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Already a key player in the commercial vehicle segment, Tata Motors is also known for its larger sized automobiles such as the mid-size SUV, Safari Storme. Just like its name, the vehicle has stormed the Indonesian market and has been able to provide a decent competition to the likes of Toyota, Mitsubishi, Ford and Renault. The first variant of the Safari Storme was presented at the Delhi Auto Expo in 2012 and was later provided with a ‘Land Rover-Esque’ grille with its facelift in 2015. This clearly shows how the Indian Automobile giants have made use of the technology from the recently acquired Land Rover brand. The latest Tata Safari Storme offers a complete off-roading solution with its robust exteriors and a powerful 2.2-litre Diesel engine that delivers astonishing performance in even the toughest of terrains.
The engineers at Tata Motors have certainly put their pedal to the metal by providing the new Safari Storme with a top of the line engine. The 2.2-litre VariCOR engine produces a max power of around 140 bhp @ 4000 rpm with a maximum torque of 320 nm @ 1700-2700. Unfortunately there is no gasoline variant and the engine is controlled by a 5-Speed G-76 Mark II gearbox. The VariCOR engine is the top of the line diesel engines by the Indian automobile manufacturer and provides astonishing fuel economy and power. This is achieved through computer controlled fuel injection that is powered by a 32-bit processor, which maintains a tight control over the amount of fuel being released in the combustion chamber.
Tata Motors’ acquisition of the Land Rover brand is pretty evident with the Safari Storme, as it looks pretty identical to the famous brand of luxury SUVs and off road vehicles. The front is literally borrowed from the Land Rover SUV and has been rebranded with the Safari Storme namesake and the Tata insignia underneath. While the safari might not look refreshingly new, it's bulky exteriors will certainly demand immediate attention and definitely make the competition sweat. The redesigned headlamps now flow seamlessly along the grille and are powered by daytime running projector headlamps. At the rear you will definitely notice the stylish new exhaust system, which provides a sporty appeal and some great looking side steps add to convenience and style. The silver colored roof rails also add to the massiveness of this SUV, which looks ready for anything that the wild can throw at it.
Although the exterior of the Safari Storme look distinctively elegant, the interiors don’t seem to have undergone any changes. At first look, the dual-tone interiors do give an impression of a premium vehicle but you will be disappointed with a substandard looking centre console that lacks a display screen. The wood trim on the dashboard and the silver-colored door handles do add to the upmarket feel but the lack of a multi-function steering wheel and a relatively simple infotainment system might cause some backlash among buyers. Nevertheless, the headroom and legroom are ample with the Safari Storme and even the occupants in the rear will not feel any discomfort or claustrophobia thanks to the enlarged body dimensions. The 3rd-row seats can also be folded to increase the boot space and if even that is not enough, then the 2nd-row seats can also be folded.
The heavy boned Safari Storme is not only a monster in the wild but also does a neat job of protecting its occupants from any collisions or injuries. It has ventilated disc brakes on the front and rear along with ABS and EBD for effective braking. It has also been fitted with Traction control for better driving while in hilly areas. The 4x4 drive also allows the Safari Storme to be tread in a vast range of terrains in off-road or urban driving conditions. The fog lamps also aid in vision, especially when the weather turns the tides on you. Despite of its hulking exteriors, the Safari Storme has a relatively small turning radius of 5.4 meters and coupled with the 200 mm ground clearance, the mid-sized SUV can be easily maneuvered in the tightest of Indonesian streets. The central locking feature and parking sensors also add to the safety quotient of the vehicle and the occupants seated within from any accidental bumps and thefts.
All in all, the Safari Storme is a brilliant product for the Indonesian market due to its stylish yet simplistic looks and a competitive price tag. Many might complain about the lack of more modern comfort features in this luxury SUV, but it surely keeps the price of the vehicle from being skyrocketed and being inaccessible from a wider audience.