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What the Tata Nano is like: Owners speak!

Last updated on: September 15, 2009 

What the Tata Nano is like: Owners speak!

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Manu A B in Mumbai

It's now two months since the world's cheapest car, Tata Nano, was handed over to its first owner.

Since then, the Nano -- which caught the entire world's attention and has the potential to rewrite the automobile industry's future -- has found home across the length and breadth of India.

But has the car lived up to the hype? Are the first buyers of Nano happy? Does the car offer what Tata Motors promised it would? Is it worth the Rs 1 lakh tag that it carries?

It is time for a reality check.

The lucky, and enthusiastic, owners of the first lot of Nanos drove their pride of possession on city roads, highways, dusty roads and steep terrains -- for hundreds of kilometres at a stretch, in some cases -- share their experience about what it has meant to own a Nano. And how it has changed their lives.

Rediff.com spoke to a proud cross section of Nano owners from across the country on what they like, and dislike, about the Tata Nano. Check it out...


Image: Ashok Vichare, the first owner of Nano, gets the keys from Ratan Tata.
Photographs: Prasanna D Zore
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Ashok Vichare, Mumbai

Ashok Vichare is enjoying his 'celebrity' status, thanks to a little wonder called the Tata Nano. Vichare is the first owner of the Tata Nano in India and he has travelled 1,000 km already in it. Wherever he goes, people rush to see the car. "College and school students go crazy seeing the car," he says.

He is very possessive about the car and does not even like his daughter driving it. Although he once had to let her drive it, he concedes. And he does not even let anyone else wash the car: he does it himself!

"It is a fantastic car, very comfortable and gives a good mileage," says an excited Vichare, who works with the Customs.

Best thing about the Nano?

Its affordability, good pick up, mileage, good air-conditioning system. It also requires lesser parking space and the service it gives is worth the price. It can go up to a speed of 100 km. It's a beautiful, light vehicle good for a family.

What don't you like about the Nano or would liked for it to have?

I would have liked to have a side-view mirror on the left side and a drawer (glove compartment) to keep papers, etc.

How many kilometres has it run?

I completed 1,000 kilometres. I was sceptical about driving the Nano in the steep ghats when I went for a drive from Khopoli to Pune (near Mumbai). But it was a great experience. I faced no problem and I enjoyed a smooth ride.

Is this your first car?

This is my first car. I am enjoying every single ride in it. Many foreigners -- from the United States, France, Germany, et cetera -- have visited my place. It is great to see so much interest in the car. At traffic signals, I am the centre of attraction.

What has been your family's reaction to it? What about neighbours?

Family is very excited, so are the neighbours. Many of them asked me to let them drive the car, but I haven't allowed yet. People have different driving styles and ultimately that affects a car. So it's best I keep it for myself.

Any fears about the car?

We bought the car without any test drive. I have complete faith in (Tata Group chairman) Ratan Tata's car.

Mileage? 22-23 kmpl

How comfortable? How many can sit? It can seat 5 people. It is spacious.

City or long drive? I used it for, both, city and long drives.

Model, price: LX Lunar silver colour, Rs 1.85 lakh. I took a loan from the State Bank of India.


Image: Ashok Vichare in his Tata Nano.
Photographs: Prasanna D Zore
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Bhupendra Jani, Ahmedabad

The Tata Nano is Bhupendra Jani's fourth car. Though excited about the car, the Jani family had a harrowing time when they detected sparks emanating from the front panel of the car after the parking lights were kept on for about 4 hours.

"It was very scary at it happened around midnight. We got really worried. Luckily, the sparking stopped on its own. The wiring inside the front panel got burnt. The next day mechanics came and repaired it, and said it was due to a loose connection," says Jani, who is a physician. This incident has slightly dampened their spirits.

Best thing about the Nano?

Good space, height, comfortable seating (no backache), leg space, good gear and steering system, smooth to drive.

What don't you like about the Nano?

