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Review: Tata Safari Storme
Driven October 2012
It took a long time coming, but has finally happened. Two years after it launched the capable Aria crossover, Tata has now built the second-gen Safari on it for a more modern sports utility vehicle. The platform is a shortened version of the Aria’s. Overall it’s nearly the same size. On paper its longer and wider but sits lower than the outgoing model. The front is re-designed for a more sharper face with a prominent mesh grille. The bonnet is flatter and the edges sharper. In profile it is nearly similar. At the rear the spare wheel has been cut off the door for a cleaner look.
Interiors are spacious as usual. The large glass area adding to the roominess of the cabin. There are proper seats for five with an additional two jump seats thrown at the rear. Interestingly, quality of plastic and leather used is quite good. Fit and finish is much improved but the front fascia looks incomplete with vast empty spaces. Ergonomics are still the same – the high-set seat is a trademark Safari thing.
The 2.2 Dicor engine has been modified for efficiency and is now called Varicor. Power and torque rating remain the same – 138bhp, 320Nm – although it feels more refined at idling and cruising revs. But push it and it starts sounding coarse. The Safari Storme is much lighter now so is quicker picking up the pace. Under braking it feels more capable but the inherently high centre of gravity doesn’t help the stopping cause in panic situations.
But the real gem part of this car is its off-road ability. The 4x4 system is a real one in this car and can make little work of most tricky situation. There is a 4H which you can shift on the fly and even a 4L for really horrible off-road situations.
The Storme is a genuine upgrade to the Safari although it’s looks don’t make that obvious. It’s better off-road than with its on-road abilities, strangely, despite the judicious use of Aria skeleton. The interiors are Spartan compared to the competition but it does make a decent proposition as a go-anywhere SUV.
2197cc diesel, 138bhp, 320Nm, 5-speed manual, dimensions: 4655x1965x1922mm, ground clearance: 200mm, turning radius: 10.8 metres, fuel tank: 55 litres, 0-100kph: 15seconds, top speed: 160kph, 2WD: 14.0kpl, 4WD: 13.2kpl (claimed), price: Rs 13.66 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)
It may not be as fast or polished as modern off-roaders built by more illustrious car makers but it can keep on their tail.
Girish KarkeraBook Now