When they launched the Tiago campaign a couple of years back, you got a sense of what’s coming ahead in the Tata stable. Fast forward two years later, they are cruising to victory with three launches in different segments and definitely a hatrick of success. This includes the Tiago (Hatchback), Tata Hexa(SUV), Tata Tigor (Styleback / Compact Sedan) and the upcoming Tata Nexon (Compact SUV).
Nexon incidentally stands for “Next-On“ and that says everything.
Why the Sub 4-metre cars?
Before we go into the review of the Tata Nexon , one should understand why automobile manufacturers including Tata Motors, Maruti or Ford prefer to design sub 4-meter cars.
Overall the taxes for large cars had a good redutction post GST. Even the Hexa’s price was reduced by INR 2 Lakhs. However when you consider the actual GST% it’s lesser for “Small” cars that are lesser than 4 metres and have an engine displacement upto 1.2L in a petrol vehicle and 1.5L in a diesel engine. These attract only 29% total tax including CESS . For all other >4 meter cars (Mid size or SUV’s), it is a whopping 43%.
This is difference of anywhere between 50-80,000 Rs in taxes alone for the smaller cars. So apart from the hatchback of Tiago, Tigor (Sedan) , the Nexon despite being a SUV will still come under the 28% tax bracket, since the variants fall under the engine displacement limit and literally 5 millimeters shorter than 4 meters.
|GST slab for Cars|
Tata Nexon Vs Competitors (Brezza , EcoSport, TUV300)
Be it the 209mm ground clearance(11m higher than Brezza), HD infotainment screen with 8 Harman speakers or the Coupe design along with 3 drive modes, Nexon stands out tough against others. Brezza currently edges ahead in terms of performance and additional mileage of 5-6 KMs(which may or may not be an important factor in this segment)
Key Features of Tata Nexon
Petrol Variant : The Nexon is powered with a 6 speed transmission (another first in this segment), 1.2 L Revotorq Engine 108 BHP @ 5000 RPM and Torque of 180NM. This is a significantly higher than the 89BHP present in the Maruthi Brezza. . Claimed Mileage for ARAI standard is 19 kpl (but in city conditions it should be anywhere between 11-15).
Diesel Variant : Just like the petrol version, this also has a 6 speed manual transmission gearbox . It has a 1.5L Turbo Diesel engine . Power is108 BHP @ 3,750 RPM . Claimed Mileage is 24 kpl (though in city conditions it may come to roughly 18-20). Fuel Tank Capacity is 44L.
On the wheels front, they have added a 16 inch alloy wheels that makes a significant difference in driving, esp in cornering and uphills. The more the wheel base , the higher confidence and grip you get on the road and this is very much true for the Nexon (the top end variant is rumoured to even sport an 18inch wheels. More the merrier I guess).
The metal roof rails at the top just makes the overall exterior all the more attractive.
In short the new “Impact” design methodology of Tata Motors stands out vividly in the Nexon.
The front floating Infotainment system with HD screens mounted on top of the dashboard is quite distinctive and probably the first thing you notice when you sit inside. The next thing you see is a “Grand Central Console” as they refer to it right beside the handbrake. This contains a sliding tambour door with a neat storage space inside along with a Drive mode change wheel.
Glove Box : Nexon surprises everyone with a huge sliding “cooled” and “illuminated” glove box. Not only does it help to store your consumables, but you can actually fit in a 15 inch laptop inside quite comfortably.
Overall storage capacity is 350L, altough with foldable rear seats, you can add another 100-150L to this capacity.
Drive Modes & Performance
The 3 driving modes : Sport, City and Eco comes super handy in different roads. If you are running low on Fuel , you can switch to Eco and this boosts your mileage , with slightly increased strain on the engine. If you want to cruise at 120+ in a highway, just go for the sports mode and for every other routine drive, switch back to the City mode, adapt for increased gear shifts. However it would have been marginally better if the petrol variant had slightly more power to get that extra boost it deserves.
Nexon Ride Quality
The leg space at the back is quite large compared to any other cars, and you can be quite assured of a very comfortable journey irrespective of where you are sitting. The rear middle seat can be converted to an arm rest . The comfort factor is excellent and the ride quality is not compromised in any way.
Nexon Price in India
The 6-speed manual transmission Nexon is “expected” to be priced between 6.5-7 Laks for the Petrol version and 7.5-8 Lakhs for the Diesel one. On-Road prices and will vary based on GST taxes.
Tata Motors has the work cut out here. The launch of the fantastic Tata Nexon has certainly given them all the ammunition they want, to make the conversion happen. Yet its competition against the well settled Brezza is going to be fierce. Tata was once king in the multi utility segment with the Sumo. They tasted a fair share of success with the latest SUV “Hexa”. Now, the compact SUV segment is going to be a little tougher.
Convincing a Ecosport or a Brezza buyer to rather opt for Nexon, a new entrant from Tata Motors is going to be difficult, take time and needs a good word of mouth. Yet they have what every marketer needs under his belt : A fantastic product! This alone could sweep the tide in favour of Tata and their whole new revamped “Impact Design” strategy, as long as they play their cards right.
Instead of “Nexon“, it should have rather been named the “Fight is on” !
You can check out more detailed information about the Tata Nexon here.