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Old 1st December 2008, 00:16   #1
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Default How I decided on Safari 2.2VTT

Hello BHPians,

I wanted to share this experience for the past 2 months and today I'm penningn it down. I owe my decision of buying the Safari to this Forum. Things had come to such a state that whenever I visited my native, my dad would decline to sit in my Esteem(my previous vehicle) owing to the low seating position and he preferred to take his own Van. So when I decided to buy a SUV, my dad was more happy than me. He asked me to send my esteem(2005 Jan) right away and said he will get the best price
possible. The best price quoted here in Bangalore was 3lac and my Dad was able to sell it for 3.35 lacs in Mangalore.

As told above, I was fed up of this car. Not due to the low seating position but because of being bullied by these autos and cabs. I being the type of the person who wants the car to be dent or scratch free was really pushed to the limits in achieving this goal. I think I succeeded a fair bit in this endeavor.(i was able to sell it for 3.35 lacs you see). One more
reason why I disliked this car was the low end torque and with A/c and was a pain driving in the city traffic. This was no good in highway with A/c. If it wasn't for my A/c jockey(wife) who used to switch it off when overtaking, I would have been in several tricky situation.

So the above summarizes my requirement in a SUV. Good low end torque, city drivebility, no loss of power with A/c on and of course should be able to bully these pesky autos and the cabs. I knew i had to compromise on the cornering ability in a SUV and I settled for it. So started the hunt for a SUV. To be frank, I was prejudiced against Safari from the start, reading
all the niggles the forum members faced. But at my wife's insistence I short-listed Safari. Here were the short-listed vehicles which you readers must have read umpteen times.
1. Scorpio mhawk
2. Innova
3. Safari.

The first vehicle I test drove was Innova. I had prior experience of driving my Friend's innova quite extensively when I drove it for almost 1500 Kms in 2005. This was completely a highway drive and I just liked it. This time whne I test drove I wanted to check its city driveability. The Sales person from Ravindu was very courteous and helpful. I got the vehicle on
time and off we went. Low end torque was adequate and the all round visibilty was much much better than my esteem. I liked its refinement. I liked the plush interiors of the V model. I already had brain washed my wife that if I go for Innova, then I might have to spend 30k for the Pete's.(After reading Akshay1234's thread). But I was not ready for what i was about to hear from the sales person. Since I was buying the vehicle on a company lease, the sales person said I cannot go for a 8 seater and can buy only 7 seater. This was a new rule that was introduced by RTO in Oct 2007, which says 8 seater vehicle is considered as omni bus. I asked him what would be the cost of changing to 8 seater and he said 57k. This did not fit my
requirement at all. No matter what permutation and combination I did, I wanted 5 seat and a luggage space. He suggested to go for the overhead carrier. It din't appeal me . So we decided to take a call later in the day after we test drove the remaining two vehicles.

We had clearly decided that we are going to test drive all the vehicles on the same day so that we co-relate the pros and cons of the vehicles. The second vehicle we test drove on the same day was Mhawk. This was the vehicle we were waiting for almost 10 months for the launch and were clearly biased towards. I used to eagerly wait the Autocar every month to know the launch date. I had driven the CRDe version a few months back and I was impressed. I was fantasizing how would the Mhawk be with
140bhp. But when it was launched with 120 bhp, many readers in this forum were disappointed including me. I booked a test drive with Vijay Auto. I was shocked when the Sales person got a brand new Mhawk for test drive. I asked him if this was a fair practice for which he replied that the vehicles is not alloted to anyone yet. The answer din't convince me but I decided
to myself that in case if I plan to go for Mhawk, then I have to make sure that, that particular vehicle has not been give for a test drive. My initial impression of the vehicle was, it was noisy. This was contrary to all the feedback I read in this forum. The driving experience was thrilling. I liked the turbo kicking in while accelerating and was grinning ear to ear. I took it to Mysore road and was able to open the throttle. I liked the composure of the vehicle at 120 though I felt guilty of taking this brand new vehcile to that speed. This is a gem of a engine and way better in terms of power compared to Innova. The sales person also promised to convert the 7 seater to 8 seater with no extra costs after the registration if I decide to go for this vehicle. My wife had no doubt that I would be finalizing this vehicle after seeing my initial reaction. She was apprehensive that I may not even test drive Safari but succeed in cajoling me to test drive Safari. Her exact words" Hey, I know you will finalize Mhawk, but there is no harm in test driving Safari. I know we dont get this kind of opportunity to compare vehicles everyday" . I agreed.

