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Old 4th June 2024, 01:41   #1
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2023 Tata Safari Adventure Edition Review

“There is a tide in the affairs of men
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune"

- William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar

There are times when you don't really plan for something but an opportunity knocks unexpectedly and you make the most of it. My recent purchase of the outgoing edition (pre-facelift 2021 version) of the Tata Safari was exactly one such incident.

While I will cover that story as we go along, now that I have driven the car for over 3000 kms, here are my initial impressions:

Likes:
  • The looks! The Tropical Mist colour with the black highlights and grille in the Adventure edition makes the car a real head turner. Build quality is typical Tata (i.e. great) and the car has ample presence too. Also, this colour is a bit nostalgic for us as our first car the Matiz was of a similar (though darker and greener) hue.
  • The amount of space on offer inside. A usable third row and good leg space in the middle row with features like boss mode ensures that passengers in any row are comfortable
  • 360 degree camera with 3D simulation. Really helps in tight parking spots and the 3D simulation is excellent. Cameras are of good quality too
  • Amazing JBL sound system with lots of customization options. The balance can even be adjusted for individual speakers
  • Butter smooth AT mated to a powerful engine and multiple drive modes (Eco, City and Sport) makes this a great car for both the city and the highway. Auto Hold function is a boon in start and stop bumper to bumper traffic
  • Superb handling and body roll that is well contained
  • Good quality of materials and plastics - there is a premium feel about the car
  • The driver seat moves down when you open the door, and moves up when you close it, to facilitate egress and ingress. There are three memory seat settings too
  • Safety features such as 6 airbags, all disc brakes, ABS and EBD, rough road and wet road terrain modes, Hill Descent Control and Corner Stability Control, auto engagement of the EPB in Park mode
  • Comfort features such as wireless charging, ventilated driver and co-passenger seats, panoramic sunroof, cruise control, voice commands, auto headlamps and wipers, AC vent and controls in the 3rd row, two stage lumbar support for the driver

Dislikes:
  • Typical Tata issue with fit and finish persists. You would have thought that the maker of JLR cars from a segment and more above would have mature QA/QC processes by now, but that's still not the case
  • The AT has been tuned for smoothness and comfort and lacks outright responsiveness, especially when starting from a standstill. The car is anything but fast off the blocks
  • Ride quality at slower speeds is on the firmer side - the 18" wheels don't help. 16" would have been ideal.
  • Bluetooth disconnects at times (happened twice)
  • Light coloured interiors are a stain magnet - requires a lot of care and I had to ban eating in the car
  • The car is a bit high for the elderly to step into - I had to get side steps installed
  • Tailgate needs to be opened manually - there is no remote tailgate release of any kind
  • No cooled glovebox - instead a cooled armrest storage is provided between the front seats. However, it's too small.
  • Negligible storage space with all seats up - folding the last row means having to move the 2nd row two inches forward from the rearmost position, which reduces the leg space in the second row. If there are no passengers in the third row, it is better to keep the luggage on the seats, provided the luggage fits.
  • Not related directly to the car but Tata's inconsistent dealership experience is a huge negative. I almost ended up not buying this car because of one poor dealership experience (more about that later)

And with that, let me move on to the rest of the story. But before I do that, here is my Tata Safari XZA+ Adventure Edition in all her glory:

2023 Tata Safari Adventure Edition Review-img_2887.jpg

A pic of our first car, the Matiz thrown in for good measure. You can see why the Tropical Mist colour reminded us of the Matiz.

2023 Tata Safari Adventure Edition Review-img_0188.jpg


Some of the features I mentioned in the list above:

360 degree camera with 3D simulation

2023 Tata Safari Adventure Edition Review-img_3450.jpg


In reverse gear it switches to the rear camera. There is also an icon that shows which camera is in use

2023 Tata Safari Adventure Edition Review-img_3451.jpg


Infotainment screen display switches to the side cameras on turning on an indicator. The camera shows the view in the blind spot for the respective indicator - here the right side indicator was on.

2023 Tata Safari Adventure Edition Review-img_3452.jpg

Both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto work flawlessly. Plus there's wireless charging too so the phone never runs out of juice. Here's Apple CarPlay in action:

2023 Tata Safari Adventure Edition Review-img_3453.jpg


Hill Hold and Auto Hold are combined into a single function - auto hold in Drive mode overrides the creep function. The car will not move forward without further accelerator input and eliminates the need to use brakes. The Auto Hold indicator becomes green whenever it is engaged. I usually shift to N though even if Auto Hold is on.

2023 Tata Safari Adventure Edition Review-img_3456.jpg


While I really enjoy getting behind the wheel of the Safari, like I mentioned at the beginning, it was still an unplanned purchase. So how did I end up with this car?

Purchase background:

Well, it so happens that I was (and still am) quite happy and contented with my Vista D90, which has been my primary car and the epitome of reliability and niggle-free ownership over the last 11 years and 1.32 lakh kms (till now). The car has travelled with me to different parts of the country, and still does duty as the daily drive. Here's a link to the long term ownership report that also links to some of the TLs, for those who are interested, along with a pic of both the golden oldie and the new kid on the block together:

https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/long-...ml#post5611778 (Ten years and 120,000+ kms with a Tata Vista D90 | Ownership Review)

2023 Tata Safari Adventure Edition Review-img_3122.jpg

While I had no intention of parting with the Vista (something that holds good even now), at the back of my mind, I was painfully aware that it's living on borrowed time. With the NGT already banning diesel vehicles over ten years old in the NCR, and pollution levels in Calcutta being what they are, I am sure that it's only a matter of time before a similar ban is enforced in this part of the country. I didn't want to be caught on the wrong foot when that happened, and to that effect, was thinking of options ever since the Vista completed ten years last year.

