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Old 20th July 2010, 19:53   #1
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Default Black Storm-Safari GX 4x4. EDIT : 70k Kms update

It all started here:
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-d...tt-gx-4x4.html (BLACK STORM - The Arrival (Safari 2.2 Dicor VTT GX 4x4))

As I sit here trying to write my first long Term Report of any car, I am trying to recollect the experiences in owning the Black Storm nearly close to a year now (11months), it has run some 25500kms mostly in the city and highways with a couple of OTRs and some miniscule impromptu off roading.

One striking thing about this car is it's presence, I have never clicked any of my previous cars so many times in so many different poses. This car according to me is a shutterbug's delight.

Coming to the initial purchase experience, I had booked the car at Prerana Motors Lalbagh Rd, I had to wait approximately a month before it was delivered, I had done a PDI at the yard along with NDevdath, and there were no nasty surprises.

The overall dealership experience was quite ok with normal hassles which when looked in hindsight are mostly small issues which look magnified when a person is buying a new car and the tension gets to him.

There have been numerous trips done by me in the past year and I found that the car is pretty comfortable for long non stop drives, one doesn't have to neccessarily stop frequently to stretch aching muscles.

The first long trip post purchase was the drive to Goa with fellow Tbhpians, who are now like family to me. This was where I was first introduced to the headlamp level adjuster lookalike switch which switches between 2WD and 4WD by our own moderator Khan_Sultan, thanks to him I learnt how to swallow my heart when it tries coming out of your mouth when you are trying to climb/descend an impossible looking hill.

On the way to Goa @ Jog Falls
Black Storm-Safari GX 4x4. EDIT : 70k Kms update-safari1-1024x768.jpg

My first hill climb
Black Storm-Safari GX 4x4. EDIT : 70k Kms update-safari2-1024x768.jpg

In just a month of buying the car I went on my first OTR, the details of which are here:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/4x4-ex...table-otr.html (Bangalore - Chikkaballapur OTR (02nd Oct 2009) - The Unforgettable OTR.!!!)

First water crossing
Black Storm-Safari GX 4x4. EDIT : 70k Kms update-safari3-1024x768.jpg

Jumping in
Black Storm-Safari GX 4x4. EDIT : 70k Kms update-safari4-1024x768.jpg

This is where I realised that the car is quite capable in difficult terrain and is willing to be thrown around, it only requires a strong heart to do it.
Post the otr I had it serviced and spent about 6.5k on damage repairs, damage incurred in the otr, now one might understand why I said it requires a strong heart to throw 13 lacs around.

Some other long trips have been a 3 day trip to Shirdi, a 2 day trip to Tirupati, and some other 2-3 day trips including an impromptu trip to Pondicherry.

The most recent of my long drives was a 4 day trip to Munnar and Vagamon and it was sheer bliss driving this car in the hills.

As I mentioned earlier, most of the driving has been in namma Bengaluru and I use it as my daily drive. I have never felt uncomfortable in dense traffic or in tight parking situations, the height at which the driver sits is a major factor here is what I feel. It undoubtedly takes up more parking space then a normal sedan, but then once you know it's contours, you can park it like how you would park a sedan.

Now coming to what most people ask a Tata Safari owner, what about the problems?

Touchwood, there have been no major problems which have reduced my already thinning pate. I have got the vehicle serviced some three times and the costs have been normal.

I give the car for service/repair to Prerana Motors on old Madras road and the workmanship is quite acceptable, most of the work asked for gets done and the car is delivered on time. Only recently when I had given the car for some warranty replacement of parts, they have managed to put some scratches on the right front fender. When I brought it to their notice, they have apologised and have offered to get it painted whenever I can leave my vehicle with them.

The fuel efficiency I get while driving in the city is about 10km/ltr of diesel and the best I have obtained so far is 14kmpl.

Issues faced by me and rectified by the service centre are:
1) Clutch got very hard after 20k kms, it was replaced under warranty
2) Music system HU stopped reading Cds, it was repaired under warranty
3) Fan blower was a little noisy in lowest speed, they replaced the entire blower assembly.
4) Front power windows would make clicking noises when closed and car went over a rough patch, the power window regulators were replaced.
5) The steering wheel grip had signs of wear, so the entire steering wheel was replaced, now the new one seems to be wearing out faster than the old one.
6) The suspension would rattle like a bus/truck in disrepair, they adjusted the idler arm and now it feels fine.

All the above replacements were done under warranty and I did not have to pay a dime for parts or labour, the only loss I faced was that the car had to be left overnight a couple of times at the service center.
Other than the above niggles (I call them niggles because they could have emerged in any car), I have faced no other issues with the functioning of the car.

Mods/upgrades
The first thing I changed on taking delivery was the tyres, I got Michelin LTX AT2 tyres replacing the original Bridgestone Duelers.
I have now added a reverse camera along with a 3" TFT screen to aid reversing.

So after almost a year of owning the Safari, I feel pretty satisfied with the car and feel that given proper care, it should behave like a car manufactured by any other manufacturer.

Now some nostalgic pics:

Picture perfect courtesy Rjstyles69
Black Storm-Safari GX 4x4. EDIT : 70k Kms update-safari5-1024x768.jpg

At home in the jungle
Black Storm-Safari GX 4x4. EDIT : 70k Kms update-safari6-1024x768.jpg

Or on Good roads
Black Storm-Safari GX 4x4. EDIT : 70k Kms update-safari7-1024x768.jpg

Or off the road
Black Storm-Safari GX 4x4. EDIT : 70k Kms update-safari8-1024x768.jpg

Cheers,
Hari.

