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Old 17th July 2008, 18:49   #1
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Thumbs down My Day With The 2.2 Beast/Pansy

Hey guys...those who know me, or have read my posts know that I'm a total sedan jockey. Never owned an SUV before. Driven them plenty, but never seen the point since none of them were fast enough. Not even the Chayenne S I had the privilage of driving once.

Well to put it simply, Mumbai is horrible during monsoons, and even more so after. The beautiful potholes that the rain leaves behind just love taunting my car as it approaches. I've had it, the Corolla is nice, comfy, and I drive a top spec model [Auto]. But no more shall these potholes and road imperfections mock me!

I travel a minimum of 55-60 KM a day [Except Sundays]. This is about 1400-1600 KM a month. And my Corolla giving me the awesome 7-9 KMPL that it does, doesn't make trips to the pump an enjoyable time. This made me want to buy a Diesel...More over a Diesel SUV

What are my options?
Mahindra Scorpio mHawk
Tata Safari Dicor 2.2
Chevy Captiva
Hyundai Tucson
Mitsubishi Pajero

1) I hate the Scorpio with a passion [Cabin is tiny and I can never find a comfortable driving position!!!]
2) Captiva is good, but a bit too much on the pocket considering the OTR price
3) Tucson? No chance, it's a Hyundai, "nuff said"
4) Pajero...yes please take my 20 Lakhs and in return hand me a newly produced vintage///

So that left me with no option other than the Safari...A car I have sincerely loved ever since I moved to India. The exteriors, oh what an SUV, brilliant poise, commanding stance, and large enough to cart the family around in [I'm 21 that doesn't concern me, but the current lets all attend a shaadi ride is a petrol Innova]
Well I've heard tons about the new 2.2 motor, how powerful it is, how smooth it is. "The Beast" As it's called on the forums. I decided to take a test drive.

Near where I study/work there is a Tata Dealership, Fortune Cars. Went there, expressed interest in the car. The salesman was a little sketchy, I understand that though, if I were in his shoes and a 21 year old walked into my dealership I'd think it was a waste of time. But when he asked what I drove currently, and saw my ride, he understood I was serious.

Well he walked through all the features of the EX and VX 4X4, as I want something that can do some occasional off roading. I have to say, seeing the safari from afar and examining it up close are two very different things.

Let's get started in the VX 4X4 show car. Driver's seat is extremely comfortable. Everything is within reach, I like the way the seat adjusts for height as well. The faux wood looks really cheap!!! I'm relatively pleased.
Now the back seats. Don't care about this domain as I want to drive whatever I buy now. Blaupunkt screens in the head rests NOOOO!!! I hate screens in headrests! [More on this later]. The rear left door wouldn't shut, TATA is definately as reliable as people say it is, it will never stop letting you down. The rest of the car was acceptable, loved the engine bay.

Ok TD time, the dealer arranged for the car quickly as I was the only customer there. I get into the drivers seat of this Safari 2.2 VX 4X2. The mirrors are huge, love that! Electrically adjust it to my desired view, now head off, dealer beside me, 2 random people in the back, and my trusty Chauffeur in the back too. I want to experience the Safari, a real SUV. So I drove on the most horrible roads I could find. AMAZING I was so comfy in the front seat after riding through the highest bumps, deepest potholes, just breathtaking. My driver on the other hand requested me to chill out a bit on the speed and the hunt for the next pothole. The dealer was holding on for dear life. Good fun. Now what I noticed about this TD car, was that the accelerator was at a whole different level when compared to the brake or clutch pedal. It was located far below either of the other pedals. To add to this, there is no dead pedal which I'm way too used to!

So far just okay. I'm done messing around on dirt roads, let me take this thing to college. Okay still good, getting some interesting looks. Moves fine, I can turn into the gate, park it etc...Now highway time. I take it out on Palm Beach road, and head towards Belapur. Now time to gun it to find out the top speed with a load of 5 people. I hit 120, now why is the needle not moving? I can't go any faster? I'm too used to driving my Corolla at much higher speeds!

The overall fit an finish is unacceptable for a 12 lakh car. Don't get me wrong, I love TATA, and respect them immensely as one of the finest Indian companies. Their cars however, well they feel aggricultural when compared to their international counterparts. Worst of all my driver requests me [In hindi] "Please why are you making me drive this, I'd rather just drive the Corolla for 3 more years"

After all of that when me and the Salesman got down to the tacks, I wanted the VX version without the Audio - Video system, which I figure would save me around 60K or so, and I can fit a system of my choice. But no the Dealer wont allow it. You get the car as is! The best joke was the dealer discount. 5000 rupees discount on a car that costs 12.5 lakhs

So the Safari dream I had saw the Beast transform into the Pansy! The fit and finish is so bad that I'm scared something will fall off if I take it off road!

