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Old 18th October 2013, 21:57   #1
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Smile Tata Safari Dicor LX @ 45000 kms

I have been wanting to write this review for a long time but was unable to do so for obvious and the usual reasons. But, I guess the time has come for me to pen down and share with all of you, my love story with this absolutely remarkable machine on four wheels.

Deciding the Car…..

Rewind to late 2011. I was just married a few months back and it was time for me to make an all important purchase in any man’s life... My own ticket to freedom… My first car. I was all prepared for the purchase, mentally and financially. My choice was always an SUV. But my budget was about 7L onroad. My choices were the obvious contenders viz, Bolero, the Sumo Grande and Maruti Gypsy(base versions only). I was even considering the Premier Rio which was recently launched at that time. Scorpio and Safari were absolutely out of my reach. I also checked out a used Xenon in Bangalore which had run just 6000kms and it was offered to me within my budget. But I had to turn it down later, rather disappointed, because the vehicle’s papers were not in place. So wifey and myself decide one fine day in late 2011/early 2012 to go to the nearby Tata showroom in Vizag to check out the Sumo Grande Mk II. We were received by a rather cordial representative and he patiently shows us and explains to us the features of the Grande base version. I was rather pleased with the space and seating comfort (although I didn’t take a TD yet). A white Safari was standing right next to it. We didn’t even bother to ask the dealer about it as we knew very well that it was much beyond our budget. So we thank him and tell him that we would get back to him about our decision. We still wanted to check out the Bolero before deciding. As we were walking out, we had to cross the Safari and go towards the exit. This car had captured my imagination right from day one of its early launches. But I knew I just couldn’t afford it. But something inside me said, “Hey, it wouldn’t hurt to take a tour of this vehicle too. Afterall, it was always my dream car”. So I stopped and ask the rep if I could check out the Safari too. It was a white EX. He was more than willing and brought the vehicle’s keys. I opened the door and checked out the beige interiors, the space inside, the dash, the instrument cluster and WOW…I just loved it. I sat in the driver’s seat and felt the steering. I was like a kid exploring his new toy. My wife noticed the sparkle in my eyes and we exchanged smiles. Both of us loved this car. I asked the rep if I can start the vehicle.”Yes Sir. Sure”. I crank the engine and the 2.2 VTT DICOR motor comes to life. I still vividly remember the surge of power that ran though my fingers after that vehicle started. I told my wife that I never felt so much power in my hands before. It was an amazing feeling. I guess that moment was one of my life altering moments. I was hooked on to the Safari from then on. All my calculations of loan, EMIs, budget, went out of the window then and there. I said to my wife…”We are buying this car!!!”

Purchasing my dream ride….

Then on started my journey towards my destination…Owning my very own Safari. For months on, I read and read on the internet about the Safari, its goods and bads. I check the means of getting the best deal for the vehicle. Thanks to my job, I knew that I could get the truck at a much lesser rate than the market rate. Ultimately, I home on to ASPI Motors, Ahmedabad and contact them. They were extremely co operative and helped me out with all my queries and doubts. After many weeks of deliberations, we decide to extend out budget by another one lakh to own the vehicle of our dreams. It seemed worth the financial burden we would have to take on additionally. But, yes, we were super excited about it.

