Tata Nano Hatchback First Drive Review


Tata Nano Overview

Tata’s Nano is a special car. It’s a car that started its journey more than half-a-decade back as India’s most affordable four-wheeled offering but has been suffering from an underwhelming response, to say the least. Ratan Tata’s dream of delivering a One Lakh Rupee Car to the world, very soon, became a lesson in marketing don’ts.The Nano, in the newest Gen Next avatar, is a great offering for someone who wants a small and efficient city car. The in-built flaws of its original like the top-heavy shape, tiny wheels, limited cabin storage and small boot are still there with the Nano and digesting that at a price equivalent to country’s most successful car- Maruti Suzuki Alto, seems like a difficult call.

But Tata Motors have tried their level best to bring it up to speed with the segment standards and has added Bluetooth-equipped audio system, power steering, an openable hatch and, of course, the automatic gearbox, which makes Nano – even better at being an intra-city compact car.

Tata Nano Look

Its petite size has been the talk of the town since its inception; no changes have been made on that front. Dimensions remain intact, the hatchback measures 3164 mm long, 1750 mm wide (with ORVM), 1652 mm high and has a short wheelbase of 2230 mm. As mentioned above, there is no change in the fundamental design of the hatchback but some styling changes have been made to enhance the outer appearance. Most of the changes have been made to the front fascia which now features a black band in between the head lights highlighted by a chrome strip. Tata Motors logo has been repositioned to the centre of the black band.

Head lights now feature black surrounds, making it look prominently endearing. Bumpers have also been tweaked in front as well as rear, a newly designed grille is placed on the bumpers in front and rear. The grille in the front end gets fog lights aiding for enhanced visibility at night and during bad weather conditions. Among the various changes bestowed on the exteriors, the most appreciative change is an openable hatch providing access to the before unlike before. Except for the base XE trim, the rest of the variants get body coloured bumpers. Body painted outside door handles are available only on the range topping trims.

Hood features piano black garnish, outside rear view mirrors are painted in black in the XE trim, while the mid level XM and XMA trims feature colour coordinated tip tap ORVMs. Only the top end XT and XTA trims get body colour matching outside rear view mirrors. Half wheel colours are absent in XE variant but it is offered on the XM and XMA trims, top end variants on the other hand feature full wheel covers. Tinted door glass hatch and integrated spoiler are among the standard fitments equipped on the hatchback. While roof mounted antenna and front fog lamps are again confined to the high end variants.

Tata Nano Comfort

Small on the outside it maybe but on the inside, the Tata Nano has acres of space which can shame cars which cost twice as much. Tata Motors has done clever engineering to yield maximum cabin space. There is a lot of room inside the Nano and four people can sit in very comfortably thanks to the well cushioned seats. The tall boy design means headroom is never an issue even for the tallest of passengers. Quality seems to have improved a bit and the interiors do feel well put together. The dashboard layout is the same and the instrument cluster is placed in the centre which isn’t as distracting as one would expect (due to the narrowness of the cabin). Coin holders are placed on either side of the front seats.

Tata Motors has given the facelifted Nano more features. While the standard variant remains more or less the same in terms of equipment, the CX and LX variants now get dual glove boxes on the dashboard, which although not very deep, do offer some space for little knick-knacks. The top-end LX variant gets an audio system with USB, Aux and Bluetooth connectivity. The head unit isn’t that easy to understand and we tried a lot but couldn’t pair our phones. However sound output is decent and four speakers are offered (two on the dashboard and two on the rear parcel shelf). The Nano’s AC is a chiller in spite of having only three fan speeds. The Nano LX gets front power windows, switches for which are placed behind the gear lever. There is a small cubbyhole and 12V power socket ahead of the gear knob.

The steering wheel is now a three-spoke unit (the hazard light button goes from above the steering to the centre console) but is positioned a bit low for tall drivers and scrapes the left leg on turning (obviously there is no steering or seat height adjust which is acceptable at this price). The all beige interiors feel very airy and visibility all around is excellent too. For those who are not a big fan of beige, you can opt to buy your Nano in Dazzle Blue colour as this coloured Nano gets all black interiors with blue surrounds on the speakers and doors. You need to flip the rear seats forward to access the boot (the hood carries the spare wheel which is the same size as the front wheels). Tata Motors should have given the Nano an openable hatch as it makes keeping things in the boot very easy. The battery is placed below the driver’s seat while the jack is placed below the front passenger’s seat. For more info on Tata Nano visit Byteintobigdata

Tata Nano Gearbox

Tata has left the 624cc, two-cylinder, rear-mounted petrol engine unaltered. As per company claims, the unit has been tweaked for a minor bump in real-world fuel efficiency, rest it’s all same and puts out the identical 37 Bhp @ 5,500 rpm and 51 Nm of torque @ 4,000 rpm. So, the only addition that you’ll notice in this regard is the availability of a 5-speed AMT gearbox, alongside the regular 4-speed manual. This AMT gearbox, like most manufacturers, has been sourced from Magneti Marelli.

