Tata Nexon 2023 Review: First Drive

Published On Sep 06, 2023 By Arun for Tata Nexon

With the update, there’s very little holding the Nexon back from reigning supreme.

Tata Nexon 2023

The Tata Nexon has evolved every year since it’s debut in 2017. One would expect a brand new generation in six years, however, Tata Motors has chosen to update the same model comprehensively. With the new Nexon, Tata has managed to infuse a sense of modernity, while retaining the old strengths. Let’s take a closer look.

Exterior 

Tata Nexon 2023 Front

The Nexon’s unconventional design always caught people’s attention. With the facelift, you can positively expect some heads to turn. This is the first product to debut Tata’s newer design language, glimpses of which we first saw in the Curvv concept. It seems like the Nexon is now puffing its cheeks at you with the added muscle in the front bumper. 

Tata Nexon 2023 Headlamps

The vertical elements in the bumper add to the sense of height. The LED projector headlights are positioned lower now, and the cube-shaped fog lamps complete the lighting block on the bumper. There’s a functional vent here, designed to route air through. 

Tata Nexon 2023 LED DRLs

However, it’s the new lighting signature that’s going to grab your attention first. There’s a slick animation on unlock, and the smooth white lighting adds a touch of class. You get dynamic (swipe-style) turn indicators too, elevating your sense of the Nexon’s worth as a product. You’re unlikely to dismiss it as an ‘affordable’ or ‘entry level’ SUV. 

Tata Nexon 2023 Side

The doors and the roof remain identical; therefore the side profile is possibly the only angle where you can draw an immediate parallel to its earlier versions. There’s a new set of 16-inch alloy wheels here, which won’t look out of place on an EV. Tata Motors has opted for plastic aero flaps within the diamond-cut design, which they claim is better for aerodynamic efficiency. It also enables them to offer customisation at a later stage. 

Tata Nexon 2023 LED Taillamps

Chances of you going ‘Oh wow’ are highest at the rear, though, mostly due to the new lighting signature. The tail lamps do a little dance on lock/unlock, which lends a sense of occasion. Another design detail — Tata has hidden the wiper away under the chunkier spoiler now, which means lower variants without a spoiler won’t immediately appear barebones. 

Tata Nexon 2023 Rear

Do note that Tata Motors has gone to town garnishing the Nexon with gloss black trim elements. The surround for the daytime running lamps, the swoosh under the window line and even the tail lamps have a glossy black texture. Please be careful to clean these areas with care (and not in circular motion), as they get scratched quite easily. Alternatively, investing in a paint protection film (PPF) might be a wise decision. 

Interior

Tata Nexon 2023 Cabin

Changes to the exterior are drastic, but the interiors manage to top it. The Nexon has levelled up on three crucial counts: design, quality, and tech. Let’s run through them one by one. 

Tata Nexon 2023 AC Vents

With a whole lot of horizontal lines, slim AC vents and a free-floating touchscreen, there are German car-like details in the Nexon’s cabin. Minimalism has clearly been the core mantra here, as Tata seems to have gone to town eliminating physical buttons almost entirely. 

Tata Nexon 2023 Steering Wheel

There’s a new two-spoke steering wheel that debuts with the Nexon. Flat-bottomed and meaty, the steering wheel exudes class as well. Add the backlit logo and the capacitive buttons in the mix (that thankfully still have physical feedback) and you’ve got a steering that’s memorable in equal parts from a design and functionality standpoint. 

Tata Nexon 2023 Cupholders

However, you can’t say the same for all of the cabin. There are clear instances of form preceding function. For instance, the USB chargers are hard to access, and the cupholders are tucked away inside the glovebox. The design also means there’s very little margin for error in terms of fit and finish, and that’s where Tata struggles a little. A few ill-fitting panels and misaligned trims were observed on both our test cars. These issues have existed since the Nexon debuted, and it seems they’d go away only when we see an entirely new generation. 

Design apart, the uptick in quality is immediately apparent too. Go hunting in the lower half of the dash, and you’d be pleasantly surprised with a cross-hatch texture we’ve seen in the Altroz. The dashboard — split into three sections — all deliver a little more in terms of the feel-good factor.

Tata Nexon 2023

A carbon fibre-like texture in the mid-pad and a wrapped leatherette lower section ups the ambiance of the cabin. The same leatherette spills over onto the door pads, and the soft leatherette upholstery also seems slightly smoother and cushier than before. 

Also Read: Tata Nexon Facelift Is Now Available For Bookings

Tata has been bold with the use of purple on the dashboard and the seats. Thankfully, that’s limited to just the purple exterior colour. All the other colours get an all-black interior which is a whole lot more likeable to those with simpler tastes. 

