Tata Safari unveiled the classic Sierra that has revived as a model at the Auto Expo 2020. Early motorists in our country would remember the Sierra as a rugged, three-door SUV in time before the term SUV was coined. Before we got our hands on the resurrected Sierra, Tata brought back another name from her legendary portfolio.
However, the Safari name now adorns a monocoque, seven-seater FWD instead of being mounted on a rough, body-on-ladder off-roader. We powered it, and here you can read our reviews for the first time. In this review, we dig into five aspects that we liked about the restored Safari and two things we think could have been better. In this review.
We saw the new Safari for the first time as Tata Buzzard, which was seen last year as Gravitas. The Safari sports Tatas IMPACT 2.0 design concept is similar to the Harrier that it is based on. Look at it in front, and considering the silver-finished grill and garnish around the lamps, it’s hard to discern from the Harrier, as this is the only thing that really differs from the five-seater. But switch to the side and make it discernable due to the long and stepped-up roof.
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There are indications of the current inspiration for Land Rover Discovery, especially in the three rear quarters. From this point of view, the latest Safari really looks like an older model successor. The plastic-coated covering of the D-pillar, an extension of the roof rail, is an interesting element here. A distinct light signature compared to the Harrier for the taillight is also a pleasant touch as the raised roof helps make the Safari look from the back.
The Safari is Tata Motors’s most expensive offer in India and is visible as soon as you step in. The interiors are no different than what you can get in the Harrier, to make things clear. But some tasty changes are taking place. This includes the gray wood trim that runs through the dash and completes the rich all-white tapestry. The combination of materials such as piano-black surfaces, silver trims, and soft-touch plastics are carried out throughout the cabin.
But the Safari cabin is more important than anything else. Both front seats are spacious and have space on the head and shoulder. In the second row, you have a standard three-seater bench, but for this extra extravagance, you can also choose Capitan sat, as you can see in the photos. The front-row seats can also be removed from the second-row with a feature Tata likes to call ‘Boss Mode.’
Let’s speak of the third row now. We found two adults with a large headroom, courtesy of the raised step roof can easily sit here. If the occupant of the second row is generous enough, even the legroom isn’t half bad. And the occupants of the third row are equipped with individual air-vents, cup holders, adjustable headrests, reading lamps, two USB sticks, and three seat belts. Even the panoramic sunroof and the wide windows keep people in the third row from feeling claustrophobic. But you sit back, as expected, with lifted knees and may not be comfortable sitting in the last row of the Safari.
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The 2.0-liter 4-cylinder Kryotec turbodiesel that performs duties in the Harrier is under the cap of the new Safari. This engine conforms to BS6 and has a power of almost 170bhp and a usable twisting force of 350Nm. It comes standard with a 6-speed handbook, but we have a six-speed torque converter. This engine has been relatively quiet in idle compared to the pre-BS6 version of chatter. It’s still quite mute, even on the go, but it’s roaring if you’re pressed hard.
And all 170 horses in the middle will drive you through it hard. The smooth shift torque converter also complements the beautiful nature of the diesel engine and you can keep the engine boiling all day long to have a nice time behind the wheel. Until you start driving sports mode. We tried to ensure a constant positioning on the throttle in Eco mode in order to give you an example of how the Sports mode functions.
During the course, we changed into sports fashion and the Safari licked like a dog off the leash. So driving the Safari in Sports mode is very fun, and Tata also has three more modes to choose from when you find the ground difficult to tread. This is the usual, wet, and rough lane. This is normal.
It’s not a light car at 1,840 kg. But the Safari can run in around 11.48 seconds, just one minute behind the Harrier, his sibling, from a standstill to 100kph. The kick-off takes just 6.37seconds (5.94 seconds for Harrier) and 8.19seconds (Harrier only takes 7.36 seconds), respectively, for 20-80kmph and 40-100kmph. So the Safari is no slush, and if you cruise along roads or snatch fast overtakes you wouldn’t want to get more.
Rides Well and Brakes Well
When it comes to riding, Safari has it in his bag. Throw in anything from small bumps to crater-sized potholes, and the Safari manages to take a good pace. Even going over those rumble strips or badly crafted speed-breakers doesn’t disturb the Safari’s composure. Take it to highway speeds and manage to flatten all the junctions and road junctions with ease. In the meantime, the 235/60 section tires have a great balance in terms of comfort and grip.
And when you’re going fast with such a big vehicle, it’s always reassuring to know that there are good brakes to keep things in check. With the Safari, both the front and the rear disk brakes provide solid stopping power, no matter how fast you are.
With Tata’s new crop, you’re assured of one thing – an adequate list of equipment; and the Safari is no different. In this top-of-the-line XZ trim, which we have here, you can have features ranging from keyless entry and start/stop, adjustable steering for both reach and rake, 8-way electrically adjustable driver’s seat, cruise control, reversing camera, and a single-zone climate control system with vents in all three rows, to other unimportant but highly valued features such as rear parking sensors, rain sensors, etc.
The new connected car tech company called IRA. In terms of safety, there are EBD ABS, six airbags, hill control and traction control ESP, tyre pressure monitoring system, and drive modes.
The old Safari was a rugged, all-out vehicle. Save some time and watch the old Safari commercials on YouTube to see what it was all about. The same cannot be said about this new one, because there is no AWD hardware of any kind. What’s more, it remains a front-wheel-drive monocoque SUV that will fight when things get tough.
So, bringing back the name of the Safari to a people carrier that couldn’t do half of what the older Safari could do was a bold move from Tata. But this is no mistake because the majority of the purchasers who would get the Safari would limit it as a prowler of the grounds, not a wild adventure.
Still needs improvement
We experienced the Harrier and for the Safari things stay the same. Although the cabin appears to be top class, look closely and you’d start wondering how well the materials will age. Some rough-cut plastics are still present all around the cabin, and the flaws in the built quality become apparent when fiddled laboriously. Second, competing with rivals like the MG Hector Plus, the upcoming Mahindra XUV500, and the Hyundai Creta seven-seater is an uphill battle. So, there’s a need for Safari to bring the whole caboodle to the party. This includes outstanding features and a better-built quality to go with.
This three-row Tata has already captured eyeballs without shouting its Safari name. It is nice to look at, has a full-length cabin, which is not insufficient for comfort and has a powerful engine. Certainly, it is not as robust or off-road as its predecessor spirituality. But face it, how many of the old Safari owners took the unpaved roads to anywhere and how often? The word “safari” is in Swahili, after all, ride, or travel originally from the Arabic adjective “safar.’ And it doesn’t have to mean off-road necessarily. The Tata Safari should be enough for anything else as read and reported by “www.carwale.com”.