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Old 29th October 2007, 17:46   #1
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Default Why Safari?

I drove a 2.2 Safari yesterday, and the first thought that ran through my head was "Man, this SUV's time has gone!".

Yes, the 2.2 is a significant step forward and offers the Safari with respectable performance. Refinement levels were good for a Tata too. But Tata havent improved on anything else. Man, even at 80 - 100 kph, the SUV's behaviour was darn scary. Immense body roll coupled with a soft suspension and the tall / narrow design simply doesnt give the Safari acceptable highway stability. Straight line...maybe. But then, which highway drive of ours is dead straight or doesnt require emergency manouveurs? Fit and finish were horrible and the 500 km run example had a power steering problem. The dismal build quality reminded me of an era which the industry has long left behind.

Is it worth a million rupees? Not in my opinion but the sales charts obviously indicate otherwise. Last I checked, it was selling upward of a 1000 units per month.

Just wanted to know whats in the Safari that made it tick with some owners on board? The space? Ride quality? SUV image?

Last edited by GTO : 29th October 2007 at 17:48.
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Old 29th October 2007, 17:51   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Just wanted to know whats in the Safari that made it tick with some owners on board?
1) Space
2) Unparalleled middle row comfort
3) Fatigue free driving comfort
4) Rock steady on the highway at speeds in excess of 110 kmph - provided you don't try Slaloming or Elking (IMHO, not required)
5) Lack of any comparable alternatives in that price band (I have the VX 4x4 & I find the fit & finish levels quite acceptable) - nothing came close
6) Suitability for the crazy traffic conditions in the NCR (as in road presence factor - the "Don't mess with me" kind)
7) Extremely low maintenance costs

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Is it worth a million rupees? Not in my opinion but the sales charts obviously indicate otherwise. Last I checked, it was selling upward of a 1000 units per month.
Is the Endeavour worth 1.8 million - or the CRV worth the 2 million almost on-road? Not in my opinion but they have their market share too..........

Last edited by suman : 29th October 2007 at 17:58.
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Old 29th October 2007, 18:06   #3
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Originally Posted by suman View Post
1) Space
Hell yeah space is gr8

2) Unparalleled middle row comfort
Yup good comfort

4) Rock steady on the highway at speeds in excess of 110 kmph - provided you don't try Slaloming or Elking (IMHO, not required)
Yup doesnt feel scary like SCORPIO

6) Suitability for the crazy traffic conditions in the NCR (as in road presence factor - the "Don't mess with me" kind)
I true that. When i took the test drive i honked at the auto guy he looked back and the way he changed the lane to give me the way was like i was YAMRAJ and if he didn't gave me side he will be sitting on the hood of SAFARI and we will be flying to HELL

Is the Endeavour worth 1.8 million - or the CRV worth the 2 million almost on-road? Not in my opinion but they have their market share too..........
NO THEY ARE NOT WORTH THAT MONEY
BOLD ones are my replies and what i feel about SAFARI. And in less than 10 lacs i think it is a good offering. I agree with what GTO said about the quality too.
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Old 29th October 2007, 18:13   #4
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I second what my friends feel about Safari.

Infact, for the price that it is available at, it still continues to be best in class.

Ford & Honda are in a different league & defnitely is not worth paying that kind of money for the quality plastics they offer, if nothing much more on the technical side.
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Old 29th October 2007, 18:25   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
I drove a 2.2 Safari yesterday, and the first thought that ran through my head was "Man, this SUV's time has gone!".

Yes, the 2.2 is a significant step forward and offers the Safari with respectable performance. Refinement levels were good for a Tata too. But Tata havent improved on anything else. Man, even at 80 - 100 kph, the SUV's behaviour was darn scary. Immense body roll coupled with a soft suspension and the tall / narrow design simply doesnt give the Safari acceptable highway stability. Straight line...maybe. But then, which highway drive of ours is dead straight or doesnt require emergency manouveurs? Fit and finish were horrible and the 500 km run example had a power steering problem. The dismal build quality reminded me of an era which the industry has long left behind.

Is it worth a million rupees? Not in my opinion but the sales charts obviously indicate otherwise. Last I checked, it was selling upward of a 1000 units per month.

Just wanted to know whats in the Safari that made it tick with some owners on board? The space? Ride quality? SUV image?
Yes, Tata's have just upgraded the engine and nothing else and I agree to your arguement. Value for money is a relative term and most of the Indian auto manufacturers provide features that are just enough for them to make their sales. Nobody knows how much more they can offer in the same price. Case in point is some of the cars getting better features in negligible incremental price when a competitor has come out with a better offering. These guys are happy until they can sell, but dont care much about what is necessary for safety (unless mandated by government or forced by competition) and never try to set a bench mark.

