The Tata Nano has been a paradox of its own.

While it did make a name for itself in the history books as a ‘₹1 Lakh Car‘, it failed to enthuse the car buyers.

The Tata Nano was successful in turning heads all around the world with headlines like ‘World’s Cheapest Car’ in most of the dailies around the world. But, the Indian buyers had something else in their mind.

The fanfare around the Tata Nano started to die a slow death and so did the sales. But it left behind a legacy. No matter what numbers did the Nano achieved on the sales-o-meter, it did have an impact. On the emotional front, it gave aspirations to a lot of first time car owners and carried forward a dream on its wheels.

With such emotional connect, come a set of myths, conceptions and stereotypes. So, what are some of the things that Tata Nano owners are tired of hearing as of now.

Also Read: Tata Nano | The ill-fated Budget Car of India

  1. “But, why?”

    Tata Nano
    Tata Nano

    The first and foremost thing that a Tata Nano owner is tired of hearing is the reason behind why they went for the car.

    While the question seems reasonable, it does have an answer for many. As mentioned above, the Tata Nano was an aspirational car for many. The feeling of the ‘first car’ was satiated by this very vehicle.

  2. “Where’s the engine?”

    Just 1 Tata Nano Sold In 2019
    Tata Nano

    Yes, the Tata Nano doesn’t have an engine in the front.

    Not that it doesn’t have one, but it has an engine at the back of the vehicle. So, one of the few things that the owners of this vehicle have surely heard about is this very fact.

  3. “Why not an Alto?”

    Alto 800 CNG Car
    Alto 800 CNG Car

    Back when Nano hit the showrooms, Maruti Suzuki’s Alto ruled the markets as India’s family car. So naturally, when someone bought a Tata Nano, the first question that came to anyone’s mind was why didn’t one go for the Maruti Alto.

    Adding another lakh would’ve seemed a lot at the time, but seeing the results today, it surely would’ve been a smart call. However, at the price of a base model Alto 800, one used to get a Tata Nano. Tough call, isn’t it?

    More Like This: 10 Common Problems Reported on the Tata Nano!

  4. “Lakhtakiya” (Costing ₹1 Lakh)

    Nano: India's cheapest car
    Nano: India’s cheapest car

    The term was coined by probably some smart person and entered the vernacular soon enough. The Nano had a nickname and it wasn’t something an owner would be proud of.

    Nano soon gained the nickname down the years, however, it wasn’t something true exactly. While the ex-showroom price of the base model Tata Nano was ₹1 lakh, it wasn’t exactly the choice of many.

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  5. “How Many Can Sit Inside?”

    Nano | Credits: Car and Driver
    Nano | Credits: Car and Driver

    Contrary to the popular belief, the Tata Nano has actually liberated a lot of space inside the vehicle. According to many user reviews, the car is often praised for its generous (relatively speaking) legroom at the back.

    Moreover, the egg-shaped styling at the back ensures generous headroom at the back.
    However, due to the shape of the vehicle, the seating in the front is a tad bit narrower.

  6. Safe much?

    Side Airbags
    Side Airbags

    The Tata Nano doesn’t have a long list of safety features to boast. While it isn’t something worth showing off, the buyers were certainly aware of this fact.

    With no ABS, 3 point seatbelt, airbags, the car isn’t particularly a “safe car”. So much so, that the lakh rupee wonder scored a zero star rating in the Global NCAP crash test.

  7. How’s The Ride?

    Sanand Plant of Tata Nano
    Sanand Plant of Tata Nano

    To bust a myth present out there, the Tata Nano actually has a decent ride quality.

    Its ample ground clearance makes it go over speed breakers and potholes with ease. Moreover, the steering and suspension are good for some manoeuvrability in tight spots.

    However, it is at the high speeds that the car starts to rattle a little which doesn’t make it something worth racing in, per se. The suspensions on the Tata Nano are on the softer side, making it able to absorb the road obstacles.

  8. Power? Let’s Not Go There.

    Tata Nano's Engine | Credits: The Automotive India
    Tata Nano’s Engine | Credits: The Automotive India

    Yes, the car is certainly low on power, there’s no doubt about that. However, the buyers of the vehicle were aware of that fact.

