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Old 26th March 2013, 09:45   #1
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Default Tata Storme - 'Chauffeur driven perspective'

First, some background

I am a petrol car driver, and have never considered diesel cars in the past. I find the diesel/petrol calculations skewed, and note that people tend to give too much weight to Diesel, even though the owners really dont save any money - the entire 'surplus' is appropriated by manufacturers via insane pricing. (~9L for an i20d. What!?)

However, now I go to work in a place where roads are horrible, and flooding is common. I frequently have to wade through 3-400mm of water after the slightest rains, and after a recent incident where I got stuck in stalled traffic in 300mm water, I realized that I cant subject my petrol beauties to this.

My immediate reaction was to pick up a Thar, Bolero or Scorpio, and solve this problem without throwing too much money at it. However, after test-drives of these cars on horrendous roads, I realized that only the Thar provides a respectable quality of ride. However, since I am mostly driven, and since there is really no back seat in the Thar, could not purchase that car.

That left me with only one option. A Safari. Although with the reviews I had read about the 4x4 casing in water, I decided to go for a 4x2. The Storme model that makes most sense if youre going for a 4x2 is the EX. The only practical thing that the EX lacks is airbags. This was very important to me - but even the VX only has front airbags, whereas I mostly use the back seat of the car. Tata - you better step up your game. It's 2013 - get side curtain airbags!!

In this thread, I will detail my ownership experience with my Storme hopefully over many many kilometers. I will not talk about the basics like ground clearance, driving dynamics etc -- because those are beautifully covered in the 'Official Review' thread here: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/offici...al-review.html (Tata Safari Storme : Official Review)

Initial thoughts to the community:
1. The storme is a beauty to drive
2. However, it is a Tata beauty. This means that there are rattles from the first day (from near the Tailgate)
3. No matter what the dealers tell you, there *are* discounts on the Storme. If you bargain hard, you should be able to get ~30ish off, basically taking the Storme back to the 'pre-budget' price. Also, the insurance price that the TML dealers charge is very high. Skip that insurance, and bring-your-own insurance to save ~8K.

What I love:
- Unmatchable driving position (possibly only matched by a Fortuner)

- Huge back seat legroom
- Fabulous ride quality, similar to Aria (probably the best among ladder-on-frame cars. Dont compare to monocoques - the Duster blows the Storme away in ride quality)
- The way it ploughs through bumps on the road
- The fact that I can wade through crazy amounts of water
- Powerful headlamps
- Good cup-holders in center-arm-rest in the back seat

What I dont like:
- Storme looks less butch than the Dicor. I loved the way the Dicor looks. Storme - not so much
- Fit and finish, while far improved, is still lacking. For example, there are 3 different colors of black on the window - the door beading, the window beading and the interior fabrics are all very different tones of black.
- Lack of attention to detail - for example, there were stains on the back seat when the car was delivered to me
- 'khad khad khad khad' sounds on the slightest bump
- Stupid audio system. Does not have A2DP, so cant stream music from the back seat. Even if I plug a USB drive into the front seat and try to control the music using the remote from the back -- wont work. Because the angle of the HU (slightly pointing up) makes the display invisible from the back seat particularly in the day. I say 'Stupid' audio system because if a little more brains were put into either selection of the system (A2DP), or installation (angle), then this wouldn't have been a problem. Sound quality is average.
- Sluggish power delivery because of the sheer weight. The Duster with less power races ahead of the Safari in normal driving


Detailed Review:
1. Ride Quality: The ride quality on the Storme is simply superb. Although the car is quite narrow and tall -- so there is a bit of body roll when going over rocky village roads. The car does tend to tip left and right. The body-roll seems to be at par with an Innova - slightly more than an Aria.

2. Acceleration: As an ex-petrol driver, I find the acceleration of the Storme to be extremely poor. On my daily commute, I find that I am rarely able to find an open enough stretch to take the car to 90 kmph. This was the same road where I could blast a Civic at considerably higher speeds. Of course - its unfair to compare a stallion to a workhorse -- but I just wanted to have this out there

3. NVH: NVH levels are *drastically* improved from the Dicor, and I would say are superior to the Aria and the XUV as well. Among all Tata/Mahindra cars, The Storme beats all others out of the park. Apart from the regular old tata problems - like the passenger seat vibrating while driving if no one is sitting on it, or rattles from nuts and bolts that someone 'forgot' to tighten. There is a rattle near the tailgate which is driving me insane. Need to get it checked up - looks like there is a loose bolt.

