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World’s most affordable car

World’s most affordable car gets crucial updates that make it more desirable.

autos Updated: Dec 04, 2011 01:44 IST

World’s most affordable car gets crucial updates that make it more desirable.

Although Tata didn’t quite achieve to sell the Nano at the intended One Lakh Rupees price tag, it was still the most affordable car on sale in India. Now, the series of updates Tata has given to the Nano make it even more appealing.

The baby Tata is now available in a wider palette of colours, including the vibrant Papaya Orange.

The top LX model gets plastic wheel covers and a passenger-side wing mirror. These features aside, there is little to distinguish the new model from the old one.

It’s when you open the doors that you understand where Tata has focused its efforts. The dashboard gets richer-looking beige plastic and the centre console and gear knob have a silver finish. The dual-tone door pads have deeper pockets and are a huge step up from the basic original design.

The front headrests can now be adjusted too. The front seats get improved bolstering and are more comfortable than before. What continues to impress is the massive space at the back, which, along with the new contouring on the seat base and lengthened seat back, makes the rear seat a more comfy place.

Switch the ignition on and you will be greeted by a quieter idle. In fact, refinement on the whole is improved — fewer vibrations come through the body and the car no longer sounds like an auto-rickshaw. Tata has given the Nano taller gearing in the interest of fuel economy, so you won’t really feel the modest 2bhp bump
in power.

Performance remains just about adequate for the city.

The Nano’s heavy steering drew a lot of flak and Tata has made revisions to the car’s running gear to rectify this. While it is lighter than before, steering still requires some effort, especially at slow speeds.

Power steering is unfortunately still a long way off, it would have complemented the Nano’s tight turning circle to make it really easy to hustle about in crowded city traffic. At higher speeds, you’ll notice the improved stability contributed by the new front anti-roll bar.

Autocar India verdict

All these changes add up to a more complete, more upmarket and better driving Nano. The best bit is that Tata has left the prices unchanged, so the Nano really has little competition on the value-for-money chart. You definitely get more car per car as the Tata slogan says.