Considering that EVs seem to be the vehicles of the future, I seriously grappled with the idea of getting one, as for a major part of the month the Vista runs in the city. However, I still couldn't convince myself that EVs (in their current form) are the future. For one, they are more expensive than their ICE counterparts for a similar set of features and have limitations both in terms of range and charging infrastructure availability. In other words, they are not convenient to run and since we value convenience more than anything else, I was and am pretty certain that EVs in their current avatar are passing fancies that will fade away and lead to something else, just like pagers and point and shoot cameras died with the advent of the cellphone, and push button phones were replaced by touch screen ones. As any vehicle that supersedes or replaces the Vista in the future would be utilized for highway drives too, and would be with me for at least five years if not more, it was imperative that it should be worry free and require only a minimum amount of planning for long trips, and be future proof for at least five years. In five years we should know where we are headed on ICE/EVs/Hybrids/H2/Flux Capacitor/Teleportation/Something else and I will invest in some other technology if it comes to that. So with this thought in mind, EVs were rejected as an option. (Disclaimer: the above is just my opinion and no disrespect is intended towards past, current and prospective EV owners)

Cars considered

The short answer to that is none, and the Safari just came and became the one despite that. Let me explain.

I had a pretty clear set of requirements in mind for any replacement of the Vista. The first thing was that my next car had to be a proper upgrade over the Vista, and cost no more than 25L OTR. I was also sure about buying the top variant and that too in diesel (the low end torque on tap coupled with the better fuel efficiency and lower maintenance and running cost of the Vista when compared to my Beat had spoilt me). This automatically ruled out the hatchbacks and compact sedans since none of them were an upgrade over the D90, except for boot space, and that really didn't matter much to me. That left the Sedan, MUV and SUV segments, but then none of those cars or variants in the <25 Lakhs price bracket appealed to me. I was anyway not interested in sedans because of their low ground clearance. None of the Mahindras grabbed my interest and in any case had it come down to choosing between a Mahindra and a Tata I would have gone for Tata because when both contenders have similar strengths and weaknesses, you go with the one you know best. I had a passing interest in the Creta and Seltos twins, but not enough to make me go to a showroom. In a pinch I would have considered them, but I wasn't in that desperate a situation. (Possibly the only car I would have seriously considered had it been still around would have been the Duster). So despite my misgivings about the NGT, I put the thought of getting a new car on the backburner till the time I was forced to choose a replacement for the Vista.

However, there is this thing called serendipity, and in my case it happened in the form of a promotional email from Tata Motors mentioning that the company was offering "lakhs off" on their cars. I was intrigued enough to open the email and found that the company was doing a stock clearance of some of the previous generation models - there were only a few variants of each type on offer but the Harrier was going for 20.89 Lakhs and the Safari for 20.99 lakhs ex-showroom, and that too for the top AT variants. That is how Tata entered the fray unchallenged and left with all my money.

I was actually on a trip to Balasore/Chandipur in my Vista and sitting at the breakfast table of the hotel when I saw the email. On a lark, I registered, and what do you know - within two minutes I received a call from Tata Motors. The lady at the other end wanted to know my location and which model I was interested in. I provided both. She confirmed both the availability and the price of the models on offer (exactly what was mentioned in the email). With INR 10k separating the Harrier and the Safari, I opted for the Safari even though we did not really need a 7-seater. Among the variants on offer were the Red Dark and Tropical Mist Adventure Edition in XZA+ trim. XZA+ (O) cars which included ADAS were also available but at a slightly higher price, but my preference was for the ones without ADAS.

Being an existing Tata owner, I was fully aware of the showrooms near my residence and opted for T C Motors Chinar Park. The lady from Tata Motors took down my details and said that someone from the dealership would contact me, and I thanked her and hung up. (The other showroom in the area is that of Lexus Motors, which is on the same road about 2 kms away and almost walking distance from my residence, but I chose to stay away from them because of this bad experience in the past: https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/india...ml#post5541768 (Pathetic Tata Nexon buying experience | Matrix-style bullet dodging personified) ).

Last edited by Neversaygbye : 13th June 2024 at 13:57.
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Old 6th June 2024, 02:08   #2
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Re: My Tata Safari Adventure Edition 2023 comes home!

This is where my rather interesting buying experience starts, or in other words,

How Tata Motors salvaged a sale despite the best efforts of one of their biggest dealers to scuttle it

Intrigued? Read on.

I received a call from Arnob Chakraborty, a Sales Advisor at T C Motors Chinar Park, within a few minutes of getting off the phone with the lady from Tata Motors. I had a similar discussion with him as I had with the lady and he confirmed the price and also sent me a screenshot of inventory available at the plant. I asked him about a test drive and he confirmed that they had a test drive Safari of the exact variant and also immediately scheduled the test drive. On the appointed day and time, the car was there at my residence along with a driver from the dealership (Arnob couldn't come and coordinated over phone) and I did a pretty extensive test drive on all kinds of roads at all kinds of speeds and also tested many of the features and modes. It was only the second time I was driving an AT and once I got used to the controls, the car was easy to operate despite its bulk. I found the gear changes smooth, though I felt that the AT wasn't the most responsive when it came to quick acceleration. The car wasn't a rocket off the blocks for sure, but was more of a locomotive. I spent over an hour driving the vehicle and at no point did the driver who'd brought the car show any kind of impatience. He was happy to answer all my questions too. He knew everything about the car as he had been taking it for test drives regularly. Both my better half Ananya and I were very impressed with the car's ride quality and handling. The HPS had exactly the same feel as my Vista and after a point I forgot about the bulk and was driving it like the Vista and at no point did the car lose composure. There was a time where I had Ananya check out the ride quality in the last row and she actually fell asleep there!

The XZA+ was working out to less than 25 lakhs OTR so we greenlit the car and settled on a Red Dark edition. Arnob confirmed the availability and we set a date and time when I would drop in at the showroom and complete the booking formalities. So far so good.

On the given day, Ananya and I dropped in at the showroom and met both Arnob and his manager Shubhadeep Chatterjee. Both of them were extremely cordial and enthusiastic to see us. They once again confirmed availability of the Red Dark edition and the price. I was on the verge of making out the cheque of INR 50K for the booking but laid down the condition that I would only make the full payment after a successful PDI prior to registration. I also wanted in writing that the booking amount would be refundable. It was at this exact point that things went south.

