Nexon diesel review: Owning my 3rd Tata car in 15 years

Nexon diesel review: Owning my 3rd Tata car in 15 years

09/16/2022

The Nexon has been with me for 3 years now, prior to which I had the Zest for 5 years & Indica V2 for 7 years.

BHPian arindam_xeta recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

2007-2014, Indica V2 GLS – 7 Years – 55k KMs

It all started with our Indica V2 GLS petrol that my dad purchased back in March 2007. Dad was taken to the dealer by an office colleague of his. Maruti Swift was launched in 2005 and there was a marketing event going on at the city centre – I, Salt Lake Kolkata. I remember we did visit that launch show and enquired about the petrol model VXI, which we really liked. But we had an additional burden of constructing a garage. Taking all these into account, we had to settle for the Indica GLS variant – Manual AC was the only feature if we may call it so.

I just applied for my license and had no interest in cars. We did go for a test drive of the Indica but I did not drive it as I still did not have my license. It was such a dreamy drive, the feeling of owning and riding in your own car was the only factor that mattered that day.

Indica was booked on 11th Feb 2007 from R. D. Motors a dealer in Kolkata, Baguiati, they were one of the biggest dealers of Tata Motors those days. It was delivered in 3 weeks on 2nd Mar 2017 we took the delivery.

The ex-showroom invoice

The Indica did about 55K km in its lifetime with us. I do not remember any niggling issues with it or getting stranded with it on road.

The inspiration behind my TEAM-BHP handle

The Indica has been related to some great memories in my life, apart from being the first car of the family and the first car I drove after getting my license. Indica was part of some very special moments – meeting my wife Sutapa for the first time in 2007 and bringing home our newborn son in 2009 and my daughter in 2013.

The Indica was maintained for almost a year or more by my dad alone, with help of a local driver, while I was in Europe for my work. Why it’s a big deal is because dad really did not even have the slightest idea about maintaining a car, he was completely at mercy of the driver and the service centre, we used to service it at the RD Motors Service center back then at Dashadrone check post in Rajarhat, Kolkata. By then the car was about 3 years old when I had to relocate to Europe. Dad used the car for short trips, just to keep it in running condition, with the help of the local driver club. When I came back after almost a year, I discovered that the driver-side window roller was broken, that was the only noticeable damage. The car started at the first crank to my delight. The battery also had to be replaced pretty soon around the 4th year, and the tires by around the 5th. Indica was mostly used on long drives and city usage was comparatively lower compared to my usage now.

Our trip to Darjeeling and Temi was the last trip for the Indica. The Xeta aged fairly well, in fact during the 7th year I did not have a lot of maintenance at hand and it surely would have completed 3 more years without much trouble. But, by then I started to feel the need for a better, if possible, car with higher ground clearance.

Beyond triple-digit speeds, the Indica did not induce much confidence, and there was a significant loss of power once you switch on the AC that’s all that I used to hate about it. We exchanged the car in 2014, Nov and as it happens, the first car of our family was bought by dad, we were pretty well attached to it emotionally in the last 7 years, so letting it go was not easy. It served us pretty well, with no major complaints and no letdowns.

Some pictures of the Indica.

From Konark Puri trip in 2008, it was my first long drive, with my wife and my maiden travelogue on Team-BHP.

2014-2019, Zest XT Petrol – 5 years – 78k KMs

Zest was showcased in Auto Expo 2014 and was finally launched in Aug that year. I took a test drive almost right after the launch. The only other option that I considered during that time was the Swift DZire, but the feature list and pricing of Zest were far ahead of the Swift DZire at that time. With a fixed budget I had, Zest top trim XT seemed within reach. The Swift DZire top trim was far north of my budget, with a reduced feature list, but it was indeed a much safer buy. It was indeed a gamble – The untested top variant of Zest with more features, or settle for a lower variant of the Swift DZire with much-reduced features. The customer service aspect of Tata Motors did not have much impact on me as our Indica never had any critical issues and the few interactions during Indica days with the TATA ASC have been pretty acceptable.

I have a detailed thread on the Zest till it completed 25K Kms at about 2 months short of 2 years. The thread below is still incomplete at least for the last update before I sold it in the year 2019. My Zest ownership was not trouble-free, it had its fair share of issues till about the 3rd year, and thereafter it was pretty stable. Having said that, the support from the Service Center was good which never let my confidence down on the car. Zest did complete a trip to Kinnaur in 2016 and Spiti in 2018 successfully.

For the last two years of Zest, I was really in love with it, the four-cylinder turbocharged engine was pretty much enjoyable in sports mode.

  • Kinnaur Travelogue
  • Spiti Travelogue

I was impressed with how the Zest performed on the Spiti trip and the numerous trips to North Bengal hill I made during these years.

I’ll update the thread with the details of the Zest ownership till it was sold on 11th Sep 2019 at about 78k Kms.

Zest is currently being used by one of my friends and it’s tipped the odo more than 1.3 lakh Kms as of this writing, that was indeed heartwarming to hear. Let me end this with some sweet memories of Zed, as I lovingly called it.

The 3 snaps below are from a Trip to Mukutmanipur in West Bengal, this was co-incidentally the same place where Zest had its first trip too.

Zest meets Nexon, a day before I handed over Zest, Nexon was delivered the next day evening. I was really feeling lifted, briefly, it was like I own both of them! But, in reality, I owned neither, one was sold, the other yet to be registered officially in my name.

