the driving modes is placed conveniently behind the gear lever. These are explained later in the driving post:
Classy sliding shutter covers this storage box. Opening handle of the sliding lid falls below the center armrest - a design flaw. Makes it inconvenient to reach. You'll find yourself lifting the armrest to open the compartment:
Space in the storage compartment is enormous! It has two cupholders and the grooves you see inside are intended to act as adapters for future fittings (Tata said so). Big hands will find this space to be too deep & narrow:
Handbrake is chunky to hold. Don't miss the perforated design pattern:
Now, here's the kind of attention-to-detail we look forward to! Internals of the handbrake console are concealed with plastic, which has the same design pattern as the storage compartment's lid:
Thick glossy silver insert keeps things from getting boring on the passenger's side of the dashboard:
Glovebox has a soft opening / closing lid. Press this big button to open:
Glovebox is medium-sized and has a partition on top that can hold a tablet / book etc.:
Partition can be removed to accommodate larger items. Light + cooling vent have been provided:
The inside of the lid has a pen holder, card holder, wallet holder and uniquely - two cupholders (use only when the car is stationary):
Tiger design inside the glovebox. It may be recalled that, during the Tigor review, Tata said it is a gesture towards the endangered Indian animals:
Super-useful foldable bag hook in the passenger's footwell (capacity of 2 kilos):
Sadly, the sunvisors are economy-grade in design & feel. Driver-side unit merely gets a flap to hold tickets:
Passenger gets a vanity mirror, but there's no cover or light provided:
White LED cabin light is located at the front; has a theatre-dimming effect. If there's only one cabin lamp, it's best placed in the roof's center and not here at the front:
Small storage compartment in the roof console has a soft lining on the inside. Thin sunglasses, maybe?
Bluetooth mic is carried over from other Tata vehicles:
All variants of the Nexon get dual front airbags as standard. Notice how lightly the letters "SRS AIRBAG" are marked on the dashboard. Marking isn't as clear as it usually is:
Sticker with the recommended air pressure levels is pasted near the driver's seat. The pressures for petrol and diesel are identical. 17-digit VIN is stamped above:
Interior - Rear
Like the front, the rear doors of the Nexon also open and close in a triple-stage action. While they swing out sufficiently wide, the roof of the car is low at the edges and the floor is about a foot off the ground. This makes ingress & egress inconvenient for the tall & elderly. The rear seat is placed at a comfortable height though:
Wide gap between the B-pillar and the bench makes it easier to step in & out:
Door sill isn't excessively wide, which means occupants don't have to carry their feet over too much when entering or exiting the car:
Notice how the roof is substantially lower at the edges than at other places. One has to bend down while getting in & out. Watch your head, else you'll hit it!
Like the front, the rear doorpads get a dual-tone theme. There is a stylish silver grab handle and soft fabric insert on the rear door as well, but it does not extend to the area where one will rest his/her elbow. A tweeter & speaker on each door (more on that in the ICE post):
The door pockets are not as wide as the ones at the front, but...
...they are accommodating. Can still hold a 1L bottle and some small items:
Rear bench is nicely shaped with a contoured seatbase + seatback. Though designed to carry 3 passengers, only 2 headrests have been provided:
Legroom is generous and two 6-footers can sit one behind the other in reasonable comfort. Tata never disappoints when it comes to space at the rear:
Cabin width is healthy, which means three adults can sit quite comfortably, but the seatbase is shorter in the middle, where the third passenger sits. The left and right side passengers get 3-point seatbelts and adjustable headrests (two levels of adjustment). The middle passenger gets a lap belt only:
Seatbelt buckles are housed in dedicated cut-outs:
ISOFIX child seat anchors have been provided on both sides:
Seatbacks of the front seats are scooped out, which helps in freeing up some more knee room. Shockingly, no seatback pockets for the rear seat passengers to use!!