I bought the basic model. But I feel I should have bought the model with the air-conditioner. I was skeptical to spend more as this is a new product.

What has been your family's reaction to it?

My family is very excited about the car. We are looking forward to visiting a temple near Anand, a drive of about 200 km.

What about neighbours, the public?

Everywhere I go, people surround the car. They want to see it and have a lot of questions to ask. We are enjoying being in the limelight. Even kids start shouting 'Nano, Nano' when they see our car!

How many kms run? 600 km

Usage? I use it daily.

How comfortable? How many can sit? It is comfortable, five can sit.

Which model? Price? Basic model, Rs 1.50 lakh.

Worth the price? Yes, it worth the price.


Image: Bhupendra Jani with his family.

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What the Tata Nano is like: Owners speak!

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Bharath D Brahmakal, Bangalore

Bharat was lucky to get the first Nano car in Bangalore. "Frankly, I did not expect so much. The car will surely become a super hit," says an optimistic Bharat, who is a software engineer at Oracle.

This Nano is Bharat's gift to his father. He wants his father to use the Nano as it is easy to drive.  He plans to take the Nano on a long drive to Pondicherry.

"Six of my father's friends are planning to book for the Nano after seeing our car. I have not seen any other car in Bangalore so far that gets so much attention on the road. Some people in fact said, 'Oh, it's steel! We thought it would have a plastic body'," says Bharat who also owns a Maruti Swift.

The only problem he faced so far is with the AC duct. "The AC duct's plastic guard came off. After the first servicing, they did not change it as the workshop did not have a spare. They have promised to replace it soon. I hope they do. Other than that, the car is a good deal, good value for money," says Bharat.

Best thing about the Nano?

Spacious, mileage, good performance. Overall, it is a fantastic car.

What don't you like about the Nano?

Since it has a rear engine, the noise is irritating, especially for people sitting at the back.

How many km run? 1,200 km

Mileage: In the city, about 20.7 km per litre

How comfortable? How many can sit? Five people can sit, it's very comfortable.

What has been your family's reaction to it?

We have a Maruti Swift, but all are more excited about the Nano.

What about neighbours? Do they envy you?

Many of them come to see the car. I have got good feedback from everyone. But after a while, too much attention is disturbing.


Image: Bharath D Brahmakal with his family.

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What the Tata Nano is like: Owners speak!

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Sumit Sukumar, Mumbai

"It's awesome!" says Sumit Sukumar about the Tata Nano that he got just a few days back. "It's a great pleasure to get the Nano. It is the first car for our family." Both Sumit and his wife drive the car.

They are happy with the car, barring a few things which Sumit believes would have made it a perfect vehicle.

The suspension, for example, is better in a Maruti, he claims. "It is as if we are an 'exhibition on wheels', "says his wife, on the attention they get when they drive it.

" I am trying to drive the car everyday," says Sumit, who works as a manager with Reliance Industries.

Best thing about the Nano?

Affordability, good performance, spacious,

What don't you like about the Nano?

Lack of boot space, no music during reversing, difficult to turn the car.

What would you have liked to have?

Being a LX model, it could have had some more value addition, like alloy wheels.

Any fears being a new product?

I still need to drive more to understand things better.

How many km run? 400 km

Mileage: In city-14.5, which is much less than what is expected, but I guess it could be because I use the first and second gears only.

How comfortable? How many can sit? It's spacious. 5 people can sit comfortably.

Worth the price? It's worth the price.

What has been your family's reaction to it?

We are all very happy to be among the first few to get the car.

What about neighbours, public? Do they envy you?

It sometimes gets very scary when people come the wrong side to take a closer look at the car. There is so much interest in the car. Sometimes it gets disturbing with people asking too many questions and surrounding the car.


Image: Sumit Sukumar with his Nano.

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Krishna and Kavita Duggu, Hyderabad

'A fine car' is how Kavita describes her one-month-old beauty, the Tata Nano. Though a little disappointed about the price hike -- she paid Rs 1.5 lakh for the basic model -- she is happy with her first car that is so famous.

