2015 Tata Nano GenX AMT Test Drive Review

Cyrus Mistry’s presence may fragment Tata Group

Tata Motors recently introduced the 2015 Nano GenX AMT, which set a new trend in the Indian automatic car market.

Tata motors is all set to launch a lot of cars in the future. Meanwhile, the company,  has been launching existing cars with major facelifts mechanically and cosmetically. The Zest and Bolt were totally new and the Safari Storme gets much-needed changes to stand against the competition. So how could they leave behind the iconic small car, the Nano. The Nano has been in the industry and infact all around the world for some time now. After hit and misses in various forms Tata has always jumped back. With subtle tweaks coming in every year ever since its inception, it is time for Tata to do something bigger and better.

Tata’s latest from the stable is all set to offer the cheapest petrol automatic hatchback to the small car loving customers with a big smile!

That is what Tata has exactly done now. The Nano has been introduced with an automatic gearbox. AMT is word in question. The automated manual transmission is a technology from Magnetti Marelli,  which replaces the clutch pedal and makes it electronic and automatically operated but claims that the fuel efficiency and performance is that the same of the manual gearbox. Paired to the smallest car with a tiny engine seems like a good idea for city slickers, so how good is this concept? Well we have the 2015 Nano GenX with us and today, and this is what we found out.

Tata GenX Nano Prices :

Tata Nano GenX XE – 1.99 lakhs
Tata Nano GenX XM – 2.29 lakhs
Tata Nano GenX XT – 2.49 lakhs
Tata Nano GenX XMA – 2.69 lakhs
Tata Nano GenX XTA – 2.89 lakhs

Prices are ex-showroom Delhi

Styling

tata nano genx side

One glance, even from the corner of traffic signal to the other and you can recognize that it’s the Tata Nano. Unique colors and body style still remains with the Nano. The overall styling is similar, but there are new bumpers on both ends with smiley being projected the way the air vents have been crafted.

Black applique on the front bonnet along with smoke headlights, which have mind-blowing illumination and spread are part of the package. Fog lights to do a good job, but they could have been better. Everything is body color on top variant. Wheel caps are also of a new design. Overall, it remains familiar, but the addition of new colors and slight details it manages to look fresh, but only to hawk eyes.

Interior

tata nano genx interior

Quality is astonishing on the inside as the quality of plastics, fabrics and plastics feel so good to touch and feel.

Interior remains pretty much identical as before in terms of design. Speedo meter at the top in the center and below that, the two A/C vents, HVAC controls and the Stereo. However, your jaws drop when you have a close look on the inside. Quality is astonishing on the inside as the quality of plastics, fabrics and plastics feel so good to touch and feel. The quality of stalks and tactile feel they have is far more superior than the stable mate Safari for the example. Plastic quality is good to touch, but the material does not seem that it can withstand a large amount of abuse only in the section between the seats. Color co-ordination is also spot on thanks to seat fabrics and black beige combo of the interior. Seats themselves are good and fairly supportive, but lower back support could be better for big sized drivers.

 

tata nano genx rear space

Steering wheel comes from the new generation Tata cars and is finally the right size to hold. However, the low mounted steering wheel is still cumbersome and takes time adjusting to. Stowage area is good thanks Dual glove boxes on both sides and wee bit of space between the seats. Space in the front is generous, but it is at the back that where the 2015 Tata Nano GenX shines.

tata nano genx boot space

The Nano has more space than some B segment hatchbacks in the country and surely more competent. Headroom and shoulder space is generous and three medium-sized adults go can for small city ride. Raised seats and large glass area makes the 2015 Tata Nano GenX a great place to spend time in for rear passengers.

Features

tata nano genx cabin

There is quite a list of features in the Tata Nano which include, Tinted Door Glass, Hatch Integrated Spoiler, Roof Mounted Antenna, Front Fog Lamps. Music system with radio, cd, mp3, aux-in, bluetooth for phone calls & music streaming, 4 speakers for surround sound, color accented speaker bezel ,rear parcel shelf with integrated speakers. Driver information display, distance to empty (dte),average fuel economy (afe), fuel gauge, electronic trip meter, instantaneous fuel consumption,gear shift indicator, low fuel warning lamp help monitor and save fuel. Digital clock (led display), remote keyless entry, HVAC ,front power windows, 12v power socket (mobile charger) are available as well. Cup holders in front console, cabin lamp, magazine & coin holder on all doors,front seat headrest, driver side sun visor,passenger side sun visor.