4. Air Conditioning: A++

5. Ergonomics: Average, but Far better than Dicor.

6. Value: This depends on how you define value. I wanted a high car with reasonably sophisticated NVH levels, and one with a commanding road presence and minimal electronics. The only options for me were the Storme, Endy, Fortuner. In this category, the Storme is fabulous value for money. However, if you change the requirement to be 'mid-size SUV', then the Storme is horrible value - your monocoques beat the storme out of the park, specifically the Duster and the XUV, even after their recent price increases.

7. Driving Pleasure: The Safari has been and will remain among the most pleasing cars to drive, purely because of the seating position and the commanding views. It is a bit sluggish (even compared to the Duster), so if youre looking for driving pleasure from a speed perspective, then the Storme wont do. But if your idea of pleasure is to sit high on a throne and move slowly but surely - the Storme is unmatchable

8. Audio System: The Storme has average ICE. But since this is not a Tata branded HU, or one that is integrated with the dash, the possibilities of ICEing the car are endless. I have already reviewed the audio system here: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/offici...ml#post3076495 (Tata Safari Storme : Official Review)

9. Is this car right for you? : If you have to ask this question, then this is not the car for you. All logic points to the XUV over the Storme. You only get the Storme if you *want* the Storme. So if you find yourself in a dilemma where you are considering any 10-15L car apart from the Storme in your selection sub-set, then the Storme is not for you. It then offers poor value, and with Mahindra changing the game continuously with the Scorpio and now the XUV, Tata is going to find it hard to compete

Summary:
***********
There are a few things that the Safari does well, and FAR better than anyone else in a similar price bracket - that is the driving position and the 'king-of-road' stature. This is not a 'do-everything, jack of all trades' car. What it does, it does very well. What it doesnt do, it doesnt do at all.

If you're looking for a car that can be your primary family car, which can handle city traffic with ease, or you are OK with Mahindra's tacky interior electronics, then you should be buying an XUV instead.

If you're looking for a VFM (but refined) car that handles city traffic very well, and you dont need a huge piece of metal, then you should be buying a Duster 85.

If you are looking for a people mover, then you should be buying an Innova

If you are looking for a rugged car that can go anywhere with ease, but dont care about being bashed around in the back seat, then you should be buying a Scorpio.

If you want a Safari Storme, then you should be buying a Safari Storme.
Attached Thumbnails
Tata Storme - 'Chauffeur driven perspective'-img_1240.jpg  

Tata Storme - 'Chauffeur driven perspective'-img_1239.jpg  

Tata Storme - 'Chauffeur driven perspective'-img_1238.jpg  

Tata Storme - 'Chauffeur driven perspective'-img_1237.jpg  


Last edited by Mpower : 8th May 2013 at 21:59. Reason: Adding details to review the car 2. Improving readability
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Old 26th March 2013, 10:36   #2
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Default re: Tata Storme - 'Chauffeur driven perspective'

Hello,

Is this still budding? Do we see a full fledged review in the horizon ?

Those were some very unbiased observations that you enlightened us with inspite of being an owner. Kudos!

Could you please share details about the water casing that you mentioned/ read in regards to the 4x4 variant? How about some snaps of this brute? Not many that we have come across here, on T-Bhp. The more, the better .

-Shivang Gandotra

Last edited by MetalBuff : 26th March 2013 at 10:41.
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Old 26th March 2013, 15:12   #3
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Default re: Tata Storme - 'Chauffeur driven perspective'

Thread moved from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 26th March 2013, 16:29   #4
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Default re: Tata Storme - 'Chauffeur driven perspective'

If you want a Safari Storme, then you should be buying a Safari Storme -- Good one !! That has always been the case with Safari's.
Congratulations on the buy. Enjoy !
While you are comparing the Back-Seat comfort of Safari, it would be good to know your views on the Back-Seat comfort of the XUV and how does that fare against Storme?
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Old 26th March 2013, 16:45   #5
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Default re: Tata Storme - 'Chauffeur driven perspective'

