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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Tata Nexon Road-test Review 2017

All it takes is a phone call in a coffee shop to brighten an already bright day! That phone call came that amazing day from two sources. One from Tata JLR to Bobby Roy. Second from Bobby Roy to me confirming the arrival of the obvious: the Tata Nexon, we had to do it!

The car was given and Bobby Roy drove in to pick me up. Let me tell you in no uncertain words: When Bobby Roy drove in the Tata Nexon, it took me a while to fully absorb the beauty of the wonderfully designed Tata Nexon. I am a person who loves the way motorcycles look. And cars have to look really outstanding to catch my attention. For once, I stand my ground and I daresay that Tata has go the external and design absolutely correct for a vehicle that is meant to run directly on the roads.

The car does not take styling cues from anyone. This is totally indigenously built, indigenously designed with unique styling. I am not saying that it has got anything to do with the culture indigenous to India. What I mean is that it is an original design coming straight out of the Tata house. And boy do I like the style and design or what. Whatever we say about the design and the style, it would not be enough. We cannot do justice to this car which nearly looks like a concept car brought out on the streets.

This car has not yet been launched. But since we are testing it, we reckon that this would be the final shape and size that would be on the streets. 

As for the interiors, I am very old-fashioned. I am not one for fancy steerings and huge load of features. But this steering feels ergonomic and sporty. The dash is... well much more than utilitarian. You get all the information that you can think of. I remember not so long ago, a working odometer used to be thought as luxury. Today a dash showing traffic jams ahead is common place. 

You have driving modes like on a Superbike. The car comes with Eco Mode, Sport Mode and City Mode which you can change on the fly. And while you are changing modes, a pleasant voice of a woman announces the mode you are on. And if you start driving off with the handbrakes on or happen to do a handbrake turn on dirt, the same voice becomes a little sterner and warns you with the word, "Kashen" and you have to understand that she is cautioning you against such adverse practices not in line with regular driving.

The gearbox has 6 forward and 1 reverse gear just like most modern cars in the world today. If my memory serves me right, the first time I drove a regular street vehicle was on Peugeot in France in 2008 at a pre-launch event. I liked the way Tata is going with its gearboxes as well.

There is oodles of storage space. There is a cold tray for folks who want a midday chocolate meal. You have multiple spaces to stow away your umbrella permanently in your car. Actually you have two of them in the front doors.The boot space is enough for two small suitcases and one duffel bag. That is the best you can expect from a crossover utility vehicle. You cannot put a large suitcase there. I was thinking of a large suitcase because I do not travel light. I carry a lot of equipment and a lot of clothes. I often carry a large suitcase and end up paying extra luggage during a flight.

This is not a small car. It is not a huge car either. It is just the right size for a small family in the city. But this is for a fun driven colourful life. This car with its design and colours brings in cheer into your life. 

We such a beautiful and utilitarian (not always combined together), do we need to look at the engine. For most people in India, not really! But for me, it is very important. Okay, let me start getting a little critical now. The specs that come on paper look good. When you drive the petrol version of this 1.2L turbo charged vehicle with 110 odd Bhp and 170 Nm of Torque, things may seem a little sluggish. But again, I did not think so. The Torque was enough. So was the 110 bhp of power. 

At this point I would like to bring to the reader's notice that we were just two of us and the only payload we were carrying was photographic equipment which at most would have mounted to 20 odd kilos. Putting in 3 other people in the car would certainly have slowed us down.. That said, the turbo grunt kicked in a little above 2K rpm. You can almost hit triple digits on 2nd gear. Yes try it! You will be impressed at the pull. The only gripe I had during such a run was the noise which is due to the triple. No the engine does not get stressed. Triples will always make that extra sound especially when you pull hard. Some people like that because it somehow reminds them of a V configuration!

When we rode out of the city on to the open stretches of highways, cruising at 110 clicks seemed effortless and the fuel efficiency seemed best between 90-110 clicks on 6th gear at constant speed showing us 20kmpl which was astounding with the climate control running at 22°C. But I am sceptical of these displays! We easily crossed 140 clicks and still no sign of any engine stress albeit the fuel efficiency at those speeds came down to a little over 10kmpl! :D :D 

Should we talk about handling too? Being automotive enthusiasts, let us do it. The suspension is little on the stiffer side. Handling turns out to be impressive at sweeping corners being taken at 70 clicks. High speed straight line stability is fantastic. The negatives? Braking is woody at best. The ABS works. But the feedback from the pedal is as good as walking on tarmac. It is reliable. But the brakes should get better feedback. Of course you would get used to it. 

The aircon unit works efficiently and silently. The seats are extremely comfortable. Rear seating has excellent leg space. Multiple airbags take care of safety. However I am unaware of crash tests. I guess in India you do crash tests after the vehicles are launched on the roads on a day to day practical basis. It gives better data feedback.

Well we all know that we hanker after international brands. But the Nexon will change that trend. You WILL want a Nexon in your life. It is beautiful. It has excellent road presence. And I am sure that it would be launched at an attractive price.

As I was saying, one phone call in a coffee shop can bring in cheer into your life in the wonderful design shape of a Tata Nexon! 

The Tata Nexon Launch coming up soon! :) In the meanwhile, do enjoy our Tata Nexon Video Review by clicking here

Tests done by Ken (Krishnendu KES) Bobby Roy.
¨Photographs: Bobby ROY

Disclaimer: All tests performed by professional road testers from the ThrottleQuest.com team. Please do not try this in real life. 
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Item Reviewed: Tata Nexon Road-test Review 2017 Description: Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Krishnendu, aka Ken.
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