May 2012. I contact my bank (ICICI) for a car loan. They were more than happy. We get on with the process and they say the loan would be available to me within 1 week. I inform ASPI motors that I would be coming to Ahmedabad to collect the vehicle my mid May 2012. I ask them for an Arctic Silver LX model. They say that they have it available in their showroom and I request them to hold on to it for me. “OK Sir”, they tell me. Now wifey and me are eagerly waiting for my loan. In the mean time, I read and read and read about the Safari. Finally after many undue and unexpected complications, the loan is finally sanctioned and wifey and me reach ASPI Motors, Ahmedabad on 15 May 12. As we enter the showroom, I am keenly observing all the vehicles there and the showroom itself. A little into the compound, my eyes catch a Silver Safari parked in the shed along with many Indicas and Manzas. The car is very dusty. I think to myself, is this my future car? No, it cant be…its too dusty..maybe its an old vehicle. Anyways, I walk in and meet the representative. A very co operative and practical gentleman. We were pleasantly surprised by the dealer’s hospitality. Nothing like the adverse experiences mentioned by many other people about Tata showrooms. So we sit and talk about the formalities over coffee in the showroom. A little bit of paper work is required to be done and the vehicle would have to prepared for delivery. So he tells us that the vehicle would be delivered to us next day…16 May 12. Ok we say. We ask him…which one is our vehicle? Is it in their yard? He says no sir and promptly points towards the very dusty Safari in the parking shed. This is your vehicle sir. I am thinking what the….?? I blurt out to him.. its too dirty and seems to be a very old car. How can I take its delivery? He tells me that the car is a brand new vehicle and tells me to come the next day and check the vehicle. Rather apprehensively we leave the showroom, thinking about all the negatives of Tata dealers. Are we also going to be the victims?? We go back to the hotel and I can hardly get any sleep…too much excitement. Next day we reach the showroom first thing in the morning. I don’t see the Safari in the parking shed. I meet the rep and tell him I need to inspect the vehicle before proceeding any further. Ok sir he says. He calls the workshop. He takes me outside and we are standing at the parking lot. My eyes catch the sparkle of a headlamp around the corner wall and there comes the most beautiful sights of my life. A sparkling clean Arctic Silver Safari taking a turn around the wall and slowly rolling towards me. The mechanic stops the car right beside me in the parking shed. Trust me my friends; that moment was one which I cannot describe. The thrill and excitement and satisfaction that you are finally buying your dream ride. The beige interiors we spotlessly clean. The original plastic covers on the seats and other interiors were smelling brand new. I have a good look at the vehicle. Then I take out the Team BHP PDI check list. I religiously check each and every point from the check list for about an hour and a half. I check the VIN number. I decode it and it read Mar 2012 as the date of manufacture. Less than three months old. Then I tell him that I want a test drive. The mechanic hops in and I start the vehicle. The same surge of power runs through my fingers which I had earlier experienced at a showroom in Vizag. I check the ODO. 36 kms. Its reasonable enough for a new vehicle, I think to myself. I slot in the gear and slowly take the vehicle outside. This is the first time I am ever driving any Safari. I took me about five minutes to get adjusted to the vehicle. I drive slowly. After gaining some confidence, I put the vehicle through its paces. But I took care not to over do anything. I test drove it for about 45 mins. There were absolutely no hitches, no rattles, no squeaks. I return to the showroom and purchase the car most gladly. Later in the day, I complete all my formalities including insurance and registration. The rep tells me that he would send me the registration papers and my car number by post to my home in Vizag as it would take atleast a week. Ok..we tell him and I thank him from the bottom of my heart for being patient with us and for the wonderful purchase experience. He leaves us at a nearby temple for carrying out the pooja. Pooja completed and we head back to our hotel. Next day we have to head back to Vizag in our dream ride. Can’t wait for the drive….