Arnob said he would need to check with Shubhadeep and in turn Shubhadeep said he would need to check with his GM on this condition. I was quite surprised since all this while I had believed that booking amounts are always refundable. Anyway, they asked for a couple of minutes of time and we had coffee and snacks while they went off to talk to someone. Some five-ten minutes later they came back with ashen faces (it was obvious that whoever they had spoken to had shot down the proposal and they could see a sale disappearing from in front of their eyes). They said that their Legal team had advised them to take a commitment in the form of a non-refundable booking amount as once the dealer requisitions a vehicle the dealership cannot return it to Tata for any reason (not sure how true this is) and in case I rejected the vehicle during PDI or changed my mind, they would be stuck with the vehicle. As this was a previous generation car, they would not be able to find other takers, if this happened. I said that while I was pretty sure that I would not change my mind there could still be other reasons to cancel and also if I found a problem with the vehicle during PDI then I would not be accepting it. They then tried to convince me that Tata honours all warranty claims and how the Safari was a tried and tested vehicle and didn't have any issues but obviously I wasn't biting. This was a very polite conversation and as I could see that both Arnob and Shubhadeep were trying very hard to find a way past what their Legal had told them, I told them that I was still keen on the vehicle but only under the conditions I'd mentioned and if they could find a way to honour those, they could let me know. With that Ananya and I walked out of the showroom.

The matter would have ended there - I was not desperate to buy a car in any case and I had figured that this non-refundable booking amount thing was a string attached with buying the outgoing model. However, sometime later in the day, I received a call from a Mr. Shashank Kumar at Tata Motors. He said that he had been intimated by T C Motors about the failed sale of the Safari and wanted to understand from me what had gone wrong. I explained to him the sequence of events and he asked me if I would still buy the car if my conditions were met. I replied in the affirmative. He said he would get back to me. Within a few minutes he called back and this time he also had the GM of T C Motors, Mr. Arup Ghosh on the line. However, Mr. Ghosh again tried to justify why the dealer had to take a non-refundable commitment from me, using the same arguments I had heard earlier. He also mentioned that he had spoken to the owner of T C Motors and tried to get an exception for my case but the owner had refused. By this time I was tired of the entire conversation which wasn't really going anywhere and I just thanked both of them and hung up.

A couple of days later, Shashank called me again. He said that the company was really sorry about my experience with T C Motors. He mentioned that T C Motors was one of their oldest, largest and most loyal dealers in Bengal, from the time that Tata Motors cars weren't selling as much and so the company usually deferred to their wishes. However, the company didn't want to lose a sale and if I was ok with another dealer, he would put me in touch with Rangeet, which is a new dealer in Calcutta (but a pretty old one in Siliguri). I said I was ok, as long as my conditions were met. He said that he had already discussed my case and my conditions with Mr. Ayaz Nadeem, the Sales Head at Rangeet, and got a confirmation from him that Rangeet would honour all my conditions. So if I was ok, he would ask Ayaz to call me. I replied in the affirmative and shortly thereafter received a call from Ayaz Nadeem. To cut a long story short, he confirmed that Rangeet would honour all my conditions including the one on making the payment only after the PDI. He also confirmed that the booking amount would be refundable.

Having understood the importance of having a face to face conversation and getting everything in writing, Ananya and I drove down to Rangeet to make the booking. We met Ayaz and he personally handled our case along with the SA assigned to us, Abhishek Chatterjee. The dealership agreed to all our conditions, and I was happy to hand over the cheque for the booking to Abhishek. I received everything in writing and the entire process including detailed price break ups was super transparent as well. We checked whether the insurance was cheaper outside but as there was hardly any difference, went with the dealer's quote. I opted for RTI with bumper to bumper cover through SBI General Insurance.

While we had already decided on the Red Dark, I casually happened to mention to Ayaz that we had never seen the Red Dark in real life (the test drive vehicle was a Dark edition and not Red Dark). He said that they had the exact same model getting readied for delivery on the first floor and we could have a look at it. When we had a look at the car, we felt that the red bits were a bit overdone, especially on the seats. As I am not a fan of chrome (one of the main reasons for selecting the Red Dark), I asked him to check what other options were available. It turned out that the Tropical Mist Adventure edition which comes with black highlights and a non-chrome grille was also available and we immediately switched to that. Ayaz confirmed the availability and the same was updated in the booking documents that the dealership handed over.

The dealership also helped us with financing the purchase through their in-house partner SBI. I checked with the other banks where I have an account and as none of them could match or better SBI's rate we went with SBI. The bank was given strict instructions to only approve the loan and not disburse it till I told them to do so.

Thereafter the delivery process started - Ayaz kept updating me regularly over Whatsapp and once the car was allotted, he sent me the VIN and Engine No. I decoded the VIN and it turned out to be an August 2023 manufactured car. This was okay with me. As the Safari had been launched in February 2021, this meant that Tata had had more than two and a half years to sort out any issues, and I was reasonably confident that the car would be niggle free like my Vista. Shashank was also monitoring the progress from his end and assured me that the company would thoroughly check the car again before dispatching it from the plant. The company dispatched the car from the plant within a few days and in about another week's time it had reached Rangeet's stockyard in Garden Reach and was ready for the PDI.

PDI and Delivery Experience

We reached the stockyard on the agreed day and I was carrying the TBHP PDI checklist on my phone and systematically checked and ticked off everything on it.

The car, despite being dirty, looked glorious in the afternoon sun and Ananya and I immediately fell in love with it.

