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Old 19th April 2013, 18:01   #31
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Default Re: Tata Safari Storme 4x4 : Official Review

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Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
Dear Tanveer - it is "so very nice" of you to compare both the babies, the Thar and the Storme! .

Wow, that's some photography! Teach me when we meet next time! .

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
BD Sir you have abandoned your baby, you are Ranchhor (Lord Krishna) of Indian 4X4 automotive environment. Creat a new Dwaraka in Tata.

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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Yes, Thar is one candidate which comes to mind. As for other SUVs the fotuner 4x4 is 100kgs lighter, and rides on bigger wider tires (265 section width 17 inchers)
220mm GC gives fotuner a 20mm advantage too. Moreover the fuel tank in fortuner is better placed, and manual shift 4x4 means no electronics to go bust. And the engine is more powerful. So fortuner wins here.
XUV? Well thats a true soft roader missing a low range proper 4x4 system. So we won't even compare.
Scorpio has a low placed center diff and 180mm GC is limiting.
As for Rexton, I don't have much idea.
I believe we can add the Gurkha as well (http://www.zigwheels.com/reviews-adv...t-drive/16165/)... much capable & underrated SUV.

BTW, Tanvir, Thank You for such a wonderful review. None could have reviewed the Storme better than you in any perspective (& covered the week points viz - exposed electronic transfer case & fuel tank in this review).

Add to this the images that you have shot are equally marvelous.
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Old 20th April 2013, 01:59   #32
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Default Re: Tata Safari Storme 4x4 : Official Review

Brilliant review tanveer. Rated the thread a much deserved five stars. A long term safari owner brings review of a new entry to the stable. What else one wants!

The Storme indeed has better road presence than the previous gen safari but I would have preferred some more badges (maybe on the sides) which differentiate the 4X2 variant from the 4X4.

Is it just me who thinks that this 4X4 is a bit over priced? If I was in the market to buy a family friendly off-roader I would have certainly preferred the Scorpio since I would be going off-road quite rarely, and except for the low GC and low placed center differential, the scorpio ticks all other boxes correctly .

Last edited by dZired : 20th April 2013 at 02:01.
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Old 20th April 2013, 10:53   #33
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Default Re: Tata Safari Storme 4x4 : Official Review

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The Storme indeed has better road presence than the previous gen safari but I would have preferred some more badges (maybe on the sides) which differentiate the 4X2 variant from the 4X4.
One can always later procure either the Storme or Aria 4X4 badges from the Rear and ourselves place them on the front fenders and/or the below the rear glass.
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Old 22nd April 2013, 11:23   #34
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Default Re: Tata Safari Storme 4x4 : Official Review

Absolutely wonderful review Tanveer, 5 stars from my side, I am not that worried on the low sitting fuel tank, as they are build tough and can take alot of beating.

Those transfer case wires are scary, but I think it should not be a big task to make them splash proof, as you suggested on the our dicussion today.

I took my wife and daughter for the alook around the vehicle and both were sold out at first glance, and to our surprise, my daughter's favorite seat was the third row folding seats :P

BTW they are not giving AT tyres with 4WD anymore, they used to give an AT earlier.

Last edited by rkbharat : 22nd April 2013 at 11:24.
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Old 22nd April 2013, 11:39   #35
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Default Re: Tata Safari Storme 4x4 : Official Review

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Absolutely wonderful review Tanveer, 5 stars from my side, I am not that worried on the low sitting fuel tank, as they are build tough and can take alot of beating.

Those transfer case wires are scary, but I think it should not be a big task to make them splash proof, as you suggested on the our dicussion today.

I took my wife and daughter for the alook around the vehicle and both were sold out at first glance, and to our surprise, my daughter's favorite seat was the third row folding seats :P

BTW they are not giving AT tyres with 4WD anymore, they used to give an AT earlier.
Do not worry too much about the tires. If you drive straight out of the showroom to a tire shop, you can have a set of 5 A/T tires after spending around 3K out of your pocket. Most dealers give good price for brand new Bridgestones.

