AUTO PUNDITZ

The New Tata Safari: Car Review

Updated: Mar 19, 2021

Tata Safari was India’s first, Made in India SUV. It was way ahead of time and continues to stay relevant today as a brand that has touched a million hearts.


One has to remember, that when TATA Motors launched the Safari, it already had two UV offerings. The Sumo and Sierra. So they had to go out of their way to establish Safari as a different product, which they did successfully.


For all of us the Indians, the Tata Safari was the first time we came across a true 4WD SUV. This had garnered tremendous popularity amongst auto enthusiasts.

Over the years we have seen many generations of the Safari. Right from 1998 to 2021. Let's have a quick look at the journey of Tata Safari before we dive into the car review.

1st Generation Safari ( 1998-2005 )


The 1st generation Tata Safari was a 2-litre diesel SUV. It attracted great attention for the spacious and muscular looks. It was dubbed as India’s own SUV as a response to the global launches in the SUV at that time. Tata never let the excitement die around the safari, there was constant marketing TVCs running, which helped build the Tata Safari into the cult brand it is today.


Tata didn’t stop with a one-time introduction product. There were constant refresh and facelifts. We saw the 2.1-litre petrol engine @135 BHP.


2nd Generation Safari ( 2005-2007 )

The major facelift or rather upgrade happened in 2005, the 3-litre Dicor Diesel engine got introduced here. Di-cor would remain a marketing effort right up to 2007. The engine had an output of 116 ps with its 5-speed gearbox.


We saw a lot of changes in the facelift. The front grill, interiors, tail lamps, headlamps all gave the safari a refreshed new look.


3rd Generation Safari ( 2007-2012)

The Dicor philosophy remained and this time it was a 2.2 Dicor engine, which would last for almost a decade with Tata Motors. The dual-tone interiors gave a healthy look. Safety features were in trend during this period ABS and EBD were big sales points.


The onslaught of the Scorpio from Mahindra was at its peak. This is when Safari started to lose its volumes and the customers started drifting to Mahindra. Tata did make strong efforts with great offers, financial schemes with the in house Tata motors finance during this period.


4th Generation Safari- Storme ( 20212-2019 )

Tata launched the Storme all over India in a phased manner. It was not a launch at one go. They had phased the launch state wise.


The Storme was based on the X2 platform. The X2 platform was a lot lighter this gave better management of power and better handling. The 2.2 litre engine continued with a new name of Varicor.


There were constantly limited editions launched and the upgrades kept on rolling. We had the honeycombed grill, which was rumoured to be inspired by the Marque of LR.

However, the onslaught from Mahindra and new entrants was rampant. Safari somewhere lost it’s mojo amongst the onslaught and gradually during the BS 6 migration we saw the Safari being phased out.


5th Generation Safari- ( 2020 to now )

It was in the auto expo where we saw the 'Gravitas' for the first time. The gravitas now has the Safari Badging and has will now take forward the baton of this legendry brand forward.

TATA SAFARI 2021 - CAR REVIEW:

We were lucky to get our hands on the adventure edition of the Safari. And our readers today can enjoy a detailed review of all the premium offerings of the car in one of it's best colours.

The elder sibling of the Harrier was launched this February 2021. The Gravitas which was shown at the 2020 auto expo, has now been officially named Tata Safari. The Three-row SUV has grabbed the attention of the public for all the right reasons. From aggressive SUV stance to feature-packed offerings.


Let’s dive deep and see if the SUV really stands up to its legendary name the SAFARI.

Price [ Ex-showroom Bangalore]

The Tata Safari ensures it’s entry-level is very attractively priced at below the 15 lakhs range. This ensures that you give Safari a look when you go beyond spending 13 lakhs+ for other SUVs.

Also, since it’s a spacious and three-seater SUV, it makes a very strong case for itself at this price point. It’s definitely a value buy at the entry-level.


As we climb up the price ladder for better variants in search of features upgrade, we start feeling the price increase is linear. If you look from the basic to the top trim ( manual & excluding the adventure editions) it is about a lakh costlier at each level up.

Colours

Here you are not spoilt for choice. Tata has kept it simple here.

They have given Four colour options.

· Orcus White

· Royale Blue

· Topical Mist

· Daytona Grey


The much-promoted red colour option, which is used by the MG hector+ is not available. Nor you have the silver colour options here.

What are the Hi 5’s, which you will love about the Safari

1.) Butch SUV looks

2.) Features loaded

3.) 170 PS raw power & great 6-speed auto.

4.) Great Ride and handling along with breaks at high speeds.

5.) Safety at its peak


Not so Hi5’s, which you may not like

1.) Poor boot space – 73 litres. Also, 3rd-row ingress and egress is difficult.

2.) Concerns over the long term reliability of Tata Service will always keep you in doubt.

3.) No petrol option.[ Almost all other OEMs in this segment offer it ]

4.) Heavy Steering

5.) NO 4x4 option.


Exteriors


Tata Continues with the tri arrow front grill. Keeps it simple and elegant. The Safari badging on the front bonnet adds to the SUV's appeal. The DRLs and Headlamps add to the overall style.

The design with a domineering stance and imposing proportions commands attention

The SUV's front look is true to the character and name of Safari. The Black under-bumper helps add to the off-roader look.


The 200 mm ground clearance is good for almost all terrains.


A closer look at the tri Arrow grill with the Tata Logo. The grill kept simple adds to the elegance. Generally, we would see this portion flooded with unwanted chrome lining.


The side stance is majestic. Adds to a stronger road presence. Right from proportionate tyre arch to the roof rails. The car seems proportionate and bold in design.


On the side rear, we can see the turn indicators wrapping the side to the rear.


The Rear looks equally proportionate. We can see bold lines being drawn across the rear door.


The rear lights are bright even during the day.


This is a signature design of each Tata Car on the rear glass, we see different animals reflecting the respective brand. We have seen this right from the Nexon to Harrier. On the Safari we see a Lion's family.


The door handles are dual-tone in colour. Wide, broad and strong. Fit for some rough usage.


The E-ORVM are dual-tone in colour and with turn indicators molded in. Add the overall style of the car.


The black cladding on the bottom, adds to