2021 Tata Safari – 5 Things We Love About It (And 5 We Don’t)

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Here, we list the top five pros and cons of the new-generation Tata Safari, which we believe every buyer should know before purchasing one

The new-gen Tata Safari was launched in India in February 2021, and even in such a short time, it has created a lot of buzz in the market. The demand for the SUV is quite strong, and the waiting period has already reached up to two months! The new Safari has a lot going for it, including its looks, performance, comfort, features, etc., but it has a few drawbacks too.

Here, we discuss the five things about the new Tata Safari which impressed us the most, along with five things we wished were improved.

Good: The iconic ‘Tata Safari’ name

Some readers might remember that this SUV was previously christened ‘Gravitas’, and prior to the launch, Tata decided to change the name to ‘Safari’. The original Tata Safari enjoyed a cult following in the Indian market, but sadly, it was discontinued in 2019. Its return in a new-generation avatar is quite exciting, and a lot of people are queueing up to get one.

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Bad: Resemblance to Tata Harrier

The new-gen Safari is quite a handsome SUV, although its design isn’t unique. It’s essentially a three-row version of the Harrier, and a majority of the exterior and interior design elements are common between these two SUVs. Many potential buyers have a problem with that, as they wished that the iconic ‘Safari’ had its own unique styling, not borrowed from an existing vehicle.

Good: Powerful diesel engine

Powering the new Safari is an FCA-sourced 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel engine, which develops a peak power of 170 PS and a maximum torque of 350 Nm, the same as the Harrier. The SUV also gets drive modes – Eco, Normal, Sport – to alter the power output. There are two transmission choices available here – a 6-speed manual and a 6-speed automatic gearbox.

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Bad: No 4×4 option

Unlike the older Safari, which was available in rear-wheel and 4-wheel drive formats, the new one is solely offered with a front-wheel-drive layout. As such, it has limited off-road capabilities, which is disappointing for many fans. The Safari does get ESP terrain response modes though – Normal, Rough, Wet.

Good: Classy and comfy cabin

The new-generation Safari is the flagship model in Tata’s current lineup, and the interior reflects that. The design is similar to that of the Harrier, but the materials and colour theme are different. The first- and second-row seats are extremely spacious and comfortable. As standard, the SUV is available in a 7-seater configuration, but buyers can opt for a 6-seater configuration on the top-spec XZ+ trim.

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Bad: Access to the last row is difficult

The access to the last row is a little difficult on the 7-seater variants, as folding down the second-row seats creates only a narrow passageway. On the 6-seater variant, you can alternatively enter the third row from between the two middle seats. The third-row seat space isn’t too bad for adults, and you can slide the second-row seats forward to liberate leg room, but still, the last row is best suited to kids.

Good: Loaded with features

Tata has filled the Safari to the brim with features, like an 8.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system (with Apple Carplay and Android Auto), a semi-digital instrument console (with a 7-inch MID), keyless entry, push-button start/stop, multi-function steering wheel (with tilt and telescopic adjustment), power-adjustable driver seat, cruise control, reverse parking camera, automatic climate control, cooled storage, a panoramic sunroof, etc.

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Bad: Fit and Finish could’ve been better

Although the cabin of the Safari looks and feels extremely premium, there are a few rough edges here and there. The plastic quality in some places is quite poor, and the NVH levels aren’t too great. Wind noise and engine noise creep into the cabin at high speeds.

Good: Great ride and handling balance

Be it potholes or broken roads, the Safari can tackle them all without a worry, thanks to its soft suspension setup. Interestingly, the handling doesn’t feel comprised, and you can push the SUV into corners at moderate-to-high speeds without losing composure. There’s some body roll on offer, but it’s never unsettling.

2021 Tata Safari front end

Bad: Tata’s after-sales service still needs improvement

Tata Motors has managed to improve its after-sales support a lot in recent times. However, compared to the likes of Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai, Tata still has a lot of ground to cover. We’re hoping that the manufacturer will take all the steps necessary to ensure that their customers stay happy and satisfied.