Tata Safari Facelift Review 2023
The Safari, a 7-seater Harrier, has established itself in the Indian market, with sales numbers showing a 30% decrease compared to the Harrier. Since its launch in 2021, Tata has introduced various editions of the Safari, including the Adventure Persona, #Dark, Kaziranga, #Jet, #Gold, and the Red Dark edition. These editions have included both aesthetic and new features. In 2023, Tata introduced a major facelift, incorporating both aesthetic and mechanical changes. The Safari has undergone several aesthetic and mechanical upgrades, making it a popular choice in the Indian market.
Tata Safari Facelift Price & Brochure
Tata has introduced ‘Personas’ for its Safari cars, replacing variant badging. The cars are available in Smart, Pure, Adventure, and Accomplished personas. The #DARK edition will be available on the Adventure and Accomplished variants, along with an additional “+” variant with extra features. The Safari is available in Lunar Slate, Stellar Frost, Galactic Sapphire, Stardust Ash, Supernova Copper, and Cosmic Gold body colors, with interior color themes varying by variant. Prices for the Safari facelift variants will be revealed on October 17, 2023.
Tata Safari Facelift Exterior Review 2023
The Tata Safari facelift has a distinct front end that makes it easier to distinguish from the outgoing car. The rear is similar to the pre-facelift Safari but sports a few changes, with the “T” badge and “SAFARI” lettering on the tailgate. The side of the car remains well-proportioned, and the car has a road presence with sharp and polished design changes.
The Safari has grown in dimensions compared to the pre-facelift version, measuring 4,668 mm in length (+7 mm), 1,922 mm in width without ORVM (+28 mm), and 1,795 mm in height (+9 mm). The wheelbase remains the same at 2,741 mm. The giant headlamp clusters from the pre-facelift car have been replaced with sleeker units, including an LED projector headlamp, an LED fog lamp with cornering function, and a chrome strip with ‘SAFARI’ branding.
LED DRLs are placed on top near the bonnet, connected by an LED strip activated when switching to pilot lamps. The Safari also gets a welcome function that makes the DRLs and LED strip glow when you unlock the car. The air dam at the bottom houses the front radar and gets a brushed silver faux skid plate.
Roof-coloured ORVMs with integrated turn indicators house the camera for the 360-degree view system. The Safari comes with 19-inch alloy wheels with 245/55 section tyres, inspired by the Sierra concept that Tata showcased at the Auto Expo 2020.
The pre-facelift Safari was offered with 16 and 18-inch wheel options, but now 17-inch alloy wheels (235/65 section tyres) are available in the Smart(0) and Pure(0) variants, 18-inch alloy wheels in the Adventure, Adventure+, and Adventure+ A variants, and 19-inch wheels in the Accomplished, Accomplished+, Adventure+ #Dark, Accomplished #Dark, and Accomplished+ #Dark cars.
The Tata Safari has updated its tail lights with an LED bar in the middle, powered tailgate, and gesture opening and closing. The tailgate now features two reversing lamps and rear fog lamps, with no variant badging.
The rear lights are part of the welcome function and have a faux skid plate finished in brushed silver. The bumper houses the reversing lamp, rear fog lamp, and reflector, with gloss black detailing.
The 2023 facelift looks nicer at the rear, with the #Dark edition being launched alongside the regular Safari. The all-black treatment on the Safari is menacing and has even the alloy wheel design all black. The design feels like an evolution from the previous Safari.
Tata Safari Facelift Interior Review 2023
The new Tata Safari is a modern and plush SUV with a color theme similar to the Harrier. It features a 4-spoke black and white leather-wrapped steering wheel with an illuminated Tata logo in the middle and a brushed silver insert at the bottom.
The automatic variant comes with paddle shifters and electric power steering from a hydraulic unit. The Safari also has buttons for telephone controls, voice commands, MID, adaptive cruise control, and lane keep assist.
The 10.25-inch fully digital instrument cluster from the Harrier is also included in the Safari, with a crisp display and good color contrast. It offers three customizable block designs, including a digital speedometer display on one side, a digital speedometer with a tachometer around it, or a traditional separate speedometer and tachometer display with information in the middle.
The Harrier and Safari are equipped with a rear radar sensor, providing door open alerts when a vehicle approaches from behind. Other features on the ADAS include autonomous emergency braking, blind spot detection, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, rear collision warning, rear cross-traffic alert, lane change alert, traffic sign recognition, high beam assist, and adaptive cruise control.
Pedals are well spaced and not too tall, but the OBD port is exposed, and the sheet in the footwell wasn’t tucked in properly and the bonnet release latch was misaligned. The doorpad carries the white and brown colour theme, with a brushed silver finish and brown-colored handle.
Seats are draped in Benecke-Kaliko oyster white, offering good bolstering and wide enough to accommodate larger users. The driver’s seat is 6-way powered, has 3 memory settings, and has lumbar adjustment.
The center console has been criticized for fouling with the left knee while driving, but the leather insert doesn’t make any difference. It is recommended to spend time in the driver’s seat before making a purchase decision.
