After a lot of anticipation and teasers, Tata Motors have finally revealed the all-new Safari in India. While the new 2021 Tata Safari is a three-row version of the Tata Harrier, it is also the revival of an iconic nameplate from the carmaker's history. The 2021 Tata Safari will be available in six trims in India - XE, XM, XT, XT+, XZ, XZ+. Tata Motors have announced that official pre-bookings will commence on February 4, 2021 before the SUV is launched later in the same month itself.
2021 Tata Safari - Exterior Design
The new Tata Safari is largely similar to the Gravitas concept that was seen at the Auto Expo. However, there are some key differences to note. The Safari boasts an unique grille up front with Tata's signature tri-arrow motifs finished in chrome. There’s more chrome encasing the split headlight clusters and on the door handles. The Safari also boasts of a new Harbour Blue paint shade but the 18-inch alloy wheel design remain identical to that of the Harrier.
The rear end of the Safari is completely unique with a full rear-quarter glass, a stepped roof and a more upright rear section. The tail-gate is completely new and the tail lights are slightly different as well. The Safari also gets new roof rails with silver inserts bearing the Safari inscription. There are several elements in the design that nod to the original. The high bonnet, a strong face, the stepped roof, the rear three-quarter glass and stadium seating - all hark back to the original Safari.
2021 Tata Safari - Interiors and Features
Tata have added 63mm to the Harrier’s length and 80mm to the height to make way for a decent third row. The Safari always had to be a genuine three-row SUV and Tata say that it does not have an apologetic third row of seats. It will come in two seating configurations - a 6-seater with captain seats and a 7-seater with bench seats. The Safari boasts of an unique stadium seating arrangement, something that enhances the sense of space in the cabin.
The basic dashboard layout and features list remain more or less identical to the Harrier. The Safari however gets a new Oyster white upholstery for the seats and the door pads and a new ash wood trim around the instrument panel. The floating touchscreen infotainment system still takes center stage on the dashboard. A panoramic sunroof, automatic climate control, drive modes (Eco, City and Sports) and ESP-based Terrain modes (Normal, Rough and Wet), electric parking brake, boss seating mode for the second row, ambient lighting, powered driver seat and iRA connected car tech are some few other feature highlights.
2021 Tata Safari - Platform and Powertrain
Just like the Harrier, the Safari too is based on the Land Rover-derived Omega architecture. We have always admired the ride and handling balance of the Harrier and we expect the same DNA to be carried over the Safari as well. Under the hood, the Tata Safari is powered by the Harrier's Fiat-sourced 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder diesel engine that produces 168 bhp and 350 Nm of peak torque. The engine comes mated to a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed torque converter automatic gearbox.
Tata Motors have said that the Land Rover Discovery-derived D8 platform can be adapted to incorporate a four-wheel-drive system. Tata have said that based on customer feedback and research, they could actually explore the possibility of a 4x4 Safari sometime in the future.
The Tata Safari will command a decent premium over the Harrier. Currently, the only rival for the Tata Safari in the Indian market is the MG Hector Plus as the only other three-row mid-size SUV in this class. However, it will soon be joined by the likes of the 7-seater version of the Hyundai Creta and the upcoming next-gen Mahindra XUV500.