Kavita works as a junior manager in Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Her longest trip in the Nano has been to Yadarigutta temple, the holy place of Lord Narasimha Swamy, two hours away from Hyderabad.

She is yet to drive the car but her husband, Krishna, enjoys taking it out everyday. "My kids love going to school in the Nano," says Kavita, who paid the entire amount upfront. She is looking forward to visiting the Lord Shiva temple in Srisailam.

Best thing about the Nano?

Good looks, mileage and pick-up.

What don't you like about it?

There is no space at the back, so we have to keep the luggage inside. There is no drawer (glove compartment).

Any fears being a new product?

No, I am optimistic that it will work fine.

Have people asked you for the car?

Yes, but we have allowed only family members to take it.

What has been your family's reaction to it?

Everyone is very happy about it.

What about neighbours?

Many visited us to see the car. They said we are really lucky to have got it so soon. They appreciated its good looks.

Compared to other cars?

I find it as good as the other cars.

How many km run?  600 km

Mileage in city: 24 kmpl

How comfortable? How many can sit? It is comfortable as 5 people can sit in it.

City or long drive? We use it for city and long drives.

Worth the price? I wish I could get it at Rs 1 lakh.

Is this your first car? Yes, this is our first car.


Image: Krishna, Kavita Duggu and their son.

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Dayanand Rao, Chennai

Dayanand Rao was the fourth person in Chennai to get the Nano. "People were very scared to book the car after just seeing the advertisements. They wanted a test drive before they took a decision. But now when they see me driving the Nano, they feel they should have booked when I did," says Rao. This is Rao's second car; his first was an Opel Astra.

He feels the Nano's AC is better than the Opel's. "One day a person came with his brand new Hyundai i10 and said he would leave this car with me for a day and wanted to take my Nano out for a drive, but I disappointed him. I did not want to part with my car," says Rao, who has a health products agency in Chennai.

"We booked the Tata Nano as the Opel had become six years old. Many people discouraged me and told me all negative points about the Nano, but I boldly went ahead and bought the car," says Rao.

"At the signals and roads, people are excited to see the Nano and take photos with mobile phones. Whenever we park our Nano, people gather around it, passing all kinds of comments," he says.

When somebody told his wife that there may be more traffic jams now as more people will buy the Nano, she said to take it in the positive way. Ratan Tata has made it possible for even lower income groups to own a car.

"We have become the centre of attraction whenever we go in our sunshine yellow Nano and we are proud of it," Rao adds.

Best thing about the Nano?

Good pick-up, good AC, spacious, very good for city driving

What don't you like about the Nano?

The sound is a little louder than other petrol cars, like an auto rickshaw, but it is not disturbing as such. I don't think I will be able to take it for a long drive as the petrol tank has a capacity of only 15 litres. And I have a feeling that the engine may get over-heated during a long drive.

Any fears being a new product?

I am not scared at all, as for city drives this will not spell any trouble.

How many km run? 1,000 km

Mileage: 20 kmpl

How comfortable? It is very comfortable, 5 can sit.

Worth the price?  It is worth the price, it's a very good deal.

Have people asked you for the car?

Yes, people are crazy about it. They come to take a photograph with the car and it feels very god to see so much interest among people.

What has been your family's reaction to it?

My family is very happy. My son-in-law who has a Hyundai Getz took it to office and was thrilled at the ride. Now he plans to book a Nano!

What about neighbours? Do they envy you?

Yes, people are jealous as they have to wait for their Nano to arrive.

Max speed? 50-60 kmph

Compared to other cars you have driven? I have driven the Opel Astra, but this car has not given any problem so far.


Image: Dayanand Rao with his family.

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What the Tata Nano is like: Owners speak!

