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Tata Nexon Petrol Or Diesel: Which One To Buy?

Modified On Apr 19, 2018 03:23 PM By CarDekho for Tata Nexon

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Like all other Tata cars, the Nexon too is priced aggressively, undercutting both its chief rivals - the Maruti Vitara Brezza and the Ford EcoSport. Despite keeping prices in check, the Tata Nexon gets all necessary features that one would expect from a car in this segment, and then some! Be it the funky exterior styling or the 6.5-inch floating touchscreen infotainment system, the Nexon ticks all the right boxes for a modern-day compact SUV.

As a result the Tata Nexon has found a place in the options list of every buyer looking for a compact SUV in the Rs. 6-9 lakh bracket. But which Nexon should you go for - petrol or diesel? Which one drives better and doesn't hurt in the mileage stakes either? Let's compare both options to help you decide.

As a general rule of thumb, if your yearly running is less than 20000km, and you intend to switch to a new model in 4-5 years time, a petrol model would make more financial sense. The difference in petrol and diesel prices is roughly Rs 8-10. Assuming the price difference stays the same even after five years i.e. Rs 8-10, then it would take around 3.5-4 years before you recover the extra cost spent on buying the diesel Nexon.

Tata Nexon Petrol

Variants

Prices (ex-showroom, Delhi)

XE

Rs. 5.99 lakh

XM

Rs. 6.72 lakh

XT

Rs. 7.32 lakh

XZ

Rs. 7.99 lakh

XZ+

Rs. 8.57 lakh

XZ+ (dual-tone)

Rs. 8.77 lakh

Powering the Tata Nexon petrol model is a 1.2-litre, 3-cylinder Revotron turbocharged engine that is mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox. An automatic transmission option is also slated for launch soon. The petrol engine is based on the same unit as in the Tiago and Tigor but in the Nexon, it puts out 110PS @ 5,000rpm and 170Nm of peak torque @ 1,750-4,000 rpm. It comes with multi-drive modes - City, Eco and Sport, which tweak the engine throttle response to suit the driving requirements. For ex: the Eco mode is focused towards fuel efficiency and thus features noticeable lag in the bottom-end, while the Sport mode makes the throttle inputs more responsive.

 Related: Tata Nexon AMT First Drive Review

The said engine has the characteristic rattle that is found in 3-cylinder blocks. The imbalance due to the missing cylinder is apparent when you start the car as the vibrations shake the engine bay area and even enter the cabin. However, once the engine rpm settles down, the noise gets subtle. Inside the cabin, the Nexon petrol is sufficiently quiet and offers appreciable NVH levels.The Nexon petrol gets a rev-happy engine. It delivers power in a linear fashion. From standstill, the heavy weight of the Nexon makes it slightly hesitant to sprint off the line. Hence, it can be a bit tricky to drive in bumper-to-bumper city traffic and the ride tends to become jerky. However, once the engine crosses the 2,000rpm mark, the engine comes alive. There is no turbo 'kick' but the available power on every single tap on the throttle is enough to make you feel content and satiate the enthusiast in you. While city drivability isn't up to the mark due to heavier weight and the need to shift gears often, it is on the highways that the Nexon petrol shows its true potential.

The petrol Nexon is also quicker of the two, doing the 0-100kmph run in 11.64 seconds during our performance test. As per ARAI, the Tata Nexon petrol delivers a mileage of 17kmpl. In our fuel efficiency test, it returned figures of 17.88kmpl on the highway and 14.02kmpl in the city.

Pros:

  • Appreciable NVH level insulation inside the cabin
  • Fun to drive on highways
  • Stable road manners

Cons:

  • Not an easy car to drive in city
  • 3-cylinder engine is no match to the refinement of its 4-cylinder rivals

Related: Tata Nexon Variants Explained

Tata Nexon Diesel

Variants

Prices (ex-showroom, Delhi)

XE

Rs. 6.99 lakh

XM

Rs. 7.62 lakh

XT

Rs. 8.17 lakh

XZ

Rs. 8.99 lakh

XZ+

Rs. 9.42 lakh

XZ+ (dual-tone)

Rs. 9.62 lakh

The diesel model is powered by a 1.5-litre, four-cylinder Revotorq turbocharged engine that is mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox. The engine develops 110PS @ 3,750rpm and a peak torque of 260Nm @ 1,500-2,750rpm. While these figures are the best in segment, at 1,305kg, the Nexon is also the heaviest car amongst its rivals. Hence, it doesn't have any major power-to-weight ratio advantage over other compact SUVs in the market. The ARAI fuel economy figure for the Tata Nexon diesel is 21.5kmpl. Like the petrol, the Nexon diesel also gets multi-drive modes - City, Eco and Sport.

The Nexon diesel has a loud engine, especially when you listen to it from outside the car. There are noticeable vibrations present inside the cabin at idle. However, these reduce once the car gets going. Also, the vibrations in the diesel Nexon are lesser than that in the petrol variants, especially once the car is on the move. The noise levels can get quite high and filter into the cabin when you slam the accelerator hard.

Drivability isn't an issue with the Nexon as the 1.5-litre diesel block delivers power in a linear fashion. Gear ratios are adequately spaced, which negates the need for excessive shifts in city traffic. All this makes the Nexon diesel a great city car. There is a significant amount of turbo lag on lower rpms, which might result in excessive noise and vibrations when you floor the throttle in the less than 2,000rpm band. However, once the engine is past this range, the Nexon pulls away effortlessly. The 6th gear helps in making sure that the car can cruise on highways at lower rpms, which not only helps fuel economy, but also reduces fatigue on the engine. During our mileage test, the Nexon diesel reported figures of 23.97kmpl on the highway, however in the city, it drops massively to 16.8kmpl due to lower gearing.

Pros:

  • Easy to drive around city
  • Stable highway manners
  • Light clutch and steering

Cons:

  • Engine becomes noisy at higher rpm
  • Minor turbo lag at lower rpms

Verdict

Both the petrol and the diesel engines of the Tata Nexon come with appropriate grunt. However, it is the 1.5-litre diesel engine that shines, thanks to its ease of driving in the city as well as stable road manners on the highway. The fuel economy figures are also impressive.

The 1.2-litre petrol is no slouch either, as it is slightly more fun to drive on the highways and offers better NVH levels on idle as well. However, it can be a bit tricky to drive in city, thanks to the engine's inability to sprint off the line easily and the need to shift gears excessively at low speeds.

Why Buy The Tata Nexon Petrol

  • More fun to drive on highways
  • Better refinement on idle
  • Around 1 lakh cheaper than the diesel counterpart (variant-on-variant)

Why Buy The Tata Nexon Diesel

  • Easy to drive in the city
  • Light clutch, gear and steering controls
  • Minimal vibrations on the move
  • Better ARAI claimed fuel economy

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