The Safari is a compact car with a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system, similar to the Harrier, and a 10-speaker JBL music system. It allows for remote control of rear AC vents and offers more ambient lighting options.
The car also features a 360-degree camera display, voice-assisted dual-zone climate control, and a USB port. The terrain selector display has a shift-by-wire gear selector, which is not as premium as the Harrier’s gear selector.
The passenger side of the dashboard has a premium wooden finish and a gloss black strip with mood lighting. The panoramic sunroof adds air to the cabin. The Accomplished+ variant offers comfortable captain seats with knee room and headroom, while the rear seats are ventilated.
The third row seats have a 50:50 ratio and are split in a 50:50 ratio, offering less support but good cushioning. The third row also has Type-A and C USB ports, a cupholder, and an LED roof lamp.
The boot space is limited with the third row up, with the 3rd row folding down to 827 litres. The subwoofer is placed in the boot and the Powered tailgate can be opened and closed by gesture control.
The 2023 facelift of Tata’s Safari SUV features a punchy mid-range engine and a smooth 6-speed AT transmission. The engine, called “Kryotec170,” produces 168 BHP and 350 Nm, and is mated to a Hyundai automatic gearbox. The AT is superbly tuned and makes the Safari easy to drive in the city.
The automatic gearbox shifts up early and shift quality is smooth. The AT’s overall response time is “average” to “above average,” but it does a good job 98% of the time. On the open road, the Safari AT has enough muscle to please even enthusiastic drivers, with 168 horses and 350 Nm.
It is a capable cruiser that can reach 100 km/h at a relaxed 1,700 rpm and 120 km/h at 2,200 rpm. Overtaking slower-moving traffic is an effortless experience, making the Safari AT a brilliant long-distance companion. The Safari has two selectable driving modes: “Eco” mode, which is usable in the city and easy expressway cruising, and “City” mode, which is a good balance between the two. “Sport” mode is ideal for fast driving, with more power available and a more responsive accelerator. The Sport mode keeps the engine hot by maintaining higher revs, making the motor and gearbox more eager.
Noise, Vibration & Harshness
Tata has improved NVH levels in its Harrier facelift, resulting in minimal body shake and no engine noise. The AT shifts up early, making engine sound less noticeable in city driving. Engine noise is less prominent than the 2020 Harrier, and the diesel is quiet at lower revs. Road and wind noise are also kept in check.
The Tata Safari has an independent McPherson strut front suspension with coil springs and anti-roll bar, and a semi-independent twist blade design with a Panhard rod. Mechanically, there’s a switch to Electric Power Steering and larger 19-inch wheels with 245/55 section tires.
Mileage & Fuel Economy
The Tata Safari facelift boasts a claimed fuel efficiency of 16.30 km/l for the manual and 14.50 km/l for the automatic version.
The Tata Safari offers mature ride quality with a firm edge, making it compliant at city speeds and comfortable for occupants. However, it is not “plush” and can be firm on bad roads, especially on bad roads. The third row seats may feel this more than others. The Safari’s ride is firmer than the Harrier’s due to shorter tyre sidewalls and shorter 19″ wheels.
The 17″ wheel variant has a cushier ride quality. On highways, the Safari’s ride quality is compliant and adequate, but drivers should be aware of the type of road they are driving on. The suspension operates silently, making it quiet and not clunky or loud.
Tata has switched to an electric power steering unit (EPS) for the Safari, which is a welcome change from the old hydraulic unit. The EPS is lightweight at city speeds and weighs up nicely as speed increases. However, when switched to Sport mode, the steering becomes heavier, which may not be suitable for high-speed cornering. While the EPS is predictable, it allows for more speed into corners and direct feedback from the steering.
While there is room for improvement in steering feedback, it is still a good option for enthusiasts. The Tata Safari’s ride quality is compliant and adequate on highways, but drivers should be aware of the type of road they are driving on. The suspension operates silently, making it less clunky or loud. Overall, the EPS is a good choice for urban commuting and adding features like lane keep assist to ADAS.
The Tata Safari is a standard all-wheel disc brake setup, unlike the Harrier, which has drum brakes at the rear. It comes with various safety features such as ABS, EBD, brake disc wiping, after-impact braking, ESP, hill hold control, traction control, and corner stability control. The car can stop straight and true at high speeds, with ABS only kicking in when necessary. However, the sharp brake pedal bite may take some getting used to for new drivers.
Handling & Dynamics
The Tata Safari SUV from Tata offers good straight line stability, no bouncy at high speeds, and quick recovery from expressway undulations. Its grip levels are satisfactory from the chassis and 245 mm tires, but it doesn’t perform as well as a corner carver. Body roll is present, and the car’s height and weight are noticeable. The Tata Safari also has a Land Rover-esque terrain response system with two selectable modes: Wet Mode for rain-prone driving and Rough Road Mode for rough roads. Braking performance is tuned to support rough road surfaces, making it suitable for 7-seater family tours.