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Tata Nexon First Drive Review – Leading By Example

Tata Nexon. (Image: Siddharth Safaya/News18.com)

Tata Nexon. (Image: Siddharth Safaya/News18.com)

Following the company's new design language, Tata Nexon is equipped to its brim and it may make a mark for itself in the compact SUV segment. Read on to know why.

Tata Motors seems to be on a roll ever since they launched the ever so popular Tiago, which was followed by the Hexa and then the Tigor. They have now come out with another bold design in the form of the Nexon compact SUV. The new car will compete in the Compact SUV space and in order to make a mark for itself, it has to be special in more ways than one. Here’s our first drive impression of the car!

Looks

One of the first things that play an important role in a compact SUV’s success is the way it looks and the Nexon manages to turn heads wherever it goes. There are so many shades of colours used on the outside, like the exterior paint of the car, the roof, the blacked out body cladding and the ivory white accents on the fog lamps and the shoulder line.

In terms of proportions, the car has a wide and strong stance because of the sloping roofline, big 16-inch alloy wheels and the flared wheel arches. The front end of the Nexon is bold, thanks to the projector headlamps which also come with nice looking Daytime running lights. From the back, the tail lights are all LEDs and the x-shaped ivory white accent makes gives the Nexon an instant recall factor.

Ivory white inserts on fog lamps. (Image: Siddharth Safaya/News18.com)

Cabin

Once you hop inside the car, you are greeted by a very upmarket looking cabin, which will make you feel as if you are seated in a car that is one or even two segments above. There are a total of 31 compartment spaces inside which include large bottle holders in all the four doors and the glovebox is both cooled and illuminated.

It also gets a detachable tray which can be removed for extra space and there is a neatly integrated push button integrated on the dash instead of the glovebox lid which adds to the premium feel of the cabin. The most unexpected compartment space, though, has to be the one under the seat which will make you think that why don’t all cars have that.

Interestingly, the designers have left a couple of easter eggs inside the cabin like a tiger on the glovebox lid and near the rear wipers.

Tata Nexon cabin offers premium features. (Image: Siddharth Safaya/News18.com)

Features

The Tata Nexon is a feature rich car and there’s no competition to it as far as gadgets are concerned. It comes with a push button start and outside rear view mirrors, that are both electrically adjustable and retractable.

The star attraction, though, is the 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment display that is great to use and even better to look at. The infotainment setup comes with a total of 8 speakers inside the car which have been developed by HARMAN. The Nexon gets the usual AUX, USB and Bluetooth connectivity, but will also come with Android Auto and Apple Carplay (to be launched later).

New 6.5-inch floating touchscreen infotainment system.(Image: Siddharth Safaya/News18.com)

On top of that, it gets steering mounted controls along with voice commands. There’s also a reverse parking camera with sensors that show dynamic guidelines as well. The cool part is that you can switch the camera on whenever you want with a dedicated and button on the centre console and the car doesn’t necessarily have to be in reverse gear to access it.

The power port for the rear passengers is placed at an awkward position and will only be helpful for those seated on one side of the car. We just wished that it was placed at the centre console instead, making it accessible to all. A lot of focus on safety is put as it gets dual airbags, ABS, EBD and cornering stability control as standard across all variants.

Projector headlamps with DRLs. (Image: Siddharth Safaya/News18.com)

Engine

The Tata Nexon is available with a new 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine and a new 4-cylinder 1.5-litre turbocharged diesel engine. We tested the diesel powered Nexon, which has a power output of 110 PS and an impressive 260 Nm of torque. The engine is quite refined as it has a very linear power delivery across the RPM range. This engine now comes with an all-new 6-speed gearbox that makes for a better fuel economy on highways.

As for the driving experience, the steering is well weighted and gives an excellent feedback to the driver. The ride quality is great as well since the Nexon gets a dual path suspension at the front and a massive 209 mm ground clearance.

1.5-litre Revotorq turbodiesel engine. (Image: Siddharth Safaya/News18.com)

What’s interesting is a rotary knob that’s placed at the centre console that lets the driver choose between the three drive modes – Eco for better fuel efficiency, Sports for all-out performance and City – that manages to find a sweet spot between the both.

But there were a few things that we wished that could have been better in the Nexon and the thing that tops the list is the engine noise that creeps inside the cabin. At cruising speeds, the noise suppression is good, but once you climb the revs, it does get audible and makes the car feel strained even when it isn’t.

Tata Nexon competes against Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza and Ford Ecosport. (Image: Siddharth Safaya/News18.com)

Verdict

The Tata Nexon is equipped to its brim and offers everything that is expected from a sub 10 Lakh car. The final question is whether you should be waiting for the Nexon and whether it makes to the list of your next probable car? Well, if Tata manages to price it aggressively then the answer is a reassuring yes. It will do most of the things that you will ask it to and has almost everything that you would need. And that’s why, you simply cannot miss out on this one.

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