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Old 25th April 2016, 19:24   #1
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Default My Highway King - Tata Safari Storme VX Varicor 400 Nm

Hello readers. This is my first ownership thread in Team BHP.

I’m upgrading from hatchbacks. I have zero real world experience of driving an SUV or a diesel. But, I do have quite a good number of kms covered, in my account. Wherever i go, i try to use the roads, even though I have a very convenient 2AC (most of the times free of cost) Railway transport. Like J.Ravi sir and other legends, I wish to cover as many places as I can, by roads.

Currently my rides include highway drives very frequently and bit of city drives. I use my RE Thunderbird Twinspark (2009) for my daily use. But lately it's testing my patience to the threshold. I think it's cylinder head or something needs to be replaced. I'll post more about its torments in the appropriate thread. I care very much about my vehicles. For example, I even avoid valet parking most of the times. Also I've upped my road time for the past few months. Just in the last year I covered about 18000 kms in my HYUNDAI EON, which included all kinds of roads.

I've been postponing getting a new car, since a long time. I knew what would be my next vehicle long long back. Our last trip to Goa, recently about two months back, fueled even more to this. One fine morning, took the plunge, reached the showroom as soon as they opened it and booked the vehicle. You only live once, this is what i told my wifey and got an instant approval , long back. All this decision making, booking and delivery happened within 10 days.

WHAT VEHICLE
“King of the Road” The Tata Safari Storme VX 400NM 4x2 Pearl White.
My Highway King - Tata Safari Storme VX Varicor 400 Nm-1.jpg
My Highway King - Tata Safari Storme VX Varicor 400 Nm-2.jpg
My Highway King - Tata Safari Storme VX Varicor 400 Nm-5.jpg
My Highway King - Tata Safari Storme VX Varicor 400 Nm-6.jpg
My Highway King - Tata Safari Storme VX Varicor 400 Nm-8.jpg
My Highway King - Tata Safari Storme VX Varicor 400 Nm-9.jpg
My Highway King - Tata Safari Storme VX Varicor 400 Nm-10.jpg

This review is penned after covering about 6000kms since delivery, 90 percent of which was covered in less than a month.
(No intention to hurt the feelings of Team BHPians or other readers. Please don't mind my language or anything i describe. All the points I mention below are strictly of my opinion. Also I might use the word Safari a lot, and by that I mean The Storme).

WHY TATA SAFARI?
Every one of my relatives and friends asked me the same question. These were few reactions by them. "Safari is an out-dated vehicle, mileage is around 4 or 5 kmpl, and maintenance is very very high, lots of issues, service centres are worst, XUV 5OO is a much better vehicle". Ironically none of them have ever been in a safari. Neither they have driven it nor did they even knew a guy with Safari. Not even a Tata motors experience. Even I have never been in a Safari/Storme. The first time I was anywhere near a Safari was in the showroom, in the display vehicle, about 6 months back.

Since my childhood I am a die-hard fan of the Safari. So going for the Storme was purely out of the heart.

Finally visited the showroom one fine day. First time climbing onto the driver's seat in the display vehicle…. Fast forward 6 months, Storme keys are in my hands on 21st march 2016. I have to really thank Team BHP and its Storme owners for their support. I booked the vehicle, put down the down payment, even without a test drive, only considering few Team BHP members ownership experience and my madness towards Safari. I've already done years of research, by then.

Safari might be having niggles, issues, break downs, poor QC, poor after-sales support, etc. Let them be. I made a conscious decision and I'll face them, if I have to.

One thing I should add here "The drive experience is worth facing all the troubles".

Baptised my Storme with the "LIVE TO DRIVE"
My Highway King - Tata Safari Storme VX Varicor 400 Nm-3.jpg
My Highway King - Tata Safari Storme VX Varicor 400 Nm-4.jpg

ALTERNATIVES CONSIDERED
1) Tata Safari Dicor. Considering niggles of safari/storme, I gave a thought about Dicor LX version. That way, at least I’ll be fulfilling my Safari wish, at a very pocket friendly price and I can even plan another mid-range sedan. Few Team BHPians advised me that adding in some more dough for the Storme is worth. So ruled out Dicor.

2) New Ford Endeavour, Toyota Fortuner etc. and all the vehicles including sedans, SUV's, MUV's around and above the price bracket of Storme. But, only for consideration. I already made up my mind for Storme long back. New Ford Endeavour made a good impression, but I felt spending nearly 40 percent price extra than the Storme isn’t worth.

3) I visited Mahindra Showroom, as this was an opportunity to TD the rivals. XUV wasn't available. I test drove only Scorpio. An impressive vehicle. If not for Storme, there was a 50 percent probability that Scorpio S10 would have been my vehicle, the other 50 being XUV. Also, the S10 was more than one and half lakh INR cheaper than Storme, including discounts etc.

VEHICLES CURRENTLY PARKED AT MY HOME
1) HYUNDAI EON ERA+ Blue Drive (2012) 49000km on odo.
2) ROYAL ENFIELD THUNDERBIRD TWINSPARK (2009) 60000km on the odo.
3) I drove Maruti Suzuki Zen Lxi (2005) currently in my family, for quite a distance (it's clocked more than 1,00,000kms on the odo).

So here's another Enfield-Safari combo in T-BHP.


BOOKING AND DELIVERY
I post poned my decision regarding the Storme 6 months back, when I first visited the showroom, due to personal reasons. My second visit was the real deal. Decided to go ahead with the Storme, one fine morning, and headed out to the dealership to find out the pricing, delivery dates etc. Showroom guys were very welcoming. I was attended by some 6 or 7 guys when I uttered the word Storme. A wonderful experience. Later I had a good chat with Sales head. He was very patient answering my list of all stupid doubts. Finally booked the Storme VX Varicor 400.