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Anil Abraham Mathew, Mumbai

Getting the Tata Nano was a dream come true for Anil Abraham Mathew. He is not an experienced driver so the Nano is perfect for him as it is easy to manoeuvre, he says.

After getting the car on August 19, he has managed to drive about 250 km and is enjoying every moment in the car which is the 'most-watched vehicle on the road'.

"It feels very good to see so many people wanting to pose for a photograph with my car. I have been stopped on the road by people who wanted to take a closer look. Many have come and asked me to let them take it for a drive. My daughter is also very eager to drive it and has joined driving classes," says Abraham who works as a manager in a private firm in Mumbai.

"There was a problem with the display meter but I got it fixed," says Anil Abraham, talking about his Nano.

Best thing about the Nano?

The inside space, seats are flexible, good shape, good pick-up, good height, adequate ground clearance.

What don't you like about the Nano?

There is nothing I don't like about it. But I wish it had power steering.

Any fears?

I am a little worried about the mileage problem, otherwise it is a fine car.

How many km run? 250 km

Max speed? 60 kmph

Mileage: In city, 12 kmpl ( I will check this with the service centre)

Usage: I use the car occasionally as I have just learnt to drive.

How comfortable? How many can sit? It is very spacious, 5 people can sit.

Which model? LX model Price: Rs 1.85 lakh

Worth the price?  It is worth the price. I wouldn't mind paying Rs 10,000 more for a power steering.

What has been your family's reaction to it?  Everyone is happy that we were among the first to get the car.

What about neighbours? Do they envy you?

Many came to see the car. Everyone seems very excited about it. They are eager to know more about the car.

Compared to other cars?

If I were t compare it with Maruti 800, I would say this is far better with more space and better looks.


Image: Anil Abraham in his new Nano.

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Arun Kejker, New Bombay

Arun Kejker wants to take his 'amazing' car to Latur (in the southern Marathwada region of Maharashtra) where his mother lives. "It is only the fourth Nano in New Bombay where I live, so there is a lot of curiosity among people."

"I feel very happy to be amongst the first customers to get the car. Even policemen have asked me to stop the car to check it out. The attention the car gets is unbelievable," says Arun, who works in a Mumbai firm. It has just been a month since he got his car, and Arun doesn't miss any opportunity to drive it around.

How's the Tata Nano experience?

It is an amazing experience. A fine car, which many people are now looking to buy. It doesn't have a power steering, but it's good. I was the ninth person to get a car in Mumbai, so I feel rather good about it.

What don't you like about the Nano?

Battery under the seat and you can see the silencer.

How many km run? 450 km

Max speed? I have tried till 90 km and it has a good pick up.

Mileage: 20 kmpl, as I drive through thick traffic.

How often do you use the car? Twice or thrice a week

How comfortable? Though it looks small, it is quite spacious.

City or long drive? I have used it for both.

Which model? LX model

Is this your first car? What has been your family's reaction to it?

Yes, this is my first car and we are very excited and happy to have it.

What about neighbours?

Lot of them came to see the car. I was even stopped by policemen who wanted to see the car.


Image: Arun and family in the Nano.

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Kuldeep Kumar, Gurgaon

"I have become famous, thanks to the Nano," says Kuldeep Kumar, who runs a small business in Gurgaon, near Delhi. "For the middle class, this is a perfect gift," he says.

He is happy with the Nano, but there is just one problem that bothers him: he has to stop many times on his way work to satisfy curious onlookers.

"People even ask me to open the engine! The best part about the car is at that my children, who are students, have financed the car," says Kuldeep. "When I have to go out, I have to leave at least half an hour earlier as people stop me on the way to check the car out," he says.

Best thing about the Nano?

Spacious, good pick up, AC, comfortable

What don't you like about the Nano?

Sound is louder, like in diesel vehicles.  I wish they had provided drawers in the Nano.

Any fears being the new product?

No, I am quite confident about the car.

How many km run? 700 km

Mileage: 20 kmpl

How comfortable? Very comfortable, five of us fit in easily.

