Jan 6, 2014
Karen Cook
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The Cheapest Car in the World

Sometimes you just need to get from here to there. Bells and whistles may not be necessary or affordable, but transportation at its most basic is necessary and, if it can be made affordably, it will sell. India produces one of the cheapest cars on the planet and, while it isn’t sporty, doesn’t go very fast, and doesn’t have much room, it does get you there. The 2014 Tata Nano is about to hit showrooms in the Middle East and it will have more options and upgrades available than ever.

The Nano first hit the road in 2009 to fill a need in over populated India. Something small, not fancy, and dependable. Starting at $2,000 five years ago, the Nano had a 4-speed manual transmission and could travel at speeds up to 65 mph. The traffic over there never moves that quickly so there was no argument over the low speed.

The newest model, which will be shown at the Auto Expo next month, isn’t any faster but it does go farther. The 2014 still has a 2-cylinder, 45hp engine. It runs on diesel and will be able to get 85 mpg on the congested streets of India. It also has more options available than previous models. For an extra fee you can have A/C, a CD player with a 4-speaker audio system, remote keyless entry, USB and auxiliary ports, and even Bluetooth. Also available are upgrade packages (Jet, Alpha, Remix, and Peach) which offer stickers, emblems, alloy wheels, and body kits.

Tata has had problems with the Nano in the past. Engine fires were more common than the manufacturer would have liked. The engine is rear-mounted and one driver reported that a motorcycle caught up with him to alert him to the fire. The low speed capabilities were a plus in this situation. But the company seems to have resolved any issues the vehicle previously suffered and anticipates healthy sales for its latest product. The price has not been released at this time, but expectations are that it will remain one of the cheapest cars in the world. (2013 prices were around $2,400 for the base model). Perfect for those times when you just need to get from here to there, providing that here and there are somewhere outside the United States. The car is not available in the U.S. (or Canada, either)