TATA Safari

Aug 28, 2005
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Has anyone any experience of a TATA Safari , I was looking through Autotrader and can't believe that you can buy a nearly new one for under seven grand. Any feedback appreciated

Monkey's Husband
 
Mar 14, 2005
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There was a similar post in the forum a year or so back and the general opinion was that they're left well alone if you demand a minimum of build quality.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Agree 100% with Lutz Monkey's hubby.

These vehicles are badly made with poor spares backup.

I can think of many many many good S/H vehicles that are worth
 
Aug 28, 2005
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Until yesterday I thought TATA made CV's only, I couldn't believe what I was seeing a nearly new car (54 plate under 3k on the clock for 7 K!! ) that was the price of a well nothing. On doing a bit of my own research it seems that a division of MG Rover was the last importers of TATA's. (enough said)!!

Most seem to be sold by agricultural dealers - my local dealer (no potential of a deal here) also sells Massey Ferguson Tractors!! So I guess the customer base is used to the phrase "agricultural ride".

Incidentally looking at one web site Clive; it did to my eyes (as you no I'm not an off-roader) look quite competent off-road waist high in mud and water

Regards
 
Mar 14, 2005
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There was this guy at work, years ago, the sort that makes your toes curl up so that they are further away from him. You know the dishonest, power wielding scum that always seems to come out on top no matter what happens or mayhem he causes. Well one day he came up to me and said he was going to buy a brand new 4x4 Tata, and what did I think about that then?

So I gave the dismal beast my wholehearted recommendation!

Me bad, yup I know.....
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Until yesterday I thought TATA made CV's only, I couldn't believe what I was seeing a nearly new car (54 plate under 3k on the clock for 7 K!! ) that was the price of a well nothing. On doing a bit of my own research it seems that a division of MG Rover was the last importers of TATA's. (enough said)!!

Most seem to be sold by agricultural dealers - my local dealer (no potential of a deal here) also sells Massey Ferguson Tractors!! So I guess the customer base is used to the phrase "agricultural ride".

Incidentally looking at one web site Clive; it did to my eyes (as you no I'm not an off-roader) look quite competent off-road waist high in mud and water

Regards
I strongly recommend that when the appalling electrics and build quality cause the inevitable breakdown whilst "waist high in mud and water" that it is left there as a warning to others.
 
Nov 1, 2005
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The tata is one of these cars which people love to poke fun at the same as they used to the skoda rapide, but the skoda rapide was never a bad car. nor is the tata, although the build quality is dubious the mechanicals are bullet proof. lets not forget 95% of us laughed long and hard at those who bought kias and hyundias 15 years ago.
 
Nov 6, 2005
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Reputations usually come from long ago. Skoda's legendary reputation came from the original Octavia and pre-war models. The Rapide didn't deserve the reputation it got and the more recent VW/Audi-based models are well-engineered good value cars.

The TATA's reputation is, however, based on current models and is therefore to be avoided at all costs.

Second-hand cars are so cheap now that anything else would be preferable.
 
Nov 1, 2005
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Don't get me wrong I wouldn't buy one myself. 7K can buy a lot of secondhand car. But I knew a brickie who had a TaTa Loadbeta for years and it took dogs abuse every day of the week and never let him down. It was actually quite an amazing little machine. The only point I'm trying to make is experience is more valuable than reputation. Take for example the Landrover, probably viewed as the 4x4 "daddy". I know two 4x4 dealers in my area who will not buy or sell Landrovers. One actually told me that if I bought a Rangerover to make sure it had a new engine, so I'd at least get a few months use of it. The other told me the Discovery was the worst built and least reliable 4x4 I could buy. So reputation isn't the only consideration.
 
Jul 12, 2005
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The TATA is built like a brick and will last for years, but will have no resale value to speak of.

As for the comment on Landrovers, if that was true then you would not see so many with over 100k miles for sale nor would there still be 70% of all that have been made still on the road. A lot of the comments about LR vehicles come from people who cannot afford them. Strange that!

The problem here is opinions, everyone has one and believes theirs is the only one to listen too. If you go to buy a car then do the research. Look on the forums, get the cost for servicing etc.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Land Rover does figure right down near the bottom of the list of a number of car industry studies including the J D Powers customer satisfaction index so even the owners can't be that overwhelmed with their purchase, Steve.
 
Jul 12, 2005
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Lutz

The problem with those surveys is that they take no account of % of sales. If 100 LR owners reply and only 5 TATA owners, they say that 5 times more people are not happy with their cars. this does not take into account that 100 times more LR have been sold in that period.

I no longer listen to them, as the last time I did, I got a new IS200 Lexus. Worst pile of proverbial I have ever owned. in 3 yrs it spent 9, yes 9 months in the garage having warranty work. From new wheels to electrics and the WHOLE braking system.