Delivery time was promised 2 weeks. It seems that Safari or Storme are currently built only on order basis, at the Pune factory. It takes them 48hrs to build a Storme, after they receive an order from the dealership. Within next 48 hrs, they'll put the vehicle in transit.
I was initially oscillating between Pearl White and Urban Bronze. But after looking at the Pearl White test drive car in live, I went ahead with the same.

I had a very long, detailed test drive, a week after booking. Tried everything. I initially thought to email a good feedback to the TML, as I had a very good experience. The situation reversed later on. Till date I haven't receive the AMC, EW booklets. I had to receive a little refund as I paid a little higher loan amount. Got the refund and AMC, EW Invoices more than a month after vehicle delivery, but still no booklets. Only my service rep is prompt till date. To all others, I was history, after putting down the down payment.

So it took exactly 10 days to get the keys in my hands, from the day I visited the showroom. Checked the VIN guide in T-Bhp and found out it was of same month manufacturing.

Ex-showroom Price- 14,01,635/- (post budget price, a hike of about 55k).
Life Tax- A whooping 2,64,495/- in Karnataka.
AMC(Gold)- 39,233/-
EW for 4th year- 7,133/-
Insurance- 31,083/-
Temp Registration charges by Dealer- 1,000/-

Discount- 10,000/- (TML discount for the month of March) + 6,000/- (Corporate doctors discount)

Freebies- Mud flaps and Floor mats.

Please don't ask me about the D-day experience. One sales rep explained to me all the paperwork and handed over a box of chocolates at his table. Another rep then gave a very very brief description about whereabouts of vehicle accessories like warning triangle, etc. and handed over the keys to me. That's all. Not even a click of a photograph. When we took the delivery of our Hyundai Eon, they made us feel like we were some celebrities.


PROS
1) Excellent Driveability and Ride quality. Everyone reports the issues, niggles of Safari, but till date I’ve never heard anyone saying ride quality was bad or not enjoyable in Safari, not even once. It glides on all day long, without any glitch. Journeys, however long they might be, are a breeze with the Storme. If cars were to have any riding marathons like Iron Butt, Saddle sore, Bun Burner, etc, one could easily accomplish them in a Storme, without burning any buns.

2) Comfy seating for the first two rows. Front row seats are the best. Excellent leg room, especially for XL sized guys like me, it's a boon. I went for my tennis practice just after i came back from a 500kms ride. In another instance, I felt no fatigue at all even after a 10 hour drive, with only one short break.

3) One should experience flooring the A-pedal, while overtaking on highways… No more words here.

4) 6-speed gear box is really useful on the highways. Very little gear shifting needed on long drives. Those upgrading from the hatchbacks/petrol cars will really feel the difference. Even if you slow down, 6th gear pulls up very quickly and reaches good speeds within no time.

6) NVH levels - AWESOME. From 100-110 kmph, it’s a bit noisy, but on crossing 110kmph the cabin becomes silent.

7) The Harman Connectnext infotainment system is excellent. Couldn’t ask for more. I’m used to Google maps in my mobile. Also, i have a bad experience with the Sony touch screen system in my Eon. So won’t miss the touchscreen or the in-built navigation system. The display of the Infotainment system is placed too low. This is especially evident when reverse parking sensors turn on. This isn't an ideal placement of the small screen of the system.

8) ORVM’s provide excellent visibility. I don't need reverse camera most of the times. IRVM is useless while reversing. But one should check the surroundings clearly before reversing, as the reverse sensors aren't reliable at all times.

9) Suspension is excellent. Storme literally glides over pot holes. Everyone said this. But I knew what this was, only after experiencing the Storme. The insiders feel no impact at all. Regarding the GC, forget the frown on your forehead while approaching any kind of speed bump.

10) I got a FE of around 14kmpl in my highway trips (I didn't cross 110kmph as I was in running in period). In cities FE takes a hit. I got about around 9-10kmpl. These figures calculated with the AC always turned on. Till date for the approx 5000kms covered, the average FE is around 11kmpl(I've been keeping track of the fuel expenses since day 1).

11) External build quality is excellent. There are a very few panel gaps and inconsistencies in my Storme. Everything is sturdy, even the ORVM's, side foot rests, etc. Will update regarding the tires grip, road manners etc. But i feel confident enough inside the Storme.

12) View of the road is excellent. Thin A-pillar combined with the seating position, gives you a perfect all around visibility. Even reversing isn't difficult because of the view.

CONS
1) Rattles, rattles, and rattles. Within a week of delivery, there started the infamous rattles in my Storme. Whenever I see an oil leakage in my Thunderbird, I think RE forgot to add this point in their list of specifications. I’m starting to think the same about rattles in Storme.

2) I think there’s a huge difference of parts quality on the exterior and in the interiors. Looking at the exteriors, it looks like they'll last for ages. Get inside, I don’t think anything inside will last for 5 years. Let it be the switches, stalks, buttons, dials, levers, etc. Whenever I use the high-beam stalk, I fear I’ll pluck it out. Everything seems to be delicate.

3) The last row with jump seats is a bit of a torture chamber. The foot rest isn’t even visible while getting down. For me last row is only for luggage.

4) Gears are a bit notchy and even the throw is long. Storme owners get used to this. You’ll feel the difference only while driving another car. Gear lever dances a little bit, at all the times, but not an eye sore.

5) Braking isn't confidence inspiring. May be because I'm coming from hatchbacks. Please don’t compare the braking with sedans or hatchbacks. Because of the Storme dimensions and weight, braking will feel inferior compared to them.

6) Lot of leaves accumulate near the bonnet, door beadings, windshield wipers, and many other crevices etc. That dust and the small leaves fall into the car when the doors open and shut.
My Highway King - Tata Safari Storme VX Varicor 400 Nm-18.jpg

7) The feedback on steering wheel, especially on pot hole roads is very bad. Not sure whether all SUV’s behave such(on my sales rep. But vibrations are abnormal. Try driving the storme over rocky roads...you can feel the terrain directly with your hand. Feel of the steering is extremely good at high speeds on highways. Steering is not an EPS. So driving in city roads may be tiring. Steering is not as smooth as sedans or hatchbacks. So most of the time, one would be using both their hands for steering, especially in cities.