For waterproofing, silicone spray can work well. Many marine users use it for on boat electronics.
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Old 22nd April 2013, 19:06   #36
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Default Re: Tata Safari Storme 4x4 : Official Review

The 3rd row takes it away from being a preferred choice. However, owners tell me the ride quality has enormously improved to compensate for the 3rd row crunch.

Nice Post !!
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Old 23rd April 2013, 01:53   #37
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Default Re: Tata Safari Storme 4x4 : Official Review

My thanks to all of you for such a nice and interesting thread.

I became acquainted with the Tata Safari way back in 2004, but was not convinced the 2000 TD engine was the ideal solution for such a heavy body.
When the 3000 DICOR was launched I bit the bullet and, some very fierce haggling later, became the pround and happy owner of a 3000 DICOR in autumn 2006.

She has now clocked 133000 Km. Not all trouble free, BUT she has also done her bit in mild, medium and [almost] fierce offroading.



This is me washing the Safari after wading through a muddy field ...

www.tataclub.net

So, you will understand we Italians of the Tataclub Elephant 4x4 take our offroading seriously !

There are a few details I'd like to address:

1. The 4x4 knob looks like a revamped version of the old, 1999-2005 knob as fitted to the 2000cc Safari; we feel an electric switch to engage 4x4 (4H) is OK, but to engage 4L a manual lever is far more reliable.

2. The new car has lost 10 litres fuel tank capacity, we sincerely feel this is ... not a very happy solution (they wanted me to type "unacceptable" but I felt it wasn't very diplomatic). It may be OK to have a 55 litre tank if all one does is the odd weekend drive offroad, out in the morning and back by teatime; but if one is to cover long distances, even 65 is limited compared to 80-1000 litres from some of the competition. A properly redesigned tank should have fixed the issue.

3. I do not understand the reason, nor the technical solution over Tata Motors' removal of the front wheel drive hubs; here in Italy most of us have removed the automatic hubs completely and replaced them with manual hubs, so that you drive with the hubs either unlocked (2x4) or locked (as in the old Land Rover Series); in this latter case the front wheels will transfer the motion to the front differential, but as long as 4x4 is NOT engaged, all is well.

4. I understand there is now less suspension travel from a fully compressed (loaded) to a fully extended wheel suspension, compared to the last Safari. In other words, "twist" is now limited compared to the older versions; this is a step back, because with one wheel losing traction (because it is caressing the ground, rather than biting it) it is much easier to get stuck.

5. Closely related to the above point, the LSD rear differential is still set at a very poor 30-35%, which is so little that many differentials will poften spin freely is traciton is lost on a standing start; setting the LSD at 50% or more would have improved the issue at no cost of the passengers' comfort.

6. Pray, what is keeping Tata Motors from using clever Land Rover solutions ? I refer to a 6-speed manual gearbox, a 5-6 speed automatic gearbox, and qiute possibly the very strong and reliable 3.0 litre V6 TDi from the Discovery... not to mention rear disc brakes...
Honestly, a 5 speed gearbox and rear drums, when even the cheapest economy runabout sports a 6-speed 'box and 4-wheel disc brakes...

Until Tata produce the much promised V6 Safari built (literally) on a Discovery chassis and engine, I will stay true to my old and rugged 3.0 DICOR.
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Old 23rd April 2013, 12:15   #38
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Default Re: Tata Safari Storme 4x4 : Official Review

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Originally Posted by mpescatori View Post



This is me washing the Safari after wading through a muddy field ...
Many Safari owners including me have experienced malfunction in 4x4 operation whenever water is splashed on transfer case. This often happens after underbody wash, or when you splash through water.
4H and 4L lights start blinking, and till the transfer case dries up, 4x4 does not engage.
I am wondering, how do you waterproof the transfer case. Don't you get malfunction in the electronic transfer case mechanism?
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Old 23rd April 2013, 15:07   #39
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Default Re: Tata Safari Storme 4x4 : Official Review

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Originally Posted by mpescatori View Post
6. Pray, what is keeping Tata Motors from using clever Land Rover solutions ? I refer to a 6-speed manual gearbox, a 5-6 speed automatic gearbox, and qiute possibly the very strong and reliable 3.0 litre V6 TDi from the Discovery... not to mention rear disc brakes...
Honestly, a 5 speed gearbox and rear drums, when even the cheapest economy runabout sports a 6-speed 'box and 4-wheel disc brakes.
Welcome on board..!!
Your experiences with the Safari will surely help a lot of people here.

