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Tata Nexon AMT Diesel : Test drive, review

The Tata Nexon has been a turning point for Tata Motors ever since launch. Its the best example of the transformation Tata has undergone (I’ve said that before, I guess; anyway!) 

Tata aims to maintain the success in sales of the Nexon by giving its diesel variant an automatic gearbox. And a new paint shade.
Here’s how it all comes together.

Exterior

Tata Nexon AMT Diesel
As we already know, the Tata Nexon is a looker. The facia, bulging wheel arches, sloping roof-line, contrasting paint job, white accenting, dual tone alloy wheels;all of makes up a striking exterior. One would have to be alarmingly absent-minded not to notice one of these passing.
And if someone is, Tata has come up with the solution to that. The Tata Nexon AMT we have here is draped in a new paint shade, ‘Etna Orange’. The contrasting metallic grey roof complements the shade well. The accent below the windows and X shaped accent on the rear match the grey shade too.
And this attracts many many eyes in the road.

On the move

Tata Nexon AMT Diesel
The Tata Nexon is the only SUV of its class that has an auto transmission paired to a diesel engine. The engine is a 1.5 liter 4 cylinder turbocharged unit. And, the gearbox in question is an automated manual unit. Tata has chosen to call it Hyperdrive Self-Shift gears.
But I don’t kind of agree with the ‘hyper’ part of the nomenclature.
For firsts, AMT’s aren’t the quickest transmissions in business. So, as expected, the shifts seem a bit slow. And accompanied by substantial nosedive.
The makers have programmed the transmission to shift from first to second gear as early as possible. This is possibly for fuel efficiency numbers and to reduce wear of the transmission. But it can tend to be annoying. Especially while ascending on steep gradients. The Nexon comes with Hill-climb assist to avoid roll backs when starting to climb. But the massive short shift from 1st to 2nd that the transmission does (it just does, there’s no way around it) makes the ascending a  funny job.
But you get used to the AMT in a short while. And once you do, its all predictable. You can make the transmission do what you want it to do by controlling the throttle.
Standing outside the Tata Nexon and looking at it gives you the impression that the vehicle should be a lot fun to drive. And the driving dynamics do justice to that impression. The steering, though lacking feedback is very responsive and lively. The suspension tuning is a great balance of softness to soak all bumps but sharp to manage all the quick steering inputs well. And working the throttle to manage the gearing keeps you involved in the driving when the pace is fast.
Of course, you can sit back and have a. relaxed drive as well. The Nexon AMT gets 3 driving modes. Eco, City and Sport. These manage the engine output and the transmission. Eco is the, well, frankly dull mode and should be used in very slow traffic or while running low on fuel. City mode is for those relaxed city drives and then comes the beat of them all, the Sport mode. Its the mode I found myself most of the times. The transmission is the most intuitive in this mode.

Verdict

 

Tata Nexon AMT Diesel

The recipe of the Tata Nexon AMT Diesel is the most on point one. A good looking SUV with loads of equipment, a diesel engine and an automatic transmission.

If you are looking for an automatic diesel SUV in the price range, you have no where else to look for. And you wouldn’t need to. The Tata Nexon AMT Diesel has the monopoly of the game here and its a great bet at that.
We have also reviewed the Tata Nexon Petrol manual before. You can read the review here.
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Kedar Vaidya

An utter car guy, he’s the guy on the keyboard. Driver’s seat is his place for solace. Apart from talking cars and driving, Kedar also spends a fortune on die-cast miniatures of them, especially old American Muscle. He loves to understand his ride fully and once he does, he loves to explore its limits. American Hotrodder David Freighburger is his icon, while he dreams to daily drive a 68′ Dodge Charger some day.

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