80 days and 20,000 Kms in the Tata Nexon

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When I picked up the Nexon from Mumbai and started our drive towards Bangalore, I thought I will do the 1000km journey in one-and-a-half day, considering the cruising speed of the Nexon and the fatigue. Also not to mention, our frequent stops for a good photograph and Shameer’s love for chai. After all this, we did the 1000km stretch in a single day and I went to sleep without becoming a wreck.

So, here I am sitting fresh and relaxed after spending 80 days and 20,000 Kms in our long term Nexon, penning down the list of things I am in favour of, and against the best compact SUV in India.

Size matters! Yeah, this is a big small car. . .

Basically, because of my humongous proportions, I am happy with bigger cars rather than hatchbacks and I enjoy the pain of driving it within city traffic. Bigger cars provide enough shoulder room and head room and I can glide past a rough section without thinking about the need to graze the car’s underbelly. Hence I prefer bigger cars for my road trips and as long termers.

When I got the Tata Nexon in our long term fleet, the feelings were mixed as I hadn’t driven the Nexon before. I was happy the moment I stepped in. Compared with the Brezza, the Nexon sits wider and boasts of a higher ground clearance of 209 mm, which is also the segment best. The ground clearance really helps here when you drive through a rough patch of road and the 215/60 R16 tyres for the Nexon are one hell of a combination.

You will be amazed as to how easy and comfortable this car is to drive in the city. At 3994mm in length, the Nexon is really compact and doesn’t feel like a big car in the city. The Nexon has spacious interiors and compact exteriors, which is what Indians crave for now.

5-Star rating in Euro NCAP means this is one of the safest cars available in India

Before the crash test results announced itself, I have come across a couple of Nexon owners sharing their experience about the Nexon saving their lives during a crash. One humble Bullet rider hit the rear bumper when I was at a signal and I literally thought the bumper will have to be replaced. But I was happy to notice that the bumper is safe and I allowed the Bulltet wala to ride away with a smile. Once you close the doors, you will sense the build quality of the Nexon, and it’s no wonder how this car scored a 5-star rating in the crash test. The overall fit and finish of the car is good and the cabin makes you feel so comfortable. So comfortable, that it will make you  want to do 20,000kms in 80 days and walk away wanting more.

This is an SUV which drives like a car!

Before getting into the details, the Nexon comes with three driving modes: Eco, Comfort and Sport. The 1.5 litre four-cylinder Revotorq diesel engine made its debut in the Nexon and as the name suggests, it is a great engine with enough punch and torque. Put the Nexon in Sport mode and the character of the car completely changes. There is a full flow of all the horses and the torque allows you to play in higher gears with just a dab on the throttle. Despite its higher ground clearance, the Nexon also impresses on the driveability front. There is very little body roll and it literally drives like a car. The 108 horses under the hood and the 260Nm of torque is what I’m talking about.

Some parts aren’t accessible and difficult to clean

What matters on the long run is the use of plastics like the AC vent adjuster, which comes off easily in every Nexon. Second, some utility spaces are difficult to access and clean. For example, the USB port is difficult to access and if you want to plug-in, you really need to use both of your hands. The pockets near the gear lever are also difficult to clean.

I am the guy who loves to clean his own car. Once in a week, a thorough body wash with interior cleaning, with vacuum, leaves me very satisfied. Every time I clean the car, I find it hard to cover the honeycomb grille. Despite having tried various techniques, I simply failed. Another important and irritating factor is the black beadings around the car. We owned an Indica in 2008 and the same issue remains with the Nexon. The black beading around the car fades away very fast, and there’s nothing that can be done about it. I don’t know what kind of materials Tata Motors use for these beadings, but dear Tata officials, please work on this.

The neighbours and family will love it!

Yes, the neighbours will love it, because the Nexon can be parked anywhere and will not eat up much space. And the family will love it for the generous cabin comfort. During the 80 day stint, three of my relatives took delivery of their own Nexons, after having given them good feedback. It’s hard to hate on a car this good. Did I make mention of the road presence this car has? The Nexon is simply eye catching. It is easily one of the best looking cars below the 10 lakh rupee price tag.

Maintenance & Service cost of the Nexon

Now here’s a what matters most. The number of authorised service centres aren’t too many across India and the availability of parts play a major role. I took the Nexon for a quick check up since I noticed an odd sound from the rear, and they couldn’t find the issue. They simply are’t trained enough or couldn’t diagnose the issue. Another issue followed from front wheels. The brake pads are completely worn out and needed to be replaced. The same service guy said the brake pads are fine and that I wouldn’t have to change it now. I knew something was wrong, and took it to a local workshop and got it replaced for just 1500 bucks.

Hence, if you own a Tata, it is better to find a trust worthy, well trained mechanic. Other than these issues, the Nexon was fine. Close to the 80th day, the air conditioner started to push out normal air. The air wasn’t cool enough to cool the cabin. It needed a gas change. Trust me, these are normal problems if you own a car. Comfort, safety, design and driveability are the most important factors one needs to consider before buying any car, and the Nexon simply came out in flying colours on this front.

The Nexon is a mixture of all these; a car in which you will enjoy long drives, a compact SUV for your weekend getaways, and a hatchback which can be used for your daily commute in the city. I simply can’t resist but book one for myself. Very soon!


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