Take a glimpse at the car sales these days, and the contribution of the Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) segment is increasing at a massive rate. Tata safari is one of the cars which has ruled the SUV market since the time it was introduced in India. This shows the immense love for these segment cars in the Indian Automotive market. Tata Motors launched a value-for-money 4×4 SUV back in 1998 with exceptional off-road capabilities and providing ample space in the cabin proving it to be one of the best SUVs in the market called the TATA SAFARI. Let’s start from the beginning of the Safari era, a legacy that began 22 years ago Over the past years, the team at Tata motors made sure we get the new generations of Tata Safari starting from the Safari Telco line (87 PS) to the Safari Storme’s Varicor (150PS). We are excited about the new offering by Tata motors which had a couple of code names such as the H7X, Buzzard, and Gravitas. Further, in the first week of February 2021, Tata revealed its all-new flagship SUV called the Tata Safari.H7x was one of the code names, was it related to doing something with H-Harrier 7-seater X-variable? Stay with us till the end of this article and we shall find out if it’s h7x or the Safari.
First Generation Safari
Second Generation Safari
Third Generation Safari
The hot topic today:
A new Test mule has been spied in Pune by @parkedinpune. We suspect this Safari to come with a 4×4 configuration as many customers want it to be offered as an option. Our team also suspects it to be a Petrol variant which is great news for all the Petrolheads.
When you see the safari at first sight you might mistake it to be Harrier but we will give you some noticeable key points where you can differentiate between the two. The Safari gets a massive trio chrome-plated front grill, commanding stance, and bold roof rails are the few points that are different from the Harrier. The first car to come up with the trend of integrating headlights in the front bumper was the Nissan Juke, and the trend is followed by MG’s Hector, Tata Harrier, and now the Safari. The DRL setup is similar to the Harrier and also doubles up as blinkers. The front headlights have projector XENON HID’s as low beam coupled with conventional reflector set up for the high beam. Fog lamps are integrated just below the headlight providing an optimum throw of light and making night drives brighter.
Since we are discussing the headlight we have found the Easter eggs on the car, no we are not talking about the chocolates, but Tiago started the trend by embossing three elephants on the glove box lid. In the Nexon, there are 2 tigers (fifth door glass). But why are Tata motors doing this? To boost the thought of saving wildlife and raising awareness to save animals. Safari comes with Easter eggs too, and we could find out two, the engraved lion inside the headlamp on the projector housing, and the other on the rear glass with a dog and a leopard. (trust me you need eyes to look for such small details).
Few steps on the side of the car and you will surely find out which one is the Safari, the third window which the Harrier doesn’t. The intelligently placed roof rail merges with the window line giving it a sporty look. The wheels might seem to be taken from harrier but they are increased by an inch, they are R18”. The majority of changes are towards the C-pillar, the quarter panel is slightly stretched increasing the overall length (63mm more than the Harrier) of the vehicle to accommodate two seats and providing enough legroom for passengers. The height is increased marginally to provide ample headroom for third-row passengers. The Safari badging is done on the gap between the roof rail don’t mistake it to be empty space but it’s chrome.
On to the rear of the vehicle, it resembles the Harrier apart from a larger rear glass, at first you might feel everything is taken from the harrier but, the tail lamps are re-designed. This gives the safari, a stand-out look. The spoiler used is identical, and the safari badging on the tailgate will help you to differentiate for sure. The dual exhaust tip sculpted with a skid plate looks very similar to those of the STORME.
- Interior styling
Fans of higher ride height will love the safari’s driver seat, thanks to added rubber and increased rim size than that of the harrier. The wheel size of the safari is R18 (Radius 18) an inch higher than the harrier. However, the wheelbase is the same as a harrier. In our opinion, Tata could have given a refreshed rim design for the safari to make it stand out even more.
For the adventurous and long weekends, it would be the front row where you might spend most of the time. The first row seats have good thigh support and the size of the bucket is decent the back support could have been more ergonomically designed for good comfort. The seats are electronically adjusted which are front & back, up and down for height adjustment also called 6-way adjustable seats.
Safari comes with two seat layouts one with 6 seaters called (XZA+) and the other 7 seaters called (XZA).XZA+ comes equipped with a captain seat arrangement for the second row and XZA with a bench type of arrangement. For the first time, Tata has introduced a feature called BOSS MODE, where the front passenger seat can be moved all the way forward with the touch of a single lever thus adding increased legroom for second-row passengers.
Since India experiences extreme summer temperatures, Safari has two ac vents for the second row along with 2 USB charging slots. If you plan to buy XZA (one with bench seats) the tunnel in the floor bed might reduce your comfort. A reclining feature for the bench seat is also provided. To access the third row, tumbling the seat is only restricted to the XZA variant.
On the other hand, the XZA+ (One with captain seats) since there is no option to tumble seat, passengers sitting in the third row might have to struggle, the tunnel in the floor bed makes it more challenging to get in and out of the third-row seats
The third row in both the variants gets equipped gets 2 USB charging ports, one cup holder, and the stretchable pocket on the left. On the right, there is a dedicated blower control for the third row where fan speed can be adjusted. The thigh support is not that great but enough headroom is available.