8) The low-beam isn't sufficient at all for highways in my opinion. I feel the throw is very very poor. I had to dip the lights few times, even though I had on-coming vehicles, because of poor coverage of low-beam. I even re-checked few times, whether I switched on the lights or not. I'm thinking of upgrading this component in the near future. High-beam is excellent.

9) As this is my first diesel experience, I find the turbo-lag. Other diesel owners may not find this lag very bad.

10) With the driver seat at it's highest setting, the view is excellent, but for hefty guys, it might be a bit uncomfortable. Adjusting the seat to a lower position creates a lot of room. Not that I'm uncomfortable or anything, but when i set my seat to the highest level and try to push back the seat to the farthest, i am surprised with the very little movement left. There shouldn't be an option as to choosing between either the seat height or the comfort, especially in such huge vehicle. Why i mention this is, I keep checking occasionally, trying to push back the seat still further, but then realizing, this the maximum the seat can do. Same goes for the steering wheel tilt-adjust. So my seating position is always at the highest, with seat slid all the way to the back and the steering column at it's highest, and still wanting more.

WHAT SHOULD HAVE ALSO BEEN THERE
1) Dead pedal would have been useful, especially in the city drives. Also, my left foot gets frequently stuck, after de-clutching, between the floor and the lower border of dashboard.

2) I sorely miss the Cruise control in highways. Tata should have added this option in the Varicor 400.

3) Reverse camera would have been beneficial, at least display integrated into the IRVM. Just to know whether the rear is clear or not.

4) Grab handle on the A-pillar for the driver would have been good. I catch hold of the door while climbing up.

5) Tata should have continued the analogue clock.

6) There should have been an Organ-type of accelerator pedal, as it suits perfectly with the seating position. I always thought Safari/Storme had an Organ type A-Pedal.


FEW OTHER THINGS
1) In my opinion, the Storme looks more appealing, as the more you look at it. It looks to me like a Lincoln Navigator, especially from the rear. So I’m not missing the spare wheel on the tail gate. The front grille of the first generation Storme was more appealing and unique than the current one, in my opinion. But I'm happy even with the current one.

2) The roof antenna hits the hanging exit boards in the parking of malls. It can be pushed down manually. But this might affect the radio reception.
My Highway King - Tata Safari Storme VX Varicor 400 Nm-7.jpg
My Highway King - Tata Safari Storme VX Varicor 400 Nm-17.jpg

3) Bluetooth audio got connected instantly and works flawless. Occasionally it doesn’t display the name of the song correctly.

4) Air conditioner isn’t very effective. It cools the cabin in no time, but maintenance of cooling isn’t good. My Blower mostly stays at 3 or 4 speed. Even the rear roof AC and the AC vents in the floor console aren't very effective, in my opinion.

5) I’m used to bottle holder in between the front seats. The centre bottle holder in storme is useless. Bottle holders in front row door pads are extremely good though. They can easily hold 2 or 3 bottles each. Middle and last rows have no space for bottles anywhere.

6) Key remote range isn’t as good as my Autocop in Eon. Range is limited. I need to experiment more to comment on this. Also I need to press down the unlock button for a little longer and firmer, than usual, to unlock the door. The autocop remote unlocks instantly with a mild push of the button.

7) While getting in, the steering rubs the thighs. But doesn’t interfere at all while driving. (For reference, I’m 180cms and 95kg). I even heard this complaint from most other owners.

8) Also while getting in, I hit the dashboard with my left knee many times. Even the key, if it’s already slotted in. This might be due to the seat position and height [and my bulkiness too], making the room a little congested, while getting in.

9) People at the middle row slide forward on braking. I initially thought this might be because of the soft fabric seats. So for middle row persons, seat belts are must, most of the times or at least catching on to the roof grab-handles.

10) On hilly roads, 1st gear pulls up extremely easily. But it’s very very short. 2nd gear pulls up slowly, below turbo range. So I found it difficult to drive the steep hilly roads initially. As I was in running in period, I didn’t cross the 2,500 RPM. Up-shifting to 2nd gear at higher RPM solves this.

11) The call answering button on steering wheel displays the call list. But can’t be scrolled with the steering mounted controls. I need to use the select dial on the Infotainment system to scroll through the call list. This is very hazardous while driving, as the screen is placed too low. Call quality is very clear.

12) Call can be answered by Bluetooth even if the music system is turned off, or even if you switch off the vehicle. On-going call doesn’t disconnect even if you turn off the vehicle. A very useful feature.

13) ORVM's fold either ways. And please don’t play with the auto-folding ORVM’s. Manual folding or unfolding of ORVM’s makes a grinding noise. This noise continues to occur, every time you auto-fold/unfold them.

14) Key slotting is very uncomfortable. You have to physically look at the key slot most of the times. Key doesn’t slide in easily, and needs some effort. I initially thought it takes time to get adjusted to. But nearly 5000kms on the odo, it’s still the same.

15) On the first week of vehicle delivery, gears were always stuck, very difficult to slot in. I struggled a lot to slot into neutral. Now they’re butter smooth, except for the occasional first gear difficult slotting. You need to floor the clutch pedal very firmly for smooth gearing.

16) There are few things which are common to all Stormes, in my opinion. Clutch clicking sound, hissing sound when steering rotates to extremes. So new owners don’t be alarmed.

17) There’s some cluttering engine sound when I try to drive at higher gears at slow speeds (I shouldn’t do this, but Storme's torquey engine made me lazy). May be this is normal, as I'm unnecessarily straining the engine. As navpreet318 already quoted in his ownership report "Don't try to manufacture sounds in the SUV by going to 4th gear at 10KMPH. It will then make all kinds of sounds".

18) The music system is very good for ghazals etc. type of songs. Very crisp and clear. For guys like me who listen to pop or Rock, most of the time, they might feel the need for upgrading or adding the extras.