2023 Tata Safari Adventure Edition Review-img_1412.jpg

2023 Tata Safari Adventure Edition Review-img_1413.jpg

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I matched the VIN and Engine nos. with those shared with me by Ayaz. Everything checked out. I then did a walkaround and also had the person present at the yard show and demonstrate each and every feature of the car. Many of these such as the ventilated seats, the one touch down (and up) driver side window, the electronic parking brake, the auto folding ORVMs, the auto-dimming IRVM, the location of the DEF tank, how to lower the spare wheel, etc. were new to us. We thoroughly checked everything, including the lights, ventilated seats, music system, sunroof, AC, et al. I even moved the car forward and back a little to check the engagement of the transmission and the brake.

2023 Tata Safari Adventure Edition Review-img_1419.jpg


I also checked out the engine bay and paid special attention to the connections and the clips.


2023 Tata Safari Adventure Edition Review-img_1426.jpg

2023 Tata Safari Adventure Edition Review-img_1428.jpg


We checked out the Odo and the car was at 19 kms. The only thing we found amiss was the low amount of fuel in the car, but Ayaz promised that there would be 5 litres in the car at the time of delivery.

Both Ananya and I found nothing to complain about and we immediately informed Ayaz that we would be proceeding with the rest of the formalities. From the stockyard, we drove down to the showroom and handed over the cheque for the down payment and also gave a go ahead to the bank to disburse the loan.

An ancient Vista parked outside a swanky new Tata Motors showroom must have raised a few eyebrows!

2023 Tata Safari Adventure Edition Review-img_1431.jpg

2023 Tata Safari Adventure Edition Review-img_1432.jpg


The wait for delivery wasn't very long. The next day someone from Rangeet's accessories department called. Since this was the fully loaded version, there wasn't much in terms of accessories that were required other than 7D mats and a car cover (I rejected these from the dealer as they were much cheaper outside), and side steps and a frame for each of the number plates (these I took). The dealer was also giving a set of basic mats free on our request. Seat covers were out because of the airbags and the ventilated front seats.

Rangeet was getting the registration done too and as they would deliver the car in drive away condition, we had to wait another 4 days till the time the registration was completed.

Finally, on 23rd March 2024, the car was ready for delivery and we reached the showroom at about noon.

I completed the rest of the formalities including taking the extended warranty. Since I opted for only the 5 years road tax, the final OTR cost came to 23.76 Lakhs including everything.

2023 Tata Safari Adventure Edition Review-qfrw3497.jpg


The new car was waiting for us.

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Rangeet had done everything they had said they would and the overall experience with them was nothing short of exceptional. I told Shashank and Ayaz as much - without their personal interest and intervention Tata Motors would have surely lost a customer.

Here's a pic of Abhishek handing over the symbolic key to me.

2023 Tata Safari Adventure Edition Review-img_1523.jpg

We had kept this purchase under wraps from everyone in my family and friends circle including my in-laws so imagine my mother-in-law's surprise when we asked her to come to the showroom without telling her why.

2023 Tata Safari Adventure Edition Review-img_1520.jpg


My parents could not go to the showroom and we brought the cake given by Rangeet back home and had a small cake-cutting ceremony with my parents.

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My mother was delighted with the new beast.

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Two Tatas in the garage now.

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Finally it was time to cage the beast, before calling it a day.

2023 Tata Safari Adventure Edition Review-img_1535.jpg

Last edited by Neversaygbye : 12th June 2024 at 19:03.
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Old 9th June 2024, 21:36   #3
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Re: My Tata Safari Adventure Edition 2023 comes home!

First impressions, the good and the bad, and driving experience.

Since many of the features of the car have been mentioned under likes and dislikes, I will limit my comments to my impression of the car, now that I have driven it for over 3000 kms.

First off, this car has presence. Both from the inside and outside. Sitting on the inside, you feel that you are towering over all the small cars on the road, and they give respect too (barring autorickshaws and yellow taxis / app cabs in Calcutta who do not give respect to anyone!) The driver's seat gives a commanding view of the road. It is easy to find the perfect seating position thanks to both vertical and horizontal seat adjustment (along with tilt and telescopic steering) and the three memory settings for the seat. I'm 5'11" and I did not have the issue with my left leg touching the dashboard that had been reported as a problem with the first gen Harrier. (This was one thing I had also checked during the test drive). There is a decent dead pedal too. However, I felt that the seats of my Vista have better under thigh support, even if marginally so.

From the outside, I find the Adventure edition a little more macho than the standard edition thanks to the blacked out grille, but this is subjective. I find the proportions excellent - everything comes together nicely and I'm yet to come across someone who doesn't like the looks of the car.

2023 Tata Safari Adventure Edition Review-xrud4589.jpg


Fit and finish have always been the weakest points with Tata (and not reliability and service, despite what you might have heard - those were true 20 years ago. They have come a long way from those days). Those bugbears remain though the number of issues have come down.

There was a minor paint defect in one place on the roof and a JBL logo on one of the speakers came off while cleaning the dashboard. The first is a perfect example of a finish issue and though the JBL logo came off while wiping the dash, in my opinion that should not have happened either. Tata needs to take a leaf out of the book of Hyundai and Kia when it comes to fit and finish. They need to bring in better trained inspectors at their plants and use better tech to detect and fix QC issues.

Minor paint defect on the roof - it is not really noticeable unless one looks closely and I had missed it during the PDI. The service centre fixed it in the first service.

2023 Tata Safari Adventure Edition Review-cvbj4949.jpg


The JBL logo that came off while cleaning the dashboard. Was re-fixed easily.

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Everything else is fine. Considering that a lot of the paint on my Vista is still stock, I am hoping that the paint job on the Safari will be just as durable. Time will tell. I did get underbody anti-rust protection done at the service centre on the first service, though, like I'd got done with the Vista.

So how does the Safari AT drive?

Unhurriedly would be the best way to describe it.

It does not fly off the blocks. It gathers pace and momentum. Especially with the auto gearbox, if you floor the pedal from zero there will be a lot of noise and very little action. Also, the mileage will go down to single digits immediately. The car rewards smooth acceleration and deceleration. Pedal to the metal works only after the turbo has spooled in at 1750 revs and the pull is especially awesome in Sports mode, but beware, you will be lucky to get even 8 kmpl with that kind of driving. Gentle and smooth acceleration and deceleration will get you between 10-11 kmpl in the city (even in Sports mode) and anything between 13-15 kmpl on the highway (the car's sweet spot for fuel efficiency is 90-110 kmph in Eco mode). If you're looking for mileage, stay away from the Safari and especially the AT. Also stay away if driving in bumper-to-bumper crawling traffic is what you'll be doing most of the time.

