The Tata Nano is attempting to resurrect its legacy. If you go in with high expectations, then you can’t help but notice that it’s crude and basic – and the overall quality is shoddy. But the Nano is a legendary car in its own right, and it created quite a storm in the global auto industry when it was first revealed in 2010. It then went through a few minor changes, and the new and improved Nano Twist was launched in 2014 – with power steering, better suspension and cabin materials, as well as more comfortable seats.
But Tata Motors kept going back to the drawing board to see how they could add more value to what became known as the cheapest car in the world – something that’s since been accepted as the reason for its downfall. This year, however, they decided to add an automated manual transmission (AMT) to the car. The engineers are attempting to move away from making the car more affordable, and instead opting to make it more convenient to drive. So, the 2015 Tata Nano GenX comes with an AMT, and also some more exterior changes.
The engine stays the same though, and as you fire up the 624cc petrol engine it sounds all too familiar. The five-speed automated transmission isn’t bad though – it moves up through the gears quickly to ensure a high fuel economy figure, which Tata Motors claim is 21.9km/l. The gear changes are quite smooth in normal driving conditions, but it’s certainly very sluggish going up even the slightest of inclines. Believe it or not, the AMT also gets a ‘Sports’ mode, which basically holds the gears longer, but it really doesn’t make much difference to the overall performance. Driving the car around the track really highlights its shortcomings, but it can be fun nonetheless.
Tata would do well to further improve the overall quality and refinement levels of the Nano. It scores high, of course, in value-for-money and practicality – which has increased since the rear tailgate now opens. Plus, it remains as spacious and economical as ever. Most of all, though, it’s a symbol of Indian ingenuity – it just needs to be executed better…