A look at the maximum and minimum legroom available:
Seatback has a comfortable recline angle. With the front seat in his driving position, Vid6639 (6 feet tall) has about 2 inches of knee room to spare:
There is abundant room under the front seats to tuck your feet in:
No issues with headroom either. Our 6-footer supermodel has 3 inches of clearance:
The center armrest is positioned at a comfortable height:
It is wide & soft, and comes with two useable cupholders. However, the fitting of the cupholders is poor. On our test car, the entire assembly came off very easily (a friend noticed the same in a showroom demo):
Tapering roofline & rising window line mean the rear windows are not large (view is especially restricted when you place your head back). Short passengers will find the window line to be too high. There's just enough light coming in at the back to keep passengers from feeling claustrophobic in a black cabin:
Rear window goes almost all the way in, but not entirely:
Spring-loaded grab handles have been provided above all the passenger doors. Both the rear units have coat / bag hooks:
Both B-Pillars get these nifty bag hooks:
C-pillar is very thick. Notice how short it is in height - an indicator of how much the roof slopes down towards the rear:
Slot to park the rear seatbelt when it's not in use:
This is merely a blower (not a proper air-con unit). Blower vents with individual direction controls. The air volume regulator is common and has 2 adjustment levels (it can be shut off as well). Piano-black here too:
Remember the hexagonal design pattern & vents on the side of the center console in the front (image link)? They are present on the sides of the rear blower console as well:
The floor hump is on the taller side. This, and the air-con unit, will interfere with the legs of the middle passenger:
This is there on both sides, but we couldn't figure out any real use for it. Hope Tata isn't counting this in the claimed "31 storage spots" of the Nexon:
Beam runs across the roof in the center. No cabin light for the rear seat occupants. Only the XZ+ variant gets this knitted, soft roof liner:
350-liter boot is large enough to accommodate luggage for those weekend family trips. Bigger than the EcoSport and Vitara Brezza, but smaller than the WR-V. Thanks to the split tail-lamps, the opening is wide. The loading lip is not high either, making it easy to load luggage. The two black velcro straps on the floor hold the warning triangle in place:
Handy parcel tray comes with a prominent border:
Remember the ugly gap in the Honda WR-V? Tata does it better:
For increasing cargo space, the rear seats can be folded down. Pull this knob up to unlock the seatback and fold it:
Rear seat is split in a 60:40 ratio which allows selective folding if you need to carry a combination of cargo + passengers. In this pic, notice how the seatbase has been tumbled forward:
Folding the seatbacks down gives you cargo capacity of 690 liters:
12V power outlet is located behind the rear seat on the left:
Four baggage hooks (2 on each side) with a carrying capacity of 3 kg each. Boot light is located on the left:
Top tether for the child seat (there are two of them):
Tailgate is cladded on the inside. No ugly bits sticking out anywhere:
All the wiring is properly concealed, including the demister's:
Switch for the boot light is located at the base of the tail-gate. The plastic edges around it are not well finished:
Slot to put your fingers in and lift the spare wheel cover:
Tools are neatly arranged in a Styrofoam casing in the spare wheel:
Nope, the spare isn't an alloy wheel. You get a full-size tyre on a steel rim:
The Nexon gets a Harman-developed ConnectNext infotainment system with a 6.5" touchscreen that sticks out of the top of the dashboard. It features voice recognition, the usual music inputs (USB, AUX, Bluetooth), on-screen SMS display & readout, reversing camera display and image & video playback (no SD card input). Android Auto integration is offered while Apple CarPlay is to follow later. The system does suffer from some lag; for a number of tasks, there is some time taken for a desired action to happen from the moment you touch the screen. If you prefer physical buttons, the system can also be controlled by using the switches below the air-conditioner vents (reference image):
An 8-speaker system – a tweeter and speaker on each door. Sound quality is very good (just like all new cars from the Tata stable):
The rear tweeters are placed high up on the front edge of the doorpad. If the driver has even a slightly reclined driving position, he can hear the sound from these more than the front tweeter:
The screen changes its colour theme according to the drive mode selected. Here, it is seen in blue with the City mode engaged...
...green with Eco mode selected...
...and red with the Sport mode engaged. The system also provides audio (lady with a little funny style of speaking) + visual readouts indicating the mode engaged:
The font size is large and easy to read. Visibility is good, even under direct sunlight. While the time is displayed on the bottom-left corner of the screen, the temperature and fan speed of the climate control are on the top left. The touchscreen can also be used to control the climate control system:
In addition to the usual equaliser settings, you can choose from a long list of equaliser presets too:
The homescreen can be customised...
