2013 Tata Nano Review: Awesomeness?
If you have been glued to the idiot box, there are chances you have seen the new 2013 Nano TV commercial which shows the youth grooving on a peppy tune created exclusively for this new iteration. The excitement and energy around the Nano is evident.
It may be a small car but then the Nano has seen big challenges in its interim. Catching fire controversies, dwindling sales figures are among few of them. Even after facing such criticism and heat from the market, the robust UV manufacturer didn’t feel bogged down. In its Horizonext strategy, Tata Motors had expressed its desire to revamp the line-up along with changing the customer approach plan and making it more effective.
The company has executed an interesting strategy which is normally seen among bike manufacturers. Unlike, the Maruti 800 which got its upgrades very late, the Nano will be refreshed often taking customer feedback in consideration. The new Nano packs in some goodies in the exteriors and a mild refresh in the interiors but then can it hold on to the hype?. Will it be a Youth machine? We find out in different sections.
The new 2013 Nano does not come with substantial updates and instead it’s a blink it and miss it kinds. The Nano has always attracted cute reviews for its petite looks. The same has been retained with a dash of funk for the youth.
Tata Motors has also introduced 2 new colors, dazzle Blue and Royal Gold on this jelly bean looking car. While the Blue scores more on energy, the Gold simply seems a bit too bland and most unlikely for someone young choosing it.
The 2013 Nano gets a chrome strip on the bonnet. Seems, the Nano which was away from the chrome brigade has finally managed to get some bling on it but unfortunately it is too less to be noticed by anyone.
It clearly is my favorite when compared to the Eon and Alto 800. The Eon looks very modern with the fluidic philosophy and on the other hand, the Alto 800 looks as if Maruti Suzuki engineers hasted the design process and came up with a last minute job. The Alto 800 is one of the most confused designs in India. Even the iconic, Maruti 800 looked better than the new version. The entire effort of packing as much possible didn’t seem to work well.
The Nano’s unique shape is an instant hit with all. The best reaction is always from kids as they assume it’s just a bigger version of the one they play with. Interestingly, it is available in host of colours which makes it very peppy.
In addition to the new fancy wheel covers, the new version also gets a redesigned rear bumper which claim to offer a better channel for air ventilation of this rear mounted engine. Also, there is a chrome strip at the lower section of the rear panel. I believe their cost calculation that still doesn’t let Tatas to provide a tail opening arrangement which would have proved a big boon.
If it was blink it and miss it on the exteriors, the interiors have indeed been refreshed from the earlier model. The new Nano is a symbol of an improved car from Tata Motors. The interiors feel more engaging this time around.
To begin with, the utility aspect has been increased. The blank pond of recess sections that was on the earlier models has been filled with utility compartments which can be closed with a lid and locked too. These Glove boxes have in-built speakers too attached to them. The bezel around the speakers has a body colored finish.
A new improvement is the steering wheel is now a larger 3 spoke wheel meaning better grip and handling. The dashboard is done in ebony black. The new dashboard finish feels a bit too glossy and can tend to look tacky at times.
Small changes like the repositioning of the hazard light switch on the central console, dimming cabin lights and more comfortable seats indeed make a lot of difference to the overall appeal.
The seats which seem to offer more padding have become even more comfortable. The legroom in Nanos has always been the best feature as there is a grand dollop of space inside. The headroom can accommodate about one and half vertical heads. In the rear section, the seats may not feel very cozy but they aren’t disappointing either.
The best feature has to be the music system which was missed so much by all (and by me as I own one too :P). The new Nano packs in a decent music system with Bluetooth/USB and Aux-in connectivity which is fantastic.
The USB worked just fine but the Bluetooth was a pain as throughout our review, the Bluetooth never connected with our phone except for once which seemed a fluke later.
In the new version, they have retained the 624cc MPFI engine. The power figure has also been left untouched as it produces 38PS at 5500 rpm and generates 51Nm torque at 4000 rpm. It has a 4 speed transmission.