    We are sure enough that no one bought a Nano to get that torque running and experience the power. The Tata Nano was made to solve a simple problem and that was commuting. Although it didn’t solve it completely, it was able to work on it.

  9. “It isn’t comfortable”

    Tata Nano Steering
    Tata Nano Steering

    The Nano isn’t one amazingly comfortable car, granted. But it isn’t too shabby rather. According to many user reviews, the 4 seater vehicle can actually fit in a family quite comfortably.

    The thin seats can add to a little misery but the overall suspension is soft enough to compensate for that. There is a lot of body roll when driving around the corners.

  10. Feature-less.

    The first buyer of Tata Nano
    The first buyer of Tata Nano

    Well, feature-more.

    Once again, the featureless tag is something that has been around the car since it’s inception. While it may catch you by surprise, the Nano does offer a lot of features in the model hierarchy.

    Power windows at the front, front fog lamps, 180 mm ground clearance, a decent enough music system and more. While it might be short at a few places, the Tata Nano has sustained itself on the features front.

Conclusion

The Nano had an uneventful journey throughout. Since its launch till its 1 unit sales last year, the car died a slow death.

While the car had a vision in mind, it couldn’t achieve it. Although, it surely paved a path for the vision to be carried ahead.

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18 COMMENTS

  1. Engineering marvel which was a marketing failure. The car is an amazing city car, park anywhere, low turning radius, excellent ac..etc etc

  2. Who R U man? It was a dream by an Indian for the risky family riders of two wheelers. But Indians including people like you failed them. You are happy to see a family of four riding on a two wheeler on a rainy day at a busy stretch but would not recommend Tata Nano because it never suits your status because it is a cheap Indian Dream!

  3. In Tata nano 2 dislike
    1 petrol filling, like a auto.
    2 more and noise in cabin, it’s because 2 cylinder engine.

  4. 1/2 – This site has weird problem, if you write long comment, the post button disappears. So posting in 2 parts.

    It depends on what your are buying it for. I own a Nano and I use it for daily commute and grocery shopping. I carpool with colleagues and we have measured that commute time is on an avg 15 minutes less(in Bangalore) when we go in Nano. Also don’t forget the ease of driving, taking U turns on roads without too much of forward-reverse, ease of parking, low running cost due to frugal engine, low service cost and very low insurance premium. All of this plus A/C, power windows, Bluetooth connectivity with music system to play songs from phone or take calls. What more can you ask for at that price? But we are obsessed with bigger cars and love to consume lot of road space and get stuck on the road for hours.

  5. 2/2 – The second part of my comment

    I have seen single seater car in Europe by Renault and 2 seater Smart by Daimler A.G. I think Tata should consider relaunching Nano(with a new design and name to ensure the legacy doesn’t hurt the new product) with this use case in mind making it a 2 seater but with increased premium feel to attract urban buyer. In fact state governments should impose less tax on smaller vehicles like these to ease urban traffic and pollution.

  6. Hello, I think this article is completely misplaced and written cluelessly. Well I own two cars, a super bike and yes had owned a Nano until couple of years ago. Man, this was one understated car which was amazingly good and unbeatable comfort for a city drive and in gullies. It was more a wrong impression of making it a cheapest car or a poor man’s car. Most owner’s actually were not first time cat buyers but wanted a easy commute to the local bazaar or to the school to pick up the kids. Infact I have done Bangalore to trivandrum on my Nano and it’s exceptionally reliable.

  7. Tata Nano is not so cheap in price, Nano Twist XT on road price in Kolkata was 295000/=, the overall performance of the car is exceptionally very good and dependable also. I use to travel long distance like Kolkata to Puri, Digha, Chandipur, Tarapith and many more places driving my Nano. Never face any trouble. In all respect Tata Nano is a faithful and most dependable car.

  8. I am use this car from 2012 and drive 1.2 lac km only tyer changes and low cost services non stop 900 km drive thanks to ratan tata ji filing swadeshi car owner

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