Quote:
Originally Posted by NMS View Post
While you are comparing the Back-Seat comfort of Safari, it would be good to know your views on the Back-Seat comfort of the XUV and how does that fare against Storme?
Aside from the sheer volume of legroom, back seat comfort of the XUV is better than the Storme, being a monocoque and all. Out of ownership and test drives, here is the ranking of back-seat comfort on normal/bad roads (neither for highways, nor for really bad roads) of cars that I have either owned or driven for a reasonable period to test it

1. Duster
2. XUV
3. Aria
4. Innova
5. Storme
6. Fortuner
7. Endy & Safari Dicor
8. Scorpio
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Old 26th March 2013, 19:34   #6
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Default re: Tata Storme - 'Chauffeur driven perspective'

Quote:
Originally Posted by torquing_points View Post
Aside from the sheer volume of legroom, back seat comfort of the XUV is better than the Storme, being a monocoque and all. Out of ownership and test drives, here is the ranking of back-seat comfort on normal/bad roads (neither for highways, nor for really bad roads) of cars that I have either owned or driven for a reasonable period to test it

1. Duster
2. XUV
3. Aria
4. Innova
5. Storme
6. Fortuner
7. Endy & Safari Dicor
8. Scorpio
It is great to read a review from the back seat perspective . Something new always draws more attention

Although i agree with the bottom pile of the list, i somehow cannot digest the upper part of it.

The reason is because, having been driven in the Storme, XUV and the Duster, I can safely say that the Storme has the best back seat comfort. The reasons are as below :-

1) Although the Duster has a better ride quality, the space at the back just isn't enough. Hence it spoils the whole feeling of "comfort"

2) The XUV though has a better ride quality on Highways, as soon as the roads get bad so does the ride.

3) Aria for me has a stiffer rear bench compared to the SOFA the Storme has .
4) The Innova seems to be the best bet of the lot.

5) Also im shocked that the older Dicor's ride has been compared to the Endeavors !! There are still plenty of people on the forum who will vouch for the Dicor's ride quality over the Storme's because they feel that the Storme's rear bench is a tad firmer than the Dicors.

You have got yourself one of the best vehicles money can buy this side of 20L, And no one could have sum it up in a better way than "If you want one, you buy one"

Last edited by Enigmatic : 26th March 2013 at 19:37.
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Old 26th March 2013, 19:51   #7
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Default re: Tata Storme - 'Chauffeur driven perspective'

Quote:
Originally Posted by torquing_points View Post
.. I go to work in a place where roads are horrible, and flooding is common. I frequently have to wade through 3-400mm of water

That left me with only one option. A Safari. Although with the reviews .. I decided to go for a 4x2. The Storme model that makes most sense if youre going for a 4x2 is the EX.
Congrats ! Waiting for a more detailed review from you, esp about the roads you have mentioned, and how the EX has been on those stretches. Have you waded through water yet ? How about other types of surfaces ?
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Old 26th March 2013, 20:23   #8
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Default re: Tata Storme - 'Chauffeur driven perspective'

Thanks for sharing your (re)view. Interesting read, and congratulations for the new ride .

Quote:
Originally Posted by torquing_points View Post
...if your idea of pleasure is to sit high on a throne and move slowly but surely - the Storme is unmatchable...
Amen to that. Driving my Brio now (after Safari and WagnoR) feels like my bum is sweeping the road.

Quote:
Originally Posted by torquing_points View Post
...acceleration of the Storme to be extremely poor...
Off course it is not a sprinter like the i-vtech Cheetah but, try to keep it in 3rd gear and revs above 2000 rpm. You will be rewarded.

-BJ
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Old 27th March 2013, 20:21   #9
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Default re: Tata Storme - 'Chauffeur driven perspective'

Quote:
Originally Posted by torquing_points View Post
If you're looking for a car that can be your primary family car, which can handle city traffic with ease, or you are OK with Mahindra's tacky interior electronics, then you should be buying an XUV instead.

If you're looking for a VFM (but refined) car that handles city traffic very well, and you dont need a huge piece of metal, then you should be buying a Duster 85.

If you are looking for a people mover, then you should be buying an Innova

If you are looking for a rugged car that can go anywhere with ease, but dont care about being bashed around in the back seat, then you should be buying a Scorpio.

