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A year & 9000 km with my Tata Nexon EV: 14 significant observations

Running costs are brilliant! While fast charging isn't economical, we rely on it very rarely: 8 or 9 times over the past 1 year.

BHPian Ankit998 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Electric vehicles were not such a common occurrence on Indian roads until 2021. Of course, this makes sense considering that the technology is relatively new for the Indian market. I do distinctly remember the 'Reva' - which was a common sight in Bangalore as far back as 2006.

Let me start off with this: I belong to a family of 3: My father, mother and I. No siblings and we've never found the need for a car larger than a compact SUV or a C segment sedan. My father, a biomedical engineer by profession, has always been enthusiastic about cars although he doesn't care for power, torque and 0-100 figures but does appreciate performance, luxury, comfort and a certain degree of finesse.

Some of the cars we've owned in the past include:

Lavender Hyundai Santro Xing XG:

Notably my father's first car and cherished by all of us. This car performed wonderfully for it's time, we loved the shade. It served us well for nearly 5 years. We did briefly also own a Hyundai Santro eRLX XO for maybe a little over a year. A job transfer was the reason for parting ways with this car. Once again, the Santro Xing was a gem of a car.

2006 Suzuki Swift VXi ABS:

Part of the first batch of Suzuki Swifts sold in India, yes this was the one with the 1.3L engine from the Esteem. Again, a brilliant car that served us well for over 5 years/60000kms before we decided to upgrade to a sedan.:

2008 Honda Civic V AT:

Screams luxury, was a fast sedan and very comfortable. This was a car that was so loved by us, we had it with us for over 10 years before finally parting ways. We had no issues with the car's performance but had issues with ground clearance, a flood in 2017 nearby our house did cause significant electrical damage to the car. We had to let it go in 2019. We had clocked well over 1L kms by then.

2011 VW Vento DLF IPL edition:

We were looking for a second sedan and didn't mind buying a manual. VW had just launched the Polo and then the Vento, while we were briefly considering the Swift Dzire, we all loved the Vento more. This car works beautifully even today. Some of the issues we faced: Spark plug failure, alternator stopped working within 30000kms. Today, the car has completed a little of 1L kms and has issues with the power windows and infotainment system.

2018 Suzuki Dzire ZXI AMT:

My parents shifted to Noida and I remained in Mumbai (during my undergrad days). My parents did not want to take the Vento to Noida and decided to keep it in Mumbai to be used for my grandparents. They decided to go for a smaller car, comfortable enough for a couple yet was practical and frugal. They were clear that a compact sedan is all that was needed: Afterntest driving all the cars they liked (Honda Amaze, VW Ameo and the Dzire), they settled for the Suzuki Dzire ZXI AMT in Oxford Blue. The car remained with them for 2 years/24000km before they returned back to Mumbai as my father's project in Noida was completed. Within the 2 years, the car had absolutely no issues and my father was very unwilling to let the car go.

2021 Nexon EV XZ+ Glacier White:

The return to Mumbai and Mumbai's abysmal roads meant that my parents were not keen on buying a hatchback/compact sedan. Even some of the larger sedans such as the Honda City were not considered. Our 2011 Vento was used for the first couple months but with increasing petrol prices and the Vento's deteriorating condition, there was an increasing need for a new car. We booked test drives of multiple cars: Nissan Magnite being the front runner. In fact my dad had booked this car when he was in Noida, a few days post the official launch at the end of 2020. Consistent delays in delivery date with no explanation caused us great frustration and we ended up cancelling the booking.

Nexon EV: 14 points that summarize our initial ownership experience over the past year:

  • Clean, mean and serene: The Nexon EV looks good. It's quiet yet incredibly fast and obviously incredibly silent. We've never before been so reliant on the horn to warn pedestrians. Sport mode is unnecessarily quick and we have almost never used it due to congested Mumbai traffic.
  • Running costs are brilliant! While fast charging isn't economical, we rely on it very rarely: 8 or 9 times over the past 1 year.
  • Slow charging - Only reliable means of charging - have faced issues here too. The charger gets incredibly hot and the car will stop charging. This has happened maybe 4 times until now.
  • Inaccurate BMS - There was a point in time when the car at full charge displayed only 80kms of range. The range figure eventually goes up to 230+ as the battery level drops to 70%. Sometimes however, the range would remain stuck at 80kms yet the car would still complete close to 200 kms in that one charge cycle. Eventually the range drops to <80kms as the battery level drops below 40%. This issue has been fixed after the prime software update.
  • Fast charging reliability is poor and the system throws up multiple errors which make it very difficult to depend on.
  • High speed stability is rock solid.
  • Headlight throw can be described as 'adequate' at best. It could have been much better.
  • Fit and finish is lacking - Accelerator pedal had loosened within first 1000kms and was moving from side to side. This has never happened on any car we've owned before and was very odd and off-putting. Fixed within the first service and has not happened again.
  • Major front suspension noise: While going over bumps or while acceleration/regen/braking there was an audible clunking noise that worsened over this past monsoon season. We were well aware that Nexons had a link rod issue and pursued this with Tata for over 90 days with no response - Service Guys at Wasan Motors, Deonar did not bother to check and said all was 'normal'. Booking a slot for service has always been cumbersome. Finally, just 3 weeks back, we returned the car for service + Prime update. We asked for a different service representative who immediately identified the issue after a short drive and I'm glad to say the issue has been fixed. It was not due to the link rod but due to a screw/bolt which had lost all threading and causing the suspension to mechanically clash against the bushing. Had to be re-threaded and tested for 60kms. A word of advise to all prospective buyers of a Tata vehicle:
  • With the latest Prime update: Range has gone UP! With our style of driving, we're consistently getting around 200-210 kms in the city, up from 180-190kms before. This is with AC on about 70% of the time, regen mode on Level 3. A figure of 260kms on highways seems possible. We are yet to go for a long distance trip, so will update regarding that in the near future. Cruise control is a welcome feature. The iTPMS is nothing but a sensor that lights up the dash symbol if it detects and issue with tyre pressure and needs to be reset. Service rep has advised us to not fill the tyres with nitrogen and just use air as nitrogen can mess with the sensors. If anyone can confirm and provide some clarity on this matter, I'd greatly appreciate it.
  • This is a very comfortable car - Rear seat comfort was definitely above our expectations. A feature that would have been welcome - Rear USB port provision and AC blower controls.
  • Infotainment system is average, can lag at times and Android Auto can be a pain to use. The 8 speaker Harman system is pretty good, it isn't 'fantastic' but definitely above average!
  • 205mm of ground clearance. We're glad to bid adieu to all ground clearance issues within some of the cars we owned in the past (particularly our 2008 Honda Civic). The Nexon EV handles bad roads and poorly constructed speed breakers with ease.
  • Service experience is truly lacking. Tata is very busy launching new 'editions' of their vehicles and I applaud how they've revolutionized their product offerings, however there seems to be no attention paid to taking care of their customers AFTER having bought their products.

Attached are some pictures of our car. Overall, the ownership experience has been good although a little troublesome:

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