The Safari is a proper, 5-door SUV developed by Tata Motors. This vehicle happens to be the very first SUV to be designed, developed and mass produced wholly in India. The very first time the Safari touched the roads was 15 years ago. Although it didn’t receive a lot of fans on several counts, the Safari’s performance off road has constantly won it admiration.
When the Safari was launched, back in 1998, it was equipped with a 2.0 litre, 4 cylinder, diesel engine that was turbocharged. A few years later, in 2003, the car received some upgrades such as power steering, better mechanics, improved interiors and so on. But the Safari still drew a lot of flak for its underpowered, harsh engine. As a response, Tata Motors launched a heavily modified Safari in 2005 with a 3.0 litre DiCOR engine. DiCOR stands for Direct injection Common Rail and this engine was indeed the first from Tata Motors which had common rail fuel injection technology. As of now, buyers can order their Tata Safari DiCOR only with a 2.2 litre, 138 bhp, 4 cylinder diesel engine and a 5 speed manual transmission.
One department where the vehicle has shone right from the day it was released is its off roading capability. Despite mixed verdicts, Tata Safari DiCOR reviews have always praised in this regard. The SUV has a high ground clearance of 205mm, high approach and departure angles of 31°, a 30° break-over angle and can wade through water that’s a foot deep. One can engage 4 wheel drive without having to stop the car first thanks to its shift on the fly 4×4 engagement system and also climb hills that have an inclination of up to 26° (78% gradient). Another major feature which helps this car tackle rough terrain is its limited slip differential as it prevents the tyres from slipping when the ground offers minimal grip.
The Safari has undergone a lot of updates and upgrades to make it more appealing to potential customers. The car gets a dual air conditioner with a separate blower unit directed towards the middle and last rows mounted on the roof. An extremely useful feature is the parking lot locator. At least once, everybody would have forgotten the exact location of their car in a large parking lot and then run around all over the place searching for it. But with the Safari, simply press a button on the car’s remote and the car’s roof light turns on and, after 5 seconds, fades out. This makes the finding the car in a dark area a cinch. A puddle lamp mounted underneath the door illuminates the area where a person would step while getting out of the car so that they don’t step into something they wouldn’t want to! Another feature called the ‘Follow Me Home’ light keeps the headlights on for half a minute once the doors are locked so that the occupants can have their way home from the garage illuminated.
Taking safety into consideration, Tata Motors has endowed the Safari with ABS, a more rugged chassis and body construction and a reversing camera. Customers can choose from one of seven standard or dual tone colours – Cycus grey, Arctic Silver, Pearl White, Quartz Black, Arctic White, Quartz black with Real earth combination and Cycus grey with Arctic silver combination. The Tata Safari DiCOR price range goes from Rs. 10 lakhs to Rs. 17 lakhs, depending on the variant. Despite stiff competition, this old timer is proving itself by continuing to perform well due its comfort, enormous interior space and its prowess at long distance cruising.