Two Enthusiasts Go Storm Hunting - Tata Safari Storme Test Drive Review


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TSIVipul

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Disclaimer: These are my own subjective opinions and may vary from person to person.

another angle.JPG

name.JPG

What way you will call him ‘the king’ or ‘Safari’? Well any ways you do, the name itself is enough to understand what is being talked of. ‘Tata Safari’ is the car which is known to be the epitome of luxury in it’s segment and no doubt, Safari – which was once the largest selling SUV in it’s segment enjoys a very specific customer ground which we know as ‘Safari lovers’. These are the people who religiously buy and drive their Safari not for any other reason, but because it’s the ‘SAFARI’. So now, to increase it’s market coverage, Tata has tried to increase the appeal of this age old but still competent SUV by some folds with the launch of “TATA SAFARI STORME – THE BEAST REFINED”.

In 1998 we Indians hailed the KING with it’s 2.0 TCIC(Turbo charged intercooled) engine, then with passing time came the 3.0l DICOR(Direct injection common rail) which was followed by 2.2 vtt DICOR and the current updation is the STORME. Is this the same old wine in new bottle or they have really improved a lot. Let’s find it out now

Exteriors:
  • First look at the Storme and for once you may get bowled, there are no more circular shapes, instead you get an all new ‘Land Roverish’ edgy styling, yes there are edges around and nearly everything is changed up front. Start from the headlights which have now got projectors and take a look at the new mesh type grille, which looks really cool.

  • Now have a look at that chrome strip above the grill and the way Storme is engraved in the strip is really a very neat touch. As soon as you look up on the bonnet, you find a very neat bulge on the hood and…wait…there is a change down there too. Yes, there are new fog lamps, no more squarish profile ones, instead the circular ones with chrome finishing around looks quite upmarket.

  • Overall, high bonnet, edgy design and a high bumper with small overhang give it a PAKKA SUV look.

  • Side profile is hidden to none, but then this may be the most disappointing part too. The only changes are a new edgy styling, new door handles and a new skirting, rest all is your old Safari. And yes, don’t forget the character this car has lost after loosing it’s true trademark – ‘the boot mounted spare wheel’.

  • Look at the rear and for once you may think that Tata was more interested in giving the car a new rear, someone tell them that we guys are already fed up of looking things with sexy backs and disappointing faces(am talking of cars)[;)]!! Okay what you get is new tail lamps, twin exhausts, which are purely a cosmetic touch, boot mounted registration plate and a ‘chrome’ strip too(it looks like Tata loves adding chrome) and yes…NO MORE BOOT MOUNTED SPARE WHEEL!!!![frustration] Eh, it sounds like Safari lost it’s “Izzat type gehna” but then, this has given other advantages like the boot door is no more a gymnasium device which can help you build biceps.

    Now let the pics speak…​
Front styling elements...
Headlight:

headlamp.JPG
Foglamps:

Foglamps.JPG

Front view:

logo and grill.JPG

Tail lamps:

tail lamp.JPG

Rear:

rear styling.JPG

And yes, not to forget the fuel filler lid too..

fuel lid.JPG

Wheels

Alloys.JPG

TO be continued....
 
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Re: 2 Enthusiasts go Storme hunting - TATA SAFARI STORME test drive review!!

Interiors:
  • Open the big doors and you are welcomed by a comfy looking cabin, the dashboard which has signs of Jaguars(Hehe, it sounds weird, but the design is picked from jags instead of LRs). First thing you do is that you don’t enter the car, instead you climb it!![;)]

  • Once you are seated then first thing you notice is a low positioned steering wheel. Eh, an older issue it is with our Tata’s. They love positioning steering wheel of SUVs like that of trucks and Storme is no exception. Overall fit and finish is simply a huge leap ahead of that of older Safari but still there are some sore bits like that single din ICE unit etc.[frustration]

  • Rest, the overall finishing is simply great, no doubt it’s class leading and with soft touch upper part of dash and very cleanly leather coated wheel..it all adds to the upmarket feel even more. The footwell is as usual, placed quite weird way..it’s small and it feels like everything is placed a bit in the right side. Look at the A/C controls and they are easy to use..in fact impressive and not to mention, the super chiller A/C takes minutes to change the Thar desert into Ladakh. Everything seems to be very well placed and ergonomically everything felt good, simply nothing much to complain about. Though the A/C vents feel a bit flimsy built and don’t inspire one to touch them just to feel them.[anger]

  • Go to the rear and you are welcomed by that SOFA which can seat even a 6 footer comfortably with seat height just perfect, cushioning is perfect and squabs also nearly perfect sized and shaped, though bolstering could have been better then it would have been the best seat even if you compare with the cars twice the price of Storme. The central armrest is the same old unit which comes with a big storage with two folding-type cup holders and then your eyes go on those A/C vents and again you get a feeling like Tata has some issues with the A/C vents. The lower ones look very flimsy and the roof mounted ones look really cheap, in fact downright after market addition. Arey, when you have got such a fantastic finish in installing the vent, the way it comes out of roof…then what’s the issue with main vents or blower outlets?

