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Old 15th December 2011, 17:53   #1
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Default Tata Safari GX : Buying and initial ownership

Why Safari, Alternatives considered

Was looking for a spacious and sturdy car for vacation outings to rough country side roads as well as for daily office going.

My son's special requirement given to me was he should be able to take his bicycle on vacations, something he withdrew later on!

Budget was around 10 to 12L. So a lot of pricier SUVs weren't considered.

Aria was TDed on dealer's insistence. Was quieter though I still liked Safari's ride quality. Aria was loaded with features - but most of which I didn't care about. Also wasn't fitting in the budget.

Innova: Reliable though no SUV feel. Looks not liked by family.

XUV: Unproven at the time of making decision. Looks, boot space not liked. Bookings too were closed when there was a strong urge to buy the new vehicle before planned outings.

New Safari / Merlin (Storm or whatever): Waited patiently thus far for over 6 months. Could not convince my family to wait any further. Had to go for some car now.

Test drive phase impressions and evaluation

I call it a phase, because the decision was pending due to expectations of launch of a new variant. It was nearly 6 months of wait after which we gave up.

Space, height and looks were felt as main advantages, besides comfortable ride on bad roads.

Small foldable seats in 3rd row was good for us, as we'd largely use the big space as boot and only occasionally for seating. Many BHP threads call it a disadvantage. I think, it really depends on one's usage pattern.

Ergonomics were not felt so nice in initial TD. Legs were touching the steering. Called again for a TD. They showed the steering adjustment and top most position of steering worked. Clutch press still required stretching the legs fully. The sales guys said they'll do some adjustment for that. I didn't buy his pitch, though felt it would be workable with a bit of seat position adjustment and use-to factor.

Not being able to fit kids' bicycle (24") was a little disappointment. We could mange to squeeze it in the TD vehicle, but it would have been nuisance and risk to damage interiors during long travel.

The stories about niggles with the car did make the decision difficult, though some of the happy Safari owners' threads in bhp forums eased the decision.

Limitations like turning radius etc. were workable for our usage. But getting-used-to is needed for this as well.

Rear view being nearly blocked was felt little scary in first TD. GX has ultrosonic sensor with audible feedback. That looked useful though it has its own limitations. For long run it didn't appear to be a problem. IRVM gave a really comprehensive rear view - unless some tiny vehicle were to hide right behind the spare wheel.

Higher noise levels. Some unexplained noises seen during one of the two TDs which sales guy failed to explain (while the other TD with a different dealer felt relatively quiet). Somehow accepted in overall equation. (Later, new purchased car turned out to be much quieter than the TD vehicle.)

Head vs heart (common with Safari buyers?)

Well. My family vetoed any further wait for new variant aka Merlin. They were so attached to the looks of Safari. My son would yell "Safari" whenever he saw one whenever we were out and would continue to stare till it vanished. Our position was not much different, though we were trying not to look that crazy!

Update: Even after a week on ownership and 300+km of driving, he still yells Safari whenever he watches one passing by!

Dealership experience

National, Hadapsar. In the end I would term, overall buying experience as good. They did not hesitate to show the vehicle at residence 2nd time around when asked. Kept in touch occasionally, though never in a typical pesky way some sales folks do. Never came across like hard sellers. Kept informed whenever there was any discount available, just prior to price increase in Dec etc.

Had one visit at Pandit also. Not a bad experience, but he is a big dealer and the place is really crowded affecting the quality of attention.

Finance

HDFC Bank's loan approval process was swift. In exactly two days from talking with them for first time, the sanction was with me by SMS. The transparency in overall deal was good though following issues were faced:

There was still 1 week to go to disburse the payment and that time looked pretty good.

But the real troubles started now.

On the day disbursement was expected. I got a call from them saying whether I have a savings a/c with them. I didn't have one. They didn't insist on opening it either and said the disbursement will happen that day.

It didn't.

The next day after a series of calls and frantic follow up they virtually pushed me to open a savings a/c and told that they have applied for fresh approval for my loan having opened the a/c and the disbursement will happen the next day.

