Tata Altroz vs Punch vs Nexon: Space And Practicality Compared

Published On Mar 05, 2022 By CarDekho for Tata Punch

Three Tata models, with completely different body styles, but a lot of commonality if you take a closer look. Which one of them is the ideal pick?

tata punch vs tata altroz vs tata nexon

When it comes to buying a car around the Rs 10 lakh mark, Tata Motors’ fleet have left you pretty much spoilt for choice. You can either opt for a premium hatch in the form of the Altroz, a mix of both worlds with the carmaker’s newest offering, the Punch, or a sub-4 metre SUV called the Nexon.

Yes, you might be wondering why the Nexon comes into the picture considering it has a higher price ceiling compared to the Altroz and Punch. But the sub-4 metre SUV does have a comparable variant in the form of the XM (S). Why that’s the case, we’ll get to that a little later, but now we’re putting these three models with different design philosophies to the test to see which one offers the right mix of practicality, space and of course comfort.

Looks

tata punch vs tata altroz vs tata nexon

Dimensions

Altroz

Punch

Nexon

Length 

3,990mm

3,827mm

3,993mm

Width 

1,755mm

1,742mm

1,811mm

Height 

1,523mm

1,615mm

1,606mm

Wheelbase 

2,501mm

2,415mm

2,498mm

Considering all three are Tata models, they’ve got a bold enough design language to really make their presence felt in their respective segments. Their cool body shades also help them stand out in public. That being said, it is clear to see that the Nexon has started to show its age compared to the more recent Altroz and Punch, which slightly edge ahead with their bold lines and curves. 

tata punch vs tata altroz vs tata nexon

There’s a lot of common styling bits, including the LED DRLs, fog lamps, projector headlamps, 16 inch dual-tone alloy wheels and auto-folding ORVMs. Interestingly, the Altroz doesn’t get LED tail lamps which are present in the Punch and Nexon. Even when you spec the Nexon in the XM (S), you only miss out on alloy wheels, so it's not much of a compromise.

Despite the three Tata models having completely different body styles, they’re quite close to each other if you measure them. The Altroz edges out in wheelbase, while the Punch is the tallest of the three. The Nexon on the other hand is the longer and wider offering on paper at least. Do these figures translate inside too?

Boot Space

tata punch vs tata altroz vs tata nexon

Altroz

Punch

Nexon

345 litres

366 litres

350 litres

Now here’s one of those instances when the on paper figures really don’t tell the true picture. Starting with the Punch, despite it offering the most on paper, fitting in a large suitcase is a bit of a hassle due to the limited length. Other than that you can fit in a medium sized suitcase on top of it and a small suitcase or two softbags at the sides. But due to that high loading lip and deep boot, getting heavy luggage in and out will be difficult.

tata punch vs tata altroz vs tata nexon

Move on to the second best on paper, the Nexon, and it's a better situation. You can fit everything from the Punch here but even more easily thanks to a larger boot floor, a lower loading lip and not that deep of a boot which also helps in easier loading or unloading. It also gains an advantage with flat folding rear seats which aren't present in the Punch or the Altroz.  The Altroz, despite having the least boot space on paper, actually managed to be the most practical of the lot by fitting all three suitcases plus a soft bag. Combine an average loading lip height and boot depth, and the Altroz wins out in this department.

Rear Seat Experience And Features

tata punch vs tata altroz vs tata nexon

Since we’re heading towards the rear seats, here’s a little interesting tidbit on the three models. Sure, the Punch and Altroz have high-mounted door handles to give off a modern feel, but they do become a hassle to access, especially when you’ve got your hands full with luggage. So, the Nexon’s conventional door handle setup is the more practical solution.

Now, getting to the rear seats, we first hopped on board with the Nexon, and the experience was quite satisfying to say the least. Not only do the seats get soft cushioning, but the way their curvature protrudes forward, helps in offering good underthigh support. Combine this with nicely reclined seat backs and you'll feel like you’re sitting on a sofa which is great for daily journeys. Of course if your preference is for firmer seat cushioning and longer drives, the Nexon’s rear seats may not be ideal. 

