2021 Tata Safari review: Iconic SUV in a new avatar
The Safari nameplate is one of the most treasured brands for Tata Motors. Despite being discontinued for many years, the previous version still has a vast fan-following. Now, Tata Motors has resurrected this name in the form of a premium 3-row SUV based on the Harrier. But, is the new model worth your money? Let's find out.
The new Safari has a towering stance and looks quite purposeful with many design cues harking back to the original. While it shares the front styling with the Harrier, the grille is slightly different. It has new 18-inch alloy wheels, a different roof design as well as a larger quarter glass. With a length of 4,661mm, it is also longer than the Harrier.
Inside, it is noticeably different from the Harrier thanks to a new white color scheme, soft-touch materials and wood inserts which do increase the premium quotient of the cabin. The equipment list includes an 8.8-inch touchscreen console, a 7.0-inch TFT digital instrument cluster, a panoramic sunroof, dedicated AC vents for all the rows, connected car technology, a JBL audio system, and leather upholstery.
The Safari offers a 7-seater layout with a rear bench as standard, while a 6-seater configuration with captain seats is optional. The 6-seater Safari is, however, more comfortable. The captain seats have a recline function along with a 'Boss mode' button which moves the front passenger seat forward from the rear. The third row has easy access and provides a decent amount of space.
The Safari has the same 2.0-liter turbo-diesel engine as the Harrier which develops 170hp/350Nm. You can get this unit with either a 6-speed manual gearbox or a 6-speed automatic torque-converter gearbox. The SUV also offers drive modes and terrain response modes. It performs well with enough power on tap, while the automatic variant is the one to go for with its convenience and smoothness.
In the 2021 Safari, the suspension has been tweaked suitably to handle that extra weight which shows up immediately. The ride-quality is excellent while the handling is impressive. It tackles our roads with ease and a sense of toughness. The terrain response modes also gives it some off-road ability. In terms of fuel efficiency, we got 8-9km/l in both the city and highway conditions.
The new Safari is easily the best car we have seen from Tata Motors in terms of its finish, quality, design and engineering. It is practical as well as desirable. It has a road presence to match much more expensive ladder-frame SUVs. We expect its pricing to start at Rs. 15 lakh (ex-showroom), which would further make it an enticing choice.