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Old 10th December 2008, 09:39   #1
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Default First Drive: Tata Nano by CAR UK, 0-96kmph in 17 secs, 5-stars for feel good factor

source: Tata Nano CAR review: first riding impressions | Road Testing Reviews | Car Magazine Online

Tata Nano CAR review: first riding impressions

By Ben Oliver
08 December 2008 14:37


The new Tata Nano costs as much as a scooter, so can it really drive like a proper car? This is the question we’ve all been asking since news first leaked that the Indian firm was planning to rewrite the automotive rules with a £1300 car. And now, exclusively, CAR can tell you.

We travelled to India and scored the very first ride in the Nano. We haven’t driven it yet, but nobody else outside Tata has experienced it in action. And if you are one of the millions planning to buy one, we’re pleased to be able to reassure that your Tata Nano will indeed drive like a proper car.

But the Tata Nano's engine is so small…

Two cylinders, 624cc and 33bhp isn’t much. But unladen, this four-door, five-seat city car weighs just 600kg, so even with four adults aboard our prototype delivered sufficient acceleration to cope easily with city traffic. Ignore the likely 17-second 0-60mph time. By 60mph the Nano is running out of puff, but to 30mph or 40mph it feels far more competitive.

Stationary, the four-speed gearbox’s shift felt long and lumpy. On a short run close to 60mph the Nano didn’t feel strained or unstable, so it should cope with extra-urban duties if required. Fuel consumption will be around 60mpg, and emissions around 100g/km; on a par with the best European city cars, in other words.

And the Tata Nano's chassis?

We haven’t driven it yet. But from the passenger seat, the ride felt supple and noise and vibration levels were impressive, even over some coarse surfaces in our first ride in India. The Nano is tall and has a narrow track, so it rolls heavily through bends when pushed hard.

But don't forget – in city driving, you’re unlikely to be travelling this fast. And the tiny 12-inch wheels grip admirably and resist understeer longer than you’d expect.

The £1700 Tata Nano must be like a prison cell inside!

There isn’t much kit on the Nano, though air-con will be an option and dealers will offer upgrades like a radio and alloy wheels. But the basics are right. Even in our prototype model, the trim plastics and seat cloth felt of decent quality, seat comfort was good and – incredibly – the Nano will accommodate one six-footer seated behind another.

The boot is tiny though, with just 100 litres above the rear-mounted engine (the Toyota Aygo, by comparison, has 139 litres). And the Nano's boot can only be accessed by folding the rear seats forward; to save cost, there’s no boot hatch. Such money-pinching is what makes the Nano so intriguing...

Does the Nano do without safety features then?

There aren't many, but it’s far safer than the bicycles and scooters that many Nano buyers will be trading up from. Tata’s engineers are working on a series of upgrades, including airbags, anti-lock brakes, power steering, more powerful three-cylinder petrol and diesel engines and five-speed and automatic gearboxes which will allow the Nano to go on sale beyond its home market, and capitalise on the colossal potential created by its base price.

Verdict

CAR's first ride in the Tata Nano felt far more significant and exciting than a first drive in a Ferrari or Lamborghini, because this car’s importance is immeasurably greater. It won’t compete on dynamics or quality with European or Japanese city cars, but it doesn’t have to.

What Tata has achieved at an unprecedented price is astonishing, although we’d guess it will cost Indian consumers closer to £1700 when it finally goes on sale, six months late, in March 2009.

But after experiencing it in action, we’re more convinced than ever of the transformational effect the Tata Nano could have on this industry. And in times like these, we find that strangely comforting.
CAR's rating


Handling

Performance

Usability

Feelgood factor

Readers' rating
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Old 10th December 2008, 09:52   #2
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Thanks for the report Sidindica, we can expect an electric version Nano in the coming years

how about a Nano with Airbag, ABS, Alloy shoes, sports Interior and a 3 cyl engine for around 2.5 L. I believe this will do wonder
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Old 10th December 2008, 09:59   #3
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amazing find sidindica...


i think 17 seconds to 100 isnt bad atall, considering its capacity and purpose.





regards
happy motoring
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Old 10th December 2008, 10:03   #4
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Quote:
CAR's first ride in the Tata Nano felt far more significant and exciting than a first drive in a Ferrari or Lamborghini, because this car’s importance is immeasurably greater. It won’t compete on dynamics or quality with European or Japanese city cars, but it doesn’t have to.