19) Even though rattles, niggles etc. issues are common, the service centre guys, especially at my area follow the policy of replacing, but not repairing, mostly under warranty, without any questions. Other manufacturers try to exploit this kind of situation. But, other manufacturer vehicles don’t have niggles this frequently, I guess.

20) AMC offered by TML is a very good move. Only two plans currently-Gold and Silver. Gold covers 3yrs or 45000 kms (There's even an option for 60,000kms at an extra price) and includes everything, even service schedules, breakdowns, wear and tear parts and any other repairs whether major or minor. Battery and tires are exempted from this. Silver covers all service schedules till 1 lakh kms, but no other repairs or breakdowns or wear and tears in between. I’m not sure if other brands would offer this type of maintenance services in their cars. Gold 45000kms/3yrs costs about 40k INR plus compulsory extended warranty of 4th year, costing 7k INR. Silver costs 20k INR and EW not compulsory. I would definitely recommend gold AMC, especially for a safari.

21) The head rests of the seats are too far and are angled completely straight. So mostly useless, as I can’t even touch them with my head, while driving. You wouldn’t find any difference, even if they’re completely detached. So aftermarket neck rests might be useful.

22) Flip-key is built tough. But pressing the unlock button unlocks only the driver door. Pressing it twice unlocks all other doors. Not a useful feature always. I already mentioned that unlock button has to be pressed a little firmer than usual to unlock. So to do this twice, is irritating.

23) The cabin lighting is excellent. Theater-dimming cabin lighting along with individual spot lamps for front seats are very good. Only grouse is that the plastic panels covering them are poorly fitted, with squeaking sounds every time i touch them. Even the glove box has a lamp which lights up every time i open it. Also I expected a bigger glove box in such huge truck. I'm searching for all the storage areas i can, after my mobile holder, sun-glass case and few other tiny things ate up my glove box.

24) The rear windshield washer doesn't have a jet stream. Water just flows down from it. Not sure whether this is common to all Stormes or just mine. Front ones do their job good enough.

25) The inside of the door panel where driver can rest the right arm, is padded a little bit. I just found out this recently.

26) Regarding the Engine, everything's great except for a little bit of crudeness. As I'm completely from petrol lineage, i might be feeling this little imperfection in the refinement. That's the only reason i wanted to TD the competition. I still want to know whether XUV shares this similar crudeness.

27) The front row power windows take a good 5 seconds to wind up or down. Not very fast in my opinion, may be due to their huge size. Rear ones are normal as other cars. If observed carefully, one can find a step in the power window switch, pressing further down beyond that step auto rolls down the window completely.

28) Not sure whether i would be having any use with the heated ORVM's in the south india, but a very good move by TML.

29) When the doors are locked, from the inside, directly pulling the driver door lever unlocks all the doors and even opens the driver door, without the need for using the unlock switch first.

I couldn't put all the above things in an order, as i jotted them down whenever i could and also i had to change the numbers every time. So please don't mind.

ANY MODS OR ADDITIONS DONE OR PLANNING IN FUTURE
1) I’ve ordered a DIY TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) about 5 months back, from aliexpress.com. Tried it on my Eon since then. Later transferred it to Storme. Really useful. I'll try to create a whole new thread on this TPMS.
My Highway King - Tata Safari Storme VX Varicor 400 Nm-15.jpg
My Highway King - Tata Safari Storme VX Varicor 400 Nm-13.jpg
My Highway King - Tata Safari Storme VX Varicor 400 Nm-14.jpg
My Highway King - Tata Safari Storme VX Varicor 400 Nm-16.jpg

2) Ordered online a Star 3D Atlas black coloured mats from Amazon.in, costing about 3000 INR. Please stay away from these. These aren't worth at all not an exact fit too. The mats I got as a freebie are much better.
My Highway King - Tata Safari Storme VX Varicor 400 Nm-11.jpg
My Highway King - Tata Safari Storme VX Varicor 400 Nm-12.jpg

3) I didn’t install the seat covers, as I feared removing and re-attaching the seats may lead to rattles in future. Same reason I didn’t opt for reverse camera and the analogue clock. I don’t want to disturb anything factory fit. I am in a dilemma whether to proceed for seat covers.

4) Do the wind visors really augment the cabin noise? Are they really useful? Any Storme owners installed them and observed change in wind noise at high speeds?

5) Installed the zippered magnetic sunshades of about 1500 INR. Looks very good and are exact fit. Makes the cabin very dark. But those zips make some noise, in addition to the rattles. Also cabin noise augments a lot with these. These sunshades are objected in few cities. So confirm it before buying.

NIGGLES/RATTLES FACED TILL NOW
1) The LHS front door locking was malfunctioning just a week after delivery. Central locking didn’t lock or unlock that door. Service centre guys changed the LHS front door latch assembly and problem solved. Already posted regarding this in Varicor 400 thread.

2) Driver window and rear roof AC rattles were present since day one. Driver window rattle issue solved, but for roof AC, I'm planning to get it checked at 1st service. There are several other rattles and noises from inside the cabin, but unsure of their source. With the music system turned off, it’s like watching a horror movie with low volume, inside my Storme.

FINALLY…
Driving dynamics of Storme are very much different compared to sedans or hatchbacks. I feel the Storme is too powerful to drive in city traffic. For highways, it’s a boon though. Braking abilities of Storme is good, but coming from other segment vehicles, you’ll feel the difference. I had few instances, where i was sure I would ram into the vehicle before me. So keep in mind the vehicle dimensions and abilities, before you floor that A-pedal. One can feel the body roll easily, especially cornering at good speeds. For middle row passengers, this might be very uncomfortable. I even had an instance, where guys in the middle row threw up.

