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Old 10th May 2012, 00:41   #76
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Default re: Tata Safari Storme : Test Drive and Review. More pics: pg 47

Thanks LukeSkywalker for an extensive report.

However, this got me thinking in many ways. First and foremost, this exercise of feedback should have been done while designing the vehicle and not close to launch . Today, all battles are won on drawing board whether it is tactically military stuff or launch of new products.

Also, I was thinking what does this vehicle offer as USP ? I am a safari owner and I dont see any value in this vehicle in this day and age. The number one blunder what I feel is that it should have been a proper 7 seater like Fortuner. Lets go point by point :

VFM as a 7 seater - no way Ertiga is way better and cheaper

Off roading ability - I am not too sure on this but hardcore guys will prefer the likes of Pajero or Fortuner I guess !!

Better Brakes - Better against what ? The earlier ones were very bad relatively does not mean anything. Its their own bench mark while the industry has moved on !! Its like I scoring 10 in an exam earlier and now around 50/100. Whats the point ?

Looks - The old safari is a cult classic no doubt

so coming to the point, what does this offer and would I buy one ? - No

So why did I buy safari earlier - In 2007, my choices for 7 seater were only scorpio and Innova. Scorpio rejected because of ride quality and Innova because of flimsy build. Also, remember that I was juvenile 5 years back and went with the looks as safari was a stunner

It is not convincing anyway now to buy this vehicle. Also, for average joes like me, who drive in city 90% of the time, the Ertiga with superb efficiency and the other Maruti advantages like resale and service is more convincing anyday.

So, XUV beats this on contemporary feeling, Toyota beats on the snob value and Maruti beats on VFM with Ertiga. So, what is left ? I am not sure. Is Safari such a great 4x4 vehicle that it can sell only on this merit and ride quality ? Not sure.

So, personally I feel this product will find very few takers as it is difficult to convince yourself, your family and friends based on the above factors as to why buy this.

A little OT : I dont thinks Tatas have improved in any way with regard to customer care. I asked them a question why the oil change interval on Manza has been changed from 20 K to 10 K. No response for over a month now. So, further I loose confidence in this company and its handling of the customers
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Old 10th May 2012, 08:32   #77
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Default re: Tata Safari Storme : Test Drive and Review. More pics: pg 47

Great review Luke! I think it's as crisp as it could get.

I just wish however the product was just as good as your review. I have been a fan of the Safari and have been wanting to own one for last 5 years, but I've not been able to convince myself to put down my money because of Tata's poor execution.

I think this time around the folks at Tata were so engrossed in getting out a decent quality, niggle free (yet to be proven) product, they probably gave all the other things a miss.

1. This has to be the worst looking Tata in a long time. They might have just murdered the safari fanboys with this look

2. The interior is drab and so 80s. After thr Aria interiors, this is a total shocker and you sense that there is no particular direction in which their design team is heading.

3. Equipment list is a joke. No MID tooo...?? Seriously?? Do we get a DTE at least?

In short, I'll just have to wait longer to own a Safari.
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Old 10th May 2012, 09:32   #78
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Thumbs up re: Tata Safari Storme : Test Drive and Review. More pics: pg 47

Thanks for sharing!

@Hari - Main issue with TATA vehicles was always the Consistency in Quality. Was the overall quality better and similar across all those 3 cars??

Can you share pics (if you have any) of Dash meter console, Front seats with gear and central console?

From pics, Overall material quality seems to be way better than the current one.

Front grill and the fog lamps seriously looks out of place. Are these fog lamps useful at all? They could have given a bigger non-rounded one as it could match the overall look.

Overuse of black in the center console could have been avoided and a chrome strip may be to break the monotonous black would have had a classic look too. however, the overall dash looks very good.

Oh Man, those rear seats looks to be very comfy (as usual).

Rear climbing step - Just an exposed metal? not covered by even a layer of any material? aren't those dangerous as they look sharp too?

Hope and pray TATA does price it right. Anything over the current Safari would literally kill it and this is more of a facelift to the current generation vehicle so why charge more? as mentioned by a member, already the mid and higher variants of current gen is overpriced IMO.
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Old 10th May 2012, 09:47   #79
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Default re: Tata Safari Storme : Test Drive and Review. More pics: pg 47

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lukeskywalker View Post

Gearshifting has the same spongy feeling and one will be unsure if it has slotted, more so when one is shifting from 2 to 3.
They should do some thing about the gearshift. I test driven a safari few months back, the shifts were so vague and you have taken the words out of my mouth, one will be unsure if it has slotted.

Yes turning radius a big pain, very glad that it has been addressed.

Discs on all four wheels, way to go TATA.

How about the swaying on bumpy roads ? During my test drive of the old safari, the safari which i had driven was swaying like the volvo bus.