What Tata has achieved at an unprecedented price is astonishing, although we’d guess it will cost Indian consumers closer to £1700 when it finally goes on sale, six months late, in March 2009.
Wow, that is something great. So, these only increase the # of buyers waiting to book.
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Old 10th December 2008, 10:04   #5
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Oh does that mean its quicker than the Palio Stile and M800 ? Good!
No extensive review by an Indian on this car yet, or is there?
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Old 10th December 2008, 10:09   #6
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This is good news. I have the car india issue with me in which they have tested the Nano. I am all floored by this car. I would any day prefer to give this to my would be wife rather than asking her to travel in the public transport (read that as crowded buses only and not Mumbai locals) and the pesky ricks/2 wheelers. This would give me some peace of mind and also she would be happy as her skin not getting dirty by the dust and all!!

Last edited by amtak : 10th December 2008 at 10:12.
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Old 10th December 2008, 10:33   #7
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Not bad. Good to get such a nice review.
i'm sure there are going to be a lot of nano buyers on this forum as well and we should start a tata nano possible modifications thread so we know what to do by the time the car is bought!
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Old 10th December 2008, 10:55   #8
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Little odd to see a non-Indian to write a review about Nano? lol, may be after software outsourcing, the car industry is the next thing the foreigners are getting too cheap from India. So they have gotten really mad about tata.

Good points of the One Lakh car
- pizza delivery guys need not meet accidents again and can reduce travel
- sales men need not travel 100km/ day in their bikes anymore and prevent breaking their spine
- hope to see >25km/l mileage
- v.good second car for those SUV/luxury sedan owners
- overall reduction in the two-wheeler traffic and also in the no of accidents taking place in India
- at last and not the least, no more dirty shirts in rainy season. And everyone is guaranteed comfortable transport. So, efficiency of work force throughout India will be improved.

bad
- parking space will surely be a problem
- if its a success then there could be an increase in word steel price, coz we sell and export our local steel resources for a cheap price. Lol, this is a hard-found reason . But, Tata being a b,ulk Hi-tech steel manufacturer can actually produce steel cheaper for their cars. So, its not a big issue.
- electricity, water shortage. Pollution

Finally, lots of Nano export is good Indian economy interms of car industry growth but bad for the other industries like agriculture, realestate...
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Old 10th December 2008, 12:47   #9
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Thanks a lot sidindica for sharing the review with us!

It's rare and hence amusing to see a Western journo praising an Indian automobile so much.

So a three cylinder version is indeed on the cards. It should easily dislodge Alto, forget M800. Can the diesel motor exceed 30 KMPL?
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Old 10th December 2008, 12:51   #10
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A similar article with similar images has featured in this month's Car India too.
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Old 10th December 2008, 12:59   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tejas@perioimpl View Post
and we should start a tata nano possible modifications thread so we know what to do by the time the car is bought!
Such a thread already exists:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/modifi...highlight=Nano (PIMP Your Nano!)
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Old 10th December 2008, 13:05   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steeroid View Post
Oh cool! Thanks. I should be one the first guys to get the nano so let's see what i can do to it...
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Old 10th December 2008, 13:11   #13
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nice find sidindica.
I am sure nano will brint a revolution in the auto industry.

Avi
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Old 10th December 2008, 14:04   #14
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Thats it!!! I think the time has finally come to spend 1 LakhRs... that is on a Yamaha R-15 rather than on a Nano coz i think i will be better off reaching my office in 20 min. rather than an hour commute in city traffic after Nano comes to town.
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Old 10th December 2008, 14:15   #15
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If this news is true, then we will have to wait till March 2009 for the NANO to come on the roads.
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