Why I have always loved a Nano is because it’s the simplest thing to drive. The Nano doesn’t boast of any computers overriding your thoughts or sensors to make the driver lazy to even move his finger but instead it provides the real joy of driving.
To start with, the compact dimensions of it are a massive advantage. Squeeze it in any parking space, maneuver around tight traffic and the Nano is a breeze to handle. The large steering wheel does help this time as it has improved handling of the vehicle.
Compared to the first generation model, the new Nano feels refined. It takes on rough undulations with great ease. Even the gear shifts in the new version feel smooth. There was a slight raise in power and torque figures which contributed to the overall increase in performance.
It has McPherson struts for front suspensions and Semi Trailing arms with coil spring at the rear. The Nano with a ground clearance of 180mm has a tall ride quality. The issue that earlier models faced was the vehicle wasn’t stable on bad roads which have been sorted now.
The new Nano feels strong and well built. There are no redundant noises or squeaky cabin plastics to be bothered about. Instead, it feels very strongly put together. It has 180mm drum brakes on both front as well as rear. The braking quality was weak earlier but then it has been improved and thus the new one if effective even at high speeds.
The rest of the behavior of the Nano remains like the earlier. It delivered a best fuel efficiency of 20 Kmpl and a worst of 15 kmpl. Overall, the performance was impressive as the Nano holds on strong to its simple yet effective tag.
|Engine Displacement/No. of cylinders||624/2|
|Power in PS/RPM||38/5500|
|Front tyre size||135/70 R12|
|Rear tyre size||155/65 R12|
|Seating capacity||4 person|
|Fuel tank capacity||15 Liters|
|Dimensions in mm|
|Turning circle radius in Meters||4|
|Warranty||4 years 60k km|
|Ex showroom Price Mumbai||158161||198401||222361|
|AC with heater||No||Yes||Yes|
|Front power windows||No||No||Yes|
|Body colored bumpers||No||No||Yes|
|Roof Lining||Jute based||Polyester fabric||Polyester fabric|
|Tripmeter in instrument clusture||No||No||Yes|
|Steering wheel||Two spoke||Two Spoke||Three spoke|
|Central lock with key||No||No||Yes|
|Seat Upholstery||Dual Tone Vinyl||Trendy Black Fabric||Premium Beige fabric|
|Dashboard||Medium Graphite||Ebony Black||Barley Beige|
|Center Facia||Ebony Black||Silver Dust||Silver Metallic|
Competition All Specs
|Ex showroom Price Mumbai||222361||302543||302666|
|Power in PS/RPM||35/5250||48/6000||56/5500|
|Torque IN Nm/RPM||51/3000||69/3500||74/4000|
|Front tyre size||135/70 R12||145/80 R12||145/80 R12|
|Rear tyre size||155/65 R12||145/80 R12||145/80 R12|
|Seating capacity||4 person||5 Persons||5 Persons|
|Fuel tank capacity (L)||15||35||32|
|Dimensions in mm|
|Turning circle radius in Meters (M)||4||4.5||NA|
|Warranty||4 years 60k km||-||-|
The new Nano does not bring changes which transform the car completely but instead it wants to keep the fizz for long. It just gets a dash of bling outside with chrome linings and a redesigned rear bumper for proper ventilation.
The interiors too have got their dose of refreshments and the Bluetooth enables music system indeed is nice if the operational issues are ignored. The best feature of the Nano is its ease of driving which other entry level hatches don’t match. It handles well and drives great for its specification.
One region where Tata cars don’t score much is the quality offered. They lack the fit and finish of competition. The gaps which are evident inside, the low quality plastics and the rattling interiors work heavily against it. These issues are not just in the Nano but other portfolio cars as well.
On a positive note, the company seems to have seriously made up their mind to get consumers vote on such low features and win their confidence. It is not going to happen overnight but then the company’s determination is strong. With the Horizonnext game plan, this Indian company may just have lot tucked in its sleeve.