Tata Nexon Petrol AMT Review: Ideal for Stop-and-Go Traffic This AMT compact SUV is all about convenience


WHEN Tata Motors first came out with the Nexon, it was quite a radical move. It looked fresh and different, and not like the other cars in its segment.

To enhance its good looks, it had quite a bit of curvy edges to flaunt.

The Nexon was also the first compact SUV to be offered with an automatic transmission in both petrol and diesel engine options.

It’s competition, the Maruti Suzuki Brezza, offers an AMT only on the diesel version and the Ford’s EcoSport offers an automatic transmission only on the petrol variant.

We have been driving the petrol variant of the AMT Nexon which sports the bright Etna Orange shade with a Sonic Silver roof for a while now.

And oh boy, it does stand out from the crowd.

The AMT petrol Nexon is only offered in the top-end XZA+ variant by Tata Motors.

If you are thinking that there are changes on the inside of the Nexon when compared to its manual top end variant, you won’t find any.

The cabin of the Nexon continues to offer that premium feel and you would see a lot of piano black garnish on the dashboard as well as the central console of the vehicle.

The Nexon automated manual transmission (AMT) Petrol version is powered by Tata’s own 1.2-litre Revotron engine that produces 110PS of power and 170Nm of torque.

The manual transmission is replaced by a Magnetti Marelli-sourced AMT unit. There is also a Hill-hold assist on the AMT variant and it eliminates the use of handbrake on flyovers and inclines.

The three-cylinder turbo-petrol engine offers ample power for a vehicle of this class, but it’s all about that rubber band effect that’s common among all AMT vehicles.

So, how convenient is the Nexon AMT to drive?

We would not say that that the power delivery has been kept linear on the AMT Nexon, but the car does try to make it feel linear.

If you talk about the gear shifts, yes you will feel them as you undergo a swing motion inside the cabin as soon as the car shifts gears on its own.

But, as they say, with AMT vehicles it’s all about the throttle input.

It totally depends on how well you drive because that’s what will make you either love or hate the Tata Nexon AMT (Petrol).

We drove the car in city traffic and also on open highways and this is what we felt.

In City Performance

The Nexon AMT (Petrol) might appear to be a compact SUV, but it does love the city.

Cruising in the city and making those small overtake maneuvers is not a problem at all with the AMT gearbox.

In fact, you’ll be surprised how smoothly this car drives and offers the comfort of a balanced ride.

There are three drive modes that are also offered: City, Eco, and Sport.

While driving in the city, both the City and the Eco modes are good enough for you to engage with the drive.

All you have to be careful about is the throttle inputs, if you are someone who gradually accelerates and decelerates, the Nexon AMT (Petrol) will offer you quite an enjoyable drive.

Also, being a petrol motor, it’s also very quiet inside the cabin so conversations with your fellow passengers are minus any background noise of the engine.

The fuel efficiency for us ranged between 15-16km/l during these test runs.

In Traffic Performance

We test drove the Nexon AMT (Petrol) in and around Delhi. And yes, we did get stuck in traffic jams that were never-ending.

This is where we love automatic transmission cars, and this is where we also expected to like the Nexon AMT (Petrol).

The Nexon AMT (Petrol) does offer the convenience of not having a clutch to press during traffic. However, it does come with a creep function.

A creep function is something that many AMT cars do not have.

This function makes the car move and gain momentum (crawl) when you are engaged in the drive mode and you release the brake and not press the accelerator.

A creep function is something that offers convenience in slow moving traffic and also while climbing inclines.

But the Nexon AMT (Petrol) lacks refinement in that area.

In slow moving traffic and jams, the moment we wanted to utilise the creep function the car shuddered.

It also vibrated in a way that you are forced to step on the gas for it to move ahead smoothly.

It was a little unnerving while using the function in City and Eco mode.

This is an issue for Tata Motors on the Nexon AMT (Petrol) and one that needs attention by their engineers.

The fuel efficiency for us ranged between 10-11km/l during these traffic/rush hour test runs.

On Highway Performance

No prize for guessing that it was the Sports mode in which we tested the Nexon AMT (Petrol) on open highways.

The Nexon AMT (Petrol) AMT offers a decent mid-range and once you put it in the Sports Mode, the throttle response does get slightly sharper.

The gearbox is more willing to shift on higher revs if you push it a little.

It’s also able to cruise smoothly at 80-100km/h easily and that too within 2000 rpm.

The torque offered on the vehicle can also be felt in this mode, however even if you drive it in City mode on a highway, the Nexon AMT (Petrol) feels at home.

The fuel efficiency for us ranged between 13-14km/l during the highway test runs.

What do We think?

Let’s take a few things into consideration here: there is no doubt that Tata Motors has come of age with products like the Nexon AMT (Petrol) and there is even a funkier neon version that just launched.

Tata Motors also took its time to introduce the AMT transmission on the Nexon. However, the creep function still needs to be worked on.

The Nexon AMT (Petrol) was launched in May at an introductory price of Rs 9.41 lakh and the dual tone roof variant is now priced at Rs 9.69 lakh ex-showroom Delhi.

This means that on-road, the Nexon AMT (Petrol) will cost you north of Rs 10.50 lakh.

An AMT vehicle does have a premium attached to it, but that extra money is all for convenience.

And that is what many are looking for while driving in traffic-jammed roads.




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