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Old 4th August 2010, 09:55   #1
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Default Should we "settle" for a scorpio or wait for something better?

Hello all,

We are planning to buy a SUV(sic) which will be used on our trips, over bad roads, outside bangalore (to Kerala mostly), about 15,000 kms an year of at the very least. This, we have been doing currently in our two zens (2005 MPFI). Being pushed off the road by lorries, chassis taking a beating on bad roads, have become boring now!

Budget is about 10 lacs, give or take a couple of lacs. The choices were Innova, safari and Scorpio. Rest of the family flatly refused to even come to the toyota showroom, even after constant pleading for about a week! The looks or the lack of it, removed the Toyota from the list pretty quickly. I understand it is personal choice, but the collective decision of the family was that the car doesn't look good. If not for that, I think we would have opted for it.

I really have 3 questions that I am hoping the forum members can help me with. Please skip to the bottom of this post to see my questions. The next few lines are my impression of the safari and scorpio based on the test drives.

Tata Safari:

Positives (that I found)
* Easy to switch from petrol car to big diesel, the steering, clutch, GB etc dint really throw me off guard.
* Fantastic seats all round. many many times better than scorpio. (except the last two jump seats which are a joke)
* Good view from the driver seat, height adjustment etc a distinct advantage.
* Body roll not as bad as I imagined, but definitely needs to be driven conservatively, compared to a sedan or hatch

Sore points:
* turning the ignition on and off, reminded me of the fact that I was in a "truck". The Safari shook just like the Sierra. I did not like that.
* The fixed seating layout (lack of rear bench to make the front two rows spacious) is what really knocked this car off the list.
* Tata sales n service stories doing the rounds and personal experience with other Tata products. If only this product was a maruti, I perhaps would have considered overlooking the seat layout.. perhaps, not entirely sure.

Scorpio:
Positives:

* Though it is smaller than safari, it gets more respect from autodrivers for some reason. I can cancel my art of living membership since my BP will be lower if I buy this car. hehehe
* The new engine seems quieter, peppier and body roll felt more acceptable than earlier version.
* seat layout options

Sore points:

* driving comfort cannot be compared with Safari. This is a real truck, no kidding. The Gear shudders all the time and a major irritant. Clutch travel is also a bit more. Uncomfortable driving position, compared to Safari
* Occupants thrown about over potholes (unlike in safari) but never felt that the scorpio got disturbed, as it ate the potholes, speed-breakers without fuss. tough car, definitely.
* Interior quality for a 10L car is laughable. (Safari dashboard is basic as well but Scorpio's looked cheap) My 92 sierra looks upmarket when compared to this (Ok, i am exaggerating a bit).
* no leather on top end? What?
* Casual examination of the body reveals gaps in the panel which are not consistent either.

Tentative Decision: Inspite of the negatives of the scorpio, given the choices, we are now mentally prepared to buy it. Simply because we have the 3rd row bench seats, responsive engine, tough build.

Here are my questions and I hope I get help with these.

Questions:

1) Does scorpio climb hills with ease on full load? not off-road, but regular sultan battery, Ooty type tarred/semi-tarred roads.
2) Is ABS an absolute requirement in this car? Since I am not completely thrilled about the car, I might as well buy the base version if ABS doesnt matter.
3) What are the must have accessories for scorpio? eg: rain visors, bull bars, change of horn, bulbs etc.
4) Since we are not 100% convinced of the scorpio, we want to know what options exist. Second hand cars are out of question. Xylo, sumo Grande also ruled out on basis of looks alone. Any other suggestions that are worth waiting a max of 5-6 months for? Xenon also ruled out. Overriding requirements are that the car takes on bad roads (shirdi ghats as an example) without the owner feeling bad for the car. Seating layout is important and 3rd row bench seats are a must.


Or do we have to buy this car first, then start to love the car, by looking at the "bigger picture"?
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Old 4th August 2010, 10:09   #2
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I went through the same dilemma and finally settled for the Scorpio for these reasons.

1) Better reliabilty record with fewer visits for warranty/non-scheduled repairs/maintenance.

2) Better resale value. I feel there will be many more choices down in about two years and didn't want to take a huge depreciation hit when I upgrade in two/three years.

Let me try to answer your questions based on my Scorpio usage for about 10K kilometers:

1) Absolutely no issues with engine pulling power. I have driven up number of times to ooty and also Kumily ghats with full complement of passengers and load and you can breeze past many petrol sedans.

2) ABS is absolute requirement and since you plan to use it as a family car. Please don't get the base version. Get the mid version that has ABS and some creature comforts. I wouldn't get any tall SUV, be it Scorpio or Safari without ABS. Forget the price difference, we are talking about the safety of your family here.