Currently, reliability of the Storme in long run isn’t clear, as number of units of Storme sold each year is very low compared to other SUV’s, and number of owners who munched in good number of miles are also low. I never heard till date a Storme (not the safari) owner clocking in 1,00,000 kms or more. But as most of the Dicor and previous gen Safari owners said, the current storme is the best safari till date. So hope everything goes on fine.

The following few lines might be painful to few guys. It's purely unintentional and strictly of my opinion.

Before getting the Storme the following was my thinking:
"In my opinion, only other stiff competition to Storme is the XUV 5OO or the Scorpio. If you ask me to vote the reliability of Storme vs XUV, I might vote for XUV. The probability of breakdowns or major repairs in the current generation Storme and XUV might be similar, but the sales figures of XUV is much much higher than the Storme (XUV sells 6-8 times more than Storme). Riding a Safari might pump you more endorphins than XUV, but there are also good chances that Safari might also give you Hypertension."

All of the above I mentioned were purely my observations from the web research I have done for the past few years, on both Storme and XUV. People talk about possibility of getting delivered a lemon, when discussed about Safari. Even the instances of breakdowns/major repairs I read are more of Safari than the XUV. All of this might change, if the current generation Storme is really much improved as everyone already said.

But after riding 5000kms on the Storme, I feel pretty confident about its reliability and I'll definitely re-think about my opinion about comparing it with XUV. Though I still need to munch in a lot more miles to comment more on the reliability of the New Storme. So time will tell. I feel TML should upgrade the Storme/Safari to the current market requirements and should be aggressive in advertising. Storme might be one of the best VFM vehicle with a very poor marketing.

Finally after speaking all this, one thing I would like to mention is that I would buy the Storme again as my next vehicle 5 or 10 years down the line, if the current SUV market stays similar even then. So heart vs mind, my mind, which would have gone for XUV, lost the battle.

I'll try to update this thread as regularly as I can. Thanks for your patience.

That's all for now folks.


Ciao.
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My Highway King - Tata Safari Storme VX Varicor 400 Nm-19.jpg  


Last edited by GTO : 6th May 2016 at 10:44. Reason: Adding spaces between your points :). Thanks for sharing!
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Old 6th May 2016, 10:46   #2
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Default Re: My Highway King - Tata Safari Storme VX Varicor 400 Nm

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 6th May 2016, 11:22   #3
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Default Re: My Highway King - Tata Safari Storme VX Varicor 400 Nm

Dear Doc - hello to you on this thread. Let me be the first person to congratulate you on your vehicle purchase. Also, many thanks for giving your RWUP observations (real world usage pattern), its nice to be able to correlate! .

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar

PS - please do let me know the progress of your PM to me.
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Old 6th May 2016, 12:22   #4
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Default Re: My Highway King - Tata Safari Storme VX Varicor 400 Nm

Quote:
Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
Dear Doc - hello to you on this thread. Let me be the first person to congratulate you on your vehicle purchase. Also, many thanks for giving your RWUP observations (real world usage pattern), its nice to be able to correlate! .

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar

PS - please do let me know the progress of your PM to me.
I might have nitpicked on few things in the report. I want to include all the details I can, however minor they may be.

I'll update you as soon as I hear anything from them sir.
Thanks a lot.
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Old 6th May 2016, 13:48   #5
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Default Re: My Highway King - Tata Safari Storme VX Varicor 400 Nm

Congrats again and thanks for sharing.


Quote:
All of the above I mentioned were purely my observations from the web research
Sorry to say but I have feeling after reading your report that you have just quoted from other threads on TATA Safari.
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Old 6th May 2016, 14:07   #6
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Default Re: My Highway King - Tata Safari Storme VX Varicor 400 Nm

Quote:
Originally Posted by doc_zeus View Post
I might have nitpicked on few things in the report. I want to include all the details I can, however minor they may be. Thanks a lot.
Dear Doc - you have not nit-picked at all! I catch things much more minor than what you have pointed out. I am giving one example. Do a single lane change in your car. Do it around 5 times on the same stretch of road at the same input speed. Then continuously drive "normally" for around 200 kms. Make a list of things which come to your mind. Your list after 200 kms of driving must not have less than 10 things on it, all related to single lane change. Talk to the car, have a meaningful conversation with it, the car will talk to you. This is RWUP, this is what I learnt from my vehicle evaluation teacher Yoshikazu Shirahishi San, Chief Vehicle Evaluation Engineer of Nissan Motor Company, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan. I remember him and follow his teachings every day. We all know how Japanese cars work. Like this, there are innumerable things in the car which the customer is never expected to know, but it was Shirahishi San's job to know, he knew, he taught me because I used to listen to him, I learnt, so I am sharing, and I am still learning!

The most precious core competence of a vehicle evaluation engineer is to decide what to allow and what to stop. Unfortunately, this capability is in critically short supply these days. That's why I have the best job in the world! .

So keep the feedback coming, only good will come out of it. .

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
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Old 7th May 2016, 12:58   #7
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Default Re: My Highway King - Tata Safari Storme VX Varicor 400 Nm

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Originally Posted by doc_zeus View Post
Hello readers. This is my first ownership thread in Team BHP.
Was looking forward to this ownership thread with bated breath and finally it is here.

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WHAT VEHICLE
ďKing of the RoadĒ The Tata Safari Storme VX 400NM 4x2 Pearl White.
Many congratulations on getting your Pearl White Storme. It really looks like the King of the Road.

Quote:
This review is penned after covering about 6000kms since delivery, 90 percent of which was covered in less than a month.
That is some serious mile munching. Where all did you take your Storme to? Please share that with us in the form of a travelogue.

Quote:
Since my childhood I am a die-hard fan of the Safari. So going for the Storme was purely out of the heart.
Sometimes heart rules over the head/mind and surely your case is no different.

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Safari might be having niggles, issues, break downs, poor QC, poor after-sales support, etc. Let them be. I made a conscious decision and I'll face them, if I have to. One thing I should add here "The drive experience is worth facing all the troubles".
I am sure you will enjoy driving the Storme more than the niggles/troubles it will throw at you.

