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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Getting used to Genx Tata Nano Easyshift AMT

I had a chance to drive around Bengaluru in the new Nano AMT. This was different from two other Nano events I had attended this year- Indiblogger meet at Pune prior to Nano launch and TheChosenOnes event at Ahmedabad.
This time got the car from Tata’s regional office in Blr with the intention of experiencing it in detail and write about it.

As I drove around the AMT in Bangalore city traffic, noticed a few things a Nano AMT owners/drivers should be aware of- particularly in uphill conditions.

If you’ve been using manual transmission all along and just moved to convenience of automatic, below are a few things you should be aware of, before taking Nano AMT for the first ride.

Keep your hands off the gear lever.
If you’re used to driving with one hand on steering and another hand on gear lever, you should change your habit. Keep both hands on steering wheels. Because even when the car is in motion, gear lever can move from A to N at slightest provocation and at times this could be risky (Sudden loss of  power accompanied by driver panic could result in hitting others or getting hit from behind). Some automatics come with a button- you need to press the button and then move the lever. 
Be careful during uphill drive
Nano has a creep function whose purpose is to let the car move forward a bit when the driver lifts leg off brake pedal. However, when on a slope, if forces pulling the car backwards (downhill) is stronger than creep function which tries to push the car forward, there is a risk that Nano will roll backwards. If not noticed and arrested by driver in time, this could mean hitting the vehicle behind. There is no hill hold control. So in an uphill drive, driver should use hand brake or needs to use both legs- one leg on the brake and another on accelerator and by releasing both simultaneously, ensure that car moves only forward and not back. There is no half clutch concept in automatic, so extra caution is needed.

Ensure that right gear is engaged, when you toggle between forward and reverse.
You might move the gear lever to A(Drive forward) or R(Reverse), but unless the digital display in the central console shows A or R, car will NOT be moving forward or Reverse respectively. So please make a habit to check the display and ensure that gear is really engaged as expected. After moving the lever, pressing gas pedal blindly without this confirmation could risk in car moving in opposite direction than intended.
Nano AMT is at par with other affordable automatics and is pretty safe to use. There is also a sticker on the driver door indicating AMT behavior. Just that those who are not using to automatic or those who think automatic transmission will manage everything 100% are likely to take some time till they get used to automatic.  This post is only to prepare prospective owners well for their Nano easy shift experience.
Do read your owners' manual very carefully, particularly the pages related to AMT, to understand it better.

Expect another post on Nano with some more photos and price details

2 comments :

BRS said...

Srinidhi,
If possible, can you please publish comparing Automatic versions of Nano/Celerio/Jazz ?

Thanks!

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Comparison with Alto here http://www.enidhi.net/2015/05/tata-nano-maruti-alto-amt.html

Jazz is a different league, also I didn't drive CVT (CVT is far superior to AMT)