Previously, we got the initial driving impressions of the Safari Storme, a few days before its launch. This time around we get the opportunity to drive the Safari Storme under our regular driving conditions. We drove the 4x4 version of the Safari Storme, which has the Borg-Warner transfer case.
This time around we drive it in city traffic conditions and also on the highway. Red further, to know more about the Storme in detail.
The external design of the Safari Storme as we had discussed, does remind one somewhat of the Land Rover from front. The fascia is completely new with the chrome on the hood, with a new front grille. The new headlamp design does meld with the front grille styling and the STORME embossed on it. When the hood has been flattened to integrate the design. There is a haunch on the hood, to add that extra muscular flair.
The silhouette is similar to that of the older Safari. The only differentiator between the old and the new generation Safari are the door handles, which are now grab-ones and also the chrome on the mirror.
The Storme gets a new set of alloy wheel design and new running board. At the rear, the signature spare wheel has been moved below the SUV and it also gets dual exhausts— just like the Aria. The tail lamp design has also been revised.
The interior layout of the Safari Storme is similar to the previous Safari, but every thing has been changed. The dashboard now has a soft touch feel in the range topper, which makes it feel more premium and upmarket.
The fit and finish of the materials on the dashboard is better than before. The shutting of the doors has been improved by leaps and bounds.
With no change in the dimensions of the vehicle, the Storme is still one of the most comfortable SUV in its segments that offers acres of space for both row passengers. Three people can sit in the second row without any squeezing. One of the best USPs of the Safari has been its space, and Tata has retained that quality.
The Storme gets the new air-on vents, new air-con knobs, new instrument cluster and also the design of the gear knob is twitched. Now, the controls for the headlamp are moved from the stalk to the right side on the instrument panel, like the German cars.
So, the right stalk gets audio controls, so one doesn’t have to divert his/her attention from the road. As the spare tyre is now slipped underneath the SUV, so the rattling from the door has now stopped.
The 2.2-litre all-aluminium engine block that earlier powered the Safari is retained on the Storme, however it is DiCOR anymore. The moniker is now VariCOR, which gets a lot of upgrades in its injection system. The throttle response has been improved, and even the low-end torque has been enhanced. The power delivery is more linear than before. The NVH levels have been improvised as the vibration has reduced drastically thanks to the dual mass flywheel. The ECU has been remapped as well.
This is the same engine technology that also propels the Aria, hence even the Safari Storme gets the dual exhausts. There is no clatter from the diesel and the engine does feel stressed when revved closer to redline. Neither does the harass sound intrude into the cabin. The G76 Mark-II gearbox used on the Aria, is carried forward on the Safari Storme as well. The shifts are shorter, but it is still a tad rubbery. The gearing is better than before and you do not have to downshift to make those overtaking maneuvers, be it city or the highway.
The X2 platform has done wonders to the Safari Storme. The handling is a lot of notches above the previous generation Safari and the handling is now far superior. There is hardly any body roll when compared to before, despite the same dimensions.
The Safari Storme now has the smallest turning radius in its segment. This was a big issue for all the existing Tata Safaris. This has added to the convenience factor, as now driving in city and busy streets is much easier. Also, the light steering wheel helps in reducing the fatigue. The ride of the Safari Storme continues to be plush like before. Tata has retained the composed and smooth ride on the Storme as well.
Tata has come a long way with the Safari Storme and it is a more solid package mechanically when compared to the older Safari and also competition. There is no doubt about the road manners of the X2 platform, and the vehicle is the most adventurous when compared to competition. There are some niggles and they aren’t very difficult to fix either.