  • Open the boot and you find two small bucket seats, but yes..there is a net to hold things in place too.
Now let the pics speak:

Good and well finished dashboard:

dashboard.JPG

Center console also looks good:

central console.JPG

Doors are well finished:

door finish.JPG

Steering wheel is also well finished:

steering wheel.JPG

Steering is positioned a bit too low though:

steering position.JPG

Handbrake looks good:

handbrake finish.JPG

New headlight controls:

headlight controls.JPG

Footwell is still oddly shaped and no dead pedal too, also look at the poorly finished adjusting knob:

footwell.JPG


To be continued..
 
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Re: 2 Enthusiasts go Storme hunting - TATA SAFARI STORME test drive review!!

A video to show true position of steering wheel(Note, I am 5' 11"(with shoes[;)])

Tata Safari Storme wheel touching thighs.. - YouTube


Some more random pics..

With the removal of spare wheel, the IRVM is more usable now:

IRVM.JPG

Dials look clean and classy and not to say 'easy to read too':

speedo.JPG

ICE controls on stalk:

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Finishing on rear door:

rear door finish.JPG

Rear center armrest:

Armrest.JPG

Flimsy and cheap looking rear A/C vents:

lower rear vent.JPG

roof ac vent.JPG
 
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Re: 2 Enthusiasts go Storme hunting - TATA SAFARI STORME test drive review!!

Door sill:

Safari door sill.JPG

Is this also a blower or it's sucker?

AC jugaad.JPG

Storage on top of dash:

storage on top of dash.JPG

Velvet lining inside glovebox:

velvet lining inside glovebox.JPG

Net to hold things in boot:

net.JPG


Now let's move to the test drive....
 
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Re: 2 Enthusiasts go Storme hunting - TATA SAFARI STORME test drive review!!

Now let’s move on to TD:

Okay, after a waiting of about 5 minutes, we got the TD car..a white VX variant..same as our other companions have driven in their respective cities..
So we left, now I was on the driving seat and friend on front seat with SE on rear seat reading ‘Hanuman chalisa’ for his life. Slowly we reached an area with empty road for about 4-5 kilometers and started the “you run, I press game” and slowly slowly the Storme touched a speed of about 155 kph and then slowed down. After that we read it’s power delivery and then did some more jhol jugaad. After that the friend who owns a current Safari VX took the wheel and now started the real compare of what’s really new and what’s not.

Okay, again we returned on the same stretch, shifted down to third gear and then tried to read the power delivery…here is the video:


Okay, now we took a quick U turn and found the exceptionally small turning radius of Storme. Then we headed straight for light off roading in Storme which can be seen in the following video:


After that we tested the Storme’s turning radius and again started redlining the car to get back:



THIS WAS THE TD…OBSERVATIONS AND REVIEW WILL BE FOLLOWING SOON..
 
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Re: 2 Enthusiasts go Storme hunting - TATA SAFARI STORME test drive review!!

TD report...

Exteriors and design: Exteriors are where most of the changes have been made, in the older vehicle we had split grille, grab type door handles, boot mounted spare wheel, circular edges and no projectors while in the new vehicle all of these have been changed…completely changed. The new vehicle enjoys completely new front, a bulge n hood, mesh type grille, projector headlamps, new tail lamps, pull type door handles, new fog lamps, new side skirts, new roof rails, new alloys and above all a very neat detailing, no doubt the attention to detail is simply great. But yes, on the same time you are disappointed by wide panel gaps same as the old car, same old side profile and the same rubber..235/75 R16 is the tyre size and the tyres on offer are Bridgestone Duelers.

In terms of design, I guess this is a completely new design for Tata, it has edges and it looks very well proportioned. Nothing looks out of place and the way everything is put together simply impress the onlookers, especially in the side profile and front.

Though looks are subjective and it’s not that everyone finds it good looking but if it’s hard to find the lovers then it’s harder to find the people who dislike this look, overall it looks more sophisticated and a civilized SUV now and yes..more modern too. There is no more feeling of a cumbersome SUV..but then, it’s no more as cumbersome!!


