The Tata Nexon has been a highly popular offering for the automaker, keeping up with the popularity of SUVs globally. The Nexon is also the first SUV from Tata Motors to be offered in both petrol and diesel engine options, and the company now says it has registered a 50:50 sales ratio for either versions. The deregulation of diesel made the fuel more expensive, shifting the passenger vehicle market back to petrol vehicles. The Nexon and its availability in both petrol and diesel engine options has benefitted the SUV and its popularity. Adding another feather to its cap, the Tata Nexon managed to achieve a 4 star rating in the Global NCAP results, in a big push towards Indian vehicle safety standards.
Commenting on the popularity of the petrol engine on the Tata Nexon, Tata Motors - President, Passenger Vehicle Business Unit, Mayank Pareek said, "The demand for petrol has certainly gone up and the trend is likely to continue as we get ready to usher in BS-VI fuel. Diesel prices are bound to go up under once BS-VI is introduced and Tata Motors is ready for this change."
The popularity of petrol has not only been seen with the Nexon but other vehicles as well. Both the new generation Toyota Fortuner and Innova Crysta were launched with petrol versions, owing to increasing demand in the segment, while Mahindra too is developing a petrol engine for its upcoming Marazzo MPV, keeping up with the shift in the market. Another factor affecting diesel sales was the ban by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in Delhi in 2016. With diesel cars being more polluting, the NGT banned diesel vehicles more than 10 years old in Delhi NCR. The government body also limited the sale of diesel cars that was powered by an engine above 2000 cc. While the move did meet with a lot of criticism, it has been seen as a big waiver for prospective diesel buyers.
Citing an example on the shift towards petrol models, Pareek said, "Take the example of the Nexon. 5 years ago an SUV was always synonymous with diesel but the demand between the petrol and diesel Nexon is 50-50 and this shows that petrol is back in demand."
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Globally too, rising pollution levels have been a major reason for automakers to look into other fuel options including electric and hydrogen. Tata Motors too, has been working on electrifying its own range of vehicles. The Tata Tigor EV was the first offering that currently is restricted for delivery only to the EESL. We do expect the Tiago and even the Nexon to be electrified in the future.
For now, the Tata Nexon is raking up the numbers for the automaker with the 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol and 1.5-litre turbocharged diesel engines doing duty under the hood. Both engines are good for 108 bhp, while peak torque varies at 170 Nm for the petrol and 260 Nm for the diesel. Both engines are offered with a 6-speed manual gearbox and AMT unit.