Wasn't to be this time either. Reason not known. Frantic follow up on this day also. No. of executives, their seniors, lots of calls but to no avail.

The situation now was the car was ready at dealer's end and waiting there for nearly 3/4 days. Bank had just not cleared the loan and delivery date was obviously missed.

Reason for insistence on savings a/c was that they face problems with ECS of other banks for EMI payment. I tried to insist that take the first EMI by cheque or cash or whatever and not hold the disbursement back like that. Then I'll open the a/c and give ECS mandate. All this fell on deaf ears.

I wasn't against opening savings a/c. Wish they had just told it up front and not caused a delay in delivery just for that.

Day of delivery

With the disbursement messed up by Bank, the car was just lying with the dealer. They had not undertaken accessory fitting. On 24th Dec the payments were cleared. Dealer was hesitant to give a delivery without registration, though finally agreed upon. I needed some time to get used to the car as on Thu of coming week I had to travel out of town for 4 day outing. In between days were to be just office days.

Went to see the car a day prior to delivery on Sat 24th. It was being given under body coating. So could not see it closely.

On Sunday, day of delivery when the workshop where the delivery happens is closed, though upon our insistence two persons came for the delivery. Car was largely well prepared, but not thoroughly cleaned from inside. There was no staff available being Sunday. But the managers who had come for delivery opened the workshop and gave a round of vacuum cleaning.

Since the workshop got the notice for delivery only the previous day, accessories were not fit, paint coat was not given. They asked that the car be dropped again the next day for all these things.

The odometer read 68km on delivery.

Some essential documents like pollution certificate, octroi receipt, extended warranty were not yet handed over. Later in the week got tax invoice, road tax and registration receipt. Still awaiting other documents.

Had good 60 odd kms of running on first day. Could not go too far outside city. Could reach 100 kmph only for a minute or so on a highway stretch. Overall driving experience was good. The power of the vehicle could be felt.

Felt the knees to be sore at the end of the day. The knees remain much straighter in Safari. I am used to bent knees with Wagon R. Should perhaps get used to soon.

Parking woes at home

Our society parkings aren't really designed for vehicles of this size. During TD, had the sales persons demonstrate parking in our parking slot. (Note: the photographs below aren't from the parking slot I am referring to. My covered parking requires turning 90 degree twice in small space.) They appeared to do it with ease. When our turn came to do that it didn't turn out to be so easy. Of many permutations and combinations of entering and exiting the parking slot, we finally zeroed on one. Till the time I get used to somebody will always need to be around to help me park. After 2-3 days of practice I was able to park without having to move back and forth.

Besides, front bonnet of the car protudes outside the covered parking and gathers dust very easily. Have to get some extension (chajja) to the parking slot to cover the bonnet properly.

Accessories fitting on 2nd day

As described above, had taken delivery before fitting the accessories. On next day, got paint coat, sun film and front guard fitted. They had broken the rod that fits on the left hand side corner of the front guard in transit. They got a replacement and fitted that two days later.

After all the treatment the car was looking really beautiful.

Registration delays

Wanted to get registration and proper number plate at least before going out of town. Wasn't to be. The dealer says the delay is on RTO's part as some numbering series has ended or something like that. Also not too many people are registering due to year end and there is a big backlog which RTO will clear on new year start. Don't know how true that whole account is. But the dealer did hand over registration and road tax receipt. So perhaps that is not a dealer end problem.

So had to travel on first outing without registration number.

First long run Pune - Pratapgad - Pune

It was a pleasant experience to drive on the highway. First time ever since purchase has a chance to drive in top gear and at 100-110 kmph in patches. It never felt like that speed, as against my past hatch experience.

Having been used to a smooth petrol hatch like Wagon R for 8 years, it's a learning curve to get used to Safari. Some things just work out of muscle memory. Everything from steering, gear shifting and all pedals are little heavier than Wagon R. The muscles still need to learn to instinctively apply more power. Slowly that's happening. The strain I felt in knees on day one is not felt any more.