So we called up Manipal Motors for a test drive of Safari in the evening. The initial impression of the vehicle. "It's huge". We first checked if there is enough space to park the vehicle inside the compound and we parked it to confirm. Once we got inside the vehicle we were surprised with the comfort level offered by the vehicle. The comfort level was much better than
Scorpio. We were driving for few mins within city and there was nothing to suggest that it was a 140 Bhp vehicle. But this one incident changed the decision. I was following a BMTC bus in a steep road. So to overtake this bus, i slotted into 2nd and pedal to the metal. I was not expecting this kind of acceleration. With turbo kicking in, it pushed the two ton vehicle
with amazing power and overtaking was breeze. I was so used to Esteem's sluggishness, this was a pleasant surprise.I never expected that such a heavy vehicle had such an agility.

So we came back home. Now the decision making was not easy. Innova was ruled out. It was no competition with these two powerhouse. Maybe with Pete's it may have been a different proposition. But again settling for a 7 seater was a big NO No. Now came the tough part. Mahwk or Safari. Now in my opinion, Safari performance was 90% of the mhawk but comfort wise it was way ahead. The rear seat in Mhawk reminded me of the bench seat we used to have in our primary schools.Finally I decided to compromise on 10% of power of the Safari to a better seating ergonomics over Mahwk. It was a big letdown for a 12lakh vehicle to come with such spartan seating.

Thanks to Lingadhalli for inputs on Mahwk and Dadu for inputs on Safari.

Once the decision was made, I booked the Safari VX with Concorde Motors. I got a very good deal. Though my fav color is black, this time I went and booked a Golden beige color. The reason being that, my previous car's color was black and as per my wife, she din't want me to get into "wash-polish-cover the car" routine.

I had the audio installation done at Auto Fusion on the same day of the delivery. I went for
JBL GTO 1004- 10500/-
JBL Power series components P6560- 9500 Rs
JBL Power Series co-axials P963 - 7500 Rs.
These were purchased from Car lounge(Vipin) and I appreciate his prompt service when he sent a replacement amp in 5 mins when the front channel of the Amp was not working. He arranged to send it from the JBL distributor in Koramanagla. The co-ax makes up for the sub and I'm satisfied with the performance. I also made the mistake of installing the 3M sunfilm at Auto Fusion. The installer made a mess of it. It was later replaced by the 3M dealer and he did a fantastic job. The cost of the Sun film were
CR-70 for wind shield 5500Rs(5 yrs warranty)
Cs-35 for sides 5000.(3 yrs warranty)
If anyone wants to go for a 3M sunfilm at 75% of the above cost, I would be glad to provide the cell no of the installer.
This piece of information, I came to know after the 3M dealer sent an installer to fix the lousy job done by the earlier installer.

So far I have clocked 3500Kms in the odo in 2 and half month. except for minor niggles the ownership experience has been good. I get an average of 10 in city driving and 12.5 -12.75 on long drives(Tank full to tank full).There is some squeking sound coming underneath the driver's seat. The service engineer at Concorde motors in Mysore Road, sprayed something at the joints and it disappeared for few days and now it has cropped up again.

