Compact SUVs seem to have that sweet spot these days, catering to consumers who want something more than a regular sedan, and not go all out with a full-fledged SUV. Enter Tata Motors’ extremely-well received compact SUV Tata Nexon, which we test drove during a recent road trip to Sri Lanka. Voted as India’s safest car, the Tata Nexon boasts the highest adult safety rating in the global NCAP crash test. The Tata Nexon stands out with its very modern, slick shape, giving it a sporty stance on the road, with a design inspired by a sports coupe.

Unlike many other cars in its segment, the Tata Nexon feels more spacious and gives an overall chic feel with its sculpted seats (great for long drives). The central console, with its three-tone design, is easy to navigate and packs in a bunch of amenities and features. The infotainment system, branded Harmon-Kardon, operated with an easy interface and a centre screen offers Android Auto and Apple Carplay connectivity. We even tried out the voice command feature to respond to Whatsapp messages. The eight-speaker system only enhances the drive experience. I tried out the top-end variant, the XZA+ version, with a six-speed automatic transition. There are multi-drive modes to try out as well — Eco, City and Sport. Under the hood, the car is powered by a 1.2l petrol engine, pumping out 110 kW @500 rpm and a torque of 170 Nm. The car lends itself extremely well to city driving, performs reasonably on freeway conditions, but proved a bit sluggish on uphill conditions.

Safety and security wise, Tata Nexon features a fortified, high-steel structure, dual frontal airbags, reverse parking assist and anti-lock braking system.