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Tata Nano 2013 Review

EXPERT RATING
7

It might not be on Fusion Automotive's shopping list right now, but the diminutive Tata Nano does have some future possibilities. At least that's what we thought after squirting one around Tata's test track near Mumbai.

The original idea was to put a car within reach of India's masses, but after a year there's been a re-think and it is now being plugged as a mini for the city.

PRICE AND FEATURES

The big thing about the little car is its price. It costs the equivalent of $3000, which is less than many Australians pay for a push bike. Viewed in that light, it's a very attractive little jigger. And it's not so little inside.

There's room for four tall people, it has aircon, and despite its 28kW/51Nm twin-cylinder 634cc motor and four-speed gearbox, it runs pretty well. That's because it has a mass of only 600kg. And one windscreen wiper, three studs to hold each of the saucer-sized wheels on, and a few other cost-saving measures.

DRIVING

We managed to wind one up to 85km/h on the short test track and the upside of that is very little chance of setting off a Multanova or other safety device the politicians think up. Suspension is all independent, but without anti-roll bars. And to reach the boot you need to fold the back seat down.

The steering was a bit iffy, likewise the four drum brakes, but for three grand we reckon it's much better than a bicycle. Whether it would pass our safety crash tests is another matter. It has to fare better than a bike though.

And if it can cope with India's roads, it can certainly last a long time on our smooth blacktop. We had a lot of fun in it. But don't hold your breath for release in Australia. Not for a couple of years, at least -- by which time our cities might be so congested that Nanos might be the answer.

EXPERT RATING
7
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