Now that the new Safari Storme is out, and since we've driven it, here are a few reasons why you should, and shouldn't, look at the Tata as your next SUV. The prices for the Storme start at Rs 9.95 lakh and go up to Rs 13.66 lakh, all prices ex-showroom, Delhi.
5 reasons why you should buy the Safari Storme
- The engine: The motor powering the new Storme is good for 138 bhp with 32.6 kgm of torque. Called the 'VariCOR', which essentially is Tata lingo for a variable geometry turbocharger, the engine feels great post 1800 rpm which is good news for those who will be driving on highways extensively.
- The interior space: The older Safari had acres of space within the cabin and the Storme is no different. There's enough of legroom, headroom and shoulder room to comfortably seat a family of five with space left over for luggage and the pet dog.
- Ride quality: The ride quality of the Storme has improved if compared against it's predecessors. Severe potholes, however, can get the better of that suspension.
- Road presence: The Storme is a big SUV and it makes no bones about it. Not many vehicles on the road are going to be able to bully the Storme in traffic. Don't expect the trucks and buses to get intimidated, however.
- Shift on the fly 4x4 (available as an option only in the fully loaded VX variant): Having a selectable four-wheel drive system gives you peace of mind on slushy or broken roads. The down side is that it piles on some significant weight to the already heavy Storme.
5 reasons why you might not want to buy the Safari Storme
- The engine and gearbox: Although the engine feels enthusiastic at highway speeds and higher revs, at anything below 1800 rpm, the motor bogs down, dissuading early shifting and hampering city driving cycles. The gearbox feels a tad sticky.
- The styling: Although aesthetics are dependent on personal tastes and preferences, we are of the opinion that the Storme looks too similar to the older Safari to make it look like a brand new model.
- The power steering: The power assist to the steering wheel is not fluid and works in spurts. There is no linear transition in its functioning.
- The weight: With a kerb weight of 2095 kg for the 4x4 variant, the Storme sinks into slush and gravel and you can feel the engine work overtime to get it out. Cornering enthusiastically can cause you to feel the heft of the Storme moving about, and its high centre of gravity doesn't exactly help matters for the Tata.
- Build quality: Although the interiors have improved, there are still some parts of the Storme that seem like they have been built within a budget. The faux wooden inserts look exactly that, faux, and some of the panel gaps aren't consistent.