Quote:
Delivery time was promised 2 weeks. It seems that Safari or Storme are currently built only on order basis, at the Pune factory. It takes them 48hrs to build a Storme, after they receive an order from the dealership. Within next 48 hrs, they'll put the vehicle in transit.
Seems you got a superfast delivery.

Quote:
Please don't ask me about the D-day experience. One sales rep explained to me all the paperwork and handed over a box of chocolates at his table. Another rep then gave a very very brief description about whereabouts of vehicle accessories like warning triangle, etc. and handed over the keys to me. That's all. Not even a click of a photograph. When we took the delivery of our Hyundai Eon, they made us feel like we were some celebrities.
That looks like a sub-per delivery experience. Were you alone while taking the delivery or you had your family/friends with you. I am asking this because many a times showroom folks treat you differently if you are with you family/friends. They try their best to make the occasion very special for you. When my brother in law took the delivery of his Vista D-90 three years back, the showroom folks arranged for a huge garland, coconut, pooja thali, sweet box etc. The sales lady handed over a big key and took some photographs of the moment. Immediately they took a print out, framed it properly & handed it over to us. Of course, this was the company owned Concorde showroom, which might have made the difference.

Quote:
I'll try to update this thread as regularly as I can. Thanks for your patience. That's all for now folks.Ciao.
Excellent write-up. You have summarized the intial impressions about the car very well, without any prejudice. One tends to enjoy the car more if he accepts what all the car has to offer and happily live with it. I am sure your journey with the Storme would be a very pleasant one
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Old 7th May 2016, 16:42   #8
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Default Re: My Highway King - Tata Safari Storme VX Varicor 400 Nm

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Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post

So keep the feedback coming, only good will come out of it.
Sure sir. I'll report to you all the little details/niggles I can find. I actually omitted few minor things before I finalized my thread.

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Originally Posted by ISO View Post
Congrats again and thanks for sharing.
Sorry to say but I have feeling after reading your report that you have just quoted from other threads on TATA Safari.
Sorry ISO. I didn't get you. Any more specifics? When you say quoting from other thread, is it regarding the XUV vs Storme or the whole report? If anything looked like I quoted from other threads, it wasn't intentional at all.

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Originally Posted by AutoIndian View Post
Was looking forward to this ownership thread with bated breath and finally it is here.

Many congratulations on getting your Pearl White Storme. It really looks like the King of the Road.

That is some serious mile munching. Where all did you take your Storme to? Please share that with us in the form of a travelogue.

That looks like a sub-per delivery experience. Were you alone while taking the delivery or you had your family/friends with you. I am asking this because many a times showroom folks treat you differently if you are with you family/friends. They try their best to make the occasion very special for you. When my brother in law took the delivery of his Vista D-90 three years back, the showroom folks arranged for a huge garland, coconut, pooja thali, sweet box etc. The sales lady handed over a big key and took some photographs of the moment. Immediately they took a print out, framed it properly & handed it over to us. Of course, this was the company owned Concorde showroom, which might have made the difference.

Excellent write-up. You have summarized the intial impressions about the car very well, without any prejudice. One tends to enjoy the car more if he accepts what all the car has to offer and happily live with it. I am sure your journey with the Storme would be a very pleasant one
Thanks a lot AutoIndian. I made a lot of changes, to make the report more presentable. Hence the delay. Mods were of great help, especially GTO.

Wifey and me were there on the day of delivery. We experienced what all you mentioned, when we took the delivery of our little Eon. But, we weren't disappointed for Storme delivery, as we were more excited the Storme was coming home. So all is well.

Currently the odo stands near 6200kms. I've been to Coorg, Hyderabad, Hampi and have done many other short trips, in between. Currently at Indore. I'm looking for all the excuses to take out the Storme. Coorg wasn't a pleasant trip at all, because of the climate. But the drive was excellent. A very very short travelogue. I'll try to post few good pics, if i can find any. All other drives done till now, except coorg, were official.


Got the first service done at around 4500kms, about 10 days back. Got the Engine oil and oil filter replaced and standard checks done. TML charged me INR 2654/-. Storme feels much more smooth after this. Even the gears are very smooth, except for the first. Will update and post few pics in a week, as soon as I return back.
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Old 7th May 2016, 22:21   #9
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Default Re: My Highway King - Tata Safari Storme VX Varicor 400 Nm

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Originally Posted by doc_zeus View Post
Wifey and me were there on the day of delivery.
Congratulations on the purchase Doc. The Storme/Safari is indeed a "Love it or Loathe it" vehicle. It has always been this way.

The dealer dampening the delivery experience is certainly not expected, especially when someone is paying the cost of an apartment to buy an SUV but that is past tense now.

Great to know that you are enjoying the truck and are clocking nice, memorable miles on it.

Also, please accept my accolades on being completely frank and true about the disadvantages of the truck like body roll, middle row discomfort, rattles, last row space and a lot more. It takes a lot to be so open minded and frank.
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Old 7th May 2016, 23:02   #10
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Default Re: My Highway King - Tata Safari Storme VX Varicor 400 Nm

Hi Doc, Congrats on your storme and l liked your honest feedback. Being a new strome owner and first time SUV/Diesel owner like you, i can relate to what you have stated. I had some specific feedback on some of the points and putting that below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by doc_zeus
Please don't ask me about the D-day experience. One sales rep explained to me all the paperwork and handed over a box of chocolates at his table. Another rep then gave a very very brief description about whereabouts of vehicle accessories like warning triangle, etc. and handed over the keys to me. That's all. Not even a click of a photograph. When we took the delivery of our Hyundai Eon, they made us feel like we were some celebrities.
This is dealer specific. In my case the concorde motors team at chennai gave me a celebrity like delivery! Puja for the car, hand over ceremony of the key, most staff standing in line, instant printed photograph, grand bye bye etc. On the contrary when i purchased my honda city in 2007, it was a very pedestrian experience. So surely dealer specific.

