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Tata Nano - Introduction


“There’s a perception bump the Nano needs to overcome. With this GenX version, we are confident that customers will see just how much value the Nano provides.” These are the words from a top Tata Motors official, and that’s exactly what we’re here to find out.


Indian car buyers are both demanding and value conscious. So, for a car to sell in numbers to make it a bona fide success, it has to satisfy all that the customer demands, be cheap to buy and run and lest we forget, exceedingly fuel efficient as well. That’s the tall order that the new GenX Nano seeks to fulfill.


Let’s take a quick trip down memory lane. The Tata Nano was launched with much fanfare, with a starting price of just Rs 1 lakh, as promised by Tata boss Ratan Tata himself. Of course, it was a bare-bones automobile, but then that wasn’t what Indian buyers wanted. Fast forward half a decade, and we are where we are today, sitting inside a Tata Nano which has, among various other features, a boot and tailgate, power steering, power windows, automated manual transmission and an audio system with Bluetooth connectivity. In fact, throw in a sunroof and you might actually pass it off as a luxury car!

Jokes aside, the new GenX Nano shows just how serious Tata Motors is with this car. Forget cheap – this Nano is all about value.


Tata Nano - Design & Engineering


So, what’s changed? The rear hatchback is the first and biggest change to the structure of the car. The Nano boasts of a monocoque chassis, which is to say that the body forms the structure of the car, with all the mechanical bits bolted to it. Creating a fifth door at the rear has meant that reinforcements and strengthening to the rear section of the car was necessary to ensure it maintained the strength and rigidity required.  Additional steel sections brace the C-pillar and floor of the Nano, in the process adding approximately 35 kilos to the car’s kerb weight.


new nano genx review


The Nano continues to have a spare wheel under the ‘bonnet’ in the front of the car, and now there’s even a front-mounted radiator to cool the engine. Packaging constraints with the new AMT gearbox meant that some additional room was required, and this was achieved by moving the radiator to the front of the car. This also helps to balance out the weight distribution somewhat, but the Nano still has a rear weight bias.

The automated manual transmission or AMT is actuated by a mechanism supplied by Italian specialists Magnetti Marelli, the same supplier to Tata Motors for its Zest AMT, and to Maruti for the Celerio and Alto K10.

The new GenX Nano will also have the option of a 4-speed manual gearbox, in addition to the 5-speed AMT. In the AMT version, the first 4 gears are the same as the manual Nano, with a taller fifth gear. The final drive ratio in the AMT is shorter however, which allows stronger torque transfer when starting off. This also hints at a possible 5-speed manual Nano in the near future. Once again, ‘more is better’ in the minds of the Indian consumer, and hence a 5-speed manual is perceived to be ‘better’ than a 4-speed manual.

Significantly, the new Nano has a 24-litre tank as compared to 15 litres previously, reducing the frequency with which customers will need to head to the pump. This lso created an impression in the minds of customers that the Nano wasn’t particularly fuel efficient, because of frequent trips to the filling station. 


Tata Nano - Interiors & Comfort


new nano dashboard

Huge-domed centre console can actually create a blind spot when turning left.

The Nano’s somewhat ungainly silhouette is carried over unchanged, but what such a shape achieves is a voluminous cabin. The seating is upright, both in the front and in the rear, but leg and head room seem adequate for four adults. The interior ergonomics feel a little strange though, especially the position of the steering wheel and the high dome of the centre console, which seems entirely out of place. The two scooped-out nacelles on the dashboard have now been converted into ‘proper’ gloveboxes with a lid on them. To either side of these, you will find a speaker.

The new GenX Nano comes with a Bluetooth compatible stereo, with USB connectivity and an auxiliary input too. And it has 4 speakers. Wow! You won’t get steering-wheel audio controls, but the wheel itself is new, borrowed from the bigger Zest.

Quality of the plastics and fabrics used for the upholstery is vastly improved. In fact, this was one of the first things I noticed about the new Nano. Even the door seals and rubber beadings are of a higher quality, which shows that the thinking within the company is changing for the better, too, with a greater emphasis on quality. 

