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Old 4th June 2009, 14:23   #1
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Default Tata Safari 2004 TCIC EX 4x4 125,000 KM Ownership Review

Hey Everybody,
I understand that most people have moved to DICORs over the past few years but thought I’d sum up my experience for those of us who still have the old lady!
History:
Bought it in 2007 when it had done 55k. As is the case with many people, was advised against buying a white elephant (maroon actually!). Grew up (studied hard, worked hard and all that) to get money to buy a Safari so obviously wasn’t listening to any advice. Had even thought of buying the 3.0 LX 4x2 for 8.15L but then saw this one with 4x4 for 3.75 so obviously went for it. Was so excited about getting it my lovely female company actually thought I paid more attention to the Safari (henceforth referred to as Baby – the name given by someone special herself!)
Condition then:
The plastic quality is well, cheap for lack of a better word. I was disappointed at the quality of vents and the interiors. If I was disappointed the first owner must have been heartbroken given that he paid 10.95L 3 years back! The AC vents have gone loose so they go up and down like a swing on two hinges. The passenger-side front vent fell inside the slot when someone tried adjusting it.
Gear change had an issue with first and third being slightly troublesome and was pointed out by the seller up front. Good tires (Ceat Rhino) and everything else (AC, 4x4, battery) in good shape.
Experience since:
Got the car completely serviced by the same guy who warned me against buying a Safari. Oils and filters changed, front suspension raised to original height (rather simple process)
Baby has travelled Gujarat and Rajasthan extensively covering 700+ KMs in a single day with the AC on, loaded with luggage and family and without tiring the driver (usually me). Never broken down once or even had issues of any sort except once when my brilliant driver did not know about the engine immobilizer thing which resulted in the car not starting at all. Too scared to call up and ask me, he went to an electrician who did some direct connections and our guy drove 300 KMs back and then told me about it. Just one press of the “s” on the remote key and it worked!
The Brake booster kit failed once (no damaged to life whatsoever) and the dealer quoted 11000! Luckily a totaled Safari in the city got me a replacement for 4000 including labor!
The 4x4 acted funny once where it would go in 4-wheel mode every time I took a right turn and disengage (sometimes) when I would drive straight! Never quite got the logic of it (In spite of being a Mechanical Engineer myself), and to be frank, neither did anyone figure out at the Dealers’. I lived with 4x4 disconnected for a few months till another dealer volunteered to look into it and solved it by resetting the electrical.
Got the engine decarbonization treatment done at 87K and it feels as smooth as it could be. I do go in for the BG107 treatment every time its being serviced (roughly 7-10k KM intervals)
Offroading:
While surely not the fastest off the block, the Safari has shown great potential Offroading and it has been fun especially in 4L! I have taken a few risks of not having a good conditioned spare tire while going off-road but have not had an issue yet. Crossed small rivers, gone up and down ravines, slush and all that with comfortable ease in 4H itself. Have used 4L when it got stuck in sand (Only tractors used that path otherwise)
Today:
Baby’s in perfect shape with regards to the engine and the mechanics at the Dealership confident of it doing 1.5L KMs comfortably if maintained in such state. The car has a few rattling sounds from the dashboard and the tailgate rattles. I am thinking of getting the suspension reviewed thoroughly with new tires in the next 4-5K (Any suggestions) and hoping to do a long Rajasthan holiday this winter.
Future:
I am hoping to go in for the 2.2 EX 4x4 when finances permit and look forward to continuing the affair with Baby albeit post reincarnation!
Summary:
Absolutely Value-For-Money considering there’s not much you can buy for 3.75L that gives comfort, space and fun and the safety of size J
Hope this helps!
Cheers,
AVR

Last edited by Technocrat : 4th June 2009 at 14:37. Reason: Removed FOnt & Size tags, Also Only 2 smilies per post allowed, please all of our read board rules carefully, thanks
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Old 4th June 2009, 15:20   #2
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Nice love affair. May your dreams come true one day.

I do miss 4x4 freedom:(
Do post some pix.
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Old 4th June 2009, 16:30   #3
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a review without picture is incomplete. so please complete your review . Nicely written about the vehicle.
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Old 4th June 2009, 18:32   #4
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Here you go!
Some pictures from a visit to a friend's farm in the back of beyond a few months back
Tata Safari 2004 TCIC EX 4x4 125,000 KM Ownership Review-dscn0982.jpg

Tata Safari 2004 TCIC EX 4x4 125,000 KM Ownership Review-dscn0987.jpg

Tata Safari 2004 TCIC EX 4x4 125,000 KM Ownership Review-dscn0989.jpg

Tata Safari 2004 TCIC EX 4x4 125,000 KM Ownership Review-dscn0991.jpg

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkdas View Post
Nice love affair. May your dreams come true one day.

I do miss 4x4 freedom:(
Do post some pix.
Thanks Jkdas!

The love affair shall continue and I hope you start yours again .

Posted some pictures too!

Cheers,
AVR

Last edited by Rehaan : 5th June 2009 at 17:44. Reason: Posts merged. Please use the EDIT button when you wish to add to an existing post within 20minutes of posting. Thanks.
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Old 4th June 2009, 21:07   #5
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Wonderful review, AVR ! Lucky that you got a 4X4 Safari in good condition : when i was on the lookout for a 4X4 in 2007, i did come across a TCIC EX4X4, but it was in a pathetic condition.
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Old 5th June 2009, 05:04   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AVR View Post
Thanks Jkdas!

