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Tata Nano Detailed Expert Review - January 18, 2014

2.36 - 3.35 lakhs
Ex-showroom Price ( Delhi )
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Introduction

Jan 18, 2014 : Expert Review By

Tata Nano Twist: A Twisted Tale

The Nano was the most ambitious project by Tata Motors as it was conceived to offer the common man a safer means of transport. The idea struck Mr. Ratan Tata when he saw a family battling for space on a Bajaj scooter. It was his dream that Tata Motors should be the first company to offer the most affordable hatchback to the Indian consumers.

Tata Nano Expert Review, Nano Road Test - 204964 | CarTrade

The Nano indeed passed the challenge of being a car at an affordable price without compromising on space, comfort and safety. The only area where this micro hatch suffered was an improper projection of it to which Mr.Ratan Tata also agreed. However, the company has taken corrective measures and the new Nano has been targeted at the youth.

It is a very impressive street car but then there has been a constant feedback against the lack of power steering. The company therefore decided to bring in a “Twist” and launched the Nano Twist XT at Rs. 2.36 Lakhs, ex-showroom Delhi. The Twist is the first Tata car to get EPAS – Electric Power Assisted steering along with other features. We visited the Tata Motors plant and got to know more on this “Twisted” offering.

Tata Nano 

Exterior

From outside Nano Twist does not look any different. It continues the refreshed look that was given to it last year. Personally, the Nano has always scored in terms of design as it does not look overly done with futuristic looks nor does it look dull and boring. The Nano has its own unique design.

The Hyundai Eon manages to look modern compared to the Nano while the Alto 800 looks purely ugly. One think that has to be appreciated about Nano is that even though it was made for the cost conscious customers, it does not look boring. Also, the exterior design might draw some shapes from the SMART still it manages to look very much in proportion.

It gets body colored ORVMs and door handles. It also features keyless entry with central locking. The doors are large and are indeed helpful for easy ingress and egress. This one too comes with a roof mounted spoiler. The alloy wheels which featured in limited edition model have been standard in the top end XT variant.

The rear tail section gets a chrome strip too like the front bonnet. It gets twist written on it as well as XT written on the other side. The rear bumpers have been redesigned for better ait ventilation of the rear mounted engine.

In addition to its peppy colours, the Twist will also be seen in Damson Purple. It looks the best and makes the Nano look premium with the contrasting silver alloy wheels. This color reminds of the shade seen on Honda Civic. The looks of the Nano has always got mixed reviews. Some may think of it cute while some think of it as too basic but personally, I love the way it looks.

Interior

The Twist gets minor changes in the interiors as well with a revised trim colour to make it feel more appealing. The company has also introduced barley beige interiors.

The Nano continues to be the most spacious micro hatch compared to the other two. The driver and co-passenger area has generous headroom and legroom. It has power windows for the front row passengers. The buttons have been conveniently placed before the gear lever. The rear seats too have great legroom and headroom. The only issue in the rear seats is that they continue to feel very upright and basic as it lacks proper cushioning.

The Twist gets an advanced instrument cluster which was very much needed in it. Previously, it just has a basic speedometer and a digital tripmeter and fuel gauge but in the Twist things look very different. It gets a Driver information system which shows trip meter, average fuel economy and distance to empty along with other options. The speedometer design has been changed too and it looks sporty now.

The utility space has been revamped too with twin glove box on the front dashboard. The glove boxes also house speakers in them. It also gets twin cup holders on the central console. It gets rear parcel tray with speakers in the top end variant. In basic variants, the rear seat can be suspended and the space can be used to store luggage. 

Performance

I own a 2011 Nano and am aware of its pros and cons. It has a micro motor which feels just sufficient for a city drive. We have taken it on highways too and the experience was not disappointing. The lack of power gets evident only while overtaking.

The Twist is the first Tata car to get a EPAS – Electric Power Assisted steering. M/s ZF Lenksysteme (ZFLA) has helped developed this unit which makes use of a steering column mounted brushless motor and an ECU. It has an Active Return feature which automatically makes the steering wheel regain its original straight position as soon as the driver releases it. This helps the vehicle to be stable at higher speeds.

It continues to use the 624cc MPFI engine. The engine produces 38PS PS of power at 5500 rpm and generates 51Nm torque at 4000 rpm. It has a 4 speed transmission.

Since the technical specifications are same the overall engine performance of the Nano Twist is the same. The major area where there is a change is in the handling department. The EPAS is very helpful and active in tight corners. Even on high speeds, it feels very much in control. I was sceptical about the handling of Twist especially since Nano is a light car but with the Active Return mechanism, the vehicle regains its original position quickly.

We drove the Twist on the company’s premier test track in Pune. The Twist felt very impressive. There was a short circuit-track to test Twist’s cornering potential. I have to admit it that we spent the maximum time testing the twist on this circuit. Quick manoeuvring with sharp brakes made it a fun day.

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 it is effective even at high speeds. During our short encounter with the Twist it managed to deliver 15 kmpl.

 

Specifications
Technical Specifications
 Make Tata
 Model Nano Twist
Variant XT
Engine Displacement/No. of cylinders 624/2
Power in PS/RPM 38/5500
Torque Nm/RPM 51/4000
Transmission 4/M
Tyre type Tubeless
Front tyre size 135/70 R12
Rear tyre size 155/65 R12
Seating capacity 4 person
Fuel tank capacity  15 Liters
Dimensions in mm
Length 3099
Width 1495
Height 1652
Wheelbase 2230
Ground clearance 180
Turning circle radius in Meters 4
Warranty 4 years 60k km
Tata Nano Competitors
Competition Specifications
Specifications
Tata Motors
Nano Twist
Maruti Suzuki
Alto
Hyundai
Eon
Variant XT 800 STD D-LiteT
Ex showroom Price Mumbai 250,476 270,037 306,243
Engine Displacement/cylinder 624/2 796/3 814/3
Power in PS/RPM 35/5250  48/6000 56/5500
Torque IN Nm/RPM 51/3000 69/3500 74/4000
Transmission 4/MT 5/MT 5/MT
Tyre type Tubeless Tubeless Tubeless
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
Mileage (Kmpl) 25.35 22.7 21.1
Dimensions in mm
Length 3099 3395 3495
Width 1495 1490 1550
Height 1652 1475 1500
Wheelbase 2230 2360 2380
Ground clearance 180 160 170
Turning circle radius in Meters (M) 4 4.5 NA
Warranty 4 years 60k km - -
Conclusion

The Nano Twist is a convenient car in city. Earlier the manual steering was not very handy when it came to manoeuvring in traffic. There was a constant feedback where customers demanded a power steering. Tata Motors took its time and finally launched the Nano twist. The Twist XT replaces the LX variant and sits as the top end variant. The prices have been announced and the new Twist is worth the extra cost. We hope the Nano continues to receive upgrades like this in future too.

Tata Nano

Starts at 2.36 - 3.35 lakhs

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