I have to admit I am biased. I am an admitted buy British freak. But I did do the research and the disco came out as one of the cheapest large 4x4 to keep on the road. Proved by the fact I replaced all 4 disc's and pads for
 
Jul 26, 2005
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The TATA is built like a brick and will last for years, but will have no resale value to speak of.

As for the comment on Landrovers, if that was true then you would not see so many with over 100k miles for sale nor would there still be 70% of all that have been made still on the road. A lot of the comments about LR vehicles come from people who cannot afford them. Strange that!

The problem here is opinions, everyone has one and believes theirs is the only one to listen too. If you go to buy a car then do the research. Look on the forums, get the cost for servicing etc.
I agree - quoting from experience of ownership is OK but most opinions on this forum seem to be based on anecdote or biased towards the owners own choice of vehicle - not one owners report on TATA here for example.
 
Jul 12, 2005
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I agree - quoting from experience of ownership is OK but most opinions on this forum seem to be based on anecdote or biased towards the owners own choice of vehicle - not one owners report on TATA here for example.
"not one owners report on TATA here for example. "

Maybe that in itself is relevant information!
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Reliability and Land Rover is not an easy match. Do not get me wrong until very recently I ran a 1984 Range Rover that never let me down. Always started would tow anything and cruise all day at or just above the legal limit. But why were Land Rover gearboxes made so that they were on borrowed time after 80K miles when you can jump into a Transit Van with 250K miles on the clock and still have a slick gearbox?

Not sure why but I have just sold the Range Rover and replaced it with a newer Discovery. We also have a Freelander, bought from new four years ago.

Our friend who has a three year old Volvo has had a persistent fault with the ABS. Apart from a dash rattle, cured at the service, the Freelander has been faultless. Clinical trial of one I know but if things were that bad how did the Freelander become the best selling 4x4 in Europe and more Land Rovers in general being still on the road than any other make of car.

Steve is correct. The cost of spares for a Land Rover are a fraction of other marques. If you want a laugh but an empty wallet buy a Lexus. Most of the parts are common with other Toyota's but you are not allowed to purchase them from a Toyota dealer - you have to buy thro' Lexus and pay a significant premium.

As regards reliability Ford is doing great things with Land Rover. The problem has always been lack of money in the past. If you look at the development of the Discovery, the model that is recognised as helping to "save" Land Rover, the cost was a fraction of what most car companies would normally spend. When it proved to be one of the most popular 4x4's the production was stepped up and sadly quality suffered.

The point I am making is that despite the quality issues, the underlying product is a world beater and always has been.

The TATA, like the Indian Enfield m/c, has always been badly produced and is unlikely to get any better.
 
Nov 1, 2005
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Guys. In the australian outback Landrover ,until the launch of the discovery had a 96% market share in 4x4s. They now have a 4% share. This is not my opinion ,but the opinion of people who are reliant on their vehicles. If you break down in the outback you'll probably not live to get your car fixed. As i said ,my information came from two dealers both with over 25 years experience. Look through the autotrader at discoverys less than 3 years old, and note how many have new engines and gearboxes. I have nothing against Landrovers, I just think some cars come in for criticism they don't deserve. I do take the point about resale values, but show me any car that holds it's value?
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Of course it had nothing to do with the absolutely appalling (mis) management of Leyland at the time who decided in there wisdom to remove the dealer network from Oz.

Thus allowing Toyota and others who went in with a good product and excellent spares back up to clean up.

As regards the vehicles themselves, the Aussie armed forces had Land Rover based vehicles - even developing their own six wheeled sand crossing version of the 110 - they called it the Perentie (or similar) I think. If reliability was as most of the knockers would have you believe why did the military stick with LR products?

Australia is also a stones throw from Japan who would deal (quite rightly) with anyone in trade whereas we (stupidly in my view) had by now signed up for the EEC as was that has now evolved into the EU monster we all love so well.

As such trading with our old Commonwealth partners was far more difficult - hence the dreadful decision to abandon established markets to try to deal more within the European Economic Community. Which both the Discovery and the later Freelander has done very well - the later becoming the most popular 4x4 in Europe.

I am not saying the LR product was faultless - far from it - but the moaners and whingers always like to say reliability was the ONLY problem re lost markets. It wasn't.

There is still an active LR enthusiast movement in Australia and again - thanks to Fords innovative marketing via its Premier Auto Group, the latest LR products are doing very well down under with the LR3 (New Discovery) picking up all sorts of awards.

The real truth is that if your go to any newsagent you will see no less that four well established and supported Land Rover Magazines each month. I do not think any other marque can come even close to that accolade.

But of course the "knockers" will no doubt say the magazines simply show how to keep them on the road.

Which obviously works because there are more older LR products still on the road than any other type of vehicle.
 
Nov 6, 2005
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LR dominance of the Oz market was in the days when no-one else made 4x4s. Once the Jap 4x4s were on the market LR share just evaporated. The problem wasn't just Discovery, it was Solihull design/development/build quality.