If you want a Safari Storme, then you should be buying a Safari Storme.
You've summed it up really well. Cant agree more. Even I couldn't convince anyone to buy a Storme, But if someone wants a Safari Storme, he will buy it. No other logic can be applied to it

Quote:
Originally Posted by torquing_points View Post
Aside from the sheer volume of legroom, back seat comfort of the XUV is better than the Storme, being a monocoque and all. Out of ownership and test drives, here is the ranking of back-seat comfort on normal/bad roads (neither for highways, nor for really bad roads) of cars that I have either owned or driven for a reasonable period to test it

1. Duster
2. XUV
3. Aria
4. Innova
5. Storme
6. Fortuner
7. Endy & Safari Dicor
8. Scorpio
Strange to see Fortuner and Endy being compared with Safari back seat comfort. In my experience, these two were really bad in terms of rear seat comfort.

Last edited by Holyghost : 27th March 2013 at 20:26.
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Old 27th March 2013, 22:14   #10
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Default re: Tata Storme - 'Chauffeur driven perspective'

Quote:
Originally Posted by torquing_points View Post
If you want a Safari Storme, then you should be buying a Safari Storme.
Good one, Copy right it, Tata can use it as the tag line in their pint advts.
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Old 28th March 2013, 09:43   #11
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Default re: Tata Storme - 'Chauffeur driven perspective'

Quote:
Originally Posted by Enigmatic View Post
The reason is because, having been driven in the Storme, XUV and the Duster, I can safely say that the Storme has the best back seat comfort. The reasons are as below :-

1) Although the Duster has a better ride quality, the space at the back just isn't enough. Hence it spoils the whole feeling of "comfort"
2) The XUV though has a better ride quality on Highways, as soon as the roads get bad so does the ride.
3) Aria for me has a stiffer rear bench compared to the SOFA the Storme has .
4) The Innova seems to be the best bet of the lot.
5) Also im shocked that the older Dicor's ride has been compared to the Endeavors !! There are still plenty of people on the forum who will vouch for the Dicor's ride quality over the Storme's because they feel that the Storme's rear bench is a tad firmer than the Dicors.
Thats interesting - lets break back seat comfort into three parts: Body roll, ability to absorb bumps and bench comfort.

Now in the ability to absorb bumps, the Storme wins. However, when it comes to body roll, because the car is so high, on rocky roads, where all 4 tyres are on different levels at all times, there is a lot of body roll on the Storme as compared to the Duster and the XUV. One part of my drive to work is a 400 meter stretch through reasonably hostile roads. Here, the XUV and the Duster fare much better. This is where the higher center of gravity comes back to bite the Safari.

However, over 90% of people rarely have to go on such roads. So for them, I agree that the Storme is the best. Its suspension is really very good.

With regards to space in the Duster - I am 6' tall. If the left front seat is all the way upfront, then I really have no trouble with space in the back seat of the Duster. I wouldnt like it if there were 4 people sitting in the car - but since its mostly myself + driver on our trek to work, the Duster is quite good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by condor View Post
Congrats ! Waiting for a more detailed review from you, esp about the roads you have mentioned, and how the EX has been on those stretches. Have you waded through water yet ? How about other types of surfaces ?
I havent waded through water yet - luckily its been quite dry here in the North for some time. I will reserve my judgement on the Storme's water wading capacity until then.

On smooth tarmac, the storme is awesome. Any roads that have been freshly laid -- the Storme makes you feel like you're on an airplane.

On roads that have been recently repaired in patches etc - you can feel every patch in the Storme if you are at speeds over 30-40 KMPH. This is not the case with the Duster or Aria.

On bad roads / rural trails, the car does really well - but it does bounce the back seat around a bit, but its acceptable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Holyghost View Post
Strange to see Fortuner and Endy being compared with Safari back seat comfort. In my experience, these two were really bad in terms of rear seat comfort.
The Safari Dicor does throw you around a lot more. The seat comfort is good - but the body roll makes it quite uncomfortable. The Storme is better in this aspect.

I should note, though, that the back seat of the Storme is too upright. I will be trying to use the front seat instead of the back seat to see whether that is better. Anyway its annoying not to be able to play music from the back - at least in the front, I can plug my phone in.

