4,200 Km with a Tata Nexon EV Max: 30 finer observations

I was able to extract close to 280 kms range on full charge while doing cruising at 100kmhr most of the time and pushing the car to 110 and 120 at times without engaging sports mode.

BHPian rkmunjuluri recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

After almost 49 days into the ownership of EV max and clocking 4,198 KMS, I think I am in a decent position to provide some insights into owning an EV Max. Here are few things for the prospective Max buyers out there.

I will try to talk about the things I was unable to find before my purchase and will start with a lot of “Not so good” aspects.

  • Getting into the car and getting out of the car for the rear passengers is little difficult and you will have to always open the door fully to make their movement smooth.
  • Due to the high ground clearance of the car, getting into the car for older people, children and short people (less than 5 Feet) will be a struggle. unfortunately you cannot get the “Side Step” available in accessories for Nexon installed for Nexon EV or EV max, as the High Voltage wires are running all around the places where this step will have to be fixed. So if you are having senior citizens at home and they will be extensively using the car, then think again before buying this car.
  • Paint Finish, interiors finish is not of Top quality. If you have a keen eye, you will be able to find many imperfections, so be ready for that when you are trying to buy any Tata motors Product. (based on my experience and feedback from at least 3 car detailers including Kriti Car care who did the PPF for my Max)
  • It will be a pain to maintain the seats for the top variant. Suggestions is for at least long drives, carry some towels to use them as seat covers, if you are gong to have rear seat passengers.
  • The Boot cover, used as a lid on the Spare wheel is of very bad quality. Handle it gently and hope that you will have to use it only a limited number of times in the life time of the car.
  • I am not sure if it is only with this car design or its me, but the A pillar causes massive blind spot. Taking those U turns and right turns, you should be extra cautious.
  • Steering wheel by design I think is made to feel really heavy. After the first few days of driving, I had ache in my wrists (I am a single hand on steering wheel kind of guy)
  •  Air conditioning works very well only when the temperature you set inside the car is at least 3 degrees below the temperature outside. The bigger the difference, the better. If you are staying in a place where the temperatures are always hovering around low 20’s I would suggest you to keep your windows open a little even if you are running AC around 17, to avoid frequent fogging. Though the defogger works really well, it is annoying to keep defogging every 10 to 15 mins.
  • If you think you can adapt to driving an EV in a conservative manner in city traffic and extract maximum range. Think Again. I tried my best for 4 to 5 weeks to ensure I drive the car in City and eco modes only and not allow the green bar in MID go beyond 2nd line when accelerating. Guess what, I was so damn frustrated seeing all the cars fly past me as I was not gaining enough speed quickly. Also it was just adding more and more cars in front of me during traffic hours. Ultimately I gave up and drive it like a petrol car, I am much happier and content now and least bothered about the range being only around 240 to 260 KMS per full charge. (by the way I am neither a very spirited driver nor a sedate one, I prefer sticking to my lane and sticking to my spot in traffic and hate it when others can easily stick their cars between me and the traffic in front of me)
  • Best mileage on highway drives is attained when the terrain is almost flat or there isn’t much difference in the altitude of your starting and ending points. I did Bangalore (900 mts above sea level) to Ongole (9 mts from Sea level) twice due to family functions and the onward journey from Bangalore is very good as we are going down hill. I was able to extract close to 280 kms range on full charge while doing cruising at 100kms most of the time and pushing the car to 110 and 120 at times without engaging sports mode. For return journeys I was unable to extract even 260 while doing speeds of 85 to 90 as well. Plugshare application on laptop is best suited to plan these kind of trips, so please do your research well before you plan your trip. As a thumb rule you get at least 2.4 to 2.6 kms per percentage drop for highway drives irrespective of your driving style (eco and city modes only). With terrain coming into play, it can hugely impact this and can move this to as low as 2.2 Kms per percentage of charge to as high as 3.4 kms per percentage. (Which is like getting 5.5 kms to 8.5 kms range per KWH)
  • Always add +2 hours for any long trip you plan, to the time shown by google maps, provided the distance is with in 550 KMS range. Anything beyond this and provided you do not have charging infrastructure where you are going to end up, add at least another 40 mins for 200 KMS increment. If the altitude differences are minimal then this will reduce to less than 1 hour and 30 mins respectively for 550kms and 200 KMS increments there after.
  • As the charging infrastructure in Karnataka, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh & Telangana is limited compared to Kerala and Tamil Nadu, please have plan A, Plan B and Plan C for every long trip planned with in these states.

