Tata Motors have been on the offensive lately with a slew of new car models that have been well received in the market. Be it the Tiago, Hexa or the Tigor, all new models from the car maker have seen an excellent response from buyers. The Tata Nexon, which is their newest Compact SUV, has been a super hit among buyers in the segment, and has sold over 25,000 units already within 6 months since its launch. To make this a bigger hit, Tata Motors have launched the AMT version of the Nexon or as Tata Motors calls it, the HyperDrive.
Design-wise the Nexon AMT looks exactly the same as the manual version, except for the additional A added to the trim badging on the boot, A standing for automatic. The Nexon has been a very trendy-looking compact SUV that still looks like a concept, making it very futuristic. The overall stance and the way the car looks from all angles is extremely dynamic and sporty.
The Tata Nexon gets a 6-speed AMT (Automated Manual Transmission) which, like its manual counterpart, also comes with preset drive modes namely Eco, City and Sport. These modes can be shifted to, even when on the move, using the rotary dial selector placed on the center console, just behind the AMT shifter stalk.
The Tata Nexon is available in both Petrol and Diesel engine options, with same engines that also power the manual variant. The 1.2 litre Revotron Petrol engine makes 110PS of power with 170Nm of torque. The Diesel AMT version comes powered by the same 1.5 litre Revotorq engine makes 110PS of power and 260Nm of power.
On the move, the Petrol Nexon AMT drives nicely, the AMT shifting does need some time to get adjusted to, but once you get the hang of it, the real fun starts. The car drives very spiritedly on highways and never feels out of breath. Gear shifts happen linearly and can also be overridden using the tiptronic manual mode if needed. The Eco mode is best suited during traffic snarls while the fun factor is driving in the City and Sport mode. Drive feel is excellent and the suspension setup is sport on for our roads.
Coming to the diesel Nexon AMT, the ‘City’ mode most suitable within the city, as the stop-start traffic needs instant throttle response, which the Nexon AMT delivered flawlessly. There is abundance of torque and power delivery is very linear. The shifts were smooth, unlike on the petrol AMT which still needs some refinement.
On slightly open roads the up-shifts though smooth, made itself apparent with a small pause present between the shifts, but nothing uncomfortable, we got used to it in no time. The ‘Eco’ mode is most suitable for long straight highways on this one, where you don’t intend to push the vehicle to its limits while enjoying the surrounding landscapes.
The up-shifts are quick, which also helps maintain low RPM at higher speeds without making the car sluggish to drive, all thanks to the 260 Nm of torque available from as low as 1500 RPM all the way up to 2750 RPM, thus returning good fuel economy. ‘Sport’ mode is what we most enjoyed, on the Mumbai-Charoti stretch, as it allows you to stick to a gear longer, for better and sporty acceleration. Overtaking was a breeze in sport mode, surprisingly enough, even with all the spirited driving and the speedometer staying north of 120 kmph most of the time, the car returned an overall mileage of 18.3 Kmpl, which in our opinion is respectable to say the least.
There’s also manual mode, just in case you decide to take over the gearshifts completely. Which in our opinion is best suited for overtaking at high speeds, on the highway. Differences between the drive modes is quite substantial, we were constantly switching between City, Eco & Sport modes to check which mode best suited our driving style and the situation thrown at us. Overall, we found the diesel Nexon AMT to be more exciting and involving to drive than the petrol variant, thanks to the extra torque.
Tata Nexon looks extremely smart and trendy, and with this the addition of an AMT option makes it the even sweeter option. The robust diesel engine is our pick of the two, while the Petrol version is not bad either. The AMT transmission adds a lot of comfort and stress-free drive pleasure to the overall package.