4) If you don't want a van like the Innova/xylo there are no options in the 10 lakh range so you have to pick one of the lesser of devils Scorpio/Safari. Both have their positives flaws.

In my opinion, the perfect vehicle would be one that is designed by Tata and built by Mahindra. Tata excels in designing great vehicles but their QC/build is very poor. Mahindra design team is average but their QC/build quality is very good.

If you can get over the ugliness factor, Sumo Grande is a good car for the money. It is more spacious that the Safari and Scorpio. I personally find it ugly so, it will never make my list.
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Old 4th August 2010, 10:14   #3
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I personally dont like the ride quality or the handling of the Scorpio .As a third row is a must for you ,I doubt if the Scorpio would be of any help.

If budget wasnt a constraint ,I would have gone for the top end Innova for sure .
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Old 4th August 2010, 10:33   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ak916 View Post
Questions:

1) Does scorpio climb hills with ease on full load? not off-road, but regular sultan battery, Ooty type tarred/semi-tarred roads.

>> Yes, there's plenty of power on tap even when the vehicle is fully loaded.

2) Is ABS an absolute requirement in this car? Since I am not completely thrilled about the car, I might as well buy the base version if ABS doesnt matter.

>> Get the SLE variant. It doesn't have the electronic gizmos of the top end variant, but it has ABS. Also, it has a rear wiper & demister which is an important feature for ensuring all round visibility.

3) What are the must have accessories for scorpio? eg: rain visors, bull bars, change of horn, bulbs etc.

>> My advice would be to keep it as stock as possible. Get some nice seat covers, a decent music system and sun film - that's it.

4) Since we are not 100% convinced of the scorpio, we want to know what options exist. Second hand cars are out of question. Xylo, sumo Grande also ruled out on basis of looks alone. Any other suggestions that are worth waiting a max of 5-6 months for? Xenon also ruled out. Overriding requirements are that the car takes on bad roads (shirdi ghats as an example) without the owner feeling bad for the car. Seating layout is important and 3rd row bench seats are a must.

>>Sumo Grande is a good option. It's not "eye-sore ugly" and is very spacious. Take a test drive; you never know, you might be pleasantly surprised.

Or do we have to buy this car first, then start to love the car, by looking at the "bigger picture"?
Please see my replies in bold above.

Safari was my first choice too, but it's middle variant (EX) cost a lot more than the equivalent Scorpio version. Also, it didn't have ABS, unlike the Scorpio SLE. I bought the Scorp as it seemed the lesser of 2 evils. I have to admit though, that I haven't regretted the decision. Touchwood!

Cheers,
Vikram

Last edited by comfortablynumb : 4th August 2010 at 10:41.
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Old 4th August 2010, 10:53   #5
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Wow, my time saved. I was about to put the same question on the form (though with a little different details as I haven’t test driven the vehicles yet). I am planning to buy an SUV for the same reasons (the places are different. I live in north) and am going through the same dilemma. Safari or Scorpio is the question that I ask myself and others time and again. I don’t know why, but I somehow had made my mind to buy Scorpio. I am not an Engine etc guy but looks and comfort does matter a lot so the dilemma continued. In one of the gatherings, a few of the friends went gaga over the Tata Safari and I kind of changed my mind. They spoke about its Front row Seats, the space, bla-bla and then…………………………………. I came across this thread

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...o-pg-40-a.html (Protest against Tata Motors.EDIT Supreme Court Orders Tata to repair Sumo (pg.40))

I don’t know if this is one-off incident (though the thread gives a different impression. I have spent hours going through each and every post of this thread) but if you have A-S-S as bad as this and you don’t care about a common customer and try to silence him with corporate muscle power, your days in the market are limited.

I will follow this thread and look forward to comments from great minds here helping people like us make better decisions.

Last edited by sanjaykaul : 4th August 2010 at 10:54.
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Old 4th August 2010, 11:08   #6
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Settling for Scorpio will be a sad situation and honestly, there are no value for money options in SUV's in India.

Go for a used SUV (a Tucson or Grand Vitara). If you need a 7 seater SUV, search for Endy or old Grand Vitara XL7 or Pajero. You can refer to my ownership thread on the used Tucson.

The Tuscon/Grand Vitara/Endy/Pajero are really well made SUV's (i.e. reasonable handling and reliability - of course in the SUV segment, not comparable to sedans) and their availability in the used car market is definately more value for money (and well in your budget range) than their brand new list prices.

Safari and Scorpio are nowhere near these in terms of driving and owning pleasure. Between the two though, Scorpio is more reliable than Safari - try the Automatic one.

