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Old 10th January 2011, 19:41   #1
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Default My journey to a TATA Safari – Making my own road!

I would be bluffing if I start with a note that a TATA Safari was my dream vehicle from birth and always wanted to own one and blah. To be frank, Safari was never there in my dream chart but it just barged in and made it to the top in a matter of an hour leaving the other choices far behind or may be it would be apt if I say - eliminating them.

In 2010, an upgrade was there on cards since after 2 years of outstanding service with 40K+ kilometers done, our vehicle needed a break. Our Santro was all along with us and was a trusted partner whom we relied on for any of those unplanned trips – as though all our trips were planned. We had given our Santro fresh air to breathe – thanks to Petes’ - Green Cotton & also given Yokohama rubbers to support us on the road

“Adhoc” was one of my key words and packing bags was never in my dictionary. A trip of 500+ Kms demanded more than 30 minutes to decide – those below that were never considered trips. From Singara Chennai, Pondy was a lunch destination; Bangalore was a weekend break and so on so forth.

Space inside the vehicle was many a time the deciding factor for length of trips and number of co passengers. Some of those trips we had stuff piled up in rear seat even blocking my rear view mirror – not a best practice!! Due to the space restrictions in my Santro – Rear speaker tray ate a lot of space from my already small boot until I threw it off, we normally used to make the rear seat as the dumping yard for all our stuff including baggage, edibles etc. This gave us a twofold problem, first obviously, the car only had room for me and my better half, second one a bit more problematic since it blocked us from folding our seats when we park for our power naps. By this time we had a new joiner in our family – our little son, and together these became all the more bigger reasons for looking out

The requirements were clear in front of us
  • Space
  • Safety on highways
  • Comfort – Driving and passenger seat and of course
  • VFM, since I was still not successful in getting the color mix right for my printing press.
We had a liking for an SUV for the “comfort cum Safety factor” it has and had some choices like Bolero, Scorpio, Innova etc in the list taking into consideration the Vitamin "M". Never wanted to own the awful looking Xylo or the humongous Sumo Grande (simply better of the two) so they didn’t get a place in my list. The choices narrowed down when I was told that it was difficult to push the passenger car (SUV?) with the tractor’s engine beyond 120kph even with ample support from trailing wind (Bob Beamon way) and the terrain – Thanks to Jose Peter. The new ones do go beyond that but frankly found it never comfortable to travel for long on the rear seats notwithstanding the fact that we travelled a LOT in Jose’s Bolero. Scorpio eliminated itself, since I wanted a car and not a boat! I never considered Innova as a family vehicle until you have one of those “BIG” ones and this one, for me never got placed itself in the SUV cadre – more of an MUV? No harm intended to any of these vehicle owners’; I respect your choice and this is merely my opinion.

This made us move away from my SUV dreams back into the Sedan world. After weighing the options and contemplating much on Space Vs M factor, we almost decided Manza to be my next vehicle even without a TD – Thanks to the reviews from GTO. Also at this point I have to express my soft corner for TATAs, post owning an Indica V2 prior to my Santro and experiencing the customer service they offer (which according to me is the best one can get from an Indian company in India – For that matter have read many threads in TBhp regarding the dealers/manufacturers taking the customer for jolly good rides). TATAs in all their ventures are known for their “Customer First” principle and many of their employees do run the extra mile for the customer. Hope my expectation is not too tall!

It was one of those Sunday afternoons when wifey was not in a mood to visit the kitchen for lunch - brunch rather. As any other one in the IT world the day breaks on Sundays were at 1130, we planned to hit the famous mallu joint in Chennai – “Nair Mess”. During lunch we bumped into Jose Peter and his family. During the casual chat I expressed my desire to check out a Manza in flesh and blood. Next 30 minutes we found ourselves inside TAFE in Mount Road asking for a Manza QJD test drive! Don’t know whether to call it “fate”, the TD vehicle was not available. The sales guys asked us to wait for 30 minutes by which they could arrange one. We agreed and started to stroll around the showroom leaving our folks inside the showroom. We found the bull parked in the bay, behind the dealership and we looked at each other and the question on the look was obvious. We went in and asked for its TD. This was the turning point.

