Small Amazing Car
November 2012 - I had made up my mind to buy the new Maruti Alto 800 on Diwali. It looked like a nice offering from Maruti, yet another winner in their portfolio. As I moved out of their showroom after the test drive, I passed by the Tata Motors showroom in Borivali East. Now, like a lot of others, I too was always attracted towards the cute looking small hatchback that stood tall in the Tata showroom - the Nano. I thought, I have never taken a test drive, why not just try it for the heck of it. And as they say, the rest is history.I am a very proud owner of a Tata Nano LX (Limited Edition version). I did not just throw the Maruti Alto out of contention, it blew my mind away. All notions about the Nano got quashed. I am surprised by the work Tata Motors has done with the engine sound, it’s almost negligible now. The pick-up is excellent, the car almost lunges forward, and you really have to control the eager engine in the 3rd gear. The AC is better than my Maruti Esteem (not kidding), and even with 4 people in the car, it impresses you. There is no let down in speed even while climbing flyovers. The body graphics on the limited edition version enhance the already cute and attractive looks of this car. And the space!! Now here is where it slaughters the competition. The leg room in the rear is unbelievable, and the seating position of the driver is at a nice, comfortable height. Plus, I don’t have to bend my back trying to get in and out of the car! All this with a peppy engine that burns the road for a good 20 kms per litre of petrol. It clearly shows that this is no ordinary car. It’s an engineering marvel. Its innovation at its best. Of course, there are a few niggles here and there, like the sound that comes from the suspension even when the road is simply uneven. The car wobbles a bit at high speeds, the suspension is not so great. But then, I think the buyer needs to set his expectations right. It would be wrong on the part of the buyer to expect the refinement of Hondas and Toyotas, when this car costs at least a lakh less than a Maruti Alto LX (old version). Considering the cost factor, the performance of the car, and with all the accessories that come along with the limited version (the Blaupunkt stereo, glove boxes, body graphics, front and rear fog lamps, to name a few), the car has probably got the best Value to Cost ratio in the market! The only thing I believe that needs to be done, is to market this car better. People need to know about the value that the car offers, and the negative notions about the car will be quashed when someone takes a test drive. That’s when the Nano says "hum kisi se kam nahi". It stands tall, indeed. I am a proud owner of a Tata Nano. Cant stop raving about it!!