With the vision to get every Indian on four wheels, the concept of Nano came into existence.
Initially also called as the Mint, the Nano was offered on sale since 2009 and very soon I became one of the first journalists to drive this A segment hatch for about 7000kms in a period of 14 days across the Golden Quadrilateral.
The vehicle was good enough for highway driving and we were pleased with the Nano’s performance. Recently, Tata introduced the new model year 2013 Nano and we got our hands on it. We tell you how different is the new Nano from the previous car in our detailed review. Read further, as we share our driving experience of this entry-level car.
Generally, the first-time car buyers prefer a subtle design and Tata has ensured that with the Nano. It isn’t too trendy or overdone design. It has more of cute styling and several people have liked it. Now, the point of this story is to highlight the differences in the 2013 model year Tata Nano.
The 2013 Nano gets chrome lining on the hood and even the tailgate. There are more holes in the rear bumper for hot air to pass out even more easily. The added chrome does contribute to the styling of the hatchback and it looks attractive, especially in the blue shade.
Tata has surprising us with new features on the inside of the Nano every year and it again does the same.
Last year, the company had changed the interior trim styling and this time it has gone about to add more features.
The new 2013 Nano gets twin glove box covers, new music system with Bluetooth connectivity and four speakers. The padding on the engine cover is also thicker for lesser heat dissipation.
The comfort that the Nano offers is good and the cabin is extremely spacious to seat five people in great comfort. The engineers at Tata have done a great job of space utilization on the Nano.
The boot however is small to hold a small bag only and maybe a couple of backpacks with it. Well, that’s about it when it comes to the boot space of the Nano. But for city use, we aren’t sure if you want a lot of boot space.
Engine and transmission:
The 623cc twin-cylinder on the Nano produces 37bhp of power, which is more than enough for daily city commute. This is the same engine that the Nano came with, however there has been a boost in power by 4 bhp. Several people complain the sound resembles that of an auto rickshaw, well this is due to the fact that the Nano has a small exhaust as it is a rear engine and also that it a two-cylinder mill. We faced a similar issue when we drove Fiat 500’s Twin Air when we drove it in the Lake District in the UK. But it is surprising to see the performance of this teeny-weeny motor. This is all thanks to the power to weight ratio, as the Nano weighs less than 700kgs. This makes it easier for the engine to pull and even the fact that the torque curve of this mill doesn’t have a small bandwidth. This engine has a strong mid and upper range.
The drivability of the Nano is brilliant and it doesn’t feel underpowered or you never run out of steam when driving in city. It is easy to drive even in congested city lanes. The Nano’s gearbox is also slick, and infact one of the best boxes from Tata’s stable. Last year, the gear ratios were changed and now as per ARAI the Nano returns about 25km to a litre, while in our city runs we have achieved a figure of 17 km/l.
The Nano has stiff suspension due to its short wheelbase and tall design. Due to this, the ride is a bit stiff. The smaller tyres add to the choppiness in the ride. It doesn’t feel that bad and the suspension does a decent job still. The Nano feels like it tilts a lot on turns, but that is because of the fact that it has a lot of visibility and you sit high.
The rear engine and rear wheel drive is a combination of sports cars and Nano gets a similar set-up. The Nano handles well, when it is completely loaded. The 2013 Nano has a lighter steering wheel that makes it easier to drive, but it is still not as good as a power steering atleast on low speeds.
Tata has been ensuring that the Nano is great value for money product, and every year it raises the bar. This year also the company has ensured that Nano is loaded with more features and we are surprised to see why this product doesn’t sell. The old marketing strategy of the Nano has dented such a brilliant engineered product, but we believe this should change. At less than Rs 2.5lakhs, you can’t just a new hatchback that has power windows, AC and can sit five people in comfort and still do 100km/hr and return a fuel efficiency of 16km/l.