The most affordable car in the world is one of the worst selling car in India all thanks to Tata motors. The excitement during the launch of first GEN Nano was so high that we thought streets in India would be filled by 1 lakh Nano but unfortunately the situation turned out to be exactly opposite. There were few reasons for Nano becoming a market dud such as its cheapest car in the world image, secondly Tata projected it as a Rs. 1 lakh car but in reality the on-road price of base variant was around 1.4 lakh and top variant cost above Rs. 2 lakh on-road. Another reason was it unconventionality like placing engine at rear, battery under front seats, 3 nut tyres and many more which worked against its sales.
As a result, Tata changed its strategy and giving Nano frequent updates every year rather than giving it a full fledge facelift. With every update Tata tried to remove the cheapest car tag and make it a compatible city car. After the Initial model launch Tata has given Nano updates in the form of Nano twist, CNG variant and then introduced a power steering in Nano but none of them able to boost the sales of the car. Tata motors have launched new GenX Nano with AMT (easy shift in Tata’s language), openable tail gate and lots of cosmetic changes. The latest update is the final nail in the coffin for Tata and if they failed this time we might see Nano the dream project of Mr. Ratan Tata saying goodbye to Indian market by 2017. Whether Tata Nano with AMT lives up to the expectations? Let’s find out.
The GenX Nano comes at very affordable range of 1.99-2.89 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), the base manual variant starts at Rs. 1.99 lakh while AMT cost at Rs. 2.69 lakh which is around 1 lakh less than its chief competitor Alto K10 AMT. The fully loaded top variant with AMT comes at Rs. 2.89 lakh.
Engine and Performance:
The Nano GenX retains the same 624cc, 0.6L petrol engine with 37bhp [email protected] and 51Nm of [email protected]; this is the smallest engine in India. What’s new in GenX Nano is the 5-speed AMT apart from the regular 4-speed manual gearbox. As far as fuel efficiency is concerned the ARAI certified mileage of GenX Nano manual variant is 21.9 KMPL while AMT returns 23.6 KMPL which is lower than Alto K10 AMT.
In terms of Performance, AMT gearbox takes its time to up-shift or downshift and becomes rough when you push the accelerator to the limits. The AMT gearbox comes with Creep function which allows the car crawl as soon as you release the brake which makes city driving convenient especially in bumper to bumper traffic. Tata has given some important features in GenX Nano like S (sport) mode in AMT and cooling system that includes a radiator which has been moved to the bonnet.
The Nano is meant for city driving and ride quality is good considering the 12 inch tyres and its wheelbase. The 180mm of ground clearance and soft suspension absorbs bump brilliantly and light steering wheel responds in sedate manner in city. NVH levels have been improved as compared to previous models but still at speed around 80-90 km/hr, the slight vibration is evident. The GenX Nano looks stable up to 80-90 km/hr but beside that speed Nano struggles to deliver straight line performance though S mode improves it a bit.
To sum up, Nano is good city commuter for that budget but if you are a fan of brisk performance GenX Nano is not for you as its highway performance is underwhelming.
Space and Dimensions:
The GenX Nano is the first Nano to have functional boot lid .i.e. it comes with openable tail gate with the boot space of 110 liters for the manual and 94 liters for the AMT variants. According to the company, GenX Nano offers 4% shoulder and 6% legroom space than the competition. The rear seat is comfortable for even six footers and can easily accommodate 3 adults at rear. In terms of interior space the twin glove boxes is a welcome change but other than that there is hardly any storage available in the car.
Get inside the GenX Nano and you’ll be welcomed by the new steering wheel same unit of Zest and Bolt but without steering controls. Changes on GenX Nano include a twin glove box on the dashboard, updated upholstery with orange highlights and new MID.
The central console is now gets the tinge of piano black finish (Silver shade in previous GEN), air vents gets chrome accents and new AmphiStream audio system with USB, AUX-in and bluetooth compatibility. The updated MID displays info like digital clock, distance to empty, average fuel consumption, Trip meter etc.
Tata kept the silhouette same but updated GenX Nano with few changes to make Nano fresh and tempting. The front gets the new smiley like front grille and Tata calls it “infinity motif design” with integrated circular fog lamps, Piano black strip connecting the headlight with Tata’s logo, headlights get smoked effect with Nano engraving on it, chrome encircle around the turn indicators. Side profile remains same while rear side gets most prominent change in the form of openable boot lid, same infinity grille, variant name on the right and the same tail lights of Nano twist. Tata GenX Nano is offered in two new color shades- Sangria red and Persian Rose. The new updates give Nano more refreshing feel and look funkier than ever.
Tata claims that they have improved the safety segment of GenX Nano with structural changes such as robust side beams for side crash protection, anti-roll bar for high speed stability and impact cushioning crumple zone and improved the torsion stiffness as well. Tata Nano has scored Zero in NCAP crash tests but we hope these changes would make GenX Nano safer than Previous Nano.
With these latest additions especially AMT, Nano tries to attract the customers, but the basic flaw remains same i.e. quirky design, tiny tyres, and insufficient boot space. However, The GenX Nano looks more practical than ever and has everything that you would expect from a city car. The GenX Nano is loaded with some good features which makes is more up market, GenX Nano could be a best option to those who are on a tight budget but wants spacious car with good city dynamics.
Pros and Cons:
- Most affordable AMT car in the world, around 1 lakh cheaper than its AMT rival
- Spacious rear bench
- Standard four year or 60,000 kms warranty
- Looks more practical with openable tail gate, new music system, steering wheel etc.
- Carry the negative image of the cheapest price car
- Impractical and tiny boot of 94 liters
- Lackluster performance with basic ride quality
- Tata’s subpar after sales services