So now it's back to the drawing board, I need a capable SUV within 12-15 Lakhs, preferably a Diesel but I'm now open to petrols as well!!

GV, CR-V and Forester I'm hunting you down [Anyone know of a good deal please let me know, 2nd hand cars are fine with me]

cheers:
DocG

PS: Sorry for such a long report, but it was a major let down for me, I was so hoping that the Safari would be my next car.
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Old 17th July 2008, 18:59   #2
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TD and see if you find the GV useful. I think that will suit you especially since you are open to a petrol SUV. Mileage being reported on highways is 13kmpl. Its an AWD and is a capable machine for your occasional offroading stints.
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Old 17th July 2008, 19:05   #3
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Hei, nice writeup

Back to a petrol ?
If Tata was a Toyota in build quality, cant one of Toyota people resign and join Tata
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Old 17th July 2008, 19:13   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DocG View Post

After all of that when me and the Salesman got down to the tacks, I wanted the VX version without the Audio - Video system, which I figure would save me around 60K or so, and I can fit a system of my choice. But no the Dealer wont allow it. You get the car as is! The best joke was the dealer discount. 5000 rupees discount on a car that costs 12.5 lakhs

So the Safari dream I had saw the Beast transform into the Pansy! The fit and finish is so bad that I'm scared something will fall off if I take it off road!

So now it's back to the drawing board, I need a capable SUV within 12-15 Lakhs, preferably a Diesel but I'm now open to petrols as well!!

GV, CR-V and Forester I'm hunting you down [Anyone know of a good deal please let me know, 2nd hand cars are fine with me]

cheers:
DocG

PS: Sorry for such a long report, but it was a major let down for me, I was so hoping that the Safari would be my next car.
Good review DocG!

Avoid the forester. Its a good car undone by shoddy build and even worse after sales and resale!

A friend who owns one has twice given me a offer to exchange it with my year old Getz .. and boy he was serious!
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Old 17th July 2008, 19:25   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DocG View Post
So far just okay. I'm done messing around on dirt roads, let me take this thing to college. Okay still good, getting some interesting looks. Moves fine, I can turn into the gate, park it etc...Now highway time. I take it out on Palm Beach road, and head towards Belapur. Now time to gun it to find out the top speed with a load of 5 people. I hit 120, now why is the needle not moving? I can't go any faster? I'm too used to driving my Corolla at much higher speeds!

The overall fit an finish is unacceptable for a 12 lakh car. Don't get me wrong, I love TATA, and respect them immensely as one of the finest Indian companies. Their cars however, well they feel aggricultural when compared to their international counterparts. Worst of all my driver requests me [In hindi] "Please why are you making me drive this, I'd rather just drive the Corolla for 3 more years"
Nice to know Corolla hits above 120! usually feel like they slow down when I pass them on the expressway at 155kms/hr. Also, would you be at the wheel of the SUV or the Driver (experience counts)?

Last edited by Technocrat : 18th July 2008 at 15:32. Reason: fixed quote
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Old 17th July 2008, 20:02   #6
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@DocG

Nice TD report,but few things doesnt looks clearly understood.Please see my comments below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DocG View Post
Hey guys...those who know me, or have read my posts know that I'm a total sedan jockey. Never owned an SUV before.
that might be one the problems here,as Sedans and SUVs are totally different world.Dont please compare them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DocG View Post
I hit 120, now why is the needle not moving?
People have done speeds south of 150 very easily in 2.2,so it was only due to a TD vehicle.So,go do another TD at some other dealer please.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DocG View Post
The best joke was the dealer discount. 5000 rupees discount on a car that costs 12.5 lakhs .
Looks like it annoyed you a more,TATA never overprices their vehicles so dont discount them much.and VX 4x4 is total VFM for 12 Lakhs if it fits the bill.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DocG View Post
So the Safari dream I had saw the Beast transform into the Pansy! The fit and finish is so bad that I'm scared something will fall off if I take it off road!
Nothing is going to fall off pal,its not house of cards,trust me i have used one and that too LX model for almost 2 yrs,and i go to places with bad roads,no roads(my village) quite often.

The Bottom line is "Safari VX 4x4 is best VFM at its price,and nothing comes near.

