The new-gen Tata Safari is slated to launch this month, with expected prices ranging from Rs. 14.89 lakh to Rs. 21.75 lakh (ex-showroom)
Tata Motors recently unveiled the new-generation Safari in India, marking the return of the iconic SUV after a hiatus of almost a year. Unlike the older model, which was a ladder-frame SUV, the new one has a monocoque construction; it is built on the OMEGA platform, which is derived from Land Rover’s D8 platform.
The new Safari (previously christened Gravitas) is based on the Tata Harrier, and the similarities in exterior and interior design are plenty. That said, the Safari manages to have its own distinct character. The front fascia of the new Safari gets the same headlamp design as the Harrier, but with a new, chrome-plated, tri-arrow front grille.
The side profile of the Safari resembles the Harrier, but gets additional elements like rear quarter glass and roof rails that integrate into the D-pillars. At the rear, the vehicle gets a restyled taillight and ‘SAFARI’ badge on the tailgate. The interior design also resembles the Harrier, but with a different colour scheme and upholstery, along with an additional row of seats at the rear.
The 2021 Safari offers plenty of features, like a panoramic sunroof, push-button start/stop, multi-function steering wheel, reclining second-row seats, AC vents for all three rows, auto-dimming IRVM, electrically-controlled ORVMs, and power-adjustable driver seat. The vehicle gets an 8.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system and a 7-inch TFT MID in the instrument console.
The new Safari gets iRA connected car tech, along with Apple Carplay and Android Auto connectivity. Safety features include up to 6 airbags, ABS with EBD, ESP, TPMS, hill hold assist, hill descent control, reverse parking camera, etc. The SUV also gets driving modes, traction control modes, e-parking brake (with auto-hold) function, and disc brakes on all four wheels.
The interior feels extremely premium, with plenty of soft-touch material employed throughout the cabin. The first- and second-row seats offer plenty of space, and while the third-row isn’t as spacious, it is still usable. The ingress/egress for the last row is poor, but adjustable headrests are available for all passengers. As for driving dynamics, the new Safari handles itself well, both on the tarmac and off it.
The 2.0-litre Kryotec diesel engine delivers 170 PS and 350 Nm, and can be had with either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic gearbox. The ride quality is quite supple, and the cornering stability and driving dynamics are impressive as well, although there is noticeable body roll. Despite not having a 4×4 option, light-duty off-roading isn’t a problem.