Note, that the aux-in port of the Storme is quite useless -- The wire always interferes with the gear change. I wish I could have sat down with the Tata guys before they made this vehicle - its so good - but they really need to do just a little bit more in so many aspects to make it usable.
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Old 30th March 2013, 09:32   #12
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Default re: Tata Storme - 'Chauffeur driven perspective'

Quote:
Originally Posted by torquing_points View Post
Summary:
***********
There are a few things that the Safari does well, and FAR better than anyone else in a similar price bracket - that is the driving position and the 'king-of-road' stature. This is not a 'do-everything, jack of all trades' car. What it does, it does very well. What it doesnt do, it doesnt do at all.

If you're looking for a car that can be your primary family car, which can handle city traffic with ease, or you are OK with Mahindra's tacky interior electronics, then you should be buying an XUV instead.

If you're looking for a VFM (but refined) car that handles city traffic very well, and you dont need a huge piece of metal, then you should be buying a Duster 85.

If you are looking for a people mover, then you should be buying an Innova

If you are looking for a rugged car that can go anywhere with ease, but dont care about being bashed around in the back seat, then you should be buying a Scorpio.

If you want a Safari Storme, then you should be buying a Safari Storme.

AWESOME review.

So aptly put. Clear cut crisp points. And very well defined concepts.

Especially that last punch line is just ...

Looking forward to more news of those ROUGH roads and WATER waddling with pics if possible.

Wish you all the very best!
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Old 30th March 2013, 09:40   #13
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Default re: Tata Storme - 'Chauffeur driven perspective'

Quote:
Originally Posted by torquing_points View Post
I should note, though, that the back seat of the Storme is too upright. I will be trying to use the front seat instead of the back seat to see whether that is better.
Thank you for saying it!! In spite of the general perception about Safari back seat being the best, I've found that the back rest is too upright. The seat per-Se is not exactly the one that cocoons you. I found XUV seat way better.

However, Duster back seat was mostly disappointing for me.
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Old 30th March 2013, 17:08   #14
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Default re: Tata Storme - 'Chauffeur driven perspective'

Congrats on your latest acquisition and wishing you many miles of safe (backseat) driving!
Great perspective on colour matching in the interiors.
Quote:
Originally Posted by torquing_points View Post
- Fit and finish, while far improved, is still lacking. For example, there are 3 different colors of black on the window - the door beading, the window beading and the interior fabrics are all very different tones of black.
My my - just how expectations have galloped! Maybe TATAs will spring a surprise in the next iteration of the Strome!
Regards
Raj
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Old 30th March 2013, 18:10   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Suraj View Post
AWESOME review.
Looking forward to more news of those ROUGH roads and WATER waddling with pics if possible.

Wish you all the very best!
Thank you very much! Will be posting pictures of wading in water-logged roads as soon as it rains in the North!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajseniorhr View Post
Congrats on your latest acquisition and wishing you many miles of safe (backseat) driving!
Great perspective on colour matching in the interiors.

My my - just how expectations have galloped! Maybe TATAs will spring a surprise in the next iteration of the Strome!
Regards
Raj
Thanks a lot. The point that I was trying to make is that the Tatas have gone SO far ahead from where they used to be -- that its surprising that they have left out the easy things like this one. For example, it must have been a monumental task to improve NVH levels from the Dicors levels to best-below-30L-SUV levels. When all the hard work is done -- then it feels stupid that they ordered the blacks in three different shades. Or that they forgot to tighten random nuts and bolts in the car!

Expectations have surely galloped. Either you meet them and stay in the game - or you go the Nokia way.


Regarding Audio System:
I have been getting really annoyed with the audio system lately. The sound quality is really below average, with highs more pronounced, and lows very muted. If you increase the bass on the audio system, then the bass is distorted. I have a set of Focal Infinity speakers (components for front + coax in the back) that I had pulled out from my other car before I sold it. But for me to run components with crossovers, I think I need an amp.

I have a feeling that an amp + those speakers should be able to resolve this issue. But amp'ing means voiding the warranty...

Unless, I use this thing: http://www.crutchfield.com/p_500KTP4...ower-Pack.html

The power pack is a plug-in mini-amp which is supposed to increase the output of the Alpine speakers to 42w RMS, without voiding the warranty. I wonder if this upgrade will resolve my audio quality issues.

I am now confused between two options:
a) Buy power-pack, dont void warranty, and put in new speakers. This way, I spend ~8K, and keep my warranty
b) Throw out the Alpine BS system, and put in a decent HU + decent amp. This way, I lose the warranty.

Sigh.
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