Last edited by Lukeskywalker : 20th July 2010 at 20:01. Reason: added link
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Old 20th July 2010, 19:57   #2
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Awesome pics man! What were you doing in the 4th pic? Seems to be going straight into a ditch? Do you have follow up pictures or something?
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Old 20th July 2010, 19:59   #3
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The followup pics can be found in the thread mentioned above I guess.
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Old 20th July 2010, 20:12   #4
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25odd thousand kms in under a year. WOW! Beautiful pics and have always loved your no nonsense way of putting things across. I stay close to Prerana on Old Madras Road. Please give me a ring when you come there some time. Would like to meet the truck and you.

On a different note, Michelins are considered to be "soft" when compared to others, but your experience shows that they can stand the rough.
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Old 20th July 2010, 22:33   #5
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Hari- the pics are awesome esp. the 4th one. I have never seen the pic earlier. I am digging the other thread now.

Can you write a line about service intervals? As you have mentioned, it was serviced 3 times so far- was it like 5k, 10k, 20k?

Nevertheless- awesome pictures and I hope you will keep updating this thread once in a while.
Cheers,
Jai
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Old 21st July 2010, 10:22   #6
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Hari, the two tone effect on your Safari really stands out, and i must say it is a well maintained vehicle. However, knowing you and the way you look after your vehicles, i am not surprised.

So, when do we go for a drive?
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Old 21st July 2010, 10:52   #7
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Your "First water crossing" pic reminds me of a scene from the movie "Cars". Sarge urges a swanky SUV with spinners and ultra low profile tyres to do the off-roading, and that car says "Yo man, I've never been or four". Looks like your Safari is saying the same to the Gypsy behind.

One good point I noticed is that TASC never seem to refuse/hesitate changing parts under warranty.
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Old 21st July 2010, 14:31   #8
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Quote:
I stay close to Prerana on Old Madras Road. Please give me a ring when you come there some time. Would like to meet the truck and you.
Hi, unni, sure we can meet, pm me your mobile number and will surely call you when i come to Prerana, usually mjothi and I meet up whenever i come there.


Quote:
Can you write a line about service intervals? As you have mentioned, it was serviced 3 times so far- was it like 5k, 10k, 20k?
Jai, I think I got it serviced at 1.5k, 5k and then 15k kms. I will have to check the service records, my memory isn't so good.

Quote:
So, when do we go for a drive?
Benny thanks for the compliments and what kind of drive are we looking at here?

@Whitekinght
Quote:
Your "First water crossing" pic reminds me of a scene from the movie "Cars". Sarge urges a swanky SUV with spinners and ultra low profile tyres to do the off-roading, and that car says "Yo man, I've never been or four". Looks like your Safari is saying the same to the Gypsy behind.
The Gypsy behind is "Spidey" and he sure is grinning from ear to ear watching a newbie.
Yes, tata folks are pretty proactive when it comes to honouring warranty claims.

Last edited by Lukeskywalker : 21st July 2010 at 14:35.
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Old 21st July 2010, 15:06   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lukeskywalker View Post
One striking thing about this car is it's presence, I have never clicked any of my previous cars so many times in so many different poses. This car according to me is a shutterbug's delight.
Now I know why you have been trying to acquire your new gadget. Hmm, good luck for you to own it soon.

Surely, Black (is) Beauty!
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Old 21st July 2010, 15:25   #10
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hey hari, congrats on completing the 25k mark on the truck. and as always, well written, no nonsense review(which is what we've come to expect of your posts now).

As a frequent co passenger in this car and a driver once, all i can say is it drives and feels like a dream. The only regret is that i could not join you during the first (and i think last ) OTR. and yes, its completely a shutterbugs dream, clearly seen by the fact that of the 100 odd snaps i clicked during our goa trip, almost 20-30% were of the truck.

Keep those wheels turning and miles crunched...

Perez.
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Old 21st July 2010, 15:47   #11
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Wow, seems like yesterday that you bought this -- and now we hear that it's 25K already on this.

Nice to hear that you haven't got any niggles as such but I think that TATA's policy of 'blind replacement at first instance itself' helps -- else if this was not the case, I am sure the issues you have listed would have become real headaches.

Maybe you could also share with people your experience on how you manage maintain a big black vehicle in so pristine shiny condition. I have never ever seen a speck of dust on it.

Here's wishing you many many more happy miles on this black beauty. Also, I need to travel more as a co-passenger with you :-)
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Old 23rd July 2010, 19:17   #12
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Here's a video shot by Hgnishanth of the Otr

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Old 23rd July 2010, 19:30   #13
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Hari that's quite a mileage logged for a 1 year old vehicle and am pretty darn sure you are enjoying the Dicor to every bit. Apparently it shows on the odometer and heck that drive through the ditch needs sheer guts to take this spanking clean monster there.

Thanks for getting up that early in the morning and coming over for the photo-shoot. Definitely would love to spend a summer morning with the black beauty.

Black Storm-Safari GX 4x4. EDIT : 70k Kms update-4525695214_01ca1459f6_b.jpg

Black Storm-Safari GX 4x4. EDIT : 70k Kms update-4525695220_518fa13b80_b.jpg

Drive Safe.
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Old 23rd July 2010, 19:36   #14
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Hey thanks a ton Riju, you make Black Storm irresistable with your snaps, we shall do one more monsoon photoshoot, maggie and I have discovered another beautiful place.
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Old 23rd July 2010, 22:14   #15
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Hi Lukes:

Great report and great pics. What damages happened in the OTR? I took my 4x4 Scorpio off-road and the approach, departure angles are pathetic due to the design of the front and rear bumpers and running boards.

The safari is much better in that aspect as the bumper doesn't hang down as much in the front or back.
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