We automotive enthusiasts always remember first generation of the car because that makes a strong impression in our mind. No matter how it’s looks and features change in it’s life cycle, the first impression of the car is always a strong consideration point and very difficult to forget, be it good, be it bad. Sometimes it is all about good styling or crazy performance or even an image of world’s cheapest car. Remember something? Yes, we are talking about Tata Nano.
Produced and sold in Indian market since 2008. No matter how good offerings Tata Motors made to new Nano with regards to styling, features, CNG variant or even overall positioning, the car could not manage to climb graph of sales numbers in recent months. The latest try from Tata Motors to get Nano back on track with the solely missed feature that was not made available over these years and over the above mentioned variants of Nano, is power steering. Team AutoColumn was very curious to know about this new variant of Tata Nano twist and we got our hands on this car for about 600 kms over the weekend. We usually take cars to test in ghats and straight roads where we could check all the capabilities of car, this time we chose to test this car in city traffic, tight parking slots where anyone can understand how important power steering for any car is. The competition to Tata Nano is already offering basic features like AC and power steering to base variant but is Tata Nano twist really worth buying over Alto 800 and Hyundai EON? We give you detailed review of Tata Nano twist right here!!
2014 Tata Nano has changed very less when compared to 2013 Tata Nano. To be very honest, its only colours at exterior and better quality plastic at B-pillar. The front gets new bumper and a chrome strip to visualize a premium touch and same is at rear too.
The side profile remains same as the earlier design where Tata Motors has only worked on overall quality of the fit and finish for Nano. We really don’t have anything else to write about exterior of Tata Nano twist other than two major changes which are highly appreciated and much needed, new colours and twist badging on the car. New colours on Tata Nano are vibrant, sporty and very attractive to youth.
All new Tata Nano twist has way lot features compared to its earlier versions. The 2014 Tata Nano has all those features of 2013 Tata Nano with improved quality and overall better gap and flush for the plastics. New beige colour dashboard was introduced in 2013 Tata Nano and yes the small pop up glove boxes with speakers around it make it look much much better than the 2012 model. The steering diameter is increased now to get better hold and control and is lowered to an extent. The earlier steering position was like typical other Tata cars and too high in position. The new steering wheel is positioned a bit lower and it come in lap for a 6 feet tall person. For an average Indian height it is positioned perfect and smooth to maneuver.
The center console gets AC controls and integrated factory fitted audio unit with Bluetooth telephony and USB and AUX input. The power steering equipped Nano is offered only with top end variant so you get all goodies inside like front two power windows and AC. It is very important to mention here that air conditioning unit in Tata Nano is best in class and have fastest cooling rate for its cabin. Power window switches are kept behind the gear knob and one really needs to put hand way down to operate it.
Cabin of Tata Nano overall feels airy and it is spacious. Even for a 6 feet tall person ingress and egress is very easy. Seats foams are thin but comfortable for city drive though rear seats lack thigh support. To access boot space, rear seats need to be folded and that’s the only way to put some luggage in boot of Tata Nano. Here an openable hatch could have been a better option with twist variant but we know it will come with Nano active variant which was showcased at 2014 Auto Expo. The boot capacity is overall 500 liter when seats are folded and without that it is only 80 liters. Tata Nano twist is equipped with ZF’s EPS unit that has active return feature. The steering unit is optimized for almost 1.5 year and is developed in collaboration with Bosch. Tata Nano may be the cheapest car in the world but the parts and components are not cheap and are developed by world’s best tier 1 companies.
Engine and Performance:
2014 Tata Nano twist is powered by two cylinder 624 cc petrol engine that produces 38 PS and 51 Nm of torque. This engine is coupled to 4 speed manual transmissions and drives rear wheels of the car. The gear ratios are so matched that it is peppy to ride and 0-60 feels very quick in this car though its not.
The car can achieve top speed of 105kmph where we could touch 100 kmph on straight patch. The braking performance is poor and disc brakes are solely missed when you are at speed of 60+ and want to brake hard. Within city limits driving you will never feel this because one can hardly touch speeds of 60-80kmph inside city or even traffic conditions. Overall engine and gearbox make you happy but braking performance takes your confidence of going to high speeds. Tata Motors has reworked on accelerator, brake and clutch positioning and now all are well space to operate smoothly.
Overall NVH levels are improved drastically and the improved Tata Nano has very less vibrations inside car compared to 2012 or even 2013 model. New EPS unit from ZF is pure fun to take this car into tight slots of parking or zipping traffic in rush hours. Overall just addition of EPS makes this car a complete urban car package. The EPS will make life of some old folks and noobs easier who are finding turning non EPS Nano difficult in tight parking slots and bumper to bumper traffic.
Ride and Handling:
Well, to understand this part of test drive we took the car where it will spend maximum time in its life cycle, on city roads. Some are inspired by mars and some are incomplete tar. Ground clearance of Nano is fantastic and no one will ever feel of scratching belly of car under fully loaded condition. The rear engined car is prone to oversteer but balances under speed of 50-60.
Above that will be called as spirited driving in Nano which will be proned to understeer and you might feel Nano doing tail slide with speeds above 60kmph and hard cornering. The overall suspension package is well build to take all loads of urban roads and as Nano is almost 5 years old now, the ride comfort package is refined too over the years.
Combination of power steering, low NVH levels, smoother shifts on the go and comfortable seats with overall quality Nano twist leaves a happy impression in mind. A bigger engine, 5 speed gearbox, better tires and disc brakes at front will make more peppier package to Nano, but we will have to wait for one more year till Tata launches 800cc 3 cylinder motors in Nano.
Priced at 2.36 lakhs (ex showroom Delhi) Nano Twist XT is the only variant equipped with power steering over the top variant of Nano LX. It is overall a value for money package for daily use or even as a second car in garage. Nano is fuel efficient and a fuel economy of 22+ kmpl is achievable for almost all driving conditions. It offers best in class space and fuel economy and new power steering addition is all that was missing in package of Nano. Do you think power steering equipped Nano with funky colours will help Tata Motors to climb Nano sales figure graph? Do let us know by commenting below.
|Overall Length||3099 mm|
|Overall Width||1495 mm (Without ORVMs)|
|Overall Height||1652 mm|
|Ground clearance||180 mm|
|Minimum Turning Circle Radius||4 m|
|Seating Capacity||4 person|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||15 Litres|
|Kerb WeightNano Twist XT||660 kg|
|Boot Space||With rear seat folded: 500 LitresWithout rear seat folded: 80 Litres|
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
|Engine Type||624 cc, 2 Cylinder, MPFI|
|Maximum Power||38 PS @ 5500 +/- 250 rpm|
|Maximum Torque||51 Nm @ 4000 +/- 500 rpm|
|Top Speed||105 kmph|
|Transmission gear||Synchromesh on all forward gears Sliding mesh on reverse with overdrive on 4th gear|
|No. of Gears||4 Forward + 1 Reverse|
|Front||Independent, lower wishbone, McPherson struts with gas-filled dampers and anti-roll bar|
|Rear||Independent, semi trailing arm with coil spring & gas-filled shock absorbers|
|Type||Electric Power Assisted (brushless type)|
|Brake Type||Dual circuit, vertical split operated by tandem master cylinder with vacuum booster|
|Front||180 mm diameter Drum Brake|
|Rear||180 mm diameter Drum Brake|
WHEELS & TYRES
|Tyre Type||Radial & tubeless|
|Front Tyre size||135/70 R 12|
|Rear Tyre size||155/65 R 12|
|Spare Tyre size||135/70 R 12|
|Wheels Size||4 B x 12|