One design element which has been repeated ad nauseum throughout the new Nano is the infinity motif, which you find on the upholstery, door pads, front and rear grille etc. It’s different, and seeks to create a sense of continuity inside and outside the car.


nano car review


Boot space is quite limited with the rear seats in place, and you’ll struggle to get more than a couple of small bags into the boot. Tata Motors claims the new Nano has a 110-litre boot (manual version), and 94 litres in the AMT-equipped Nano. You can remove the rear parcel shelf, and you get a little more vertical room to play with. However, you need to disconnect the rear speakers which are house in the parcel shelf before you do so. Fold the rear seatback however, and the Nano has oodles of space inside. So much, in fact, that you might consider transporting a small refrigerator or even a washing machine!


Tata Nano - Performance & Handling


new nano review carroad test

The Nano continues to be powered by the familiar 624 cc twin-cylinder petrol engine, which has 38 PS of power and 51 Nm of torque. At the outset, let me state that the Nano always felt underpowered, and the increase in weight has only amplified this opinion. With the new tailgate and reinforcements, plus the AMT gearbox, the new GenX Nano is 65 kilograms heavier, which is the equivalent weight of an adult person.

Progress is made ploddingly, and taking off from traffic lights can prove an exercise in patience as everyone zooms past you. The Nano accelerates in a leisurely albeit linear manner, the AMT upshifting early in the interests of fuel economy. To its credit, the mid-range appears better, with the Nano pulling gamely even with the AC on.

The Nano has a limited top speed of 105 km/h. When I say limited, I mean it could go faster given some room, but Tata Motors engineers have installed a speed governor to restrict the Nano’s speed to 105 km/h. This has been done in the interests of safety. With the car’s rear-biased weight distribution, any lane change manoeuvre could potentially disturb the car’s trajectory, tipping it onto its side.

Which brings me to the handling. In city traffic, the Nano Twist with its power-assisted steering, short wheelbase and accompanying tight turning circle is a breeze to pilot. However, these very same attributes are to the car’s detriment on the highway. It appears a little nervous at speed, and you do feel vulnerable given its tiny dimensions.

Braking is a strong point in the Nano, with the car stopping smartly from the modest speeds it gets up to.


Tata Nano - Fuel Efficiency


Tata claims the GenX Nano Easy Shift AMT will manage 21.9 km/l. With a larger, 24-litre fuel tank, that translates into a range of 500 kilometres, which is not bad, and should allow owners to realistically use their car for a full week before needing to head for the pump. Hopefully for Tata Motors, this will translate into better perception about the GenX Nano’s fuel efficiency.


Tata Nano - Safety


tata nano genx easy shift road test

Safety is important, no doubt, and while legislation in India still hasn’t caught up to global standards, Indian consumers are more aware than they were before. The new Nano still does not come with either ABS or airbags, and while it may be argued that Indian customers couldn’t care less either way, it does detract a little from the Nano’s safety score. Tata’s argument, and fairly so, is that the Alto 800 for example, is available with a driver’s side airbag, but hardly any customers tick the box while ordering their car.

Tata Motors has worked on the crumple zones of the Nano, and included reinforcements in the form of intrusion-preventing beams in the doors, but this car still does not give you a very safe or secure feeling. You’re literally sitting in a position that gives the impression that in the unfortunate event of a crash, you will be the crumple zone, so to speak.


Tata Nano - Verdict


tata nano road test verdict


That perception bump which we alluded to earlier is what Tata Motors has sought to resolve with the new GenX Nano. It is a much improved product in every which way, and, does seem like an excellent solution to the vexing problem of a city runabout. However, it is far from perfect. Build quality has been vastly improved, and the Nano today is as good (or as bad) as any of the other low-cost cars available in India. The tailgate may be a response to a customer aspiration, but realistically the boot is so tiny so as to make this feature relatively pointless. It feels frustratingly under-powered to drive, exacerbated by the weight gain.

Instead, where the Nano’s value proposition lies is the fact that it will be the cheapest AMT on offer in the Indian market. It has roomy interiors and a nice factory-fitted audio system. So there are positives that will appeal to first-time car buyer. For all that, it deserves to do well. Will Tata Motors finally make money on it? That I cannot say, but in terms of getting over that perception bump, they’ve surely made a fist of it.