So as some of the other BHPians have expressed we are forced to settle in with what is available in the market and fits our budget.
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Old 29th October 2007, 18:27   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suman View Post
5) Lack of any comparable alternatives in that price band (I have the VX 4x4 & I find the fit & finish levels quite acceptable) - nothing came close
For me this was the only reason why I considered Safari, it is the best among entry level luxury SUVs, at a price band of 8.x-11.x (ex-showroom). The next one is petrol GV far away at 14.x (ex-showroom), making Safari an incredible deal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by suman View Post
Is the Endeavour worth 1.8 million - or the CRV worth the 2 million almost on-road? Not in my opinion but they have their market share too..........
Quote:
Originally Posted by abhibh View Post
Is the Endeavour worth 1.8 million - or the CRV worth the 2 million almost on-road? Not in my opinion but they have their market share too..........
NO THEY ARE NOT WORTH THAT MONEY
This completely depends on the buyer, it depends on their requirement. For people looking for snob value, even 50L lakhs car is worth the money. And for some people, anything above C segment is not worth the money.
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Old 29th October 2007, 18:37   #7
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Good Topic -

Reason its selling good numbers is

1. Price Point
2. Space
3. Ride Comfort
4. Handling - It does improve with a tyre change, the stock ones dont give much confidence.
5. Warranty - I have not come across any owners till date who have had warranty issues on the Safari (?). Problems yes, but not which have not been fixed under warranty.
6. Image - Sure this one has a Image but only for Looks not for Quality

On the Point of Suspension - With TATA QA being what it is. A Little bit of tweaking can set this right.

But when u sell a SUV with a mile munching comfortness factor thrown in, People dont mind QA problems (fit n finish).

I have owned a 05 TCIC (old shape) and i have not had any trouble with the Truck so far !! Heck i dont even have a TailGate Rattle to speak of .... Last I remember it being adjusted during PDI ....

Last edited by SUV : 29th October 2007 at 18:39.
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Old 29th October 2007, 18:45   #8
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All said points i do agree and i second that. When I asked my relatives Why Safari instead of refinded Innova here is what they said:

How good vehicle is built (they mean my car Innova) after travelling sometime in indian road it will loose its condition (like rattling/ getting dirt etc..)

Safari is cheap to buy and easy to maintain at least for first 4 years and thats time range person change his car, most of the people who buy safari (8+lac priced vehicles) don't care about resale and Safari has good resale value although it might not come close to toyota and honda cars, but DICOR safari has its own takers in used car market.

according to many folks I asked For indian roads Safari/Indigo/Indica are vehciles which offer best ride comfort in their own segment.

So most of the village/semi urban area people buy Safari and professionals in urban area who passionate about look and street presense and who travel a lot in bad roads buy Safari!

In India many people don't care about body roll, stability, breaking, build quality, fit and finish etc.. stuffs so they don't treat thrse factors in Safari as its weekness.

Regards,

Ravi.
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Old 29th October 2007, 18:49   #9
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The desirability factor. Altho I'm not an owner currently, that point is what coverts people like me across. Primarily, the aura of impressive street presence, affordability, versatility and now - power, is hypnotic.
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Old 29th October 2007, 19:05   #10
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Very true - it did always had an appeal. Tho if the GV was available at the same price point (and why not, if Maruti ever considers making it here), that'd be a tough call. Though given TATA's vfm packaging skills, and improving standards and service - at least for the Safari - not a walkover.
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Old 29th October 2007, 19:13   #11
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I think all the points have been discussed. To me, the SUV image would rank topmost, and like people said there is no competitor at that price range otherwise I would prefer a CRV anyday.
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Old 29th October 2007, 19:15   #12
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1. Suitability for our roads - the comfort you get on really bad roads is a huge plus.

2. Space - a bit. I dont need all that space, but I need space to drive relaxed.

3. Maintenance - take any other car or truck that costs a million bucks and compare the maintenance costs.


As for the rest of it - yes fit & finish are major issues. I would, however, not agree on the high speed stability part. Its better than most Indian sedans at high speed, definitely better than an OHC at speeds > 100.

Other than that you shouldnt expect a tall SUV to have the handling characteristics of a car. We enjoy driving in the Safari and the handling has not been a handicap during the many TBHP drives where people drive on the edge for at least a part of the time.
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Old 29th October 2007, 19:23   #13
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As for the rest of it - yes fit & finish are major issues. I would, however, not agree on the high speed stability part. Its better than most Indian sedans at high speed, definitely better than an OHC at speeds > 100.
Tell me about it !!!!
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Old 29th October 2007, 19:24   #14
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Tell me about it !!!!
Both our vehicles feature Psyched suspensions, so lets not debate this okay?

Last edited by Steeroid : 29th October 2007 at 19:30.
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Old 29th October 2007, 19:27   #15
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Originally Posted by GTO View Post

Is it worth a million rupees? Not in my opinion but the sales charts obviously indicate otherwise. Last I checked, it was selling upward of a 1000 units per month.

Just wanted to know whats in the Safari that made it tick with some owners on board? The space? Ride quality? SUV image?
I agree. It is overpriced for the build quality, fit and finish that it offers. The reason both Safari and Scorpio sell is TINA which stands for There Is No Alternative. Today if I want to buy an SUV (which also looks like an SUV), the only choices south of 15L is Scorpio and Safari. The only real alternative to Safari is Pajero which is 10L more expensive than Safari. CRV, GV, Tucson do not exude the image that Safari and Pajero do.

Personally, I would consider Safari because

- It looks great. Yes it is a dated design but still it looks good. Saw a GV on road yesterday from the back and it looks like a station wagon. CRV also suffers from the same issue IMO.

- Great ride on bad roads. You have to drive in Ford Endeavour on bad roads to appreciate Safari

- If I want to enjoy driving on curvy roads, I wouldn't buy an SUV. I would buy myself a nice low slung car so body roll is not that much of a factor there.

Sometimes I get irritated with the way Tata is taking us for a ride. The kind of plastics in Safari just don't belong in the car costing as much as it does. However this is a basic premise of free economy. When there is no competition, consumers lose.

The only company which can seriously threaten Tata and Mahindra is Toyota. They can bring the Fortuner here and make a killing however they aren't interested either so we consumers are big losers.
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