Choosing an infotainment system in a car is as important as what lies under the hood. Well, some people ignore the engine aspect altogether but get their act together when it comes to sound quality. As far as compact SUVs go, the current favorites are the Mahindra XUV300 and the Tata Nexon. One can also argue that there are others like the Hyundai Venue or even the Ford EcoSport. However for the sake of convenience, we have used the two homegrown makers here.
Harman has had a long and fruitful association with Tata Motors. Truth be told, Tata music systems, even in the Nano punch above their weights. Tata Motors calls its the ConnectNext in the Nexon and earlier this year it was upgraded to a 7.0-inch unit. There are also eight speakers to go with it. Tata has also given the system Android and Apple compatibility. Apart from this, there is Bluetooth connectivity, image as well as video playback, voice command recognition and more. The screen is vivid and it also falls in the line of sight of the driver. One doesn’t need to look down to see what is being displayed.
The touch sensitivity is decent though it isn’t as fluid as we expect it to be. This screen also doubles up as the reverse camera display. Moreover, even when driving forward, one can touch the icon and the behind scene can be seen on the display. As for the sound quality, the Nexon has one of the best sounding systems in its class. The audio system is speed-sensitive – lowers the volume automatically when one goes above a certain speed. There is also on-board navigation that works when one just starts uttering the first three letters of the place they want to go to. We will not be able to comment on how well this works as we are yet to drive the facelifted Nexon.
Price: Rs 8.7 lakh – Rs 12.70 lakh, ex-showroom
The Mahindra XUV300 came in much after the Nexon. One of the key focus was to better the Nexon’s infotainment system. At that point in time, Tata had a 6.5-inch unit while the Mahindra boasted a 7.0-inch unit. The screen resolution of the XUV300 system appears a bit dull. It is also positioned in the conventional space where you expect infotainment to be. It requires you to move your eyes off the road. This being said, the Mahindra screen is much more tactile to use.
The navigation as well as understanding icons too is easier than in the Tata. However, the XUV300 could have done with a much better speaker system. It only has half the speakers compared to Nexon and the sound quality is just about okay. There is smartwatch connectivity, Apple and Android compatibility and Bluetooth. There is also an inbuilt GPS system. This one will also read out SMS and understand voice commands. The rearview camera display resolution is portrayed in a much better fashion in the XUV300, with various angles given to the driver.
Price: Rs 10.60 lakh – Rs 12.69 lakh, ex-showroom
As automobiles, both the Nexon and XUV300 will never leave you shortchanged. Both have an extensive feature list, connected car tech, and petrol/diesel engines. The XUV300 currently has an AMT only with the diesel, with the petrol expected to follow soon. Tata has the upmanship here as the Nexon comes with manual and automatic guises in both petrol as well as diesel. Purely on the basis of sound quality, the Nexon comes on top. However, if it is the ease of everyday use, the XUV300 seems better executed. If you want both in one car, stay tuned for our next infotainment comparison.
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