Quote:
Originally Posted by doc_zeus
10) I got a FE of around 14kmpl in my highway trips (I didn't cross 110kmph as I was in running in period). In cities FE takes a hit. I got about around 9-10kmpl. These figures calculated with the AC always turned on. Till date for the approx 5000kms covered, the average FE is around 11kmpl(I've been keeping track of the fuel expenses since day 1).
+ 1 to the Highway mileage. I recorded exactly 14 kmpl on the highway. But in the city, I am able to get 12 or a touch higher than that. Been recording my consumption since day 1 as well on the Fuelio App,

Quote:
Originally Posted by doc_zeus
1) Rattles, rattles, and rattles. Within a week of delivery, there started the infamous rattles in my Storme. Whenever I see an oil leakage in my Thunderbird, I think RE forgot to add this point in their list of specifications. Iím starting to think the same about rattles in Storme.
Touch luck on this. I have had only a creaking sound from the roof AC and one from the rear seat (clamp adjustment corrected in 1st service). Had an issue with the gear linkage + gear knob that was leading to some chatter at specific RPMs and that's been resolved now. But luckily I haven't had any of those niggling rattles that i have heard of. I pray they go away in your beast soon

Quote:
Originally Posted by doc_zeus
2) I think thereís a huge difference of parts quality on the exterior and in the interiors. Looking at the exteriors, it looks like they'll last for ages. Get inside, I donít think anything inside will last for 5 years. Let it be the switches, stalks, buttons, dials, levers, etc. Whenever I use the high-beam stalk, I fear Iíll pluck it out. Everything seems to be delicate.
+1. The interior parts are all very plasticky and light. especially the wiper / indicator stalks and the cabin lamp finishing. The power window switches and infotainment system are the only couple of things that feel will last a life time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by doc_zeus
5) Braking isn't confidence inspiring. May be because I'm coming from hatchbacks. Please donít compare the braking with sedans or hatchbacks. Because of the Storme dimensions and weight, braking will feel inferior compared to them.
I had this feeling in the first week of ownership that the brakes are insufficient. But after the brakes bedded in, I have realised they have decent bite and I have a good measure of them now to judge braking distance. Plus with ABS it is confidence inspiring and I already realised that once on my highway trip where I did an emergency braking. Very stable and controlled.

Quote:
Originally Posted by doc_zeus
4) Air conditioner isnít very effective. It cools the cabin in no time, but maintenance of cooling isnít good. My Blower mostly stays at 3 or 4 speed. Even the rear roof AC and the AC vents in the floor console aren't very effective, in my opinion.
Am very surprised about this point. My experience and from what I read from others as well is that the AC is superb. I dont recollect ever having used the 3rd and never the 4th speed on the blower. In a full out highway drive last month near vijaywada (temp in the range of 38-39 degrees), the drive was done with the blower on 2 in the front and 1 at the rear. You may want to get this checked. Infact I am still using only the ECO mode with blower on 1 on my morning drive to work in chennai (30 mins at 9 AM, 32-33 degrees). Btw, I have the 3M CR70 sun film all around and it certainly contributes to this extra cooling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by doc_zeus
11) The call answering button on steering wheel displays the call list. But canít be scrolled with the steering mounted controls. I need to use the select dial on the Infotainment system to scroll through the call list. This is very hazardous while driving, as the screen is placed too low. Call quality is very clear.
+1. I initially thought its a defect in my steering controls that the call records can't be browsed from the steering. But realised the option has been given only via the dial on the main console. Very unsafe to try while driving. Like you highlighted, i too love the fact that the call continues even after you have disconnected the key.

Quote:
Originally Posted by doc_zeus
1) Iíve ordered a DIY TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) about 5 months back, from aliexpress.com. Tried it on my Eon since then. Later transferred it to Storme. Really useful. I'll try to create a whole new thread on this TPMS.
Can you PM me the model details and cost. Also, have you measured the accuracy by comparing the pressure against a normal meter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by doc_zeus
3) I didnít install the seat covers, as I feared removing and re-attaching the seats may lead to rattles in future. Same reason I didnít opt for reverse camera and the analogue clock. I donít want to disturb anything factory fit. I am in a dilemma whether to proceed for seat covers.
I went in for the seat covers and reverse camera and sensors from the dealer during delivery itself. They stated these are genuine Tata accessories and fitting was perfect. No rattling or any other issue due to these. Pictures are on my ownership thread. Link below

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-d...ce-update.html

Happy Driving!!
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Old 8th May 2016, 00:52   #11
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Default Re: My Highway King - Tata Safari Storme VX Varicor 400 Nm

Congrats once again Doc!

Very nice and crisp review; I guess I've a fair idea now of what to expect living with a Storme; thanks to you, navpreet, jeepster, Seek, Behram Sir and many experienced bhpians who've shared their valuable comments and feedback.

I am taking delivery tomorrow morning; guess the only way to spend a sleepless night in anticipation and excitement!

Drive Safe!
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Old 8th May 2016, 07:43   #12
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Default Re: My Highway King - Tata Safari Storme VX Varicor 400 Nm

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Originally Posted by avinash_m View Post
Congrats once again Doc!

Very nice and crisp review; I guess I've a fair idea now of what to expect living with a Storme; thanks to you, navpreet, jeepster, Seek, Behram Sir and many experienced bhpians who've shared their valuable comments and feedback.

I am taking delivery tomorrow morning; guess the only way to spend a sleepless night in anticipation and excitement!

Drive Safe!
All the best Avinash. It's a moment of a lifetime! Trust you have done a detailed PDI? Especially Watch out for the doors closing properly in one shot and seats firmly clamping in place. These are couple of areas that provide rattles. Stick to the running in rule of 2000 rpm for the first 1500 kms and ignore a few sounds in the first couple of weeks. You will be amazed at how many of them will come and magically go away before the beast smoothness out. Also, the rule of 30 seconds idling before and after driving, no matter what! To retain the shine, please do not handover the beast to the regular car cleaners. Pick up some microfibre cloth, jopasu duster and do the job yourself. These are my last minute words before you become a happy storme owner

Sorry doc for going off topic on your thread!
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Old 8th May 2016, 09:33   #13
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Default Re: My Highway King - Tata Safari Storme VX Varicor 400 Nm

@Doc

What I meant was we are eager to know your experience and not your research about Storme.