The first long distance drive in my tourer…

I barely got enough sleep that night. I was just too excited. We started early in the morning the next day. We had two days to reach Vizag (about 2000kms) before my office leave expired. So we started early in the morning from Ahmedabad. I filled my Safari’s fuel tank and followed the directions on my navigator. I was advised not to cross 2500 rpm during the run in period. The vehicle drove without any fuss. It was the first time I was experiencing the turbo boost. It felt good. It felt powerful. The AC was adequate although it wasn’t as effective as the Swift’s AC which belonged to my dad. The car was effortlessly cruising at 110 kmph at 2500 rpm in 5th gear. No strain, no fatigue. We didn’t plan on any stop over for the night as we were compelled to reach Vizag the next day. So I kept driving and driving and the car didn’t complain at all. Around 7 pm in the night we reached Thane and we had to catch the connecting road to Pune. Much to our disappointment and horror we saw that the road ahead was jam packed with trucks and trucks and more trucks. There was a huge traffic jam. If I remember correctly, we had to spend about 5 to 6 hrs in the jam in between all those trucks and smoke. It was really hot and sultry. So I kept the AC on and the engine kept idling/rolling in bumper to bumper traffic, for nearly 5 hrs straight. Again, the vehicle did not complain at all. The drive through Mumbai Pune expressway was another excruciatingly slow one due to heavy truck traffic. We crossed Pune around 3 am. But we just couldn’t stop. We had to keep going. So, I kept driving hoping that I wasn’t pushing my vehicle too far during the run in period. We had no choice either ways. Somewhere near Sholapur we stopped over in the morning in a highway restaurant for freshening up. After about half an hour, we started again. The days were extremely hot as it was peak summer time (May in 2012). So the AC was running 90% of the time be it day or night. Sometime around 2pm we reached Hyderabad after a drive through some terribly potholed roads in between. Still, the vehicle didn’t complain. No squeaks, no rattles, no hiccups, no ‘momentary loss of power’ which many Safari owners reported. The mileage I was getting was close to 13 kmpl. The dealer told that I could expect anything between 13 and 13.5 kmpl and the car was giving me the same mileage. We had to enter the city to go to my aunt’s place for lunch. Again we had to drive though horrible traffic and extremely hot weather in the city. Finally after lunch and a little bit of rest we started at 530pm from Hyderabad. We were terribly delayed. We could expect to reach Vizag only by the next day morning. And I even had to go for work. So we started off again for a second night of continuous driving. I was feeling the strain now. I was tired. We reached Rajahmundry sometime around 2am. I was completely drained out by now. I had to rest. So I pulled over by the side of the road and stopped for taking a break of atleast 2hrs. But again it was just too hot and sultry and there were too many mosquitoes. So again, I had to close all the windows, start the car, switch on the AC and keep it idling. By about 5 am we started off again and headed straight for home.We reached home in Vizag around 8 am. I parked the car in the garage finally. By 9 am I was off for work. The whole day I was full of admiration for the vehicle. All through the journey(which was quite challenging considering the weather, the time crunch, the traffic, the distance, the bad roads, etc), the car DID NOT COMPLAIN at all. It was like a true beast taking everything by its stride, be it extremely hot weather, continuous running, continuous AC, extremely thick traffic, some very bad roads and driving through extremely polluted air. I was amazed and frankly didn’t expect such a good performance by the Safari. It didn’t even hiccup once and gave me a consistent mileage of 13 kmpl. Well done. What was all the bad mouthing of the Safari about?? I thought to myself.

Now, it was time for its first free service, just two days after its purchase. The car was already overdue by about 1000kms for the first service.

First Service…

I took the car to SRMT in Vizag for the service. The service advisor (SA) was initially a little apprehensive about the free service as the vehicle had already clocked 2000kms. I tell him about my purchase and the journey. So he politely accepts the vehicle for its first free service. I tell him that there were no particular complaints and tell him just to check the fluids and general health of the vehicle. The staff was quite polite and cooperative. The next day the SA calls me and tells me to collect the vehicle. So I went to the service station and check with the SA. He told me that they adjusted the steering alignment slightly and also carried out wheel alignment. All fluid levels were optimum and hence he did not change any fluids including engine oil. The bill was Rs. 281/-. We I checked the vehicle I noticed grease marks over the beige interiors. Yes, they dirtied the interiors even more in the name of cleaning. I pointed it out to the SA and he sheepishly called the cleaner and did some cosmetic cleaning up. But it didn’t help much. I told him that I would expect a better clean up when I give the vehicle for the second service at 5000kms. Overall, I was satisfied with the service experience except the cleaning part. In fact, I experienced the same cleaning issues even with the Maruti service people with the Swift. I guess it is a universal issue.

Driving in the city…

After the first service, we settled down with our car and the usage was limited to driving within Vizag city. Before I write about the car’s performance in city driving conditions, let me tell you briefly about the traffic behavior in Vizag. I have driven in many cities all over India, but I found the traffic in Vizag to be the most unpredictable. Before Vizag, I used to consider Indore to have the most unpredictable traffic. But Vizag is much worser. Forget lane discipline, people don’t even drive on the left side of the road. No indicators are used for turning. Everyone is on high beam in the evening. Vehicles are stopped/parked in the most outrageous manner, sometimes even right in the middle of the road!! It is absolute chaos. So these were the conditions my Safari had to venture into. I had no problems driving such a mammoth even in these conditions. Sudden braking, bumper to bumper traffic, sudden swerves, sudden bursts of acceleration for quick overtaking, squeezing though tight spots, quick gear shifts, all these posed absolutely no problems. The issues I faced were taking U turns, rear visibility while reversing and heavy clutch. The turning radius is quite uncomfortable for city driving conditions. But, I was able to always shift to/from reverse gear to first gear pretty quickly. So I didn’t take too much time completing the U turns. Another issue is the rear visibility. If u have parked the car in any place and later some scooter is parked right behind the car, there is no way you can know about its presence unless someone warns you or you personally sight it behind the vehicle. So, I have got used to always personally checking the rear of the vehicle before reversing. It can get irritating at times if you are the impatient kind. The clutch always seemed a little hard and heavy for city driving. After about an hour of driving in thick city traffic, my left calf felt tired. Mileage I got in these conditions was about 11.5 to 12 kmpl.