First things first, the vehicle appealed to me and stood tall on the road and would be bold enough to say that have not seen any other vehicle in this segment with such a road presence. Hats off to the TATAs design which is still unchanged over a decade now – rather why to change it just for heck of it!! Got the keys and took it out for a spin. WOW- That was the only expression. And I started thinking, why didn’t this vehicle pop up while preparing my “next drive” list. Thanked my stars since did not commit to Manza compromising the dream of being an SUV owner. The space inside was astonishing. It was the five seater car I wanted with enough (huh more than enough) space for luggage. The rear bench seats were always bound to be thrown away! On the road, we felt as if we were sitting on a multi storey building and shooing away all the minnows around. Other vehicles looked puny when looked from this. All others gave way for it with due respect. Then I understood the power of driving in an SUV with road presence. Under the hood was the 2.2L Dicor which made all the difference. It gave enough power when we drove and were happy as the beast responded well to the pushes which we gave on the pedal(s) – the right and the middle one. The comfort inside the car was second to none and VFM? Of course the base model started at 8L ex-showroom approx. Back to square 1 for the reviews – obviously at TBHP. This TD did wonders and wifey was also happy for the upgrade. On a negative note as it is “expected” from TATA, the fit and finish were a disappointment especially plastics. The JLR design & QC shops should have helped the TATA guys to overcome this aspect for which TATAs are notorious for! Also another point was the huge turning radius, which I thought was never a problem since majority of our drives would be on the highways where this doesn’t bother you too much

I was relocating to the City of Charminar with a new assignment and had more reasons now for an upgrade. I bid adieu to Chennai and our beloved Santro with a heavy heart. As soon as we landed in Hyderabad, went to Tejaswi Motors and took the second TD, this time post going through TD and initial ownership reports and tons of posts in TBHP about the infamous niggles on Safari from Day 0. I was convinced of the fact that if I was expecting a Fiat built quality and Honda quality, TATAs were not the shop to look for and if ok with the minor issues and is ready to work through them then there is no shop which gives you better VFM. Also I was convinced of the fact that, the guys back in Ranjangaon are working well and the 2010 model was worlds apart in quality when compared to its elders. The TD was a formality; life was easy for the sales person at Tejaswi. I zeroed in on to the LX model and took a quote for processing and in couple of days received a call from the dealer stating that the vehicle prices were slashed and the quote needs a revision. A reduction of 20K in the LX model cost made me think and I finally landed with finalizing a GX 4X2!! 7.75L to 10L jump. Huh well timed price cut guys. Then I started the long formalities for the car lease from my organization and it was lucrative so that I didn’t have to think twice for it. $ saved is $ made

There started my long wait. It took almost 3 months to crack the jigsaw. It’s really painful when you chose your drive, do a TD, place the orders expecting to ride the beast but get stuck! Anyways, all is well that ends well! Finally on the last working day of 2010, the cheques were released. The vehicle was ready for delivery on the 5th Jan 2011 (at least the RC would show 2011 instead of 2010).

Reached the showroom at 1400 Hrs and we saw our new (second) baby in front of the showroom ready for chomping miles with me. As committed the sales person had done all the paper works. The TBhp PDI checklist helped me here – except snaps. My bad. Forgot to take the camera to the dealership. At 1600 Hrs exchanged greetings with the sales & PDI team at Tejaswi, did a small puja and boarded the beast.

The first call I made after the delivery was to Ritesh from Ashoka wheels with whom an initial discussion was completed to exchange the Bridgestone ones for Geolander. No upsizing since I don’t believe in driving a Safari with a void warranty. He intimated me that the new stock of 235/70/16 Geolanders would be coming in a day or two since the supply across was stopped to make the tyres comply to the “Indian” standards – ISI. Surprised by this since my firm belief is that the Japanese standards should be way ahead of our ISI. Process is Process so be it! Did not do much driving for the next couple of days – except mandatory drives, since did not want to lose the lucrative deal that was being offered for the tyres. Thanks to the “trouble” in the city the truck loaded with tyres was stuck outside for two more days

8th Jan 2010 – Confirmation received that the new stock of tyres have arrived, directly went to meet Ritesh and got the tyres swapped. Let me tell you the experience with new rubber was awesome. The vehicle ride and comfort was changed drastically – still not sure why the OEM tyres are not that great when their counterparts which costs almost 1K extra provide a world of difference!

There started my long journey with Safari. Have plans to take him to Sabarimala post Sankranti so have to complete my first service – 1000 Kms well before that. Taking short trips in and 50Kms around the city to reach the magic figure. Even though not from the “old school” of running-in the vehicle (am sure the debate still would continue) taking it easy since the promotion from Santro to Safari is a huge leap.

NB: Posting some snaps taken on the Nehru ORR. Pics of Interiors in a day or two. More to follow in couple of weeks.
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Old 10th January 2011, 20:41   #2
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Default Re: My journey to a TATA Safari – Making my own road!

Brilliant buy. GX is worth the safety feature apart from the other goodies. Yoko's are awesome and I still remember the day I got them for my Safari.

Welcome to the club!
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Old 10th January 2011, 21:01   #3
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Default Re: My journey to a TATA Safari – Making my own road!