You might have different requirements which Safari might not fit well,some other SUV will,but but and but you will not get it in 12.5 Lakhs.

I hope that helps.
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Old 17th July 2008, 20:24   #7
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Why dont you TD an endeavour
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Old 17th July 2008, 20:28   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SumitB View Post
TD and see if you find the GV useful. I think that will suit you especially since you are open to a petrol SUV. Mileage being reported on highways is 13kmpl. Its an AWD and is a capable machine for your occasional offroading stints.
I'm all excited about the GV. 13 KMPL is great, I rarely see that in my Corolla. I found a great 2nd hand GV, 7K KM, 11 Lakhs, but it's Daman reg. What do I have to pay to bring it to Mumbai? Help please...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkdas View Post
Hei, nice writeup

Back to a petrol ?
If Tata was a Toyota in build quality, cant one of Toyota people resign and join Tata
Thanks man. I know you're really kicked about your 2.2, I respect that, but at the moment I'm driving a car that costs 3 lakhs more than the top spec Safari, and well it's never let me down. It's still going strong, but the roads I traverse have messed up the suspension, looking at an overhaul and it's not even at 60K KM yet!

My dad's a petrolhead, he hates diesels. That's the reason I TDed the Safari after work. Didn't have to tell him until after the TD

FE does matter to me, but what matters more is how I feel behind the wheel. I would love for TATA to incorporate some of the technology and build of the Jags and LRs. They aren't that reliable either, but it's progress...Toyota is miles down the road from where TATA is now.

No offense once again, but a car sitting in a showroom with a door that doesn't shut at all is unacceptable by any standards!

I sincerely hope you have a different experience than me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elito11 View Post
Good review DocG!

Avoid the forester. Its a good car undone by shoddy build and even worse after sales and resale!

A friend who owns one has twice given me a offer to exchange it with my year old Getz .. and boy he was serious!
Well the only thing that makes me want it is that it's a Subaru...It's amazing both on and off the road, but it's highly unlikely I'll go in for one, simply due to the fact that support will soon be withdrawn for it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JUDA View Post
Nice to know Corolla hits above 120! usually feel like they slow down when I pass them on the expressway at 155kms/hr. Also, would you be at the wheel of the SUV or the Driver (experience counts)?
Juda, I can understand why you would think that a Corolla wouldn't hit above 120.
1) Most of them are chauffeur driven, and I know that my parents don't like it going above 100 unless we're on a National Highway.
2) The Corolla is rather tall, and therefore feels slightly unwieldy at high speed.

However let me assure you that I have driven at and maintained speeds higher that the top speed of the Safari.

Doesn't matter if it's my driver or me behind the wheel. I'm 21, been driving since I was 14. Never driven an SUV on the daily. that doesn't mean that I've never driven any before. This car will be the 7th or 8th car in my stable in Mumbai. I drive cars more than 3 times the value of the Safari VX in the crowded roads of Mumbai...

Have trained myself, learned under all my drivers over the years, I don't see any major problem with an SUV, just need good 3rd party insurance, as Rikshaws and call centre cars like driving around me a lot.

Also I keep a driver with me since I sometimes feel tired and ask him to drive. He also keeps an eye on the car while it's parked.

cheers:
Girish
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Old 17th July 2008, 20:37   #9
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seems you want a soft roader more than an off roader. I mean, how many SUV's in india have real truck DNA !
PS , about the speed , taken from fellow bhpian rajismine's garage
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Old 17th July 2008, 20:47   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simply_sunny001 View Post
1) that might be one the problems here,as Sedans and SUVs are totally different world.Dont please compare them.

2)People have done speeds south of 150 very easily in 2.2,so it was only due to a TD vehicle.So,go do another TD at some other dealer please.

3)Looks like it annoyed you a more,TATA never overprices their vehicles so dont discount them much.and VX 4x4 is total VFM for 12 Lakhs if it fits the bill.

4) Nothing is going to fall off pal,its not house of cards,trust me i have used one and that too LX model for almost 2 yrs,and i go to places with bad roads,no roads(my village) quite often.

