As mentioned earlier, the 1.5-litre Revotorq oil-burner’s output of 108bhp and 260Nm hasn’t been affected by the BS6 transition. It can still be had with an AMT or a six-speed manual which we are driving here. Although maximum torque is available from 1,500rpm, you’d need to rev the engine past 2,000rpm to get the Nexon going. Especially while getting off the mark, where diesel drivers are usually accustomed to loads of torque when moving from a standstill. Moreover, when revved past 2,000rpm mark, the engine gets noisy and feels strained, even though there’s not much momentum to show for it.
Brush off that unrefined hum from the engine and it’s the mid-range where the engine shines the best. Remarkably, the turbo kicks in unannounced so you get a strong push right when the turbo gets going. It’s not a high-revving engine this one, redlining just past 4,000rpm. But you won’t need to go all the way to extract the best out of the motor. You can keep the digital tachometer showing a bar or two over ‘2’, and the Nexon will amble about at city speeds all day. With strong mid-range at this point, there won’t be a need to go through the gears frequently. And when you hit the highway, there is ample amount of mid-range grunt available for triple-digit cruising. As for quick overtakes, you’d only need to put your foot down and the turbo-surge will see you through, albeit accompanied by that unrefined whirr.
Coming to the gearbox, it has that notchy and rubbery feel to it while shifting. Meanwhile, the clutch is light and fairly easy to use. However, it could do with less springy action as it will make it more user-friendly, especially in bumper-to-bumper traffic or while parking. Tata is also offering three driving modes with the Nexon – Eco, City, and Sport. Although the changes are barely noticeable in individual modes, each mode has a different setting for throttle response with Eco being the most restrained and Sport offering a sprightly feel to the right foot. City mode is a middle-ground and we found it best of the other two modes. This doesn’t mean that the Eco is subdued to a point of no-fun. You can still get around quite normally in Eco unaware if you don’t glance at the display.
Lastly, Tata claims a fuel efficiency of 22.4kmpl under ARAI standard. This means that the oil burner is quite frugal with anything between 15-20kmpl easily attainable in real-world conditions.