Buying a used Tata Nexon

A Nexon feels like a well-engineered SUV with a suspension that handles bumps very well and feels stable at highway speeds too

Given the state of many of our congested city streets, investing in a used compact SUV does make a lot of sense. You get the benefit of an SUV’s higher ground clearance to traverse over potholes and speed bumps, without the drawback of their large proportions. The Tata Nexon then comes across as a good used option, as it is stylish, spacious and a practical compact SUV. However, there are a few things you should know before you add one to your garage.

The Nexon comes with either a 110hp, 1.5-litre turbo-diesel or a 110hp, 1.2-litre turbo-petrol engine. Both engines can be had with either a 6-speed manual or an AMT-auto gearbox. The turbo-petrol engine is refined but it doesn’t excite with its performance and tends to be jerky at low speeds. While the AMTs make for good city cars, the manuals also feel fine, thanks to the light clutch-and-gearshift action.

However, the diesel engine has a wider breadth of abilities and suits the characteristics of the Nexon better. The unit is refined, and pulls well from as low as 1,400rpm up to 4,000rpm in a linear manner. The AMT gearbox works well in traffic and is relatively smooth in its shifts, as long as you are not driving with too heavy a foot. The manual also complements the diesel engine well and makes for great highway cruising. When we tested the manual variants of both engines, the petrol delivered 9kpl in the city while the diesel did 14kpl. Out on the highway, the petrol returned 13kpl and the diesel did 18kpl. Expect similar efficiency from the AMTs.

Inside, the Nexon’s dash looks contemporary and has multiple high-grade textured plastics that lend it a premium feel. There’s plenty of space in the cabin for front and rear passengers, and the swooping roofline doesn’t affect headroom either. It is also practical, thanks to the generous amount of cubby space in the cabin and the fairly large 350-litre boot.

The Nexon’s suspension handles bumps very well and can tackle even the worst of Indian roads. It feels stable at highway speeds and has good body control around corners. Even the steering feels impressive, as it is light at low speeds and weighs up well as you pick up the pace. All in all, it feels like a well-engineered SUV.

Being a Tata, the Nexon is relatively reliable and spare parts prices are also on par with its rivals; but there are some things to look out for. First, get the car’s electrical systems examined by a professional, as a few Nexon owners have faced issues like a constant switching between drive modes and flickering of the infotainment screen. Furthermore, check for clutch wear on manual variants as a new clutch and pressure plate assembly, along with the labour charges, could end up costing you upwards of ₹10,000. On the AMT variants, test to see if the creep function in the automatic gearbox performs well.

A few owners have also faced an issue where the steering becomes really heavy and gets jammed, so when on a test drive, check if the steering weighs up unnaturally while turning. This could be an expensive fix.

On the whole, a used Nexon is good value, since it is a relatively new model and you will rarely find examples that have covered more than 30,000km.

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