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Old 10th December 2009, 11:44   #1
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Default Sumo Grande Feedback required

Hi ,

I am considering Sumo Grande for my daily travel in the city and weekend long drives . I have come across threads which talks of test drives of Grande and just one user review. Infact I haven't seen even one travelogue with Sumo Grande.

What I cannot get from the feedbacks and reviews is the capability of the vehicles. I mean forget about cheap plastics and looks they are pretty much subjective , how is the Grande as a package on the whole ? Is it a "take it anywhere , won't let you down " type or "watch out for that small pothole otherwise the car will fall apart" type .

How are Grande's highway manners and the ruggedness ? Is that comparable to older Sumo which were like prime movers of the country and high on reliability. Yes I am saying reliability since I have live instances in front of me who have been using the Sumo for decades.

I would really appreciate feedbacks from owners about this. If there is any thread already open on this then I would appreciate if anybody points me that.

--Vikrant
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Old 10th December 2009, 22:24   #2
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Yup, the Sumo Grande is capable as well as a robust vehicle. After all, its based on the Sumo which is one of the few Tata cars to have an "excellent" reliability rating as of today. The excellent common-rail diesel engine is a bonus.

However, personally, I do think that the Grande is past its prime. Modern (and equally rugged) vehicles like the Innova, Scorpio and Xylo ought to be top on your shopping list. In fact, the Innova & Scorpio are well suited to your "daily city drive and outstation weekends" usage. Both are relatively light to drive, can take abuse and are very reliable.
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Old 10th December 2009, 23:32   #3
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I had actually narrowed down to Xylo / Scorpio /Grande . But I wanted to get a fair hearing on the performance of the Grande so had posed this query. Otherwise discussion invariably turn into Scorpio threads

Hoping to get a few responses from Grande owners

--Vikrant
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Old 11th December 2009, 08:27   #4
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Vikrant:

The Scorpio SLE is an excellent package. Priced Somewhat in Sumo Grande Territory but much better. Sumo Grande never took off for what ever reason so the resale will definitely be bad. This is not an issue with the Scorpio/Xylo. Scorpio and Xylo are available with ABS which is definitely a plus and much needed for a big SUV.
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Old 11th December 2009, 10:08   #5
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4X4addict , my first choice of course is a SLE if it is going to be a Scorpio or a Xylo E8 ABS. A SUV without safety features like ABS is a bit of a turndown for me and I fully agree with you Grande has taken a back seat due to lack of ABS / EBD .

Resale is something not in my mind right now since I plan to keep the same till it falls apart so long term reliability is something I would look forward to rather than resale.

I am going to check out Xylo and Scorpio this weekend with the home minister .

--Vikrant
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Old 11th December 2009, 18:17   #6
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Vikrant,

We had a good number of owner feedback, from which the following review was compiled here

Quote:
Thanks to Tata’s pricing strategy, the Sumo Grande offers superb value to those looking at a "family" utility vehicle. Some insist that the Grande is old wine in a new bottle; though that statement is not entirely incorrect, be assured that the Grande is a giant leap ahead of the old Sumo. Yes, it still is basically the same 15 year old platform, but unlike the bread box Sumo, the Grande is all curves. Owner’s report that the front and side profiles are impressive, though the rear end is totally out of place and feels like an aftermarket modification job. The overall look definitely has a concept car touch to it and looks SUVish : a clear indicator of the urban family that Tata wishes to target. Fit & finish are better than on the old Sumo, but still a far cry from some of its Japanese competitors. Panel gaps are disappointingly inconsistent all around. On the upside, the paint job is simply awesome, as always with a Tata. Our reviewers state that the beige interiors look roomy, and add a certain amount of freshness to this MUV. Space for front and middle row passengers is simply fantastic, the third row is amongst the most spacious too! The middle-row bench even has recline-adjustable seats to elevate comfort, but the last row passengers will sit in a slightly crouched position due to the high floor. Nevertheless, this MUV is amongst the most comfortable options to carry 5+ passengers. Grande owners were disappointed with the ghastly plastic quality and add that most interior fittings feel flimsy. Driver ergonomics are inexistent though forward visibility is fantastic. The top-end Grande variant comes loaded with 3 way lumbar support, height adjustable front seat, tilt steering, air-con vents neatly integrated into the roof, a 6 speaker sound system, rear wash / wipe and electric mirrors.

Power comes from a Safari sourced 2.2 liter DICOR diesel. Even though it has been detuned to 118 BHP, the Grande pulls effortlessly from low rpms and feels very peppy. A variable geometry turbo minimizes turbo lag, and the 250NM of torque starts from as low as 1,500 rpm. Owners were pleased with the excellent drivability and mid-range offered by this diesel. It is only at the top end that the Grande is not particularly strong. Owners were left pleasantly surprised with the engines high level of refinement. Gearshift quality has a notchy edge to it, but what makes it worse is the squarish gear knob that is simply horrible to hold. An area where the Grande excels is low speed ride quality. It is phenomenal within the city and soaks up road irregularities without complaint. However, once up to speed (highway), the Sumo Grande retains the “bobby” nature of the regular Sumo. Rear passengers, in particular, will experience a bouncy ride on the highway and over speedbreakers or broken roads. That said, its ride quality does improve with load. The softly tuned suspension and leaf spring layout at the rear was never going to make this MUV a good handler. In fact, our reviewers comment that it feels like a boat around corners. Handling is below average, and body roll is generous. The Grande is best driven very sedately. A lifeless steering wheel makes things worse with its inherent *play*, resulting in the driver not having a clue as to what the 16 inch wheels are up to. Brakes are decent, though they fade easily under hard use.