Could some Safari owners share some light on this irritating feature of the Safari. In 4th gear when I try to slow down taking the foot off the accelerator, it decreases it's speed to 40 KMPH and then maintains this speed without any intervention. Now when I brake to reduce the speed further,I could still feel the acceleration. This experience is something like trying to brake in your left foot with right foot on accelerator. This is quite irritating in traffic since you need to press the clutch to cutoff this constant acceleration or you have to change to lower gears. My expectation is, it should decrease to a speed where it cannot sustain that speed and give a feeling of a jerk which is an indication to change to a lower gear. This does not happen. It keeps cruising at 40KMPH. When I complained this to the Service engineers, they say this is to match the engine speed with the actual speed. I'm not convinced. I've written to TATA Motors.

Thanks for reading such a lengthy post.
Attached Thumbnails
How I decided on Safari 2.2VTT-p1000803com.jpg  

How I decided on Safari 2.2VTT-p1000804com.jpg  

How I decided on Safari 2.2VTT-p1000807com.jpg  

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Old 1st December 2008, 06:33   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkishore_77 View Post
Could some Safari owners share some light on this irritating feature of the Safari. In 4th gear when I try to slow down taking the foot off the accelerator, it decreases it's speed to 40 KMPH and then maintains this speed without any intervention. Now when I brake to reduce the speed further,I could still feel the acceleration. This experience is something like trying to brake in your left foot with right foot on accelerator. This is quite irritating in traffic since you need to press the clutch to cutoff this constant acceleration or you have to change to lower gears. My expectation is, it should decrease to a speed where it cannot sustain that speed and give a feeling of a jerk which is an indication to change to a lower gear. This does not happen. It keeps cruising at 40KMPH. When I complained this to the Service engineers, they say this is to match the engine speed with the actual speed. I'm not convinced. I've written to TATA Motors.

Thanks for reading such a lengthy post.
Congratulations on your new Safari.

Regarding the quirky behaviour you are noticing, it is there in all the new common rail engined vehicles(at least the Swift Vdi had it). The ECU does not let rpm fall below a threshhold and hence the vehicle maintains the speed at this threshhold rpm(say 1000 rpm). Learn to adjust your driving to suit the vehicle.
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Old 1st December 2008, 08:10   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkishore_77 View Post
Could some Safari owners share some light on this irritating feature of the Safari. In 4th gear when I try to slow down taking the foot off the accelerator, it decreases it's speed to 40 KMPH and then maintains this speed without any intervention. Now when I brake to reduce the speed further,I could still feel the acceleration.
Guess the issue is the torque and the high idling RPM that makes you feel the vehicle crawling smoothly at 40KPH. Remember that Diesels have a higher torque than petrol.
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Old 1st December 2008, 08:28   #4
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Congratulations on your new acquisition!! Interesting write-up
You will soon to adjust your driving style as mentioned by others.

Do post some pics of interiors and the ICE.
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Old 1st December 2008, 08:34   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kuttapan View Post
Congratulations on your new Safari.

Regarding the quirky behaviour you are noticing, it is there in all the new common rail engined vehicles(at least the Swift Vdi had it). The ECU does not let rpm fall below a threshhold and hence the vehicle maintains the speed at this threshhold rpm(say 1000 rpm). Learn to adjust your driving to suit the vehicle.
Thank you. Yes I agree. I was given to drive other Safaris in the service center and they showed the same characterstics. At least their speed dropped till 30 KMPH and then maintained that speed where as in my case it is 40 KMPH. Service Engineer told me that there is no adjustment that can be done to reduce this speed. Anyway I have started living with it.
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Old 1st December 2008, 09:43   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkishore_77 View Post
I got a very good deal. Though my fav color is black, this time I went and booked a Golden beige color. The reason being that, my previous car's color was black and as per my wife, she din't want me to get into "wash-polish-cover the car" routine.
Congrats on your Safari. Intelligent color choice too. You will notice over time, just as I have, that this is probably one of the easiest colors to maintain.
Dirt and dust is not easily visible and thats a boon especially in the monsoon.
Goodluck and happy trucking.
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Old 1st December 2008, 10:28   #7
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So finally your writeup has come but "better late than never", you've done justice to your buying decision. enjoy!!

