The pre-facelift Nexon’s 109bhp 1,198cc petrol engine now makes way for a BS6-compliant 118bhp, 1,199cc mill in this 2020 model. It's still a Revotron turbocharged three-cylinder unit that delivers 170Nm of torque at 1,750-4,000rpm. Transmission choices are unchanged, with Nexon offering the same six-speed manual, that we are testing here, or an optional six-speed AMT. Start the engine and it remains quiet at idle and feels refined too as earlier. Also, it does portray low NVH levels, unless the tachometer needle is pointing upwards of 4,000rpm.
Now, I was expecting a palpable difference with uprated power, however, that's not the case. The turbo lag is evident and it feels lazy below 2,000rpm. Even post this, there's no particular strong surge in power delivery and it lacks a punch at low revs. Thankfully, it's only this initial bit which once you get past you will see the speeds climbing at a steady rate. The meat of the power band lies between 2,500rpm-4,000rpm when you will actually feel the difference in moving ahead. It’s sufficient within city speeds and even gets to triple digits on highways, so you won't even have to rev till the redline at 5,500rpm. The mid-range is quite usable for commutes, and with a light clutch to operate, getting from one point to the other becomes convenient. Thankfully, the driving modes are more distinct too. This time, the Eco mode is quite usable and doesn't feel like it's suppressing the response to throttle inputs too much. Switch to the city and then to the sport mode, and you instantly realise the difference with better responses from the engine. Still, this petrol Nexon isn't the one that will appeal to enthusiasts, yet good for ones who don't want to wring out performance.
Its ARAI-claimed fuel-efficiency of 17.4kmpl is achievable with light to moderate throttle inputs. But the Nexon is quite heavy at 1,260kg and needs a bit of rev to get going. Besides, shifting to a lower gear for a quick overtake becomes imperative. In this process, more fuel is used and this was clearly evident in our fuel efficiency tests that returned 13.26kmpl in the city and 14.45kmpl on the highway.