Tata Safari Storme review
India’s first home-grown SUV, the Tata Safari has finally a received an much awaited upgrade this year and with that, it steps into the third generation of its production. Tata has also done away with the DICOR branding, and has chosen to call it the Storme instead (we were the first to report it).
The revised Safari Storme is based on Tata’s X2 platform, which also underpins the Aria. The switch to the X2 platform has helped Safari attain a best in class turning radius, which has always been an issue with its predecessors. The car also benefits in terms of driving dynamics and ride quality with the new platform.
Talking about the looks, Tata has tweaked styling to give the Storme a contemporary appearance. The Safari has got itself a nose-job, which includes a new headlamp design and an all-new grille.
The front bumper has also been revised to blend in with the whole design. The side profile of the Stormelooks similar to the outgoing car, while a different side cladding and a new front fender helps differentiate between the two.
The rear is where the butch look of the Safari suffers the most. The spare wheel is no more mounted at the tail gate, though the chrome tipped-dual exhausts try to recover the lost element. The tail lamps have also been tweaked a little and now get a thick strip of chrome running between them. All-in-all, the Storme looks more like a revised version of the current Safari, yet a bit toned down.
Evolved and contemporary exterior design, with new front grill, side cladding, new projector lamps and all new rear looks with Twin Exhaust system and Newly designed roof rails accentuates the looks of the new Safari Storme.
Powering the Safari Storme is the same 2.2liter DiCOR engine that serves the other Tata cars as well. While Peak Power remains 140 PS, the overall engine refinement has been improved. The Storm Storme
The Suspension has been upgraded and promises better ride quality. Other mechanicals such as the Shift on Fly 4X4 and the gear box have been worked on, yet carried over from the previous car.
The interior is where the improved quality actually shows up. Despite a similar dashboard layout, the fit and finish feels anotch above and the Quality of materials has improved too. However,certain bits like the wooden inserts feel a bit flimsy. The new analogue clock on the centre console surely deserves a mention. Overall, the quality of interiors has improved a lot, but still is far from international standards.
The new Tata Safari Storme comes with disc brakes on all four wheels and has a 4 channel ABS with EBD, which aids braking in emergency situations. In addition, the vehicle has been designed with advanced safety features like the Inertia Switch and an auto engine immobiliser. The Storme also comes with pull type door handles and electrically foldable ORVMS which gives the car a more up-market feel.
Now additional safety in terms of Dual SRS Airbags also make it into the new Safari Storme.
Since the market launch of the Safari Storme is still a few months away, the prices haven’t been disclosed yet. However, we expect the entry level variant to start from anything between 8-9 lakhs. The launch may happen in the month of February, as the Safari Storme has already seen a few delays in the past. A detailed road-test on soon follows after the Safari Storme hits the roads.
How strong is the “Safari Storme” against its rivals?
1) Mahindra Scorpio: The Scorpio has been the segment leader since its launch back in 2002. However, the Scorpio’s design has started showing signs of ageing and doesn’t look as good as the Storme now. Feature-per-feature, the Scorpio takes the lead with added goodies such as the engine start-stop, for better efficiency and parking sensors on the Rear-view mirror.
The Mahindra’s engine is also much more refined, if compared to the DiCOR motor that powers the Storme. However, the Storme is built on the new X2 platform and is yet to be tested, so comparing the two’s driving dynamics is futile.
The Scorpio starts with a price tag of Rs.7.33 Lakhs, and it is the only SUV in the segment to be available with an option of an automatic transmission. The Automatic transmission however comes at a price, and costs a whopping four lakh rupees more than the entry level variant.
2) Force One: Force motor’s attempt to take on the Safari hasn’t gone for a waste, as it offers the maximum space for its money. The One is powered by a Mercedes sourced 2.2 litre engine, which is very refined and makes the DiCOR motor feel boring. However, the Storme’s build quality and fit and finish is miles ahead of the One.
The Safari Storme also offers a lot more features and a stronger service network if compared to the One. The One isn’t really the one you should go for, however if space is your major concern then the Force isn’t a bad option either.
The Force One is priced significantly higher than the rest, and starts with a price tag of Rs.10.72 lakhs. The prices of the 4X4 variant are however yet to be disclosed. We presume that it will cross the 11 lakh rupee mark, keeping in mind the 4X2’s pricing.
The current Safari may be sold parallel along with the Storm which will allow Tata Motors to cater a larger segment.
Check out the Image gallery of the all new Safari Strome
(click on the image for next)