Smaller yet significant things:

Rear bench passengers prone to “jumping” over rough road patches.
Third row glass can be opened partially for ventilation.
Spare tyre is located under the body.
Gear knob looks funky, but is nasty to use.
Useful storage compartment under the front passenger seat.
Faux wood panel is cheap.
Standard air-con takes a long time to cool! Opt for version with rear blowers.
Circular air-con vents neatly integrated into the roof.
Height adjustable seat belts are a welcome addition!
Low rear visibility makes reversing cumbersome. Parking sensors recommended.
Body side cladding is conspicuous by its absence; would give the Grande a more complete look.
U-turns are surprisingly easy for a UV of this size.
Chrome ringed speedometer and tachometer look nice. High on functionality too.
Distance between steering and stalk’s is too much and affects ease of use.
Funky steering wheel design grabs attention.
Third row room is good, but high floor makes one sit in a slightly crouched position.
Smaller windows make the last bench a tad claustrophobic.
ABS would be welcome on the top end version.
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Old 12th December 2009, 00:30   #7
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I also test drove Sumo Grande, Scorpio SLE and Xylo this last march and ended up buying the SLE. The SLE with 7 seat (2,2,3 configuration) is more convenient. We bought Scorpio SLE for its better engine refinement and gear shift among other things.

I am sure XYLO with ABS might be a little cheaper with better interiors. So if you are OK the looks of the xylo, then consider that as well.
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Old 12th December 2009, 02:53   #8
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I suggest you might want to wait for the launch of Sumo Grande MKII. Tata seems to have made some improvements in areas like interiors, braking and some suspension tuning. Also, the pricing is going to be more competitive or so i have heard.
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Old 12th December 2009, 08:29   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kapss View Post
I suggest you might want to wait for the launch of Sumo Grande MKII. Tata seems to have made some improvements in areas like interiors, braking and some suspension tuning. Also, the pricing is going to be more competitive or so i have heard.
Please... It's purely a cosmetic makeover. Nothing has changed mechanically. Tell me what has done to the suspension and brakes? From what I have read here, interiors have been improved a lot. My money is that it won't improve the abysmal sales. If they are serious about positioning it as a family car, they should put coil spring suspension at the back and offer ABS/Air Bags atleast in the top end version. This model may cannibalize some safari sales but the interiors of the Grande are far more practical than a Safari although the exterior doesn't have the image of the Safari.

Tata has taken significant effort with the Vista and Manza and I applaud them for that. The market also has received the Manza well. The Grande on the other hand was rushed into the market without much thought to Product/Positioning/Pricing.

Last edited by 4x4addict : 12th December 2009 at 08:31.
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Old 14th December 2009, 10:46   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vikrantj View Post
I am considering Sumo Grande for my daily travel in the city and weekend long drives...... I would really appreciate feedbacks from owners about this.
Hi Vikrant,

I am not an owner, but I test drove the Sumo Grande extensively (the old one not the MK-II), and I think it is mechanically a very capable vehicle. The engine is superb (but loud) and drivability is good. And it was cheap too - the local dealer was offering upto 80K discount on the top-end.

However, we decided against it for the following reasons:
1) Braking did not inspire confidence. ABS is very desirable a vehicle this size with so much power.
2) The interiors were pathetic and seats weren't comfortable. My wife hated it the moment we got into it. This may have changed with the MK-II.
3) Very poor market image and resale value. (Especially compared to Scorpio).

Now, some people (including me) do not like the Grande's looks either, but I prefer function over form and so the looks part was not a deal-breaker for me.

We finally bought he Xylo E8 ABS. Its interior comfort was much better than the Grande (except some plastic bits - which are really poor), a lot more space, a more refined engine, lot more gadgets & features and similar pricing.

The reason we chose Xylo over the Scorpio was that we wanted a vehicle than can carry 8 adults comfortably, and the Scorpio 3rd-row seating is a squeeze for long-drives. If space is not a primary criteria for you, then the mHawk engine is a gem and you should get the Scorpio.

Cheers.
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Old 14th December 2009, 10:57   #11
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Grande is a piece of machinery with gem of engine but is drastically failed due image of SUMO in the market. I have seen quite few examples who purchased Grande initially but later shifted to different SUV within a year or two.

TATA - In India name/image sells, launch Grande in new avtar without attaching SUMO to initials and see the roaring success of the great vehicle.
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Old 14th December 2009, 14:56   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4x4addict View Post
Please... It's purely a cosmetic makeover. Nothing has changed mechanically. Tell me what has done to the suspension and brakes?
It seems that they have borrowed the front disc setup from Safari for improving the braking. Also they have tweaked the anti-roll bars to improve handling.
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Old 14th December 2009, 18:23   #13
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Vikrant, Tata just launched a newer variant of the Grande this afternoon. Dippy should be putting his event report up, please search.
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Old 14th December 2009, 19:25   #14
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I can give you my view (since I did a decent test drive it when it was launched) but not a Re-view.

Its a sumo with a new engine & new clothes trying to be able to look 'KOOL & IN'. Unfortunately, its not. It does come across as robust but the plastics dont look like they will last the distance. The resale, if it concerns you, is worse than an Avon cycle.

And finally if you can live with that Rodent looking front end everyday(since it will be your daily ride), then please ignore all the above comments.

Cheers,

J
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