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Old 5th March 2011, 20:42   #1
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Background
------------
Last three months saw me spending more than 200 hours on teambhp. Lots of late nights pouring over the threads. The time had come to upgrade to a bigger vehicle although my faithful Alto was serving me pretty well since last 5 years. My kids wanted to go for a bigger vehicle and the pressure form their end was really mounting.

Comparisons
------------
The selection task was a difficult one. A budget under 10 lacs and I was contemplating on all possibilities that fit in like:

- Diesel Vs Petrol.
- SUV Vs Sedan
- Maruti Vs Mahindra Vs the Tatas: I might be doing some offroading, so a local brand would have a better service even in remote areas.
- Finally the battle was Heart Vs Mind..

Mandatory Crieteria to be met
----------------
1. High Ground clearance: I wouldnt like to see my new baby kissing every speed breaker in the town. Being in bangaluroo (or Bumperluroo), I had a big one right outside my apartment gate which would put any lil mountain to shame.

2. Seating Comfort and Ride Quality: I still need to dream my month long trip across the breadth of india sometime. I couldnt dare to do it till now in my lil Alto. So, the new vehicle should be comfortable enough for such long trip.

3. Offroading: I normally head to himalayas 2 -3 times a year. Well, I did 5 trips to Himalayas last year. Still lots of lesser known to be visited.

4. Space Space and Space: I do see myself being on the roads and away from main civilization for weeks. So, a place to sleep was required in those remote areas in case of any emergency.

Initial Screens
--------------
- Finally it was decided that Diesel vehicle should be the next one. Approx 25 rupees of price difference petrol and diesel in bangalore was difficult to ignore.

- On comparing a few diesel sedan, the only one with a high ground clearance was SX4.

- When it came to comfortable seating and space to have good sleep, Xylo looked great with its seating configurations.

- When it comes to Safari, all parameters stand dwarf before its outstanding exterior looks. The muscular body looks just right to shallow all those craters and bumps of the roads. My kids saw the beast in the showroom and completely got bowled over by its looks.

Finally it was the battle between SX4, Safari and Xylo. Yeah as some one would say the complete disparate comparison between a Sedan, SUV and MUV. But they have these similarities:

- They all come in the similar price range.
- All three thrive on subsidized diesel..
- All of them shrug at the mountains in bangalurooo roads.. The final decision was to be taken after thorough road tests..

1. SX4: The Bimal showroom is the closest to my place. Since SX4 diesel was not yet available for test drive, i tested the petrol variant. The test drive and especially the power in the vehicle looked pretty ordinary compared to xylo and Safari. It jumped well on speedbreakers but not before passing the impact to the passengers. The loyalty bonus, tonnes of features in this vehicle and the previous ownership experience of my Maruti Alto stood well in favour of SX4.

2. Xylo: I never liked the exterior looks of it. But once you enter the vehicle, you are transformed to a world which is so spacious. The car like handling to xylo made driving much easier. Pickup and power seemed good to my taste. It maneuvered the bad roads and speed breakers pasing minimal jerks to the passengers. Seating is wonderful. I liked the feature where two seats can be joined to make one full bed like the one in 1st Class cabins of aircrafts. Great road presence.

3. Safari: Love for this vehicle was immediate on first sight. The ride quality was not great.. Lots of vibration.. lots of noise.. the power delivery was non linear.. longish turning radius.. I didnt feel comfortable driving this vehicle.. I came of this vehicle pretty dissatisfied. On asking the salesman, he said "Saar, this is test vehicle.. not serviced.. travelled more than 20000kms".. I was sad. Really sad after my first ride in Safari.. Felt like a heartbroken lover.

There was absolutely no reason not to buy Xylo after the kind of handling I had with it.. but somehow, i didnt liked being let down by lady love so early.. So, spoke to another dealer in bangaluroo and decided to do another test drive of Safari. The other vehicle from Prerana Motors turned out to be even older. It had done 48000 kilometers as a test vehicle and the test drive experience was even worse. Lots of noise.. bad suspension.. I completely lost all hopes to own her. Infact i was so depressed that I didnt visit teambhp for next one week. Tried my best to forget her.. Finally after a week, I decided to take one last chance with Safari. Took Wife and kids to KHT motors for the third test drive of Safari. I was ready to forgive her small niggles and see how she behaves on bad roads..