...by adding or deleting shortcuts according to your preferences:
The infotainment system can be used to adjust various settings:
Volume adjustments are available even for system startup & SMS readout...
...as well as the voice alerts. These voice alerts can be turned off completely, if you so wish:
The display theme can be set to change along with the drive modes (as we have seen earlier), or...
...according to the driver's preferences:
Within the vehicle settings, one can set the behaviour of the door locks, the tone and volume of the parking sensors as well as the timeout for the approach lights:
You can select the way you want to be notified about incoming text messages:
The system can send out text messages to callers automatically, if you do not wish to answer calls. Importantly, the system can also read out & reply to WhatsApp messages! That is so cool as nearly all of us use WhatsApp more than SMS:
A number of functions can be controlled through voice commands. These include the phone...
...and climate control system. The functioning is flawed though and it didn't always understand my commands:
Touchscreen provides information on the various driving modes. You can't select them from here (only information):
The Nexon gets Android Auto as standard :thumbs up. Apple CarPlay will be introduced later. To use Android Auto, owners have to connect their smartphones to the system via a USB cable:
You can get directions, make calls, send and receive messages and listen to music through this Android interface:
Navigation through Google Maps is super easy; we prefer it over any manufacturer's onboard system. Google Maps also helps in getting real-time traffic updates, something the OEM systems can only dream about:
Touchscreen doubles up as a reversing camera display. Together with the parking sensors, this proves to be useful while reversing the Nexon (rearward visibility is restricted). Yep, those are very friendly adaptive guidelines which move with steering input - a feature usually seen on more expensive cars. The camera's output though is terrible at night. The display's quality is good, hence we believe that Tata has chosen an el-cheapo camera:
Reversing camera has colour-coded distance demarcations. As you go closer to an object, the parking sensors beep more frequently:
Driving the 1.2L Petrol
1.2L, 3-cylinder Revotron turbocharged petrol with 108 BHP & 170 Nm of torque:
The Nexon petrol gets a new 1,198cc, 3-cylinder turbocharged engine from the Revotron family. It is built at Tata’s Sanand (Gujarat) plant. A 1.2L turbo-petrol might sound familiar, but this is not the same engine as seen on the Zest. The Nexon gets a heavily reworked motor based on the Tigor's naturally-aspirated unit, with the internals beefed up to handle the turbo. It features an aluminium cylinder block & head. Tata has used a self-adjusting timing chain instead of a timing belt which they claim makes it maintenance-free. Mated to a new 6-speed TA6300 manual gearbox, this mill produces a very healthy 108 BHP @ 5,000 rpm and 170 Nm of torque @ 1,750 - 4,000 rpm. The torque puts it at par with the Ford EcoSport 1.0 EcoBoost; when it comes to power though, Tata is 15 BHP short of the Ford. Like other modern-day Tata cars, it features Multi-drive modes. Users can choose between City (default), Eco and Sport which are basically 3 preset engine maps.
With a hefty kerb weight of 1,237 kilos, the Nexon is a whopping 150 kilos fatter than the Honda WR-V, yet lighter than the EcoSport by 21 kilos. It manages a power-to-weight ratio of 87 BHP / ton and torque-to-weight ratio of 137 Nm / ton. While the former is not as impressive as the EcoSport’s ratio, the latter puts the Nexon ahead of all its main rivals.
To start the engine, you to need to press the clutch and then hit the engine start button. On startup, there is a slight shake of the body. When the engine is idling at its optimal temperature, it is quiet, but you always feel some faint vibrations. There's no escaping the missing cylinder here.
The 1.2L is fairly revv-happy and standing still, it revs to 4,000 rpm. That said, throttle response is not as crisp as one would like in a petrol-powered car (in the default 'city' mode). While power delivery is linear and the Nexon moves off from a standstill easily, the engine has a weak bottom-end, especially in City & Eco modes. Around town, one can move at 40 km/h in 3rd gear with the engine ticking over at 1,750 rpm without any lugging. At this rpm level & higher, things are fine, but if the revs fall substantially below, the engine just feels dead. So, downshifting is required to access the turbo-petrol's power band. Another point to note is that like other 3-cylinder units, at low speeds, there is a jerk felt when the accelerator is released. So, while the Nexon has a compact size, light controls, good frontal visibility and decent ergonomics, the low-speed behaviour makes driving it in the city a little tricky. There's more than enough power, but you have to get used to extracting the best out of it. Or you could just engage 'Sport' mode in the city for superior driveability (more on that later). Sport will bring a penalty in FE though.