On the go, the transmission does its job perfectly and gearshifts are hardly noticeable. There is a lot of power on tap and it is effortless to drive the behemoth. Mid-range drivability is awesome and the car can cruise all day at triple digit speeds. Overtaking is a breeze thanks to the punchy mid range. Just remember that as this is a TC auto gearbox and not a DCT, the AT takes a micro-second more to down-shift on an overtake - power surge is not as instantaneous as in a manual or DCT, so slightly more margin is required.

In terms of NVH, the cabin is really quiet and hardly any clatter from the diesel mill comes in. Wind and tyre noise are extremely well damped too, even at three digit speeds. The only time it gets noisy is when you try to get off the blocks fast from a standstill - the engine and gearbox combo then make their displeasure known rather loudly. Being used to the quick acceleration of the Vista, I was initially driving with a heavy foot and it took me some time to get used to the slower acceleration in the Safari. However, the car is no slouch and once you get past the initial lag, there is a lot of power on tap. It is more of a Michael Johnson than a Usain Bolt.

This car is also fun to drive in the hills. I went up to Lava in the Himalayan foothills of North Bengal a couple of weeks back on a TeamBHP family trip to the Dooars and the car climbed up and came down without a fuss.

2023 Tata Safari Adventure Edition Review-img_3265.jpg


It could carry speed into the corners thanks to Corner Stability Control, and hairpin bends were dismissed contemptuously. While the XZA+ comes with Auto Hold and Hill Descent Control I never needed to use these features - the road was mostly wide and there wasn't much traffic.

2023 Tata Safari Adventure Edition Review-img_3272.jpg


However, I did use the terrain modes that the car comes with - on one particularly bad surface I used the rough road mode and while returning there was a section of road that was wet and slippery thanks to Cyclone Remal passing by some hours ago and I used the wet road mode on that stretch. In both cases the car seemed to grip the road better. I kept an eye on the fuel efficiency and it did not get impacted. The Safari XZA+ comes with all disc brakes and they do their job extremely well. The car holds its composure on hard braking.

Coming back to the hill drive, one other thing was how well the body roll is contained in such a tall car. There was minimal sideways movement while climbing and descending and we were thoroughly impressed. The suspension, though a bit on the firmer side, is pliant - bad roads are dismissed though one needs to take speedbreakers slowly. There is also no bounciness and the two levels of lumbar support provided with the driver's seat also ensures that both the passengers and the driver remain comfortable on long drives. One can drive this car all day and not get tired at all. On our North Bengal trip, we started from Calcutta at about 9 pm and reached our resort in Dooars at about 2 pm the next day - a total of 17 hours including breaks for dinner, tea, coffee, breakfast, etc. It was almost 700 kms of driving and despite going without sleep for over 24 hours, driving all night and half of the next day, there was hardly any fatigue. In fact we just slept for a couple of hours after arriving at the resort and were ready to rock again in the evening!

The gang minus cdibya who did duty as the photographer:

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BHPians all: From L-R edunata, yours truly, ABHI_1512, rdas81, cdibya, Aenkay91 and Sandman689

2023 Tata Safari Adventure Edition Review-iwuw5533.jpg


Coming back to our drive which involved a lot of night driving, the HID headlamps of the Safari are competent and at no time did I find the illumination inadequate. (The facelift comes with LEDs and EPS, but I'm a fan of neither and this was another reason why I was interested in the outgoing model and not the facelift).

Tata has got the balance between handling and comfort bang on in the Safari. Great ride quality and internal space combined with comfortable seats that are neither too soft nor too firm, makes this THE car to buy for long highway drives. Passengers will love the comfort and the driver will love the handling and things like adaptive cruise control. The car is the very definition of a cruiser.

The only negative is that this will become a five-seater or a six-seater on anything more than a day trip - as I mentioned earlier, there is absolutely no space to keep any kind of luggage with all seats up and what with the panoramic sunroof, the roof rails are not usable either. (The Safari in the non sunroof version does come with usable roof rails).

Some of the other things

I was interested in the outgoing model of the Safari not JUST because it was available at a discount - that happened to be the icing on the cake that brought it within my budget. I have been following the new Safari (and the Harrier) from the time that they were launched. The Safari should have been called the Gravitas though - for me the original 2.2 Dicor and Storme are still what I associate with the Safari name. Anyway, one thing that is true for this renamed car despite its shortcomings (no 4x4, monocoque, FWD) is that thanks to the brilliant ride and handling this car will also let you #reclaimyourlife

But I digress. One of the main reasons for going ahead with this purchase was precisely because it was the outgoing model and not the facelift. I am a big believer in the theory that Tata does beta testing of its freshly baked vehicles through early adopters, and it takes some time for the product to reach maturity. Till that time, there are niggles. We bought both the Indica V2 and the Vista when they had been in the market for a couple of years or more, and both of them rewarded us with reliability and durability over a lakh of kms each. No reason to change a winning strategy, then.

While many of the changes in the facelift are cosmetic, some things like the EPS, some of the electronics and even the software are new. Also, as I mentioned earlier, the EPS and LEDs in the facelift do not excite me. So even if it had been within my budget, I would not have considered the facelift, at least for a year. Also, the facelift rides on 19" alloys and my car runs on 18" ones, and I would any day go for more sidewall rather than less, considering the state of our roads. In fact , like I mentioned earlier, even the 18" alloys in my car are too much - the non-alloy variant of the outgoing Safari had 16" steel wheels and those would have been ideal.

