Safari facelift v/s XUV700 AX5: Test drive observations and pros & cons

XUV700 has been around for a couple of years and all the earlier problems have been addressed.

BHPian theredbeard recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

So I recently booked the New Safari MT (Adventure+ Variant) and last week finally got a chance to take a test drive of the Harrier (they did NOT have Safari in Manual)

I have always loved the MT cars over the ATs. MTs are more fun, and you are the one in control. Also, they are more fuel efficient.

The problem:

I have never owned a Tata car before. I have owned a couple of sedans before but no SUV.

Once I found a good position for driving, the knee problem was resolved. But the variant I have booked does not come with a memory seat function. I would have to adjust the seat every time I get in the car (I have a habit of sliding back my seat every time I get out) And I cannot extend my budget either.

I have been told that problem No. 2 will not be a problem if I get used to it.

I am spending 25+ Lac and have gotten a bit hesitant to decide which option to go for.

XUV700 AX5 model also looks good to me. XUV700 has been around for a couple of years and all the earlier problems have been addressed.

I really am not sure which one to go for.

New Safari (Adventure+ MT)

Price: 27Lac On Road

Pros: (Over XUV700)

  • 360-degree camera
  • Electronic parking brake
  • Terrain response mode – rough, wet and normal
  • Sliding 2nd row
  • Comfort of 3rd row
  • Slightly better mileage than XUV700
  • Rear window sunshade
  • Looks and design


  • Left knee touches the central console
  • Long clutch travel

XUV700 (AX5 MT)

Price: 23.75 Lac On Road

Pros: (Over New Safari)

  • Refined engine
  • Ride quality
  • Will save me about 3lac over the New Safari


  • 3rd row is not as comfortable
  • Suspension noise (Not sure if this is resolved, did not feel this in TD)
  • Not as practical/spacious as New Safari
  • R17 wheels (Not a concern)
  • No push button start (Not a concern)
  • No cruise control (Not a concern)

Why am I comparing XUV700’s AX5?

  • Early delivery
  • Except for Powerfold ORVM and TPMS (which can be installed aftermarket), everything is covered in AX5 (like LED projector headlamps, etc)
  • I don’t use Cruise control that much.

Note: If you are inclined towards XUV700, please suggest the variant as well.

Here’s what BHPian Rodie09 had to say on the matter:

I am a Safari owner and a very recent one before the facelift. I have started feeling that at 28 lacs it lacked precision engineering. Mind you I have had no persisting niggle. Perhaps with the EPS lot of it is solved. I would strongly recommend you spend a lot of time testing Safari or Harrier. The manual is a strict no. Don’t get sold on a feature here and there. Most features and usage is limited and what one enjoys truly is the real car underneath. Look for that.

Here’s what BHPian BleueNinja had to say on the matter:

I would strongly recommend you NOT consider Manual Transmission with Harrier/Safari. The clutch isn’t calibrated well and it’s just heavy and inconvenient. Secondly, the knee console issue is a serious ergonomic flaw and will come back to haunt you sooner or later.

You shouldn’t be buying a ₹ 26-27 lac car and “getting used to” things. I went with a similar approach and now it has become inconvenient for me.

Having owned a Harrier for more than a year I would advise you to go for automatic or if it’s the manual you want then simply opt for XUV 700.

Here’s what BHPian vattyboy had to say on the matter:

My close friend is unhappy with his Tata Safari. He has the top-end XZ Plus AT Dark Edition. The check engine light gets on in his car by its own wish, without any issues.

He got it checked at Tata after-sales service and they didn’t resolve it. Instead, the service advisor says, “Sir aap toh chalao gadi, ye light to on off hoti rehti hai. Aap toh chalate raho gadi” (Sir, you just keep driving the car, this light will keep appearing off and on. You just keep driving the car).

This kind of thing never happens in Japanese or Korean cars. This clearly shows that Tata has made many quality compromises in its electronics and gizmos so that it can provide such a huge SUV at cheaper rates.

Never experienced this kind of thing in my Jeep Compass, Seltos or Mercedes. I will recommend you to have a look at Toyota Innova.

Here’s what BHPian ghodlur had to say on the matter:

I think your comparison is a bit unfair. You are comparing a 7-seater Safari with a 5-seater XUV 700. For the 3L extra paid for Safari over the XUV variant you mentioned you are getting 2 extra seats + a host of features you already mentioned but negligible boot space (although the rear seats are foldable to give that extra luggage space).

Reg the knee touching the console, that’s there in the Harrier Safari twins which can be negated with the seat adjustment (like I have done in my Harrier) which takes hardly a minute to set if disturbed. I assume you have gone ahead with Safari booking after the test drives and comparison with the XUV.

I don’t agree with a lot of suggestions to opt for Automatic since I feel Manual is equally exciting to drive. Automatic may be suited for city driving but for the spirited highway runs the manual gives an equal if not more punch. Also, the mention of the clutch being heavy isn’t true IMO.

If still in doubt do the test drives again to reassure yourself.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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