Buying a used Tata Safari: what to look out for

    Very few SUVs are as spacious and comfortable for seven people as the Safari. We help you buy a used example.

    Published On Nov 20, 2023 08:00:00 AM


    GOOD FOR: Spacious 7 seats, Build quality

    LOOK OUT FOR: Infotainment issues, Dirty upholstery

    Tata revived its famed Safari name tag in 2021 for its new Harrier-based three-row SUV. Comfy and spacious, it makes for an ideal family SUV, but before you go ahead and add a used Safari to your garage, there are some things worth keeping in mind.

    The Safari comes in both 6-seat and 7-seat layouts; the former, which is only available on the top-spec XZ+ variant, gets captain seats in the middle row, while the latter gets a bench setup. Based on the Harrier, you’d expect the Safari to be spacious in the first two rows of seats, and it is, but it is also comfortable in the third row even for adults. 

    Tata Safari powertrain

    The solitary engine in the Safari is a 170hp, 2.0-litre diesel.

    Like the Harrier, the Safari is powered by a 170hp, 350Nm, 2.0-litre, four-cylinder diesel. You don’t have a choice of engines with the Safari but you can pick between the 6-speed manual and the 6-speed torque converter automatic transmissions. While the manual works fine, the Safari feels much better suited to the auto gearbox and it’s more convenient as well.

    At launch, the Safari was available in seven trims – XE, XM, XT, XT+, XZ, XZ+ and Adventure Edition (based on XZ+). Since then, Tata has been periodically updating the line-up, adding new trims and editions like the Dark, Gold, Jet and Red Dark, all of which brought in certain cosmetic and feature additions.

    Tata Safari features

    Packs in equipment like an 8.8-inch touchscreen, JBL audio system, panoramic sunroof and more.

    Coming to the equipment on offer, the top-spec Safari XZ+ trim gets six airbags, terrain response modes, 18-inch alloy wheels, xenon HID headlights, a panoramic sunroof, an electronic parking brake, an 8.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with iRA connected car tech, a 9-speaker JBL audio system, a 7.0-inch part-digital instrument cluster and much more. The aforementioned special editions further added some features like ventilated seats for the front two rows (6-seater), a larger 10.25-inch touchscreen and ADAS tech.

    If budget is not a concern, go for the XZ+ trim or any of the special editions (based on the XZ+) as they give you some good features along with the added cosmetic enhancements. However, if you are not keen on spending too much, the XT+ trim makes sense as it has all the basics covered and then some, including the large panoramic sunroof.

    The Safari was initially offered with a 2-year/75,000km standard warranty but Tata upped it to 3-year/1,00,000km for the BS6.2 models. So it’s likely that you’ll get an example that’s still under warranty, which should alleviate some maintenance concerns. It’s even better if you get an example that has the extended warranty package. Safaris are generally mechanically sound, but Tata Motors’ service network is not yet up to class standards.

    What to look out for in a used Tata Safari?

    Infotainment issues

    The touchscreen infotainment system is a sore point on the Tata Safari. Owners have faced issues of it crashing abruptly, failing to pair with a smartphone, the reverse camera not functioning and being laggy in general. Before you purchase, check that the infotainment system is up to date with the latest software and that it functions smoothly.

    White upholstery

    Safari XZ variants and above come with white leatherette upholstery, save for some special editions. While this does look nice new, it is a pain to keep it clean in our climatic conditions. Before you go ahead and get one, ensure that the upholstery on all three rows of seats and the door cards is not soiled. If it is, you’ll have to get interior detailing done which can cost around Rs 6,000-7,000 in metro cities.

    Also worth knowing

    Apart from the touchscreen, owners have complained of multiple other electrical gremlins with the Safari. Issues include the part-digital instrument cluster not working, a sensor for the air purifier malfunctioning and the key not being detected. Before buying, it’s advisable to do a thorough diagnostics check by a trained technician so you can avoid the pain later. Some owners have also complained about rattles from interior panels as the SUV gets older, so it’s worth keeping an ear out for this on a test drive.

    Second hand Tata Safari price and resale value

    There’s plenty of examples in the used market, but don’t spend over Rs 20 lakh irrespective of the model you go for. Asking prices are on the higher side, but there is scope for haggling as the updated Safari has already been launched.

    Tata Safari factfile
    Years produced2021-2023
    Price when newFrom Rs 14.69 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)
    Engine4 cyls, 1956cc, turbo-diesel
    Gearbox6-speed MT/6-speed AT
    Boot space73 litres (all rows up)
    Fuel capacity50 litres

    Also see:

    Tata Safari facelift video review

    Tata Safari facelift review: Flagship SUV goes more upmarket

    Tata Harrier, Safari to get lane keep assist

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