Interiors and features:
  • Climb the Storme after driving the outgoing model and you will find how huge leap Tata has taken in terms of improvement. Everything feels very well put together and there are very less cheap finished bits meeting the eye. It looks and feels quite upmarket now but at the same time some things are oddly placed too. For example, on the front door mounted armrest, you can never rest your elbow in that perfect position. Steering wheel could have been placed slightly higher and a dual din would have changed the way everything looked.

  • But yes, there is not even a single shiny or cheap looking plastic(okay, that storage compartment looks cheap) on the upper part of dash and the wooden finish also looks good. The panel gaps are very prominent and this makes the cabin feel a bit upmarket, no doubt this is the best fit and finish standards ever seen in any Tata car by me, not even Aria has got such fit and finish.

  • In terms of space, the Storme will never seize to disappoint you, with battleship sized exteriors, the interiors are also roomy enough that three couples can spend their first night in all three rows(no pun intended). The interiors are no doubt very airy and with big glass area, the feeling of roominess increases even more. Overall, the space is simply class leading and the cabin feels very much airy.

  • WAIT..maybe the steering is low positioned, but then low positioned dash helps offer fantastic and very close view of the road and traffic ahead.

  • A/C is as usual.it’s a pure chiller and same is with other electronics…but yes, overall list of features is on the shorter side and some more features would have been a welcome.

  • Do I need to say anything about boot space?

  • Ingress and aggress…hehe, ask the ladies wearing saree. I am sure they won’t like the car because you don’t enter this car..YOU CLIMB IT!! But still huge(and heavy too)doors offer ease of ingress and aggress.

  • One special feature we felt was the stalk mounted ICE controls but due to the absence of HU, it wasn’t tested, also we were short on time too.

Engine and performance:
  • Okay, take an old 2.2 VTT DICOR, open it up and replace the older flywheel with a high inertia one and what you get is a 2.2 VARICOR. This is all Tata has done and some minor ECU remaps to suit the said changes. Now what this new engine has given is more smoothness and of course a better power delivery.

  • In terms of responsiveness, this is still an elephant and hence you can expect it to behave like an elephant. For a 2 tonne mammoth, this engine is still on the smaller side and until the turbo comes to life at about 1600-1800 rpm what you get is disappointment. Though you can easily tackle this nature by making correct use of gearbox and hence this is not that big issues for any sensible driver, we will discuss it later.

  • Still the net powerband is on the shorter side, the true character is attained at about 2000 rpm, where this vehicle starts feeling like it’s a locomotive and this starts trailing off at about 3500 rpm and at about 3700-3800 rpm you can easily feel power trailing off and engine feeling strained. In other words you get only 1500 rpm to play with and with a gearbox with tall ratios, it’s easy to get off this range if you shift up without pulling enough.

  • For example: There is a direct rev loss of about 800-1000 rpm when you shift from third to fourth and hence if you do it at 2000 rpm, then you can be left waiting for power to build up again as your revs will fell anywhere near 1300 rpm after shifting up.

    Gearbox and net performance:

  • Gearbox is tuned in a way that first three gears are set to make the beast moving and last two are meant for cruising on highways at relaxed speeds upto, but 120-140 kph speed is a delight for the Storme. The clutch is on a lighter side and definitely the people driving the older Safari will like it.

  • The first, second and third gears are short and are meant to launch the vehicle in urgency till 80-100 kph and next two are for speeds ranging from 80-150 kph keeping the turbo spooling air for whole time. With rock stable straight line stability, going to elevated speeds is no issue at all and same is with shifting. The gearbox is overall a huge improvement over the outgoing model. Net throws are shorter now with a more positive response and with a lighter clutch, working on gearbox has gone a lot easier. Turbo lag is prominent and can be easily felt below 1500 rpm but shift a gear down and with a good difference in gear ratios, you are again in powerband with a shift.

  • Braking is something which is, though not huge but is an improvement over the outgoing model. But if you consider the inertia this 2 tonne beast carries, then braking distance is well justified.

Ride and handling:
  • Hmm, this is where you will find the improvement. Lighter weight and a stiffer chassis has given the Storme enough confidence to take sudden turns and all but still like any BOF vehicle, the body roll is prominent and can be easily felt, but it’s lower than as much it was before. Stiffer chassis means the driver can now make even more use of the grip available.

