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Old 18th November 2009, 16:26   #1
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Smile TATA Sumo Grande MKII - exclusively for T-BHP EDIT : Mumbai launch pics on page 5

Got a good look at SUMO GRANDE MKII model today at the dealership and I did like what I saw. The model on display was GX variant which is top of the line variant in GRANDE and changes were evident from first look itself.

Exteriors

As has been expected, There is very little change in the overall looks of the car. There are some changes here and there to accentuate the looks of car and honestly speaking, what they have done is more than enough and should be liked by customers. So, what have they done ? here is the list :

* Chrome accents on front Grill
* Chrome beadings on doors
* Sumo Grande is now SUMO GRANDE MKII
* '2.2 DICOR' on front side panels (I must admit font used here is quite cool !)
* Turn indicators on ORVM
* Integrated Mud Flaps
* Safari type wheel rims with safari type wheel covers giving alloy looks.

Interiors

This is where Tata Design team and product engineers seem to have spent most time this time around. Everything from door panels to fake wood finish have been update, and for good. The buttons are no more flimsy and plastics used have been massively upgraded. Fit and finish is also a step above, but more on that later. A welcome change which I appreciate most is that they have used BLACK COLOUR plastics on floors with BEIGE on top. This not only adds great looks to car but is easier to clean and maintain. Even the steering wheel is black in colour and looks way better than its predecessor. Here is the list of changes in Interior :

* Old steering wheel has been replaced with Vista type steering wheels and in black colour.
* BLACK plastics on floor
* MP3 music system (Alpine) with dedicated Ipod connectivity in console above hand brake lever. Great for accessibility.
* One Touch fold of last row of seats
* Pockets and bottle holder seem to be bigger now.
* Separate buttons for 2nd and third row AC vents on roof.
* Better wood finish on central console and door trims.
* Puddle Lamps.

Engine and Drive

I didn't have much time behind the wheel but there is little to differentiate from the looks of it. I absolutely adore the lightness of steering and pick-up is phenomenal for an MUV. Braking continues to be a bit iffy, but then I would once again stress that I have only driven the car for less than 1 km. I will look out towards a longer test drive in near future and will update.

Fit & Finish

This is it. This is what will define MKII from its predecessor. No more wobbly doors. No more plastics falling. No more rattling car. This is a big step forward for this very capable car. The exteriors look sturdy, and interiors worthy of second looks. The plastics are better. The Panel gaps are more consistent (Not perfect, but much more than acceptable). The steering feels good to hold. Dashboard plastics are softer and nice to touch. Wood trims on door are a nice touch and buttons everywhere feel solid and nice. The doors close with a resounding thud and gaps in metal are also a lot more consistent. And here is the big one, You don't feel that the rear door handle would come in hand if pulled too hard. This is an achievement.

Verdict

I have to applaud the sincerity with which people at TATA went about upgrading what could arguably be labelled the biggest dud in their recent history. What they took back to design table and what they brought back to consumer is different and good. One could attribute this to the TATA habit of improving vehicles based on feedback.

What we have now is a even more competent car and will potentially do very well this time around with the target consumer base of taxi owners and long distance traveling large families. Anyone considering TAVERA should give this car and believe me, it will not fail you, This time around.

PS: Don't have any pics as of today. Will try clicking some when I go for a full test drive very very soon...
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Old 18th November 2009, 16:49   #2
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@Akhilesh, that was quick. But dont you think a 1km test drive is not long enough a test to declare that all these fit-&-finish related niggles are gone ?

Quote:
No more wobbly doors. No more plastics falling. No more rattling car. This is a big step forward for this very capable car.
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Old 18th November 2009, 16:49   #3
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A neat short review, Well Done. Any updates on the Safety Aspects of the vehicle?
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Old 18th November 2009, 16:52   #4
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The Sumo Grande always has a lot of potential but was flawed by its execution. Lets hope TATA have got it right this time, though it may be too late to bring it back to life. Fingers crossed.
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Old 18th November 2009, 16:53   #5
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ABS?
Any changes in the pricing?
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Old 18th November 2009, 16:53   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by condor View Post
@Akhilesh, that was quick. But dont you think a 1km test drive is not long enough a test to declare that all these fit-&-finish related niggles are gone ?
I must admit it is not. But, on the other hand, I did get to test the car (without driving!) for over half an hour. Secondly, having lived with first iteration for now over a year, One tends to instantly recognise the changes in plastics.

