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Tata Safari Storme 4x4 VX 7,500km: Long Term Report

The Tata Safari Storme has clocked another 2,500km taking the overall meter reading to over 20,000km
Tata Safari Storme 4x4 VX 7,500km Long Term Report
Driving a big SUV has its virtues and vices. You are usually faced with genuine to bizarre requests from close friends and colleagues who wait for an opportunity to borrow the car.  And the most common ones being the usual long-ish trip excuse, moving houses or picking up guests from the airport. And as you may have guessed, it took a concoction of all these excuses and a puppy face to convince our ed Vikrant, to let go of the Tata Safari Storme’s keys.
Strangely, the Tata SAFARI STORME acted temperamental the very first day. After having driven it through the length of Mumbai, it refused to crank up after reaching our office basement parking. Thanks to the good folks at Tata Motors, who towed it to the service station only to realise that one of the fuses had gone off. After a thorough check, she came back and has been driving perfectly since. 
Since the last long term report, the Tata Safari Storme has clocked another 2,500km taking the overall meter reading to over 20,000km. And this time it’s been mainly within the city and the weekly trip to Pune via the scenic Mumbai-Pune expressway. The obvious good for this massive SUV is great cabin space, which I made full use of during a cousin’s wedding.
During the pre-wedding ceremonies, there always enough space in the Tata Safari Storme to fit five adults and their luggage, shopping bags and gifts without much complaint. And on the big day, with guests packed till the third row seats, the Safari proved to be a wedding planner’s dream come true. It ferried them to and fro to the venue in utmost comfort, without spoiling the creases of their designer wear, while the rear air-conditioning ensured the ladies had their make-up intact. 
But then came the biggest urban challenge – parking. It’s not easy to find parking for a full sized SUV like the Tata Safari Storme. Well, you win some and you lose some. I would be happier if the 2.2-litre VariCOR could have returned a slightly better fuel efficiency. The best in-city mileage I could achieve was about 10kmpl, and on the highway couldn’t stretch it much beyond 12kmpl.
But the motor churns out oodles of torque which is available from as low as 1700rpm, making it extremely effortless to drive in cities or cruise on the highway. Besides the space, the other highlight for me is the high profile (235 / 70 R16) tyres and the robust suspension, which just irons out grumpiest of road surface, while the cabin remains insulated from all the clobbering underneath. 
It could do with a better entertainment system and perhaps a parking camera. Till recently, I used to fumble to reach the power window switches on the driver’s door panel, and invariably unlocked the fuel tank cap. Now I’m trying to get used to the steering column mounted audio controls and wiper stalks.
Soon, I'll be handing over the car back to its rightful owner and hope to get a similar spacious and practical vehicle as my long term, albeit a bit more efficient.
Date Acquired: August 2014
Total km till date: 20,165km
Km this month: 1,514km
Fuel consumed:  144 litres
Efficiency: 10.5kmpl (As tested)
Cheers: Space, comfort, seven seats
Sneers: Fuel efficiency, ergonomics

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