Roar of the wind is audible even with the winds rolled up ? Is it bearable and ICE should take care of it ?

Last edited by GTO : 11th May 2012 at 14:21. Reason: Please quote ONLY the relevant bits of a post. Quoting an entire long message inconveniences our mobile users
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Old 10th May 2012, 10:38   #80
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Default re: Tata Safari Storme : Test Drive and Review. More pics: pg 47

Quote:
They should do some thing about the gearshift...
Well, this is one feeling with test drive vehicle, which is nowhere maintained. I am driving Safari for past 2 years and for me it is butter smooth. Once you move from hatch to Safari you have this feeling.

Quote:
Yes turning radius a big pain...
Agree with you. This is most painful thing in Safari. It takes atleast 4 lanes for U turn.
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Old 10th May 2012, 11:13   #81
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Default re: Tata Safari Storme : Test Drive and Review. More pics: pg 47

What a lovely review of the Storme with fantasic pictures too!! Thank you so much for all the info given. From what you have experienced and written Tata Safari owners have reason to expect a much improved version of their fav ride. Thanks again and do post more pics if you have.

Last edited by slackyboy : 10th May 2012 at 11:24. Reason: typo
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Old 10th May 2012, 11:56   #82
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Default re: Tata Safari Storme : Test Drive and Review. More pics: pg 47

Will the Storme be pitched against the Scorpio or the XUV?

Since the review states that the current Safari will be sold aliongside the Storme, we can expect the Storme to cost atleast around 50-60k more than the current Safari.

Current Scorpio top end - 13.12 Lacs on road
Current Safari top end - 13.93 Lacs on road
Possible Storme pricing for top end - 14.5 Lacs on road (an increase of 50-60k)

So is the Storme worth the 1.5 Lacs premium over the Scorpio? I dont think so. Moreover, for a few thousands more, you get the XUV5OO which has much more comfort and safety features.

Now, TATA may slash the prices of the current safari and pitch the Storme against the Scorpio with a premium of 50k. Then suddenly the tables turn and the Storme seems to make a lot of sense. The Storme beats the Scorpio when it comes to fit & finish, space, ride and handling. Yes, the Scorpio does offer more creature comforts. Only issue is - TATA should make sure the Storme is free from any mechanical glitches right from day one.
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Old 10th May 2012, 12:41   #83
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Default re: Tata Safari Storme : Test Drive and Review. More pics: pg 47

Quote:
Originally Posted by raj_5004 View Post
Will the Storme be pitched against the Scorpio or the XUV?

Since the review states that the current Safari will be sold aliongside the Storme, we can expect the Storme to cost atleast around 50-60k more than the current Safari.
Scorpio VS Safari should be it and Aria vs XUV .

Other points where Scorpio scores is LX 4x4 and front viewing last row.
Space/handling I guess Safari rules and if there is a decrease in kerb weight, it gonna be another plus point since Safari makes more bhp & torque.

And like I said, lets pray that the Indiavision channel were just quoting a number of 15lacs OTR.
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Old 10th May 2012, 13:28   #84
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Default re: Tata Safari Storme : Test Drive and Review. More pics: pg 47

Quote:
Originally Posted by raj_5004 View Post
Will the Storme be pitched against the Scorpio or the XUV?

Since the review states that the current Safari will be sold aliongside the Storme, we can expect the Storme to cost atleast around 50-60k more than the current Safari.

Current Scorpio top end - 13.12 Lacs on road
Current Safari top end - 13.93 Lacs on road
Possible Storme pricing for top end - 14.5 Lacs on road (an increase of 50-60k)

Last weekend I went to TD the existing safari as they are offering 15K dealer discount and 20K exchange bonus. I asked are they going to discontinue the existing safari and what I learned from the sales executive is the Safari VX top end version will be discontinued and the Storm will start from that price range, I am not sold to his knowledge because we know how well educated the sales staff are about the internal seen so lets wait and see.
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Old 10th May 2012, 13:43   #85
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Default re: Tata Safari Storme : Test Drive and Review. More pics: pg 47

Thanks a ton Hari for the wonderful & succinct review.
If priced competitively and marketed aggressively this vehicle can be a serious competitor to the XUV.
Safari's always rode better than equivalent Mahindra's, now with tauter handling, tighter turning radius, better power delivery and a general step-up in quality this SUV seems to be worth a long , hard look .
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Old 10th May 2012, 13:54   #86
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Default re: Tata Safari Storme : Test Drive and Review. More pics: pg 47

Thanks Luke for the excellent review. Im my opinion the problem with Tata and M&M is that their vehicles age very fast. After a couple of yrs the vehicle will be rattling, niggles will surface with the electricals, so on and so forth. This is where manufactures like Toyota and Honda score. May not be so much VFM, but boy do they last!
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Old 10th May 2012, 14:31   #87
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Default re: Tata Safari Storme : Test Drive and Review. More pics: pg 47