Congratulations on this beast!. Perhaps its the best time to reclaim your life. In fact, the safari is only for those who seek the pure snob appeal of a luxury sedan and the pleasure of owning a DON'T-CARE-WHERE-YOU-TAKE-ME-OFF-ROADER.
Yes, it is pricey up front, but like the best of everything, it is never able to go back.
No, the safari don't shout out to everyone on the road, but there's something undefinable about it that clearly separates it from the pack. So while the safari clearly slants towards the luxury side, it will continue to eat any car for lunch on a long winding road. The luxury and ergonomics will astound you and you will hate it every time some one slams the door.

Last edited by sidindica : 10th January 2011 at 21:03.
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Old 10th January 2011, 21:03   #4
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Default Re: My journey to a TATA Safari – Making my own road!

Congrats on the latest purchase. Welcome to the trucker's club. Drive safe.
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Old 10th January 2011, 21:10   #5
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Default Re: My journey to a TATA Safari – Making my own road!

Love the subtle looking alloys of the Dicor anyday over the Mhawks stock alloys. Congrats on the buy pal. Considering the fact that you decided on the GX , its definitely worth the price for the safety features.Drive safe !!

Originally Posted by jkdas View Post
Yoko's are awesome and I still remember the day I got them for my Safari.
Hit a large puddle of water on good roads and you will be mesmerized by the aquaplaning experienced with a 2 tonner at 3 digit speeds .
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Old 10th January 2011, 22:16   #6
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Thumbs up Re: My journey to a TATA Safari – Making my own road!

Congratulations KrisSree! You got an awsome ride(touch wood ). Although you had to stretch your budget, but it will definitely be worth it with ABS on long highway drives. Get ready to enjoy fatigue free drives even if they last for good 1000Kms. Keep us updated with your experiences and photographs(detail interior pics awaited!).
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Old 10th January 2011, 22:50   #7
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Default Re: My journey to a TATA Safari – Making my own road!

Welcome to Tbhp and the world of safari ownership KrisSree, hope you have many miles of happy ownership? Does GX Black come in single shade too now?
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Old 10th January 2011, 23:35   #8
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Default Re: My journey to a TATA Safari – Making my own road!

Your journey to owning the big babe makes me jealous. And I'm sure it does a lot of other people as well. Congratulations and wish you many miles with the wind beneath your wings.
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Old 11th January 2011, 02:04   #9
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Default Re: My journey to a TATA Safari – Making my own road!

Thank you for the wishes mates. Rest assured would post more pictures of the beast - both interior and exterior after its maiden long drive.

@JK - Cant agree with you more. Yokos are worth the buy!
@Sid - Talking in Mumbai slang - the "Daring" look of Safari cant be ignored by anyone!
@RJ - GX carries all the features you need on Indian Roads - Missing component Airbags. Thought not worth it for spending a lakh or two more for this. DVD and screens would be never missed since no one occupies the rear seat anyways!
@ACFT - The fatigue free drives is one thing which i look forward for. Keeping fingers crossed.
@Lukeskywalker - GX is originally with the Dual tone but I got it painted with Black. The spare wheel cover is yet to be done. May be i would leave it as it is.
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Old 11th January 2011, 09:57   #10
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Default Re: My journey to a TATA Safari – Making my own road!

Congrats Krisssree

Good choice of model, best of the features at great value.

The interior quality in now indeed much better than it was earlier, also most of the initial engine issues seem to have been sorted out.

It will be hard to find a replacement for the safari when you search in many years time.
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Old 11th January 2011, 12:21   #11
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Default Re: My journey to a TATA Safari – Making my own road!

Welcome. She will keep you grinning end to end, km after km.

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Old 11th January 2011, 12:53   #12
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Default Re: My journey to a TATA Safari – Making my own road!

Congratulations on the new beast! Welcome to the mile-munching-in-comfort-and-style club

BTW, I heard that the 4x4 version is now available only on VX. Is that correct?
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Old 11th January 2011, 13:47   #13
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Yes Cool Dube. The 4x4 versions in EX & GX are discontinued for reducing "model complexities" - This is the reason the TATA guys gave us. May be a strategic call for pushing the VX model. Dont know.
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Old 11th January 2011, 14:14   #14
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Default Re: My journey to a TATA Safari – Making my own road!

Congratulations on the car! Please note that Team-BHP does not permit booking / buying experience threads in the Test-Drives section anymore. For the benefit of members & guests alike, it is now imperative to include a complete report on the car (the driving experience / comfort / features, what you like, what you don't like etc.).

This thread is temporarily closed. Please PM me or report this post once you are ready to update with a complete driving report; that's when it shall be re-opened. Thanks for your support.
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