Thankfully Ford has taken over design & development and building elsewhere, at least for Freelander.
 
Apr 13, 2005
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Craig, strange that you quote disco's under 3 years old as they have a BMW engine fitted, now it might be coincidence but i have always in the past bought british or french cars and never had a problem worth writing about but 18 month ago i swapped my discovery 300 tdi auto for a ford galaxy with the vw 1.9 tdi engine fitted. the galaxy was a superb vehicle apart from being a little underpowered at 115 bhp so i swapped it 6 month ago for a brand new alhambra 1.9 tdi 130 bhp, its the very same german engine that is fitted to all vw audi seat and skoda vehicles, my car travelled for only 4000 miles and four months before suffering a catostrofic failure which has resulted in the car being off the road now for 8 weeks. it has had a new computer a new fuel pump a new set of injecters a new wiring harness a new flywheel and a full fuel sytem flush and it still miss fires badly. the dealer despite all the help from seat can not fix my car, dont get me wrong they have been fantastic as they are not the suplying dealer ( they went bust ) and i have had a courtasy car throughout but its very very annoying to say the least. any way to my point my disco covered 160 thousand miles with no problems other than servicing and wear and tear items it was even on the same clutch when i sold it it was running perfect and still returning 30 mpg, over the new year we had a holiday booked with the van so the seat dealer hired me a brand new discovery3 diesel auto se and i can only say to any doubters get a test drive, it was a revelation, a totally transformed vehicle the engine was pure silk the auto box was never fazed and the opulance of the interior was beyond my wildest imagination. the car had everything you could ever imagine even the rear seats where heated and as i aproached the car my phone was automatically logged on to the built in handsfree kit. I sold my last discovery mainly due to fuel consumption, my galaxy returned double the mpg and still did the job of towing so the discovery was a bit of a waste of money as a day to day vehicle but i have to say the feeling of grandure that the new discovery gives has convinced me that when i do get my alhambra back i am definately looking to change back to landrover.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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just a quick note on the reliability of land rovers etc, independant warranty companies also slated them as being the most freqeunt and expensive to repair especially the freelanders. ps im not anti 4x4 , far from it , just what i read recently.
 
Apr 13, 2005
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the figures you quote from the warranty companies are very inacurate as one person has already stated due to the fact that the free lander outsells any other vehicle in its class, the last figures i saw showed that for every 100 freelanders sold other makers sold an average of 20 vehicles. with so many cars on the road is it not obvious that more freelanders and discoverys will show faults. I thought i saw recently that the merc ml was the most unreliable 4x4 on the road ?, but then again it depends on which mag you read as they all have theire favourite cars.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Which report are you referring to that quotes absolute results? I don't know of any. All reports that I am aware of give relative figures, e.g. as a percentage of total sales, so it really irrelevant whether a car manufacturer sells 100 cars or 100000.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Look guys watch out because I am getting the Anorak out!

Any Land Rover enthusiast will tell you the three main things that are wrong with a Land Rover are Lucas, Lucas and Lucas!

That said, I do not believe that in general the mechanical bits are any worse than other makes. What my own experience tells me is that non-specialist dealers do not know there backside from their elbow when it comes to Land Rovers.

A couple of real examples.

My local MOT station was a Ford dealership (not a main one but a satellite) My old range rover failed on handbrake operation. I queried it knowing that the handbrake worked fine. The MOT tester said he failed it because the handbrake cable was missing!

For the uninitiated Land Rovers have transmission handbrakes that work on the rear propshaft. Despite my protests he would not relent so I had to get another MOT elsewhere and make an official complaint.

Second - How many times have you seen an advert for a Long Wheel Base Freelander? This often pops up in the non-specialist garages. Freelanders both 3 and 5 door are on the same floorpan - no dif in wheelbase.

Third - and this was a classic! - A guy bought a Freelander only to find that the centre dif had been removed and it was now a front wheel drive car!

Fourth - I took my front propshaft into a garage that I have not used before to have the U/J's replaced whilst I was at work

The mechanic said "what is it from" I pointed to the Range Rover - He said "Don't be silly! - just drove it here"

No amount of explanation that by putting it in diflock you can drive on just one axle would convince him. I went elsewhere!

I could go on but the main point is that Land Rovers are fairly specialist vehicles if they are not maintained or maintained by people who do not know what they are doing then expensive things can and do go wrong.

If you want a Land Rover or any 4x4 for that matter - my advice is to buy it from a dealer or an independent specialist. That way you can be pretty sure that you are getting a good vehicle. Most of the 4x4's that end up on your average car dealers forecourt are those that are not off sufficient standard to be offered by the specialist.

And of course any warranty offered by such non-specialist dealers will be self selecting for those problem cars. A specialist dealer will have no problem offering a quality warranty.
 

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