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Tata Nexon: 2020 Tata Nexon Review: Transition boasts much more to it than meets the eye

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NEW DELHI: Tata Nexon has had one of the most graceful BS6 transitions in the industry. A bulked-up SUV that mostly relied on its performance and slightly on its aggressive looks is almost unrecognizable in its BS6 avatar as it flaunts a much younger and an uber-cool character minimizing the earlier aggressive tone. It just doesn’t stop there, the BS6 Nexon is also the latest addition to Tata’s connected fleet.
Although, the Nexon still has much ground to cover to give a fierce competition to the rivals in terms of the creature comforts offered, TOI Auto looks at everything that has been changed, redone or discarded and what deserves your attention and what not.

Price
While the BS4 version of the Nexon ranged between Rs 6.58 lakh – Rs 11.10 lakh (ex-showroom), the BS6 version boasts a price tag ranging between Rs 6.99 lakh – Rs 12.70 lakh (ex-showroom). With a price hike ranging between Rs 25,000 – Rs 86,000 across variants, the Nexon still manages to be very competitive in the segment. But again, it is very important to see if the extra Rs 86,000 is justified or not. Let’s find out.

Ravishing facelift
Due to the new cosmetic upgrades, there’s a massive shift in Nexon’s overall image. The aggression is slightly toned down, the SUV is still muscular but that is overshadowed by its own boldness. Adopting Tata’s Impact 2.0 design language, the SUV flaunts a completely redone front fascia with the new signature front-grille, redesigned sleeker and sportier front bumper, faux skid plate and a revised LED package that adds to the dynamicity of the Nexon. The side profile mostly remains the same except the coupe-inspired aerodynamic shape, all-new piano-black ORVMs and slightly redesigned alloy wheels that stand out. On the rear, the Nexon badging has moved to the centre and the LED package has been revised here too, making the rear profile look quite imposing.

The new visual features definitely suit the Nexon well and its new uber-cool character seems to be doing well with the audience too. While the BS4 version’s looks seemed a tad bit out of place, the BS6 avatar catches up with time and takes up a much younger character.

Slightly tweaked interior
The BS6 Tata Nexon has dumped the all-darked out dual-tone black and silver interior theme and adopted a new three-tone finish that is a treat to the eye. On the inside, not much seems to have been changed apart from a few tweaks here and there. What has changed is the redesigned dashboard that looks quite plush, the tri-arrow seat upholstery that gives a refreshed character to the interior, a new central console that improves both the luxury and the utility quotient and the highlight here is the new flat-bottom steering that adds a sporty touch to the driving experience.

Few new creature comforts
The highlight in this aspect is the electric sunroof that significantly enhances the in-cabin experience of the occupants. The new cruise control feature also lets the driver rest back and offers a comfortable ride for the rest of the occupants too. The third new addition is the Xpress cool feature that works like a charm in extremely hot conditions. Other features like automatic AC, rear AC vents and 8-speaker Harman audio system remain the same.

New connected tech to keep up with times
The same 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system is now paired with IRA connected technology that offers most of the telematic services. The connected features include a live diagnostic report, find my car, remote vehicle control, intrusion alert, tribe feature to connect with other owners, natural voice tech that understands Indian accent, reverse camera assist and what3words navigation feature.

New utility features in the package
The BS6 Nexon also boasts quite a few new utility features like the tyre pressure monitoring system, automatic projector headlamps, new instrument cluster and the all-new rain-sensing wipers. Other features like a wearable key, engine start/stop button, 3 driving modes reaming exactly the same.
Same engines, minor enhancement
Not much of a difference in this aspect as the Tata Nexon boasts the BS6 version of its same engines as before- 1.2-litre Revotron turbo petrol unit and a 1.5-litre Revotorq diesel unit. There is a minor enhancement in the turbo petrol engine as it now offers mildly better power at 120 PS (110 PS earlier) and the same torque at 170 Nm. The specs of the diesel unit remain the same with 110 PS of power and 260 Nm of torque. Both the engines are paired to a 6-speed MT and a 6-speed AMT as before. The three driving modes offered with the engines- Eco, City and Sport- adapt quickly to varied driving situations.
Grounded performance
While the diesel version of the car performs exactly the same as before, we noticed quite a few changes in the petrol unit’s character. The petrol unit seems quite lazy until it hits 1800rpm but after that, it springs to life. Despite being quite heavy, the Nexon stays grounded with ease and on the highways, the hefty steering wheel and the cruise control feature are a blessing.
Shortcomings that rain on Nexon’s parade
We found 3 setbacks in our test run of the BS6 Nexon. The first setback with the petrol Nexon is that it wouldn’t be highly responsive in bumper-to-bumper traffic, which would’ve otherwise made it a perfect urban SUV. Secondly, and most importantly, the gearbox of the Nexon is quite lighter than its predecessor and the shifting could get a bit annoying at times. This feature is a big setback as many rivals offer versatile and smoother transmissions. Thirdly, the Nexon again misses out on quite a few industry-standard premium features. Nexon did turn into a connected car but doesn’t pamper its customers with features like ambient lighting, air purifier, wireless charging and the likes of those which almost every rival seems to have nowadays.
Verdict
The Tata Nexon is a decent urban SUV that offers quite a good performance every time you take it for a spin. Although you do make a compromise with the premium features, the Nexon fills that gap with exceptional safety features, good looks, robust handling and decent utility features that come with the package. With all those things offered, the price hike seems quite justified and the Tata Nexon is definitely capable of giving its rivals a run for their money if it enhances the in-cabin experience a bit more probably in the next modification year.