Coming to your question, the Storme has disc brakes all round, and while a 6 speed GB should have certainly been incorporated, the V6 from the Disco would have propelled costs catastrophically.
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Old 23rd April 2013, 15:46   #40
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Default Re: Tata Safari Storme 4x4 : Official Review

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Originally Posted by mpescatori View Post
My thanks to all of you for such a nice and interesting thread.

I became acquainted with the Tata Safari way back in 2004, but was not convinced the 2000 TD engine was the ideal solution for such a heavy body.
When the 3000 DICOR was launched I bit the bullet and, some very fierce haggling later, became the pround and happy owner of a 3000 DICOR in autumn 2006.

She has now clocked 133000 Km. Not all trouble free, BUT she has also done her bit in mild, medium and [almost] fierce offroading.
2. The new car has lost 10 litres fuel tank capacity, we sincerely feel this is ... not a very happy solution (they wanted me to type "unacceptable" but I felt it wasn't very diplomatic). It may be OK to have a 55 litre tank if all one does is the odd weekend drive offroad, out in the morning and back by teatime; but if one is to cover long distances, even 65 is limited compared to 80-1000 litres from some of the competition. A properly redesigned tank should have fixed the issue.

6. Pray, what is keeping Tata Motors from using clever Land Rover solutions ? I refer to a 6-speed manual gearbox, a 5-6 speed automatic gearbox, and qiute possibly the very strong and reliable 3.0 litre V6 TDi from the Discovery... not to mention rear disc brakes...
Honestly, a 5 speed gearbox and rear drums, when even the cheapest economy runabout sports a 6-speed 'box and 4-wheel disc brakes...

Until Tata produce the much promised V6 Safari built (literally) on a Discovery chassis and engine, I will stay true to my old and rugged 3.0 DICOR.
Great pic of your ride in the water. It seems you are doing full justice to what the Safari was designed for!!!

I agree on the tank design front, no reason why Tata couldnt provide a tank protection panel, if they decided to hang the tank below in the chassis. About reduced capacity, I dont know how is it in Italy but in India no where you are 350-400kms away from a fuel station, even in the Himalayas, so range is not an issue, even during offroading.

Storme has 4 disc brakes, so a part of your wishlist is met, and as per the Geneva autoshow, the Tatas showcased a revamped Aria with the same 2.2 engine producing 160bhp/40Kgm of torque and a new 6 speed auto box. I believe these goodies will filter down into the Safari within a short time, I think they might provide a 6 speed manual too, lets wait and watch.
Regarding a V6, may not be possible from an Indian manufacturer, catering mostly to the Indian market, because here fuel is costlier than gold, if we can get away by adding a 100cc motor to a Safari we would have done it
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Old 23rd April 2013, 15:59   #41
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Default Re: Tata Safari Storme 4x4 : Official Review

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I dont know how is it in Italy but in India no where you are 350-400kms away from a fuel station, even in the Himalayas, so range is not an issue, even during offroading.
If you do not head to a place where you require 1000kms range, you are not really using the safari 4x4 for the terrain it was designed for. I often need 120 liters(including 65 in tank), and even with 120 liters, sometimes its not enough.
450-500kms of mountain driving range is too less for an expedition vehicle. Not that competition is better. The Scorpio has a puny 60 liter tank.
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Old 23rd April 2013, 16:52   #42
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Default Re: Tata Safari Storme 4x4 : Official Review

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Many Safari owners including me have experienced malfunction in 4x4 operation whenever water is splashed on transfer case. This often happens after underbody wash, or when you splash through water.
4H and 4L lights start blinking, and till the transfer case dries up, 4x4 does not engage.
I am wondering, how do you waterproof the transfer case. Don't you get malfunction in the electronic transfer case mechanism?
Many of us have installed home-made "breather kits" for the two differentials, the gearbox and the transfer case.


They are required because once you've been driving for some time, the oil in said devoces will heat up considerably, and once in the water the sudden cooling will cause a decompression which will literally suck water inside!

