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India’s most inexpensive car - Tata Nano has always attracted the cost-conscious Indian buyers since its launch. With minor cosmetic alterations and new features, Tata Motors introduced the facelift version of the Nano in 2013. However, the minor tweaks failed to make an impression, and were criticized for its design and styling. The redesigned bumper now has engine cooling vents. The 2013 Tata Nano is available in two new shades: Dazzle Blue and Royal Gold.
Despite having compact dimensions, the Nano feels quite spacious from inside. The fit and finish is on par, and the build quality is satisfactory. Tata Motors offered the Nano with optional sporty black and beige cabin, adding more appeal to the car. The new Nano comes equipped with a good number of features such as twin glove boxes, remote keyless entry, a four-speaker AmphiStream music system with USB, Bluetooth and Aux-in supports, 12v power socket ahead of the gear knob, three-spoke steering wheel and more. The seats are average in terms of comfort.
The Nano derives power from a 0.6-litre, two-cylinder, 624cc MPFI petrol engine that produces a peak power output of 37.5bhp @ 5200rpm -5500rpm with 51NM of torque @ 3500rpm – 4000rpm. Most interestingly, this powertrain with 624cc of displacement is competent enough to achieve a top speed of 105kmph. Combined with a five-speed manual transmission, it delivers an impressive mileage of 25.35kmpl. The light-weight body construction helps the car with its fuel efficiency and to meet the Bharat Stage IV norms. However, the fuel take capacity is 15-litres only.
The Tata Nano is an easy car to drive, especially for women drivers and beginners. It promptly picks-up speed, and runs smoothly in urban traffic. However, the highway performance is really disappointing. The NVH levels are good. The suspension system contributes to the overall handling and ride quality of the car. But, the power steering is troublesome. The Nano is quite easy on pocket, which makes it an alluring deal for a common man. Tata Nano is available within price range of Rs. 1.50 lakh - Rs. 2.69 lakh.
Tata Motors promoted the Nano as a ‘common man’s car’, but now aiming to appeal the urban youth, the company introduced it with some cosmetic alterations. The redesigned bumper with new chrome strips and engine cooling vents enhance the chic appearance of its front fascia. The Nano assembled with the 4 B x 12 steel wheels with radial tubeless tyres. The front tyres 135/70 R12 and rear tyres 155/ 65 R12 provide stability to the car. The rear also received some minor tweaks. The Nano is now available in two vibrant shades: Dazzle Blue and Royal Gold.
The paint quality is good, but rough edges are easily visible when looked from closer. The headlamps are very powerful. However, the bonnet shell feels very fragile that can be easily bend with hands. There is a single wiper with lousy blade, but it fails to sweep-off the windscreen neatly. Even, the wash mechanism is poor. The 2013 Nano also has a passenger side ORVM. With compact and proportional dimensions, the Nano looks very cute. It measures around 3099mm (length), 1495mm (width) and 1652mm (height) with 2230mm of wheelbase. Surprisingly, the car carries a kerb weight of 600kgs only. The lightweight construction contributes to the fuel efficiency and overall performance of the car.
The Nano offers a good cabin space. The plastic, fit and finish quality is mediocre. However, the rubber bits on doors and window beadings are very awful. The center-mounted console looks very simple yet elegant. The digital fuel gauge and trip meter are easy to read. The door pads are thin. Tata offered the Nano in optional sporty black and beige interiors. With a longer wheelbase (2230mm), the Nano can accommodate four passengers without any squeezing effect. The seats are comfortable, and ingress/ egress are easy. There are build-in cushions offering extra comfort to the passengers. Aiming to improve the shoulder and back support of the rear seats, Tata positioned the rear seats higher than the front seats.
However, the non-adjustable neck restraints are worthless. The high seating position offers good visibility, but the low-positioned steering causes discomfort. It comes equipped with a four-speaker AmphiStream music system with USB, bluetooth and aux-in supports. The three-spoke steering wheel is solid and feels good to hold. The dead pedal is missing. The air-conditioning unit is of good quality. There is no provision of temperature gauge, but the overheat warning indictor is well-fitted. The twin glove boxes on dashboards, four doors pockets and two-front cup-holders solve the storage purpose. The boot space of 80-litres is quite limited, but one can make it up-to 500-litres by folding the rear seat.
Engine and Transmission
The Nano comes powered with a 0.6-litre, 624cc, two-cylinder, 624cc MPFI petrol unit that churns out a peak power output of 37.5bhp @ 5200rpm -5500rpm and maximum torque of 51NM @ 3500rpm – 4000rpm. Aiming to enhance fuel efficiency of the car, the company kept its gearing taller. Moreover, the light-weight body construction helps the car to meet the Bharat Stage IV norms, and deliver better fuel economy. Coupled with a five-speed manual transmission, the Nano delivers an impressive mileage of 25.35kmpl. Surprisingly, this engine can achieve a top speed of 105kmph. The fuel take capacity is 15-litres only.
