The Tata Nano—a car that was made out of big dreams but reality proved it otherwise. Affordability for the masses was the aim of the company, but the same brought a poor image about the car, since it was priced low and production fell to lower numbers.
Tata Motors, not disheartened, took this as a platform to make the car better. They took out the one thing that was supposed to sell the car in large numbers—the ‘cheapest car' image, and is now determined to sell the car as a proper hatchback.
That's how the Tata Nano GenX was born. With an AMT, a boot that opens and a size that is apt, or rather perfect for the city. Let's take a look at what the Tata Nano GenX has to offer:
The overall shape and design remains the same. The undoubted Nano design is still capable of being spotted at a distance, but with a few upgrades such as a newly designed bumper, smoked headlights, and a new grille. The Tata logo between the headlights looks more prominent than before and foglamps are re-designed as well.
The front design is carried out to the rear as well, with the grille. The most important design feature at the rear though is the openable boot, with a 110-litre storage capacity on the manual transmission version and 91-litre storage space on the AMT version. However, the boot can be opened only with the key since there is no boot-release lever inside the cabin.
Sitting under the newly designed openable boot is the engine that is carried over from the previous generation Nano. It is a 624cc, twin cylinder petrol engine that develops 38.19 PS at 5500 rpm and 51 Nm of peak torque at 4000 rpm.
Now, coming to one of the most exciting features about the Nano GenX—the gearbox. The Nano features an Automated Manual Transmission (AMT), which means there is no necessity for a clutch pedal. Adding to the comfort is a Sport mode that lets the engine reach a higher rpm before the gear can be shifted. The Nano GenX is now the cheapest car with an AMT in the Indian market.
Mileage & Fuel Capacity:
Tata claim the Nano GenX AMT returns a fuel efficiency of 21.9 kpl while the manual version returns 25.4 kpl. The fuel tank has been made bigger to carry 24 litres of petrol now.
Now, stepping inside the car, space offered is the same as the previous generation Nano. There is plenty room for the legs and head while accommodating five adults. The Nano seats remain the same as well, designed to offer good interior space. The rear seats can be folded to carry extra luggage.
The GenX Nano has the instrumentation cluster placed in the centre, which may not be to everybody's liking. The analogue cum digital console displays valuable information such as average fuel consumption, digital clock, trip meter and the gear the car is in. Information is well laid out and easy to read.
The Nano gets a chunkier steering wheel compared to the older version, a four-speaker music system with Bluetooth and USB connectivity, power windows for the front, (annoyingly the switches are still located in the centre next to the gear lever) and a charging outlet.
The Nano gets a lot of little storage places. The ones on the dash remain the same, which could have been fitted with better locks and the door pockets are almost of no use but for storing paperwork. There is no under seat storage since the battery is located under the driver's seat. The front too, is of no use since the spare wheel is under the hood.
Coming to the all important part—how safe is the car? Well, no airbags are provided so it's up to the seat belts for protection, but only for four people. The rear seat has two point seat belts which offers protection for two passengers only, but can accommodate three , which leaves one occupant with zero safety when seated at the rear. Safety is one key thing that needs work with the Nano, since there is no airbag or ABS available. Tata say that the body has been reinforced to offer better protection during a crash.
The top of the line Nano GenX AMT will be priced under INR 3 lakh. The cheapest car tag is immediately wiped off now. So is it the apt car? Should you look for an alternate? Is it worth the money?
Now, the crucial question of whether the Nano GenX is worth the money? The Nano has proved to be great car for use in the city. Its size, efficiency, space have been its plus points. Now with the added benefit of an AMT, driving just got lot easier. But when out on a drive that needs you to leave the city and take on the highways, the Nano just doesn't have the stamina. It could have done with a bit more power from the engine and better safety.
What is AMT?
An AMT (Automated Manual Transmission) is a electro-hydraulic mechanism for automating manual transmission which derives from Formula One. AMT is based on an electronic control unit and a hydraulic system that supervise the use of the clutch and the gear shifting, allowing the driver to change gear without using the clutch, either sequentially or fully automatically.
Source: Magneti Marelli.
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