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Tata Safari vs Tata Harrier: is the extra row of seats worth the premium?

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Tata Safari vs Tata Harrier

With the duo of Harrier and Safari, Tata Motors has managed to successfully strike the chord of the premium midsize SUV category. This, despite some heavy competition from a number of smaller and equally sized midsize SUVs in the same price bracket.

The Tata Harrier was introduced in India as the flagship vehicle from Tata Motors. But then, the Indian car maker went one step ahead and launched its seven seater version, by giving it one of the most iconic nameplates in the Indian automotive history, the Tata Safari. The Safari is essentially built on the same platform and shares much with the Harrier, including styling elements, cabin layout and powertrain options.

However, the Tata Safari still manages to have a distinctive appeal of its own, and apart from having an extra row of seats, it also has a few other upgrades over the Harrier. The question then arises – if there are a lot of similarities between the Harrier and Safari, is the extra premium which the Safari commands over Harrier for its advantages worth giving? Let’s find out:

Price

Tata Safari Gold Edition Exterior

Both the Tata Harrier and Tata Safari have been made available only with a diesel engine, which is offered with both manual and automatic gearboxes across their variants. Given that the Harrier is a smaller SUV than the Safari, and misses out on a few features as well, it is naturally the more affordable of the two.

Prices (ex-showroom, Delhi) Tata Harrier Tata Safari
Diesel-manual Rs 14.40-19.89 lakh Rs 14.99-21.90 lakh
Diesel-automatic Rs 17.06-21.09 lakh Rs 17.81-23.18 lakh

(All prices mentioned above are ex-showroom, pan India)

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Engine and Performance

Tata Harrier xta+

The powertrain employed for both Tata Harrier and Tata Safari is the same 2.0-litre Kryotec four-cylinder diesel engine, which happens to be the only engine option for both the SUVs. Essentially sourced from Fiat, this engine is the same oil burner which powers other SUVs like Jeep Compass, MG Hector and MG Hector Plus.

In both Harrier and Safari, this engine makes a maximum power output of 170 PS @ 3,750 rpm and a peak torque output of 350 Nm @ 1,750-2,500 rpm. The transmission options too are shared by both the SUVs, which are 6-speed manual and 6-speed automatic gearboxes.

While the power and torque outputs of the engine in both the SUVs are same, the fact that Harrier weighs almost 150 kgs lighter than the Safari gives it a significant advantage in power to weight ratio. This makes the Harrier a more agile SUV to drive over the Safari.

Specifications Tata Harrier Tata Safari
Engine 2.0-litre Kryotec diesel engine 2.0-litre Kryotec diesel engine
Power 170 PS @ 3,750 rpm 170 PS @ 3,750 rpm
Torque 350 Nm @ 1,750-2,500 rpm 350 Nm @ 1,750-2,500 rpm
Gearbox 6-speed manual / 6-speed AT 6-speed manual / 6-speed AT

Exterior and Dimension

It is clear from the visuals itself that the Tata Safari is longer and taller SUV than the Tata Harrier. However, interestingly, both the SUVs share the same width and wheelbase, which signify that the cabin space of both the SUVs is very much the same for first and second row. However, the Safari offers the additional advantage of a third row of seats, which can accommodate two additional people. However, if not needed, the third row of seats can be folded down in the Safari, which liberates much more boot space than the Harrier.

Dimensions Tata Harrier Tata Safari
Length 4598 mm 4661 mm
Width 1894 mm 1894 mm
Height 1706 mm 1786 mm
Wheelbase 2741 mm 2741 mm
Boot space 425 litres 750 liters (with 3rd row folded)
Ground clearance 205 mm 205 mm
Fuel tank capacity 50 litres 50 liters

Design and Features

Both the Tata Harrier and Tata Safari are designed on the lines of Impact Design 2.0 language, which is the latest from Tata Motors. The SUVs look dynamic and distinctive in their own, and while both the SUVs share the same front end, they look quite different from each other from the side and rear.

In their top-spec trims, both the Tata Harrier and Tata Safari get split headlamp design with dual functioning daytime running LEDs and HID headlamps, cornering fog lamps, LED tail lamps and 18-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels on the outside, with the Safari also getting chunky roof rails.

On the inside, the Harrier and Safari share the same dashboard layout. However, the differences lie in the upholstery color options, but both of them get premium Benecke Kaliko leather upholstery in different color schemes (Oak Brown in Harrier and Oyster White in Safari)

The bits and features shared between both the SUVs are part-TFT instrument console, panoramic sunroof, 6-way power adjustable driver’s seat, ambient lighting, automatic climate control with rear AC vents, push button start, rain sensing wipers, electrically adjustable and foldable rear view mirrors, IRA connected car technology, tilt and telescopic adjustable multi-functional steering wheel, 8.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system and music system with 9 JBL speakers and amplifier. The Tata Safari gets a few additional features over the Harrier like wireless charging, ventilated seats, electronic parking brake, optional captain seats in second row and third row AC vents and USB charging sockets.

Both the SUVs come with special livery options of their own. While the Harrier comes with Camo (Dark Green) and Dark (Black) editions, the Safari has Adventure (Mystic Blue) and Gold (White and Coffee Black with golden highlights) editions.

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Safety Features

Tata Motors has become the flag-bearer of safety, with its other offerings achieving four or five star ratings in the Global NCAP crash tests. However, interestingly, the Harrier and Safari are the only vehicles from Tata Motors which haven’t been subjected to these tests.

However, both the SUVs are packed with safety features like front, side and curtain airbags, ABS with EBD, electronic stability program, auto-dimming inside rear view mirror, hill hold control, hill descent control, fog lamps with cornering function, tire pressure monitoring system, reverse parking sensors and reverse camera. The Safari, in addition, also gets electronic parking brake, advanced electronic stability program with 14 added functionalities and rear wheel disc brakes.

Verdict

If you compare top-spec variants of both the Tata Harrier and Tata Safari, the premium of around Rs 2 lakh which the latter commands might be hard to digest. Given that both the SUVs share the same platform and engine and much of the styling, this premium might feel too steep.

However, on closer inspection, one will clearly find out that the Safari offers much more over the Harrier, with extra features and extra seating capacity justifying the price bump. If budget is not your constraint much, the Safari, with its added versatility of foldable third row of seats, is a worthier option to go for.

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