I took a test drive of TATA NANO today. They have basic model without AC, CX model with AC and LX model is the full option. CX costs 1.7lacs on road in Cochin. Company says a mileage of 23.6 km/litre.
About the test drive. First thing i have to tell to you is that the clutch, brake and accelerator operation is not at all smooth. Its a little difficult to use them after using bigger cars. I started the car and tried to take off. But it got off with a jerk. A little bit of acceleration is required in the first gear to get it moved.
The car has rear engine and this has two disadvantages. First thing is that it is difficult for driver to immediately understand that the car has gone off(Not much noise and shake in drivers seat). Second thing is for people sitting in the rear, the car may feel noisy especially when giving acceleration. Second time when i tried to take off, i gave a little acceleration in the first gear as adviced by the executive who was sitting beside me. Once it took off, the riding was very smooth. The steering wheel is very small. Gear shifting is not bad. We were three people in the car and still the car didn't show any power problems even with AC(Actually i was surprised on this). I tried highway and small roads. I was able to move upto 60km/hr very smoothly in highway(I didn't try beyond that). I didn't feel any shake or sounds in that speed and i donno about the people sitting in the rear. Turns and climbs are smooth. Quality of the interiors are not upto the mark. The plastic and fabric seems to be of inferior quality.
In total i feel like NANO is good for daily city drive, to office and back home. Won't be comfortable for long drive. And if you are looking a car for long term use(more than 2years) NANO is not the one you should buy. Hope the feedback will help you selecting your car.