In ghat regions you have to be particularly careful. If you drive like a hatch you are sure to feel jittery. Have been reading about "body roll" in BHP forums though now I really understand what it means. If you have passengers with motion sickness in particular, better to drive slow.

On my way back from Pratapgad, due to narrow ghat road and a bus ahead of me, I was forced to drive slow. Later I realized that it made the drive more pleasant than it was when I was driving a little faster on empty roads.

On the way back, after a lots of ghat travel, a squeaking noise started occurring from steering on every turn. Will have to get this fixed.

Many Safari users at team bhp point out the problem with gear ratios. I do not know correct technical terms. To put it in simple words, in ghat sections it was always a dilemma whether to drive in 2nd or 3rd to avoid frequent switching. Similar dilemma might occur in erratic traffic situations.

A couple of times after fuel fill, passers by pointed out that the lid had not got closed properly. Do not know whether it opens automatically or wasn't closed properly. But since it happened twice, will have it checked.

Of four corners of the horn, one at lower left end of steering does not work. Will have to get it fixed.

Besides this the car's performance was very good.

I do experience that overall creature comfort does reduce the tiredness I'd have had with a hatch - a point I had started this thread about: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...tigue-how.html (Do SUVs decrease driving fatigue? How?) The feeling of nervousness (or whatever the right word for it) that high speed causes in a small car simply doesn't occur at high speeds in a more powerful car - adding to the comfort.
Attached Thumbnails
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Last edited by mayuresh : 2nd January 2012 at 21:30.
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Old 2nd January 2012, 23:39   #2
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Default Re: Tata Safari GX : Buying and initial ownership

Thread moved from Assembly Line. Thanks for Sharing.
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Old 3rd January 2012, 00:05   #3
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Default Re: Tata Safari GX : Buying and initial ownership

@Mayuresh: Congrats on your new drive. The SUV looks amazing in white.

Well written review, short, crisp and to the point. Enjoy your beast. Drive safe.
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Old 3rd January 2012, 00:24   #4
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Default Re: Tata Safari GX : Buying and initial ownership

Another nice Safari ownership review! Nicely written. We would like to see some interior pics as well.

You are going to get a lot of sticks on the "bull bar" - could have been avoided!

Wish you miles of happy & safe motoring!
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Old 3rd January 2012, 06:21   #5
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Default Re: Tata Safari GX : Buying and initial ownership

Congratulations Mayuresh ! Its raining Safari again in TBHP
Pearl White is always a good colour in Safari. Enjoy.

Have a safe drive !
Prem.
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Old 3rd January 2012, 09:44   #6
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Default Re: Tata Safari GX : Buying and initial ownership

Congrats! Safari in single colour looks really good. I guess this is the only colour in the GX variant that is not dual tone. If you don't mind, could you share details about the on road price, discounts [if any] etc?

Wish you a million miles of safe driving and happy ownership!

Cheers,
Vikram
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Old 3rd January 2012, 10:37   #7
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Default Re: Tata Safari GX : Buying and initial ownership

Congrats on your Safari. It really looks good in white colour. Even I got a Safari for myself on Friday. Wish you millions of happy and safe miles.
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Old 3rd January 2012, 10:44   #8
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Default Re: Tata Safari GX : Buying and initial ownership

Congratulations Mayuresh!!!

You finally bought the Pearl White color. What happened to the Arctic White color that you were looking for?

I too need to start the ownership thread pretty soon.
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Old 3rd January 2012, 10:59   #9
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Default Re: Tata Safari GX : Buying and initial ownership

[I guess this is the only colour in the GX variant that is not dual tone.


You can get any color in GX without dual tone. Mine is silver.

Congrats Mayuresh for the car, although bull bar could have been avoided .