  • Ride was already the biggest positive of Safari and now the high speed ride has improved even more. Though the slow speed ride is still on bumpier side but still it’s very comfortable. No doubt, Tata has attained that PERFECT RIDE, where the car rides very well irrespective of the speed it’s being driven.

  • In terms of handling, the new steering system now makes it quite easy handling this 2 tonne mammoth. The steering now feels more direct and of course is more responsive too and on the same time you get a lot of confidence of making such maneuvers which you couldn’t have done before.

  • So overall, ride and handling is where Storme can be said that is has set a new benchmark, only Aria can touch Storme in this field third comes XUV which is also quite close, but still behind..thanks to the lumpy high speed ride of XUV and it’s behavior at high speed straight lines which is never as composed as the Storme is.

Comfort and NVH:

Comfort and NVH. once again, as expected Tata has set a new benchmark. Though finding that perfect driving position felt next to impossible in the Storme but if you see overall seating then it’s the most comfortable thing money can buy under 20 lacs. NVH has definitely improved a lot over the outgoing model but still there are some signs of BOF like juddering when passing bad patches at good speeds etc.

OVERALL, THIS IS THE FIELD WHERE I AM JUST KNOCKED OUT BY STORME…HATS-OFF TO TATA HERE.[clap]


Star ratings:
  • Design and exteriors :

  • Interiors :

  • Fit and finish :

  • Space :

  • Ride and handling :

  • Comfort and NVH :

  • Engine and gearbox :

  • Overall performance :

  • Features :

  • Safety :

  • Overall :

That’s all with the Storme, now awaiting the questions from you people, if any. thanks for reading.[:D]
 
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Re: 2 Enthusiasts go Storme hunting - TATA SAFARI STORME test drive review!!

@vipul

Congrats for very nice review and fantastic effort from you was fun reading it , like all other reports from you [:)]

Iam confused regarding some points .

1) you wrote this >But yes, there is not even a single shiny or cheap looking plastic(okay, that storage compartment looks cheap) on the upper part of dash and the wooden finish also looks good. The panel gaps are very prominent and this makes the cabin feel a bit upmarket, no doubt this is the best fit and finish standards ever seen in any Tata car by me, not even Aria has got such fit and finish.

My question to you is how can the cabin feel upmarket when there are prominent panel gaps ?

2) Second are you sure the storme has dual mass fly wheel ?

And which car handles better in your view storme , safari , xuv or aria ? you can just give ranking .
Off topic - loved the Hindi conversation of you and your td partner in the videos -:)
 
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Re: 2 Enthusiasts go Storme hunting - TATA SAFARI STORME test drive review!!

@vipul

Congrats for very nice review and fantastic effort from you was fun reading it , like all other reports from you [:)]

Iam confused regarding some points .

1) you wrote this >But yes, there is not even a single shiny or cheap looking plastic(okay, that storage compartment looks cheap) on the upper part of dash and the wooden finish also looks good. The panel gaps are very prominent and this makes the cabin feel a bit upmarket, no doubt this is the best fit and finish standards ever seen in any Tata car by me, not even Aria has got such fit and finish.

My question to you is how can the cabin feel upmarket when there are prominent panel gaps ?
My mistake, I should have used the word EVEN panel gaps. Though they were there, but they are slight tight and most important they were not UNEVEN. Aria suffers from some uneven panel gaps..but Safari don't.

2) Second are you sure the storme has dual mass fly wheel ?
Hehe, I guess this is same engine as Aria has...

And which car handles better in your view storme , safari , xuv or aria ? you can just give ranking .
In my views, it's all depending upon speed.
Rest in terms of high speed handling and confidence, I'll vote Storme > Aria > XUV.
For low and moderate speed handling...XUV > Aria = Storme.

Off topic - loved the Hindi conversation of you and your td partner in the videos -:)
Hehe..thnx. At such times only Hindi works.
 
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Re: 2 Enthusiasts go Storme hunting - TATA SAFARI STORME test drive review!!

Pick up the physics book my dear, dual mas flywheel is also a high inertia one. Yeah, it may not be dual mass but mass is higher..rest, it's reported!! Thanks for notifying it to me.
 
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Re: 2 Enthusiasts go Storme hunting - TATA SAFARI STORME test drive review!!

Man o man,what a review.Vipul buddy today you have made all us TAIans proud.Now Mr. RK may understand why I called you the soul of TAI.You rock,your review rocks and our forum TAI Rocks.[clap][clap][clap]


This is by far the best review of Storme available till date on all of cyber world.

Now before I get into question answer mode,one minor correction:

Storme has got only single mass "High Inertia Flywheel" as opposed to DMF like Aria or XUV as you mentioned.



