The Nano needs no introduction. Launched in 2009, it was a brilliant piece of engineering. Packing so much interior volume with such little on-the-road footprint. It was also affordable, efficient and hardy. But, thanks to poor positioning, not to mention lack of basic car related features and some recall issues, it never took off the way the whole world predicted it would. Now, with what Tata Motors calls the GenX Nano, at least Tata believes, it has a winner. But, is it?
EXTERIORS AND DESIGN
When we first laid our eyes on the car, the thing that grabbed attention was the new ‘Sangria Red’ colour, which is a very classy deep red shade and has a premium feel. One can also immediately notice the new strip between the headlamps, on the bonnet, in piano black finish, embedded with an imposing Tata logo in the centre. Headlamps now get a ‘smoked’ treatment with black bezels and add some sportiness. The front bumper is also new and houses a new smiling grille that has an ‘Infinity Motif’ design theme as termed by Tata Motors, with fog lamps on either side.
These subtle changes are a clear differentiator between the earlier Nano and the GenX. From the side the car remains the same. The rear has a new bumper again with a similar smiling Infiniti Motif theme grille. The interesting part here is the new openable boot, which adds to the utlility quotient of the Nano. The boot offers 94 litres of space, which is pretty usable to pack in an aircraft cabin baggage sized luggage and shopping bags, laptop bag, etc. The manual versions get 110 litres of boot space. This is because the AMT takes up more space in the engine bay and eats up a little portion of the boot. There is also a small integrated spoiler on the top of the boot lid, which looks smart.
INTERIORS AND COMFORT
Step inside this cute little car and the first thing that you will notice is a completely new steering wheel which looks like that it has been borrowed from the more premium cars like Zest or Bolt. The interior looks like has also improved and brings a fresh appeal to the overall cabin. The seats towards both the hatches front and rear remains unchanged though which do indicate that this Nano provides the same amount of comfort and Ergonomics like the previous car but you do get new upholstery inside which matches well with the overall changed exterior.
There is not much of change made to the dashboard but you do get the new sleek and sporty looking AMT gearbox which can surely change your mood. Take a closer look and you will notice that the instrument cluster also looks new and you do get an additional gear position indicator which will come in handy especially for those who will be using the AMT gearbox for the very first time. The boot surely make the Nano feel like a more proper car.
ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE
The Nano is powered by the first of its kind 2 cylinder engine which uses a single balancer shaft (Balancer shaft is an eccentric weighted shaft which offsets the vibrations in engine designs which are not inherently balanced). This 624 cc MPFI engine delivers 35 PS @ 5250 RPM and 48 NM of torque at 3000 RPM. Floor it and the Nano hits 80 comfortably and then struggles a bit. Ride becomes a little edgy at high speeds (70 +) and the engine whine becomes loud and irritating. Top speed is rated at 105 km but we hit a top of 102 km in just less than 30 seconds. ARAI figures indicate a fuel efficiency of 20+ kmpl and one can practically expect 18 + in regular city traffic.
RIDE AND HANDLING
The drive experience is also improved as the increased weight makes the car feel more planted and increases straight line stability with even one person on-board. The addition of an anti-roll bar to the independent suspension also inspires more confidence. However the dampers do not work very well at higher speeds and low payloads and cause a very uneasy ride at higher speeds. With an increased weight of the car, Tata Motors should also consider putting disc brakes upfront for inspiring more confidence under braking. The AMT transmission is fine for very relaxed driving and the sport mode comes in handy during overtaking and other manouvres where time of important and cannot be lost by leisurely automatic gearshifts.
According to Tata the new GenX Nano now comes with an advanced structural stability of this small hatch and that is also because of the fact that it now comes with an usuable boot lid. The New GenX Nano also gets an impressive 180 mm ground clearnce. While it also gets Impact Cushioning Crumple Zone.
The Nano to me isn’t a car for all seasons. And by seasons I don’t mean summer, winter or rain, because on those counts the Nano works well and will keep you protected. What I mean is, it fails to deliver on a lot of things a car should. For instance, if I wanted a car for the city, the Nano works brilliantly, especially with the AMT and the light to use power steering and not to mention the compact size.So, who should buy the new Tata Nano then? If you are a first time car buyer who is going to use the car mainly in the city, the GenX Nano AMT is a good buy. It also works well for those looking at it as a second car in the household, you know for your college going kids or the wife to do the daily runaround…. The new Nano then is much improved, no doubt, but it still has some distance to go before it can become the default choice in the entry-level hatchback segment.
Tata Nano Ex Showroom Price in New Delhi ranges from 2,25,824/- (Nano XE GenX) to 3,20,448/- (Nano XTA GenX) .Tata Nano has 6 Variants of Petrol are available in India. Tata Nano comes in 8 colours, namely Pearl White,Damson Purple,Meteor Silver,Persian Rose,Sangria Red,Royal Gold,Dazzle Blue,Serene White.