Last edited by 46TheDoctor : 3rd January 2012 at 11:00.
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Old 3rd January 2012, 11:21   #10
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Default Re: Tata Safari GX : Buying and initial ownership

Congrats, Mayuresh ! Here's wishing you a long, happy, trouble-free ownership of this beauty.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 46TheDoctor View Post
Congrats Mayuresh for the car, although bull bar could have been avoided .
+1. The Safari is now looking like a Taveri taxi :(. If you can, get the nudge guard from Carryboy or similar. It will change the looks immediately.
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Old 3rd January 2012, 11:34   #11
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Default Re: Tata Safari GX : Buying and initial ownership

@Mayuresh - congratulations for your new ride. safari in a white or black color looks royal. please take that bull bar off, if possible; safari looks better without any modifications to its stock design (except for a custom grill on black safari).

do you mind sharing the OTR in Mumbai and the details of any discounts you might have got?

what accessories did you buy from the dealer and at what cost?
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Old 3rd January 2012, 11:35   #12
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Default Re: Tata Safari GX : Buying and initial ownership

To Condor: My view point on the bull bar was less from the aesthetic perspective and more from the safety point of view (in case of front end collision).
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Old 3rd January 2012, 22:54   #13
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Default Re: Tata Safari GX : Buying and initial ownership

Quote:
Originally Posted by infotech58 View Post
@Mayuresh - congratulations for your new ride. safari in a white or black color looks royal. please take that bull bar off, if possible; safari looks better without any modifications to its stock design (except for a custom grill on black safari).
Thanks. Agree, it looks great without bullbar. Just felt some added safety with it. May be more psychological.

Quote:
Originally Posted by infotech58 View Post

do you mind sharing the OTR in Mumbai and the details of any discounts you might have got?

what accessories did you buy from the dealer and at what cost?
These were posted on a different thread.
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...ml#post2612567

The accessories include under body coat, paint coat, bull bar, sun film, engine waxing, mats, mud flaps

Quote:
Originally Posted by condor View Post
Congrats, Mayuresh ! Here's wishing you a long, happy, trouble-free ownership of this beauty.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 46TheDoctor View Post
Congrats Mayuresh for the car, although bull bar could have been avoided .
Thanks. I duck the bull bar remark ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by naman07 View Post
Congratulations Mayuresh!!!

You finally bought the Pearl White color. What happened to the Arctic White color that you were looking for?

I too need to start the ownership thread pretty soon.
Thanks and same to you! Arctic white is not available in GX. I think pearl white was good in the end.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyRoadie View Post
Congrats on your Safari. It really looks good in white colour. Even I got a Safari for myself on Friday. Wish you millions of happy and safe miles.
Thanks and same to you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by comfortablynumb View Post
Congrats! Safari in single colour looks really good.
Thanks. See above reply regarding OTR.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaviprem View Post
Congratulations Mayuresh ! Its raining Safari again in TBHP
Thanks. Indeed it's raining Safaris. Don't know how a sudden rush despite new version in the offing. BTW, your thread does take some credit for making the decision easy for bhpians.

Quote:
Originally Posted by swiftnfurious View Post
Another nice Safari ownership review! Nicely written. We would like to see some interior pics as well.
You are going to get a lot of sticks on the "bull bar" - could have been avoided!
Thanks. Got bullied enough for the bull... Ducking again...

Quote:
Originally Posted by MAS View Post
@Mayuresh: Congrats on your new drive. The SUV looks amazing in white.

Well written review, short, crisp and to the point. Enjoy your beast. Drive safe.
Thanks!
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Old 5th January 2012, 13:39   #14
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Default Re: Tata Safari GX : Buying and initial ownership

Congrats Mayuresh, hope you enjoy many many hours of reclaimed miles. In many ways the GX is the most apt varient that one can go for.
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Old 8th January 2012, 20:06   #15
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Default Re: Tata Safari GX : Buying and initial ownership

Sad site of first flat tire today. Wonder why so soon. Had been driving only in the city for last few days. Not sure how it happened.

Shops nearby are closed due to Sunday. Will have to have this fixed tomorrow.

Have not used tubeless tires before. Got to know of various methods in bhp forums to fix a puncture. Any specific recommendation?

Would wheel alignment be advisable after fixing this?

Also, I think it will be good to buy a pump with guage - in case if this were to happen away from the city. Preferably powered by car battery. Any recommendations with cost information?
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