Take the Nexon out on the open road and you'll enjoy the performance & revv-happiness that the 1.2L unit offers. Truly surprising for a homegrown petrol as Tata was never known for this! Beyond 2,200 rpm, the engine starts coming into its stride and begins to shine. While there is never any strong “kick” from the turbo, there is sufficient performance available to keep most drivers happy. Past 4,000 rpm, the engine sounds nice too ("wow" for a Tata petrol). While the petrol accelerates to 5,500 rpm (5,900 in Sport), power starts tapering off after 5,000 rpm. We find this to be rather low for a petrol. That said, even if you hit the rev limiter, the fuel doesn't cut off suddenly (not like the Baleno). The petrol can cruise on the highway in 6th gear at 100 km/h with the engine turning over at 1,900 rpm, while 120 km/h is seen at 2,300 rpm. These are excellent figures for a small petrol, all thanks to that 6th gear. While there is sufficient power on offer most of the time, it’s best to shift down a gear or two while overtaking to bring the engine into its power band.
As mentioned before, apart from the City mode, the Revotron comes with Eco and Sport modes. The Nexon's engine starts in the same mode that was selected when it was turned off. This is unlike some other cars which move to the default driving mode after a restart (we prefer Tata's implementation).
Eco Mode - Engage 'Eco' mode by turning the rotary knob on the center console to take the engine into its most fuel-efficient mode. Eco greatly mutes throttle response, even when compared to the default 'City' mode. The car isn't eager to respond quickly. This makes the Nexon petrol a pain to use in bumper-to-bumper traffic. The car is sluggish while moving away from a standstill. Additionally, the jerk on lifting off the accelerator at low speeds is even more pronounced! On the open road, this mode can be used for cruising on the expressway only. It is unsuitable for driving on undivided highways, where quick overtaking is required.
Sport Mode - Engaging Sport makes the car noticeably more responsive to throttle inputs (both, in terms of pedal and engine mapping). A slight dab on the accelerator and the difference is immediately felt! Enthusiasts will love this mode. The car is peppy in urban conditions, with initial performance improving considerably over the other modes. Driveability is also greatly enhanced. Even if you aren't a petrol-head, use 'Sport' through traffic and you'll be downshifting lesser. The engine can pull from as low as 1,250 rpm and revv all the way till 5,900 rpm. Because the engine revs higher, the max speeds in each gear go up (first = 48 km/h and 2nd = 89 km/h). The jerks felt on releasing the accelerator at low speeds are also lesser than the other modes.
The clutch is light and pressing it takes little effort. Its travel range is neither too long nor too short. What is a little irritating is that the actuating point of the clutch is sharp and is likely to cause a jerk when it is released. When you get your new Nexon, you'll take a couple of km to get used to it. The 6-speed manual gearbox has longish throws; it is sure-slotting and you will never miss a gear or engage the wrong one.
In terms of fuel economy, the petrol carries an ARAI rating of 17 km/l. While this figure is just 0.5 km/l lower than the WR-V (17.5 km/l), it is noticeably lesser than the EcoSport 1.0's 18.9 km/l.
Coming to NVH levels, the Nexon does very well at slow speeds and around town for a 3-cylinder motor. While the classic 3-cylinder thrum is present, it is well-controlled. Even while cruising on the highway, the engine is silent enough. Of course, at higher rpms, the 3-cylinder gets audible. This sound is enjoyable & might appeal to enthusiasts, but regular folk might find it annoying. Overall refinement is acceptable, although there's no comparing it to the smooth 4-cylinder petrols of competitors. There is no wind noise heard in the cabin, even at 110 km/h. That said, there are some vibrations felt on the gear lever when the car is moving. The lever moves back and forth a little while accelerating and lifting off.
