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Tata Nano Vs Alto K10 AMT

To take a look at what branding can do, Maruti has created an image for Alto that will forever be etched in our minds. It is seen as the first car, to be bought by people who are transitioning from a two-wheeler.

Whereas, the advertisement of Nano is that of a young, peppy, cool car, used as a first car or by a family which has more than one car.

Tata has made many cosmetic changes in the car design. The ‘humanity line’ with the new aggressive front and rear bumpers do make a difference. But the first thing that you notice when these two cars are placed side-by-side, is that the tall car I.e Nano looks much better, than the short and boxy Alto.

The Nano imparts a more upmarket feel compared to the Alto.

The Alto is a conventional looking car whereas the Nano design is a bit revolutionary. Be it the rear wheel drive or the engine placed in the rear of the car.


From the inside, the fit and finish of the new Nano is quite superior to the earlier versions. Bits and pieces like the steering wheel and the gear stalk seem to have been lifted from the Zest.

Also on the plus side, are the seats which are placed on a height and offer an amazing visibility through the wind shield. The center console juts out a bit and that is the only hitch that we could find in the interiors. The window switches have also been lifted bit higher and hence are much more accessible.

On the other hand the Alto’s interior has a nice piano black finish and is at par with that of the Nano.

Coming to the entertainment system, Alto offers the usual CD player, USB and aux input,two front speakers. Tata offers the same and additionally also offers Bluetooth phone streaming and two rear speakers.

On the whole, Tata has done a nice job on the new Nano and both the cars are at par in this case.

Space wise, the backseat in both these cars is limited. However, leg space is much more in the Nano than in the Alto. But, back seat is appropriate for 2, 3 would be too much of a squeeze.

Ride quality and driving

Both these cars are meant for city driving. The Nano is outgunned by the Alto on this front as it is one cylinder short. The Nano is powered by 2 cylinder 624 cc engine whereas the Alto is powered by 3 cylinder 998 cc engine. The performance is also affected by the Nano being 10 kg heavier than the Alto.

The performance figures of the Nano are very weak as compared to the Alto. However, this being purely a city car it does not sway the buyer’s decision much.

The star attraction in both the cars is the all new AMT gearbox. The same, in both the cases takes time getting used to. Both cars offer better driving results when used in manual mode instead of the AMT mode. The new steering wheel of the Nano is much more effective, the short turning radius is a dream to use and fares much better than the Alto.

Another shortcoming of the Nano is the wobbly drive, which can be blamed on the height of the car and small wheelbase.


All in all, the Nano facelift is supremely effective. The fit and finish shrug off the ‘cheap’ car tag. So while the Alto is a much better powered car to drive, the Nano gives it tough competition. Specially when you take into consideration that it is Rs. 1 lac cheaper than the Alto which is a huge factor in this very price sensitive segment

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