Tata Nano - Competition Check

Maruti Alto 800, Maruti Alto K10 AMT, Hyundai Eon, Datsun GO


Length x Width x Height (mm) 3164 x 1750 x 1652
Wheelbase (mm) 2230
Ground clearance (mm) 180
Turning circle dia (m) 8
Kerb weight (kg) 695 (XE), 725 (XM), 755 (XMA), 735 (XT), 765 (XTA)
Fuel tank capacity (lt) 24
Boot space (lt) 80
Engine & Transmission
No of cylinder & configuration 2 cyclinder MPFI
Capacity (cc) 624
Power (PS @ rpm) 38 @ 5500
Torque (Nm @ rpm) 51 @ 4000
Gearbox 5 MT, Synchromesh on all forward gears, sliding mesh on reverse gear with overdrive on 4th gear
Suspension & Brakes
Front suspension Independent, Lower Wishbone, McPherson Strut with gas filled dampers and anti-roll bar
Rear suspension Independent, Semi Trailing arm with coil spring & gas filled shock absorbers
Front brakes Drum brake
Rear brakes Drum brake
Wheels & Tyres
Tyre size and type Radial Tubeless tyres. 135/70 R12 (Front). 155/65 R12 (Rear)
Wheel size and type 4B x 12

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here a perception bump the Nano needs to overcome. With this GenX version, we are confident that customers will see just how much value the Nano provides.These are the words from a top Tata Motors official, and that exactly what wee here to find out.

Read Full Review

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Tata Nano Alternatives

Looking for other cars in the same segment and price range? Your choices are many. Click on any model of your choice to go directly to that page, so you can have a quick and easy reference of the specifications and features of competing vehicles in the same segment.

Maruti Suzuki 800
Rs. 2 Lacs. - Rs. 2.2 Lacs.

Maruti Suzuki Alto
Rs. 2.6 Lacs. - Rs. 3.1 Lacs.

Tata GenX Nano
Rs. 2 Lacs. - Rs. 2.9 Lacs.

Tata Nano Review

Recent User Review

by AMV Prasad Rao, 27

I am totally satisfied with Nano Twist XT, its easy for city drive. Easy for four people to sit, the new colors are eye catchy, I found that if the petrol tank capacity can be increased atleast by 5 liters that would be awesome.


Very convenient to drive.Ample space to sit.Very good pick up.Good quality power window.Fuel saver.Long drive.Pune like city it`s very difficult to drive smoothly,Nano is the best solution for our family.Very effective for metro city .

by mrityunjoy banerjee, 06

with 624 cc Petrol, 25.4 kmpl i think tata nano is a car like hero.. Nano has been a car that has hogged the limelight for all sorts of reasons ever since its launch or even before it! after all being a small car it can at-track your mind that is why you have to choose nothing than tata nano for your sweet home..




This is excellent vehicle for indian roads,, moving within the city with small family.. also good for daily office going.. I own this car since 2011 and I'm very satisfied..

by Narendra Nath Kundu, 25


by Basant Kausy, 18

Tata Nano though being a small and economic car, offers several features. First of all, it offers sound mileage besides being a less-mileage car.

by Anand K, 07

Tata Nano did not get the expected responce in market.. May be there are mpore expectations and a feature packed vehicle expected in just 1 lac. I have a taken test drive in Nano, and let me conclude, it is a very specious vehicle, very well designed and all small requirements taken care, as space for some daily things such as documents, cans, bottles etc. The only problem is it doesn't have Power Stearing. I feel, this is a major drawback. But, rest, vehicle is very good. It gives a good mileage as good as 25-30kmpl... Also, variety of colors available to choose from. A fully loaded Nano would cost ~1.75Lac. People may compare this with Maruti Alto, or other hatchback variants, if just more 1lac is invested. But, Nano would be a better choice, if used to go office and some weekend shopping in the city. This is a excellent choice for daily use to office and weekend markets and kids school drop etc. Now Tata Nano Deisel is awaited in Dec 2013 which is quoting a whopping 35kmpl.... which will be a real treat for this increasing fuel prices. This way we can get 1. more space, 2. excellent mileage and 3. at very less price (Most important to get all these features in price like this!!!)..

by Goutam Das, 11

I love this car. it may looks small, but very spaciaous n comfortable inside. Ac is good even in 40dgC. I am using it for last 1 year and giving good mileage. maintenance cost is very low. only a little bit noisy but overall giving good service.