the 4th gear experience is not an issue but due to high torque the engine maintains the speed. Check this, slot to 1st, leave your clutch without pressing the accelerator, the safari will still move on.
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Old 1st December 2008, 11:05   #8
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Originally Posted by jaysmokesleaves View Post
Congrats on your Safari. Intelligent color choice too. You will notice over time, just as I have, that this is probably one of the easiest colors to maintain.
Dirt and dust is not easily visible and thats a boon especially in the monsoon.
Goodluck and happy trucking.
Thank you. I'm resisting the temptation of going for 3M paint protection. Since the water available in my area is hard water,I see a white deposit on the window panes. I can also see a slight fade in the color or is it my illusion. Has anyone gone for 3M paint protection . If yes, what is the feedback.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dadu View Post
So finally your writeup has come but "better late than never",
Thanks Dadu. I kept on procrastinating this writeup till guilt started pricking my conscience. But to be frank I was preparing for my professional Exam for the last 11 mths. I'm done with it now.

Note from the Team-BHP Suppor: Please use the "edit" button if posting within 15 minutes of the first post, instead of creating another back-to-back post

Also use "Multi Quote" option for quoting Multiple posts.

Last edited by Jaggu : 1st December 2008 at 13:06.
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Old 1st December 2008, 11:41   #9
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One question.... Safari is a 7 seater, right? But you wanted an 8 seater?
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Old 1st December 2008, 12:02   #10
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One question.... Safari is a 7 seater, right? But you wanted an 8 seater?
Well, My requirement is 3 seater in the middle row. This was available only in 8 seater in case of Scorpio and Innova. Since I go out often for long drives with family or friends, I need 5 seats and luggage space. Though Safari is a 7 seater, it came with three seater in the middle row unlike Scorpio or Innova. Anything more than 5 seats are redundant for me.
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Old 1st December 2008, 12:05   #11
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Congrats on the new purchase. Enjoy the ride.

tsk1979,

I think he wanted a 5 seater and some luggage space. By going for a 8 seater, I think he would planned to use only the second row and folded the third row for luggage. The Innova 7 seater gives only 4 seating options when the third row is folded.
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Old 1st December 2008, 15:16   #12
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Quote:
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I can also see a slight fade in the color or is it my illusion.
There is something about that color Kishore. I thought so too in the first few days of ownership. But it looks either dark or light depending upon the sunlight. I also sometimes see different shades from different angles at different times. Ditto the same for my Prado.
I got my eyes checked though.
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Old 1st December 2008, 15:26   #13
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Quote:
There is some squeking sound coming underneath the driver's seat. The service engineer at Concorde motors in Mysore Road, sprayed something at the joints and it disappeared for few days and now it has cropped up again.
Had a similar problem. TASS at bombay (shaman motors) also sprayed WD40 and the problem disappeared for 5days. I then had them remove the entire seat assembly and grease each and every rail and joint. Front and back seats. The problem hasn't re-occured for one and half years.
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Old 1st December 2008, 15:37   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkishore_77 View Post
If it wasn't for my A/c jockey(wife) who used to switch it off when overtaking, I would have been in several tricky situation...
Hey, even my wifey does the same job sitting next to me in my (non-turbo) Sierra...
However, heartiest congratulations! You have made a nice choice - both machine and the color.
Wonder, what's happening to the TATA MOTORS stock price when so many Safari VTTs and Quadrajet Vistas are being sold every day...
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Old 1st December 2008, 20:39   #15
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There is something about that color Kishore. I thought so too in the first few days of ownership. But it looks either dark or light depending upon the sunlight. I also sometimes see different shades from different angles at different times. Ditto the same for my Prado.
I got my eyes checked though.
I concur with your view. The color looks dark and rich under shade and looks bleached when viewed under bright Sun. Anyway, I'm looking for some reason to go for paint protection. .
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