I took her to the railway crossing near Hoodi circle. Took an immediate right.. There laid ahead a stretch of few kms which probably used to be a road decades back. No vehicle other than a tractor would dare to ply on it. Big holes and completely uneven road with not even a single trace of black tar anywhere. The safari was running on it like a beast possessed. It was running at 50+ on a road where my lil Alto wont even dare to venture. It looked as if it was made for it. The comfort on this stretch was superb.. Wifey initially took the co-pilot seat and looked pleased with commanding road view and drive comfort. On the way back, she took the middle seat while the beast was having a mad run on the bad road. The middle seats also looked equally comfortable. The last two drives had made me more used to the SUVish style driving and it was comfortable driving it. I
was ready to forget the noise at the sheer excitement of ripping through non existent road. Before we could reach back the KHT showroom, I almost told the salesguy, "I am buying this vehicle".


Final Selection
--------------
A totally unconsidered candidate had surreptiously made it way into final selection like a wildcard. Yes, Innova was highly recommended by everyone. It was infact the first and default recommendation of any friend or acquaintance who had even a slightest hint that I was going for an upgrade. The ownership review of innova was so good that it almost looked like a no-brainer to buy an innova. So, innova forcibly got into my list even though i never considered it earlier. In fact, it came strong enough to even dislodge Safari out. The niggle stories of Safari were not helping me either. At one time I thought of moving to an innova from practicality point of view although with a much bigger dent in pocket.

Somehow, the feeling of placing order for Innova was not making my feel happy or excited. I was thinking, Darn why the hell I am not feeling excited even after buying a 11L popular car?

The reason I felt was that Innova didnt fit well with my thoughts and core personality. As a person, I had always preferred some exclusivity in whatever I do. Somehow I didnt wanted to buy a vehicle which any TDH with some extra bucks in pocket would buy. My apartment complex of 1600 apartments was lined up with quite a large number of innova. Innova buying looked almost like following a cattle herd without applying any brains.

I began to think, that whenever I go for mountaineering expeditions, I always prefer the raw untamed himalayas which are full of uncertainity and unpredictable weather. They always give me a Big Big High compared to the tamed, immensely popular and well mapped european Alps. Safari looked just like the himalayas compared to its more predictable cousins.

Once this comparison came to my mind, I knew that Safari is car which suits my Character which defines my personality.

No more thoughts after that.. Black color was selected.. Some initail apprehensions was cleared after two discussions with the very helpful and patient bhpian, Suresh (verditer).

I reached the dealership yesterday afternoon. But the vehicle was nowhere to be seen. Finally went to the workshop to see my Safari getting water washed. The PDI was already done but I insisted for another PDI in my presence. They obliged and it was nice to see the two and half tonnes beast being raised to 7 feet on the jack. Finally the underchasis inspection, suspension checks and final tightening of screws was done.

The PDI list from tbhp came pretty handy. While following the list, we found that the headlight on the left side was not glowing. It was found that the bulb was blown up and was immediately replaced. That was the first niggle in Safari..

Left the Workshop and took the vehicle to the showroom around a kilometer away. There we found that the Power window Lock on the driver seat was not working properly. That was the second niggle in the first hour . The guys promised to fix it in the 1st service. Anyways, it didnt seems to be a Must Fix issue after being used to the manually operated Alto window for a long time.

The overall delivery was a smooth affair. The truck was ready to swing. We planned to take it for a longish, traffic filled drive from Whitefield to Yelahanka. The vehicle is just so comfortable. The kind of respect that this vehicle gets from other vehicles on the road really makes you feel very special. Absolutely loved the drive.

