The month of July heralds joy for me! The cloudy sky and cool breeze make my travels more enjoyable. So, a trip to Kerala in July left me all excited. An opportunity of taking the yet to be launched Tata Nexon for a spin added further exuberance.
I was invited by Tata Motors to test drive Nexon in the serene surroundings of Kerala. The event was held at The Kochi Marriot where we were given a brief about what Nexon has to offer. Our test drive started early morning on Day 2 when we hit that ignition and headed towards Greenberg Resort. A 2-hour drive was sufficient for me to experience the various aspects of this car. I drove both the variants, Petrol and Diesel. This blog post is written based on my driving experience as I cruised along the highway, with an array of impressive Idukki hills in the backdrop. This drive definitely tops my recent road trips.
Before the flag off, at Marriot
Before I start talking about Tata Nexon, I would like to make it clear that this is not going to be a flowery post. I’m not just going to say that it was a mesmerizing drive through salubrious landscapes and as the brawny engine revved, I fell in love with Nexon. I’m not going to blankly say that the car is awesome, the drive was awesome and everything was awesome. I’ll also not say that if there is any car in the market that you should buy, it’s Nexon.
Rather, what I am going to talk about is my own hands on experience of driving this burly machine, wrapped in a stylish design. I’ll highlight the features which left me impressed and might impress you as well. Rest assured, I am not just going to throw jargons and numbers at you. If you would like to see the specs, you can visit Tata Nexon page.
About Tata Nexon
Currently, in the automobile market, the Sub 4 meter SUV segment is considered to be the hottest. More popularly known as compact SUV, this segment will offer you a pretty impressive power and torque along with an ease of navigating through city traffic. A Sub 4 meter car will also be priced lower than a longer car due to the taxes levied, thus making it more affordable. With Tata Nexon, the good old Tata brand is foraying in this segment, making the hot market even hotter. And boy does it sizzle!
This compact SUV by Tata will most likely launch in September. The estimated price range is Rs 7.5 to 10.5 Lakhs, later being that of a high-end diesel engine model.
Design and Performance
The chic and aerodynamic design makes Tata Nexon look impressive. I love the way Nexon has these almost perfect bulges around the edges. The car is way less boxy than any other Compact SUV currently in the market. The imposing front black grill, with a chrome border, contrasts well with the bright red and blue color. Generally, blue is my favorite color, but on this elegant car, red adds a certain degree of oomph which I fell for. The ground clearance is very impressive, making it a great option for Offroading. That’s one feature I absolutely love in this car. The LED lamps also leave a mark and make Nexon look dominating from the front.
Coming to the gearbox performance, A 6 speed Manual Transmission is an impressive improvement as compared to the other Tata cars I have experienced. While cruising on the highway the 6th gear helps you with fuel efficiency. The smooth transition between gears made my highway drive more enjoyable. While revving at a high speed, I loved how effectively the gear transitioned and the car zoomed past.
As far as the pickup is concerned, it was less than what I expected. I felt that the pickup in city mode lagged a little. But, in sports mode, it did roar under the hood. I realized the 1.5L diesel engine to be much more refined as compared to the 1.2L petrol engine. From other performance viewpoints like power and torque, again the diesel engine served me better. In the petrol engine, I did feel a bit of vibration while driving at lower gears.
The clutch mechanism is an impressive one. The clutch adjusts to the driver so that over a period of time, it doesn’t become spongy and the friction remains intact. This happens because the clutch adjusts itself to the most optimum setting irrespective of how hard or light the driver uses it. Well, this is an impressive technological advancement not only for Tata but across the automobile industry.
With my blogger friends during the drive
The interiors were plush and gave a premium SUV feeling. The glove box is very deep; it can fit your laptop easily. Another spacious cabinet is provided next to the handbrake which also has retractable cup holders. This spacious cabinet can be accessed by sliding the cover. When closed, you can comfortably place your smart phone on top. I liked this as it is way convenient than placing your phone behind the gear.
However, I felt that many features were not placed as they should have been. The handbrake is on the passenger’s side and not the driver’s. The fuel indicator was not as conspicuous as I would like it to be. The odometer looked a bit cramped with all those numbers and indicators flashing. The current AC setting was not visible on the display.
But, this feeling might have come because I drive other hatchbacks & SUVs. Being adjusted to certain accessibility, I felt the Tata Nexon’s accessibility to controls and indicators was a bit misplaced. I guess if I would drive a Nexon for a while, it wouldn’t take time to get adjusted.
Handling & Brakes
For a compact SUV, the handling was much smoother than my expectation. Especially in the city, maneuvering this beauty while trying not to hit unpredictable autos and bikers was easy. The brakes, however, are way sensitive for an SUV. Having driven those SUVs of yesteryears, I would have liked a bit of ruggedness. But then, the millennial generation might like the featherlight brakes.
Space and seating
The sloped lines and an aerodynamic design give an impression that the backseat passengers might not have enough leg room or head space. However, I was satisfied with what is offered. Nexon is perfect for 2 in the backseat with ample thigh support. But, if there are 3 passengers riding in the back, it might not be very comfortable for the middle passenger. So, if your friend buys Nexon, make sure you are the last one to enter the car!
Some other cool features
Apart from the above-mentioned points, there were some additional cool features in Nexon. The keyless entry is a welcome advancement which allows you to avoid that dangling key while jogging or similar activity. An umbrella holder which dries out a wet umbrella was also impressive. There is a push ignition button which gives a premium feel to the car. Now, these features are surely cool. But, I wouldn’t say one would make a purchase decision based on these.
Displayed in 2014 as a concept car, Tata Nexon has not completely drifted away from the concept. A lot of technological and design leaps have been taken by Tata in form of Nexon. Tata Nexon might give a tough competition to the existing cars in the compact SUV market. But, will it rule the road? Only time will tell.
I hope you found my post to be useful. What do you think of Nexon? Do let me know in the comments section below.
Below, I have mentioned other reviews written by my blogger friends. Give them a read as well!