Wish you safe and trouble free experience with your storme.
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Old 9th May 2016, 18:41   #14
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Default Re: My Highway King - Tata Safari Storme VX Varicor 400 Nm

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Originally Posted by n.devdath View Post
Congratulations on the purchase Doc. The Storme/Safari is indeed a "Love it or Loathe it" vehicle. It has always been this way.

Also, please accept my accolades on being completely frank and true about the disadvantages of the truck like body roll, middle row discomfort, rattles, last row space and a lot more. It takes a lot to be so open minded and frank.
Thanks a lot. T-bhp was a crucial factor in my Storme purchase. I went through every Safari/Storme ownership thread, several times. So here's my contribution to help future Storme owners.

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Originally Posted by Seek View Post
Hi Doc, Congrats on your storme and l liked your honest feedback.

This is dealer specific.

+ 1 to the Highway mileage. I recorded exactly 14 kmpl on the highway. But in the city, I am able to get 12 or a touch higher than that. Been recording my consumption since day 1 as well on the Fuelio App

Touch luck on this. I have had only a creaking sound from the roof AC and one from the rear seat (clamp adjustment corrected in 1st service). Had an issue with the gear linkage + gear knob that was leading to some chatter at specific RPMs and that's been resolved now. But luckily I haven't had any of those niggling rattles that i have heard of. I pray they go away in your beast soon

I had this feeling in the first week of ownership that the brakes are insufficient. But after the brakes bedded in, I have realised they have decent bite and I have a good measure of them now to judge braking distance. Plus with ABS it is confidence inspiring and I already realised that once on my highway trip where I did an emergency braking. Very stable and controlled.

Am very surprised about this point. My experience and from what I read from others as well is that the AC is superb. I dont recollect ever having used the 3rd and never the 4th speed on the blower. In a full out highway drive last month near vijaywada (temp in the range of 38-39 degrees), the drive was done with the blower on 2 in the front and 1 at the rear. You may want to get this checked. Infact I am still using only the ECO mode with blower on 1 on my morning drive to work in chennai (30 mins at 9 AM, 32-33 degrees). Btw, I have the 3M CR70 sun film all around and it certainly contributes to this extra cooling.

Can you PM me the model details and cost. Also, have you measured the accuracy by comparing the pressure against a normal meter?
Thank you Seek.

Rightly said, delivery experience is dealer specific. We had a similar unforgettable experience during our Eon delivery. We thought they went overboard for such a small car. Similar experience for our Zen 11 years back.
My expectations were not high for Storme delivery, as dealer was already changing colors after the booking and down payment. Even regarding the 60000kms AMC, till date not even a single response from the Sales manager. And my dealership is very reluctant on giving me the Area sales manager contact number. I'll look after this in a few days, when I return home.
My dealer handed me the Dicor floor mats, I've just found out this. Storme floor mats are a bit different in size and look. I was waiting for the feedback call from the TML after the vehicle purchase. Didn't receive any till now. I'm thinking to write up to the Tata customer service, regarding my dealership's pathetic behavior.

My rear AC creaking disappeared, but it just recurred yesterday. Not as bad as the first time. Hope even this goes away.

I had a very scary experience, just within 5 mins of beginning my current road trip. I was overtaking a truck on a 2 Lane highway and an ambassador approached us head-on from the wrong side. I braked hard, but Storme didn't halt. I could finally swerve away from the on coming ambassador. That was the ABS in action. I wasn't at high speeds. I didn't even brake very hard. Felt like I lost the brakes at that moment. Not sure why the ABS was activated that day. May be my sudden impulse on the brake pedal activated ABS.

I've been using my AC in ECON mode most of the time. That might be the reason why I'm feeling AC is not upto the mark. I'll try using only the other mode for a few days and observe the difference.

I'll ping you the details of TPMS. The TPMS I installed is fairly accurate. I told the air refill guy to make it 34psi in all tires. After refilling my TPMS showed 34 in all.
TML has TPMS as an accessory, costing around 6000INR. Not sure of the price, but my dealer had it in display.

Quote:
Originally Posted by avinash_m View Post
Congrats once again Doc!

Very nice and crisp review; I guess I've a fair idea now of what to expect living with a Storme; thanks to you, navpreet, jeepster, Seek, Behram Sir and many experienced bhpians who've shared their valuable comments and feedback.

I am taking delivery tomorrow morning; guess the only way to spend a sleepless night in anticipation and excitement!

Drive Safe!
Congrats on your purchase. As Seek already mentioned, do a complete PDI and try to follow the 30 second idling rule and the running in period. It's been long time since your car arrived at your dealership, so please check it thoroughly for any misuse.
Happy motoring.

Last edited by doc_zeus : 9th May 2016 at 19:00.
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Old 9th May 2016, 21:59   #15
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Default Re: My Highway King - Tata Safari Storme VX Varicor 400 Nm

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Originally Posted by doc_zeus View Post

I've been using my AC in ECON mode most of the time. That might be the reason why I'm feeling AC is not upto the mark. I'll try using only the other mode for a few days and observe the difference.

I'll ping you the details of TPMS. The TPMS I installed is fairly accurate. I told the air refill guy to make it 34psi in all tires. After refilling my TPMS showed 34 in all.
TML has TPMS as an accessory, costing around 6000INR.
Yes, the econ mode is surely warmer. Try the regular mode and you will see a difference. Probably 2-3 degrees. Also, keep the air in recirculation mode (light should be on).

Thanks for the TPMS, I'll look it up on aliexpress.
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