Ingress-egress continues to remain fuss-free, there’s no change here. We noticed a slight dip in the rear seat kneeroom, which we can attribute to three reasons: thicker cushioning on the front seat, the lack of a seat-back scoop, and the added cushioning on the rear seat base which betters underthigh support, but pushes your knees ever so slightly forward. We don’t expect a change in space in variants that don’t get the extra comfy leatherette seats. 

Tata Nexon 2023 Rear Seat Space

There’s enough space for a six-footer to be comfortable behind another. No real issues with headroom or foot room either. Squeezing three in should be possible if absolutely necessary, but the Nexon is best used by a family of four and a child. There’s a proper seat belt for the central occupant, but no central headrest. 

Boot Space

Tata Nexon 2023 Boot Space

Boot space remains unchanged,  which is sufficient for anything a small family would want to carry for a weekend getaway. Additionally, the top trims get a 60:40 split functionality. The rear seat bench also flips up, which is handy. 

Features

Tata Nexon 2023 Infotainment System

Here’s a bold claim to start this section with. The Nexon offers the BEST infotainment experience in this segment. We will add a caveat here, though. This setup needs to function reliably and glitch-free for us to stand by it. Between the twin 10.25-inch displays the experience is phenomenal. Crisp display, classy fonts, quick response time, and a genuinely intuitive user interface all make the system a joy to interact with. 

Tata Nexon 2023 Infotainment System

We’ve experienced the touchscreen in the Harrier/Safari earlier, but Tata has refined it further in terms of software. It did hang once on our drive, and we needed a rather elaborate reset process to get it working again. We’re assured these final chinks in the software are already being ironed out. 

Tata Nexon 2023 Digital Driver's Display

The 10.25-inch instrument cluster brings a few preset views along with the usual gamut of information you’d want. A cool party trick is its full-screen navigation view. You can relay Google Maps from Android Auto and Apple Maps from Apple CarPlay currently. Google Maps on Apple CarPlay isn’t supported currently due to some licensing limitations, but that’s one software update away. 

Also new is a 9-speaker JBL sound system which includes a subwoofer. The bass should hit a little more this time round, and audio quality is expectedly top-shelf. Not that the Nexon suffered from a poor audio system to begin with, but this update betters it. 

Tata Nexon 2023 Rear Camera

Another highlight is the new 360° camera. You get to choose between 3D and 2D views, both of which are executed rather well. The cameras on the mirrors activate while indicating too, giving you a feed on the touchscreen. This is convenient for sure, but it does override everything else meaning you won’t be able to see navigation here if you’re indicating. 

Also Read: 10 New Features Offered On The Tata Nexon Facelift

Other feature highlights are carried over unchanged — front seat ventilation, cruise control, automatic headlights, wireless charging, sunroof — all make their way to the facelift. There’s no real missing feature here. In fact, with this feature set, the Nexon is going to make SUVs in a segment above feel a little hot under the collar. 

Safety

Tata Nexon 2023 Airbags

Safety features include six airbags, ABS with EBD, and ISOFIX child seat mounts. We’re expecting the Nexon to fare well in crash tests given its track record. Front and rear parking sensors, 3-point seat belts for all occupants, and individual seat belt reminders round off the package. 

Performance

Tata Nexon 2023

There are no new engine options to be had with the Nexon facelift. The good old 1.2-litre turbo-petrol and 1.5-litre turbo-diesel soldier on unchanged. We were expecting Tata to debut the new TGDI motor they showcased at the Auto Expo, but that seems to have been reserved for the Curvv. 

  • 1.2-litre Petrol

There’s no apparent difference in the way the turbo-petrol motor performs. The thrummy three-cylinder engine isn’t particularly exciting to drive, but it doesn’t leave you wanting for power either. Acceleration is adequately swift, and you will be just fine cruising all day at triple-digit speeds. Moreover, there’s enough torque, so  you won’t need to shift every now and then for the city streets and hilly roads either. 

Tata Nexon 2023 Drive Modes

Surprisingly, Tata has added two more transmission options to the mix. There’s a 5-speed manual you can pick with the base-spec Nexon, and a 7-speed DCT that’s available on the top two trims. The dual-clutch automatic delivers on what’s expected from it. It’s smooth, quick, and picks up part-throttle inputs well too. It’s almost never confused, and has you in the right gear. That said, performance is closer to Hyundai’s DCT tech than VW’s slick DSG. 

There are paddle shifters to be had too, should you want to shift yourself. Oddly enough, long pressing the shift up paddle does not switch the vehicle back to Drive. 

