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Old 26th December 2004, 03:47   #1
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Post Tata Safari 4WD 100,000 KM


I got my hands on a Safari 4WD Euro II in August 2000 (There was no Lx/Ex then!) and just completed 110,000 km this week.

Being as underpowered as it is, driving it in the city with the aircon running is something i either avoid, or leave to the chauffeur!! But on the Mumbai - Pune Expressway (which the car hits every weekend en route to my dad's farmhouse) it manages a cruising speed of 120 fairly easily. I have pushed it till 160 (speedo read. Actual?..) believe it or not, but that only a couple of times and never for more than 2 minutes. Engine noise above 120 is rather annoying, and above 140 quite unbearable.

The engine's given a bit of freak trouble. The gasket blew twice without the car ever visibly overheating, and was duly replaced, but it was only after the guys at Tata Motors dismantled the engine that the root of the problem was eliminated. Seems part of the cooling line running thru the engine had somehow corroded and was messing with the flow in the cooling system. Also, the turbo's pipe dislocated once causing much exhaust smoke, mysterious rumbling noises, and drive characteristics akin to a diesel Premier! The car has NEVER broken down on the road. I've always been able to drive it to the workshop.

Aside from the above, there were never any problems (loose fan belts dont count) The car regularly gives a mileage of 8 kmpl in the city and 9 - 10 on the highway depending on how gentle a foot is on the pedal. (Always with the aircon) I've been feeding it "Hi Speed" Diesel the last couple of months, and performance has improved noticeably, but only just so. I was using Mobil 1 synthetic engine oil for about 60000 km, and Castrol Magnatec since then. The first is no doubt far superior, but the second does the job, is much cheaper and much more easily available.

Love the sound of that engine! The high pitched howl of the turbo is pure music! (Also ensures that you dont need to honk much in the city. People just get the hell out of your way!)

That car also carries stuff like cement, fertiliser, roof tiles, and such stuff quite often, and i mean some serious weight - nearabout a tonne, with no hiccups, except that you gotta brake a mile earlier !!!! Suspension has been overhauled and shock absorbers changed at the stipulated mileage, that is to say, nothing has ever gone wrong. And that car logs serious kms on BAD roads, even NO roads. Ride quality on good roads is bouncy with upto 2 people in the car, and is best with 4 people and a few bags in the back. The ride on bad roads is excellent regardless of the load. Comfort, legroom, etc is legendary, and the rear seat is your sofa on wheels!

I've used the 4WD quite a bit, both in 4H and 4L modes. This is one point where i found the performance very very good. Tata Motors claims it can handle 45 degree inclines easily, and i can verify that claim, and whats more i did it in the rains, ascending as well as descending and NOT on a metalled road. "Make your own road" is right. Routinely use the rear hook to tow cars that get bogged in the mud at the farm in the rains. Even towed a 407 once. No Sweat.

The Aircon works. It aint great, hell not even very good, and makes a bit too much noise, but coupled with tinted glasses, it does the job. Just about. Dont even try driving with the front and rear splits both turned on. It refuses to get moving, though highway cruising is not much affected. Do it in the afternoon and some spirited revving will cause the temp to rise.

The switchgear is very irritating. Turn indicators cut off because of the steering column vibrations. The wiper came with about 5 intermittent speeds, which promptly quit, come the second monsoon. Someone once changed the aircon flow direction to the windshield to defog the glass, and the car had to make a trip to the workshop to reverse the process.

Thats about all i can say about my mini truck. Do let me know what you think of my first review.
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Old 26th December 2004, 11:56   #2
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Nice enough for a first review. Wished you had added pics to complete the report.

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Old 26th December 2004, 12:10   #3
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nice review man and tata is surely tough to ur pocket
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Old 26th December 2004, 15:57   #4
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Great review. It's a first for a Safari I guess. Put pictures of your steed in the review, that would add a nice touch

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Old 26th December 2004, 17:53   #5
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What better way to start your stint at Team-BHP than with a review, eh?

Thats a very well-written review...and it takes a true car guy to list the pros and cons in transparency. I am pleasantly surprised that you have not mentioned any major electrical glitches....have they been sorted out completely by model year 2000.

One thing that Mahindras and Tatas have in common is that...they may have their share of problems but they seldom become undriveable. My Mahindra Classic has not has a SINGLE breakdown in 107,000 kms of ownership (been using Mobil 1 too).

How much longer do you plan to keep the Safari?

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Old 26th December 2004, 19:35   #6
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Very comprehensive review and ineterestingly written too. As said before, doo add some pics. The car seems to have experienced every situation possible.
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Old 26th December 2004, 21:23   #7
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Gr8 review dude!! I always enjoy reading about cars made by Indian Companies. They are so interesting. I would mention something similar to wat GTO mentioned....be it any INDIAN automobile company...its cars may have worst quality products but........they are so much enjoyable to drive and live with, they have that Awesome Indian character!!!
Try to put up the pics dude!!
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Old 26th December 2004, 22:19   #8
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great review bro!
i am the other tata safari user on this board and the experiences i had with my car are 99% similar to yours,done close to 90k kms on it,mine's a white colour,whats urs?
take care
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Old 27th December 2004, 17:14   #9
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however annoying the car may be but no other vehicle in its price range offers the lavish legroom,superb ride,street presence,decent handling...and mind the rear seat is sooooo comfy,but the engine is so lazy that after you drive the safari even indica diesel feels peppier.............hope tata's service improves and 3.0crdi engine is a real powerplant unlike 2.0turbo intercooler
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Old 31st December 2004, 15:37   #10
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Hey, thanks for the reviews on my review you guys ! I'll try and post some pics as soon as i can.

Aaditya, My car is Loire Green.

Anshuman, hehehhehe... u r spot on man! I drove the new V2 at a dealership a week ago and didnt want to drive my car home again !!!!
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Old 10th January 2005, 18:58   #11
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Hey 4WD....neat review...I..as in my dad has zeroed in on a 1 yr old 4WD safari...looks pretty OK...can anyone give any update (as in anything paticularly wrong except for it being underpowered,some constant problem...or anything at all) on the next generation Ferrari..err...Safari...pls
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Old 31st January 2005, 19:18   #12
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Originally Posted by .anshuman
3.0crdi engine is a real powerplant unlike 2.0turbo intercooler
Does anybody know when the 3.0 CRDI engine is coming out from TATA's ??
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