Both engines get an insulation sheet under the hood:
1.2L petrol is impressive in 'Sport' mode. This mode is the one of choice, even for non-enthusiasts driving in the city:
Petrol engine has an aluminium cylinder block and cylinder head. Airbox is placed directly over the engine and appears like an engine cover at first glance. Firewall only gets partial cladding:
Turbocharger sits right at the front:
ECU is sourced from Bosch and located ahead of the battery:
No underbody protection. You can see the ground below clearly:
Blocks of foam used for insulation. This is Indian jugaad - you won't see it in a Hyundai:
At some places, you'll see the 'Osprey' codename that Tata had given this project -
link to old news article:
Driving the 1.5L Diesel
4-cylinder Revotorq diesel engine puts out a segment-leading 108 BHP & 260 Nm of torque!
The Nexon diesel gets a 1,497cc, 4-cylinder turbocharged motor making 108 BHP @ 3,750 rpm and 260 Nm of torque @ 1,500-2,750 rpm. This engine is from the Revotorq family and features a cast iron cylinder block and an aluminium cylinder head. It is also equipped with an aluminium oil sump and an auto tensioning timing belt. Unlike the petrol unit, it is built at Tata’s Ranjangaon (Maharashtra) facility.
The Nexon diesel’s power and torque figures put it right at the top of the charts in the sub-4 meter SUV segment. However, at 1,305 kilos, the car is heavier than all its rivals. Even then, the Nexon has the best torque-to-weight ratio among them all and is just 1 BHP per ton short of the WR-V’s segment-leading figure of 84 BHP / ton.
Just like the petrol engine, the diesel comes with selectable modes - City (default), Eco and Sport - and is mated to a 6-speed manual transmission.
Hit the engine start button and there is a noticeable shake of the body as the diesel fires up. At idle, there are mild vibrations felt on the steering as well as the pedals. It's noisy on the outside, yet sufficiently insulated on the inside. The 1.5L engine moves off the mark quite easily. It's very tractable & can take off even in second gear without any throttle input! Power delivery is fairly linear and driveability is overall good. This is a city-friendly engine that is superior to the Vitara Brezza's 1.3L at low rpm. As an example, one can keep going at 50 km/h in fourth gear with the revv counter reading just 1,600 rpm. Keeping up with city traffic is easy and one doesn’t need to downshift too much. There is some turbo lag below 1,600 rpm, but it’s not excessive; you can start pulling the engine from ~1,400 rpm itself. However, stepping on the accelerator at rpms lesser than that will see a good deal of vibrations enter inside the cabin.
On the open road, the Nexon diesel is an able mile muncher. The linear power delivery means there is no sudden push when the turbo spools. Above 1,500 rpm, the engine feels comfortable and comes into its stride at 2,000 rpm. The torque available at lower rpms means it is not necessary to shift down often to pass slower moving vehicles, even on single lane highways. Expressway performance is satisfactory. It will revv to 4,600 rpm, but honestly there is no point doing this. The engine starts getting noisy beyond 3,000 rpm and once past 3,800 rpm or so, it begins losing steam. Despite its power, the diesel is more about practicality than outright performance. It’s best to just gradually build up speed and let the vehicle cruise. It can amble along at 100 km/h in 6th gear with the engine spinning over at ~2,000 rpm. That's a lot better than the Vitara Brezza, which sees the same speed at 2,400 rpm (in 5th).
Like the petrol engine, the diesel also gets two selectable driving modes (apart from the default City mode), which switch the engine map.
Eco Mode – Switching to 'Eco' mode makes the throttle response a lot duller. This mode limits the power output and the engine uses less fuel as compared to the other modes. Even so, the low-end torque makes Eco mode useable in the city. While not as sprightly as City mode, it is not as painful to use as the 1.2L petrol's Eco mode. On the highway, this mode can be used for cruising. Only when you want to overtake slower moving traffic in a hurry will you want to switch to one of the other modes.
Sport Mode – As expected, switching to Sport mode makes the car more responsive to throttle inputs (both, in terms of pedal and engine mapping). A slight dab on the accelerator and the difference is immediately felt. That said, this mode is not very nice to use in urban conditions, particularly if the driver has a slightly heavy foot. We felt the car gets just a little too jerky for regular city commuting. Unlike the petrol, the engine revvs to the same 4,600 rpm as the other modes. Where the Sport mode is at home is on the highway. The improved throttle response is always welcome when you want to cruise fast or overtake. That class-leading 260 Nm of torque really shows its worth here.
