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Old 15th April 2008, 09:19   #1
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Default TATA Safari 2.2 Dicor - My impression

Drove the2.2 VTT Safari beast.
1st gear it leaps when you de-clutch like a monster unleashed.
2nd it has a pronounced soft spot/ turbo lag till 2000 rpm when the turbo kicks in. However when one stops and starts in city traffic or while going over a speed breaker, it can be a pain.
3rd/ 4th/ 5th fine.
3rd being drive gear its ok but when you slacken speed a lot, despite all that torque and BHP it will still have to be down shifted to 1st to have that pep. This means more fuel consumption definitely.
Great cruiser though and will be blissful on highways - 3 level lumbar support on the seats-good for lower back. Very very spacious and comfortable and lots of toys to play with - electrically operated rear view mirrors and blah blah blah.
Good powerful AC should be adequate for back seat passengers also.
Terribly mushy far away vague gear box rather like an Indica V2 DLG Turbo.
Steering feedback from bumps etc very slight.
Cant feel the bumps through the seats etc because it is very comfy.
If you drive with some chicaning around a bit and then apply the brake the tail feels rather waggy while braking.
Not very pronounced body roll in normal circumstances but could become irritating on winding hill roads.
2WD version more than adequate for off roading -very capable - took it quite off the road onto some rutted tracks and ups and downs - can hardly feel the bumps except that on severe ups and downs it handles like a boat. Differential suspension very good. Seats hold you well.
Some places while turning while off road, went into a dry skid, very controllable though since not at high speed. It climbs over normal sized obstacles like a monster.
Brakes seem adequate but am not sure how well they will perform while braking at speeds like 120 etc.
The BHP is evident and so is the torque but I am highly displeased about the Turbo Lag problem.
The vehicle feels really big and reversing into tight spots will definitely be troublesome especially in Bangalore.
If I take it to Ooty etc it will be good on the highways but the Sigur Ghats may prove irritating because of roll, pitch and yaw which is tangible.
Rear wheel driven thank god, so most rough roads can be dealt with. Good ground clearance so wont get too bad on rough roads and rutted tracks.
Parts and Spares could turn out more expensive than Mahindra as can the service bills.
Tata scores by the sheer amount of freebies you get at the price you pay. No doubt about that. But will I enjoy keeping it for more than 3 years? I dont know really. And the re-sale value issue is still not clear with this 2.2 VTT.

Was very tough to choose between this and the Scorpio. The Scorpio is much more of a Driver's Jeep but the Tata lures one with the features offered and seems as close as one can get to affordable luxury.
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Old 15th April 2008, 14:28   #2
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A good, balanced and well written comparison!

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Old 15th April 2008, 14:34   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
...because of roll, pitch and yaw which is tangible...
I know roll and pitch will be present, but yaw ...are you sure ???
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Old 15th April 2008, 14:35   #4
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great review.
but you must understand- turbo lag is a fact of life. it is character building

once you get the hang of the gear ratios and the power delivery, you might actually enjoy turbo lag.
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Old 15th April 2008, 14:36   #5
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Very honest review.
Quote:
However when one stops and starts in city traffic or while going over a speed breaker, it can be a pain.
This is a two-tonner. Definitely needs 1st gear for 0-5kph speeds.
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Old 15th April 2008, 15:04   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
Drove the2.2 VTT Safari beast.
1st gear it leaps when you de-clutch like a monster unleashed
2nd it has a pronounced soft spot/ turbo lag till 2000 rpm when the turbo kicks in. However when one stops and starts in city traffic or while going over a speed breaker, it can be a pain.
3rd/ 4th/ 5th fine.
[turbo kicks in at 1800 and hence you take it till 2300 or so and slot into next higher gear]

3rd being drive gear its ok but when you slacken speed a lot, despite all that torque and BHP it will still have to be down shifted to 1st to have that pep. This means more fuel consumption definitely.

