Tata Nexon AMT Diesel Road Test
- Published On: 25 March 2019
- 7 min read
The Nexon compact SUV launched by Tata in September 2017 as emerged as second best-selling car in India.
The Nexon is Tata’s second largest selling car in India and comes across as a well packaged product. We have been using the automatic diesel version for over three months now and here are our thoughts about the product. Do note that the vehicle was used by three different staff members and this gives us a fair indication of how it will fare with a typical user as well.
The Nexon was launched in September 2017 and went onto become a successful compact SUV. It is currently the second largest selling car in its segment and is offered in unbeatable combinations of engine and transmission options. What you see here is the top spec AMT diesel that currently retails at Rs 10.80 lakh, ex-showroom Delhi. This one is finished in Etna Orange and definitely stands out in the crowd of lighter colored cars in NCR. It also means our Nexon has been attracting its share of attention on the road.
Over the months, we have also fallen in love with the way it looks. The front DRLs, contrasting roof and chunky alloy wheels up the oomph factor. Paint quality and overall fit & finish has been great and the car even managed to foil a theft attempt. One fine morning we found the driver side door lock broken but the person couldn’t get access to the cabin thanks to the sensors of the smart entry system!
Interiors: Talking of the cabin, we have spent a considerable amount of time inside and can vouch for the space and comfort factor. This is a loaded SUV and comes with all the bells and whistles that are expected at this price point. This includes the touch-screen set-up that belts out fantastic audio quality levels. However, the touch reception isn’t as good as the rivals. Likewise, we have noticed chrome peeling off the inner door handle and this is unacceptable for a product that costs over Rs 12 lakh on-road! Ditto for the lower part of the central fascia that is beginning to get loose.
But that’s about it - we have no other qualms with the Nexon. The seats do feel firm when you sit inside the car but turn out to be a boon for longer drives. There are enough places to keep your stuff including generous storage space behind the gear lever. This one has a sliding cover and helps hide stuff away from suspicious eyes. Space is more than ample for four adults and a kid as we have found out on numerous occasions. Plus, not many know that the front doors have dedicated umbrella slots - how cool is this?
Engine: Ours is the diesel model that comes with a 1.5-litre turbocharged diesel unit generating 110 PS of power and 260 Nm of torque. Before the XUV300 came in, the Nexon diesel had best in class figures. This is the AMT model so that means we have a 6-speed automated-manual transmission and this is a key highlight for us. The AMT set-up is a boon for urban usage and while we do admit there are lags between shifts, given the small premium over a manual ‘box, this one makes for a recommended purchase. That said, the creep function could have been better on our test car. Creep mode is when you lift off the brake pedal with the gear-lever in D mode and the car moves forward without any accelerator inputs. This should be a smooth affair but our Nexon suffers from judders and unwanted vibes.
Performance: This is one area where the Nexon scores top marks. Maximum torque of 260Nm comes in as early as 1500rpm and once in the meat of the band, it's hard to catch the Nexon. It is also the only car in the segment to offer drive modes and we are a fan of these. You want fuel economy? Switch to the Eco mode wherein gear shifts happen earlier in the rev range. You want your share of fun? The Sports mode delivers that.
Mileage: And finally, kitna deti hai? Believe it not, the Nexon AMT diesel has been delivering us in excess of 20-22 kmpl on a regular basis. For an SUV that weighs a lot and uses an automatic, these figures are excellent to say the least. Even in rush hour traffic, the Nexon remains frugal!
Another area where the Nexon scores high is the ease of driving factor. The light steering gets the credit for this and this makes maneuvering the car at crawling speeds an easy affair. Likewise, high speed manners inspires confidence as well as we found out during multiple trips. That said, low speed ride quality is definitely on the firmer side and could do with improvement in terms of offering a supple ride.
Verdict: Our three-month stint with the Nexon has been extremely positive. Quality issues on the inside aside, we have had a great time with this compact SUV. Tata Motors took time, but they have finally arrived at a spot where they have great products to challenge manufacturers in across most car segments.