Tata Safari Storme Review
The Real SUVWednesday, June 5, 2013
In the year 1998, we got our first home grown SUV known as Tata Safari. It was the first SUV which was entirely designed, developed and manufactured in India. Cars like Scorpio were the follower of this beast which was the ruler of its segment. Safari has gone under some changes with some facelifts which have kept it alive but now the competition has increased. With new competitors like Mahindra XUV500 and many others, Safari looks a bit aged and needs a serious up gradation. Tata knows it and they are ready with the second generation of their legend known as Safari Storme. Tata displayed it for the first time at Delhi Auto Expo 2012 and launched it on 17th October, 2012 in Indian car market.
Fast Facts about Tata Safari Storme
- New headlights, tail lamps and fog lights
- New front and rear bumpers, Dual mass flywheel
- New Aria type transmission for smoother gear-shifts
- Newly designed interior which are expected to be very spacious
- Better handling in comparison to current generation Safari
- Improved HVAC system (expected to be a dual-zone climate control system)
- Safety features like SRS airbags, ABS, EBD, ESP and BA
- Available in both 2WD and 4WD
- Available in seven shades: Urban Bronze, Astem Black, Pearl Champagne, Sardinia Red, Pearl White, Arctic White and Arctic Silver
- Base variant is priced at INR 9.95 lakhs
- ARAI certified mileage of 4x2 version is 14 kmpl and 4x4 returns mileage of 13.2 kmpl
- Warranty of 3 years-100,000 Kms
Tata Safari Storme Exterior
Tata Safari Storme looks visually identical to its previous generation. That may or may not work in the favour of this car. May be Tata is hoping to hold the loyal buyers of Safari who like its current styling and they have decided not to play much with its basic design but looking at the new competitors, it doesn’t mange to impress you instantly, it will take you time to accept the new changes. The shape and size of the new car has not changed much. One can easily figure out that it’s a Safari. The new safari shares its platform with its elder sibling Aria which is lighter and well-built than its earlier chassis. It retains the same wheelbase of 2650mm. There are eye catching changes made to the face of this car. Gone are the old, square shaped headlights and now gets replaced with more angular and edgy projector headlights.
Bumper grille is all black in color with massive, elongated chrome bar just above it which looks premium on this car. The new bumper has leaner air dam and new round shaped fog lights with chrome surrounds. There are noticeable lines on the front bumper and the new Safari looks much more aerodynamic than before. The side of the car receives minor changes including new body colored side cladding, door handles and side mirrors with inbuilt turn indicators. There is a new wider door step fitted in this car. It also has new silver colored roof rails with 16 inch alloy wheels which along with bulgy wheel arches makes it look sporty. The rear of this car is a big disappointment. It takes away the macho character of this car.
The car stands vertically tall and looks like any other van or MUV. Spare wheel goes missing from its boot gate which earlier used to be the hall mark of this car. There are new revised clear lens taillights which look down market. Its revised rear bumper now houses two round shaped chrome surrounds for exhaust pipe which looks sporty with new reflective lights. Other changes include new body colored rear spoiler with a stretched chrome bar just above the number plate. The overall designing is just acceptable of this new Safari as the fit and finish is much better than before but it certainly disappoints you in terms of styling as we expected a lot more than what Tata has offered.
Tata Safari Storme Interior
The fit and finish and the plastic quality inside Safari has always been a matter of concern. Finally with the new Safari Storme, Tata tries to get rid of this problem. Similar to its platform, Safari begs the interiors from Aria which now feels much plush and satisfactory than before. It has all beige interiors with high quality of fabrics and plastics inside. The car feels much better than Scorpio but loses out to XUV 500 which feels a class apart from inside. The four spoke steering wheel and gear knob makes their way from the Aria and comes wrapped in leather. Its instrument dials are easily readable with white background light. Some of the buttons and plastic feels even better than Aria and we are sure this time it won’t be criticize much for its quality of interiors.
Comfort and Convenience
When it comes to comfort there is no one better than Safari in its segment. Be it driver or passengers it pleases everyone with its generous space and comfort. The seats are of high quality and give you the best comfort. High seating of Safari Storme allows the driver to get the perfect view of road and it makes hatchbacks looks as tiny as possible. The rear bench of Safari Storme provides sofa like comfort to back passengers with enormous amount of legroom and shoulder room. There is no place inside Safari where you can say that space and comfort could have been better.
There are many features in Safari Storme for you convenience which includes powerful AC with automatic climate control and rear AC vents. It features power windows and electrically adjustable and fold-able side mirrors. There are individual armrests for front and rear passengers. Central locking, rear defogger with timer and some standard features are expected in this car.
