Tata Nexon launched in India from ₹5.85 Lakhs

Thanks to the Tiago, Hexa and Tigor, Tata Motors is on a growth trajectory now after struggling for years with falling sales and dwindling market share. That trajectory is all set to receive a huge fillip with the launch of the Nexon, the brand's first compact crossover, today.

Available in four variants – XE, XM, XT and XZ+, the Nexon is priced between 5.85 Lakhs and 8.45 Lakhs for the petrol variants and 6.85 Lakhs and 9.30 Lakhs for the diesel variants. The top-end XZ+ variant also gets the option of a dual tone exterior paint job for a 15,000 premium over the regular variants. 

Powering the Nexon are a pair of engines developed in-house by Tata Motors. Both the 1.2-liter REVOTRON petrol and the 1.5-liter REVOTORQ diesel mills are turbocharged and generate class-leading 108 horsepower. While the 3-cylinder petrol engine generates 170 Nm of maximum torque, the 4-cylinder diesel generates 260 Nm of torque, the best figures in segment. A 6-speed manual transmission is paired to these engines at launch but we hear an Automated Manual Transmission (AMT) is on the cards and would be launched a few months down the line.

First shown in concept form at the 2014 Auto Expo in New Delhi, the Nexon wooed show-goers with its funky and futuristic design. Whilst there were doubts how much of those striking design elements would make it to production, Tata returned to the 2016 edition of the Auto Expo with the production version that looked barely different to the concept. Since then, the vehicle has taken its own sweet time to hit the market but, interestingly, the hype around the Nexon remained unabated.

Pitching against the trend-setting Ford EcoSport and the big-selling Maruti-Suzuki Vitara Brezza, the Nexon had to make an impact at first glance. Boy, does it do that with aplomb! Up front, Tata's familiar smiling grille with the 'Humanity Line' establishes the family connection. Merging seamlessly with the grille on either sides are stretched-back projector headlights. Fog lamps are placed on separate trapezoidal housings in the bumper. In profile, the flared wheel arches, the dual-tone paint job with the distinct, swoosh-shaped 'Ivory White' ceramic element underlining the windows and the steeply-rising beltline combine together to create a strong visual impression. The rear, with the tall bumper, high-set signature LED taillights and the thick ceramic element, is a bit too funky and is likely to polarize opinions. 

That said, the Nexon is a sure shot head-turner! Look no further if attracting stares is what you want.

All their recent launches have had much-improved interiors but, with the Nexon, Tata has taken an even bigger step forward. This is easily the best interiors yet in a Tata vehicle. We fancied our chances sitting inside one and the Nexon impressed with a spacious, well-designed and nicely put-together cabin. The familiar three-spoke steering wheel, the dashboard-mounted floating touchscreen and the flowing center console with a chunky 'Drive Mode Selector' knob are the visual highlights in the three-tone cabin that gets a liberal dose of classy 'brushed metal' inserts. Cleverly-designed storage spaces abound including an umbrella holder for each of the front doors, a feature hitherto found in luxury cars. 

Standard across the Nexon range are dual airbags, Antilock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Corner Stability Control, ISOFIX mounts, Multi Drive modes with Eco, City and Sport, a comprehensive Driver Information System, front power windows and umbrella holder in the front doors. 

The list expands gradually as we move up the range. 

The top-end XZ+, as one would expect, is loaded to the hilt with features including Smart Key with Push Button Start, height-adjustable front seats, Park Assist with camera, front fog lamps with cornering function, Voice Alerts, 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system from Harman with 8 speakers tuned for surround sound, advanced connectivity options with Android Auto and Voice Commands, 16-inch machine-cut alloy wheels, Feline Eye-shaped Daytime Running Lamps (DRL), climate control, fast USB charger, remote central locking, chilled glove box and power-adjustable and power-folding mirrors.

The Nexon boasts a segment-best 209 mm ground clearance and 350 liters of boot space. With the rear seat folded, it expands to a whopping 690 liters. 

Overall, a capable product like the Nexon at prices that currently undercuts its chief competitors, the EcoSport and Vitara Brezza, should mean brisk business for Tata Motors. Yes, Tata’s image amongst private car buyers isn’t all that great but the 7,000 odd Tiagos sold last month show that the perception is changing. Come on, Tata, you are on for a biggie with the Nexon!

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