With three-row derivates of compact and mid-size SUVs being the latest trend in the market right now, an important question to ask here is that whether these SUVs are genuine 6- or 7-seater vehicles. Or are these SUVs best treated as 5+2 seaters, which means the third row is only best suited for children. Case in point - the all-new Tata Safari. Although the Safari has the same wheelbase as the Harrier, Tata Motors have done a good job in carving out space for the third row of seats. Let's here it from an owner's mouth about how usable and practical the Safari's third row of seats really are.
Here's an owner's review of the Tata Safari Adventure Persona variant in a 6-seater configuration with captain seats for the middle row. Now with captain seats in the middle row, the Safari can seat four people in utmost comfort without a doubt. Even with a bench seat for the middle row, the Safari can seat 5 people very comfortably. However, in order to make way for a comfortable middle row, Tata Motors haven't compromised space and practicality for the third row of seats. In fact, as seen in this video, the third row is actually pretty spacious, even for a fully grown adult.
There's decent leg room and given that Tata Motors have increased its height from the Harrier, headroom isn't an issue either. The carmaker has also thrown in a few niceties in the third row with dedicated AC vents with blower control, two USB chargers, storage spaces and arm rests. Further, the rear quarter glass is decently sized and one does not feel claustrophobic seated there. This means that one can spend long hours in the third row, say during road trips, and be perfectly comfortable. If you have your Safari with a bench seat for the middle row, you will even be able to seat 7 adults in the SUV, and still have all passengers comfortable.
But that's before you start factoring in luggage space. With all the seats up, the Safari has a boot space of only 73 liters, good enough for just two soft bags. For your reference, the Harrier has a boot capacity of 425 liters. That means a road trip with 6 0r 7 people in the Safari with all their luggage is nearly impossible. In this case, the only option is to add a roof carrier, which you will find from Tata's range of genuine accessories. However, if you fold down even one of the third row seats, you will have sufficient space for luggage and still carry five people for a road trip in good comfort. Fold down the third row completely, and you can easily move houses in the Safari.
Under the hood, the 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 Adventure Persona is available with both the 6-speed manual and the 6-speed torque converter automatic gearbox options. It also comes equipped with three ESP-based off-road modes - normal, rough, and wet - as well as three drive modes - eco, city and sport. Overall, the Safari can be classified as a genuine 6- or 7- seater SUV as long as you are not bothered by luggage. All passengers will even be seated in good comfort. However, in case you are carrying luggage, you will definitely have to make certain adjustments.