  • 1.5-litre Diesel

Consider the diesel engine if you foresee driving over 50km per day consistently. This is where the better fuel efficiency of the diesel engine will start reaping dividends. Here too, performance isn’t all that different. The diesel engine is clattery as you’d expect and gets loud if you push it. 

Tata Nexon 2023 6-speed Manual Transmission

Tata claims to have worked on the gearbox during the BS6.2 update. This was our first time experiencing the improved setup. The shifts are crisper now, and not as rubbery as they once used to be. You wouldn’t really mind the weight of the clutch either, but the long travel might just be a bother, especially for heavy city use. There’s an option of a 6-speed AMT here. We wish Tata could’ve provided a proper torque converter instead. 

Ride and Handling

Tata Nexon 2023

The Nexon has always been one tough cookie — tackling uneven terrain with ease. But that inherent sense of stiffness that the Nexon dished out has now been muted a fair bit. The suspension seems noticeably more polished, ironing out bumps and undulations with more confidence and silence. Highway stability is appreciable too, and it remains composed at triple-digit speeds. 

The steering is adequately light for city use and weighs up enough for the highway. We couldn’t really push the Nexon through corners in our limited time with it — but first impressions say it will be just as predictable if not outright fun as before. 

Verdict

Tata Nexon 2023

In every measurable way — the Nexon has levelled up. While the design will grab eyeballs, it’s the interior experience that will make you stay. Finally, it’s the tech package that’s likely to seal the deal. We do hope this functions glitch-free and reliably through the course of ownership. 

The only real issue with the Nexon facelift is that Tata Motors has chosen to let a few legacy issues remain. Whether it’s ergonomics, or iffy fit and finish in odd places. None of these are dealbreakers though — making the Nexon a whole lot better than before.

