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New Tata Nano: A great first car

September 25, 2013 09:04 IST

New Tata Nano: A great first car

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The update to the Tata Nano makes it a more appealing package, writes Faisal Ali Khan of MotorBeam.com

Tata Motors has given the Nano a minor facelift for 2013. The world's most affordable car now gets minor improvements although mechanically it remains identical to last year's model.

The 2013 Tata Nano gets more equipment as well, which is sure to please first time car buyers.

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New Tata Nano: A great first car

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On the exterior front, Tata Motors has given the Nano chrome strips at the front and at the rear. The rear bumper gets air intakes for better cooling of the engine.

The rest of the car remains the same but the company has added two new colours to the palette, blue and gold. Thus from the side, there is nothing which tells apart the 2013 model from the 2012 one.

However the Nano is a cute looking car and the small dimensions make it easy to park.

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New Tata Nano: A great first car

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In spite of the small dimensions on the outside, the Nano has quite a lot of space on the inside. The packaging on the Nano is splendid and yields a lot of interior room. Four people can sit comfortably inside the car thanks to the space on offer.

The seats are well padded and offer good all round support. Quality levels have improved too but the dashboard layout is almost identical to the old model.

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New in the 2013 Nano are twin glove-boxes on the dashboard, which are standard on the CX and LX variants.

Tata Motors has also added an audio system on the top variant which gets USB, AUX and Bluetooth connectivity.

There are four speakers. A 12V power socket is also present.

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The Nano comes with beige interiors which makes it feel airy. However you can opt for all black interiors with blue surrounds on the speakers and doors by opting for the Dazzle Blue colour on the Nano.

The rear hatch-door doesn't open and you need to flip the rear seat to access the boot, which is 80-litre in volume and with the rear seat down, extends up to 500-litre.

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New Tata Nano: A great first car

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The Tata Nano is a rear-engine, rear-wheel drive car and thus in the hood you get a spare wheel and other tidbits. The engine is placed right under the boot.

The 624cc, twin-cylinder petrol engine continues to produce 38 PS of power and 51 Nm of torque.

The power output doesn't seem too much for a car but when you factor in the weight which is just 635 kgs, you have little to complain, at least in the city.

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The Tata Nano performs very well in the city and doesn't feel underpowered at all.

It's not sweet sounding though and the engine does feel a bit unrefined with the vibrations being felt through the doors when you open them.

However inside the cabin, there is not much heard.

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To attain 0-100 km/hr, it takes 27.5 seconds while top speed is limited to 105 km/hr.

Highway performance is decent and the lack of ponies can be felt as you need to aggressively down shift and keep the motor on the boil to make quite overtakes.

The gearbox offers smooth shifts and the clutch is light. City mileage is extremely good at 18 kmpl.

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The Tata Nano offers a good blend of ride and handling. Ride quality is good but big bumps do unsettle the car and the small wheels are not able to handle the large potholes of our roads.

The steering wheel has been changed to a 3-spoke unit instead of the 2-spoke one found on the old car.

This helps in easy manoeuvrability but isn't as convincing as a power steering, which ought to be offered at least on the top trim.

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The Nano turns-in quickly and body roll is well contained. It's a car you can enjoy driving but the poorly calibrated steering feels heavy at certain speeds.

However the turning radius is small making squeezing through traffic a breeze. Brakes are poor though and the Nano simply doesn't inspire confidence from its all drum unit.

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The 2013 Tata Nano isn't much different from the old Nano but continues to offer buyers complete bang for their buck.

The facelifted Nano is mechanically the same but minor changes boost its appeal.

With a new positioning, the Nano is sure to woo youngsters who are looking for a practical first car.



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