Tata Nexon: Car review

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Updated: July 28, 2017 1:18:20 AM

With the exception of Tesla, perhaps no other major car company builds cars that end up looking like the futuristic concepts. The Nexon that Tata Motors will soon launch looks exactly like the Nexon it had showcased as a concept car at the 2014 Delhi Auto Expo.

Tata Nexon, Tata Nexon Car review, Nexon car review, Delhi Auto Expo, SUV, 4x4 vehicle, Revotron unitWhat defines the design is ivory white accents around fog lamps, which kind of swoosh across the shoulder line, and then merge at the rear of the car in a big X shape.

With the exception of Tesla, perhaps no other major car company builds cars that end up looking like the futuristic concepts. The Nexon that Tata Motors will soon launch looks exactly like the Nexon it had showcased as a concept car at the 2014 Delhi Auto Expo. We drive this compact SUV in Kochi, Kerala.

What defines its design?
The projector headlamps with feline-eye-shaped DRLs give it a bold front stance. What defines the design is ivory white accents around fog lamps, which kind of swoosh across the shoulder line, and then merge at the rear of the car in a big X shape. The top-end XZ+ trim has a dual-tone colour scheme.

Is it an SUV?
The Nexon is not a 4×4 vehicle. However, its raised stance and a sloping roof give it a sporty character, while enough cabin space makes it a good utility vehicle. It rides on big 16-inch wheels and has a high 209mm ground clearance—more than most SUVs.

Is the cabin feature-rich?
The cabin quality is best-ever for a Tata car. In fact, refinement levels match those found in premium German cars. For example, it has a 6.5-inch ‘floating’ touchscreen that is normally found in cars made by Audi and Mercedes-Benz. Similarly, the sliding tambour door of a storage space between the front seats of the Nexon is a feature that some BMW cars have. Talking of storage space, there are as many as 31 utility spaces.

Wearable key: You can wear the key on your wrist. It looks just like your regular Fitbit device. Wearing it, as you press a button on the door, the car get unlocked. To start the engine, just press a button on the dashboard.

How spacious is the cabin?
The headroom and legroom at both front and rear is class-leading. All seats have a slight protrusion that provide the passenger good thigh support. The boot space is 350 litres which can be expanded to 690 litres.

What’s under the hood?
Diesel: Tata has developed an all-new diesel engine. This 1497cc Revotorq unit produces a peak power of 108.5bhp (110 PS) and a healthy torque of 260Nm. It’s mated to a six-speed manual gearbox.

Petrol: This 1198cc Revotron unit is turbocharged, helping it produce a peak power of 108.5bhp and a torque of 170Nm. It’s also mated to a six-speed gearbox. Tata hasn’t yet declared its fuel-efficiency figures.
How does it drive?

Diesel: While its initial acceleration is not exciting, once the engine crosses 1500rpm and the turbo kicks in, the car shoots ahead. Tata has worked a lot on reducing noise, vibration and harshness levels—the trademark clatter of the diesel just doesn’t enter the cabin.

Petrol: Again, because it is a small unit, the initial acceleration won’t thrill you, but once the engine gets into higher rpm, the way the car gathers speed is noteworthy.

The Nexon gets multi-drive modes—Eco, City and Sport—to experience three personalities of the car. So, in Eco mode the focus is on fuel-efficiency, while in Sport mode the focus is on acceleration. However, we believe a modern car should be smart enough to choose driving modes on its own—for instance, if I am driving with a soft foot, the car should automatically run in Eco mode, and if I fully press the accelerator, the car should go into Sport mode. Why do I need to manually choose a mode and distract myself?

How much will it be priced?
Because the Nexon will compete against compact SUVs such as Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza (Rs 7.23 lakh onwards, only available in diesel) and Ford EcoSport (Rs 7.1 lakh for petrol and Rs 7.8 lakh for diesel), expect it to be priced in a similar band.

(The Nexon will be launched during the festive season this year.)

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