Dashboard and Storage
There is a new dashboard placed in this car which is far better than before in terms of texture, touch and appearance. The V shaped central console looks very nice with high quality of buttons. It’s also beige in color which gels well with its interiors. This dash is very spacious also as it has a big glove box with deep storage space just above it. There is also good space available just above its AC vents to keep loose things. There are enough cup holders, bottle holders in this car with map and back pocket on front seats. It has a massive boot capacity of 981ltr with fold-able rear seats to increase it more.
Music System of Tata Safari Storme
Tata Safari Storme sports a single DIN audio system which is a let-down at this price. Sadly, Tata Motors has not provided steering mounted audio controls, which are a boon while driving in city.
Engine and Gearbox of Tata Safari Storme
Tata Safari Storme is powered by a 2.2L VariCOR diesel engine. This engine is still one of the most powerful engines in its segment. It currently powers the old Safari and new Aria. It is the only engine option in this car following BSIV emissions. However, Tata has tweaked this engine especially for this new car to make it more responsive and fun to drive. The power and torque output of this engine remains the same.
Perhaps it produces a peak power of 140 bhp at 4000 rpm with maximum torque output of 320 Nm which starts coming at 1700 rpm and keep on coming till 2700 rpm. This engine surely beats up the engine used in Scorpio in terms of specifications but the mHawk engine with Variable geometry turbocharger used in XUV500 seems to be more powerful than this engine on papers. Safari Storme is equipped with Five-speed manual gearbox and there are least chances that Tata will launch an automatic variant of this car.
Acceleration and Performance
This department matters the most when you buy these cars because their performance on road often speaks for the person sitting inside. Safari has always been a performer and the next gen Safari is expected to continue this legacy. Thanks to the new platform, new Safari is lighter in weight which has improved its power to weight ratio. This engine has been criticized for its refinement level and noisy behavior but after retuning of this engine, Tata expects it will be appreciated this time.
This motor starts pulling up power as early as 1700 rpm and gives you a brilliant power delivery till 2700 rpm. Minimal turbo lag has been a USP of this engine and with altered gear ratios things will get better in future. The short gear ratios confirm you a stress free ride in city traffic as it avoids frequent gear shifting and you never run short of power. New Tata Sasari Storme makes less noise and vibrations thanks to the dual mass fly wheel system which it borrows from elder sibling Aria. New Safari Storme has a short gear lever to choose between 4 wheel and two wheel drive, similar to its previous model.
Earlier also, Safari’s off road drive has been applauded in comparison to its on road drive. New Storme has a separate transfer case for 4 wheel drive which has short ratios to make it a perfect off roader. New safari is expected to reach 100km/hour in less than 15 seconds due to its lightweight and may cross the top speed of 150km/hour.
Tata Safari Storme Mileage
With rising fuel prices, fuel efficiency has become an important criterion of selection for many buyers. Competitors like Scorpio and XUV500 are very economical and it was a big challenge for Tata to make Storme a fuel efficient car. Yes, Storme is lighter than before but it is still heavier than others like XUV500. It may possibly manage to give you a fuel efficiency of around 10km/ltr in city and 14km/ltr on highways.
Ride and Handling
New Safari Storme feels better than current Safari in this area; thanks to its new body frame and suspension system which it shares with Aria. The new power steering also reduces it turning radius from 6m to 5.6m which acts as a boon for this car. The new Safari is more easy to use in city traffic and it won’t take much of your bicep power to park it in tight spaces as new steering responses really well and feels compatible with this car.
With a ground clearance of 200mm, R16 size of tyres and four wheel drive system, you are ready for almost everything that comes in your way on and off road. The car offers a plush and comfortable ride due to its all new suspension which has double wishbone and McPherson struts in them. It easily passes through all the big potholes and ends up giving you a ride to remember.
Braking and Safety Features
Tata offers disk brakes all around in the new Safari Storme. For making accurate braking, this beast features ABS with EBD and brake assist. Many other safety features are there which includes 2 SRS airbags, Electronic Stability Program and traction control for better grip while off roading.
Tata Safari Storme Variants
Tata Safari Storme is available in seven variants: LX 4x2, LXA 4x2, EX 4x2, VX 4x2, VX 4x4, VXP 4x2 and VXP 4x4.
Shades Available in Tata Safari Storme
Tata Safari Storme is available in seven shades: Urban Bronze, Astern Black, Pearl Champagne, Sardinia Red, Pearl White, Arctic White and Arctic Silver.
Tata has placed the new Safari Storme between the current generation of Safari and their premium SUV Aria. At this place, it is more expensive than Scorpio and dares to challenge Mahindra XUV500 which shook the market and set new records of success. It feels a generation ahead of Safari Storme in terms of styling. We think Tata took a long time to reveal this new car as after seeing XUV500, we are afraid how people many will opt for this car.