Sep 2019 Onwards: Nexon XZ+ Diesel

Nexon was already launched in 2017 it was a good 2 years into production by this time. I always thought that Zest had more space and was more practical than the Nexon in terms of space. But, the bug of driving a low-end torque of diesel did bite me by this time, I really wanted to drive a diesel car with good low-end torque. Around Aug of 2019, I test-drove Eco Sport, Duster and Nexon.

Ford EcoSport Diesel

Face: I liked the chiselled face. The three-slat grill with the subtle use of chrome borders exuded a strong character.

Dashboard: Not a turn-off but looked slightly overdone and too busy for my liking, wasn’t a turn-off for me though. The Instrument cluster design was fine for me.

Drivability: – 99 BHP, 205 NM torque, it was really smooth and revved up nicely, handling was absolutely perfect, the low-end torque felt good when I drove it first

Turn-offs: Boot space and overall space inside, low-end torque (when compared to others)

Renault Duster AWD

Face: I was not very fond of it, but it wasn’t a turn-off, the new one released just after had a much more likeable face.

Dashboard: Very primitive and outdated design as of current time, I however linked the instrument cluster design, it had cruise control.

Drivability: 108 BHP, 245 NM torque, I felt the difference was huge in performance compared to Eco-sport, even better than Nexon, with a max torque of 260 Nm Duster was feeling more agile and quick. I think it was the transmission that was able to transfer the torque much more efficiently to the drive. AWD and the corresponding gear ratios make it an absolute treat to drive on inclines, I knew it. The build was the best of all three I was considering.

Turn-offs: Nothing really, if would have fitted in my garage, I would have been writing a different review (Injectors may have been a headache, but so is life anyway). I definitely would have had to upgrade the ICE after hearing the Harman system on Zest for 5 years, the one on Nexon now is even better sounding.

Duster made a wild card entry. Duster was just about to pull the plugs of the diesel engine by the end of 2019, we already came to know by that time that dealers were clearing off the stocks. My wife Sutapa and I really was in love with a red duster AWD that was given to us to test drive, it was ready for a delivery vehicle, not a TD one. I took a test drive for a good distance, which Samba arranged for us. I even went to the showroom with my family to test if we can fit one of the kids at the back with the back seat accessory. I would then keep the Zest and used the duster as the second car, enabling me to travel with mom and dad. But, it was not possible (pictures below), to make matters worse duster was also not fitting in my garage length-wise, sadly had to drop it. Nexon ranked below the duster but became the eventual choice, even though I never felt it was really an upgrade from the Zest I had.

Snaps at Renault Showroom to check the child seat accessory in the duster boot.

For my daughter, it was only a matter of few months before it would have been unusable

Tata Nexon Diesel XZ+

Face: I still don’t like the rounded shapes and the scratch-prone piano finish on top of the front grill, especially after the new 2020 design update

Dashboard: Nothing to complain about, I liked the clean dials, much better than the LED ones it’s been changed to. Since I do a lot of night driving such strong lights from the Instrument cluster would be hard to bear.

Drivability: 110BHP, 260NM torque, Very strong low end, it takes off 2nd gear w/o a hitch, even with load. You can avoid very obvious gear changes such as its low end, which helps in the city. The top end is not that exciting though I shift to the next gear just above 2K rpm mostly, it starts getting noisy after that. At idle, it’s really noisy, a lot of clatters save honking. NVH is pretty good so not a turn-off once you are seated inside. Body roll is in control no one really complained especially while driving to and from Shillong, uff! those roads!

Turn-offs: Nothing to complain about, within my budget and garage space I had no reasons/options to. I had a few surprises after delivery though.

I took a test drive of a diesel Nexon and really loved the power delivery of the diesel. With the added GC and slightly higher seating position and having seen that I have driven the Zest for close to 75K Kms in 5 years, I literally jumped into it, who knew about the pandemic back then? Nexon was booked on 28th Aug 2019.

While I was ready to buy the Nexon but was having a hard time convincing myself to sell the Zest and there was no space to live with both of them. One can imagine the hard time I had convincing my mom, dad and my wife. I struggled a lot and it was completely a heart-over-brain decision to finally book the Nexon. Ok, by this time my son was 10 years and my daughter crossed 5 years, so we were almost 5+ pax to fit, still, nothing stopped me and in no time an Etna Orange Nexon was all ready for delivery within 15 days.

Nexon was delivered on 12th Sept, 2019 and I timed it such that we can complete all the paper works right before our Arunachal trip, which was due on 2nd Oct 2019, close call but Tata Motors and the dealer made the delivery really smooth and I had no issues.

Some snaps of the Nexon Delivery with my family.

So eventually, after 15+ years with Tata Motors and as the flashbacks above unfolds, I really had no soft corners for the brand or their cars, but it was always the best fit somehow. The customer service aspect has never been a problem to date.

With the Zest, I was starting to lose my patience but the way the ASC and TML dealt with the problems and finally resolved them was commendable, but again I had to manage expectations and time.

The Indica, as opposed to numerous negative feedbacks (all genuine and mostly on diesel and overall experience with service) I came across, online offline, with distant acquaintances and near friends, I had absolutely trouble-free ownership.

All said and done, the Nexon ownership started in a very scary and unconvincing manner, details of which are coming up in my next post so stay tuned.

Continue reading about BHPian arindam_xeta’s Orange Nexon for more insights and information.

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