So... either a breather kit (all you need is a few feet of 1/8" SS braided hose and a few threaded nipples) or you seal the devices permanently with silicone glue, which means you plan to never open them again, not even for an oil change...
Breather kits, please...

TATA should keep in mind that when you want a model to sell, sometimes you need a "hot" version to lure the prospective buyers into the showroom...
...once they've seen the hyped up "Tourist Trophy / Himalaya Rally" Storme, they will be happy to sign on the dotted line for the "family man" ordinary version... only to go to Spares Dept. and order a few stickers to hype up their "family man" Storme...

But you WILL have the ones who WILL insist for a "Tomb Raider" style Storme (it worked for Land Rover and Jeep Co., at least here in Europe!)
What do you need to create a "Tomb Raider" style Tata Storme?
Here are a few suggestions based on my 7 years offroading:

- front differential, Dana 30 is good but a Torsen is better (with OEM breather)

- rear differential, LSD Dana 44 is good but Eaton ElectroLock is better (as in Mitsubishi Pajero/Shogun) (with OEM breather)

See what you can do with lockable diffs ?


- gearbox, 6 speed close ratio or 6 speed wide ratio with "granny-style" 1st (i.e., 5:1 1st gear and the other 5 as you have now, to allow for a low 1st when you don't want or can't engage 4L but desperately need a low 1st for heavily laden uphill starts without burning the clutch)(with OEM breather)

- air filter to include snorkel as OEM specification

- 2" taller suspension with 25-30mm wider offset steel rims - such a setup will not alter the overall geometry of the vehicle and will not move the centre of gravity any higher BUT WILL improve offroad capabilities.


By the way, you want STEEL rims because you can hammer them back into shape, unlike alloys...

- offer, as an alternative to the standard 235/70x16 Bridgestone ATs, thinner tyres which are more recommendable for dirt/gravel roads, such as 205x16 or 225/75x16 with M/T or M+S treads.

- offer, as a factory option, an auxiliary fuel tank where the spare tyre currently sits, and reposition the spare on the tailgate.

Even if the overall price would increase a little, you would have a Storme/Safari which would have up to double operating range, would be capable of fording up to 40" water (instead of the current declared 20"), would have much improved capability over rugged and/or muddy terrain (thanks to the Torsen front and Electro-lock rear differentials) and would be capable of towing mad elephants (never mind the dead horses!) without having to resort to 4L thanks to the "granny 1st gear".

This is Enzo on his "TataExplora"



This is Tataclub Elephant 4x4 Club Member "Max Smogbiker" who participated in the "Overland 3000" offroad race in Romania in 2004 and came 2nd overall !!!




A report of his race is here, in Italian, but you can easily translate it with any online website translator (Google, Bing, etc.)

http://www.tataclub.net/php/tatazza/tatazza_romania.php

PS I have omitted mentioning the Safari/Storme's apparent impossibility to fit a luggage rack for anything larger than a 40"x25" suitcase... have those rear plastic holdons any function at all, other than purely cosmetic?
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Old 23rd April 2013, 18:40   #43
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Excellent review and pics, tsk1979

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... Apart from the handling on dirt, there is the added advantage of additional (effective) ground clearance vis a vis the old Safari:


The earlier Safari had dampers hanging low and, at this very point, I used to scrape the center. The Storme clears it without breaking into a sweat. ...
Nice to see that the stalactite growth on the rear axle has been removed.
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Old 25th April 2013, 03:18   #44
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Default Re: Tata Safari Storme 4x4 : Official Review

Great Review! Thanks for the detailing. I own the 'Storme' 4 x 4 and frankly was one of those who just went ahead and bought the top end because I wanted to, not because I needed it. Reading this review really helped.
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Old 25th April 2013, 06:47   #45
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Originally Posted by mpescatori View Post
PS I have omitted mentioning the Safari/Storme's apparent impossibility to fit a luggage rack for anything larger than a 40"x25" suitcase... have those rear plastic holdons any function at all, other than purely cosmetic?
Completely OT.
Intrigued by your handle mpescatori - 'Monsignor Fisherman?'
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