Nano GenX vs Alto vs Hyundai Eon vs WagonR vs Hyundai i10
Tatas will soon be opening for the booking of the Tata Nano Automatic (AMT) which goes by the name of Nano GenX. We at PlugInKaroo bring you the first review of the vehicle. We have compared the vehicle against 25 parameters and the Nano has come out on top in 10 of them while i10 and WagonR come out on top in just 4 each. This is a vast difference… this shows that Nano is one excellent and useful car. Do also note that the cost of the i10 is about two times the cost of a Nano. We have compared only the top variant of each car as we feel if one has to buy a car you must as well want to use the best feature it has to offer else settle for an auto rickshaw. After all a car you buy is for your and your family’s comfort!
So here are the test results below:
Finally the Tata Nano GenX the automatic is here… as it should have been it its very first avatar! The Tata GenX comes not only with a Power Steering but also Automatic Drive and the open-able hatch. Previously the Nano was having solid deficiencies when compared to the other small cars and it was below in all the features except the mileage. Today with the Nano GenX it is out of its cocoon that was holding it back.
The Tatas had created a great car but till the GenX gave it a lot of negative luggage to carry for example – of having only one sided rear view mirror,no airconditioner, no music player, auto rickshaw like tyres, smallest fuel tank-ever- invented, no boot, and then when there was a boot it had a hatch that never opened. Come to think of it… other cars in the same category have better features when compared to Nano… then why would anybody buy the Nano? Sure enough the Nano’s sales started falling. It was easy for the sales guy of competing cars to say why take a 600cc engine instead of the 800cc engine of alto and “almost” similar price.
There is another cavet emptor of “almost similar price” which is usually a comparison of the top end variant of Nano with the low end variant of other car. It is very easy trick most new car buyers. If you compare the top end variant of each car the boys are separated from the men. Alto and Eon are the weakest while WagonR and i10 have bigger engines & bigger price yet fall behind in the comparison.
People did not want a car that had only one side mirror, or a hatch that never opened or to go to a fuel pump and say “full tank” when 15ltrs is only half the tank-size of other cars… one could even hear the guy refueling say “LOL” (laughing out loud) in his mind. The people who drove the Nano were always, kind-of below the people who drove other cars except in one department – mileage. But Tatas have paid a good ear to all the complaints and perhaps the Nano is probably the only car in the history of automobiles that has incorporated almost all the request the people have made. Thus every year the Nano has made some kind of update, while most other carmaker are only able to make minor changes like new colour, front-grill design, headlight design, rearlight design changes in boot design. While other carmakers tricked customers with superficial and fake updates the Nano’s updates have been genuine and have addressed individual issues.
After the initial buying spurt about 6 Nanos caught fire which was given world wide publicity by press and media, especially by those who liked to ridiculed the Nano. Suddenly people were afraid to buy a car that would set them on fire. But the truth is that all cars, even those from international companies have caught fire but unfortunately Nano got the maximum publicity. Almost all international carmakers have recalled hundreds of thousands of cars for minor & major problems some even for fire hazard too. But people were never scared so much by the media.
Here is a blog about Nano at the Himalayan Journey:
Today the people see a lot of Nano around them and have slowly realized that it is a safe car to drive, an excellent car to park and gives the best mileage in the world. In spite of the automobile market going into a downward spin the Nano’s sales has started an upward trend and the numbers have started to increase more than its previous year. Compared to the Alto sales the Nano sales are nothing to write home about… and Maruti would be quite relaxed to even think of Nano as a rival… but now with this version I am completely confident that Tata has finally created a rival to the Alto. I predict that from the release date of Nano GenX onwards the Nano sales will double every year. Its funny to see an inferior car like Alto selling 2,64,492 units while the Nano’s barely touches 15,000 units per year. What is even more funny is to see a car like Hyundai Eon which is even more inferior sell six times more than the Nano. Obviously there is something wrong! . But this is now set to change with Nano AMT- GenX.