Tata Nexon

Variants*Ex-Showroom Price New Delhi
Smart Plus Diesel (Diesel)Rs.9.99 Lakh*
Smart Plus S Diesel (Diesel)Rs.10.59 Lakh*
Pure S Diesel AMT (Diesel)Rs.11 Lakh*
Pure Diesel (Diesel)Rs.11.10 Lakh*
Pure S Diesel (Diesel)Rs.11.60 Lakh*
Pure Diesel AMT (Diesel)Rs.11.80 Lakh*
Creative Diesel (Diesel)Rs.12.50 Lakh*
Creative DT Diesel (Diesel)Rs.12.60 Lakh*
Creative Dark Diesel (Diesel)Rs.12.85 Lakh*
Creative Diesel AMT (Diesel)Rs.13.10 Lakh*
Creative DT Diesel AMT (Diesel)Rs.13.20 Lakh*
Creative Plus Diesel (Diesel)Rs.13.20 Lakh*
Creative Plus DT Diesel (Diesel)Rs.13.30 Lakh*
Creative Dark Diesel AMT (Diesel)Rs.13.45 Lakh*
Creative Plus Dark Diesel (Diesel)Rs.13.55 Lakh*
Creative Plus S Diesel (Diesel)Rs.13.70 Lakh*
Creative Plus S DT Diesel (Diesel)Rs.13.80 Lakh*
Creative Plus Diesel AMT (Diesel)Rs.13.90 Lakh*
Creative Plus DT Diesel AMT (Diesel)Rs.14 Lakh*
Fearless DT Diesel (Diesel)Rs.14 Lakh*
FearlessPR DT Diesel (Diesel)Rs.14 Lakh*
Creative Plus S Dark Diesel (Diesel)Rs.14.05 Lakh*
Creative Plus Dark Diesel AMT (Diesel)Rs.14.25 Lakh*
Fearless Dark Diesel (Diesel)Rs.14.35 Lakh*
Creative Plus S Diesel AMT (Diesel)Rs.14.40 Lakh*
Creative Plus S DT Diesel AMT (Diesel)Rs.14.50 Lakh*
Fearless Plus DT Diesel (Diesel)Rs.14.50 Lakh*
Fearless S DT Diesel (Diesel)Rs.14.50 Lakh*
FearlessPR Plus DT Diesel (Diesel)Rs.14.50 Lakh*
FearlessPR S DT Diesel (Diesel)Rs.14.50 Lakh*
Fearless DT Diesel AMT (Diesel)Rs.14.70 Lakh*
FearlessPR DT Diesel AMT (Diesel)Rs.14.70 Lakh*
Creative Plus S Dark Diesel AMT (Diesel)Rs.14.75 Lakh*
Fearless Plus S DT Diesel (Diesel)Rs.15 Lakh*
FearlessPR Plus S DT Diesel (Diesel)Rs.15 Lakh*
Fearless Dark Diesel AMT (Diesel)Rs.15.05 Lakh*
Fearless Plus DT Diesel AMT (Diesel)Rs.15.10 Lakh*
Fearless S DT Diesel AMT (Diesel)Rs.15.10 Lakh*
FearlessPR Plus DT Diesel AMT (Diesel)Rs.15.10 Lakh*
FearlessPR S DT Diesel AMT (Diesel)Rs.15.10 Lakh*
Fearless Plus S Dark Diesel (Diesel)Rs.15.20 Lakh*
Fearless Plus S DT Diesel AMT (Diesel)Rs.15.60 Lakh*
FearlessPR Plus S DT Diesel AMT (Diesel)Rs.15.60 Lakh*
Fearless Plus S Dark Diesel AMT (Diesel)Rs.15.80 Lakh*
Smart Opt (Petrol)Rs.7.99 Lakh*
Smart (Petrol)Rs.8.15 Lakh*
Smart Plus (Petrol)Rs.8.90 Lakh*
Pure (Petrol)Rs.9.80 Lakh*
Smart Plus S (Petrol)Rs.9.80 Lakh*
Smart Plus AMT (Petrol)Rs.10 Lakh*
Pure S (Petrol)Rs.10.30 Lakh*
Pure AMT (Petrol)Rs.10.50 Lakh*
Pure S AMT (Petrol)Rs.11 Lakh*
Creative (Petrol)Rs.11.10 Lakh*
Creative DT (Petrol)Rs.11.20 Lakh*
Creative Dark (Petrol)Rs.11.45 Lakh*
Creative AMT (Petrol)Rs.11.80 Lakh*
Creative Plus (Petrol)Rs.11.80 Lakh*
Creative DT AMT (Petrol)Rs.11.90 Lakh*
Creative Plus DT (Petrol)Rs.11.90 Lakh*
Creative Dark AMT (Petrol)Rs.12.15 Lakh*
Creative Plus Dark (Petrol)Rs.12.15 Lakh*
Creative DCA (Petrol)Rs.12.30 Lakh*
Creative Plus S (Petrol)Rs.12.30 Lakh*
Creative DT DCA (Petrol)Rs.12.40 Lakh*
Creative Plus S DT (Petrol)Rs.12.40 Lakh*
Creative Plus AMT (Petrol)Rs.12.50 Lakh*
Creative Plus DT AMT (Petrol)Rs.12.60 Lakh*
Fearless DT (Petrol)Rs.12.60 Lakh*
FearlessPR DT (Petrol)Rs.12.60 Lakh*
Creative Dark DCA (Petrol)Rs.12.65 Lakh*
Creative Plus S Dark (Petrol)Rs.12.65 Lakh*
Creative Plus Dark AMT (Petrol)Rs.12.85 Lakh*
Fearless Dark (Petrol)Rs.12.95 Lakh*
Creative Plus DCA (Petrol)Rs.13 Lakh*
Creative Plus S AMT (Petrol)Rs.13 Lakh*
Creative Plus DT DCA (Petrol)Rs.13.10 Lakh*
Creative Plus S DT AMT (Petrol)Rs.13.10 Lakh*
Fearless Plus DT (Petrol)Rs.13.10 Lakh*
Fearless S DT (Petrol)Rs.13.10 Lakh*
FearlessPR Plus DT (Petrol)Rs.13.10 Lakh*
FearlessPR S DT (Petrol)Rs.13.10 Lakh*
Creative Plus Dark DCA (Petrol)Rs.13.35 Lakh*
Creative Plus S Dark AMT (Petrol)Rs.13.35 Lakh*
Creative Plus S DCA (Petrol)Rs.13.50 Lakh*
Creative Plus S DT DCA (Petrol)Rs.13.60 Lakh*
Fearless Plus S DT (Petrol)Rs.13.60 Lakh*
FearlessPR Plus S DT (Petrol)Rs.13.60 Lakh*
Fearless DT DCA (Petrol)Rs.13.80 Lakh*
Fearless Plus S Dark (Petrol)Rs.13.80 Lakh*
FearlessPR DT DCA (Petrol)Rs.13.80 Lakh*
Creative Plus S Dark DCA (Petrol)Rs.13.85 Lakh*
Fearless Dark DCA (Petrol)Rs.14.15 Lakh*
Fearless Plus DT DCA (Petrol)Rs.14.30 Lakh*
Fearless S DT DCA (Petrol)Rs.14.30 Lakh*
FearlessPR Plus DT DCA (Petrol)Rs.14.30 Lakh*
FearlessPR S DT DCA (Petrol)Rs.14.30 Lakh*
Fearless Plus S DT DCA (Petrol)Rs.14.80 Lakh*
FearlessPR Plus S DT DCA (Petrol)Rs.14.80 Lakh*
Fearless Plus S Dark DCA (Petrol)Rs.15 Lakh*

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