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Tata Nexon - Five labours

Tata Nexon - Five labours
Nikhil Puthran Nikhil Puthran Saturday 05 January 2019, 17:31 PM

Introduction

My association with Tata cars began early when my uncle drove me to my school in a Tata Indica. The car was dependable and easy on the pocket even though it wasn’t exactly known for its design and the engine was a tad noisy. Today, Tata has moved away from its traditional design language. The modern Tata cars have evolved, both in terms of design as well as technology. Recently, I renewed my acquaintance with Tata cars; this time, it was a Nexon. A blue dual tone XZ variant, to be precise. The wide flared wheel arches and sporty body lines are accompanied by an impressive set of features. Small wonder then that the Nexon has won hearts across all age groups. After spending some time with the Nexon, I would have to say that this is indeed one of the finest Tata cars we have on the road today.

How practical is it?

Now, even with a low-slung roof and hunkered-down stance, this compact SUV offers a good ground clearance. It can hop skip and jump over every huddle quite effortlessly. And like all Tata cars, the Nexon is loaded with space. It sure can seat five full-sized adults quite comfortably but with four occupants, you have a large couch-like seat to yourself with an armrest in between. Moreover, a few hundred miles in this car feels like a breeze without a pain in the derriere. Add to that the neat dual-tone dashboard that features good quality plastic panels with a cooled and illuminated glove box that keeps your drink or dessert fresh and cold. What’s more, the cabin feels adequately insulated, however, the engine noise can be heard in the cabin when idle. That said, the noise is definitely not bothersome and most wouldn’t complain unless they are the enthusiast sorts.

What’s the fuel efficiency like?

In a country where most of us have grown up with the ‘kitna deti hai?’ question, the Nexon has a perfect answer to that. The ARAI claimed efficiency for the diesel manual variant is 22kmpl, while we have managed to extract 18.4kmpl. This is indeed impressive considering the fact that the compact SUV is powered by a six-speed 1.5-litre diesel engine that generates 108bhp at 3750rpm and 260Nm of torque at 1500rpm.

What’s on the feature list?

The vehicle offers the segment-first three drive modes – City, Eco and Sport. The rotary knob for the drive modes adds more character to the compact SUV. The City mode is purely for those who prefer a laid-back and comfortable driving style. Power delivery in this mode is modest and is tuned more for the city use. Driving in the Eco mode is not for thrill seekers, but then, that’s what it is meant to do, just give out the best efficiency. Now, the Sport mode is what pasted a smile on my face. The 1.5-litre engine changes its character and reveals its full potential with impressive performance all through the rev range. There is ample power and response in every gear. The front seat arm rest offers ample storage capacity that can store two wallets or multiple car chargers and USBs. The vehicle gets a ConnectNext 6.5-inch floating dash top touchscreen infotainment system by Harman-Kardon. The vehicle driven by us featured an Android Auto, while the latest ones have been updated by Apple CarPlay.

How does it perform on the daily commute?

Mumbai might be known as a city that never sleeps but it is also infamous for its uneven speed breakers and potholes that can definitely test your patience on a different level. The Nexon gulps it all with a smile. Low speeds over rough patches get a little unsettling as compared to the other Tata products, however, the suspension setup takes on bad patches effortlessly at higher speeds. The large 16-inch alloy wheels wrapped in chunky tyres take on every obstacle with ease. The compact design and good turning radius make it perfect to turn or park into tight spaces. The Harman-Kardon music system with four speakers and four tweeters has been exclusively tuned for the Nexon to deliver crisp and immersive music quality. Overall, the fit and finish for the Tata Nexon is impressive and has a premium appeal, especially for a vehicle which is priced at Rs 10.07 lakhs (ex-showroom).

How is it for the weekend?

Speaking of five-seater vehicles in India, the Nexon is definitely not the one to give false hopes as it can comfortably seat five without making the rear passengers awkward. The rear seat armrest with cup holders are however a bit small and can accommodate only smaller cups. Speaking of space, the Nexon also offers an impressive boot capacity of up to 350-litres, which comfortably holds up four to five medium-sized trolley bags or up to seven shoulder bags with ease. The excellent suspension setup is perfectly tuned for Indian roads and absorbs the bumps efficiently even when it is completely loaded.

What’s the deal with the warranty?

Tata Motors offers two years/75,000kms warranty for the Nexon. Customers can extend the original warranty by one or two years through the Tata Motors extended warranty program. The cost for extended warranty varies from Rs 5,700 to Rs 16,200.

Conclusion

The Tata Nexon is indeed a good choice for customers who need a practical, comfortable and feature loaded compact SUV, especially for the price that it is offered at. Style being subjective, a few might feel that the vehicle has an overdone design. But then, on a personal front, I would positively vote for its urban design as it looks young and energetic as compared to the older Tata cars that I have been associated with. And it definitely was a pleasure living with the Tata Nexon.

 

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