CNG Nano is a super vehicle to own. CNG vehicles today have better mileage than their petrol counter parts. This is a vehicle that gives the best mileage in the world in any fuel. The mileage at 36km per KG is almost double the mileage of other small cars that give only 20 Kmpl. The CNG tank of Nano is 30Ltr water filling capacity and can contain 4.5ltr of CNG Gas. This is standard capacity. Some have 60ltr water filling capacity which is equal to 9Ltr of CNG Gas. Now combine this with the fact the cost of CNG is always cheaper than Petrol and you have an amazing vehicle.
CNG which means Compressed Natural Gas is compressed methane gas (also called biogas or gobar-gas) which can be created in a bio-digester by decomposing garbage or human/animal shit. Sintex has a giogas digester costing Rs 15,000. CNG can also be used as cooking gas. It is far cheaper and safer than LPG which is Propane. CNG when leaked evaporates upwards into the air and disperses quickly while LPG when leaks pours downwards like petrol and settles on the ground as it is heavier than air. LPG is dangerous than petrol as the leak is not visible yet the gas is lying around your feet. Never buy LPG vehicle and try as much as to do away with LPG for cooking and use CNG instead.
To learn more on Biogas/Gobar-gas see the following link:
The Automatic Transmission (AT) is a feature that is missing in a lot of cars in India. In India people fear AT because Maruti Suzuki had long ago introduced an AT vehicle and screwed it up royally. It was very expensive to service and repair and this put “the fright of AT vehicles in the heart of Indian people“. AT is so easy and great a way to drive that “once you go AT you ain’t going back“! I personally hate manual transmission vehicles. AT is the closest one comes to drive electric cars – Accelerator and Brakes are all that you use once your gear is pushed in “D”- Drive mode. If you want to reverse the car you change your hand gear to “R”-Reverse mode. Parking is usually done by Putting the gear in “P”-Park mode, pulling your hand brake and switching off the engine…in Electric cars like E2O there is zero noise inside the car.
The open-able hatch is a great boon to people who shop, picnic, or carry kids-cycle. Also the rear seats can be folded to provide ample cargo space. The cargo space thus increased is 500mm which is stupendous and almost van like. Such a car would be great for cargo companies, Restaurant delivery or courier companies. Even for normal families the car can be converted to a 2 seater van to do emergency or wholesale purchases or move something bulky.
Nano Air Conditioner – The Nano AC which has drawn praise from Jay Leno is in a class in itself. Previously in all small cars whenever any acceleration or “power-thrust” was required there was a need to switch off the Air conditioner and then switch back once the power-thrust move was finished as the engine could not respond to the request for extra power. This is no longer needed with the Nano. This feature itself is a giant leap ahead.
Mileage – Nano has the best mileage of any car in the World – both in Petrol and CNG. Nobody challenges it. But Nano has been done in by a 15Ltr fuel tank. Its like saying your salary will be doubled but it will be taxed 50%. So even if a Nano was able to deliver 25Kmpl still it would only be able to cover 375kms while other car with a mileage of 20kmpl will be able to reach 500kms with a fuel tank of 25ltrs. But Tata guys would like to argue that we were giving you more mileage. But dude I also want to travel lesser times to the Petrol Pump, stand in the queue and waste my time. Its like if you guys had come out with a 50kmpl car the fuel tank would have been 3Ltrs?!!?? But finally this seems to have been corrected to and this Nano has a 25Ltr fuel tank that will not only make your mileage excellent but it will also reduce your visits to the fuel pump. In the comparison I have considered a 15 Ltr fuel tank as the specs are not yet released.
Ground Clearance – Most other car review claim the 160 ground clearance of other car as “super”. Then Nano’s 180mm Ground clearance should be extra super. This ground clearance is necessary while driving over bad roads in the City or around the countryside. Nano is made for bad roads and roads with higher speed humps.
4-Point shock absorber. This is another reason that the Nano has better comfort while driving over potholes and stones.
