The Tata Safari Storme gets slightly more grunt under the hood. We find out if it makes the old brute a better car to drive.
The Tata Safari has been around for ages. In fact, it is one of the few SUVs that remains true to the SUVesque nature that we grew so familiar to about a decade ago. In short, the Safari is a large vehicle which does not warrant messing around with on the road. A few years ago, Tata did soften up the Safari a little with the introduction of the new Storme.
The design inspiration from the newly acquired JLR group was pretty obvious back then and the Storme did manage to woo Indian audiences once again albeit for a short amount of time. With competition like the Scorpio resurrected with renewed vigor, the Safari Storme does seem to lack in appeal a little bit which is why Tata have decided to step the game up and give it a little more power and a little more torque.
We will not really talk about the exterior and the interior of the Tata Safari Storme in this review since Tata has done nothing to the Varicor 400 to differentiate it from the normal Safari Storme with the exception of adding a badge on the fender. Of course, the pictures you see here do hint otherwise but gladly, all the addon parts you see here are dealer fitted and will not be on the standard car.
This will include the fake bonnet scoop and bug deflector which we think looks hideous anyways. That said, Tata could and should have incorporated the LED daytime running lights into the bumper like the ones seen here. The interior too is unchanged and gets the same dashboard and seats like you get on the standard facelifted car.
So let us get to the engine which is the only real difference in this new Safari. For starters, the new engine is absolutely the same unit when it comes to construction and internals. In fact, the engine is identical to the one you get on the normal Safari Storme albeit with a different state of tune. So has 6 more PS of power really made a difference? Well, it is not the power that is the real change here, but the torque figures that have gone up by almost 25 percent.
So is it noticeable? Well, yes. For starters, the Safari is much better in gear than it ever was and is also much more drivable in the city with a very linear and predictable throttle response. What is nicer though is the fact that the car has even more poke on the highway than it ever has. And aren’t we glad that Tata added the 6-speed gearbox into the Safari Storme Varicor 400 which by itself does help the new Storme cruise a lot better than the older one ever did.
So has the updated power been met with updated suspension or brakes? Well, no. The Safari still comes with the same suspension setup that it got earlier and the same brakes that the updated version gets which means it still behaves like a huge boat that floats around and does not inspire much confidence around corners unless you hold it by its neck and force it to perform.
So have the differences really made a difference? Well, to be honest, no. Yes, the Safari Storme Varicor 400 is better to drive but the least Tata could have done is make sure they add some sort of differentiating factor on the exterior of the car. That said, if you are a Tata or a Safari Storme fan, this is as good as it gets for this platform and this is definitely the best Tata Safari Storme ever made but on the whole, this could be a missed opportunity for Tata to rejuvenate a product that seems to be on its last legs.