Home / Reviews / First Drive / 2024 Tata Safari AT First Drive Review – Flagship Soul


The facelift of the latest generation, 2024 Tata Safari brings a lot of bling and a whole load of kit to go with the bold new styling. We drive it on a hot day in Pune.

2024 Tata Safari offroad

Story: Jim Gorde
Photography: Apurva Ambep

The Tata Safari is a legend in the Indian automotive scenario for many reasons. The fact that it was home-grown and a breath of fresh air at the time, albeit a huge one, were major contributing factors.

The Safari was one of the first new evolutions of a large Tata vehicle that was not a truck, in the footsteps of the Tatamobile pick-up truck, the Sierra and the Estate. The passenger car versions of the latter two were initially offered with a naturally aspirated engine with indirect injection. The turbocharged versions took power up, and this was the spec the first Safari, back in 1998, offered as well. The larger 3.0-litre engine then came in with the “DiCoR” nomenclature bringing in common-rail direct injection. A petrol engine was also offered for some time. The 2,2 VTT DiCoR came next with a healthy four-cylinder, turbo-diesel engine. The Safari Storme followed, then a “Varicor” version. Which brings us to 2019 and the Tata Harrier SUV.

The newly developed SUV had generated a lot of buzz and the styling won many hearts. However, it was a five-seater. Tata Motors did mention that a newer version with seven seats would also follow and the name “Gravitas” was doing the rounds. However, come D-day, Safari fans were excited because the name was resurrected. Cues of the previous model made their way into the new model as well and loyalists celebrated the reincarnation. The engine, called “Kryotec 170” was a more modern 2.0-litre turbo-diesel four taken from FIAT, more precisely, the Jeep Compass. The 170 hp and 350 Nm were more than adequate for what was a heavy and, rather consequently, safe car.

Fast forward to the present and there has seen a substantial refresh. Like the new Harrier, the 2024 Tata Safari looks like a concept car. The sharp creases and distinct new elements make this new model a bold and proud Tata with head-turning looks and a list of what could be cutting-edge equipment. The headlights are bi-LED units and sit in a stack above the “ice-cube” fog-lamps and below a new LED light signature. The LED daytime light clusters are joined end-to-end and create a seamless—and animated—light bar across the front. The highlight is the animation when it is locked and unlocked—something seen only in upmarket and premium cars thus far. The large grille gets body-coloured accents and a revised lower air-dam—distinct from its five-seater counterpart, the Harrier; also driven elsewhere in this issue. The list of changes also sees “personas” instead of regular variants—this is the fully-loaded “Accomplished+” that also brings chrome door-handles and new 19-inch diamond-cut wheels with wider 245/55 tyres.

The 2024 Tata Safari’s styling is definitely a huge plus, if not the most important talking point, but let’s get inside and below the skin. The diesel engine, updated to the BS6-II emission standard, is just one element. The transmission have here is a six-speed automatic and it sends the power to the front wheels only, on what is the OMEGA architecture—derived from their Land Rover D8 platform.

More on page 2 >


About the author: Jim Gorde


Deputy Editor at Car India and Bike India.
Believes that learning never stops, and that diesel plug-in hybrids are the only feasible immediate future until hydrogen FCEVs take over.

t: @CarIndia/@BikeIndia
IG: @carindia_mag/@bikeindia/@jimbosez


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