Having said that, there are still two features that would have been good to have in my version of the Safari:
  • Gesture controlled powered tail gate release. It's a pain to physically open the tailgate every time and this is the one feature in the facelift that I miss most in my car
  • Built in window shades

Like I mentioned briefly earlier on in the thread, I had the option of getting the model with ADAS and chose to forego it - I live in a super congested city where no one maintains safe distance and all types of vehicles keep cutting across all the time. Lane driving is next to impossible in some stretches and autonomous braking would just increase the chances of a rear ending, in my opinion.

First service experience

I am no stranger to Tata authorized service since my Vista is serviced at a TASC and the V2 was as well. Other than their lack of attention to detail (which continues to be a problem), I haven't had too many reasons to complain in the twenty years that our cars have been going to different TASCs in Calcutta. I have seen the way Tata has tried to improve the service experience in recent times - from regular feedback (without the request to give a good rating that they used to make till even a few years back) to sharing an escalation matrix to opening new service centres (OSL being the latest one). While there is still a lot of scope for improvement (and for more service centres - the existing ones are still overloaded), Tata is moving in the right direction and I hope that they'll continue to do that.

Considering the long term relationship built over the better part of a decade with my service advisor, I chose to stick with my current TASC (that services the Vista) rather than go to the dealer Rangeet's TASC, for the first service of the Safari. The service was due between 1000-2000 kms or two months and though the car had completed just 1182 kms in 2 months, I got the service done as per the schedule. It was eventless - the service centre updated the software to the May 2024 version, did the underbody protection treatment on my request, and refilled the DEF. My SA also said that they had to do a regen thanks to a lot of soot in the DPF. (On that note, I haven't had any DPF clogging issues so far despite driving the car in crawling traffic on multiple occasions. Am keeping my fingers crossed). On the highway drives I was getting a slight vibration in the steering at three digit speeds so there was also balancing and alignment required. The DEF cost 910 and with the underbody rust protection treatment and wheel alignment the total bill came to 4040 bucks.

Current status and parting thoughts

With the Vista still being the primary car in the city, the Safari sees very little action during the week and comes out of the garage only on weekends and for road trips. Despite that, the car has still done 3000+ kms in less than 3 months of purchase.

A few long drives contributed to that.

Since the car had hardly been driven post purchase, we had been toying with the idea of a short overnight highway trip and had thought about staying at a river front resort at Kolaghat, which is about 70 kms from Calcutta. We decided to put this plan into action on a Saturday morning in April when we had nothing planned for the weekend. Since my mother hardly gets to travel, we took her along. Our plans were flexible and we had not made any bookings - we thought that we'd have lunch at our usual place on the route, Azad Hind Dhaba first and then decide whether to continue onwards or return based on timing. We had packed our bags, nonetheless.

2023 Tata Safari Adventure Edition Review-img_2726.jpg


At Azad Hind Dhaba for lunch. Since we reached early and lunch took less time than we thought it would, we decided to head on to Mandarmani about 120 kms further down, knowing that we would reach by evening.

2023 Tata Safari Adventure Edition Review-img_2727.jpg


We stayed in a basic but functional place called Blue Lagoon - this was the very same place where we had stayed on our first Mandarmani trip with the V2 on the Independence Day weekend back in 2008.

Here is a pic of us with the V2, from that trip

2023 Tata Safari Adventure Edition Review-dscn2673.jpg


Everything was almost the same, from the paint scheme down to the CRT TV in the room and the AC. It was interesting to find that time had almost stood still here.

2023 Tata Safari Adventure Edition Review-img_2736.jpg


Back in 2008, one had to drive on the beach to reach this resort. While that is no longer required (or possible), the resort has retained its USP of direct beach access.

2023 Tata Safari Adventure Edition Review-img_2760.jpg


An unexpected bonus was running into my childhood friend and classmate from kindergarten in Mandarmani. His mother had come too, and it was a reunion of both our mothers after many years.

2023 Tata Safari Adventure Edition Review-img_2745.jpg


It was good to be back in Mandarmani after more than a year. The last time was during this TeamBHP meet in November 2022 https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/team-...ml#post5450215 (Weekend at Mandarmoni - Kolkata Team-BHP Meet)

We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves on this trip - my mother especially so as she hardly gets to travel much these days.

In fact, we enjoyed our trip so much that once we realized that my niece had a day off at her school resulting in an extended weekend, we decided to drive down to Mandarmani again in May .

2023 Tata Safari Adventure Edition Review-img_2981.jpg


2023 Tata Safari Adventure Edition Review-img_3046.jpg

This time we stayed at the Sea Star which is an excellent place other than the fact that they do not enforce swimming pool rules.

2023 Tata Safari Adventure Edition Review-img_2963.jpg


The car completed 1000 kms on this trip.

2023 Tata Safari Adventure Edition Review-img_3056.jpg


May was an eventful month for the car. Post the Mandarmani trip and the first service, the car went to North Bengal on the Dooars trip that I mentioned earlier.

We stayed at Ramsai Tea resort, which is an erstwhile manager's residence that has been converted into a hotel of sorts within a functional tea garden. We had the entire resort to ourselves and had a great time.

2023 Tata Safari Adventure Edition Review-img_3130.jpg


The team with our respective rides near the tea estate where we stayed:

2023 Tata Safari Adventure Edition Review-wayo0845.jpg


That added another 1500+ kms to the ODO and with some city driving also thrown in for good measure, the car has completed over 3000 kms now.

2023 Tata Safari Adventure Edition Review-img_3386.jpg


The car has been awesome to drive and trouble free so far and I am hopeful that it will remain that way in the future as well. There are multiple reasons that make the Safari/Harrier twins a compelling buy, some of which I have mentioned here. While Tata's fit and finish QC is still not upto the standard of some of its competition, the fundamentals of their vehicles are superb and one can overlook the minor issues and buy this car with their eyes closed. I, for one, am very happy with my purchase and will keep updating this thread as and when the car completes more milestones. Thanks a lot for reading this thread.