Similar to its petrol sibling, the diesel's clutch is light and does not have a long travel range. But like the good, it has carried over the bad points as well. Its feel is poor and the action can get jerky. The 6-speed gearbox has a slightly rubbery feel, but it slots in well. Its throws are certainly not as short as the WR-V’s though - they are longer.
Coming to fuel economy, the Nexon diesel has an ARAI-certified rating of 21.5 km/l. This is off the segment-leading 25.5 km/l of the WR-V. However, we must remember that the Tata is a much heavier car & has more power too.
In terms of NVH, there is noticeable body shake on startup and when the engine is turned off. At idle & regular commuting rpms, engine sound is adequately controlled. Every time you accelerate though, the diesel is heard inside the cabin. Above 3,000 rpm, the motor gets audible and higher up in the rev-range, it doesn't sound nice. On the other hand, wind noise is kept out of the cabin rather well. The suspension also goes about its work without creating a racket.
1.5L diesel has a cast iron block & aluminium head:
Unlike the petrol, the diesel fills up the small engine bay:
Piano black finish just behind the radiator grille (right at the front of the engine bay):
6th gear improves highway cruising ability & fuel economy. To engage reverse, one has to lift the collar under the knob and move it to the right:
Ride & Handling
The Nexon is equipped with an independent McPherson strut dual-path front suspension and a twist beam rear. The dual-path strut has two separate paths for energy to be transferred from the springs & dampers, allowing it to be better tuned (it's a 2 cup system).
Tata cars are usually known for their absorbent ride quality, but that's sadly not the case with the Nexon. Tata has traded in ride comfort for a sportier setup, which results in the suspension being stiff. The car also has very high ground clearance, thus the suspension had to be firmed up as a trade-off (we'd have liked 10 mm lesser GC for a little cushier ride). At low speeds on less-than-perfect roads, the ride is jiggly. The Nexon doesn't ride as well as other Tatas and you will always be aware of the kind of surface you're driving on. Big city potholes will be prominently felt inside. While Vid6639 says it is not as bad as the EcoSport, it is certainly not as compliant as the WR-V either. Another contributor is the 16" wheel size that's standard on all variants (some competitors offer 15" rims). As speeds increase, the Nexon's ride improves significantly. It manages to handle broken roads decently and dismisses smaller potholes with aplomb. The larger ones do filter through though. The ride is better on the highway, although owners will complain in the city. Must mention that the suspension goes about its job silently - it's not clunky or loud.
The 215/60 R16 Goodyear Excellence tyres provide fair grip levels. The Nexon holds onto its line well and doesn't understeer easily. There is some body roll & you do feel the car's sheer height in fast corners, but it never gets unnerving. Straight-line stability is very good for the segment, and the dynamics are safe overall. There are no nasty surprises here. It's not as handling-oriented or as much fun as the EcoSport though.
The electric power steering is one of the nicer units around. Being smaller in diameter (360 mm), it's very convenient for urban commuting & manoeuvrability. The steering is light at city speeds and weighs up sufficiently as the speedometer needle climbs. The diesel's steering had noticeably more weight, whilst the petrol Nexon's was one-finger-light at low speeds. The EPS isn't lifeless and does give you some feel of what the front wheels are up to. At higher speeds, the steering inspires confidence.
As expected, the 209 mm of ground clearance is fantastic! We didn't scrape the car anywhere. Even when we took it a bit offroad for photography, it breezed through the terrain. You could say that the Nexon is ready for those mini-mountains that Bangaloreans call speed breakers. The Nexon has a turning radius of 5.1 meters, which is tighter than the Vitara Brezza's 5.2 meters & the EcoSport's 5.3 meters.
This Tata comes with the ubiquitous front disc & rear drum braking hardware. The brakes are equipped with ABS + EBD. We felt that initial brake bite is missing, but after that, they are progressive and do the job as expected. That initial lack of bite will take some getting used to. The brakes have cornering stability control too (Tata says "CSC supports / stabilizes the vehicle during partial braking in curves by reducing pressure at the required inner wheel. This helps to reduce the probability of vehicle oversteer during cornering + braking"). From high speeds, the car stops in a straight line sans any drama.
