The 90’s have been a witness to some epic automobile launches in India. Cars like the Santro, India, Alto to join the likes of Fiat Padmini, N.E 118, Maruti 800 and some legends like the Contessa and Ambassador. In 1998 Tata launched a vehicle that would be India’s 1st Indigenous SUV the Tata Safari. From 1998 to 2008 to now 2017 almost two decades later the Safari is still being sold and the fan base only seems to grow. Till today it is really hard to find someone who can talk against the amazing comfort level of the Safari. The bulk to intimidate, the comfort to rival luxury cars, the interior space to carry half the house along, the Safari had and still has it all. It has gone across numerous changes and yet rules the hearts of buyers as the Tata Safari Storme.
In order to keep up with competition, the Tata Safari Storme got a torque upgrade to 400Nm. Is the Safari Storme good value? How is the performance? We reveal this in our Tata Safari Storme review.
Tata Safari Storme Price
|2.2 LX 4×2||INR 12,66,465|
|2.2 EX 4×2||INR 14,87,560|
|2.2 VX 4×2 Varicor 40||INR 16,73,737|
|2.2 VX 4×4 Varicor 400||INR 18,56,013|
With 4 variants Tata prefers to keep it simple. From a price of 12 lacs + to almost 19 lakhs the price is not cheap. You could buy the Safari at one point at INR 8 lakhs. Times have changed but so has the quality and technology. I remember the 1st engine a 1.9 litre diesel which at that point was not even a turbo charged one with the over 2600 kg weight used to struggle to move this mammoth. Today the 2.2 Litre Varicor engine is just effortless and feels more car like.
Tata Safari Storme 400 Specifications
|Engine||2.2-litre Diesel Varicor|
|Power||154bhp @ 4000 RPM|
|Torque||400Nm @ 1750 RPM|
|Ground Clearance||200 mm|
|Kerb Weight||2095 kg|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||63 litres|
The Safari Storme was launched in 2012. Tata has been upgrading its product line up and the Tata Safari Storme 400 has now got another shot in the arm, called the Safari Storme 400. The ‘400’ suffix is an indicator of the increased torque of 400Nm, which was earlier 320Nm. This is quite a substantial increase from the same 2.2-litre Varicor engine and we were eager to try out this beast.
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Tata Safari Storme 400 Engine
The Tata Safari Storme 400 gets two major upgrades. The torque has now been increased to 400Nm@1750-2500rpm along with an increase in power which is now 154bhp@4000rpm, up from 148bhp. The second upgrade is the introduction of a new six-speed transmission. The change in performance is not noticeable initially. However, out on the open road, the Tata Safari Storme 400 behaves quite differently and the surge in torque is very evident. The mid-range now has a very good punch which was always desired in the Safari, especially the 4X4 version. It is heavier and thus a bit sluggish initially. It also seems a little quieter than the regular Safari Storme.
The six-speed gearbox is also a welcome addition in the Tata Safari Storme 400. We feel the Safari Storme always wanted it and now the vehicle feels more complete. The sixth gear helps during cruising and keeps the engine spinning just below the 2000rpm mark at a speed of 100 km/h, which means the Tata Safari Storme 400 runs in a more relaxed manner. What we didn’t like is the placement of the reverse gear, which is just next to the sixth cog and takes a little getting used to, for shifting. The gearbox on the Tata Safari Storme 400 also seemed smoother than the five-speed one.
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|Tata Safari Storme||Mileage (ARAI)|
Tata Safari Storme 400 Design
The Tata Safari Storme is still the monster it was but Tata has tried to make the curvy edges more sharp and sleep. Lets just say it went from being a bodybuilding champion to a heavyweight MMA fighter, it even got a reduction in weight. Being in its 3rd generation is an achievement. Not many vehicles can claim to be helping you “reclaim you life” for that long. The grill now is sleek and has a honeycomb design which is in two levels. At the base there is a thin chrome strip and so also at the top which has a really thick chrome strip with the STORME badging.
This flows into the headlamps. The bonnet is now flat as compared to the curvy, chubby one on the older vehicle. The side cladding too is now flat instead of round and flows similarly into the rear. The wrap around lights are still small and are connected by a fat chrome strip that houses the TATA badging. The door is flat and now misses out on the wheel that used to complement the SUV look. The tyre of the Tata Safari Storme is now is underneath at the rear. Honestly, I really miss the wheel at the back. Tata says they had to remove it as there used to be loads of complains in the previous models that the door used to squeak due to the weight the wheel. Hopefully this problem is solved.
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Tata Safari Storme 400 Interiors
The steering finally gets steering mounted controls in the Tata Safari Storme. The Steering is now 3 spoke and smaller. The dials are same but now with silver cladding and have switched sides. The Dash gets an all black treatment and Tata calls it Java Black. The seats too get a dual tone shade. Black with grey stitching. Sadly the centre console still houses a A/C and not a climate control and still does not get a touch screen. It high time TATA ups its infotainment system.
On the bright side the Tata Safari Storme comes with Harman system speakers which is exceptionally good and is way above a lot of vehicles in a much higher price bracket. The Safari’s forte has always been its seats. These seats gives you the comfort like no other and only reminds you of the comfortable sofa chairs that your grandpa used to sit on.
Both driver and co passenger seats get armrest and the armrest at the rear is alike a huge pillow. The rear seats are even more comfortable than your captain seats with ample cushioning and acres of legroom. The 3rd row remains unchanged with opposite facing jump seats.
Tata Safari Storme 400 Ride and Handling
The Tata Safari Storme has been a mammoth to drive. The highway straight line stability has been almost unmatched but it is exactly the opposite in the corners. You can cruise at speeds of 130 + km/h and yet be relaxed. Panic sits in when emergency brakes are applied or there is a sharp turn. The car has a softer suspension set up and soaks in every kind of bump you can throw at it. Speed breakers or bad undulations or some off-road nothing filters into the cabin, yes it is that good.
But even though the brakes are now improved and all 4 wheels get disc brakes it is not easy to bring this 2600+ kg beast to a halt. In corners the soft suspension is the enemy. Though the Tata Safari Storme is know to be a non toppler, the sufter setup has loads of body roll and you feel like it can flip over any moment. The turning radius has reduces drastically and driving in city is relatively easy. Even the seats are soft enough to give you a very plush ride. This car is a Ladder on frame has can still take a lot of load. The drive comfort is so good you can do 1000 km in a day and you wouldn’t feel a thing. Right from 1998 to today people still vouch by the drivability of the Safari.
The design has been almost the safe for nearly 2 decades. Performance has improved a bit. When it comes to comfort the Tata Safari Storme is still the king and the undisputed champion. I know people who own many luxury vehicles and still own a Safari and vouch by its comfort levels being unmatched even today. Tough there has been in improvement in the quality levels but it is still not at par with competition. Tata also needs to up its equipment list like touch screen, cruise control, esp , drive modes and reverse cam. Hope to see Tata take advance steps to improve this loved beast and make it better than it already is.