Performance and Handling
The Tata Nano is an easy-to-drive urban car, especially for the women drivers. The engine feels peppier when you accelerate it, but gets noisy at idle and low RPMs. Surprisingly, the engine feels very calm even at 100kph. But, it is recommended to keep a check on warning light while driving it top speed. The car starts shivering at 105kph, and you will experience jerks. With small size engine and lightweight chassis, the Nano does wonder, and offers exceptional fuel efficiency. The overall drivability is impressive. The non-power assisted steering is complained for the heaviness, but feels very user-friendly between 0-10kph. So, we recommend buyers to buy the power-steering equipped Nano Twist, which makes the Nano drive effortlessly. The turning radius (4- meters) is extremely short, which is yet another great feature for an urban car.
The NVH levels are acceptable. The insulating sheets control the engine and wind noise, but vibrations can be felt. Also the tyres noise is quite audible. Each end of the car is equipped with an independent suspension and gas dampers. The new Nano gets better road manners than its predecessor. The front McPherson strut with gas filled dampers suspension system is supported by Independent, Lower wishbone and anti-roll bar mechanism. While the rear axle gets an independent, semi trailing arm with gas filled shock absorbers and coil spring. In terms of acceleration and pick-up, the Nano doesn’t disappoint. It can achieve 100kmph from stand still within 29.7 seconds with a top speed of 105kmph.
The braking performance is on par. The brake pedal requires extra efforts to stop the car on high speeds. The front disc brakes are missing, and all the drum brakes on tyres fail to match the standards. It would be difficult to deal with an emergency braking condition, while driving the Nano at high speed.
On fuel efficiency front, the new Nano proves to better than its predecessor, and delivers an impressive fuel efficiency of 25.35kmpl. The older version offered 23.6kmpl of mileage. The kreb weight of 600kgs helps the Nano deliver more torque output and less carbon mission, while meeting the Bharat Stage IV norms. However, the limited fuel storage capacity (15-litres) is a constraint.
In terms of safety, the new Nano is an average car, keeping the price in mind it comes at. The safety features include front and rear seat belts, laminated windshield, center high mount stop lamp, intrusion beam, booster assisted brakes, central locking, door lock on driver and passengers side, radial tubeless tyres additional body reinforcements and various other. The front McPherson strut with gas filled dampers suspension supported by Independent, Lower wishbone and anti-roll bar mechanism and rear axle independent, semi trailing arm with gas filled shock absorbers and coil spring suspension system is robust enough to handle jerks and bumps on uneven roads.
The new Nano is a good car for the first time buyers. The spacious cabin is quite surprising, considering the overall dimension of the car in mind. The powerful AC unit, audio system, seats with build-in cushions, 12v power socket and other features enhance its comfort and convenience level. The handling and driving dynamics are decent for this price. However, the Nano fails to meet the practical expectations. The unconventional design, heavy power steering poor material quality and braking performance might make you re-think over your decision. What appeals the most is the pricing of the Nano, which is between Rs. 1.50 lakh and Rs. 2.69 lakh
Tata Nano Vs Maruti Alto 800
Tata Nano and Maruti Alto 800 are two good entry-level cars, good for first time buyers. Tata Nano is a cute looking car with compact and proportional design. Tata Motors introduced the new Nano with some cosmetic tweaks, but some buyers still disliked its compact and ugly styling. The Alto 800 has typical Maruti appeal with significantly longer dimensions, when compared with the Nano. However, the small wheels look asymmetrical to rest of its profile. The spacious and well-packed cabin is the brighter side of the car. The plastic, fit and finish quality offered for the price of the Nano is quite satisfactory. In terms of interior design and quality, Alto 800 has an upper hand that offers good cabin space, more features and a large boot space. The Alto 800’s 796cc, three-cylinder engine is 7 seconds faster, more powerful and far better performer than the Nano’s 624cc, twin-cylinder petrol unit. When it comes to handling and driving dynamics, the Alto 800 is a better deal. However, the Nano Twist (top-end variant) with power steering is a good car to drive in urban traffic. Whereas, the Alto 800 with front disc and rear drum suspension system and more powerful engine takes a lead over the Nano. Both the cars are eco-friendly, and have low maintenance cost. Its only the pricing aspect, where the Tata Nano wins the race, otherwise, the Alto 800 is better value for money car.
Pros & Cons
· Cute appearance with new cosmetic tweaks
· Lightweight body construction
· Spacious and comfortable cabin
· Plenty of comfort and safety features
· Peppy engine performance
· Easy to drive
· Decent drivability
· Extremely small turning radius
· Easy on pocket
· High-speed limitation and performance
· Heavy steering
· Small boot space (80-litres)
· No provision of front disc brakes
· Poor plastic and material quality
· Tag of a “common man’s car”
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28 February 2015, 10:02 IST by Nikhil Puthran
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25 February 2015, 14:35 IST by Aditya Chatterjee
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12 December 2014, 14:55 IST by Nikhil Puthran
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