Which model, Price? CX: Rs 1.67 lakh

Worth the price? It is a great deal.

What has been your family's reaction to it?

Family is very happy. My children also drive the car.

What about neighbours? Do they envy you?

Many come to our place to see the car and take photos.

Wish to take it to some place?

I am planning to go to Rajasthan, my native place, in the Nano.


Image: Kuldeep Kumar's children are excited about the Nano.

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Vipul Thakkar, Gandhinagar

The Tata Nano was Vipul Thakkar's gift to his wife. But, Thakkar, a doctor based in Gandhinagar, thinks the Nano could have had a 'better finish'.

On the whole, however, he is very happy with his second car, after the Hyundai Santro. "My wife drives the car (Nano) and she is very happy."

"My 10-year-old son, Megh, is the happiest to have the Nano. The car attracts a lot of attention and many people came to my house to see the car and take photographs," says Vipul Thakkar.

Best thing about the Nano?

Good pick-up, easy to drive, spacious, can seat 5 comfortably.

What don't you like?

I wanted a better finish for the car; also, the gap in the bonnet could have been avoided. It also could have had a power steering.

Distance covered: 1,100 km

Mileage: 19 kmpl

Maximum speed: 70-80 kmph.

Model, price: CX model, Rs 1.75 lakh, it's worth the price.


Image: Vipul Thakkar with his family.

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Muthyam Rao, Hyderabad

Muthyam Rao covered a distance of 1,000 kilometres in three weeks in his brand new Tata Nano. "I travel about 100 kilomteres daily and it has not given any trouble so far. I do not get any pain in my legs as there is enough space," says Rao, who is a teacher.

His children are excited about the Nano and they want to be taken out every day. This is the only Nano car in his locality.

"It is great to see the interest among people. Many people have made me stop on the road to check this car," he says.

He has a unique number plate. Its reads 'Nano'. He has retained the 'Nano' name just the way he got it from the showroom and placed the registration number slightly above its actually position.

Best thing about the Nano?

Comfortable, good looks, mileage, leg space

What don't you like about the Nano?

Being a 624cc engine, it does not give me scope for racing. If I want to overtake another vehicle, it becomes very difficult.

What would you like to have in the car?

Power steering and a drawer

Mileage: 22-23 kmpl

Model, price? CX model, Rs 1.73 lakh

Any fears? No, am quite confident about the performance.

Image: Muthyam Rao with his family.

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Yog Raj

The Tata Nano is Yog Raj's fourth car. It was his desire for a cute, small car that attracted him to the Nano.

After driving other big cars, Yog Raj, who retired from MTNL as a general manager  is now enjoying the Nano's smooth ride.

He is satisfied on all counts, except mileage. "I am getting only 15-16 km. I am hoping it will get better after the first servicing," he says.

"I was among the first few to get the car. I am happy I made the right choice." He is looking forward to a trip to Meerut to meet his parents and visit Haridwar, he says.

Best thing about the Nano?

Good looks, good pick-up, effective AC, leg space, good seating, can take it even on narrow roads. I take it wherever I go. It is very easy to handle.

What don't you like about the Nano?

There is nothing that I dislike about the car.

What would you have liked to have?

A drawer (compartment) is a simple thing that they have missed.

Any fears being a new product?

No, am confident it will run well.

How possessive are you about the car? Do you let other people drive it?

I have allowed my close relatives to drive the car. Other people have asked me to take them for a drive and I have happily taken them out in it.

What has been your family's reaction to it? Isn't your wife upset to have a Nano instead of your Hyundai Accent?

My wife is happy about the car. It makes no sense to keep two cars so I sold off the Accent.

What about neighbours? Do they envy you?

Many of them have come to see the car. Everyone in the locality knows that I won a Nano. People rush to see the car. They are so eager to know more. It's so good to see so much interest in the car. It's a wonderful experience.

How many km run? 600 km.

