The Tata Nexon’s journey in the Indian market has been quite remarkable to date. The sub-4m compact SUV became India’s first car to receive a 5-star safety rating. However, it lacked a few features, including a full-fledged automatic transmission. The new Nexon facelift comes with a plethora of changes, and the car also gets a new DCA (dual-clutch automatic) transmission. We drove the car around in Jaipur and also tested its fuel efficiency to see how it performs. You can also watch the detailed video for all the information.
The new Nexon has become sharper than before. In fact, it is now one of the sharpest-looking cars in its segment. The design inspiration comes from concept cars like the Curvv, and Tata has introduced the split headlamp setup as well. The grille looks completely sealed off like it is an EV. Also, Tata now exclusively uses LEDs for lighting purposes. The DRLs are dual-purpose, which means they also work as turn indicators.
The rear of the new Nexon facelift also sports a revamped and sharper look. The tail lamps are new and sleeker, with an LED bar connecting both of them. From the side profile, you won’t find many changes. It looks similar to the pre-facelift version, but you do get new alloy wheels with aero inserts.
Tata also offers sweeping lights with the new Nexon facelift. Sweeping or dynamic lights move around from inside to outside as you engage the turn indicators. You also see the brake lamps dancing when you apply the brakes. It’s a segment-first feature, and Tata says that it will add a unique identity to the car, making it more recognizable on the roads. Until now, we have only seen dynamic lamps in high-end vehicles or cars with aftermarket fitments.
The cabin of the new Nexon has been updated with new features as well. While you can now choose a high-contrast color with the top-end Purple paint scheme, you also get a cleaner dashboard region with fewer buttons. But the highlight remains the dual 10.25-inch screens.
The new Nexon also comes with a new two-spoke steering wheel, inspired by Tata’s concept models. The steering wheel features a glowing Tata logo that definitely looks upmarket, but it has a gloss finish. We’ll talk about the gloss finish in a later section.
Let’s discuss the features first. The top-end variant gets a fully digital instrument cluster that looks high-quality and is very bright. It cycles between different themes and screens as per your needs. It can even show you a map in full screen – it’s like a cockpit. No other car in this segment offers such a feature. Even the infotainment system is bright and of high definition. It features wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. The 9-speaker JBL system sounds decent to my untrained ears.
The seats are new as well, and they have become more comfortable than before. There are no changes in the car when it comes to space; it is identical to the previous version. We have to say that it is ample for three people at the rear and also features an AC vent.
However, there are a few design elements in the cabin that could have been better. For example, the gloss finish on the steering wheel and the region around the climate control system are prone to fingerprints and scratches. Also, you need small hands to plug in the USB sockets located under the climate control system. We also did not like the inclusion of the capacitive touch controls. While it declutters the dashboard, you always need to look at these buttons while operating, which can be dangerous. Also, the quality of the cabin is not top-notch and is yet to reach the levels of Hyundai or Kia.
The new transmission and fuel efficiency
We test-drove the new Nexon 1.2 DCT for a good distance. We took the car around the city and even on the highways to test the tank-full-to-tank-full fuel efficiency. We will come to that later. The 7-speed DCT transmission is mated to the same 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol engine, generating a maximum power of 120 PS and a peak torque of 170 Nm.
The DCT with this engine works quite well. It is extremely smooth, and the gear changes are quick and instantaneous. However, the 1.2-litre three-cylinder engine remains the Achilles’ heel. It is not exceptionally smooth to match the DCT. Also, it is not an outrightly high-performance car that many enthusiasts hope for when they see a dual-clutch transmission set-up. It will offer a decent performance that you will be able to use happily in your day-to-day driving scenarios. In short, it won’t be a great car to do 0-100 km/h runs but it has ample power and performance to complete the overtaking manoeuvres smoothly.
You still get the engine modes, and there are paddle shifters behind the steering wheel. But the car automatically retakes control of the transmission much earlier than you would like to keep it on manual. There is no dedicated manual mode, though.
After a drive of 99.6 km, it used 5.25 litres of fuel and returned a fuel efficiency of 18.97 km/l, which is quite good, especially after driving the car through heavy traffic. You can check out the video to see how we drove the car and the full road test.
Should you buy it then?
Tata will announce the prices on 14th September, and as always, the brand is likely to play an aggressive pricing game here. The Nexon has always been a popular car, and the new one has become safer with standard safety features like 6 airbags and ESC. We believe that Tata has another high-volume car on hand with the new Nexon.