Tata has just launched the much-awaited Tata Safari Storme SUV in four variants. Here’s a look at the variants and its prices.
Safari Storme LX: Rs.9.95 lakh
Safari Storme EX: Rs.10.77 lakh
Safari Storme VX: Rs.12.37 lakh
Safari Storme VX 4X4: RS.13.66 lakh
The Storme will be available in seven colors including a smart new brown colour. The vehicle is a huge improvement over the earlier Tata Safari Dicor 2.2, which will continue to sell alongside the Storme, in lower variants.
Looks and design
The Storme has been built on the earlier Safari’s body shell, but with distinct styling changes. The chassis and suspension, however, is new and has been borrowed from the Tata Aria. The front of the Storme looks inspired from Land Rover with projector headlamps and a thick chrome grille, with a squared off design. The sides get full body cladding all around. At the rear the spare wheel has moved under the vehicle with a full plain door.
On the interiors, more changes have been carried out with an all-new dashboard design, with beige and faux wood finish. The fit and finish is much better. The centre console houses a single DIN music system, and steering-column mounted audio controls have been added (on the stock that controls the headlight dip switch and indicators).
Engine and performance
The Storme gets the same 140 bhp 2.2 litre engine that the earlier Dicor Safari also has. No, it does not get the dual-mass flywheel as was expected, but makes do with a single mass. The engine and five-speed gearbox have been tweaked for better refinement. The top-end VX and VXP variant also get a 4×4 transmission from Borg Warner with a low-ratio gearbox.
The NVH levels are much better in the Storme, with very little engine noise filtering into the cabin. The vehicle also has much improved high-speed manners and cornering abilities thanks to the new chassis design. Stopping power is also good, as it gets disc brakes on all four wheels.
Features and comfort
The Storme has been given a few more features, but still falls short of the Mahindra Scorpio and Mahindra XUV500, its chief competitors. It gets Bluetooth integrated audio, power folding mirrors, and reverse parking sensors. The top-end variants get ABS and two airbags as well.
What the Safari excels in is space. Plenty of it. The rear seat can seat three abreast easily with plenty of legroom, headroom and shoulder room. The front seats with improved lumbar support are comfortable. The two jump seats in the boot, however, are only useful for short trips, and not long journeys.
Storme against competition
What the Storme has going for it is the space and ruggedness that it offers vis-à-vis the Mahindra XUV500. Against the Scorpio, it wins on better space and better drivability. The handling of the Storme is now much better than the Scorpio.
What we think
The Safari Storme is a huge improvement over the earlier Safari – nearly 70% better. And in improving itself, it is now a worthy competitor to the Mahindra Scorpio, and may well be worth the slight premium you have to pay for the Storme. On the features front, it has just the essentials, and not too much bling. One way of looking at it – is there’s a lot less that can go wrong with it. So if you are looking for a rugged SUV (especially the 4×4 variant) that can also do long stances in comfort, the Tata Safari Storme is worth keeping on your shopping list.