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Old 8th August 2007, 11:27   #16
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Thread closed. The owner of the thread can post further details about his experiences with the vehicle in a new thread under Long Term Reviews henceforth (after at least 1500-2000 kms of driving). Any other questions can be posted in various Safari related threads
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Old 4th December 2007, 18:45   #17
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Default Help me decide between Scorpio and Safari

Please bear with me on this very long post.

Well I was in the market on the look out for an affordable SUV with decent mileage. Duty being long drives with full family (6 members) & luggage. With out going in for test drives or physically seeing the vehicles, I had zeroed in on the Bolero SLX or the Scorpio M2Di, given my then budget of 7 lakhs and the better mileage they promised on paper.

Took a test drive of the M2Di first. Was impressed by the vehicle except for the gear shift which was definitely hard and notchy. The car seemed to behave very well, as I was expecting it to roll like a ship. Body roll was minimal as I would have been uncomfortable at the slightest roll, to which I was unaccustomed (my current rides being the Lancer Diesel and Fiat UNO D). AC was decent, wife and parents liked the car. But I was skeptical considering the fact that it had the old DI engine which was prone to noise and vibrations. The vibes were evident even in the new car through the gear lever, which kept on moving like it had a mind of its own at idle when parked. More over this version did not have side claddings, fog lamps, roof rails, RPM meter and was fitted with 15 inch wheels.

Second I had a look at the Bolero SLX. Didnít take much time to decide against it. It may be a good vehicle in itself, but didnít fit my dream of an SUV except for the price tag. Engine was very noisy, much more than the M2Di considering that both had the same engines (later I came to know that even though the engines were same, Mahindra had worked on it to pump up the power to 70 BHP instead of the 63 in Bolero, and made it more refined). Fit and finish was poor, with the fake wood finish of the center console coming undone (seems it some layer of synthetic material glued on the console). Strangely the car had a remote control security system like that seen in the Skoda, the key folds in and the open/close buttons are in the key itself. Leg room was at a premium, and overall Bolero didnít seem to be a good buy. Also family thought that it looked too boxy and old fashioned.

So decided to stretch the budget a little and test drove the Scorpio LX. Boy the difference between the two engines was immediately evident, with the CRDe pulling happily and refinement was also very good. But the body roll was very very much evident, much more than on the M2Di. May be this was attributed to the heavigher engine and the relatively long test drive that I took didnít inspire confidence in me. Also the fact that there were so many Scorpios in the repair yard after accidents also didnít help either. All the family members like the look of the Scorpio, seating, legroom and AC.

Next day decided to visit the Tata showroom to have a look at the Safari. Arrived a little late at the showroom, and found a passion red EX on display. Was impressed by the bulk, look of the vehicle. Seating position was good, visibility good, back seat comfortable and the engine looked huge. No test drive vehicle was available, had a talk with the show room guy, gave him my budget and he suggested the LX version. He also suggested that they are giving some 60000 Rs off on the previous 3.0 Dicor version, which I declined. The LX seemed to have everything I wanted except that it didnít come in Pearl white color. He promised a test drive the next day. Overall family was impressed by the car, but I remained uncommitted till I test drive the car and also had doubts as to whether it will be easy to park the car in my porch as it was a 90 degree turn from a narrow road into my house. More over I had heard horror stories about the service these guys provide in Trivandrum and the poor reliability of Tata cars.

Any way next day sharp on scheduled time I received a call from the Tata guys asking for location of my house. A cycus grey (?) demo VX version came followed by a LX arctic white 3.0 Dicor (I had asked how the LX Trim would look like). The first thing that I noted was the gaping hole around the ignition key ring. Also the key was too small for a car of this size and looked cheap. I took the wheel and tried reversing the car into my porch, had to take 2 attempts to park the car in. Over all the rear visibility was very poor even with the rear camera, which didnít help in gauging the distance but shows if something is in the way. Took the vehicle to the road, seemed to have a healthy pulling, engine was very rough till about 2000 rpm after which it seemed smooth. Road presence was very good, and body roll was very minimal much less than in the Scorpio. 5th gear is possible only after about 70 KMPH. A prominent shudder is present if 5th is engaged at 60 KMPH. So this is definitely a highway cruiser and in city 3rd or 4th gear is more practical. AC was very good; the tilt adjustable steering did not look much useful as tilting it way down will mask the instrument panel. Fit and finish in the demo car was very poor, with the cap closing the cigarette lighter hole broken, the plastic/rubber trim around the parking brake lever torn, vents of the roof mounted AC loose. But I was impressed by the car as it took the rough roads with ease and minimal roll unlike the Scorpio. Both cars I had test driven in the same route. More over the Tata guy was telling he had managed 18.9 KMPL while on a highway only run. If that is true, it is amazing. The test drive vehicle was badly maintained with dust and grime everywhere. Next I had a look at the 3.0 Dicor LX. Interiors looked ugly when compared to the EX with the sliver centre console and grey plastics. Mean while the Tata guy parked the car in one go in my porch, so guess I could do it with some practice.