How comfortable? How many can sit? Spacious; can seat 5 people.

Which model? Price: LX model, Rs 1.90 lakh.

Worth the price? It is worth the price.

Max speed: I haven't gone beyond 70 kmph as I feel I should ideally keep it between 50-70 kmph.


Image: Yog Raj (inset)

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George Thomas, Bangalore

"My car attracts huge attention wherever I go. Even people travelling in luxury cars stop and come to see my car," says George Thomas, who is a professor in Bangalore.

The day he took it to college, the car was surrounded by his students and colleagues: all of them wanted a drive in the car which was quite impossible, he says. "Of course, I did take a few of them," says George.

Best thing about the Nano?

Good looks, cheap, comfortable, good pickup.

What don't you like about the car?

When it starts, it has a unique sound, but when it starts moving that sound goes away.

How was your neighbours' reaction?

The day I bought the car, people kept coming to see it till 10 p.m.

Are you confident about taking the Nano on a long drive?

No, not yet. I would prefer it for city driving.

Distance covered: 600 km

Max speed: 100 kmph

Do you think the Nano would create chaos on the roads?

Yes, in five years, the roads with be filled with Nanos, as it is such a good car!


Image: George Thomas

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Dev Anand, New Delhi

The Tata Nano was Dev Anand's gift to his wife. "From the time she saw the advertisements for the car, she told me that she wanted this car. I am happy I could buy it for her," says Anand, who is a teacher.

His wife, who is also a teacher, takes the Nano to school, much to the excitement of the students. Their longest drive in the Nano has been to Jaipur from Delhi. They also own a Maruti WagonR.

"It has not given any problems so far. People from a German media group came to my house to see it. It gives us too much publicity," says Dev Anand.

A longer drive in on the cards for the Anand family. "I am planning to take my family to the Jim Corbett National Park during the Durga Puja holidays," says Anand, who got his Nano on August 15.

Best thing about the Nano?

It is a light vehicle with good ground clearance. It is easy to turn and looks smart.

WagonR or Nano?

WagonR is heavy. Nano is easy to handle.

What don't you like about the Nano?

The engine's sound is a bit loud.

What has been your family's reaction to it?

My children want a drive everyday. They are very happy with all the attention we are getting.

What about neighbours, the public? Do they envy you?

It feels very good when people come and take photos of the car; they are so eager to know more about it. At times, it is disturbing when people start opening the bonnet, touching the wiper, etc. Every time I go to a petrol pump, everyone comes to see the car.

How many km run? 600 km

Mileage: In the city, 20-23 kmpl

How comfortable? How many can sit? We use it daily, it very spacious and can seat 5 people.

Which model? Price: CX model, Rs 1.67 lakh.

Worth the price? Yes, it is worth the price.


Image: Tata Nano at a showroom in New Delhi.
Photographs: Vijay Mathur/Reuters
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Nikhil Natani, Jaipur

Nikhil Natani just cannot get over the excitement of owning a Tata Nano. "It seems like the whole world is watching us. We have two bigger cars but we never got so much attention when we bought those cars," complains Nikhil Natani, who is studying to be a chartered accountant in Jaipur.

"We are a joint family with 20 members, which is why we have multiple cars. However, the Nano has made our travel very comfortable. With so many members in the family, the Nano is very useful especially for my sisters to go to college," says Natani.

The Tata Nano shares space with Marti Dzire, Toyota Innova and Tata Indica at the Natanis' house.

Best thing about the Nano?

Good pick-up, and a comfortable, smooth ride

What don't you like about the car?

The seat is a little high so for me, it's not so comfortable.

Any fears about the car?

I feel if I take it for long drives at high speed, it may heat up. I would prefer it for city drive.

How many can sit? Five people can sit comfortably.

Model, price? CX model, Rs 1.70 lakh

Worth the price? Yes, I think so.

How is the family's reaction?

Everyone's very happy with the car and all the attention we are getting.

