Tata Nexon Road Test Review: 5 Reasons To Buy, 3 To Reconsider

The Nexon has gone on to become one of the most popular subcompact SUV in the Indian market in recent months, but is it the SUV for you?

By Jaiveer Mehra


6 mins read


Published on April 14, 2024

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    Tata gave the Nexon its second major update in 2023 taking significant steps forward in terms of features and technology. The SUV arrives with a heavily updated design reminiscent of Tata’s recent slew of concepts such as the Harrier EV and Curvv while the cabin is packed in tech to rival the likes of Hyundai and Kia in the segment. And while it may offer a good value-for-money proposition in the market, we look at some of the reasons you should buy and avoid Tata’s subcompact SUV.

    Also read: Auto Sales March 2024: Tata Motors Sees 14% Growth In Passenger Vehicle Sales

    Tata Nexon Diesel MT 22

    The Nexon has become one of the best selling models in the sub-compact SUV segment.


    Why Should You Buy?


    Refreshed Looks
    The updated Nexon certainly looks fresh with looks inspired by Tata’s latest concepts. The more conventional front-end design makes way for an edgier and sharper fascia with a split headlamp design with high set LED DRLs and the main headlamps and fog lamps housed low down in the bumper. The tail-lamps too get a new design as well as a connected lightbar element to freshen up the rear design. The top models with the LED headlamps, sharp-looking 16-inch alloy wheels and roof rails just up the SUV’s design quotient.

     Also read: Tata Nexon Gains 5 New AMT Variants; Range Starts At Rs 10 Lakh

    Tata Nexon Diesel MT 21

    The latest brings with it a notable design overhaul with sharper, more modern looks. 


    Creature Comforts and Tech
    Tata has put a lot of effort into its feature game especially as you move up the variant line-up. Top spec models offer generous levels of kit from a pair of 10.25-inch displays (the central touchscreen and digital instrument cluster with configurable displays), auto climate control, sunroof, ventilated front seats, leatherette upholstery, all-LED lighting and auto headlamps and wipers.

    Tata Nexon Diesel MT 29

    The Nexon has taken a big step forward in terms of tech with top variants offering a long list of features.


    The cabin is also quite a comfy place to be. The front and rear seats both offer decent levels of room and the rear seat is wide enough to seat three occupants in relative comfort. The boot too is quite roomy and will take a pair of small suitcases without too much fuss.

     Also read: Tata Nexon Facelift Review: Completely Revamped And How!


    Tata Nexon Diesel MT 17

    Space on offer is quite good though headroom might be tight for taller occupants.


    Smart Tech
    Additionally, the Nexon also offers some smart bits such as being able to mirror maps onto the instrument cluster to aid in navigation, 360 cameras to aid in driving through right spaces, blind spot cameras. There is also voice commands that support multiple languages with a range of functions that range from simply making calls to adjusting in-car functions such as the air con and even opening the sunroof.
     Tata Nexon Diesel MT 12

    Nexon packs in a lot of tech including 360 degree camera, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and more


    It’s Safe
    The Nexon was Tata’s first car to score a full five-star safety rating in Global NCAP’s new crash test program. More recently it went on to also score a five-star rating in the recently introduced Bharat NCAP crash test program. On the safety kit front the SUV packs in six airbags, ESP, ABS and hill start assist as standard while higher variants also get tyre pressure monitoring.

    Tata Nexon Diesel MT 9

    Safety kit on board includes, stability control, ABS, six airbags, a tyre pressure monitor and more.


    Strong Driving Dynamics
    As seen on all new Tata cars, the Nexon drives and rides well. It feels planted at high speeds while the suspension irons out most road imperfections with ease. Potholes too aren’t much of an issue either and even large speed breakers are not an issue. The steering feels nice to hold and there’s also decent levels of feedback to the driver to aid in confidence to go faster. Show the Nexon some corners and it will go around with ease though if you push it hard body roll does become noticeable.

    Tata Nexon Diesel MT 1

    Nexon has a well-sorted ride and takes most road imperfections in stride.


    Why Should You Avoid?


    Fit and Finish
    While the Nexon has taken a giant leap in terms of the final product, the final fit and finish still leaves something to be desired. This shows up as uneven panel gaps, exposed welds and more. Our orange test car had an issue with the fuel lid mechanism requiring us to hold the release lever in place till the lid was flipped open.

    Tata Nexon Diesel MT 16

    While front seat space is good the driver might find his leg rubbing up against the centre console.


    Space Management
    While reasonably spacious, the Nexon does have a few shortcomings in terms of managing interior space. At the front, the centre console is quite wide and you will find you knee brushing against it when using the clutch. At the rear while knee room is ample the coupe-like receding roofline means that headroom can be tight for taller occupants. The Nexon also lacks storage spaces for small items – you have the glove box, seat back pockets, slim door pockets and a small cubby under the front centre armrest. The USB ports up front are also awkwardly position and require users to fish for it around the gear lever.

    Tata Nexon Diesel MT 15

    Nexon offers few cubby holes in the front to store odds and ends; door pockets are quite narrow.


    Manual Gearbox
    While the Nexon offers a good mix of ride and handling what detracts from the experience is the manual gearbox. The unit feels rough and notchy to use and at times does not slot in smoothly in lower gears. Added to this the clutch also has a long travel and hitting the bite point does take some getting used to. This can become cumbersome particularly while driving in the city where you are likely to change gears more often. A solution to this is going with the automatic gearbox options – the petrol can be had with either an AMT or dual-clutch automatic gearbox while the diesel gets the option of an AMT unit.

    Tata Nexon Diesel MT 28

    Manual gearbox is not the best around and detracts from the driving experience



    Tata Nexon Diesel MT 26


    Priced from Rs 8.15 lakh to Rs. 15.80 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), the Nexon is offered in four Personas – Smart, Pure, Creative and Fearless though buyers have over 20 trims to pick from when the engines and gearboxes are brought into consideration. If you are in the market for a feature-rich SUV that offers decent levels of space and is safe then the Nexon does make a good case for itself though it’s the automatics that are the variants to pick from.

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