Review: 2017 Tata Nano XT Twist

15 December 2017, Neil Parkhi


The Tata Nano is a city car manufactured by Tata Motors. Made and sold in India, the Nano was initially launched with a price of one lakh rupees or ₹100,000 (US$1,600), which has increased with time.


Designed to lure India's burgeoning middle classes away from motorcycles, it received much publicity. After having successfully launched the low cost Tata Ace truck in 2005, Tata Motors began development of an affordable car that would appeal to the many Indians who ride motorcycles. The purchase price of this no frills auto was brought down by dispensing with most nonessential features, reducing the amount of steel used in its construction, and relying on low cost Indian labour. The introduction of the Nano received much media attention due to its low price. Expectations created for the car during the run up to its production may have been out of proportion with its realised success. A 2008 study, by Indian rating agency CRISIL, thought the Nano would expand the nation's car market by 65%, but, as of late 2012, news reports have detailed the underwhelming response of the Indian consumer to the offering; sales in the first two fiscal years after the car's unveiling remained steady at about 70,000 units although Tata appears intent on maintaining a capacity to produce the car in much larger quantities, some 250,000 per year, should the need arise. It was anticipated that its 2009 debut would greatly affect the used car market, and prices did drop 25–30% prior to the launch. Sales of the Nano's nearest competitor, the Maruti 800, fell by 20% immediately following the unveiling of the Nano. It is unknown if the Nano has had a lasting effect on the prices of and demand for close substitutes, however. In July 2012, Tata's Group chairman Ratan Tata, who retired in January 2014, said that the car had immense potential in the developing world while admitting that early opportunities were wasted due to initial problems. Announced as the most affordable production car in the world, Tata aimed for a price of one lakh rupee, or ₹100,000, which was approximately $2,000 US at the time. Only the very first customers were able to purchase the car at that price, however, and as of 2017, the price for the basic Nano starts around ₹ 215,000. Increasing material costs may be to blame for this rapid rise in price. The second-generation Nano was expected to be sold in the United States by 2015. The original Nano is not street legal in the US, and cannot legally be sold as a grey market import until 2034, when the original 2009 models receive a 25-year exemption from the US Customs and Border Protection. Despite a readily-available dealership network in the US through the Jaguar Land Rover division of Tata, Tata Motors will not use Jaguar Land Rover to sell the Nano.


Steering and Transmission
Steering Type Electric Assist, Rack and Pinion Power Steering
Transmission Type 4 Speed Manual
Wheels and Tires
Front Wheel Type 12 by 4 inch steel wheels
Rear Wheel Type 12 by 4 inch steel wheels
Front Tire Type 135/75R12
Rear Tire Type 155/65R12
Front Brake Type Drum
Rear Brake Type Drum
Front Suspension Type Lower Wishbone MacPherson Strut
Rear Suspension Type Independent Semi Trailing Arm
Suspension Features Stabilizer Bars, Coil Springs, Gas Pressurized Shock Absorbers
Length (in, mm) 124.6in, 3164mm
Width (in, mm) 68.9in, 1750mm
Height (in, mm) 65in, 1652mm
Wheelbase (in, mm) 87.8in, 2230mm
Weight (lb, kg) 1400lb, 635kg
Engine Specifications
Engine Type 0.6 litre 4 valve 2 cylinder
Power (bhp, PS, kW) 37bhp, 38PS, 28kW @ 5500RPM
Torque (lb-ft, Nm) 38lb-ft, 51Nm @ 4000RPM
0-60 mph (0-97 kmph) 27 seconds
Top Speed (mph, kmph) 65 mph, 105 kmph
Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
Fuel Tank Size (gal, L) 6.3 gallons, 24L
Fuel Type (AKI, RON) 87 Octane/AKI Petrol (92 RON)
City Fuel Economy (mpg, kmpL) 55mpg, 25kmpL
City Fuel Economy (mpg, kmpL) 55mpg, 25kmpL
Cargo Specifications
Cargo Space (ft3, L) 3.9ft3, 110L
Max. Cargo Space (ft3, L) 3.9ft3, 110L