What I want from you guys is help me decide between the Scorpio LX and the Safari LX. I would like a reliable vehicle considering the fact that both my current rides are extremely reliable and visits to service centers in between scheduled services are minimal. I would like that to be the same situation with my SUV also. Fuel economy is very important. Which among the two is more reliable ? BHP members who have been long term owners of the Scorpio and the Safari please voice their opinions.

Also I would like to have an opinion on Kulathunkal motors (Safari Service), Trivandrum, about their service and customer care. I perosnally know about TVS motors (Scorpio Service) because I have been servicing my UNO there for the past 6 years.
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Old 4th December 2007, 19:13   #18
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Old 4th December 2007, 19:22   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sun View Post
What I want from you guys is help me decide between the Scorpio LX and the Safari LX. I would like a reliable vehicle considering the fact that both my current rides are extremely reliable and visits to service centers in between scheduled services are minimal. I would like that to be the same situation with my SUV also. Fuel economy is very important. Which among the two is more reliable ? BHP members who have been long term owners of the Scorpio and the Safari please voice their opinions.

Also I would like to have an opinion on Kulathunkal motors (Safari Service), Trivandrum, about their service and customer care. I perosnally know about TVS motors (Scorpio Service) because I have been servicing my UNO there for the past 6 years.
If you want a truly reliable vehicle, please consider the Toyota Innova. It seats as many people and you will never have to visit the service centre more than what is required for periodic service.

Do not expect niggle-free experiences with either of the two vehicles you have considered.

I believe Kulathunkal Motors is a pain to deal with. RF Motors is starting a new dealership (or has started one already) in Attingal to service the TVM Market, so perhaps you should check with them. They will usually have a full-fledged tie-up with a good service centre within the city when they do not have their own. You can trust RF, besides which TBHPian Arif from Trivandrum is opening his own dealership there (or so I was told by the chaps at RF, since Arif was undergoing apprenticeship there)
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Old 4th December 2007, 20:11   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steeroid View Post
If you want a truly reliable vehicle, please consider the Toyota Innova. It seats as many people and you will never have to visit the service centre more than what is required for periodic service.

Do not expect niggle-free experiences with either of the two vehicles you have considered.
I had thought about the innova, but it doesnt have an suv appeal, more of a taxi image here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steeroid View Post
I believe Kulathunkal Motors is a pain to deal with. RF Motors is starting a new dealership (or has started one already) in Attingal to service the TVM Market, so perhaps you should check with them. They will usually have a full-fledged tie-up with a good service centre within the city when they do not have their own. You can trust RF, besides which TBHPian Arif from Trivandrum is opening his own dealership there (or so I was told by the chaps at RF, since Arif was undergoing apprenticeship there)
I havent heard of RF motors. Can you provide some details like wherein is it situated ? Has they already started operations ?
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Old 4th December 2007, 21:30   #21
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If reliability is what you are after as first priority, go for the Scorpio. That is, if you have totally ruled out the Innova.
Thus far, such are the track records!

BTW, I am the owner of a 4WD Scorpio and have put it to hard use in Himachal. J&K, Ladakh etc..
Total ownership: 16 months.

Last edited by anupmathur : 4th December 2007 at 21:32.
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Old 4th December 2007, 22:25   #22
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Originally Posted by sun View Post
I had thought about the innova, but it doesnt have an suv appeal, more of a taxi image here.
Ditto for the Scorpio.

Anyway, give RF Motors in Cochin a call at 0484 2544583 or better still call their helpline at 9846998469 and ask them whether they have already started operations in Attingal.

Or PM TBHPian arif_t01 and ask him.
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