Hey guys as i have told before my dad owns this beast. Sorry for being late in starting this thread. My dad's Safari is an EX model light green color( don know the official name which TATA has given for this color). My dad is always a big fan of SUV's and prefers mostly TATA only always. We had a TATA Sierra for almost 10 years and it was time to replace that car as it was old and dated but still the engine was in top class condition. But the body began to rust a lot and some problems were encountered in suspension. So finally after much insistence from me my dad agreed to change that car and buy a new Safari!! Date of purchase:
We purchased this car in November 2006 ( sorry i don remember the exact date). This car was a total surprise to me. I never expected my dad will buy this car on that day. It was only few days after we sold our Sierra. When i came back from college i saw this beast standing in front of our house and when i went upstairs i was shocked to know its our car. I din even know when the car was booked , was a real surprise. I always loved the TATA Safari but i had to wait for nearly two years to get my hands on this beast. Quite a surprising day for me. After that we went for a temple nearby did all the pooja and then had dinner outside. Our first day that car was over and it was a memorable one!! Exterior Looks:
Any lover of SUV's will love the looks of the Safari! Though its not muscular upto the level of Scorpio it still has some muscle and can be quite intimidating. My dad opted for the front Crash guard straightaway and believe me this has saved our car from quite a few scratches. Unlike my Verna you have to put some effort to climb into this car as its really tall and as its tall there is quite a body-roll. My dad opted for grey-colored bumpers as he felt the body-colored bumpers are hard to maintain and any scratches and dents will be visible easily. Apart from this rear mirrors are provided with wipers which are really useful while reversing in the rain. Only the top-end model comes with the reverse camera. The outside rear view mirrors are automatic and can be adjusted from the inside itself. As i have said in my report of Verna itself my dad doesnt like alloy wheels so he din opt for alloy wheels also!! Fog lamps come as standard in this model and rear fog lamps are also available. The car is sturdily built and i guess it doesn crumple easily at high speed crashes. And i must say this , this beast has such an amazing road presence and respect on road. Once by mistake i jumped a signal and when the policeman stopped me in the front he said that " Sir please drive carefully and dont neglect signals" and after saying this he left me off. He fears that the owner of this car is some Politician and left me off. Interiors:
Step into this car and you will find cheap TATA plastics all over. Though the dashboard is neatly arranged with well illuminated controls the quality of plastics is a huge letdown in a car of this segment , cheaper cars have even better interiors than this. No beige interiors in Safari only silver with grey interiors in all models.No steering mounted audio controls even in the top model. The A/C of TATA is not so effective and it can be really hard during summer. But in this model rear A/C vents are provided along with vents in the roof also. The rear seats have central armrest. The cabin is well illuminated and there is even a light for the keyhole which is really useful in dark conditions. Apart from this the comfort levels are top-class. The front and rear seats are very comfortable and can seat six-footers like me easily. Legroom room is so generous in both the seats and three big-sized adults can sit in the rear seats easily. However only two adults can sit in the last row and Safari doesn have Captain seats like Innova. I recommend only 1 adult sitting in the last row for a comfortable seating , because of the roof A/C vents present the cooling effect will be good in the last row also but don expect it to be good in extreme summer conditions. Maximum seating capacity is 7 for a comfortable journey. Driving and performance:
Start the engine and you will get to hear this beast with a roar , typical TATA diesel engine. Very noisy on the outside but somewhat better on the inside. Sit in the driver's seat and you will feel like you are the king of the road , you sit in such a height that all the other cars looks like a toy from inside. You need sometime to get used to the driving and shifting pattern of this vehicle. You need to get used to the shifting speed of all the gears. Apart from that reversing also is difficult and need some getting used to as the spare wheel is mounted on the rear door. The steering is very tight and so you cannot drive it like a car , you have to drive it in a straight line like a truck only!! Parking needs some effort to be put in order to avoid any scratches in your car. Don expect this car to be performer due to its huge presence and huge weight. Pick-up and acceleration is gradual. In highways this car is rock solid , though some body roll can be felt in tight corners. My personal top speed is 155kmph and i must say that this car cant go more than this. But still the car was solid and the steering was feeling very responsive even at high speeds. You dont feel like you are cruising at that speed. This beast can reach upto 120kmph easily and asks you to go even more but needs some working to do before it reaches its top and maximum speed. Overall a great highway car. Comfort level is top class and you wont feel tired even after a 6 hour non-stop journey. A great car to cruise in the highway without any strain for the car and yourself!! Braking:
Well i must admit for a car of such huge presence the brake does not have the bite. Braking can be a horrifying experience even at speeds of 120kmph itself. The steering wheel begins to vibrate and you wont feel confident enough to brake at high speeds. I came to know of this only after driving my Verna. TATA needs to improve this. All the brake pads where changed during service but still this problem persists. Boot Space:
The car has good amounts of boot space and can carry luggage for a full week trip. This boot space is rally useful to us as we prefer travelling in car only mostly all the time. Good storage space that is expected of a SUV and the Safari wont disappoint you in this matter. Fuel Consumption:
Don expect great figures from this car buts still not bad enough considering its size. In city under extreme traffic conditions we get 8-10kmpl if the traffic conditions are normal my dad had even got 12kmpl in city. In highway normal driving with speeds in the levels of 80-100kmph fetches 15kmpl maximum , nothing more than this. i feel this is really good considering the huge weight of the vehicle. Service:
Here comes the worrying part of Safari and i believe you will also have been waiting for this only. Maintenance of this vehicle is really expensive. We have been servicing our car in POKMA an authorized TATA vehicle dealer for 3 years till now and i must accept its not satisfactory. There is one peculiar problem which they have not solved till now( i will explain in this thread later) and they even said that they cannot do anything for it after the car visited the workshop 3 times for the same fault!! My dad is a soft-spoken guy so he has not complained to TATA via an e-mail till now. So now planning to shift to CONCORDE for service from next time. For the first two years it was maintenance free and from the third year we started facing problems typical to a TATA vehicle , small niggling issues. I will update this part in the night with the correct and total amount spent on the vehicle so far after discussing with my dad. But still even the general maintenance of this vehicle is costly. Accessories:
So far we have fitted only the crash guard in the front. Regarding the ICE we have a Sony HU with cd/mp3 and Aux-in port. Polkaudio components for the front as well as rear speakers. No problems encountered in Sony so far and the sound effect is really good from the HU as well as the speakers also. Pros:
Decent fuel efficiency Cons:
High maintenance cost
No steering mounted audio controls
Difficult to drive such a huge vehicle in city
Not so appealing interiors and cheap plastics.
Well the Safari is great car to own but the maintenance factor is the only worry. I strongly feel the A.S.S only screw your car. TATA must improve on its A.S.S dealers in Chennai. Overall a good highway cruiser and a very comfortable car. But recently it has been facing heat from the Scorpio which is more reliable and also has some features even which the top model does not have in Safari. I would tell you to buy this car if you want a great comfortable car which can cruise in the highway and demands road presence in the city along with respect.