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Tata’s entry into the compact sub-4-metre compact SUV segment is sure to pose a threat to its competition. In terms of pricing, Tata has taken the aggressive route; prices start at ₹5.85 lakh and go up to ₹9.45 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). The Nexon’s rivals, the Maruti Vitara Brezza and the Ford EcoSport are priced marginally higher. Here’s how the 3 compare on paper:
The Vitara Brezza is not a muscular-looking car, yet it has got that typical-SUV silhouette that Indian buyers desire. Maruti Suzuki has done a decent job to add some flair to the Brezza’s simple lines with the contrast coloured roof. Its 198mm ground clearance helps give the Brezza the SUV-like stance it needs.
Coming to the EcoSport, the oversized octagonal grille, high bonnet and tailgate-mounted spare wheel help the EcoSport look sporty, while retaining that rugged SUV-ish look. Its 200mm of ground clearance is great for Indian roads but it still isn’t a serious off-roader. The EcoSport is all set to be updated soon, which should increase its desirability. The updated EcoSport is set to get many changes on the outside, most of which are towards its front-end. The Ford will feature a new hexagonal grille and aggressively styled new headlights. The new car also features a reworked front bumper and fog lamps. The alloy wheels have been redesigned as well.
The Tata Nexon has been styled with Tata’s Impact design philosophy, with its muscular stance and a coupé-like roofline. The Nexon has a concept-car like design theme all around. An attractive styling element is the horizontal strip that divides the headlamp housing. There’s a unique ceramic finish around the headlamps, fog lamps and LED tail lamps. The 200mm ground clearance gives the car the SUV-look, but like its rivals, it isn’t a serious off-roader.
On the inside, the Vitara Brezza offers a SUV-like seating position a neat and user-friendly cabin. The cabin can be jazzed up with various colours and trims but it still remains simple and ergonomic, with plenty of storage space, including two gloveboxes. However, the car uses extremely low quality plastics. The 328-litre boot is smaller than both, the EcoSport and the new Tata Nexon. The top-spec version of the Maruti comes with quite a lot of kit, including push-button start, steering-mounted audio controls, Bluetooth telephony and audio streaming, auto climate control, rear-parking sensors, auto headlamps and rain-sensing wipers. The SmartPlay infotainment system is the highlight and there’s also satellite navigation, cruise control and a reverse camera on offer.
A good driving position can be easily found in the EcoSport thanks to the tilt and telescopic adjust for the steering. Like the Brezza, there are quite a few cubbies and storage spaces in the cabin, which has hints of chrome. The EcoSport’s boot is 346 litres and, like the Brezza and the Nexon, can be increased thanks to the 60:40 split folding rear seats. In terms of equipment, the current-gen EcoSport matches the Brezza but its infotainment system isn’t as comprehensive. The upcoming 2018 EcoSport will receive the new touchscreen infotainment system, this system will come with Ford’s SYNC 3 software, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Furthermore, it is also expected to feature cruise control, a speed limiter function, automatic climate-control and a rear-view camera.
The Nexon’s cabin is rather simple, straight forward but well-equipped. The top-spec Nexon comes with a 6.5-inch HD touchscreen display, climate control, and voice commands for the eight-speaker Harman infotainment system. The car also has various nooks and crannies to store objects, which make the interiors a good place to be in. A unique feature is the drive mode controller, which lets you choose between the three drive modes – Eco, City and Sport. The umbrella holders in the doors are a nice touch. The 350-litre boot is the most spacious too.
The Brezza is equipped with the 1.3-litre, Fiat-sourced diesel engine, which produces 90hp and 200Nm, and it comes mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. The Brezza is the only car of the three to come with only one engine option. The Brezza may soon feature the Baleno RS’ 1.0-litre Boosterjet petrol engine that makes 102hp and 150Nm of torque to help it compete in this segment.
Ford has three engine options for the EcoSport – a 1.5-litre petrol engine making 112hp and 140Nm, a 1.5-litre diesel motor producing 100hp and 205Nm, and the 1.0-litre turbo-petrol Ecoboost motor that puts out 125hp and 170Nm of torque. The diesel and EcoBoost petrol engine are mated to a five-speed manual transmission, while the 1.5-litre petrol gets the option of a six-speed automatic. The Ecosport is the only car here to be offered with an automatic gearbox.
The Nexon is powered by a new 110hp, 1.5-litre diesel engine and a 110hp, 1.2-litre petrol motor, both engines have been mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. Both, the petrol and the diesel are expected to get an AMT offering soon.
Ford’s EcoSport offers a wide selection of variants, thanks to the multiple engines on offer, and its price tag starts at ₹7.1 lakh and goes up to ₹10.71 lakh for the Platinum Edition diesel. The Vitara Brezza comes in seven variants with prices starting from ₹7.24 lakh and going up to ₹9.91 lakh for the top-of-the-line ZDi Plus dual-tone trim. Prices for the Nexon start at ₹5.85 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), and at that price Tata will offer you the base petrol variant without some of equipment missing. The top-spec diesel XZ+ variant costs ₹9.45 lakh, and the top-end petrol costs ₹8.60 lakh.