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Exchanged my Hyundai i20 with Tata Nexon Kaziranga: Initial Impressions

Real-time fuel efficiency is impressive with 16.5 km/l in the city and 21 km/l (city + sport mode) on highways.

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As an auto enthusiast and a fan of diesel cars, I always enjoy the torque and power delivered by turbo-diesel engines. Having a bit of fear about the survival of diesel cars by the impact of new emission norms and the progress towards hybrid and electric vehicles, I analyzed an upgrade to a new compact or mid-size SUV with more safety standards and high ground clearance.

Shortlist:

Along with a deep investigation and running after various reviews, I finally stuck to two cars that had the potential to fulfil my requirements: the Tata Nexon and the Jeep Compass (my all-time favourite). My budget was limited to 15L. So, I decided to go for a new Nexon or a pre-owned Compass.

All sudden, Tata Motors introduced the Kaziranga edition with more features and an impressive concept of funding to the Kaziranga National Park. I liked the theme and new colour combinations especially and the ventilated seats made it easy to take my final call.

Dealership Experience:

I booked the vehicle on March 31, 2022, at a well-known Tata dealership in Banjara Hills, Hyderabad. The dealership needs to improve a lot! The customer must take the initiative from booking to pre and post-delivery. They neither communicate nor provide updates. Always, the customer has to reach them. My car reached the dealership after 50 days of booking. In the meantime, Tata Motors raised the vehicle prices by 1% and the Telangana Govt. increased the lifetime tax from 14% to 17% for cars between 10L to 20L, which resulted in 56K extra being paid from my pocket. I was all set for the final procedure after a short PDI.

The most awaited day had arrived! The final payment of 16.32L including a one-year extended warranty and selected accessories is settled. I was done with all paperwork and the payment was made by 2 pm. I fixed the delivery for the evening at 6 pm. The keys were handed over on time but, not the vehicle due to a delay in the insurance policy. They kept on making us wait till 10 pm for a senseless reason - the insured person is overloaded, and the internet is slow. I was not convinced and returned home by public transport. The next day, the SA delivered the car to my home with apologies, as I had denied stepping into the showroom.

My Nexon Kaziranga is ready for delivery!

Initial impression:

  • Impressed by the Kaziranga’s bold looks and great road presence
  • The build quality, suspension, safety, and comfort levels are superb
  • Seats have decent cushioning with extra thigh support, and rear seats feel like a lounge
  • High ground clearance, powerful AC, ventilated seats (much needed for Indian climate)
  • TPMS, AQI and iRA are welcome features. I am not a big fan of the sunroof
  • I like the huge glovebox with cooling function - identical to my previous i20
  • Cruise control is an added advantage on highways. Boot space is sufficient
  • The 16-inch Bridgestone tyres are broad for more road grip and build confidence in corners
  • BSVI diesel engine is more refined and well-tuned, with some lag compared to BSIV units
  • Drive modes: City mode is the default, with linear power delivery and Eco mode is sluggish
  • My Favourite is Sport mode - instant pick-up and turbo kick is noticeable. The engine is tuned to deliver max power. The torque produced makes you enjoy the thrill of driving
  • Mostly, I activate Sport mode on highways, ghat sections and in inclined surfaces in the city
  • The fuel economy is very impressive. The engine's progress and efficiency improved after the second service

Improvements required:

  • Fit and finish, panel gaps, lighting
  • NVH level and rattling sounds
  • Gearbox - Shifting is slightly hard. Reverse gear gives trouble even with a full clutch
  • Horn press – very limited space allocated, my thumb is always searching for it
  • Blind spot due to thick A-pillar and ORVM positioning
  • PDI - All is well except for some minor issues

Breakdowns:

The first breakdown happened on NH-44 within ten days of delivery with less than 400 km on the odo. Suddenly, a huge pressure sound entered the cabin and the engine lost power. The turbocharger intake pipe came off as it was not fitted tightly.

This was solely a human error and may have happened at the manufacturing plant and the car cleared all quality checks - quite surprising!

The second incident happened on NH-65 after the first service at around 3750 km on the odo. This time the gear cable came out resulting in 1, 2, 5, 6 and Reverse gears slipping. Only 3rd and 4th gears were working as they are assigned to a second cable. The situation was horrible with heavy rain at night around 8 pm. Somehow I managed in Sport mode to some extent. For the instance, I felt my old i20 was great as it never let me down for all the years that I had it. Fortunately, both issues got fixed at a nearby local mechanic as the authorized service centre was far to reach from the spot.

Service:

My Nexon was done with first and second services at an authorized service centre in Sheikpet, Hyderabad. After a pathetic delivery experience, I did not expect much from the service centre of the same dealership. Surprisingly, all my thoughts were wrong! I was impressed by the work, their attitude towards the customer and their timely response. I certainly appreciate Mr Rami Reddy from the service staff for his assistance and support at the time of breakdowns.

