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Old 29th July 2008, 18:35   #1
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Default January 2007 Tata Safari 3.0 DiCOR EX 4x4 Running Report

Decided to create a separate thread for my ownership experience. Some of these posts are in other threads.

Buying decision: Simple, had been keenly following the Safari since its launch and waited until I could afford it. Plus, the new (then) DiCOR was tried and tested. I must add that Steeroid's genuine feedback was a big factor in eventually giving in. Went through the dilemma of 3.0 vs 2.2 (to be launched) and then decided in favour of the 3.0 since waiting was ruled out. Opted for the EX 4x4 version in Pearl White. Pearl White was Tata's new colour in December 2006 and while I was sceptical looking at the webpage, I was bowled over when I saw it in the flesh.

Why 4x4? I wanted something that could get me out of a tight spot plus something that I could explore off-roading in. The Safari was also intended to be my daily drive.

Booked the vehicle in December 2006 and waited for a month for Tata Motors to manufacture a Pearl White EX 4x4. Finance was a breeze as I called HDFC Bank directly and got everything done over the telephone.

Taking Delivery: January 24, 2007 - my dream of owning a Safari came true.

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Please excuse the picture quality as I had only my mobile phone with me. Who remembers a camera at times like this? Better pictures in my garage and more to come, I promise.

Initial Impressions:
After taking delivery, drove carefully to the nearest bunk and tanked up. The careful driving was to get used to the dimensions of this truck!

Did some city driving for the first day and then hit the highway. While it seems HUGE for the city (till you get used to it), it is PERFECT for the highways!

Steeroid's point of the engine in a reclining chair comes to mind almost immediately. You simply don't realise you are doing 3 digit speeds until you look at the speedo. I made sure I took it to 2000 rpm in each gear before upshifting.

If the Bajaj Avenger makes you feel like God, the Safari makes you feel like a GCMG (God Calls me God, quote courtesy Yes (Prime) Minister) - you peer down at cars, look at truck / bus drivers in the eye. Like the Enfield Bullet, everybody gives way to a Safari - driving on the first day, an Endeavour almost cut me off, one flash of the headlights, he looks to see which vehicle it is, sees the DiCOR and gives way. Not sure he would have done the same for a car.

Initial thoughts -
The pros: ride, comfort, cruising ability (a 160 km drive feels like 16 km!), fantastic ergonomics (I feel I've been driving a Safari for years!)

The cons: size (takes some getting used to in the city initially), reversing is a pain in crowded areas, braking takes some getting used to.

Stuck in a traffic jam on the outskirts of the city, I simply went off the road and through mud, slush etc. (in 4H) and rejoined at the start of the pack. People must have felt "what a big show-off" but it feels nice to go off the road on a whim.

After 1000 km, I started upshifting at ~2300 rpm.

Some minor niggles were there:
I found the fuel flap opening on its own - reported this during the first service and the bracket holding the flap was tightened. The problem has not come again.

There was also a buzz from the rear left door - due to the door panel not fit properly after sun film installation (the one and only "mod" on this vehicle).

When you own a Safari, you don't think twice about hitting the highway or any road for that matter. 1300 km came up in the first 1 week. 4500 km came up in 7 weeks.

April 2007: ~ 6500 km. Strange noise from the front when A/C is on. Took it to the TASC and the fan assembly was changed under warranty. Remembered steeroid's post regarding the same and asked the TASC - they said this was a rare issue!

During the above incident, I had noticed the "Check Engine" light come on briefly but didn't see it again for another 1000 km. 1 week later, the light starts glowing intermittently accompanied by the engine turning extremely rough. This behavious stays for about 5 seconds and then its back to silent mode. Another observation is that this happens only in bumper to bumper traffic and not at speeds above 40 kph.

Took it to the TASC where they hooked it up and found an ECU error. They fit in a replacement ECU and the same symptoms ocurred. All the sensors and relays seemed to be fine. The wiring harness was then changed under warranty and I had the truck back in the evening.

May 2007: Truck crosses the 10000 km mark.
August 2007: 15000 km despatched. Notice a few days later that the letters EX have disappeared from the tailgate. I shrug it off, could have been worse.

mid October 2007: 20000 km mark. Book for service to be told to come at the end of the month. Works Manager didn't have a problem if the truck had crossed 22000 km by then.

1 blown 10A fuse (reverse and stop lamps). Clutch slave cylinder replaced under warranty

December 2007: 25000 km crossed.

January 24, 2008: One year of ownership and the truck had done ~27000 km.

March 2008: 30000 km done. Tell the service advisor the clutch seems a little hard and the clutch assembly was changed under warranty. Some chirping has started from the rear. Think its the clip for the plastic cladding on the roof but the noise is not consistent.

July 2008: 35000 km done.

Till date, the truck has done 36900 km. In 18 months and 5 days.
Do I drive? Yes Sir. Am I happy? Yes Sir.

Why no modifications / accessories? I believe in adding on stuff that's absolutely essential. In my case, sun control film was. No film on the front and rear glass. I'm happy with the stock music system.