I see the strome as the stepping stone and as a "maximize reuse until next release" model. The production line capacity planned for the Aria platform is more of less running idle, so you can divert it into a running model (read Safari). The metal stampings for the body are more or less the same, there is no major changes to it, so you reuse. The biggest component in terms of size and cost the engine is reused. cosmetic changes are not a strain for new investment, they are easily factored in keeping in a 3 years road map. The interiors are the same (even the bolts and nuts look the same). The Dash just gets a new look, but then again not an increase in cost of change. Again not change to the steering wheel (neither the arrangement nor the features).

So more or less, my guess is that the Strome is a stepping stone for future models of the safari. This will keep the model alive until the next gen (fully ground up built) safarai like (I say like because they placement of this might not be in the same safari league, assume what the ecoSport, Duster and many more that follow would have created) model.

Its a buy if you want a 2.2 L, generous real estate car. Else its a wait and watch.

Also another reason why I feel is as the stepping stone to next gen is the answer to the Q, what does the Strome do that the old Safari could not? Well, except that it can illuminate the road better nothing, it does not get any functional upgrade. It probably does the old things better, handling, braking etc.

So true to guess, its an Q improvement model, might also be a POC for TML on their internal process on imbibing JLR tech into core TML, this only the next model can prove.

But then, a very good drive report! A real thanks!
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Old 10th May 2012, 19:29   #88
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Default re: Tata Safari Storme : Test Drive and Review. More pics: pg 47

Excellent review! Thanks mate.

I can't help having the feeling that Storme looks more of a reformed Sumo rather than Safari. Reminds me of Land Rover, Honda Element and Ford Edge as well.

Interior looks bland and unimpressive. If price is not a plus point, it will be a big loser to XUV 5OO. Compared to the looks and features of XUV, Storme looks boxy and plain jane.
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Old 10th May 2012, 19:46   #89
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Default re: Tata Safari Storme : Test Drive and Review. More pics: pg 47

Quote:
Originally Posted by man_and_machine View Post
.. my guess is that the Strome is a stepping stone for future models of the safari. This will keep the model alive until the next gen (fully ground up built) safarai
Man & Machine, pls check LSW's report. This Safari actually is a new one. It is not built on the old chassis. While the engine may be a continuation of the 2.2 DICOR, the chassis is new. This *is pretty much *the new Safari.

It only feels not new because of the body styling. Hopefully, TM will bring out a new body styling and make this look new too.
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Old 10th May 2012, 21:23   #90
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Default re: Tata Safari Storme : Test Drive and Review. More pics: pg 47

Well done!
1) To Tata on their selection of an able reviewer
2) To you Mr. Hari, you seem to have covered 90% of points that people here sought answers to!

With all due respect to the engineers working behind the project, this is the result of 4 years of RnD and proto testing.

The interior fit finish, bumper to panel gaps are aesthetic headaches which seem to have been sorted out. OK. But is that a reason enough to cheer today? When your competition has reached global ergonomic levels, these improvements are supossed to be a given and not a USP. Also, the three cars that you see here, each mustve had a minimum of 5 PDI checks and overviews by their inhouse QA team + RnD team, all sugar coated before the said customer trial. (Ill be damned if proven wrong on this front) In such a case can one really gauge how the productionised cars will roll out? Its anybodys guess.

Consider this. Seen the huge posters of Mc D's latest burger blown up large on a billboard. All perfectly round, fluffy, sizzling and oozing cheesey spicy creams. But has anyone noticed that the actual burger is one jumbled up piece put up in <60sec? Why? "Productionization"! Now, one still overlooks that as the actual content is so darn tasty you keep going back. (burger is just an example guys, youll can substitute it with any other desirable object!)

That tasty bit, here, are the mechanicals. This is one area which I felt had received a huge amount of attention. New suspensions links all round, new chassis design, braking systems, powertrain systems, weight distribution (position of fuel tank), Steering system - areas which improve performance on road and live with you. But with the advent of the XUV 5oo and its monocoque structure, it seems the 2 design teams were in 2 different time zones! (The two rival car examples used for comparision here would have clocked wayy more miles than the 3 Stormes) It may find safari lovers hooting for it. But is it distracting enough to attract the peoples from MnM's waiting lists over to TM dealers (oh jeez!)

So is all lost? No. No. No. Tata Motors is changing. But as they say, its bad manners to look at someone while theyre changing. These learning should and will be incorporated for an overall much refined later product that will truly make its mark for the next gen. As of now, apart from true voyeurs (read: Safari fans), everyone else Look Elsewhere!

Cant see it raising a storm in the market.
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