Though, I would agree that the verdict went out too quickly and will only be able to concur on my first impressions after a test-drive. So, Wait here for one...

Quote:
ABS?
Any changes in the pricing?
No ABS, atleast not on the model I tested. While a confirmed price-list has not been provided by the dealer, I suspect no changes (or minor changes at the very worst!) in the price list.

Last edited by akhilesh51 : 18th November 2009 at 16:56.
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Old 18th November 2009, 16:56   #7
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Nice report there! Is the car launched/available in showrooms?

All the best,
VT
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Old 18th November 2009, 16:56   #8
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fantastic akilesh for the short review. Tha ks for the info. There were lots of threads which was discussing the gandre upgrades and now you have poured some fuel also. Superb. Thanks for the info. Hope by now they would have taken the feedback from many forums(mainly from our T-BHP forum) and made it right this time

Last edited by shishir_bn : 18th November 2009 at 17:00.
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Old 18th November 2009, 17:10   #9
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Nice first look report, Akhilesh.

Any idea what happens to the Grande turbo? Will it also go MKII way?

Last edited by safari_lover : 18th November 2009 at 17:12.
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Old 18th November 2009, 17:52   #10
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Thanks mate. Can't wait to see the pictures.
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Old 18th November 2009, 18:21   #11
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That is a nice udpate. I have been waiting for the upgrade to this vehicle for a while. In the short drive that you had, could you find any imporvement in the handling?
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Old 18th November 2009, 19:01   #12
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Default Driver seat height adjustment lever falw got solved?

Earlier Sumo grande had Driver seat height adjustment lever falw that height could be adjusted with the driver door kept open. Has this problem got solved in MKII?

NO ABS? for a vehicles of nearly 2 tons?

Any weight reduction in total Kerb weight?

Turbo charger is top mount or still bottom mount (liable to stone hits)

Inclusion of Roof rails?

Inclusion of a Dead pedal?

All front facing 7 seater Seating configuration ossibility? first two rows captain Seats plus last row three seating configuration possible in 7 seater
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Old 18th November 2009, 20:23   #13
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Any updates on the launch date?

I really hope TATA has solved all the problems associated with the car.

Even in the current price band, they need to offer ABS and airbags as options.
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Old 18th November 2009, 20:44   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by safari_lover View Post
Nice first look report, Akhilesh.

Any idea what happens to the Grande turbo? Will it also go MKII way?
I guess it stays the way it is for time being to utilise all the remaining parts of predecessor but eventually it would shift that way too...

Quote:
Originally Posted by arulpeem View Post
That is a nice udpate. I have been waiting for the upgrade to this vehicle for a while. In the short drive that you had, could you find any imporvement in the handling?
I really can't say. Maybe after a longer test-drive. Have arranged for one tomorrow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by harimakesh View Post
Earlier Sumo grande had Driver seat height adjustment lever falw that height could be adjusted with the driver door kept open. Has this problem got solved in MKII?

NO ABS? for a vehicles of nearly 2 tons?

Any weight reduction in total Kerb weight?

Turbo charger is top mount or still bottom mount (liable to stone hits)

Inclusion of Roof rails?

Inclusion of a Dead pedal?

All front facing 7 seater Seating configuration ossibility? first two rows captain Seats plus last row three seating configuration possible in 7 seater
No roof rails. Didn't notice the dead pedal. and No ABS on model I tested.

There have been changes in placement of engine components. will ask service people regarding your query.


Quote:
Originally Posted by gshanky View Post
Any updates on the launch date?

I really hope TATA has solved all the problems associated with the car.

Even in the current price band, they need to offer ABS and airbags as options.
IMHO, An ABS/Airbags model would seriously enter Safari territory. Moreover, These updates are reserved for impending Indicruz launch.
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Old 18th November 2009, 21:18   #15
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Good initial review
Is there any change in the suspension from Leaf spring
did you find change in the ride quality from the previous version.
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