[Didnt get you. Why would one want to slot into 1st gear when one's in 3rd all of a sudden? ]

Good powerful AC should be adequate for back seat passengers also. [LX version?]
Terribly mushy far away vague gear box rather like an Indica V2 DLG Turbo.
[its mushy]

If you drive with some chicaning around a bit and then apply the brake the tail feels rather waggy while braking.[the boy is damn tall and hence]

Not very pronounced body roll in normal circumstances but could become irritating on winding hill roads. [Maybe above 80kmph on hills]

The BHP is evident and so is the torque but I am highly displeased about the Turbo Lag problem. [what are we comparing this with..which car/suv]

The vehicle feels really big and reversing into tight spots will definitely be troublesome especially in Bangalore. [can be an issue.]

If I take it to Ooty etc it will be good on the highways but the Sigur Ghats may prove irritating because of roll, pitch and yaw which is tangible.[its an SUV with high GC and not a sedan for hills. And lets not go into assumptions]

Parts and Spares could turn out more expensive than Mahindra as can the service bills. [could? can someone clarify based on experience
]

Tata scores by the sheer amount of freebies you get at the price you pay. No doubt about that. But will I enjoy keeping it for more than 3 years? I dont know really. And the re-sale value issue is still not clear with this 2.2 VTT. [Innova suits you better]

Was very tough to choose between this and the Scorpio. The Scorpio is much more of a Driver's Jeep but the Tata lures one with the features offered and seems as close as one can get to affordable luxury.
Nice feedback. My comments in bold.
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Old 15th April 2008, 16:08   #7
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in reply to Mr JKDAS
Thanks for your detailed comments - i submit the following points in answer.

1.Point taken on taking it upto 2300 and then changing gear- but it makes a great deal of noise if you have the windows down in addition to feeling a bit uncomfortable because of a certain raw edge to the engine feel at higher revs in a lower gear.
2. I wouldnt downshift direct to 1st from 3rd - thats not good practice. But, if one is in 3rd/4th and sees a speed breaker ahead, one would slacken speed and then downshift. In the Safari, in traffic and before taking a speed breaker, I wasnt able to take that speed breaker in 2nd at all - the car felt laggy and uncomfortable so I had to go to 1st.
3. I meant that the AC is powerful even though it has only the front vents in LX. Even the rear seat passengers will be comfy in normal circumstances. With the double blower as in EX onwards it will be fantastic.
4.The gearbox is mushy - vague and it felt rather like I was wading around in a bowl of porridge to me.
5 and 6.Yes, in such a tall car you cannot do the same stunts as you might in a sports car- I appreciate that, but suppose one is on a highway and one is trying to avoid say a motorbike or a Cow or maybe a walking/ cycling human being who appears suddenly, one will tend to swerve - I was just trying out how it would feel - frankly I was frightened at the roll.
7.I was comparing this vehicle with the Scorpio which I chose to buy over the Safari. I test drove both and decided on and bought the Scorpio.
8.In the hills, based on points no 6 and 7, personally, I would definitely feel very uncomfortable in this car because of the potential roll while taking hairpin bends etc.
9.I ve talked to several people who have owned the Safari (even the 3 litre Dicor and their feedback was that it can be expensive to maintain) - My dad's Indica DLG Turbo is also pretty expensive because of constant niggles.
10.When you say that Innova suits me better - there, that is an assumption! I would never buy an Innova because I am not a VAN MAN, I am a JEEP/ SUV MAN.

Thanks

cheers
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Old 15th April 2008, 16:39   #8
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I meant this is the sense that it does move a bit unsteadily at times - especially on the type of Off Road Rutted Track area where I tested it just to see how it behaves.

Maybe it was just the vehicle which I tested because quite clearly several chaps before me had been having a go at it, and I dont think that most people treat test vehicles with much respect because it is a free ride.