How's the reaction from the neighbours, public?

From the first day, people have even been following us. It feels good to see so much interest in this small car. Soon after we bought it, we had a family function and the car stole the show. People were taking turns to drive it around.


Image: Nikhil Natani with his Nano.

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Ramesh Babu, Hyderabad

In Tanaku, 400 km from Hyderabad, Ramesh Babu is famous: all thanks to his Tata Nano. Everyone knows him as the owner of the smart Nano. This is the only Nano in Tanaku.

He is so excited and happy that he plans to book another one for his father. A Tata loyalist, his first car was a Tata Indica.

"I drove the car from Hyderabad to Tanaku, a distance of about 400 km, and am satisfied so far," says Babu, a businessman.

Many people, including the media, have visited him. The publicity he is getting is overwhelming, he says.

Best thing about the Nano?

Smooth drive, good pick-up, spacious

What don't you like about the Nano?

The back seats are not comfortable. There is not enough foam in the seat.

Mileage: 25 kmpl

What about neighbours, public reaction?

Many people are coming to see the car. People crowd around it when I take it out. Everyone says it's a good car. They even asked if am willing to sell it!

Price, model? LX model, Rs 2.35 lakh

Worth the price? The price has certainly gone up, much more than expected, but I have no regrets. It's worth it.

Maruti 800 or Nano? In Maruti 800, the seats are very low, Nano scores on that. But the bumper is better on the Maruti 800 than on the Nano.


Image: Customers fill forms to book the Tata Nano at a showroom in New Delhi.
Photographs: Vijay Mathur/Reuters
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What the Tata Nano is like: Owners speak!

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Tapan Datta, Kolkata

Tapan Datta would have loved to have a 'made in Singur' Nano, but is happy that he is among the first few to get the car in Kolkata.

The Nano is his third car after a Ford Ikon and a Maruti 800. The five-week -old car is attracting too much attention, which is something Datta does not really enjoy.

"People crowd around the car whenever I go out and ask a lot of questions," Datta says. He is looking forward to a long drive during the Durga Puja holidays.

Best thing about the Nano?

It's cheap, spacious, has good pick-up, and is comfortable.

What would you have liked to have more in the car? More luggage space.

Mileage? 17-18 kmpl

Distance covered: 280 km


Image: Children look at a replica of a Nano in a pandal in Kolkata during the Durga puja festival.
Photographs: Parth Sanyal/Reuters
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What the Tata Nano is like: Owners speak!

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P V Joseph, Kochi

The Maruti 800 had to give way to the Nano at P V Joseph's house at Kochi in Kerala. Though he feels that the Maruti has a better and steady engine, he is very happy with the Nano.

Having covered only 375 km in the Nano, Joseph -- who works in the police department -- feels it is too early to make a judgement. "I was lucky to get it so soon. I have made a lot of travel plans." He is thrilled by the attention the car gets where he goes.

Best thing about the Nano?

Good looks, height, spacious, comfortable.

What don't you like about the Nano?

Lack of boot space, engine's sound. I feel since the engine is at the back, it makes more noise than a normal petrol car.

How's your family's reaction?

They all are very happy to own the latest car in town.

What about neighours, public?

People make me stop the car on the road. I have to be very careful while driving. They open the doors and check it thoroughly. Many people visit our house and everyone seems so excited. It is the only Nano in my locality. When am on the road, all eyes are on my small car!

Price, model: Rs 2.16 lakh

Worth the price? The price could have been a little lesser. It is priced at Rs 1.83 lakh and on the road price is Rs 2.16 lakh. So it went a bit beyond my small budget.


Image: People look at a Nano displayed at a showroom in Mumbai.
Photographs: Punit Paranjpe/Reuters
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What the Tata Nano is like: Owners speak!

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Beena and Unmesh Trivedi, Hyderabad

The Trivedi family in Hyderabad has ordered for eight Nanos! Unmesh Trivedi got the first car, others in the family are anxiously waiting for theirs.

