Earlier announced as Gravitas, Tata changed the name and brought back the Safari with the idea of enjoying huge success as the Safari has a big fan base. This is the 3rd generation variant which comes under 4 main variants, combining that with seating, transmission and other features makes a total of 15 variants to choose from with a price tag ranging from ₹14.99lakhs to ₹21.81lakhs ex-showroom Delhi.
The new Safari is a joint operation between Tata and Land Rover and so it is built on the same D8 platform which Tata calls it OMEGARC on which Land Rover builds its Discovery. Competing against MG Hector Plus, Mahindra XVU500 and launching soon Creta 7 seater, the Safari has some big shoes to fill.
Only 1 engine is available which comes with Diesel fuel option, it’s a 2L 4-cylinder FWD unit which produces 167bhp power and 350nm of torque. 6-speed manual and automatic transmission through which the Safari goes 0-100km/h in 11.17secs with manual transmission and in 11.95secs in automatic transmission. The engine is shared from Harrier but as an upgrade Tata provided an electronic parking brake.
Front profile of the car looks more like a larger version of Harrier, except this one has a split headlamp setup and chrome finish tri arrow grille, the adventure edition gets a piano black grille. The base variants get 16-inch steel wheels whereas the top variants get 18-inch alloy wheels and in the adventure edition the alloys come in darker shade of grey. 4.6m long, 1.9m wide, 1.79m high and a wheelbase of 2.74m, with a higher roofline and black roof rails the Safari gets a high and big stance. 5 color choices – Royal Blue, Tropical Mist, Daytona Grey, Orcus White and for the Adventure Edition Tropical Mist Adventure.
Interior of the Safari has elements carried from the Harrier along with some additions. Options of 6 seat with narrow but comfortable captain seats and 7 seat which comes under 60:40 ratio, these seats come in Oyster White color which looks very vintage and luxurious but is a tedious task to maintain. Ash wood trim which flows through the central air vents to side air vents and blends beautifully with the grey soft touch dashboard.
Doors have soft touch door handles, chrome knobs and large storage pockets. The front seats are comfortable but the driver seat has less leg space which can be bit of a trouble for tall passengers, the second row seats are theatre seats which implies that they are placed higher than the front row seats and that gives them better visibility. To climb into the third row seats in the 6 seater option there is just one lever to pull and the second row captain seat folds down for better ingress and egress, for the 7 seater option one has to fold the seat manually. Ample amount of legroom and headroom in the third row seat which is very uncommon and Safari is the only SUV which offers it, dedicated USB power points and air vents with a toggle switch to change the blow of air. 73L of boot space which does not fit anything perfectly but if the seats are folded down this boot space expands to 750L. As a small design Easter egg, Safari has Lion family embossed at the rear windscreen which is actually a continuation in the trend with all Tata cars as Tiago has 3 elephants and Nexon has 2 tigers.
As a full-fledged SUV with a big price tag it is not surprising that the Safari has a big list of cool features and technology to make the owner’s life comfortable. Tilt and telescopic steering wheel, engine start/stop button and rear AC vents are some of the very common features offered at this price point.
The top variants have a JBL premium sound system with 4 speakers, 4 tweeters and 1 amplifier, these can be accessed through an 8.8-inch infotainment screen which feels very small in the spacious Safari cabin. Android Auto and Apple Carplay for connectivity and also IRA connectivity features which lets owners check information about the car on their phone like location tracking, speed information if someone borrowed the car or if the valet took the car for more than 1km radius, along with this comes remote AC and start/stop function. Tata has taken a step further in reducing emissions in the environment by adding advanced SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction), this is basically a fluid stalled in the car which absorbs most of the harmful gasses released by the engine and prevents it from getting released in the air, but as a drawback to this this is a 15L fluid which has to be replaced after every 7500kms. A giant rain sensing panoramic sunroof adds to the beauty of the interior cabin and so does a mix of digital and analogue instrument screen. As an added accessory one can get front parking sensors, side stepper, wireless charger, air purifier and rear seat entertainment screens.
Safety has been one of the big game changers for Tata, prioritizing safety of the passengers is what has given Tata a new purpose to fight. The Land Rover D8 or the OMEGARC platform has already given the Safari a great head start in the race accompanied by standard safety features like 6 airbags, ABS and EBD, hill hold and decent control, ISOFIX child seat and tyre pressure monitor. With added weight to the car, Tata has provided disc brakes in both the front and rear tyres which makes braking impeccable.
Overall the Tata Safari is a good blend with features and safety parameter, it surely wins of what a spacious and luxurious cabin it offers, seating 6 to 7 people comfortably and not making them claustrophobic is a different level of achievement in its own. The only thing that could be a major concern is that no AWD is available in a 7 seater SUV and only 1 engine choice is available with no DCT or CVT transmission. Safari has given justice to its legacy and is surely going to make space for itself in the Indian market.