Tata Motors unveiled the Safari Storme, the face-lifted version of the Safari at the 2012 Delhi Auto Expo but is it better than its predecessor?
The Safari has been in the Indian market for nearly 14 years but does the new face lifted Safari have enough upgrades to be termed as the next generation Safari or is it just a cosmetic makeover? Here, we take a detailed look at the differences that exist between the Safari and the new Safari Storme.
The Safari Storme has an all-new grille which gives it a Land Rover-like look. The honeycomb vertical grille has a thick horizontal chrome slat which gives a tamed look to the SUV unlike the raw wide gapped grille in the previous model. The headlamp cluster has projector headlamps which look slimmer than the boxy headlamps of the old Safari.
The side profile largely remains unchanged but there subtle changes in the design such the pronounced rear wheel arches, wide foot step and pull type door handles. At the rear, the Storme has chrome-tipped dual exhausts and an integrated roof spoiler. The tailgate has thick horizontal chrome strip running between the refreshed tail lamps. The greyish band above the chrome strip gives the Safari, a mature look.
Summing up, in terms of looks, the Storme has not really bettered the looks of the present Safari. Instead, the Storme although a more evolved design largely fails to make an impression even to a Safari loyalist.
Performance, handling and mileage
The Storme gets the same 2.2-litre Dicor (direct injection common rail) motor used in the outgoing model. This tried and tested engine puts out 138 bhp (140 PS) of power and 320 Nm of torque. But the engine has been tweaked and the gear ratios have been altered in order to provide better pick up and acceleration without compromising the fuel economy.
Overall, the performance of the new Safari may not have a significant improvement over the old model, but nevertheless, it will likely drive better.
Let’s check out if the Storme handles better than the old Safari. The Storme is built on new X2 platform on which the Tata Aria was also built. Ideally, the new chassis should be stiffer than the old chassis which means body roll and vertical movement should be better in the Storme than the old model.
Overall, the X2 platform will likely make the Storme ride and handle better than the outgoing model. However, only a proper road test will reveal how well the Storme rides/handles when compared with the old Safari.
The claimed fuel economy of the old Safari is 13.93 kmpl. The kerb weight of the vehicle also plays an important role. Taking this into account, the new Safari Storme, benefited form the hydroformed chassis, is significantly lighter and hence would return slightly better fuel economy than the old Safari.
The Safari Storme showcased at the Auto Expo had single DIN audio system, shift-on-the-fly 4WD, power windows, electrically adjustable mirrors, turn indicators on outside mirrors and 16-inch alloy wheels. But overall, there may not be much differences between the features offered in the Storme when compared with the old Safari across various trim levels.
Space and Comfort
The extensive use of beige on the inside makes the Storme looks more spacious than the old Safari, but both have same interior space. The front row seats have adequate space and can fit even tall occupants with ease. The middle row offer excellent sofa-like comfort. The luggage space has two jump seats which will best suit kids. Quality of plastics as well as fit and finish are in par with the Tata Aria. Summing up, the new Storme has improved vastly and should appeal to wider range of buyers who look for quality interiors.
The Safari Storme has many modifications under its skin than visible to the eye. The Safari Storme has upmarket interiors, has refreshed styling and will run on the reliable 2.2-litre Dicor motor. As it is built on a new platform, it promises to ride and handle better than the outgoing model. If Tata Motors prices the Safari Storme competitively in the range of Rs. 9 lakh – 11 lakh, it is definitely a better buy than the old Safari and may also be a worthy alternative to the ageing Mahindra Scorpio.