It is also quite airy inside thanks to a big glass area, as well as decent headroom and kneeroom. Remove the sunroof curtain, and it helps bring more light to what’s already an airy cabin. As for features, it is decently specced with the likes of a central armrest with cupholders, adjustable headrests, rear AC vents, and a 12V socket. There is one minor gripe with the door pockets being a little too thin.

tata punch vs tata altroz vs tata nexon

Move over to the Punch, and you won’t really notice any lack of space, with the headroom and kneeroom decent enough even for six footers without any hassles. But it’s not as comfortable to sit in as the Nexon, with the seat cushioning being firmer, and the smaller seat base reducing underthigh support. Add on a slightly less angled seat backrest and it's less comfortable then the Nexon to be in. Also, it’s not as airy as the Nexon due to the smaller windows, and smaller cabin width. What it really loses points is in the lack of cupholders on the armrest, rear AC vents and a 12V socket for the rear passengers. While there is a phone holder, it doesn’t make much of a contribution to the rear cabin experience.

Considering the Altroz is a hatchback, it's not a surprise that the low seating position makes it a bit of a hassle for senior citizens to get in and out. It's also got the shortest seat base which translates to barely any underthigh support. The cabin feels the least spacious of the three as the windows are small, and there’s not enough headroom for tall people to sit in without bashing their heads on the interior side panels. That being said, things get a little better in the features department with rear AC vents, a 12V socket and a phone holder. But it lacks cupholders on the armrest, and the phone holder could have been designed a little better.

Three At The Back

tata punch vs tata altroz vs tata nexon

Starting with the Altroz, unfortunately you’re going to find yourself wanting to get out of it as quickly as soon as you get in, as the lack of cabin width and headroom means squeezing in a third person at the back will make for a cramped experience. But if you’re a family of four, then it shouldn’t be an issue. The experience in the Punch is a lot better, but you still have to manoeuvre around a bit to properly fit three people. The Nexon with its wide cabin is the best in this department, with all three occupants being able to sit quite comfortably even on long drives.

Front Cabin Fit And Feel

tata punch vs tata altroz vs tata nexon

Heading towards the front of the cabin, a good thing about all three models is that despite having very similar buttons and the 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, they have their own unique personality. For the Punch, it's the unique textures on the dash, the different colours on the AC vents and overall layout which gives it a modern look. The strong build quality is also a testament to the improvements Tata has been making in their latest offerings, which gives the Punch the best fit and feel of the three.

The Altroz’s own X-factor lies in a cool floating layer and a glossy finish on the dashboard, as well as ambient lighting to give it a premium look, fitting for a premium hatchback. While the Nexon also has a glossy finish on the dashboard, its layout looks rather simplistic compared to the Altroz and Punch with no stand-out bits to gloss over.

Features

tata punch vs tata altroz vs tata nexon

Common Features

Nexon Highlights

Altroz Highlights

Punch Highlights

Auto Headlamps

Sunroof

Ambient Lighting

Traction Pro Mode (AMT)

Rain Sensing Wipers

9-speaker sound system

8-speaker Sound System

Drive Modes - City, Eco

Automatic Climate Control

Xpress Cool

   

Steering Mounted Controls

Drive Modes - City, Eco, Sport

   

7-inch touchscreen infotainment system

TPMS

   

Android Auto / Apple CarPlay

     

Voice Commands

     

iRA Connected Car Tech

     

Tilt Adjustable Steering

     

One Touch Driver Window Down

     

Push Button Start/Stop

     

Rear Wiper and Washer

     

All three Tata models actually have a whole lot in common in features such as a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, connected car tech, push-button start/stop, a digital instrument cluster, and a branded audio system.

But the Nexon does manage to pull ahead of the Punch and Altroz with the likes of a more potent sound system, a sunroof, as well as a tyre pressure monitoring system. While it’s got a digital instrument cluster, it feels aged compared to the other two models. In the Altroz, ambient lighting is its x-factor, while the Punch has dedicated traction modes exclusive to the AMT variants. That being said, its audio system is lacking compared to its two rivals.