Overall, the car again surprised me even in city driving conditions. Again, no hassles or hiccups. But yes, the left door started rattling slightly. Apart from the usual disadvantages of driving a heavy SUV/MUV in the city like heavy clutch, reversing etc, there were no other problems with the vehicle. It was comfortable, easy to handle and did not throw any tantrums.

Driving to places around Vizag…

The initial excitement of owning a new car was urging me to hop into the vehicle and just drive, at the slightest possible opportunity. Weekends were the biggest weakness. So in the months following, wifey and myself used to tuck ourselves nicely inside the Safari and just drive to just any random place. There were no concrete plans or a list of places to visit. That was not our priority. We just wanted to spend time in the Safari and on the road. We covered many little known/well known places in and around Vizag.

Salur/Rayagada/Chatikona- Andhra Orissa Border. This was a roughly 500km trip. When we left home, our plan was only to visit Bheemli beach which was just a mere 30km away. But then, we kept on driving and driving heading north and landed up in the tribal forests of Orissa. The vehicle again performed flawlessly. Once we ended up in the forests, the roads were in a pretty bad shape and some of them were just mud roads with a good amount of slush. The car did not complain although I was worried about the suspension all the time. We had to drive through huge potholes, wet mud, slush and the typical roads anyone would encounter in thick jungles. If the vehicle gave up here, then it would mean BIG BIG trouble. Naxals, wild animals, tribals, etc, etc. This was the first time I was literally in the middle of nowhere with my Safari. The many horror stories of the vehicle like timing belt giving up, suspension giving up, etc, which I had read so many times kept running through in my head. There was no mobile signal either. I had no choice but to trust the vehicle blindly. We saw some outstanding sights which nature had to offer amidst all our fears and worries. But something deep inside me kept saying that we would get out of this just alrite. It was not sixth sense or intuition or whatever one would call it. It was because I could literally feel the health of the vehicle. The engine sound, the vibrations, the alignment of the wheels, the brakes, the suspension, the AC, everything about the vehicle just felt right all the while. And nevertheless, after a full weekend in the forests and shanty towns of Andhra Orissa border, the Safari brought us home absolutely safe with fabulous memories of the trip. My confidence level on this vehicle was up a couple of notches after this trip.

There were many other short trips but none which tested the vehicle as much as the above one. However, the vehicle just did not complain at any time during any trip. Maybe a squeak here and there and minor rattles once in a while, but absolutely no major problems at all. My Safari was slowly erasing all my fears and apprehensions which I had initially about this vehicle. But, as they say, it takes a long time and a lot more effort to win anyone’s trust completely. So, at this stage, I was still not fully confident of the vehicle’s capabilities.
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Last edited by sandeepc83 : 6th September 2014 at 23:50. Reason: Update
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Old 22nd October 2013, 21:06   #2
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Default re: Tata Safari Dicor LX @ 45000 kms

Second free service…

It was July 2012 and barely 2 months after I purchased the car. I had to go to Cochin for official purposes for almost a month. Since it was a long duration stay in Cochin, my wife also decided to tag along and hence we had to carry a good amount of luggage and also some cooking stuff. Safari seemed to be the most convenient mode of transport with so many luggages to carry. The car had completed 4700 kms. I had to get the vehicle serviced before taking it to Cochin. So, I dropped it at SRMT again. There was nothing much wrong with the vehicle except the left door rattle and the rear charging point had stopped working. Other than these, it was the usual fluids check/change, suspension check, wheel alignment and general service. The vehicle was delivered to me in two days as promised. Engine oil was changed and filters were changed/cleaned as necessary The bill came to Rs 3739/- overall including engine oil change and fuel filter change. Oh, I forgot to mention one thing. The ‘Safari LX’ mascot in the rear had broken into two pieces when I was getting the car cleaned one day. Only ‘Safa LX’ was left sticking behind and ‘ri’ had fallen off. It was not because the cleaner was aggressive or something, but the mascot itself was stuck quite flimsily at the rear. So, the service center replaced it with a new one. Again, the cleaning job was only average. The overall service experience again was good.
Another long distance drive…