Additionally, we get reading lamps+USB charging ports powered by 2.4 amperes.
The roof comprises a huge panoramic sunroof that adds much light to the cabin which en-lights the white-colored seats.
- Dashboard and infotainment
The dashboard has a premium paint scheme with beige and black with smartly placed silver ash wood texture between the two.
The steering wheel can be adjusted in two ways, telescopic and adjustable tilt. It also has steering-mounted controls. The instrument cluster comes with a 7” display which is divided into 2 halves on the right is the speedometer which is analog type on the left is the digital rpm meter, engine temperature, outside temperature, fuel efficiency, odometer reading with trip meter, fuel gauge, distance to empty, also includes tire pressure monitoring with tire temperature and comes with DEF (Diesel Exhaust Fluid). All the warning signs light upon the analog side.
Infotainment comprises of 8.8inch screen, for iOS users it comes with apple car play for Android users it comes with android auto. In terms of car audio, it comes equipped with 9 speakers sourced from JBL.(4 speakers+4 tweeters& subwoofer). It is also equipped with iRA( Advanced connected technology)
- Centre console:-
The main hub for all the features of the car, the console has a piano black finish thus making it feel premium. it comprises buttons to choose between economy, sport, and city mode., blower speed, temperature, defogging windshield, and rear glass. the panel below air-conditioning controls are mounted here
A bezel is a 3-way selector, switch between car modes namely normal mode, rough road & wet mode Adjust-cent to the gear selector there are more features, a hill descent control button that allows the car to do downhill at a constant speed. Storage space, cup holder provided on the center console and in all 4 door trims.
- Performance and drivability:-
Safari Storme had varicor engine 2.2L which used to produce 150 bhp with 320nm of torque, the new safari has kryotec 2.0L 170 bhp and 350nm of torque. The little spike in power from the previous safari is noticeable.
The steering wheel feels light and nimble for an SUV of this size taking U-Turn include moderate effort. The body roll for this car is comparatively low. Flooring the automatic in economy mode gives a decent pull. Once switched in sport mode the engine gets a little peppier and more hungry for power. We also tried keeping the throttle constant and switched the mode, in the economy the engine tries to remain at a constant speed. As we switch to sport mode keeping the throttle constant the car starts gaining speed at a higher rate.
With great speed we need good braking power as well, pressing the pedal a bit with ranging speeds of 40-60kmph the car halts with minimum distance. ABS comes to the rescue, at times we will further test the car in the long-term review. On speed breakers, the safari glides with a minimum bounce effect.
There is a sufficient amount of body roll yet comfortable, thanks to the suspension setup, at the front safari has McPherson struts and on the rear, semi-independent coil spring. We have to test on full load capacity. Since the car was almost empty, rear end felt bouncy-that’s the same case with harrier but with Safari it is evident.
NVH (noise vibration and harshness) the engine noise in the cabin is negligible until 3500rpm which is a good thing later more grunt is felt. Vibration as of now is not that significant but later since it’s a diesel engine vibration might be felt.
Tata motors have also launched a new variation of safari for customers who are inclined more towards adventures, thus they have introduced this variant called the adventure persona. The car under the hood remains the same as far as the technical specification are considered. We get few aesthetic changes that are oriented for long-distance driving/ such as the chrome delete, everything from chrome is changed to black and the color of seats is inspired by the Rajasthan desert sand and gets a new exterior color called the “Misty Blue”. The bold blacked-out interior and exterior give the safari more of an adventure look rather than the sophisticated safari look.
- Technical Specification:
|TORQUE||350Nm @ 1750-2500rpm|
|TYPE||2.0 KRYOTECH TURBOCHARGED|
|CAPACITY||INLINE 4 CYLINDER 1956cc|
|AUTO||6-SPPED TORQUE CONVERTER|
|BRAKES||FRONT & REAR||DISC|
|SUSPENSION||FRONT||McPHERSON STRUT with Anti-roll bar|
|REAR||Semi-independent with coil spring|
|WHEEL||Stylised wheel||235/70 R16|
|BOOT SPACE||WITH 3RD ROW FOLDED
WITH 3RD AND 2ND FOLDED
|447 LTRS as per ISO V211
910 LTRS as per ISO V212
- Competitor :
Rivals of the Safari, MG HECTOR, and Toyota Innova Crysta, and Mahindra’s new-gen xuv500
What we didn’t like:
- Safari deserves a 4×4 at least as an option to carry its legacy.
- The knee touches the lower part of the dashboard and the dead pedal is still missing. Many users of harrier have this complaint.
- The boot door is heavy and the assist to close it is given inside which won’t be used to close it.
- The boot space with all seats up is not adequate.
- Engine power could be increased for city mode.
- WHITE INTERIOR it looks premium but will be difficult to maintain.
- When the car is empty it bounces on the rear end.
- Good quality of the rear camera.
What we liked:-
- Good space for legroom and headroom.
- Sport mode has a good pull.
- Premium fit and finish quality.
- Light steering easy to drive in stop-and-go traffic and parking the car won’t be a hassle.
- If you are a family of more than 5 people, it makes sense to buy the Safari.
- If you are a family of less than 5 harrier be the better choice
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