Now coming to good things about the car.

  • Suspension and handling felt like a dream. Bad road patches are not to be worried about. High speeds (80+) on the curves and turns, no problem at all. The car feels very grounded and provides huge amount of confidence to push it even further.
  • Disk brakes are very efficient and regenerative breaking is also very handy. During those highway drives, you will not feel any pain in munching down those miles with the confidence inspired by the disc brakes and convenience provided by single pedal driving because of regenerative braking.
  • Some inbuilt safety features are really nice and they are a boon. For instance, if you are in stand still state in drive mode for long, the parking break will automatically get applied. If you do not wear the seat belt, the car will not move. If you switch off your car without turning the gear knob into N or P, it will automatically engage the parking break.
  • Ergonomics for the front seats are good, though lacking enough thigh support, you wont feel tired even after 3 to 4 hours of continuous driving.
  • Headlights are really powerful and have a very good throw. When combined with high beam and fog lamps, you can plan all those night drives without any worry.
  • Sunroof is just enough and with the sun roof door open but keeping the sunroof closed, we get a lot of light into the car and provides a feel of being in a lot more roomier and bigger car. Also all those people with motion sickness feel a little more better as now the amount of light in the cabin is more and they get a sense of being in an open top vehicle. Children will have a lot of fun with sunroof.
  • I am no Audiophile, but the sound system by Harman is pretty good (I upgraded from a 2012 WagonR). It has enough clarity around vocals while able to distinguish sounds by various instruments pretty nicely.
  • The USB port allows for Fast charge even while using the phone for Android Auto or Apple Car play. This removes the worry about keeping the phone charged during those long journeys and using it for music and other activities as needed.
  • AC is powerful and Auto AC does the job very well. I was able to cool down the cabin with 5 passengers in less than 2 mins after parking the vehicle in sun for almost 3 hours in 38 degrees, using Auto AC set to 23 degrees.
  • Auto Hold is a boon in many aspects. It provides much relief to our legs and mind both as we do not have to keep pressing the break pedal for long in stop and go traffic and never have to worry about rolling back on forward while performing stop and go on inclined surfaces.
  • Shifting between the regen modes and the drive modes is very fast. If you want to overtake some one at a signal or on a highway, just click the sports mode button and vanish.  The wide grin on your face will make the Joker (Batman) jealous.
  • Cost of running the EV is so less, you will forget about your 2 wheeler you had purchased for those mundane activities of short distances. While doing couple of trips recently I felt the Highway tolls were costlier than the charging costs for the EV.
  • Build quality of the exteriors is really solid. I had 3 mishaps already, nothing serious and only in one instance it was my fault. The second instance is where the build quality was shown with the moped hitting me from behind at a traffic signal was in shambles with its entire front facing plastic broken to pieces and leaving the headlight dangling, while I had few scratches on the PPF.
  • God forbid, none of you have to ever face this situation, but I had to traverse through around 60 to 80 meters stretch of road in Bangalore, where the water logging was up to 1/4th of the wheel of a tipper truck in front of me. I was so worried that water might cause some issue or the other. It has been more than 2000 KMS after that incident and everything is working fine, no glitches and no headaches.
  • Max has better BMS and charge management compared to Nexon EV. I had never seen the AC kicking in while fast charging to cool down the overheated batteries. (I did 20 fast charging sessions, some include just after a drive of 150 to 180 kms in around 35 to 38 degrees temperatures). Similarly never faced the Hot battery or Hot motor warnings trying to drive after all those fast charges in those situations.
  • So far the sales team, dealership, after sales service (during first service) have all been hassle free and in fact people were taking feedback and working on making themselves better. This was a nice touch as I had read so much negative things about the after sales service, I almost cancelled my booking at one time.

I will provide more updates here as I learn more about the vehicle. Couple more highway trips are brewing, so hopefully I can provide some insight on the reliability of charging infrastructure based on my experiences at a later stage.

Read BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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