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Old 27th March 2008, 18:56   #1
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Default A Rendezvous with a Grande!

It finally happened! I test drove the Sumo Grande. So is all the hype worth it? I believe it is, for sure. Most of us have approached the Sumo Grande while still harbouring painful memories of the Sumo Victa. But, with the Victa as a previous reference point, the Grande has soared to greater heights.
I was quite overwhelmed by the sheer size of the Grande. Somehow it looked smaller at the Expo, but on a Mumbai road, itís quite big! So why is it that TATA have been touting this one as a city dwellers dream? I soon found out.
Though the Grande is quite bulky, it doesnít handle like a bull. In fact, the steering is quite light and the Grande comes with a sufficient amount of torque. Hence manoeuvring through traffic isnít much of a problem. But, the clutch and brake pedals seemed to be fitted a tad high, making constant traffic negotiation a problem for your feet. Tata has aimed this one at the urban family with its emphasis on comfortable city driving. In that, the product is quite successful. Itís very spacious, got loads of features including separate AC ducts for the back rows, all collapsible seats and the very useful third row seating.
The Grande scores well in the looks department as well. You see Iím not what one would call an attractive chap, but once seated in the Grande and I received more attention than I did as a baby in my cradle. And this is not only because the Grande is just a new entrant, but itís presence is also very commanding with special praises to the colours. The Grande comes in two very attractive tones of bottle green and burnt orange.
Thereís a great deal to be said about this one and Iím not going to be doing it in one go, but for now I will end with these first impressions. In a nutshell Ė sheís got the looks, but thereís more to be said about refinement. More laterÖ
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Old 28th March 2008, 17:21   #2
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Yes, the Grande is quite the looker. Due credit goes to the UK based Concept Group who are responsible for the Grandeís modern styling. I think what drew attention to this one is its bold front ĎVí shaped grille and the large high-mounted headlamps. The rear is also very refreshing with the new tail-light design.
Stepping inside the Grande is a welcoming experience. Though the finish isnít all that impressive, itís a definite improvement and with TATA, itís all about the price after all. So for the kind of price tag, itís a super offering. The all new beige look is quite appealing with the stylish steering wheel and gear lever. In the Grande, passenger comfort is top priority with the two front seats having adjustable lumbar support. Also,
the driver can adjust both steering and seat height for added comfort. The second row is actually very spacious and comfortable with reclining backrests and ample space to stretch out. The third row is the best in its class with ample room for adults. Both the second and third rows are fitted with roof mounted vents, which helps in fast and direct cooling. The Grande also comes equipped with some interesting touches like the drawer under the passenger seat and plenty of cubbyholes.
The Grandeís performance is quite fantastic with Tata having fitted it with the new 2.2 DiCOR motor giving 118bhp, which has helped achieve greater fuel efficiency as opposed to the Safari DiCOR. Unfortunately, since I was only able to test drive the Grande in the city, I couldnít push it beyond third gear, but even for short accelerations, the Grande responds quite well with very little turbo lag. Torque is really good in this one, which is ideal for city traffic. Tataís goal was to offer up an urban consumer SUV with an emphasis on comfort and practicality. I believe Tata has done more than the needful, as it has also created a macho SUV with a penchant for the highway as well!
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Old 28th March 2008, 17:39   #3
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Nice rewiews @:Katalysm76,I had the car for TD last week it was fun to drive a big car on small mumbai roads,atleast the autowallas were afraid.. hehehehe i used to scare them i my earlier sumo days. cheers

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Old 28th March 2008, 17:40   #4
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So... would you recommend a Grande to someone who's out to buy a Safari?
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Old 28th March 2008, 17:43   #5
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Thanks ramie, the car is nice, what do you think about it.
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Old 28th March 2008, 17:50   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katalysm76 View Post
Thanks ramie, the car is nice, what do you think about it.
you might have noticed previous gen.sumo in its time became a big-hit,then came the DX model with some goodies and then some more face-lift and upgradation took a long time but still was a success.Now the strategy is changed and they have given everything in a 7-8L car which the safari has + it has a good shape,I think it wil be another successor for the Tata's,just hope they keep up the good A.S.S. and parts are relatively cheapo for maintainence.