The best compliment he got: "I was coming back with my friends at night and an Audi zoomed past us, went ahead and stopped. The owner got out as he wanted to see my Nano closely. It was a fantastic gesture," says Unmesh, who runs a business in Hyderabad. He, however, feels his car attracts too much attention, which is disturbing at times.

Unmesh's mother, Beena, says she likes the car very much as it is comfortable and good looking.

Best thing about the Nano?

Good AC, mileage, comfortable to drive.

What don't you like about the Nano?

Lack of boot space, noise from the engine.

What would you have liked to have?

I wish it had a power steering.

How comfortable? How many can sit?

It is very comfortable, five people can sit. I am tall (6 feet 4 inches) and I am okay driving it as it has good leg space.

Have people asked you for the car? How is the response from the public?

At times, it gets very annoying. People ask you to stop the car when you are driving to work. It is scary when people peep out of the windows and shout and make me stop the car, I fear that I may meet with an accident. If I park the car somewhere, when am back it would be surrounded by a big crowd, who have lots of questions to ask.

What has been your family's reaction to it? We are all very happy and excited to have this car.

What about neighbours? Do they envy you?

We were among the first to get the car. Many people come to see the car and are very inquisitive.

City or long drive? So far I have used it only in the city.

Which model? Price: LX model, Rs 2.03 lakh.

How many km run? 980 km

Mileage: In city, 20-22 kmpl

Worth the price? Yes, It is worth the price.

Is this your first car? Yes, it's our first car.


Image: The Tata Nano.

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What the Tata Nano is like: Owners speak!

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Sreepath Desai, Chennai

Sreepath Desai finds the Tata Nano to be compact, safe, comfortable and easy to drive through the traffic. This is Desai's second car.

He, however, feels his first car the Maruti 800 was 'steadier' than the Nano. The steering was much better in Maurti 800, says Desai, who works as an engineer in Chennai.

Best thing about the Nano?

Its price, it's affordable for all who want to by a car.

Mileage: 20 kmpl

Distance covered: 100 km

What you don't like?

Lack of boot space, no power steering.

How many can sit? Five can sit, it is quite spacious.


Image: The world's cheapest car, Tata Nano.

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What the Tata Nano is like: Owners speak!

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Vidyadharan, Kochi

For Vidyadharan, the attention that the Nano is bringing is unwelcome. While other Tata Nano owners are enjoying all the attention the car has brought, he dislikes people talking about him and his car.

A government employee, he has faced several questions since he bought the car. Nevertheless, he is happy he managed to get the Nano, a car many of his friends are keen to own.

"Too much publicity is bad and I hate my name being publicised just because I bought a car," says Vidyadharan, who got his car just a week ago.

Best thing about the Nano?

Its price, good looks, comfort and pick-up.

What don't you like about the car?

It is difficult to open the engine. The seats have to be removed to put oil in the engine.

Model, price? Standard model, Rs 1.53 lakh

Worth the price?

Yes, it is, though I wish it could be a little lesser as I had a budget constraint.

Mileage: 23 kmpl

Distance covered: 350 km


Image: Customers take a look at the Tata Nano in Mumbai.
Photographs: Arun Patil.
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What the Tata Nano is like: Owners speak!

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Rabin Roy Chaudhary

Rabin Roy's Nano is just a few days old. He feels it is too early to pass any comment. It has been a smooth ride in the first 200 km that he has covered.

"The attention the car gets is too much. Many people came to my house to check it out. The good looks, space, seating make it very attractive," says Rabin Roy, who is a retired GSC officer.

Model, price: CX, Rs 1.74 lakh

Worth the price? "I feel the price would have been a bit lesser if the car had rolled out of Singur," he says, lamenting Bengal's loss with the Tata Nano plant shifting to Gujarat.


Image: Tata Group Chairman Ratan Tata steps out from the Nano.
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters
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