Cochin was calling. So here we go again…

The distance was approximately 1500kms from Vizag to Cochin. We had planned to cover it in two days with a night halt at my parents’ home in Bangalore. The car was just serviced and it seemed just as enthusiastic as both of us to go for another long distance drive. We topped up the fuel tank in Vizag and decided to take the Vijayawada-Nellore-Kolar-Bangalore route. Little did we know at that time that our beloved car would get hurt in this journey. At about 3pm we were close to Nellore and were comfortably cruising on the 4 lane highway. I was on the left most lane and saw a truck on my lane at a distance ahead. On the right most lane was an Innova which was ahead of me. So, I changed lanes and came to the right lane to overtake the truck. I was doing about a 100kmph at that time. The Innova, which was about 50 mts ahead of me overtook the truck. Now it was my turn. I accelerated a little bit and began to overtake the truck. As my bonnet was just in line with the rear of the truck, to my horror I saw that the truck coming to the right most lane and he seemed to be going as slow as a turtle compared to the speed I was at. I honked and honked. But it was too late. I braked hard. But I was already abreast of the driver’s seat of the truck. I heard a loud thud and a few plastic and glass pieces flew inside the cabin. Finally, the truck driver braked and swerved left. Both me and wifey were absolutely stunned. We had no clue what had happened to us and to our Safari. But I noticed that the left ORVM was just dangling on the side with the support of a few wires. I pulled over to the side of the road and checked on my wifey. She was shaken but was alrite. I walked around to the passenger side of the car and saw the damage. Thankfully, there was not a scratch on the Safari’s body. The truck driver swerved left just in time and hence only the ORVM was broken. In fact, it was totalled. The truck was an APSEB maintenance truck and the truck driver also appeared shaken. When I enquired him as to why did he change lanes so suddenly and without any warning, he tried to blame me, saying that I didn’t notice him changing lanes and was driving too fast. I was absolutely flabbergasted. I noticed that his truck did not even have rear view mirrors let alone indicators. Finally, I had to let him go as he started apologizing and said that he would drive more carefully next time around. So we started off again thanking our stars and glad that our Safari was safe. We stopped over at MG Brothers, Tata dealer at Nellore to get the vehicle checked and also get the ORVM changed.

Again, this Tata dealer too was extremely cordial and cooperative. The SA really got things moving and changed my mirror within half an hour. It costed us Rs.4200/-. He worked on our car without any delay and accorded top priority to us. We had some issues with my debit card also and even there he helped us out in the most unexpected manner. He tried his best to find a person in Nellore who would paint the ORVM to silver, although he couldn’t succeed in that. So our Safari had the black ORVM on one side and the original silver one on the other. But, the important point is the attitude of the Tata Service Centre. I really couldn’t have asked for more care and attention from any service centre, let alone Tata. Also, right from the time I visited the first Tata Dealer to have a look at the Safari, right through my purchase of the car and up until now, all the Tata Service Centres have taken good care and paid due attention to me and my vehicle. Never did I feel neglected or ignored. I have no cribs against them, other than maybe the cleaning aspect.

So we started off again and reached home in Bangalore for the night. We decided to start off around 11ish the next morning so that we could reach Cochin by night. Next day, around 11 am we started off for Cochin from Bangalore. We chose to take the Mysore-Bandipur forest route. Needless to say, the numerous stop overs all along the picturesque route took its toll and we covered just around 300kms by 9pm. We decided to stop over for the night. The nearest place where we could find a decent hotel was Ooty. So I headed towards Ooty following my navigator. The route it showed was via Masinagudi and little did I know how challenging this route would be. So it was around 10pm now and we were in the thickest of jungles, all alone, in the middle of nowhere and again in a situation in which I had no choice but to trust my Safari blindly to take us to safety. We crossed Masinagudi successfully and kept heading to Ooty. And the real challenge had just started. The ghat road had started and turn after turn, the gradient of the ghat just kept increasing dramatically. The car was fully loaded with a lot of luggage. And after a while it really started to struggle to make the climb. It would climb only in the first gear. The engine was really working overtime to haul the weight over such a steep gradient. I didn’t know how to complete the climb. I was hoping like hell that nothing should go wrong with the vehicle. It was a really bad place and bad time to be stranded and that too with a lady. Although the car kept pulling in the first and occasional second gear, I was actually quite disappointed now. Where has all the power and torque gone, I was wondering… Has something gone wrong with the clutch?? Back then I didn’t know about the technique of keeping the engine rpm in the turbo boost range. So, the turbo lag and the weight of the vehicle really made me feel that the vehicle was highly underpowered. But all the while, the car just kept going and going. Because of my lack of knowledge of the technique to make it climb, I was really pushing the car in the first gear. However, it just did not complain at all. No warning lights came up, no clutch burning smell, no overheating of engine, nothing. It finally took us all the way up to Ooty to the safety of the hotel. Well done Safari!!!I thought to myself.