Last edited by Neversaygbye : 13th June 2024 at 13:46.
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Old 13th June 2024, 19:57   #4
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Re: 2023 Tata Safari Adventure Edition Review

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 14th June 2024, 11:43   #5
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Re: 2023 Tata Safari Adventure Edition Review

Amazing detail and review there @neversaygbye!!

Let me congratulate you on your wonderful acquisition. I too have the exact same variant, albeit in Orcus white. My ownership experience, likes and dislikes have been pretty much like yours - am just completing 10,000 on ODO. I have been wanting to write a review but it may now look very similar to yours but I'll still give it a try.

Happy mile munching with Safari - that is exactly its forte!
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Old 14th June 2024, 12:42   #6
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Re: 2023 Tata Safari Adventure Edition Review

Congratulations on the purchase! Tropical mist with blacked out grills is actually one of the better colours for Harrier/Safari and it is a pity they discontinued it. The exterior colour options on new update is not to everyone's liking.
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Old 14th June 2024, 13:04   #7
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Re: 2023 Tata Safari Adventure Edition Review

Excellent review. The car looks great.
How is the experience compared to Vista in long trips. Is there anything you felt is missing.

Did you also test drive Harrier since you did not require a 7-seater.
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Old 14th June 2024, 13:24   #8
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Re: 2023 Tata Safari Adventure Edition Review

Congrats on your purchase.

I got my Safari just last Saturday from Rangeet as well, n TBH, i paid in full post PDI. This is something that the dealer themselves offered, i didn't have to haggle about it. So, I guess, it's their SOP then.

My experience with Rangeet has been good, and similar for TC Motors. I had visited there as well and met a sales person, i intentionally told him that I was planning to buy post 4 months. He stopped sharing details over whatsapp

Here's mine at Kachua Baba Lokenath Dham.

2023 Tata Safari Adventure Edition Review-whatsapp-image-20240613-11.15.16-am.jpeg
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Old 14th June 2024, 14:24   #9
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Re: 2023 Tata Safari Adventure Edition Review

What a well written thread! This purchase was indeed a surprise to us on the group, but glad that it was a very very pleasant surprise. I'm sure this car will serve you well for the coming decade, if not more.

We used to struggle to keep up with the Vista on the highways, now with the Safari you'll have to allow us to start a few hours before you so that we all reach the destination at the same time
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Old 14th June 2024, 16:25   #10
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Re: 2023 Tata Safari Adventure Edition Review

Congratulations on your purchase. The car does looks stunningly beautiful. I think the outgoing model looks better than the current one. Your blog about the whole experience was very detailed. Wish you many more happy years with this beast.
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Old 14th June 2024, 23:30   #11
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Re: 2023 Tata Safari Adventure Edition Review

The Team-Bhp official reviews are available for reading a review of a car & we all know how detailed and unbiased they are.

But the essence of the ownership reviews lies elsewhere. They are meant to share a review of the car, a story & an emotional connect between the owner & the car. Plus the owner updates the thread from time to time regarding the servicing and how the car is performing in the long run. This gives a very good insight for the existing owners as well as for the prospective buyers.

You have covered all the above aspects beautifully and in detail. This review will be very helpful for any prospective Safari buyer.

Last but not least, congrats to you and your family on this wonderful acquisition. I wish you lacs of happy miles with the Safari.
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Old 15th June 2024, 08:57   #12
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Re: 2023 Tata Safari Adventure Edition Review

Amazingly detailed Review! The Safari is really a champion of a car and that too in the shade of choice looks sophisticated and aggressive at the same time...I think the car perfectly matches your persona!
Out of the short time I could spend with the car the clear takeaway was that the car exudes quality. The interiors are extremely posh. I can confidently say this car will keep all its passengers and the one behind the wheel in utmost comfort during endless hours of drives. You mentioned the ride being on the stiffer side, I actually loved the feel. Very planted and matured.
Here's to beautiful journeys and winds from behind !

Cheers.
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Old 15th June 2024, 13:13   #13
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Re: 2023 Tata Safari Adventure Edition Review

Congratulations on your new acquisition. It reminded me of the roller coaster ride we had in finalizing the Safari as our new car. I had picked up the Dark Edition as my ride and ever since I had been thinking about writing a review about it and had I written one it would have been almost similar to what you have written. My car will be completing a year this month end and we did almost 13,500 km of niggle free ride (touch wood). The car per se is built like a tank and recently we did a 5000 km road trip covering Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. In our entire trip not even once the car gave me any trouble. The only issue I have faced is the lackadaisical attitude of the service centre. Till now the car has undergone three routine services and not even once they have returned the car properly washed and cleaned. Also every time they ensure to put their trademark in the form of a new scratch.

Thank you for sharing such a wonderful review. Keep on munching miles.
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Old 16th June 2024, 01:00   #14
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Re: 2023 Tata Safari Adventure Edition Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodie09 View Post
Amazing detail and review there @neversaygbye!!

Let me congratulate you on your wonderful acquisition. I too have the exact same variant, albeit in Orcus white. My ownership experience, likes and dislikes have been pretty much like yours - am just completing 10,000 on ODO. I have been wanting to write a review but it may now look very similar to yours but I'll still give it a try.

Happy mile munching with Safari - that is exactly its forte!
Thank you. Glad that my views resonated with yours. Please do write the review - I'm looking forward to reading it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldcontessafan View Post
Congratulations on the purchase! Tropical mist with blacked out grills is actually one of the better colours for Harrier/Safari and it is a pity they discontinued it. The exterior colour options on new update is not to everyone's liking.
I agree. I think they removed it to create some distinction with the Punch that also comes in the same colour. I also don't like the colour options of the facelift - they're too conventional.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kousikjana View Post
Excellent review. The car looks great.
How is the experience compared to Vista in long trips. Is there anything you felt is missing.

Did you also test drive Harrier since you did not require a 7-seater.
Thanks! We did check out the Harrier - especially the boot and the second row, but we did not test drive it. We felt there wasn't much difference in terms of boot space, though the Safari floor with the 3rd row seats folded is not flat. We also felt that 2nd row space in the Safari was not compromised despite the extra seats. So we went for it.