After 100 kms behind the wheels in last 24hrs, this is the initial observation:

1. Comfort is unmatchable.
2. Long hours in traffic is no more painful. You don't find other vehicles other than the odd bikes jumping in front of you. I dont see a reason why a Safari owner would ever have a road rage even in the bad traffic.
I remember long back there used to a very old Ad from Bajaj/Hero bikes where the guy is feeling very high after owning a bike. The Ad lines were something like this:
" I forgive my Teachers"
I Forgive my Girl friends
I Forgive .... ...........
I Forgive ..................
I Feel like God
"
Yesterday when I driving in the traffic filled ring road, suddenly remembered this Ad and these lines . Yeah, that's the kind of feeling you get on this vehicle.

The dislikes till now:

1. Painfully long turning radius.
2. Being forced to drive being below 2000 rpm for the first 1000kms. :(.. Its like keeping this lion chained. The idling rpm for the vehicle is around 900. That leaves you a very small ranges between 900 - 2000 to drive the vehicle and requires frequent changing of gears in traffic.
3. Cooling in the hot afternoon has been poor. Even at fan speed of 3, the cooling was "Just Enough" but definitely not chill.

With the World Fever on, closing with these lines from Siddhu "What is a Kiss without a Squeeze?".. Similarly "What is a Tata Safari without a niggle"? Hope it gets better with time so that the feeling of newness in the vehicle lingers on..

Overall Dealership Experience:
----------------------
I spoke to both Concorde motors and KHT motors. Both gave a pretty competitive offer. But finally placed the order with KHT as it is close to my house.

The sales team of KHT should better not be not discussed much. Their sales manager Mr. Jayakumar promised me some freebies and good price for accessories when I placed the order. By the time the day of delivery came, Mr. Jayakumar was at loss of memory for any promises which he had made. I ended paying up around 10k extra for the accessories.

Since the DD had already been released to him by the leasing company, there was little that I could do. Now, I understand why Mr Jayakumar kept postponing sending any mail of freebies and prices of accessories, although I had asked him several times to send a mail on the discussions. Be very very careful if you are dealing with Mr. Jayakumar. Insist on a written communication of freebies and prices of accessories if you dont want to regret later.

On the day of delivery, I was asked to reach the showroom by 2:30pm, but the sales executive and the Safari were missing. Finally went to thier service station around 4:30 to find the Safari going to the washing line. I was told ealier by Concorde motors that as a part of TML policy, there is a default teflon polish which is done on all vehicles before delivery. No such coating was done on this vehicle in my presence. When I asked, I was told that it was already done. I really doubt as I dont see the "NEW SHINE" on my Safari.

PDI list from tbhp proved handy. While checking documents, I found these glaring issues:

- The Tax receipt invoice from RTO had a Chasis number which was not same as my vehicle. They promised to fix it but yet to get it done after 15 days of delivery.
- The original invoice and warranty card of the accessories were missing. They were dilly dallying when I asked for those doc.

Modfications/Accessories/Add-On Fitted
--------------------------------
1. Remote locking system. LX comes without it.
2. Body scalding and bumper with Earth Grey color.
3. Music System.
4. Reverse Parking Sensor
5. Lumar Sunfilm.
6. Took an AMC for 4 years and 40000 kms for Rs. 14600.

To be Installed
-----------
1. Front Bull Guard
2. Fog Lamps
3. Headlight bulb replacement. The original factory which comes in the vehicle are completely insufficient.
4. Snacks and Drinks Trays behind the front seats.(Places an order with TM and might take a week to come)

To be done during first Service
------------------------------
1. Reduce the Turning Radius.
2. Need to change the sunfilm to a darker shade of 3M. Dealership has put a very low shielding film.

Other Niggles faced till now
----------------------
1. Gear shifting suddenly became very loose when i went for drive one late night. Shifting from 3rd to second gear and fourth gear suddenly became very loose and then was fine the next day. Donno how.
2. Reverse gear doesnt engage properly.
3. Suspension was very jerky even in small speed breakers and low speeds: Finally I found that the dealership had filled the air in the wheel between pressure range of 45 - 48.

The recommended pressure is 30 for front and 35 for rear. It has got better after reducing the pressure in the wheels.
4. Lamp in glove box not working.
5. Cooling not effective in afternoons.
6. Strange screeching sound when steering to moved to the max.