by mehaboob khan , 24

I was hunting down for a car which would match my budget ...... whenever i used to look at nano going on road use to laugh at it .... at last decided to go to a showroom to have a look and test drive nano .... was surprised after looking the interior space and the pickup and powerfull ac ... space is more than an alto or a santro ... dont have to put legs in while driving sit comfortably and drive god to drive and easy to drive ... Iam one of the completely satisfied person driving a tata nano lx bs4 ... thanks to tata to introduce a car




NANO the wonder kid is marvellous in terms of Look, Performance, Safety & value for money. But if it was marketed as a "WISE MAN's CAR" instead of "POOR MAN's CAR" it would have captured the market very well. The car which is useful for the mass market is not bought by them as they feel like if they buy Nano they belong to poor man category.

by Digger, 10

Mine was more an impulsive buy, i was waiting for the Safari Storme and it was an ilusive every lasting wait , so i decided i needed a four wheeler to help me travel in this chaotic Indian urban traffic. Booked the Nano CX in Red , without the consent of the better half which was risky decision, considering the catgeory under which the car is marketed (read cheapest car in the world). This did not go down well till the day arrived , after a month full of convincing and pleasing the better half with a gift ( read worth the cost of the car in Gold) finally an agreement . The dealer called up and informed the car is in the stock yard and i can inspect. The first impression was okey this car has attitude and style, finished all the formalties and decided to take delivery the next day, went to the showroom with family and they started seeing my point on how cute the car looks and its advantages, which far out number the disadvantages , let me list the advantages first. 1) Incredible space inside for such a samll footprint. 2) Looks really cute and stylish with those big headlights . 3) Fit and finish at par with the cost. 4) Peppy engine. 5) Good high seating poster . 6) Easy to get in and get out for all age groups. 7) Light enough to do away without a power steering. 8) Large windows with good allround vision. 9) Door open wide for easy entry. 10) Easy access to spare tyre, fule inlet etc under the bonnet. 11) AC is effective in 40+ temp. 12) Fuel economy is very good if driven as per company specification. 13) Parking and u turns are very easy , thanks to small turing radius and a small footprint. Disadvantages: 1) Braking is just enough for sedate driving. 2) Tyre could have been bigger. 3) Engine noise could have been more refined . 4) NVH(Noice ,Vibration,harshness) level can be improved. 5) Power steering as an option would be good. 6) The dashbaord could have been made more useful and stylish and lowered for better view for short people. 7) The Storage area is as good as not present., the storage behing the back seat is small and get hot due to the engine underneath it.\ 8) Child locks for back doors is needed. 9) Disk brakes as an option. 10) Bigger fuel tank. After driving this little wonder aorund for 10K KMS , we feel it was a good decision and its pratical car for city limits.

by Amit Kuamr Jha, 02

NANO is a practical car for smart people.In day to day life in crowded traffics,this is a very decent car with an exceptionally great mileage(There is no point in taking out a jumbo car for your daily use when you have such a great option).TATA has really shown how the basic needs of a car can be produced at a low price.Infact the car is great and with some cosmetic make over and styling(especially reducing its height) ,it can compete with 3.5 lac hatch backs.However,I feel quite depressed the way this car was marketed as a "A COMMON MAN CAR", when you know a common man in India buys a car only once in a life time and that too has to be a great achievement for them , and to buy a car with this tag line,it must make them feel compromising.....and thats the reason I feel the car had luke warm response from the people for which it meant.Nevertheless the car is much better than Maruti Omni ,Maruti 800 and with some good design expert I think TATA will come up with a small cute and lovely wonder.I wish TATA motor comes up with a serious thought and market it as a need of the hour for busy traffic.

by Mahesh G Naik, 19

Nano is the best example of Innovation in automobile sector. Mr. Ratan Tata has really done a good job for the middle class families. The space , ac , music system and look of this car is excellent.This car is really value for money car for all, This is best in driving in a city .

by Jasmine, 09

I am using this for a long time, its worth to have nano to replace your 2-wheeler, but not as good as a car. In long drive it doesn't give satisfactory driving speed, but within city its a good car to roam around