The compact SUV segment is in full bloom and the sales number have increased steadily with the increasing number of available options in this segment. The same cannot be said about the full-blown SUVs like the Tata Safari Strome, Mahindra XUV500 etc. that do not sell in as good numbers as they used to. With the increasing fuel prices and the equivalent experience that the compact and more affordable SUVs offer, the segment may only shrink further until a major breakthrough is achieved.
We compare the specifications of the two well-known cars of the segment – Mahindra XUV500 and Tata Safari Strome and see who is the better among them.
The specification sheet has been prepared by comparing Tata Safari Storme VX 4WD (Diesel) with the Mahindra XUV500 W8 4WD (Diesel).
Mahindra XUV500 Vs Tata Safari Storme (Design and Exteriors)
One thing that is common between both these cars – Imposing road presence. The Safari Storme looks muscular and aggressive from all angles. At front, you would notice a new rectangular mesh grille with the chrome strip and there is also a new bonnet, these elements, together provide the car a new face. There are not much changes on the sides, the cladding, however is not thicker which makes the car look ever more muscular than before. Also, the ORVMs now come with integrated indicators which look classy. The rear of the car has received most significant treatment – The spare wheel has now been removed from the door which takes away some of the character from the car, however, at the same time it makes the car look more urban and docile. There is also a twin chrome plated exhaust at the rear which lends the car a sporty character. Despite all the treatment that the car has received it still does not manage to break away from its aging looks and give the hint that it’s aging.
Mahindra outdid itself with the introduction of the XUV500. The car is indeed a landmark in terms of designing that every Indian car manufacturer must aim for. The car despite being an SUV uses a modern monocoque construction. If you look at the car from the front, you would notice its ‘Don’t mess with me looks’. There are modern-looking projector headlights. The headlight cluster also has LED DRLs which makes it stand apart from the rest in its class. On the sides, you will notice huge wheel arches which unlike Safari is not plastic cladding and there are very unconventional looking – paw like door handles that complement other styling cues. The character crease at the waistline and wheel arches make the car look muscular and aggressive. The rear tail light cluster is the most modern looking part and is awe inpiring to look at.
Mahindra XUV500 Vs Tata Safari Storme (Interiors and Features)
The interiors of Strome are dual tone with mostly beige and wooden colours. There is deco finish on the centre console and door panels on the top variant of the car. The middle and base variants of cars make use of dual tone black and silver. The instrument cluster uses retro-looking, large analogue dials. You get features like - a cigarette lighter, AC vents for 2nd row passengers, auxiliary sockets, roof mounted AC vents, 3 way adjustable lumbar support for front seats, two-step inclining 60:40 2nd row seats and 3rd row foldable jump seats. The car very spacious and there is enough space for every passengers in all areas. The seats are comfortable and very supportive and should be very comfortable on long journeys.
The XUV500 comes loaded with features and goodies - voice command system, satellite navigation system, reverse parking sensors, aircon vents for all three rows, bluetooth connectivity, 6-inch touchscreen infotainment system, steering mounted controls, tyre pressure sensors, light-sensing headlights, cruise control and parking sensors. The wheelbase of the XUV500 is greater than the Storme which helps provide more space inside the car. As a result, there is adequate space for all seven passengers. The controls have been well laid-out, however, the quality of switches could have been better. The instrument cluster though provides every relevant information to the driver, however, it is not very readable and could have been better.
Mahindra XUV500 Vs Tata Safari Storme (Engine and Transmission)
The Tata Safari uses a 2.2 litre four cylinder VariCOR diesel engine. The engine produces a maximum power of 138.1bhp at 4000rpm and peak torque of 320 Nm between 1700 - 2700rpm. The car uses a 5 speed transmission system, is equipped with limited slip differential and sends power to all four wheels.
The XUV500 too uses a same capacity engine (2.2 litre) which produces a power of 140bhp at 3750rpm and peak torque of 330Nm between 1600 – 2800rpm. The car uses a 6 speed transmission system with limited slip differential that sends power to all wheels.
Mahindra XUV500 Vs Tata Safari Storme (Safety features and Mileage)
The Storme uses discs on all wheel and they are complemented with Antilock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Brake force distribution (EBD). Other safety features include - front and second row-3-point ELR seatbelts with pretensioners, airbags for front passengers, side impact bars and crumple zones, rear parking sensors, central locking, engine immobilizer etc.
The XUV500 is very well equipped with features. In fact, it is better equipped of these two cars. You get disc brakes on all wheels, ABS, EBD, ESP (electronic safety program), hill hold and descent control, park assistance etc. Some of the features are only present on the top variants of the car though.
Tata Safari Storme is comparatively heavier and the effect can be seen in terms of mileage that it delivers. The car promises to delivers 13.2kmpl on highways and 9.3kmpl in city conditions. The XUV500 on the other hand is lighter and weighs only 1785kgs and delivers 15.1kmpl on highways and 12kmpl in city conditions.
The XUV500 despite being a clear winner for us is not without flaws. The quality of switches and the plastics that are used in the interiors could have been better. However, the XUV500 offers an equipment level that is unmatched and the well equipped car is a good looker which is indeed icing on the cake. The Safari Storme is a decent car which has unmatched road presence but the car has started to show age and lack the appeal of XUV500.
Watch comprehensive video review of the Mahindra XUV500 below
Watch comprehensive video review of the Tata Safari Storme below