Tata Safari Storme V400 Long Term Review
400 Nm of torque on a 2-tonne SUV does bring a smile to our faces everyday
Big, heavy and slow are usually the three adjectives which are clubbed together to describe an SUV but I have to let go of the last one because the Tata Safari Storme VariCOR 400 is anything but slow with 400 Nm of torque on tap. What a punchy mid-range, I must admit and that’s an immediate reaction as I took our long termer out for its first outing, to the crowded streets of Mumbai, not the best place to test the mettle of what is a traditional body-on-frame SUV with our tester being a 4×4 model.
A familar looking vehicle by all means of imagination, the outer shell of the Tata Safari has remained the same with minor botox injections keeping things fresh as the years go by. When Tata went from DICOR to Storme in 2012, the vanishing act of the tail-gate mounted spare wheel was a big setback for Safari owners and although time makes things grow on you, I still miss that machoness of the rear. Disappointingly enough, there is nothing to tell apart the V400 from the regular Safari, unless you glance hard on the front fenders! Some hints of the performance of this car should be visually striking, at least a different design of the alloy wheels or a hood scoop (Tata does offer is as part of its accessories pack).
Step inside and the familiarity to the Safari V320 is so striking that you have to pinch yourself to remind you that underneath that long hood lies much more twisting force. V400 badges on the inside might be too cheesy but the cabin has some sort of charm which only grows on you with time. Plain, simple and yet elegant, the Safari’s interior doesn’t scream for attention but it has the bare necessities which make driving easy like the nice to hold steering wheel with ergonomically placed audio controls to the AC which although not climate control (an ouch thought at this price point) is supremely functional.
This brings me to the biggest USP of the Tata Safari Storme, the 1 BHP of interior room. That is also a bane because every member of the MotorBeam team scouts for the keys of this vehicle when ever airport duty beckons them. Right from fitting 7 people in utmost comfort to storing a truck load of luggage in the boot, the Safari’s generous dimensions mean you pretty much move house. The last row of passengers do complain about the side facing seats and a front facing option should have seen the light of the day, considering the continous feedback from owners for this change.