Overall Experience
------------------
Its such a satisfying experience owning a Safari. I have done a 350kms trip to Penakonda Fort and Lepakshi. It was a comfortable non-tiring journey. The niggles are just minor ones and nothing which really affect the performance of the vehicle or the comfort level. I am looking forward to many long trips and long trip to Himalayas this year.

Posting some pics of my Safari. It was pretty late at night by the time I could get the delivery. So, pics are not clear.
Attached Thumbnails
Got my black Safari Delivered-img_1346.jpg  

Got my black Safari Delivered-img_1347.jpg  

Got my black Safari Delivered-img_1348.jpg  

Got my black Safari Delivered-img_1349.jpg  

Got my black Safari Delivered-img_1353.jpg  

Got my black Safari Delivered-img_1356.jpg  


Last edited by GTO : 17th March 2011 at 09:28. Reason: Adding your review & pictures to the opening post itself. Merged 3 of your posts
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Old 5th March 2011, 21:41   #2
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Default Re: Got my black Safari Delivered

Let me be the first to congratulate you! Enjoy the drives!

BTW, was that you at the HP petrol station in the evening around 7pm? I saw a brand new black LX with silver cladding.
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Old 5th March 2011, 21:43   #3
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Default Re: Got my black Safari Delivered

Quote:
Originally Posted by recker_us View Post
What is a Tata Safari without a niggle[/b]"? Hope it gets better with time so that the feeling of newness in the vehicle lingers on..

Cheers,
JP
Hey JP, let me be the 1st one to congratulate you on your beast and that too a black one .

Let us know some more about your buying experience and also why the Safari, etc.

and oh yes , pictures please ..

I dont understand why can't TATA cant have a niggle free ride .

Im sure this is first time some one have actually quoted Mr N.S Sidhu .


Cheers mate .
Drive safe .

Last edited by Schoudhury : 5th March 2011 at 21:44.
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Old 5th March 2011, 22:28   #4
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Default Re: Got my black Safari Delivered

The ad that you meantioned, is of Bajaj Avenger.

Congratulations and though you don't seem to mind them, I still wish you a niggle free ride!

EDIT: Pictures!!! Post pictures of your ride!

Last edited by Dry Ice : 5th March 2011 at 22:29.
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Old 5th March 2011, 22:34   #5
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Default Re: Got my black Safari Delivered

Welcome to the truckers club. Awaiting pictures whenever available. Hope you make your own lines and enjoy the high and mighty feeling on the road and do away with niggles asap. Drive safe!
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Old 5th March 2011, 22:58   #6
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Default Re: Got my black Safari Delivered

Congrats for the Safari. Even after so many years, the car still looks so graceful.
Waiting to hear more about the ownership experience and PICS!!
In the meanwhile, happy mile crunching.
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Old 5th March 2011, 23:07   #7
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Default Re: Got my black Safari Delivered

Congrats on buying the proven robust vehicle.
Hope you have a trouble free time ahead with it .
Would love to read more on your beast.
Planning to do any mods/upgrades in the near future?

Oh, and pics please!

Cheers and drive safe.
Sam
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Old 5th March 2011, 23:39   #8
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Default Re: Got my black Safari Delivered

Quote:
Originally Posted by recker_us View Post
3. Cooling in the hot afternoon has been poor. Even at fan speed of 3, the cooling was "Just Enough" but definitely not chill.
Congrats for the beast.

Get the vents and compressor/gas checked. I find Safari's AC pretty effective even in Pune Summer (~42 degrees). Bangalore will be cooler. I rarely go beyond 2nd step and do not use roof AC that often. Off course, I've Llumar sun control films on all windows, but, that should not bring about so much difference.

-BJ
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Old 5th March 2011, 23:51   #9
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Default Re: Got my black Safari Delivered

Do post a ownership experience ASAP or expect to see this thread closed pretty soon.

BTW
Congrats on the safari
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Old 6th March 2011, 00:00   #10
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Default Re: Got my black Safari Delivered

Congrats on your new drive. It seems to be raining Safaris in T Bhp!!!

Drive safe and keep the "grin" on!!!
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Old 6th March 2011, 07:19   #11
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Smile Re: Got my black Safari Delivered

Congratulations on the new buy. Safari is an amazing car.