Nano is a delight to drive in city driving conditions. For a sub-650cc engine, it feels pleasantly peppy under initial acceleration and continues to be so till 80kph. One of the biggest contributors for this performance is its light weight that tips at just 600 kilograms. Driveability is great and the tiny engine never feels underpowered (as compared to sub1000cc cars) in the start-stop condition. You’ll hardly need any frequent downshifting when commuting around the city. Even in 2nd gear, you can crawl in slow moving traffic, save for the times the Nano comes to a complete halt. It’s really checkable – compact dimensions, small footprint, quick steering with a turning radius of just 4 meter turning make the Nano really enjoyable in traffic.

Now the AMT. While the manual version doesn’t allow you to complain, performance of the auto version is a wee bit lacking. Automatics anyway sap more power than manual transmissions and the Nano already have very few horses to exhaust. Cruising at normal speeds is not much of a bother and the AMT works well during that. However, the problem arises when you try to overtake a vehicle and the Nano at times wheezes and feels a bit reluctant to overtake. Then there is a sport mode on offer, which tries to hold the revs for a little longer. But that doesn’t suit the character of li’ll cute Nano. While the gearbox isn’t best in class, the overall drive feels like an absolute boon in dense traffic.

Tata Nano Riding

Nano gets gas dampers and independent suspension at its each end. This kind of independent suspension layout was integral to the space packaging of this tiny offering. If you’ll notice, the wheels are placed at the four extreme corners of the car and seem pushed out as far as they could be. And this is the main contributor for Nano’s respectable road manners.Suspension is tuned for city and at those speeds, the Nano is a great car to live with. We won’t call the ride quality great but the overall experience is decent. It feels slightly bumpy over imperfect roads, especially for the rear occupants. So, for its core use as a city car, you’ll find the ride quality to be at acceptable mark, if not above.

Nano has decent road manners, in fact way better than a car that’s feather light. As long as you are not trying to be too enthusiastic, the Nano will never really disappoint you with nice overall behaviour. However, crossing the 90kph mark on the speedo will make things a bit nervous, the cross winds starts affecting. Also, if a faster vehicle passes by, the Nano loses a bit of its composure.The SUV-like ground clearance & short wheelbase make the Nano – a perfect companion for the Indian roads. The steering direct and feels great to use on the move. Feedback from the unit is also decent. Request Tata Nano Test Drive.

Tata Nano Safety

Braking system comprises of drum brake in front and rear giving a skip to the pivotal braking equipments such as anti-lock-braking system, electronic brakeforce distribution and brake assist. For the safety and security of the occupants the car maker has equipped only a handful of secondary safety features like central locking which is present in the XT and XTA trims only, other than this the hatchback gets central high mount stop lamp, booster assisted brakes, front and rear seat belts, additional body reinforcements, impact cushioning crumple zones, side intrusion beams and hazard warning switch.

Tata Nano Price in Bangalore

Tata Nano On Road Price is 2,96,930/- and Ex-showroom Price is 2,46,406/- in Bangalore. Tata Nano comes in 8 colours, namely Pearl White,Damson Purple,Meteor Silver,Persian Rose,Sangria Red,Royal Gold,Dazzle Blue,Serene White. Tata Nano comes with RWD with 624 CC Displacement and 2 Cylinders with Maximum Power 37 bhp@5500 rpm and Peak Torque 51 Nm@4000 rpm DRIVE TRAIN RWD and reaches 100 KMPH at N/A . Tata Nano comes with Manual Transmission with RWD ..

Tata Nano Bottomline

The Tata Nano is an engineering marvel, a feat recognized by the greatest of the great in the international automotive community. The car is comfortable, spacious, fuel efficient and cheap and there isn’t much left to be desired. With Steve Cropley of Autocar UK raising applauds and Jay Leno calling it one of the timeless classics to be, the Nano has made a name for Indian engineering and how. We whole heartedly recommend this piece of 21st century Indian heritage and with much pride too!

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