Which is better: Tata Safari Storme Facelift, or Mahindra Scorpio / XUV500?

Should you buy Scorpio or XUV500 or wait for Tata Safari Storme facelift?

Which is better: Tata Safari Storme Facelift, or Mahindra Scorpio / XUV500?

If you are looking for a full-size SUV with a budget of up to Rs. 15 lakh, there are only three main options available – the Mahindra Scorpio, the XUV500 and the Tata Safari Storme. The Force One is a fourth option, but it hardly sells more than a few vehicles every month.

The Tata Safari Storme has just got a facelift, which should be in showrooms over the next few days. Read: Tata Safari Storme facelift in images. But the question is, is it worth waiting for this facelifted Tata Safari Storme or would you be better buying the Mahindra Scorpio or Mahindra XUV500?

Let’s see how the facelifted Tata Safari Storme compares with these two SUVs, which are its main rivals.

Tata Safari Storme vs Mahindra Scorpio

Why Scorpio: More features, better value for money

Why Storme: More space, slightly more power

Which is better: Tata Safari Storme Facelift, or Mahindra Scorpio / XUV500?

In terms of sheer numbers, the Mahindra Scorpio outsells the Tata Safari Storme many times over. In the past six months, Tata has sold only 2,920 Safari Stormes, while Mahindra has sold nearly 10 times that amount at 27,500 Scorpios!

Let’s look at what the strengths of the facelifted Tata Safari Storme first. It has a similar 2.2 litre diesel engine as the Scorpio, but puts out more power at 148 bhp compared to only 120 bhp for the Scorpio. Torque too is at 320 Nm compared to 280 Nm for the Scorpio. Both get five-speed manual transmissions and offer four-wheel drive variants with shift-on-the-fly electric 4×4 operation with low-range gearboxes. The Storme though has far more interior space and more comfortable seats compared to the Mahindra Scorpio, where legroom is still an issue in the middle row especially and the seats are not as wide as the Storme’s seats. The Storme also has power-folding outside mirrors.

However, the facelift has not done much to help the Safari Storme’s case. The new features that the Storme gets includes a revamped infotainment system that moves further up on the centre console. It gets in-built parking sensor display and Bluetooth connectivity. However, the Mahindra Scorpio S10 offers a touch screen double-DIN unit that can also play video and has GPS navigation built in. The new Storme has a revamped steering wheel with steering audio controls, but the Scorpio also has cruise control. Although the AC controls on the Storme have been revamped, it still does not have automatic climate control (the Scorpio S10 has this feature). In addition, the Scorpio also has static bending lamps and a more comprehensive MID. Small things like a fuel efficiency display matter.

Now a look at prices. The Mahindra Scorpio is priced between Rs. 8.75 lakh ex-showroom for the bare bones S2 variant going up to Rs. 13.50 lakh ex-showroom for the fully-loaded S10 four-wheel drive variant. Assuming Tata is keeping the Safari Storme’s pricing unchanged after the facelift, the Storme is priced between Rs. 10.5 lakh and Rs. 14.3 lakh. Not much has changed really from how Safari Storme and Scorpio compared earlier.

Clearly, except for space and a bit of power, the Mahindra Scorpio emerges as a better value for money product.

Tata Safari Storme vs Mahindra XUV500

Why XUV500: More features, better people-carrying ability

Why Storme: Lower price, better off-road credentials

Which is better: Tata Safari Storme Facelift, or Mahindra Scorpio / XUV500?

So how does the Tata Safari Storme compare with the Mahindra XUV500 then, which is more expensive than the Mahindra Scorpio? Here again, the sales figures tell the story. The Mahindra XUV500 has sold nearly 16,500 vehicles in the past six months more than five times that of the Storme’s figures.

In terms of engine power, the Storme and the XUV500 are pretty evenly matched, with the XUV500 putting out 140 bhp of power and 330 Nm of torque from a similarly sized 2.2 litre diesel engine. However, the XUV500 gets a six-speed manual transmission, with the top-end getting all-wheel drive capability as well. Yet, the XUV500 is only a soft-roader at best. The Tata Safari Storme has a rugged ladder-frame chassis, better ground clearance and more robust suspension to handle rough roads.

The XUV500 though is better as a people mover with all forward facing rows and decent legroom (the middle-row has more legroom than the Safari Storme). The Storme does not quite win the space battle here, especially since it still offers only two side-facing jump seats in the boot that are not comfortable. And when it comes to features, it is clearly better than the Storme – with GPS navigation, cruise control, six airbags and traction control being some critical features that the Storme does not have.

In terms of pricing though, the XUV500 is a bit more expensive, priced between Rs. 11.2 lakh and Rs. 15.06 lakh. Still, with the additional features, especially safety features, that XUV500 offers for just about Rs. 70,000 more makes it better value than the Tata Safari Storme, in line with our earlier assessment. The difference here though is not as stark as the comparison with the Scorpio.

So who should buy the Storme?

We think the “update” to the Tata Safari Storme is just a storm in a tea cup really. It won’t make much of a difference to overall sales of the vehicle and it won’t be able to overtake either the Scorpio or the XUV500. The only reason to buy the Storme would be if you want an SUV with more space than the Scorpio for rough roads. And, of course, if you hate the looks of either of the Mahindra vehicles.