The much anticipated Tata Nano is finally here, with all the enhancements poured in, it is no longer a compromise, a cheap entry level hatchback. The car is now being repositioned by Tata as – Smart City Car which now features an automatic manual gearbox, functional hatch, larger fuel tank and other features. The Tata Nano AMT is the cheapest car with an automatic gearbox that you can buy in India.
We compare the Nano GenX with the another entry level hatchback from Maruti - Alto 800.
The specification sheet has been prepared by comparing Tata Nano GenX XTA AMT with the Alto 800 VXi (Airbag). Compare full features of the cars by clicking here.
Design and Exteriors
The silhouette of the Tata Nano GenX remains largely unchanged and retains that distinctive bulbous styling. The headlamps at front have now been blackened and look attractive. The bumpers at the front and rear have been redesigned that integrate new smiley grille. The boot of the car now opens up to reveal the luggage compartment; the big drawback that the old Nano had (non-opening boot) has been ironed out in the new car, the new car gets a hatch that opens up to give direct access to the luggage compartment. The Nano GenX also has larger fuel tank (24 litres) which gives it a better range.
The Nano GenX also has the best in class ground clearance – 180mm which is good enough to drive over tallest speed breakers without any issues.
The styling of the Alto 800 on the other hand does not look as appealing as the Tata Nano and gives the immediate impression as if it has been built to a price. There’s a hexagonal grille and swept back headlamps at the front and on the rear there’s a modish looking taillight cluster. The overall design of the Alto is okay and is not as appealing as the Nano GenX.
The interiors of the Tata Nano GenX are not a huge departure from the earlier generation. The car has centrally placed instrument console which is not great from utility point of view. The car now gets a three spoke, all new steering like the one we have seen on the Tata Bolt.
Like the Nano, Alto uses a black and beige scheme for interiors. Both the cars offers a CD player with USB and Aux-in connectivity. Tata Nano also offers Bluetooth connectivity that you can use to connect your phone to play your favorite music.
Tata Nano has a tall boy design that provides easy ingress and egress. The head room of the Nano is also better as compared to the Alto 800.
Engine and Gearbox
The Nano is powered by a two cylinder 624cc motor which produces a maximum power of 38bhp at 5400rpm. The power figures may not seem impressive but the light weight of Nano has enough grunt and the engine pulls well. In case of the XMA and XTA variants, the engine comes coupled with 5-speed automatic transmission. Other variants of the Tata Nano use the same engine with a 4-speed gearbox.
The automatic variants of the Tata Nano would also have the ‘creep’ function that would enable the drivers to control the car only with brake pedal in the city traffic.
Alto 800 uses a three cylinder 796 cc motor that produces 47.3bhp of peak power at 6000rpm. Alto uses a 5-speed manual transmission. The Alto does not offer an option of automatic gearbox despite being expensive than the Nano.
Nano with automatic gearbox promises to deliver an impressive mileage of 21.9kmpl and the manual promises 23.4kmpl. The Alto promises to deliver equally impressive mileage of 22.74kmpl.
Nano's 21.9kmpl mileage figure is indeed impressive considering that it delivers it with an automatic gearbox.
Tata Nano uses drum brakes on the front as well as the rear wheels whereas the Alto uses disc brakes at front and drum brakes at rear. Both the cars offer 3-point ELR seat belts for the four passengers.
It is disappointing that both the cars do not offer advance safety features like ABS, EBD etc. The Alto 800 only offers driver side airbag and that too as optional on the VXi model.
Tata has spent about 1 billion on the Nano so far and they have said that it’s the ‘make or break’ moment for them. The latest avatar is an all rounded car that offers easy driveability with the automatic gearbox. The compact dimensions of the Nano coupled with the automatic gearbox make it the most affordable and best city car in the country.
The Alto 800 does not offer an automatic gearbox and is also marginally expensive than the Nano. This very reason makes the Nano even more attractive proposition.