Tata's entry-level SUV in India, the Nexon, has made its transition to meet the stricter BS6 emission norms in the country. It's priced from Rs 6.95 lakh onwards and has now gained an updated, more powerful 1,199cc Revotron turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine in the transition. Let's take a look at the top five positives and two negatives of this SUV.
1. Handsome looks
This iteration of the Tata Nexon gets minor but impactful cosmetic changes as a part of the 2020 model year update. Similar to the electric version of the SUV that we'd seen earlier, this one also gets a revised hood for jacked up muscularity, a tweaked grille, sharper headlamps with tri-arrow pattern DRLs and a new lower grille as well.
A new alloy wheel pattern adds more character, while its revised LED tail lamps give it a distinct look at the back when compared to its older model. All of these aesthetic changes make it look even better and mature than the outgoing model.
2. Impressive ride quality
The new-age Tata cars have set a high benchmark for good ride quality and the Nexon carries forward this popularity. The manufacturer has tuned its suspension to take on our unpredictable road conditions without any hassle. Passengers will be most comfortable as the Nexon absorbs all thunks and thuds from potholes and broken roads, while also being stable over undulations.
It rides quite high off the ground with a clearance of 209mm. This, paired with the 16-inch alloys and a wide and high profile give the Nexon a tall stance. Amongst all compact SUVs, it's got one of the best-in-segment ride qualities at both slow and high speeds.
3. Easy-to-drive with good handling
The Nexon's steering now provides a better feel and feedback with improved handling as well. It weighs up adequately and feels precise with instant response to the turn-in provided. More importantly, it doesn't make you feel like you are driving a big SUV as minimal driver efforts are required. It's similar to what would be required to drive a hatchback. Furthermore, its compact footprint makes it easy to fit in traffic gaps and doesn't occupy too much space in your parking lot too.
This top-spec XZ(O) variant is handsomely packed with many features. This 2020 Nexon continues with equipment like projector lamps, LED DRLs, LED tail lamps, engine push-start button, touchscreen infotainment system, automatic climate control, cruise control, etc. Remarkably, it now gets added features like a digital instrument cluster, TPMS and a much-in-demand sunroof.
What's more, the carmaker has come up with a new ‘Xpress Cool’ button owing to the hot and humid climatic conditions in India. This helps in cooling the cabin faster with max blower speed and by pulling the driver window down automatically. Needless to mention, the brand’s IRA tech is another USP given the need of connected technology by users.
5. Safe car with solid build quality
Also, it's not just for the tremendous road presence, but the Nexon has been appreciated for its tough construction as well. The quality of materials used do give it a built-to-last feel. Besides, its robust underpinnings have proved its solid build quality over time. Gladly, the new one also continues to boast of a five-star NCAP safety rating ensuring owners and prospective buyers of a very safe car.
This is backed up by a safety suite of dual-airbags, hill-hold assist, roll-over mitigation, ABS with EBD, traction control and more.
1. Uninspiring bottom-end engine performance
This up-rated turbocharged petrol motor is quite powerful than the one in the older model. However, the jump from 109bhp to 118bhp isn't quite evident from the word go. This mill does take a fair bit of time for the turbo to spool up and power is delivered quite linearly. It's only post 2,000rpm when the motor wakes up and helps the car make progress.
As a result, there's no surging ahead even with more throttle inputs at low-range and it's only in the mid-range when you will be able to make use of the power. It might get unnerving for some drivers while overtaking or making a quick sprint.
2. Mediocre fuel efficiency
Due to the weak bottom-end engine performance and a kerb weight of 1,260kg, the Nexon ends up gulping down quite a lot of fuel. The constant gear shifts and mashing the throttle pedal quite often to make progress will have a downtrend in fuel efficiency.
This was quite apparent in our real-world fuel economy tests as well considering the SUV returned 13.26kmpl in the city-run and 14.45kmpl on the highway which isn't something remarkable. In fact, it might become a concern for owners expecting a good fuel efficiency from this vehicle.
Thankfully, the positives of the petrol Tata Nexon outweigh its negatives to offer buyers a good package. And it's a proper SUV rather than a beefed-up hatchback with pseudo SUV looks and a jacked up appearance. Moreover, it remains to be a formidable option in the segment marred with so many compact SUVs.