• Why 'Nexon'? Tata says it is a "short form of NEXT-ON which signifies the inspiration of Nexon from next level of things" (sic). We like the name - it has a sweet sound to it.
• Manufactured at the Tata-Fiat plant in Ranjangaon, Maharashtra.
• Revotron petrol engine is made at Sanand, Gujarat, while the Revotorq diesel is built at Ranjangaon, Maharashtra.
• According to this poll, it was the Nexon that wowed BHPians the most at the 2016 Auto Expo.
• First uncamouflaged pictures of the production Nexon were shared by BHPian RavenAvi in April 2017.
• Tata claims to have tested the Nexon for over 17 lakh km across temperatures ranging from -20 degrees Centigrade to 50 degrees Centigrade, and altitudes ranging from sea level to 18,000 feet.
• The Nexon is the last car to be based on the X1 platform; Tata will now move to its new modular platform.
• Available in five colours = Vermont Red, Moroccan Blue, Seattle Silver, Glasgow Grey and Calgary White. Vermont Red & Moroccan Blue get an optional dual-tone colour scheme with a dark silver roof. Cost for this roof treatment is 15,000 bucks.
• Four variants to choose from - XE, XM, XT and XZ+. Want to see the lesser XM variant? Click here for RavenAvi's post with pics.
• Yes, it will come with an Automatic gearbox. AMT variants expected sometime in the future. The XZA variant was caught by Autospy - link to post.
• On the other hand, don't expect an all-wheel-drive variant as the X1 platform isn't designed for it.
• Standard warranty of 2 years / 75,000 km. Extended warranty is available for an additional 1 year / 75,000 km or 2 years / 100,000 km. As always, we recommend the max available coverage. New engines from Tata = reliability concerns.
• Initial 3 services are free. 1st is at 1,000 - 2,000 km / 2 months, 2nd service is at 7,000 - 8,000 km / 6 months and 3rd at 14,500 - 15,500 km / 12 months. Post that, the scheduled service interval (including oil change) is 12 months / 15,000 km and recommended general check-up of the vehicle is at 6 months / 7,500 km. The latter sucks; even though it's a basic checkup, your Nexon will still have to visit the workshop every 6 months (most competitors have 1 year intervals). These visits will be chargeable too - no dealer will check your car for free.
• The doors auto-lock at 15 km/h as you move along. They also auto-unlock when you switch the car off.
• Even after switching off the car, you can still operate the windows for up to 3 minutes or till the driver’s door is opened. Helps to close any windows inadvertently left open.
• Infotainment system has voice alert warnings for door open, handbrake release, seatbelt reminder, low fuel and service due.
• The sharkfin antenna on the roof also houses a GPS antenna. When connected to Android Auto, the infotainment system gets the GPS signal from here (independent of the phone).
• One of the most irritating things is dropping your car off for a service and it comes back with a reset clock showing the wrong time!! In the Nexon, the clock and calendar sync up with your phone when it acquires a GPS signal :thumbs up.
• There are now 650 Tata Motors authorized sales outlets in India!
• Want to see the marketing department's attention to detail? Check out Reinhard's post at this link. That kind of work makes us smile :).
• For a company that was once a frontrunner with stylish SUVs (Sierra, Safari), the Nexon comes rather late in the day. In fact, this is their first 'SUV' / Crossover after the Safari & its many iterations.
• The Nexon's ConnectNext App Suite means there are a host of smartphone apps you can hook up to the car (Juke-Car, Trip-ON, Emergency Assist, Tata Smart Remote, Tata Smart Manual & Tata Motors Service Connect).
• Thanks to BHPian RavenAvi for sharing this information. The exact power and torque output of the Nexon diesel in the various drive modes is: Sport mode - 108 BHP / 260 Nm, City mode - 89 BHP / 220 Nm, Eco mode - 69 BHP / 180 Nm.
• Disclaimer: Tata invited Team-BHP for the Nexon test-drive. They covered all the travel expenses for this driving event.