The love affair shall continue and I hope you start yours again .

Posted some pictures too!

Cheers,
AVR
Hey AVR do post some pics of the interiors too.After your description of the interiors really interested to have a peep inside.
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Old 5th June 2009, 10:47   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alter_Ego View Post
Hey AVR do post some pics of the interiors too.After your description of the interiors really interested to have a peep inside.
Alter_Ego:
Give me a day or so and I'll put up pictures of the swinging AC vents or should I be

Cheers,
AVR
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Old 6th June 2009, 01:24   #8
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Nice. I always liked the looks of the TCIC Safaris rather than the Dicor onwards.

The TCIC engine was actually a good one. Too bad that it was let down by the rather excessive weight of the Safari.

The last pic looks awesome.
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Old 6th June 2009, 02:34   #9
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Nice Write up AVR, I've always liked the looks and the comfort of a safari. but when I wanted to buy one back in 2006 too many people discouraged me from buying one. there was quiet a lot of safaris available in 4 lakhs bracket. Later I ended up buying a CRDi instead.
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Old 6th June 2009, 08:29   #10
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Wow! Great story. I put money aside for just such a Safari about 5-6 years back and looked at a few second-hand Safaris but they were in such poor condition that I did'nt have the guts to actually seal the deal. Also, I needed to drive close to 100 kms everyday and just could'nt afford a car with problems. So reluctantly gave up the dream and went with a new Indica. But love to hear from people who actually took the plunge, a least some vicarious pleasure!
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Old 6th June 2009, 09:43   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Thunder View Post
Lucky that you got a 4X4 Safari in good condition : when i was on the lookout for a 4X4 in 2007, i did come across a TCIC EX4X4, but it was in a pathetic condition.
To be frank, even I had to be very patient with the second hand Safari market. A lot of them are fairly abused and then put up for sale!


Quote:
Originally Posted by theMAG View Post
Nice. I always liked the looks of the TCIC Safaris rather than the Dicor onwards.

The TCIC engine was actually a good one. Too bad that it was let down by the rather excessive weight of the Safari.

The last pic looks awesome.
I agree theMAG, the TCIC engine is an extremely smooth and free revving engine. If it were to be used in a smaller sized SUV like the Mahindra 340 or Gypsy it would do wonders given that torque is fairly good@190NM - If that can haul the Safari quite well off-road it would probably do great with lighter vehicles

Quote:
Originally Posted by R_R View Post
But love to hear from people who actually took the plunge, a least some vicarious pleasure!
Sometimes, nothing beats living vicariously I do it for so many other vehicles!!

Cheers,
AVR
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Old 6th June 2009, 11:57   #12
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Good to know that the TCIC engine is serving you well and well enough. Hows you experience with the BG RF7 (107) engine additive, that you add at every change ??.
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Old 6th June 2009, 18:56   #13
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Hey AVR, my story goes quite similar to you. Only that i am a few steps ahead. I bought a TCIC which had done 70k, and I pushed it till 350K. Last year I sold her and parked the proceeds in a new 2.2 Dicor.

There is a lot of flak for Safari in this forum. But I have not been convinced otherwise. Unless some manufacture produces a more comfortable, handsome and an almost go anywhere vehicle for under 10 lacs, I think I am going to be a repeat customer of a Safari for my lifetime. I am hoping to add my third successive Safari very soon.
And keep taking very good care of your ride.
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Old 6th June 2009, 20:04   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AVR View Post
Alter_Ego:
Give me a day or so and I'll put up pictures of the swinging AC vents or should I be

Cheers,
AVR
No seriously.Really wanted to see why people always complain that the interiors of a TCIC safari was a let down.I am planning to get myself a used safari once I get back to india next month.So was curious to know
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Old 7th June 2009, 14:46   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dadu View Post
Good to know that the TCIC engine is serving you well and well enough. Hows you experience with the BG RF7 (107) engine additive, that you add at every change ??.
The BG-107 is a very good thing to do on a regular basis. Engine smoothness and performance is fairly enhanced. Probably also the relatively low cost of doing it also makes it more appealing. You should try it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rrsteer View Post
Hey AVR, my story goes quite similar to you. Only that i am a few steps ahead. I bought a TCIC which had done 70k, and I pushed it till 350K. Last year I sold her and parked the proceeds in a new 2.2 Dicor.

There is a lot of flak for Safari in this forum. But I have not been convinced otherwise. Unless some manufacture produces a more comfortable, handsome and an almost go anywhere vehicle for under 10 lacs, I think I am going to be a repeat customer of a Safari for my lifetime. I am hoping to add my third successive Safari very soon.
And keep taking very good care of your ride.
Thanks rrsteer! 350k is well, a lot! When did you overhaul the engine or incur any big expenses on your way to 350k?
Totally agree with you on the rationale - Sub-10 there's very little that you can get but I still think what would be perfect is to be able to have an 2.2 VTT LX 4x4 - that would make it very accessible to people as that would roughly be a 1-1.5L less than the cheapest 4x4 option - the EX 4x4. And then I would also be able to get grey interiors instead of beige
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