The all-new Tata Nexon compact SUV

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Tata is all set to launch the stylish Nexon compact SUV later this year. There has been a shift in the design philosophy at Tata, which is evident by looking at some of their recent cars and the Nexon follows suit. Tata is looking to insert some much-required desirability to their vehicles, as seen in the Nexon with its coupe-like roofline and SUV stance, along with an appealing design for the interior as well. Here is what the Nexon is expected to offer.

Engines and transmission

Tata has ditched the Fiat sourced 1.3 Multi-Jet diesel and is instead evolving an all-new  4-cylinder 1.5-litre engine, which fundamentally a scaled-up version of the 1.05-litre engine present in the Tiago. For the petrol Nexon, Tata is using a turbo-charged version of the 1.2 Revotron engine, currently present in the Tiago. Expect power to be in the region of 110 hp, for both the engines. Both the petrol and diesel versions are expected to get an AMT option at launch, with the Diesel likely to get an all-new six-speed manual transmission. The petrol engine would probably make do with a five-speed manual gearbox.

Exteriors

Radical is a word that comes to mind, when one takes a look at the Tata Nexon. It carries a muscular stance and a coupe-like roofline along with some very interesting styling elements. The front end of the car houses a stretched grille, along with nicely detailed projector headlights. The turn indicators that sit atop a horizontal strip, that divides the headlamp housing, are interesting styling cues. Move over to the side, and the coupe-like profile is evident with a sharply tapering roof. Things are different at the rear, with the Nexon getting diamond-shaped tail-lights with a silver strip between them. The Nexon also sports a high rear bumper and a small rear windscreen. The Nexon has a distinctive stance with a lot of smart details too, and, overall, it’s quite a bold and attractive design. It carries a lot of cuts and creases, unlike its Chief competitor, the Maruti Vitara Brezza, which follows a rather boxy design.

Interiors

A 6.5-inch touchscreen system sits atop the dash, while the rest of the dash follows a simple, straightforward design with a lot of bits borrowed from other Tata cars. Expect the Nexon to be well equipped, with features like climate control, rear air con vents and voice commands for the infotainment system. A standout feature is the drive mode controller, a segment-first, which, interestingly, isn’t a small button, but a nice chunky knob to choose between three drive modes – Eco, City and Sport. A change in the drive mode not only alters the performance and fuel economy parameters, but also changes the ABS and traction control settings. Getting in and out of the Nexon should be an easy affair, thanks to the high stance and high-set seats. The seats themselves are well-cushioned and comfortable. However, the shape of the rear seat makes it difficult for a fifth passenger to be welcome. Despite the coupe-like roofline, headroom is actually decent. Legroom too is good.

Pricing and competitors

Expect the Nexon to be priced aggressively, with pricing in the region of Rs.7-10 lakh. The Nexon will compete in the extremely violent sub 4 metre SUV segment and is likely to put up a tough fight. Its chief competitors include the Maruti Vitara Brezza, which has proved to be a runaway success, and the Ford EcoSport, which has held its ground well. The Nexon will compete with the Mahindra siblings too, namely the NuvoSport and TUV-300. The Nexon has a hugely attractive design, is well packaged and well loaded, and is expected to be priced well too. From the face of it, it seems that the Nexon has all the makings of a winner.