Ive seen they have used alot electronic stuff this time in grande,hope it does not give any problems,as the tata estates were famous for its electrical problems (but was a great car to drive for diesel heads)
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Old 28th March 2008, 18:06   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kkdelhi View Post
So... would you recommend a Grande to someone who's out to buy a Safari?
Safari is much much comfortable and peppier to drive with good interior,wouldnt recommend Grande over the safari
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Old 28th March 2008, 18:09   #8
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ya right ramie, the safari is on a different level itself. You could say the tata grande is like a big family car.
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Old 28th March 2008, 18:13   #9
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Nice review Katalysm76,
When I saw this for the very first time in Auto Expo, I was like amazed. One thing I still failed to understand why did they keep Sumo tag with this. It doesn't have any similaritiy with Sumo.
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Old 28th March 2008, 18:25   #10
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Quote:
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Nice review Katalysm76,
When I saw this for the very first time in Auto Expo, I was like amazed. One thing I still failed to understand why did they keep Sumo tag with this. It doesn't have any similaritiy with Sumo.
may be the name "Sumo" is lucky for them in real it doesen't even match 1% of the earlier version.
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Old 28th March 2008, 23:24   #11
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I drove one for a while today and yes it is a City vehicle - the turning circle is amazing for a vehicle of this size and the low-end torque is available on demand at all times, making this a good option to move around in very heavy traffic with few gear changes required.

Third row seating is quite generous - probably the best 3rd row around. The third row is slightly jerkier than the Safari, but much better than those in the Innova, Qualis, Tavera, etc. Doesnt pitch, therefore it is miles ahead of the Scorpio in that respect. When fully loaded, it feels as good as the Safari.

Interior quality is a mixture of good and bad - there are quite a lot of good parts to it but some vestiges remain from the past like the really crappy glovebox which looked like it was made from the remenants of a plastic dustbin. Steering wheel is quite chunky, seats are the same as on the Safari and the second row reclines very nicely - this is now THE best middle row as the Safari doesnt offer recline on its seats.

While low-to-mid end performance is excellent, I did feel a lack of pull in the top end when compared to the Safari's 2.2 engine. Compared to the 3.0 Dicor too, which is excellent in that area. This then would be a terrific city vehicle which can also be taken out for long trips thanks to the humungous space inside, but highway performance is not up there with the Safari. Its still ahead of the Innova and Scorpio on that count.

If you do city runs primarily and are not looking for a rough vehicle with a 4x4 option, then this is perfect for you, especially if you have a large family (read "Speedzak"). This means this is aimed squarely at the Innova.

If you travel long distances and bad roads and dont have an extended family, stick to the Safari. It is more comfortable and is a much better mile-eater and can take some really bad roads and some places where there are no roads.

Apparently it is doing quite well - the dealer had only ordered 10 vehicles in the first lot and all 10 have already been sold. He's now waiting for more stock with lots of inquiries pouring in. The cricket match coverage also seems to have worked as they have reported higher inquiries in the last couple of days.

Last edited by Steeroid : 28th March 2008 at 23:28.
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Old 28th March 2008, 23:59   #12
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I only hope the Tatas have increased the crashworthiness of this Sumo. It is a cruel scene on the highways when the Sumos get smashed. The Sumos seem to be well built which may infuse a wrong sense of security among the drivers. I have seen very few survivals in Sumo accidents.
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Old 29th March 2008, 01:33   #13
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Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
I only hope the Tatas have increased the crashworthiness of this Sumo. It is a cruel scene on the highways when the Sumos get smashed. The Sumos seem to be well built which may infuse a wrong sense of security among the drivers. I have seen very few survivals in Sumo accidents.
Most of the sumo crashes ive seen is either they are tail-ended on turcks or smashed in some trees by the morons with a (T){no offence ment}.I think the Sumo used to over steer loosing all the control especially because of its height and narrow width tyres.

I think the new Grande will do its best as its coming with 16inch steel rims wid 235/70/ R16 tubless rubber,it feels grippy,but on turns at high speeds goes feel a drag,but over all its a very nice car and above all its Made In India thats a reason to be proud,that we are on a level of producing good cars now,though people want cheap cheap cheap so the interior quality and some safety features like ABS and SRS bags are put down the scenes in a few models.

@Steeroid bro that was a very nice review,i really loved the design and the details they have taken care of.
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