And I liked the thread title "settle for a scorpio" - I know how it feels as I have been there, with the budget I had, I could have bought a new safari/scorpio, but somehow that unabatable passion for "driving pleasure" took me to the used market and I found gold.

Of course Tucson is also not perfect - the engine and handling is good, but the gear box leaves you wanting - the second and third gear ratios are too far apart, the clutch pressure plate has a short life (around 25000KM) and the 4WD capability is not as good as Endy/GV/Pajero (it does not have the low range).

But Tucson offers A-M-A-Z-I-N-G creature comfort and is ROCK SOLID at 150kmph. My family loves it more than the Laura!

Good luck and let us know how it goes...
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Old 4th August 2010, 11:22   #7
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The below posts have amply highlighted small, yet significant reasons why the Scorpio has been outselling the Safari year after year by a considerable margin since its launch.

I would recommend the SLE with ABS for you looking into your usage patterns and budget.
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Old 4th August 2010, 12:43   #8
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BTW, I remember when I called the Mahindra Dealer here in Pune (Silver Jubilee) to enquire about Scorpio prices, the first question the sales guy asked me:

"Sir, with airbags or without airbags?"




That was enough for me to be sent me on my way to buy the Tuscon...
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Old 4th August 2010, 13:27   #9
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I beg to differ with one of the so called SORE POINT that you have mentioned

Quote:
Interior quality for a 10L car is laughable. (Safari dashboard is basic as well but Scorpio's looked cheap) My 92 sierra looks upmarket when compared to this (Ok, i am exaggerating a bit).
Definitely not the case. I have checked both the SUV's side by side , a GX vs the SLE and found the quality of plastics much better in the scorp.

Quote:
1) Does scorpio climb hills with ease on full load? not off-road, but regular sultan battery, Ooty type tarred/semi-tarred roads.
It goes far beyond that and no dramas what so ever.

Quote:
2) Is ABS an absolute requirement in this car? Since I am not completely thrilled about the car, I might as well buy the base version if ABS doesnt matter.
Do we really need to compromise on safety features ?

Quote:
4) Since we are not 100% convinced of the scorpio, we want to know what options exist. Second hand cars are out of question. Xylo, sumo Grande also ruled out on basis of looks alone. Any other suggestions that are worth waiting a max of 5-6 months for? Xenon also ruled out. Overriding requirements are that the car takes on bad roads (shirdi ghats as an example) without the owner feeling bad for the car. Seating layout is important and 3rd row bench seats are a must.
The Dicor .

Having driven both for me each is superior in its own ways.
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Old 4th August 2010, 13:51   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anandpadhye View Post
Safari and Scorpio are nowhere near these in terms of driving and owning pleasure. Between the two though, Scorpio is more reliable than Safari - try the Automatic one.
Not sure if you would recommend scorp auto - some folks have been reporting sad tales (pramods..).

This is a compromise game at 10L budget. Drive both and pick the one you like. Scorp with ABS is not that bad to drive. will eat the hills on full load.
Not sure if there any new launches coming which address this price range (Aria or New Mahindra SUV will all be more than that).
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Old 4th August 2010, 13:54   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ak916 View Post
The looks or the lack of it, removed the Toyota from the list pretty quickly. I understand it is personal choice, but the collective decision of the family was that the car doesn't look good.
To begin with, you must take your family with you for Test Drives in the both the Scorpio as well as the Innova, during which you must do the TDs on a variety of surfaces (including bumpy roads) and on highways / highway speeds, if possible, before coming to a conclusion.

The above is important, since "looks of the vehicle" have a novelty effect of a few months, after which a host of factors (including ride comfort) rule the decision of the family when they look to selecting the vehicle for the next outing.

Scorpio is really fun to drive, with it's higher seating position and peppy engine. Whereas the ride comfort of an Innova is comparatively closer to sedans, based on my personal travelling experience in both. All the best

Last edited by mooza : 4th August 2010 at 13:57.
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Old 4th August 2010, 13:55   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ak916 View Post
Questions:

1) Does scorpio climb hills with ease on full load? not off-road, but regular sultan battery, Ooty type tarred/semi-tarred roads.
2) Is ABS an absolute requirement in this car? Since I am not completely thrilled about the car, I might as well buy the base version if ABS doesnt matter.
3) What are the must have accessories for scorpio? eg: rain visors, bull bars, change of horn, bulbs etc.
4) Since we are not 100% convinced of the scorpio, we want to know what options exist. Second hand cars are out of question. Xylo, sumo Grande also ruled out on basis of looks alone. Any other suggestions that are worth waiting a max of 5-6 months for? Xenon also ruled out. Overriding requirements are that the car takes on bad roads (shirdi ghats as an example) without the owner feeling bad for the car. Seating layout is important and 3rd row bench seats are a must.
As a Scorpio owner for almost 2 years now I have my 2 cents to share:

1) Does scorpio climb hills with ease on full load? not off-road, but regular sultan battery, Ooty type tarred/semi-tarred roads.