Next day morning, we started off to Cochin and reached by luchtime. It was an uneventful journey.

Back to Vizag and back to city driving…

After spending a good three weeks in Cochin and visiting the places around like Kalady, Athirapally, Valparai, Idamalayar, etc the car brought us back safely to our home in Vizag. Never did it complain and never did it give up.

The car had done close to 10000kms by now and it was performing like a dream. It was November 2012 and one fine weekend both wifey and me decide to beat the boredom by visiting Ananthagiri, a hillstation close to Vizag. We had no idea that it would turn out to be one of the riskiest journeys we ever undertook. Another challenge for the Safari!!Will it bring us back home safely???

Drive to Ananthagiri. Ananthagiri is just about 100km from Vizag. The weather was pleasant when we started on Saturday morning. There were even a few clouds. There was no reason for us to expect anything adverse, unless of course we had checked the weather report that morning. But, we hadn’t. So we were blissfully ignorant of what would hit us later in the day. As we kept driving, it started drizzling and then started pouring. Absolutely POURING. We were heading directly into Cyclone Neelam. Do you remember this cyclone?? We pressed on and finally reached the ghats of Ananthagiri. Now we were entering into thick jungles. I got my first glimpse of a river flowing by the side of the road. When I got a good look at it, I was horrified. It was flowing like it was possessed. It seemed that it would break its bank and flood the road at any moment. We could have turned back. But we didn’t. Because we didn’t know that we were in the middle of a cyclone. The winds were causing the vehicle to wobble a bit. But we pressed on. We wanted to reach the Ananthagiri water falls. Yeah…at the hindsight we seemed to be absolutely out of our minds during this journey. But back then, we were actually enjoying the thrill being safely cocooned inside the Safari. Technically, we were ‘Storm Chasing’ cyclone Neelam in our Safari. The roads further ahead were absolutely flooded. The river had reached the height of a bridge and it seemed like it would flood anytime. The water on the road was so deep that whenever I drove into the water, I could see smoke coming out from everywhere below the car. The water was apparently touching some very hot parts in the car’s underbelly. Also, the brakes lost their bite after driving so deep in the water. After some tense moments we finally reached the waterfall. It was absolutely scaaarrryyy!!! We were the only people there and the waterfall seemed like it would swallow us like pills. Eventually, we finished our sight seeing and started driving back. Thankfully the river had still not broken its banks and the bridge was still intact. We drove back to Vizag with memories of an absolutely thrilling drive. Yet again, the Safari proved its mettle and made absolutely no fuss. It brought us back home safe and sound, but with memories we could cherish for our lifetime. Only when we reached home and checked the news, did we realize that we drove right through Cyclone Neelam.
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Last edited by sandeepc83 : 9th September 2014 at 19:43.
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Old 22nd December 2013, 02:42   #3
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Default re: Tata Safari Dicor LX @ 45000 kms

Third Free Service…

By mid Nov 2012, after six months of the car’s purchase, it was due for its 15000km third free service. Again, I dropped the car at SRMT, Vizag. Only one particular problem this time. The left passenger window wasn’t rolling up smoothly. It would get stuck at 3/4th position and it would take multiple attempts of rolling up to get it closed completely. I mention about the accident near Nellore to the SA and also tell him to paint the RHS ORVM to silver colour. No other issues I can recollect. I got the delivery of my car in 2 days after the service. The window was now closing well and the mirror was also painted. There is nothing adverse I can think of, regarding the service experience.
More outings and more city drives...