5) You might have different requirements which Safari might not fit well,some other SUV will,but but and but you will not get it in 12.5 Lakhs.
1) I understand that, just adding to my review sir. I've never owned an SUV but have driven the following
Gypsy, Chayenne S, Q7, X5, Safari 3.0, Scorpio 2.6, X-trail Petrol, Pajero, Old CR-V, New CR-V
And as of last night the Captiva. [All cars belong to different friends of mine, some were in Delhi, some in Mumbai.] [I go on 4X4 trails every summer in Cali, as my uncle and his friends have lots of 4X4s that they love taking out, so I know a thing or two]

2) So I've heard, but then again the TD vehicle couldn't so I can't judge it any other way

3) I wouldn't say it's VFM. If I was in the market for a vehicle at 12 Lakhs and not an SUV in particular, the Safari certainly wouldn't feature on the list. It'd have to be the Civic or the soon to be launched next gen Corolla.

4) Well when you see a car that's barely been driven having a door that just doesn't close, your opinion would change my friend. Never seen a car have that problem till date.

5) My requirements are quite clear. I need a 4X4 for the city, highway and some occasional off roading. It should be comfortable, reasonably powerful, and should have a good build quality. What more could I want...FE matters, but not that much really

Quote:
Originally Posted by cooldude1988765 View Post
Why dont you TD an endeavour
AAAh At 20+ Lakh for the Thunder, it doesn't strike me as being good value. Endy is out of the question. It's also a bahemoth to drive in the Mumbai traffic

I would like everyone to know that I'm not trying to offend anyone by my review I'm just being honest and posting my view on the Safari VX 2.2 4X4 which I TDed. Sorry, but as of now it's the only 2.2 Safari I've driven...
I spent a whole 2 hours at the dealership [including TD] trying to find some saving grace to tip the scales in favour of the Safari, but no luck

cheers:

Last edited by DocG : 17th July 2008 at 20:49.
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Old 17th July 2008, 20:56   #11
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DocG, I don't blame you for your negative comments and feeling towards the Safari. It is a known fact on the forum that I am a Safari lover and would blindly support and buy the Safari the day I am capable of and most Safari owners have similar feelings towards the behemoth. They buy and keep the vehicle for their love for it and this helps them overlook the numerous visits to the TASS to get it fixed initially and also overlook the below average build quality but I must add here that once the initial niggles are done with, the Safari is for keeps but at the same time, everyone does not have the time and energy to get it fixed and it is logical also. If you pay the money, you are expected to have something that works without these problems. As the saying goes, the first impression is the last impression and this holds true for most buyers who go to TD the Safari.

Whatever you purchase, please keep us posted and best of luck.

Last edited by SumitB : 17th July 2008 at 21:03.
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Old 17th July 2008, 20:58   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DocG View Post
My requirements are quite clear. I need a 4X4 for the city, highway and some occasional off roading. It should be comfortable, reasonably powerful, and should have a good build quality. What more could I want...FE matters, but not that much really
Unfortunately,i cant think of anything available in india at and around 12 L which fulfills the above criterion.

Why dont you look for 2nd hand Pajero ? it fits above requirements to a large extent but again its has its share of problems like Mitsu A.S.S. and it will an old vehicle(No peace of mind)

but i can vouch for its Build Quality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DocG View Post
I would like everyone to know that I'm not trying to offend anyone by my review I'm just being honest and posting my view on the Safari VX 2.2 4X4 which I TDed. Sorry, but as of now it's the only 2.2 Safari I've driven...
Buddy,there is no question of any offence,we all respect what you felt in TD,and people here on this forum had some conflicting experiences with TD vehicles,thats why i suggested to another TD if you still wish.

thanks
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Old 17th July 2008, 21:05   #13
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It all depends on person to person. Some people like the truck like appearance the hugeness (road presence), the beasty appearance and the pick up but some people does not. Its better left to individual preference.
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Old 17th July 2008, 21:14   #14
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I will go for another TD to the TATA dealer near my house, perhaps over the weekend.

Meantime, I am kicked about TDing the GV. A 2nd hand Pajero no, looking for a Montero at a good price. I have expressed my feelings towards the Pajero in my first post on this thread.

@snaronikar - I agree. I had a bad experience. However I liked the appeal, road presence, and look. It was the quality and overall deal that I couldn't live with.
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Old 17th July 2008, 23:06   #15
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A GV giving 13kmph ? Come on!

Dont expect Toyota bulid quality in a Tata. I have owned 2 Hyundai's and their build quality is just great. I never took them to the roads I have taken my 2.2L and I bet my Hundayi would have rattled like a rattle snake by now.
And, build quality was the reason I didnt buy a Suzuki.

And will suggest a VX if you drive over 120kmph as its got ABS etc.

edit:

rare case pal. Like 2.2L getting 18kmpl and various 1,6 getting 14kmpl!

Last edited by jkdas : 17th July 2008 at 23:17.
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