The Tata Nexon EV gets a much-deserved facelift, but there are no changes in the battery capacity. We want to know more.
The Nexon EV has been the undisputed champion in the EV space in India, and now it gets an update, frankly, we were anticipating it, given that the petrol and diesel versions got one. But before I start driving the car, I have to note down a few things. So when I started the drive, these were the numbers:
Let’s see what they are at the end. So let’s get started!
While the overall design, including the LED DRLs, headlamps, and tail lamps are all carried forward from its ICE cousin, there are a few changes made to the car that are EV-specific. The lower portion of the grille is where you notice the difference. A unique slatted design and functional air vents give the Nexon EV its distinctive look from the front. But the most distinctive characteristic of the EV is the full-width LED light band running across the nose that’s a direct lift from the Curvv concept – it even has a functional value as it shows the charging status.
Overall size and look draw a lot of attention, as none of the other EVs in the market can match up to the Nexon EV’s sex appeal. And there are changes on the Inside as well. But those are dependent on personas (read variants). There are a total of three on offer – Creative, Fearless, and Empowered – and we have the top-of-the-line Empowered persona which has all the bells and whistles!
The cabin is the same as the one of the ICE versions of the Nexon. But there is one key difference – the massive 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system. This is specific to the Nexon EV and the ICE versions do not get them. It is massive and has so much to offer. The interface is intuitive and there is hardly any latency on this big screen. Now I must say here that it’s only in the top-end model that this screen is made available. The Creative persona gets an 8-inch screen and the Fearless a 10-inch. This 12.3-inch screen though has great resolution and you can watch videos, like I did, and can even install apps and then stream all your favourite movies.
Now, some of you might say that it is dangerous to do that. What about driver distraction? Well, Tata Motors hasn’t taken the eye off the ball as for one it won’t work when Apple Carplay and Android Auto are functional in the car. Secondly, the streaming works only when the car is stationary so at a parking space or even when you are waiting for your car to be charged! So kudos to the company for having thought of it. Then there’s V2L tech on offer only on the top-end variant as well. A tech that’s on offer right now only on the EV6 and the Ioniq 5. The car is basically a big portable generator and can power any device or in this case a café.
Tata has also provided the option of charging another vehicle via the Nexon EV. This is a great move and some assurance to people with range anxiety. Then there’s the 10-inch instrument cluster. It’s colourful and crisp and you get navigation on it too. Sadly the Google Maps on my Apple Carplay could not be projected there, but it’ll happen before launch I am assured. Finally, there’s the 360-degree camera which gives you a clear view of everything around you.
But keeping you updated on everything going on in your car is the company’s Z Connect App. It’s very simple to use and you get all the information at your fingertips. You can remotely lock/unlock your car via this app and do a lot more for sure. Sadly, we didn’t get enough time with it but we will try to get our hands on it soon to do a thorough tech review!
There are no changes in power figures. You get the same 40 kWh battery pack which punches out 142 bhp and there’s 215 Nm of torque on offer. What Tata has done though is offer a flat torque curve which basically means that when you put your foot down on the accelerator, when the car is at a standstill, it won’t jump because of huge amounts of torque available from the word go, it will gradually build up and provide you power. So it won’t lunge and the power therefore builds progressively which helps save on charge (according to the company).
There’s no big power that you get at lower rpms and that’s ok because this is not an SUV that’s oriented to be sporty. It takes you by surprise though, and that’s because we have come to expect it from an EV, so it’s a mindset issue. Having said that, a bit spritely in terms of drive, would have helped. As the revs build up, there’s enough power for you and if you put it in sports mode, there’s a distinct change in attitude and it gets a bit more fun to drive, however, the range comes down fairly quickly.
You also have the option of single-pedal driving thanks to the regen modes. These modes can be easily accessed now, thanks to the paddle shifters and you can select between three levels. Within the city, single-pedal driving works like a charm as it slows down the car drastically and brings back energy to the battery. But under hard braking, there is a bit of wiggle from the rear and that’s a little uneasy. At first, I blamed myself for not braking properly, but the problem resurfaced a couple of times later and so clearly, I was not to blame.
The ride is pretty much the same as in the ICE version. The rear is a bit bouncy though and could be a little uncomfortable if you encounter bad roads. The body roll is well-contained but the problem with the steering being lifeless continues with this one too. I had said in my review of the ICE versions, that the steering though stunning to look at, could have been better in terms of feedback while driving, and you just don’t get it. It’s a little disappointing for sure.
There’s a lot that Tata Motors has done to evolve the Nexon EV into a future-ready car and there’s a likelihood that all this tech will come at a price. Now that I have done all the driving I had to check the stats again.
So the total distance I covered was 161 km and the drop in charge was 68 per cent. Range though went down by a significant number - 254 km. There was a bit of spirited driving involved and also a mix of city and highway, so, this might not be the best way to analyse it. But then again, it will at best have done 250 km and that’s a full 200 km less than the claimed mileage of 465 km. Frankly, I am not dampened by this because battery tech is evolving and these are still early days.
The Nexon outperforms in all aspects when compared to the earlier car and I am talking about the first car as also the Nexon EV Max. And it’s the evolution that puts it far ahead of its rivals in all aspects. The new Nexon EV works its charm and I expect it to be priced from Rs. 14-20 Lakh. For all that you get in the car, it’s totally going to be worth it!
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