Overall FE is ~10.5 kpl. The HVAC is always on. I almost never shift up before 2300 rpm (ever since I crossed the 1000 km mark). On 1 trip, I shifted religiously at 2000 rpm in each gear and got a phenomenal 14 kpl.
BTW, the engine rev limiter kicks in at 3500 rpm in neutral.

Do I use the 4x4? Yes, very often. I go off the road so very often because I like it and the truck can manage it. I would love to participate in OTR events where such SUVs can also go without fear of breaking something.

Watch this space for the running report. Thank you all Safari 3.0 owners for your regular updates.

Last edited by dicorex4x4 : 29th July 2008 at 18:37.
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Old 29th July 2008, 20:01   #2
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Great report from heart !

The niggling issues that could be prevented show that Tata needs to work on it. I hope that all your issues are resolved.
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Old 29th July 2008, 20:26   #3
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Lovely report, written with more heart than head.

Am seriously contemplating a 20K kms run 4X4 EX Dicor 3.0 off Nov '06.

Getting it at INR 7.2lacs and its a Blazing Red color.

This report of yours only helps me a bit.

One major reason am contemplating a 3.0 is also that I can add some mods like the Pipercross filters, ECU mgmt setting etc and also helps me keep the total expense in about average control.

Also, this will help me get used to the size & dimensions.

Maybe a decade later, I can easily sink into a LandRover as a natural upgrade in the Tata family.

Thanx and please do keep posting your little moments of fun.

cheers:

Last edited by SRShrikanth : 29th July 2008 at 20:27.
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Old 29th July 2008, 20:48   #4
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Great report, niggles are part of the tata motors package, even my colleague has some problems with his safari and fighting with the dealer (RF, Cochin).

Sorry for the OT
Can some some provide the email address of any tata motors senior officials or customer service where we can get some immediate action
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Old 29th July 2008, 23:18   #5
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Nice one.Enjoyed reading it

Thats a good odo reading @ 18months! and still rocking! What else you need!

Will keep a track on your reports about Safari.
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Old 30th July 2008, 09:16   #6
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Good ownership report ,dicorex4x4, enjoyed reading it. Will be following this thread for more details...please do post more pics.

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Last edited by Blue Thunder : 30th July 2008 at 09:18.
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Old 30th July 2008, 09:22   #7
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Good ownership report, you can request the MODS to move to LTOR as it has run almost 35k & 1 year.
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Old 30th July 2008, 10:05   #8
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Thanks for the posts, folks.
Dadu Sir - this is neither long term nor long distance as far as I'm concerned.

Quote:
almost 35k & 1 year
Sir - a shade under 37K and a shade over 1.5 years!
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Old 30th July 2008, 10:28   #9
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@Dicor, if that doesnt qualify for LTOR, then not many can.

Would have loved to be in that place .. but my truck was idle for close to almost 9 months at different times.
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Old 30th July 2008, 10:29   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dicorex4x4 View Post
Sir - a shade under 37K and a shade over 1.5 years!
Excellent report, I like your style of writing. My beast just completed 21 months & 37k kms & I'm yet to come across any other options by way of VFM & Comfort at this price point.

cheers: & wish you many more years of happy mile munching! Oh & yes, this definitely qualifies for the LTOR section.

Last edited by suman : 30th July 2008 at 10:30.
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Old 30th July 2008, 10:32   #11
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Great report Dicorex4x4!

Seems like you slowed down on the KM's crunching after the initial days. Happy motoring, mate! :-)
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Old 30th July 2008, 10:47   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyWheels View Post
Seems like you slowed down on the KM's crunching after the initial days.
Only a true motoring buff would have picked that up from the report. Yes, there was a slowdown in the first half of this year thanks to work (and taking flights for the same).

Looking at the distance trend (like the Car Sales thread ):
Jan 2007 - July 2007: ~14800 km
July 2007 - Jan 2008: ~12200 km
Jan 2008 - July 2008: ~9900 km

I have travel planned (as always) and hopefully, the downward trend will be arrested.

Suman, I have to thank you as well. Steeroid was the Pioneer, you were the Blaupunkt .

Last edited by dicorex4x4 : 30th July 2008 at 10:50.
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Old 30th July 2008, 10:48   #13
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lovely vehicle there have heard the same good rviews from many a bout the newer safaris.

but why did they stop the 3.0 litre version
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Old 30th July 2008, 11:35   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dicorex4x4 View Post
...I have travel planned (as always) and hopefully, the downward trend will be arrested...
So any plans of attending the T-BHP SAFARI MEET 08 - Calling all boys with big toys! meet? Gives you an excuse to drive, drive and keep on driving.
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Old 14th August 2008, 10:51   #15
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Quick update:

Crossed 38000 km - all good. Here's a picture of the truck at a beach at Chennai - in 4L and with the A/C on.

January 2007 Tata Safari 3.0 DiCOR EX 4x4 Running Report-img_0066_2.jpg
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