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Originally Posted by Blue Thunder View Post
I know roll and pitch will be present, but yaw ...are you sure ???
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Old 15th April 2008, 22:27   #9
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Dear Shankar,

A well written review. A few comments..

Your choice of Scoprio is very good as its a well behaved city animal. Scorpio is good for regular city drive but is a absolute nightmare on open roads. Compare that with a Safari which takes some effort in city driving but absolute highway cruiser.

One point that caught my attention is the general impression on the turbo lag in 2nd gear which i dont see as a problem in my 2.2 ... i hope i am driving alright !!
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Old 15th April 2008, 22:38   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chaxy View Post
Dear Shankar,

A well written review. A few comments..

Your choice of Scoprio is very good as its a well behaved city animal. Scorpio is good for regular city drive but is a absolute nightmare on open roads. Compare that with a Safari which takes some effort in city driving but absolute highway cruiser.

One point that caught my attention is the general impression on the turbo lag in 2nd gear which i dont see as a problem in my 2.2 ... i hope i am driving alright !!
chaxy, he is well built and maybe hence he felt so. Maybe with well built people on board a scorpio the ride on hills will be yo yo

I too dont have issues with 2nd gear unless you are starting from a up hill from a standstill.
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Old 16th April 2008, 09:29   #11
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you are both probably right because as I said, usually these test drive vehicles are mistreated quite badly and i certainly wasnt the first to drive this particular test vehicle (Tata Safari).
however, personally I still preferred the Scorp as its gearbox is much more sporty and much more responsive whereas the Tata Safari gearbox is quite vague.
I like cars which feel good while driving since I do all the driving at home - we dont keep a chauffeur and my wife doesnt like driving at all so when it comes to choosing vehicles it is usually my choice since Im the chap behind the wheel most of the time!

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Originally Posted by jkdas View Post
chaxy, he is well built and maybe hence he felt so. Maybe with well built people on board a scorpio the ride on hills will be yo yo

I too dont have issues with 2nd gear unless you are starting from a up hill from a standstill.
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Old 16th April 2008, 09:44   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
10.When you say that Innova suits me better - there, that is an assumption! I would never buy an Innova because I am not a VAN MAN, I am a JEEP/ SUV MAN
everytime an indian SUV enthusiast asks for better handling, the forum members jump up and offer the innova., I've experienced that first hand.

is that a compliment or an insult to the innova?

Last edited by rippergeo : 16th April 2008 at 09:45.
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Old 16th April 2008, 09:51   #13
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ha ha! fantastic! Well personally I cant bear the innova. It looks like a Van or Junior Bus and I wouldnt buy it at all.
I would rather live with the inconsistencies in the SUVs that we buy rather than buy something like the Innova because of its obvious advantages. I prefer Mahindra vehicles maybe because in the last 30 years we've always had one or other in the house.
Something like Jeremy Clarkson once said when he was comparing the Toyota Lexus to a Jaguar or some other car.
He said the Toyota Lexus is something you would buy with your HEAD and not your HEART, whereas the other car (cant remember exactly which one though), was something you would buy with your HEART all the way.
This is probably why, (if one could afford it) some of us would still prefer to buy a Land Rover, rather than anything that Toyota may throw at us. It is also the reason I consider the Aston Martin DB5 my all time favourite car in the world and clearly why one's heart misses several beats and one gets a serious attack of shivers down the spine, when one hears an Aston V12 Vanquish take off down an empty stretch of country road in the UK!

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Originally Posted by rippergeo View Post
everytime an indian SUV enthusiast asks for better handling, the forum members jump up and offer the innova.

is that a compliment or an insult to the innova?
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Old 16th April 2008, 10:13   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rippergeo View Post
is that a compliment or an insult to the innova?
I'd say that its a compliment to the Innova, what would you say Doc?
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Old 16th April 2008, 10:18   #15
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a backhanded compliment with a bit of top spin thrown in, I guess..

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I'd say that its a compliment to the Innova, what would you say Doc?
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