I have driven on the Ghats outside Mumbai with full load (7 adults 3 kids) no issues with the pulling capability of the vehicle.

2) Is ABS an absolute requirement in this car? Since I am not completely thrilled about the car, I might as well buy the base version if ABS doesnt matter.

With a car of this size and the output I would suggest you go for the ABS, it really helps.

3) What are the must have accessories for scorpio? eg: rain visors, bull bars, change of horn, bulbs etc.

I feel that the accessories are a personal choice, I have the top end varient and have kept the car stock except for a gear lock, seat covers and white vision lamps.

- Rain visors, not really needed.

- Bull bar in my opinion is at best is a fashion accessory, (personal opinion, I know my fellow Scorpio Owners would jump at this suggestion)

- It has a duel horn which is quiet powerful.

- Stock bulbs are good enough and the latest model comes with white vision lamps.


4) Since we are not 100% convinced of the scorpio, we want to know what options exist. Second hand cars are out of question. Xylo, sumo Grande also ruled out on basis of looks alone. Any other suggestions that are worth waiting a max of 5-6 months for? Xenon also ruled out. Overriding requirements are that the car takes on bad roads (shirdi ghats as an example) without the owner feeling bad for the car. Seating layout is important and 3rd row bench seats are a must.

I am not sure there are many options except for the Safari, specially if you see the 3rd bench row of a Scorpio, it is at best sufficient for kids, as the leg room is non existant (in my car I rarely unfold it)
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Old 4th August 2010, 14:52   #13
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@AK916, what "better" vehicle can you wait for ? Is there anything on the horizon that will be launched soon, that you can wait for ? Even if there is one, you will still need to wait for sometime to verify it's on-road performance before you go in for it.

Your other questions have been answered here. Only point I'd like to stress on is : go for ABS. Pls dont skip on it.

Innova would have been a good choice, but since the family is not willing to consider it, then your next choice it is : the Scorp.
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Old 4th August 2010, 18:55   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anandpadhye View Post
BTW, I remember when I called the Mahindra Dealer here in Pune (Silver Jubilee) to enquire about Scorpio prices, the first question the sales guy asked me:

"Sir, with airbags or without airbags?"




That was enough for me to be sent me on my way to buy the Tuscon...
Could you explain why this particular response made you buy the Tuscon? Airbags are an optional version in the VLX version. You can get the VLX version with or without airbags. The price difference is about 25k for the airbag version. Hence, I am don't understand what the sales rep did wrong.

If you read the first post, his budget is about 10 lakhs. Is a Tuscon available at this price? Many people would rather get a new Safari/Scorpio rather than a used CBU since it is not easy to buy a good used vehicle in India. Many dealers roll back the odometer etc.

Last edited by 4x4addict : 4th August 2010 at 18:57.
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Old 4th August 2010, 19:14   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ak916 View Post
The looks or the lack of it, removed the Toyota from the list pretty quickly. I understand it is personal choice, but the collective decision of the family was that the car doesn't look good. If not for that, I think we would have opted for it.

Too bad that you can't own an Innova - it is the car to own for the requirements you have mentioned.


1) Does scorpio climb hills with ease on full load? not off-road, but regular sultan battery, Ooty type tarred/semi-tarred roads. - You bet

2) Is ABS an absolute requirement in this car? Since I am not completely thrilled about the car, I might as well buy the base version if ABS doesnt matter. Absolutely must. I miss it in my cars. I made a folly, you don't

3) What are the must have accessories for scorpio? eg: rain visors, bull bars, change of horn, bulbs etc. I'd say none of these.

4) Since we are not 100% convinced of the scorpio, we want to know what options exist. Second hand cars are out of question. Xylo, sumo Grande also ruled out on basis of looks alone. Any other suggestions that are worth waiting a max of 5-6 months for? Xenon also ruled out. Overriding requirements are that the car takes on bad roads (shirdi ghats as an example) without the owner feeling bad for the car. Seating layout is important and 3rd row bench seats are a must.
Well you have yourself eliminated every current alternative.
And potential future alternatives have been eliminated by your desired waiting period.


Or do we have to buy this car first, then start to love the car, by looking at the "bigger picture"? -
I think you should... Dump the Scorpio, buy the Innova

My responses are in bold.

Last edited by rrsteer : 4th August 2010 at 19:16.
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