Nexon XM (S) Worth It?

tata punch vs tata altroz vs tata nexon

The caveat of the Tata Nexon having the edge in features is that it starts going towards a hefty price point. Here’s where the XM (S) comes into the picture, as it’s very decently specced with features like a digital instrument cluster, drive modes, an electric sunroof, power windows on all four doors, electric adjust and auto-folding ORVMs, steering-mounted audio and phone controls, auto headlamps, and rain sensing wipers. Of course there will be some compromise, with it only getting a regular 3.5-inch infotainment system which is not a touchscreen unit, and loses out on automatic climate control, rear AC vents and a height adjustable drivers seat.

Practicality

The Altroz certainly wins out here with more than enough space around the centre console area to store your phone and wallet comfortably. There’s also a decent amount of room below the sliding central armrest and the cup holders are generous as well. The glovebox is spacious with a removable tray and the door pockets are the most practical of the lot. Other practical bits include a small storage space at the driver’s side, a sunglass holder, and a shopping bag hook on the co-passenger footwell.

tata punch vs tata altroz vs tata nexon

The Punch gets everything from the Altroz aside from the sunglass holder and removable tray in the glovebox, but it gets less spacious door pockets, and there’s no centre armrest. Things get a little weird in the Nexon, with the centre console replacing the cup holders for a storage area where it's not exactly safe to put a phone in. It is also not easy to access the USB sockets and 12V socket. However, in the XM (S) variant, you get simple cup holders which are much more practical

Ride and Comfort

tata punch vs tata altroz vs tata nexon

The Nexon felt quite comfortable to ride on, with the sub-4 metre SUV handling bumps and bad roads with relative ease. Add on the soft-cushioned seats and you can pretty much drive for hours on end. The longer-travel suspension means it can absorb larger bumps and potholes better than the other two. This will be beneficial if you often get off the road.  

Hopping over to the Altroz, we noticed it settled over bumps quite quickly and nicely isolates you from the harshness of the road. When it comes to handling, it's the Altroz that comes out on top, being the most engaging to drive. It didn’t face much body roll either, and it responded well to sudden directional changes. Even when you push it around tight bends, the Altroz manages to be the most stable of the three models, which is a good thing in regards to driving confidence. But yes, you will feel the bumps a little bit more than the Nexon.

tata punch vs tata altroz vs tata nexon

The Punch has tried to be the middleground between a hatch and an SUV and it shows. While the handling feels nimble, its stiff suspension setup and height mean you feel the bumps and rough roads quite a bit with a lot of side-to-side movement. Sure, this nimbleness is ideal in the city, but you’ll have to tread with a bit of caution while tackling not so great roads. Not that it will damage the car, but it can make the occupants uncomfortable.

Price and Verdict

Tata Altroz

Tata Punch

Tata Nexon

Rs 5.99 - 9.69 Lakh

Rs 5.65 - 9.29 Lakh

Rs 7.4 - 13.34 Lakh

 

XM S: Rs 9.00 Lakh

All prices ex-showroom Delhi

It was quite a close call between the three Tata models, with each having their own uniqueness. The Punch does manage to sort of bridge the gap between the Altroz and the Nexon with a decent amount of cabin space, a modern cabin layout, as well as a decent haul of features. But it loses out points in the boot space and doesn’t provide the most comfortable of rides. It also lacks a diesel offering, which both the Altroz and Nexon get. Nonetheless, it does the job to market itself to the likes of those who are young and want to stand out from the crowd.

tata punch vs tata altroz vs tata nexon

The Nexon is the best to be seated in, offers a spacious cabin, fits in three people at the rear quite comfortably, and is great to ride in, thanks to those soft-cushioned seats and suspension setup. It also gains a massive edge in features, but all that comes at a hefty price premium and opting for the closest option, the XM (S), means a further compromise on features. But if you’re willing to make that compromise, then the Nexon is a nice, safe bet. Especially if you often seat 5 in the car. 

The ideal all-rounder here is the Altroz, with a premium cabin feel, great practicality, decent boot space, and a very enjoyable ride and driving experience. But it is only ideal for a family of four, with the rear seat space being the major drawback. Nevertheless, if you’re willing to accept that compromise than the Altroz premium hatchback should be the ideal choice for a Tata model within the Rs 10 lakh to Rs 11 lakh price range.

Words by: Gaurav Davare

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