The Safari took us to more long distance tours like Rameswaram,Kumbakonam and other important TamilNadu temples all the way from Vizag and back. My wife and myself drove to Kochi and back. We drove to Araku, close to Vizag. All the trips whether long or short were pleasant and the Safari did not pop up any surprises nor did the vehicle miss a beat. The car performed equally on city roads too. Mileage has always been an average of 12kmpl, city and highway combined.
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Old 6th September 2014, 22:40   #4
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Default re: Tata Safari Dicor LX @ 45000 kms

Back after a long break. Work has kept me busy and we have had a new addition to the family :-). Safari has completed 45000kms now. In the meantime, the car has been through the 30000kms service, 10 month stint in Panjim, Goa and now in Bhubneswar. No major issues were faced. While in Goa, the car used to make unusual grinding noises while accelerating upslope. As the terrain in Goa is hilly, I used to observe this noise very often. It got me worried. Was the clutch slipping? Does it require an overhaul? So early? The 30000km service was done at JKRS auto care in Panjim. Friendly and cordial persons there too. They patiently listened to me. The manager took a test drive with me to check the grinding noise. He advised me not to worry about it and not tamper with the clutch at this stage. He said he didnt find any problem and the car was responding well. I took his advise and left the clutch alone. But the noise was still present and I just ignored it. Now that we are back in the plains, the noise is absent. I guess while accelerating uphill, there must be something happening with the clutch due to which the noise appears. It is a grinding noise. But there is no perceivable change in the performance of the vehicle. Can any of the Safari experts throw some light about this?

We drove from Panjim to Bhubaneswar with our little one, via Bangalore where we stopped for a few days. No problems with the vehicle.

So here we are now. Completed 45000kms. I have owned it for 2 yrs and 3 months till now. I just gave the car for 5th free service yesterday at Trupti Motors in Bhubaneswar. The service personnel were quite patient and cordial with me. I havent got the delivery of the vehicle yet. So I cant say about their professionalism yet.

Here's a quick review of my experience with my Safari till date.

Scale chosen - Poor, Satisfactory, Good, Excellent

1. Highway performance - Good
- Ample power
- Effortless cruising for days at a stretch (Overlanding???)
- Adequate mileage
- Adequate space and comfort.
- Braking at high speed is just about sufficient.
- AC in hot weather is average
- Bobbing at high speed is disconcerting.

2. City driving - Good
- Great power
- Road presence
- Handling
- Comfort and space
- Heavy clutch
- Turning radius
- Rear visibility

3. Mileage - Good (It is only relative)
- 13.5 on highway
-11.5 in city

4. Comfort - Excellent

5. Ride quality - Excellent

6. Space - Excellent

7. Load hauling - Excellent (You can move a small home in this)

8. Go anywhere ability - Satisfactory (Mine is only a 2 WD. It is a very heavy vehicle)

9. Interiors - Satisfactory.(Yes rattles and unwanted squeaks and noises have started)

10. Reliability - Excellent

11. Safety features - Satisfactory (No ABS, Airbags, EBD)

12. Service centre experience - Good (Based on 5 services in 4 cities in 4 different states)

13. Service costs - Satisfactory (Average of Rs.5000/- per service)

14. Confidence in vehicle - Good

15. Peace of mind - Good (Mostly due to service costs)

16. Overall satisfaction - Excellent

Issues faced till date:

1. Left passenger window doesnt roll all the way up in one go. It requires three to four multiple attempts. Service centre fixed it, but it was only temporary.

2. One side Engine guard in the underbody has broken.It is only supported one one side now.It could be due to rust. Asked the service centre to fix it presently.

3. Clutch grinding sound while climbing uphill.No drop in performance however.

4. Vehicle struggles to climb steep gradients until it hits the right RPM for the turbo boost.

5. The paint on the plastic side cladding is fading off.

6. Rattles and squeaks in the cabin have started to show recently.

7. Very slow oil leakage from the steering pump.The oil drops to minimum level by around 10000 to 15000kms.

It is for the readers to decide if the above issues are trivial or serious ones. I feel any vehicle cannot be built 100% defect free. So we should be prepared to put up with the defects that come up over a period of time.

Impression before purchasing the safari (based on hearsay and info on the internet)

- It is highly unreliable

- Service centres of Tata are absolutely poor

- Vehicle is very demanding in terms of maintenance and fuel costs.

After over two years of ownership, my views of the vehicle are,

- It is highly reliable

- Tata service centres are good. They listen to you, address all the problems you ask them to and treat your vehicle well.

- Vehicle is only nominally demanding in terms of maintenance and fuel costs(for SUV standards)
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Last edited by sandeepc83 : 10th September 2014 at 22:23.
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Old 11th September 2014, 19:14   #5
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Default Re: Tata Safari Dicor LX @ 45000 kms

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Long-Term Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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