Tata Nexon brings a fresh perspective to compact SUVs. The futuristic-looking compact SUV, has cuts and curves that have already drawn plenty of attention and appreciation and as the tagline itself suggests, experiences level next hence the name Tata Nexo

Tata Motors have introduced a new vehicle in the market. The futuristic-looking compact SUV, has cuts and curves that have already drawn plenty of attention and appreciation from the critics and crowds. As the tagline itself suggests, experience level next hence the name Tata Nexon.

The most prominent thing about the Tata Nexon is its looks. The overall design and styling are completely different from what we have seen from Tata Motors so far. The front end of the Tata Nexon is pleasant to look at - there is a hidden happiness in that smiley face grille, with a bold chrome strip running under it all the way around the headlamps. What is interesting is the use of white-ceramic plastic to break the design monotony. The white strip extends all along the shoulder of the vehicle, ducks under the C-pillar and wraps on to the boot in an X-shape (the X-factor, as Tata calls it). This lends the rear a completely futuristic look – slightly inspired from the Range Rover Evoque. The roof on the top-end variant is a different color from the body, separated by that white ceramic strip and matte-black around the window-line. On the wheels, you will find large 16-inch alloy wheels nicely filling up the wheel wells, thus giving it a bold and confident look. What you will also notice is the enormous amount of ground clearance (209 mm) and short overhangs – which makes this a competent vehicle for the worst terrain.

Talking about the power and performance, Tata Nexon is offers with a choice of two engines – a 1.2 litre, turbo-charged three-cylinder petrol engine and a 1.5 litre, four-cylinder diesel engine that are completely new units developed by Tata. Both these motors are mated to six-speed manual transmissions driving the front wheels. What is immediately noticeable is how tractable the engine is; the Nexon pulls cleanly from as low as 1,400rpm. This tractability, due to the 260Nm of torque from 1,500rpm, makes driving in traffic quite easy and you don’t need to constantly downshift. Once you are past 2,000rpm, there's a gentle wave of power. As per ARAI, the mileage of Tata Nexon Manual Transmission Petrol Variant is 16 kmpl, for Diesel Variant is 22 kmpl. 

The interior design of the car speaks for itself. The three-tone layered dashboard has premium surface textures and fabric crafted to perfection. Furthermore, you will see when entering the car is the new floating dash top 6.5 inch touchscreen infotainment display that is placed right in the middle of the dash. This advanced infotainment system with next-gen smartphone connectivity of Android Auto with the best recognition technology helps to access navigation, phone and music at the press of a button. Additionally, the system lets you read and reply text and even Whatsapp messages with voice commands. Furthermore, the system connects to eight speaker system from Harman which certainly provides a true-to-life acoustic experience while tackling the busy roads of the valley. In addition, a grand central console at the center of it all with sliding tambour door for smart storage is elegant and useful. Overall, I quite enjoyed the fancy gadgets and latest technology inside.

The steering wheel, which is tilt adjustable, drops down quite low unlike other Tata cars that had a high-mounted steering wheel. It is great in helping to find a good driving position. However, when it is at its lowest setting, it blocks a clear view of the instrument panel. These are minor irregularities, but it is overall very well put together.

The rear door opens up to disclose the 350-litre boot which is about par with its competitors. The rear seats can fold down slightly (60:40 split). The fabric seats provide good support and the design is such that the cabin is fairly spacious even for tall adults in the rear seat. Knee room and head room is generous for four adults. A fifth passenger would have to deal with some intrusion from the rear AC panel and transmission tunnel in the middle. The rear seats are pretty soft, so you tend to sink into them. However, in its quest for futuristic design, there are a couple of minor flaws. The view out of the rear window is pretty restricted, owing to the small rear windscreen.

Other features you will notice inside include a cooled glove box, multi drive modes (city/eco and sport) which have an impact on fuel efficiency, climate control, all power windows and USB charger. Numerous storage options, in fact thirty one, are also on offer including a smart holder for small folding umbrellas, cup holder, sunglass holder, deep door pockets and many more.

With other features such as dual airbags, Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) with electronic brake force distribution (EBD), park assist with rear sensors, rear fog lamps and front fog lamps with cornering assistance, it is safe to say that the Tata has certainly made sure driving this level next SUV is safe.

All in all, driving this in and around the city is quite a joy. Available in four different colors with dual tone roof available in two of the colors, Tata Nexon is available both in Petrol/Diesel version as well and currently present in Manual Transmission only. The starting price for this level next SUV is NRs. 33,00,000 and goes up to NRs. 46,00,000 depending on the different variants. Overall, Tata Nexon brings a fresh perspective to compact SUVs. Its design should appeal to a young audience. It is a competent performer as well and will appeal to those looking for a vehicle with high ground clearance and sporty handling characteristics.