The Smaller yet Significant Things
Brand new smartkey is nicely finished and feels premium. Skeleton key has been provided. Headlights can be activated by pressing a button on the smartkey (to help you find your way in the dark). Shiny black border looks tasteful:
No, this isn’t a watch or fitness band. It’s a key - like the one we saw in the Jaguar F-Pace!! Doesn't use batteries as it's just a passive RFID device that need not be charged. The Nexon can be opened & started with this wearable smartkey. Would've been cool if it showed the time (could've been worn as a watch then). Tata says that it's waterproof too. Do note this is an official accessory (not standard with the car):
Here's the other colour (Moroccan Blue) with the optional dual-tone scheme grey roof:
Foglamps double up as cornering lights. Switch on the headlamps and turn the wheel to one side. The foglamp on that side switches on automatically to light up the surface in that direction:
44L fuel tank is larger than the WR-V’s, but smaller than the EcoSport’s (52L) and Vitara Brezza’s (48L):
Clear markings inside to indicate its diet. Notice the rubber beading (on the inside of the flap) to prevent the area from getting messy:
Yep, the ORVMs are India-friendly and will move the other way if a biker side-swipes them:
Gap between the roof & tailgate is damn wide. You can clearly see the red colour of the car’s frame through it!
Black plastic on the door frame is not well finished. It is sharp and can scratch your fingers. Rubber beading quality is acceptable & cabin insulation good:
Faux leather covers up the ugly gap between the dashboard & steering console - a premium touch:
Amber indicator inside the speedometer glows when the DRLs are switched on:
Plastic gaps below the instrument cluster are uneven:
Out of most people's sight, but the fit and finish at the ends of the dashboard are far from perfect. It’s been quite a long time since I’ve driven a Tata car with multiple areas where fit & finish leaves a lot to be desired. This is unlike their all-new generations of cars:
No automatic dimming for the IRVM. Standard day / night manual flick switch is provided - the kind you get in lesser hatchbacks:
Base of the door handles have the same design pattern as the dashboard:
Fusebox & OBD ports are located to the right of the dashboard. The cover is easy to remove & insert back:
Floor mats are held in place via these velcro straps:
All interior controls are backlit in a classy white:
Slots to park the seatbelt (on the sides of the rear seats) are poorly finished and look like an aftermarket hack job:
Things below the dashboard are quite neat & tidy with no loose wires hanging, but the carpet could have been better fitted:
Boot floor has 2 velcro straps to hold the warning triangle in place:
Insides of the door handles are black (noticed this in the new Verna too):
Features common across all variants:
XE vs XM
XM vs XT
XT vs XZ+
Note: Variant-wise features taken from the Nexon Brochure available on the website. Ignored the error in the brochure about 'dual-tone wheel covers' for the XZ+ variant.
Re: Tata Nexon : Official Review
Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Official Reviews Section. Thanks for sharing! Superb attention-to-detail, as always :thumbs up. Rating thread 5 stars.
The Nexon's styling will make or break a lot of deals - it is definitely polarising. You'll either love it or hate it (I hate the rear) - there's no inbetween. Equally, they needed to 'differentiate' and the styling meets the stated objective. I'm disappointed with the low speed ride on bumpy roads - Tata's cars usually ride nicely, but they had to firm the suspension up because they made the Nexon so tall.
This car is yet another example of how Tata Motors is getting its mojo back. All of their recent launches - including the Hexa & Tiago - have been steps in the right direction.
Re: Tata Nexon : Official Review
Hats Off to the detailing provided, incredible insight for a perspective buyer !!
Very Well authored and compiled review. Thanks a bunch for putting it together.
Re: Tata Nexon : Official Review
Awesome detailed review Aditya!
Looks like Tata is doing its best to progress in creating brand value and changing perception. I hope this will bring about better resale value which is one of the key pointers for our market.
What is surprising for me to see is the opinion of a few friends who stated that the interior quality is better than the Ecosport and the Brezza. No data points here, but based on gut feeling this is a big change.
If in the medium term, they could mate this to a proper automatic transmission in the diesel mill, that would be a real reliable and VFM option for all of us who are worried about the fuel bills and spooked by the VAG horror stories
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