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General Motors partners with Navistar to supply fuel-cell technology for new semitruck

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The companies are billing the undisclosed financial partnership as a “complete solution” for customers of Illinois-based truck manufacturer Navistar.

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Citroen starts commercial production of C5 Aircross SUV in India

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NEW DELHI: Citroen, a part of the Stellantis group formed by the merger of two global auto majors FCA and Groupe PSA, on Thursday said it has started the commercial production of its C5 Aircross SUV in India from its manufacturing facility at Thiruvallur, Tamil Nadu.

The flagship SUV, the first product from the Citroën brand in India, is slated to be launched in this quarter having undergone testing for over 2.5 lakh kilometres in different terrains and varied weather conditions across the country, the company said in a statement.

Commenting on the development, Stellantis Executive Vice President Emmanuel Delay said there is lot of market anticipation for the new Citroën C5 Aircross SUV, which will set a benchmark in style, comfort and innovation in its segment in India.

Delay, who is also Chairman, PCA Automobile India Pvt Ltd & PSA AVTEC Powertrain Pvt Ltd, further said employees at the plants have worked “tirelessly to achieve this key milestone despite the challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic.”

“We are looking forward to welcoming the customers to the La Maison Citroën dealership network, which means ‘the home of Citroën’  in a few weeks from now, across key cities of India,” he added.

The Citroën C5 Aircross will be powered by a 2.0 litre diesel engine with 8-speed automatic transmission with shift and park by wire control that provide fuel efficient and comfortable drive, the company said.

Citroen has stated that it expects to be among the top players in India in the medium to long term taking advantage of evolution of the passenger vehicles market in the country, currently dominated by Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai.

Last week Citroën opened its global retail concept ‘La Maison Citroën’ in India at Ahmedabad. The showroom features numerous screens, debuting the ATAWADAC (AnyTime AnyWhere AnyDevice AnyContent) and phygital (physical as well as digital) ecosystems in India, allowing customers to explore and sample the Citroen brand, products and services seamlessly.

In the initial phase, the company will have such showrooms in 10 main cities in India, including Delhi, Gurugram, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Chennai, and gradually expand as it goes along.


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Maruti Suzuki updates it’s memorandum of association to include web-platform business

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MUMBAI/NEW DELHI: The country’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki on Monday revised its memorandum of association (MOA), or constitution, to include operating a web-based sales platform as a business activity indicating the company’s increased focus on developing an online sales ecosystem.

The new activities include operating and maintaining a web-based platform for the sale of goods and services, charging a fee for providing this platform and providing advertising space to third parties on such a platform, among other things, as per a clause added to the company’s MOA. The MOA governs the rules and regulations of any company’s association with outside.

The company had last month launched a car finance platform called ‘Smart Finance’ that would connect buyers to lenders and it is understood that the company’s MOA has been updated to reflect this activity. Given that every second car sold in the country is made by Maruti Suzuki, it gives the company excellent leverage to monetise such a platform as it connects its buyers to lenders.

“As much as 57% of all car buyers research online for financing solutions after deciding to purchase a vehicle. When they go out of our system to research finance options, the conversion process slows down. At times, customers change their mind about the type of vehicle they want to buy,” Shashank Srivastava, executive director (marketing and sales) at Maruti Suzuki said during the launch of Smart Finance.

Nearly 80% of customers at Maruti Suzuki avail of financing solutions while purchasing a vehicle.

The platform offers features like checking for pre-approved loans for buyers, customising the EMI and tenure of the loan and various other funding facilities that some third-party platforms currently offer.

While the facility has been launched for Nexa customers in 30 cities in association with eight financiers, the company plans to extend it across it outlets in India and tie up with more finance partners.


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