Safety: Then there are those who talk about safety as if it is all about putting airbags in cars and then the car becomes safe. They feel that Indian manufacturer doesn’t value Indian life and a lot of blah blah blah mostly copy pasting Volkswagen’s quote from that very same NCAP test in which Volkswagen’s OWN CAR FAILED. VW replaced the failed car with another car with airbags and then VOILA IT PASSED… but they NEVER put Swift with Airbag or Alto with airbag to test citing these cars’ nonavailability…pretty strange when one considers the fact Europe has these “small cars” and these car in Europe do have airbags. Therefore it can be considered that it was preplanned – not to test Airbag-swift or Alto with airbag. That particular NCAP episode was undertaken to undermine “Made In India” cars. It was a very clever “gamesmanship” where the methods used are not illegal… but the whole plan is illegal. You can see a lot of this stuff going on in Cricket… sledging today is considered OK in a gentleman’s game.
As for safety NO SMALL CARS ARE SAFE…neither of Volkswagen… nor of BMW or of General Motors… and in these tiny cars airbag is not going to make much difference in a crash above 100kmph. In fact the Indian Nano & E2O car will save you because of its slower speed. In that sense we consider Nano safer than Alto & Swift because the Alto & Swift are capable of very high speeds. SMALL CARS ARE NOT SAFE because the distance between the point of impact and the driver’s body is very short… just around 1 meter. This distance is immediately compromised in high speed crash. Safety is directly proportionate to the car’s speed. Cars with longer bonnets are safer than cars with shorter bonnets. Slower cars are safer than faster cars. Cars with Front and Rear disc brakes are safer than cars with only one disc brake. Cars with wider tires are safer than cars with thinner tires.
If you really value safety and are so paranoid of some car crashing into you… buy a SUV… or a car that is above the 5Lakh price.
For the first time in the Automobile Industry Tata’s have offered to exchange their old Nanos for the upcoming GenX Nano with Easy Shift (Automated Manual Transmission). Make sure you grab this “Power of 1+1” offer. They have not given the details but I assume one will have to pay the difference of price between the new nano and the price of your car… which would still be a bargain! This price is below Rs 80,000. So if you can get a better price it would be better to sell your existing Nano in open market than to Tata. But at least there is an option!
THE SUNROOF OPTION OF THE NANO MIGHT MEAN THAT AN ELECTRIC TATA NANO CAN BE EXPECTED QUITE SOON… possibly by the year end as it would suggest that it is in a high level of integration/production/assembly.
Finally tip for buying any 2nd hand car:
All cars are capable of reaching up to 10 yrs of usage (150,000km). This is almost like a guarantee. If handled and serviced better their life could go up to 15yrs 200,000 km or even up to to 20 yrs. 300,000kms. Also while buying 2nd hand cars never buy a car that has crossed either 10yrs or 150,000kms as the major parts are almost rundown. It is also better to check if the owner has service records to see if he has serviced the car regularly. Electric cars are amazing in this aspect and have no need to be serviced… even annually! Just checking of the parts (brakes pads, tyres, carbon check on battery connectors) once in 2 yrs would be more like it. In electric car the company could even give range and quick charge updates that can increase the range and quicken the charging process. But till now there is only one electric car the E2O.
You can read more about the topless Nano of Gujarat at the below link:
Guiness Record of Nano for longest driving: http://ibnlive.in.com/news/nano-car-drives-into-guinness-world-records-for-driving-the-longest-journey/401808-3.html
Road Trip to Khardungla: http://www.tatanano.com/worldofawesomeness/nanodiaries/road-trip-to-khardungla/
Nano Takes on Ladakh : http://www.tatanano.com/worldofawesomeness/nanodiaries/nano-takes-on-ladakh/
Touring God’s own Country in Nano: http://www.tatanano.com/worldofawesomeness/nanodiaries/touring-godaes-own-country-in-a-nano/
From Noida to Gandhinagar in Nano: http://www.tatanano.com/worldofawesomeness/nanodiaries/from-noida-to-gandhi-nager-in-my-nano/
Thomas Chacko’s Nano Drive: http://www.tatanano.com/nad/
Nano more comfortable, economical and enriching than traveling in trains or buses for vacation: (RULE OF THUMB – NEVER DRIVE AFTER SUNSET IN UNFAMILIAR TERRITORY YOU COULD LOOSE YOUR LIFE): https://pradeepprabhu.wordpress.com/2013/04/26/bangalore-to-mangalore-on-tata-nano/