Engine And Gearbox

tata nano genx performance

Powering the 2015 Tata Nano GenX is also the slightly tweaked version of the same 624cc engine that produces 38 Ps of power at 5500 RPM and 51 Nm of torque at 4000 RPM. Engine is pretty smooth and refined than before thanks to added insulation. NVH levels are decent most of the time, but it sounds coarse and vibrates at the top of rev-band. 624cc now gets a very sorted out power band thanks to taller gearing which means ambling in the town mid range punch for overtaking and top-speed is sorted issue now. Overtaking must be done in manual mode or else the time it takes to shift down can turn dangerous. Sports mode also goes all the way till redline and then only shifts and it does not shift in between the power band like normal mode. The speedo indicates an 120 km/hr, but the company claims only 105 km/hr. Gambling around in the town is the most easiest task in this car.

tata nano genx review

Power steering and automatic gearbox makes it a doodle to drive in the city. Only if the driving position was better anybody in the world could drive it. Whether a 85-year-old pensioner or an 18-year-old, both can drive it, it’s that easy to live with the 2015 Tata Nano GenX. Coming to the gearbox its the same AMT gearbox seen in many cars these days. It just feels like manual the way it shifts, the only thing missing is the clutch pedal which is now electrically controlled.

Same manual funda applies to the AMT. Be gentle with the throttle and shifts are quite smooth. Mash the throttle to the carpet and it becomes jerky as if you left the clutch way too quickly like a manual gearbox equipped car. It’s also jerky when you are accelerating and the gear reaches redline, it shifts into the next gear and if you have your foot on the accelerator while its shifting, it jerks again.

tata nano genx mileage

Best way to avoid is to learn the shift timing of the gearbox and lift of the throttle and then its whole lot smoother. Like we said, it’s just like a manual without the clutch pedal. Master the gearbox and save your left leg without hurting the economy of a manual gearbox equipped car. We got 17 km/l in the city and almost 21 km/l on the highway. Figures are down slightly over the regular Nano because of the increase in weight.

Dynamics

tata nano genx cornering

Chassis wise the 2015 Tata Nano GenX yet again has some plenty of changes. Structural rigidity has been improved as more metal has been put on the rear side of the car all because the hatch is now openable like a normal car. Strengthening of the roof and D-Pillar has been done. The car as we know is rear-wheel drive and couple with engine sitting on the top of the axle means you get immense traction of the line. Added weight at the rear also helps in that part. In the corners, body roll is well controlled, but you reach the limits of mechanically grip extremely quick, despite the fact that the tyre size has been increased at the rear.

2015 tata nano genx dynamics

However, the sensation of being pushed out of the corners is always an enjoyable thing for the enthusiast. Only if the driving position was better and the steering wheel was mounted like a normal car it would have been more enjoyable experience. We wish Tata made something really big with the same layout, but already there is a crore rupee alternative to that.

Highway stability is good, but it wallows and pitches post 110 km/hr (speedo indicated) Brakes are good, but pedal feel could be better. Despite AMT aka automatic gearbox the braking is no hampered and that are good signs, something which the Japanese cars can’t even boast of when it comes to braking with auto trannys. Ride quality is good and it stable over bumps. New generation cars from Tata take potholes seriously and go over them without getting unsettled. Safety wise there is not Airbags or ABS yet and no disc brakes either. Tata says there are crumple zones and structure has been more crash worthy than before.

Verdict

tata nano genx road test

We had a good time with the 2015 Tata Nano GenX. The quality inside and outside has improved drastically. Improved NVH and now you get a proper hatchback that opens and you can store luggage in a hassle free manner. AMT gearbox and power steering makes the Nano driving as easy as peeling a banana and eating it. The terms are dangerous, we know, but we are stunned by its qualities as a city car. It’s a doodle to drive with an almost proven engine and gearbox.

2015 Tata Nano GenX is not a cheap car anymore, but it also has things that justify the price tag.

Fuel efficiency is decent enough and pricing makes it the cheapest car in the world with an automatic transmission.  Tata has improved the Nano again and again to get rid of the old image it had and it the new Nano GenX, flaunts it proudly.

tata nano genx color

Pros

  • Easiest hatchback to drive in city
  • Impressive NVH levels
  • More features and better interiors
  • High on space

Cons

  • Tiny boot
  • No Safety features

Pictures – Ankit-Mishra

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Exterior
Interiors
Engine Performance
Ride and Handling
Comfort & Features
Fuel Efficency
Value for Money
After Sales Service