Tata has launched the new Safari to take the legacy of its most famous car ahead. There is however a catch. It is a front-wheel-drive SUV! Yes, a Safari with front-wheel drive, sounds almost blasphemous. But I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t matter as much as people are making it out to be.
SUVs have come a long way since their inception. Now there are categories even among SUVs. Some are hardcore offroaders like Thar, Dmax and others and luxury SUVs like the Endeavours, Fortuners, Gloster etc. The new Safari falls on the luxury side of SUVs with its good ride quality and seating for 7. No one in India takes their Rs 30 Lakh SUV to an offroad course to test their capabilities. These SUVs never see the dirt such is their fate in this day and age. They are mostly used for carrying 4-5 people in comfort on the tarmac. This is where the new Safari shines.
The new TATA safari does 99% of the job of a four-wheel-drive SUV like the Fortuner or Endeavour while costing 2/3. I thought this was enough for it to be considered a good SUV, even a good Safari until I saw the below video.
It was posted by Bunny Punia a Youtuber who tests cars. This video squashed any doubt that people had about the new Safari. The video shows TATA safari crossing all the offroad courses with quite some ease despite having a front-wheel drive. The new Safari is up 20 hp and 30 Nm from the Safari Storm and the increase in power helps it do everything that the old could do even without All wheel drive.
Yes, the new Tata Safari is not a true successor to the Safari Storm that we all love, but it doesn’t matter. The new Tata Safari is capable of getting through the same terrains that the old one could, is more spacious than the old one and has a better quality throughout. It is not a 4 wheel drive SUV but that has been pushed down the priority list with the advancement in ECU, engine and chassis design. Things that could have been only done through four-wheel drive can now be achieved without it, which is why the new Tata Safari is able to perform all those tasks without needing a 4 wheel drive.
In conclusion, the new Tata Safari despite not being a true successor to the Safari Storm would be more successful for the brand because it would be perfectly capable of getting its customers through every terrain, something that the Safari Storm was also intended to do.