@ all

Folks Vipul is one truly unbiased person who calls a spade a spade even though he may ruffle your soft skin sometimes.A person who drives an European care like Laura TSI on daily basis.

If a person like him says that he is impressed by a TATA product,it takes no guessing how good that product must be.CHEERS.


THE X-OVER
 
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Re: 2 Enthusiasts go Storme hunting - TATA SAFARI STORME test drive review!!

Man o man,what a review.Vipul buddy today you have made all us TAIans proud.Now Mr. RK may understand why I called you the soul of TAI.You rock,your review rocks and our forum TAI Rocks.
Buddy, of Storme or XUV I don't know..but you have overhyped me. I was asked to do it by you people and I did it my way, that's it.

This is by far the best review of Storme available till date on all of cyber world.
Thanks, you have really overhyped me buddy. BTW, the comparo with XUV will contain more numbers than our mathematics books.

Now before I get into question answer mode,one minor correction:

Storme has got only single mass "High Inertia Flywheel" as opposed to DMF like Aria or XUV as you mentioned.
Already reported, thanks for your notifying it to me. Awaiting your questions.

@ all

Folks Vipul is one truly unbiased person who calls a spade a spade even though he may ruffle your soft skin sometimes.A person who drives an European care like Laura TSI on daily basis.
It's offtopic my dear and I guess you forgot D-4D. the Japanese sedan.

If a person like him says that he is impressed by a TATA product,it takes no guessing how good that product must be.CHEERS.
No doubt, in some fields. the car just knocked me down. This was a very brutal TD. If I mention all we have done then you people will be out to kill me that how a TAIan can do this to a car, but at the end. the car satisfied me at least. Still after my first TD..this one was completely different, this time I saw the true character of the car.
 
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Re: 2 Enthusiasts go Storme hunting - TATA SAFARI STORME test drive review!!

Pick up the physics book my dear, dual mas flywheel is also a high inertia one. Yeah, it may not be dual mass but mass is higher..rest, it's reported!! Thanks for notifying it to me.
Hahahaha why should I pick a physics book man ? Please iam away from such things .I just corrected you .
Some members reported in storme thread ( without driving btw) that above speeds of 130 the storme has a drone like sound inside the cabin did you expreince it ?

Also can you tell me for my knowledge what rpm is when storme is at 140 kmph speeds.

You before and even now on the storme thread wrote that you are totally disappointed with the storme and you had posted before that you had rejected it at first look .

Do you hold the same opinion if yes then why ?
 
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Re: 2 Enthusiasts go Storme hunting - TATA SAFARI STORME test drive review!!

Hahahaha why should I pick a physics book man ?
To study the relation between inertia and mass!![lol]

Please iam away from such things .I just corrected you .
That's the reason you are so happy..[clap]

Some members reported in storme thread ( without driving btw) that above speeds of 130 the storme has a drone like sound inside the cabin did you expreince it ?
That's not drone like sound, there is noise but insulation is quite good. See the video in which brakes are tested and you can make out how much noise is there at speeds upto 110 kph. Tyre noise is less and turbo whistle is also very silent. NOTHING LIKE DRONE SOUND AT ALL..IT'S SMOOTH AND SILENT FOR SUCH A VEHICLE. Instead XUV has that sound if revs are high or gear is low.

Also can you tell me for my knowledge what rpm is when storme is at 140 kmph speeds.
It was at about 2800-2900 rpm I guess in 5th gear and about 3500 rpm in 4th gear. Though I am also yet to confirm it, so expect a +-100 rev in this.

You before and even now on the storme thread wrote that you are totally disappointed with the storme and you had posted before that you had rejected it at first look .

Do you hold the same opinion if yes then why ?
Overall, it's 50-50. the car is good but it's not the vehicle for me. I won't say it's a bad car, it's a good vehicle..only it's not the vehicle for as per my requirements. I run away from cars which feel cumbersome, I am Yeti type actually.
 
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Re: 2 Enthusiasts go Storme hunting - TATA SAFARI STORME test drive review!!

@Vipul,

Wonderful effort and a good TD report !![clap]

1. Why somebody need to refer physics to understand. See we need to write and speak bit of a layman terms, I mean we should explain and present in simple mans way, please do not expect the viewers of this forum are buyers are Automobile/Mechanical engineers are Physics Phd's. So please try and put your view which is very simple to understand[:D]

2. The 3rd gear turbo-lag ?? Can you elaborate bit on this please
 
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