Second Remote Key: Finally, received it after 8 months from delivery, following several reminders to Tata Motors CC and the dealership.

Verdict:

Overall, in nine months of usage and after driving it for 8600 Kms on good and bad roads of Telangana, Andhra, Karnataka and Maharashtra states, without any regrets. I am glad to have made the right pick. Safety and comfort are at the next level. I feel fresh even after driving for the whole day. Real-time fuel economy is impressive with 16.5 km/l in the city and 21 km/l (city + sport mode) on highways. For the moment, I must say, I am a proud owner of the desi car Tata Nexon.

Naming: Initially thought of KAZI but, later named it “RHIÑOX” (Rhino + Ox) for its robustness

Main Accessories, Ceramic Coating and PPF

Dealership: Door visors, carpet mats, black sidestep, boot garnish, mud flaps, Kaziranga scuff plates

Amazon India: Chiron 7D mats, trunk mat, Automaze adjustable armrest, Jopasu duster, number plate frame, leather and magnetic mobile holder, Auto Bros 11-piece car care kit with wax polish

Headlights: Phillips Racing Vision H7 (not recommended) and Osram H7 Rallye 80W

Ceramic Coat: Weiruixin 10H ceramic coating 50ml (made in China product and shifted from the US)

Amazon USA: Purchased all four items for less than $ 100 on a festive offer! Delivery at US

Fahren Forenner 80W H7 LED (for high beam – 2x40W)

Beamland 110W H7 LED (for low beam – 2x55W)

ZonCar Xenon White 30W H11 (for fog lights – 2x15W)

Weiruixin Adv 10H ceramic graphene coating 60ml (not applied, will try in H2 2023 or Q1 2024)

Lighting:

The Nexon stock bulbs give very poor lighting, which makes it hard to drive at night. Initially, I replaced them with Phillips Racing Vision and Osram Rallye 80W for low and high beams respectively. The Osram Rallye offered good lighting but, the much costlier Phillips bulb fused within 3 weeks. I decided to upgrade to LEDs and the output is amazing!

Ceramic Coating (DIY):

Once I was done with all the post-delivery formalities, I wanted to experiment with the ceramic coating on my new car. Since I got my first car (2010), I was habituated to cleaning and polishing on my own, at least once every quarter. The Weiruixin 10H ceramic coat took two weeks to deliver from New York. This was my first attempt and it took two days to complete. The first day went into the whole cleaning process, and I completed the first coat on the second day by following the instructions. Coated the whole car (including windshield and all glass areas) except the roof. The next day, I found very little difference, but the final output was seen after five days the real glow was visible with a mirror effect.

From the experiences of the first coat, I planned the second coat after three months and was able to finish it in one day. This time I ended with coating the shiny interior parts. A 50 ml bottle is sufficient for two complete coats excluding the roof area.

Paint Protection Film (PPF)

The main intention to go for PPF was to keep away scratches in city traffic and to avoid paint damage from stone chippings on highways. I visited a few detailing outlets and collected quotes. The TPU prices seemed too high. With all possibilities, covering the front bumper, bonnet, headlights, two side fenders and ORVMs with the best quality TPH was finalized for the price of 14K at Venu Car Designers, Somajiguda, Hyderabad. I felt it was worth it - very protective and the quality is decent.

Qubo India – Dashcam

Recently, I purchased a Qubo Dashcam Pro 4K plus Rear Cam Set from their website and availed a 10% discount by applying coupon code: WS10. It is the latest version that comes with the Sony IMX sensor and has some interesting features like dual-channel recording, built-in GPS, and ADAS and is easy to install (DIY). The camera captures a wide angle and the day and night recording video quality looks great.

Few interesting facts about my previous Hyundai i20

I like the cute looks, driving dynamics, safety, ride and handling. It is a feature-loaded car, and probably considered a “Benz” for the Indian middle-class (in my view), particularly the well-built 2nd Gen i20 diesel. The i20 never troubled me in 8 years and 1.2 lac Kms, with not even a single breakdown or tyre puncture. I ran it on Yokohama Earth 1 tyres for more than six years, best for Indian roads and is always filled with Nitrogen for better life and mileage.

RogerAB: As a follower of Team-BHP, I received Rs. 500 discount from Roger Motors. I would like to share my 18 months of experience with Rogerab coil spring suspension buffers installed in my i20. The main purpose of this purchase was to improve the ground clearance of the car. After installation, I hardly found a 2 to 3 mm increase in height but, the results are seen when the car is fully loaded. The GC remains the same even with a full load as the coils restrict the spring compression, resulting in a fearless drive over speed-breakers and on bad roads. There is an improvement in handling and body roll, but the suspension becomes stiffer and makes sounds on bad roads at lower loads. I hope this would be a better choice for cars with a minimum kerb weight of 1.2 tons.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

 
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