Like the quote below
Quote:
Originally Posted by recker_us View Post
"What is a Kiss without a Squeeze?".. Similarly "What is a Tata Safari without a niggle"? Hope it gets better with time so that the feeling of newness in the vehicle lingers on..
The good thing about safari is all its niggles are known, and folks who buy safari are well researched, hence they know what to expect.
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Old 6th March 2011, 08:36   #12
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Default Re: Got my black Safari Delivered

Congrats on the new aquisition JP, hope you enjoy the Safari with many miles of trouble free ownership. And yes, pics please.
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Old 6th March 2011, 08:53   #13
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Default Re: Got my black Safari Delivered

Thank you all for your best wishes. Its a pleasure to be part of such a caring community.


Quote:
Originally Posted by samarth.bhatia View Post
Congrats on buying the proven robust vehicle.
Hope you have a trouble free time ahead with it .
Would love to read more on your beast.
Planning to do any mods/upgrades in the near future?

Oh, and pics please!

Cheers and drive safe.
Sam
Thanks Sam. I have already done a few updates to the beast:

Installed
------------
1. Remote locking system. LX comes without it.
2. Body scalding and bumper with Earth Grey color.
3. Music System.
4. Reverse Parking Sensor
5. Lumar Sunfilm.

To be done
-----------
1. Front Bull Guard
2. Fog Lamps
3. Headlight bulb replacement. The original factory which comes in the vehicle are completely insufficient.
4. Snacks and Drinks Trays behind the front seats.(Places an order with TM and might take a week to come)


Quote:
Originally Posted by amolpol View Post
Let me be the first to congratulate you! Enjoy the drives!

BTW, was that you at the HP petrol station in the evening around 7pm? I saw a brand new black LX with silver cladding.
Hey Amol.. Right, that was me.. Just got the delivery from KHT motors and HP is the nearest petrol bunk to it. I remember seeing a black Safari behind me at the bunk.. Wow!! great to be witnessed by a Tbhpians within minutes of getting the vehicle. With the kinda big community which tbhp has, the mod/founders venturing into News Reporting..

Pics: The Windows 7 OS on my new Laptop is acting a bit funny and not allowing the Digi driver to load after reporting a successful install. So, not able to transfer the pics to my laptop.. Sorry, you need to wait a bit more for the pics to come.. :-(

Last edited by recker_us : 6th March 2011 at 09:08. Reason: .
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Old 6th March 2011, 09:04   #14
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Default Re: Got my black Safari Delivered

I took the Safari for a ride along the Outer Ring Road last night. Around 3 kms before HomeTown, I could hear a long noise in the vehicle. Since it was dark and pretty late in night, Wifey suggested we drive on, especially in light of recent mugging incidents in Bangalore.

Checked the vehicle after reaching home, didnt see any problems anywhere. Even checked below the vehicle today morning. Nothing abnormal could be seen. I am still guessing what the noise was from.

Around 4 kms before reaching home, the small yellow indicator in the fuel indicator started glowing. Checking the manual back at home, suggested it is the low fuel indicator. That was pretty strange because the fuel gauge was still away from the Red Zone.
Went to the HP Petrol bunk, spent a princely Rs. 2300 to get it fully tanked. Fuel intake was 53.34 litres. The manual says that the fuel tank capacity is 65 liters. so looks like the "Low Fuel Indicator" got triggered even with 12 liters in the belly. Do we get the low fuel indication so early or is it malfunctioning?
Any advice, folks?
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Old 6th March 2011, 10:46   #15
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Default Re: Got my black Safari Delivered

Hi JP - Congrats on your buy. I wish you many miles of happy riding. Hope you have also taken the extended warranty and the AMC. Yes - what's a safari without a few niggles. I had to replace the entire clutch assembly within the first 5 day of buying my GX( more in my ownership review thread ). Thanfully, its behaving beautiful after that.

What kind of noise are you experiencing ?

As for the fuel gauge, in my experience, it starts glowing only when its just touching the Red zone. You may want to get it checked.

Again, many congratulations.
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