Regarding the Vista, the Safari is more confidence inspiring at higher speeds because of better handling and also I don't have to slow down on bad roads on the Safari as much as I had to in the Vista. I miss the mileage of the Vista, though. It would return 19 kmpl even if I consistently drove it at 3 digit speeds. The Safari doesn't get anywhere close to that number.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bosespeaks View Post
Congrats on your purchase.

I got my Safari just last Saturday from Rangeet as well, n TBH, i paid in full post PDI. This is something that the dealer themselves offered, i didn't have to haggle about it. So, I guess, it's their SOP then.

My experience with Rangeet has been good, and similar for TC Motors. I had visited there as well and met a sales person, i intentionally told him that I was planning to buy post 4 months. He stopped sharing details over whatsapp

Here's mine at Kachua Baba Lokenath Dham.
Thanks! Your car in this shade looks awesome! Wish you many happy miles with it. I think Tata has limited control over its legacy dealers. But now with new dealers being appointed and this kind of feedback on this forum (I am sure Tata follows these posts), the days of the legacy dealers are numbered. They can throw around as much attitude as they like but then people will vote with their feet, just like you and I did.

Quote:
Originally Posted by boniver View Post
What a well written thread! This purchase was indeed a surprise to us on the group, but glad that it was a very very pleasant surprise. I'm sure this car will serve you well for the coming decade, if not more.

We used to struggle to keep up with the Vista on the highways, now with the Safari you'll have to allow us to start a few hours before you so that we all reach the destination at the same time
Thank you. If anything I will be arriving everywhere well after you guys reach just to avoid having to refuel the beast multiple times (which is what I'll have to do if I drive it like the Vista). You can check with the folks who went on the Dooars trip. I was mostly bringing up the rear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OpenRoads View Post
Congratulations on your purchase. The car does looks stunningly beautiful. I think the outgoing model looks better than the current one. Your blog about the whole experience was very detailed. Wish you many more happy years with this beast.
Thanks! I also think that the earlier model looked better. In fact Tata's new design language with the facelifts reminds me of Hyundai. The earlier design was a lot more unique, I feel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samba View Post
The Team-Bhp official reviews are available for reading a review of a car & we all know how detailed and unbiased they are.

But the essence of the ownership reviews lies elsewhere. They are meant to share a review of the car, a story & an emotional connect between the owner & the car. Plus the owner updates the thread from time to time regarding the servicing and how the car is performing in the long run. This gives a very good insight for the existing owners as well as for the prospective buyers.

You have covered all the above aspects beautifully and in detail. This review will be very helpful for any prospective Safari buyer.

Last but not least, congrats to you and your family on this wonderful acquisition. I wish you lacs of happy miles with the Safari.
Thanks a lot! Your reviews are the ones I refer to whenever I sit down to write a review - they are like review best practices. I actually read through your Jimny review multiple times while writing this thread. Usually my reviews are more about the drive and overall feel than the technical details but this time I included a lot more detail using your review as a guide. Still, I think I only scratched the surface and I'm happy that you and others liked it despite that.

Wish you lakhs of happy miles with the Jimny too!

Quote:
Originally Posted by shourya_lahiri View Post
Amazingly detailed Review! The Safari is really a champion of a car and that too in the shade of choice looks sophisticated and aggressive at the same time...I think the car perfectly matches your persona!
Out of the short time I could spend with the car the clear takeaway was that the car exudes quality. The interiors are extremely posh. I can confidently say this car will keep all its passengers and the one behind the wheel in utmost comfort during endless hours of drives. You mentioned the ride being on the stiffer side, I actually loved the feel. Very planted and matured.
Here's to beautiful journeys and winds from behind !

Cheers.
Thanks! I am glad that you liked the short test ride (and not drive ) - I agree that the car is actually very comfortable. In fact comfort is a USP of Tata cars and not restricted to the Safari alone. Even the Nexon and the Vista are very comfortable - I think the extra weight helps and also Tata tune their suspension very well. Despite that, I think that with a lower sized rim, the ride quality of the Safari would have been even better. Anyway, I'm not complaining.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kkumar View Post
Congratulations on your new acquisition. It reminded me of the roller coaster ride we had in finalizing the Safari as our new car. I had picked up the Dark Edition as my ride and ever since I had been thinking about writing a review about it and had I written one it would have been almost similar to what you have written. My car will be completing a year this month end and we did almost 13,500 km of niggle free ride (touch wood). The car per se is built like a tank and recently we did a 5000 km road trip covering Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. In our entire trip not even once the car gave me any trouble. The only issue I have faced is the lackadaisical attitude of the service centre. Till now the car has undergone three routine services and not even once they have returned the car properly washed and cleaned. Also every time they ensure to put their trademark in the form of a new scratch.

Thank you for sharing such a wonderful review. Keep on munching miles.
Thanks and congratulations to you as well on your car and also for fully using the potential of the car. Did you have to refill the DEF during your 5000 km trip? I agree on the service centres - they do a good job on the things they DON'T miss. Attention to detail is severely missing and this is because of the lackadaisical attitude. Also, I think the service centres are overloaded and this is something that Tata needs to address on priority. A company can't afford to sell a 30 lakh car and not provide exceptional service.
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Old 17th June 2024, 01:06   #15
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Re: 2023 Tata Safari Adventure Edition Review

Another TATA finds a pride of place in your home and we are delighted. A very uniquely written review of the Safari where the scope of the car is described more attentively than the finer technical details. Technical details can be found in any official review, it's the owner's point of view which is the bedrock of any review here in the forum and I am glad that those details have found their way through in your writing. That Safari is a brilliantly put together product is well known to us, what I was surprised to find was how well the big car behaved on the highways.

I wish you many successful and trouble free miles with your Safari. I am sure it will be well looked after like your Vista and I know for a fact that this Safari is poised to run the length and breadth of the country, much more than the Vista perhaps. Many congratulations on the acquisition,

Regards.
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