Review – Tata Nano Twist

Posted on: May 31, 2014 - 3:44pm IST

Rather than selling it as a ‘cheap car’, Tata wants to project its Nano as a ‘smart city car’. And key to a good city car are features such as small dimensions and short turning radius, something the Nano already had.

The Nano Twist adds to this package the convenience of power steering and we spent the better part of two days driving around in what we think is the best city car ever made.

Exteriors:

Tata Nano Twist Review rear bumper
The Twist is identified on the outside by these badges.

The Nano Twist can be identified by the ‘Twist’ and ‘XT’ badges on its non-functional bootlid. Tata also offers a new color exclusive to the Twist called ‘Damson Purple’. Apart from these changes, the Nano Twist looks identical to the 2013 model year Nano.

Note: Our test car was specced with the optional alloy wheels. This is not part of the standard kit.

Interiors:

Tata Nano Twist Review instrument cluster
New instrument cluster looks better than the older one.

Inside, the Nano Twist is identical to the 2013 Nano save for the instrument cluster which is now partly digitised. The fuel and temeprature readouts get digital gauges while the font style of the speedometer reading is new. The display below is now capable of giving readouts such as distance-to-empty and average fuel consumption.

The new instrument cluster looks better than that of the 2013 MY Nano, and was a must-do change in order to interface it with the electronics of the EPS (electronic power steering). Apart from these, there are no other changes to the cabin of the car.

Features:

Tata Nano Twist Review music system
For its price, the Twist is feature rich.

The Twist XT comes with AC, front power windows, power steering, central locking with keyless entry, a music system with Bluetooth (Note: The music system was non-functional in our test car), twin gloveboxes and a partly digitized instrument cluster.

Power Steering:

Tata Nano Twist Review steering
Nano Twist uses an EPS.

The power steering unit on the Twist is an EPS which uses a brushless motor and features an Active Return mechanism (which brings the steering wheel to its straight-ahead position upon release). The steering ratio though is identical to the regular Nano and as a result, turning radius of the Twist remains the same as the regular Nano at 4 meters.

Engine and Gearbox:

Tata Nano Twist Review front quarter

Powering the Nano Twist is the same twin-cylinder 624 cc engine which produces 38 PS and 51 Nm of torque. The small car uses a 4-speed gearbox, and has a claimed top-speed of 105 km/h, though our test car managed a bit more.

Since its update in 2012, the engine of the Nano feels a bit more powerful, and if we may say, joyful to use. While driving the car, you don’t get the feeling that the engine is underpowered, rather the lightweight of the car helps it in moving forward with a sense of urgency. Even at speeds up to 80 km/h, you don’t get the sense that you’re straining the Nano to do something it doesn’t want to do.

Tata Nano Twist Review gear
Gear ratios are well chosen for city conditions.

The gear ratios seem well chosen for city driving conditions. Aiding it is the light clutch which is again a joy to operate in bumper-to-bumper traffic. For some reason though, the gearlever of our test car had problems slotting into the first gear, as at times it would come back to neutral on its own.

What’s it like in the city?

Tata Nano Twist Review wheel turn
The Twist is remarkably easy to drive in the city.

The Twist is fun to drive in the city. Strangely, it’s more fun to drive the car in crowded market places thanks to the way it turns. At full steering lock, the Nano Twist turns in a similar manner to an autorickshaw, and don’t get this wrong for this is a compliment. While the power steering is a touch on the over-assisted side, it works in your favor as it means lighter effort in twisting the wheel.

Parallel parking, as you would imagine, is a breeze thanks to the steering and the small dimensions. And pulling out from a parking space, no matter how close other cars are, is equally easy in the Twist. We hardly found any use for the reverse gear as most often you don’t need to make a three-point turn!

Tata Nano Twist Review side
Small dimensions is a plus point in crowded areas.

Ride quality is just about average, with even small potholes and craters making their presence felt. However, for its price, we really can’t expect the ride to be any better.

Brakes:

The Twist comes with 180 mm drum brakes on all wheels. While braking can be described just about adequate, the option of front disc brakes would be the logical next step in future Nano variants we feel.

Fuel Efficiency:

Tata Nano Twist Review fuel efficiency
Twist comes with distance-to-empty and average fuel economy readouts.

The Nano Twist has an ARAI claimed efficiency of 25.4 km/l, and it did 14.3 km/l in our tests in heavy city traffic.

Prices:

The Nano Twist is available in a single top-end variant and is priced at INR 2.31 lakhs, ex-Showroom, New Delhi.

Verdict:

Tata Nano Twist Review front quarters

Without a question of doubt, the Nano Twist is the best city car ever made in India, and suits our country to the T! There is nothing to not like in the Twist; its spacious inside, has very good features for its price, comes with an engine tailormade for our driving conditions, and now with the added advantage of power steering, its convenient to drive and park.

Future Nano variants, which are expected to come with a functional bootlid and even an automated manual transmission (AMT), will certainly increase the appeal of this small car further.

Tata Nano Twist Review – Image Gallery

Next would you like to read more about the or more about Car Reviews, Tata Motors?

12 thoughts on “Review – Tata Nano Twist

  1. Vijay Rathod says:

    Tata twist is timing to buy or need to wait for new verson?

    Reply
    1. Hello Vijay, we are expecting the facelifted Nano next year. It was showcased at the 2014 Auto Expo, I would think its better you wait for it. We don’t have an exact timeframe for its launch, but it should launch within a few months. You can check for more pictures and details here – http://indianautosblog.com/tag/Tata-Nano

      Reply
  2. Mayank shah says:

    Tatars can introduce a super nano with all the feature in a high priced car. In that case it will be pride to own a feature rich super nano even if it costs three lakh plus. It can be a super hit. It can be used as second car in the house for city traffic as well family car. It will be India’s pride Mini Cooper. It can be even custom built by Tata for buyers need and choice.

    Reply
  3. Srinivas says:

    Very HAPPY to see the comment in favour of NANO. It is the car , opened the eyes of car engineers in the world

    JAI HO

    Reply
  4. balaji says:

    Whether the front and rear wheel sizes are still different? IF so, Is there any reason for not making it same?

    Reply
    1. Bhargava says:

      Tata Nano is rear-engined, rear-wheel-drive car and the rear wheels take 60 percent of the vehicle’s load. In these conditions the rear wheels need more traction than the front wheels to prevent the ‘tail drift’ in extreme (braking and/or steering) situations.

      The front wheel size can be increased to match that of the rear, but any increase over the current specifications didn’t provide any additional advantages, especially in the context of benefits vs. cost. – Moreover smaller front wheels have less weight, have less rolling resistance and offers better steering dynamics.

      Reply
  5. avsatishchandra says:

    Ah, it is really good to read this article. The Nano is finally being recognised for what it is and not getting bashed as is usually done. The Nano is a car that India should be proud of and hopefully more people will buy the car in bigger numbers.

    Reply
    1. sam says:

      everything is fine apart from engine modification

      Reply
  6. Dhananjayan says:

    A really good, compact and spacious Urban car!
    The new purple color is just awesome!

    Reply
  7. Nitesh says:

    Alloys are looking good on Nano. Any idea of their price?

    Reply
  8. silvermani says:

    just perfect enough!!!
    Just tooo good! !!!
    Just love it!!!!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About the Author
Anjan
Anjan Ravi

I'm a true-blooded petrolhead. Hope you enjoy our news stories, launch coverages, motorshow coverages and test drive reports.