FuelRunGod

Sumo Grande Test Drive Report (With pics)

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Have been driving around the new Sumo, here are some observations.

 

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Exteriors

View the new Sumo Grande head-on and this is one handsome looking brute. First thing you notice is how big this thing is. The front has solid road presence and looks a lot more expensive than it really is. Start walking towards the rear and you get a distinct impression that you are moving from an SUV towards a MUV. The slab sides could have done with some sort of cladding. The shape is a mix of both sharp and rounded cues which just don't gel well enough with each other. And towards the rear, the Sumo gains some ground with those lovely looking tail lamps. Overall, it is an impressive design, but not really great especially when viewed in profile.

 

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Interiors

Step into the interiors, you really feel the Sumo has grown up. There is massive amount of space on offer, be it legroom or headroom. The interiors get the beige treatment as is the trend these days. It looks good but the problem is that it doesn't feel good. The plastics are nasty with massive gaps and generally poor quality. The seats however, are just awesome. They are supremely comfortable and this not only includes the first two rows but the last row as well. The last row is actually usable even though the floor is slightly high. It comes with roof mounted vents for the middle and last row. Access is via the middle row which can be flipped 60:40. The action of which however, could have been slightly better.

 

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On The Road

Start her up and you would feel the idle is slightly rough and engine clatter is always present. I feel its good but can be better. The same 2.2 litre engine from the Safari does duty here but only slightly detuned in the interest of fuel economy. It now makes almost 120bhp instead of the 140bhp in the Safari. Performance is obviously blunted as a result, but when compared to the earlier Sumo, the new car is much faster. Tata has retained the VGT but it only starts to push after 1500rpm. At 2000rpm, the engine is in the meat of its powerband and the Sumo picks up its pace considerably.

 

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The steering is quite vague around the centre position and feels disconnected. Straightline stability is commendable though. Turn into a corner and you cannot escape the fact that this is a top-heavy people carrier, there is considerable body roll in corners and the leaf spring rear struggles especially if you hit a bump mid-corner. Ride is good but not as sophisticated as say an Innova, it eats up almost anything. Bad roads are no problem at all. But go fast over a dip and there is noticeable bobbing present. The suspension isn't noisy, but the rest of the car is, the plastics especially make their presence felt on rough patches.

 

Fuel Economy

As per our tests, the Sumo can be expected to give around 9kpl in the city and around 12kpl on the highway.

 

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Verdict

At its price, it offers fantastic value for money as most Tatas. But as with most Tatas, quality isn't the best. But when compared to the Tavera, it makes sense but not when compared to an Innova which still remains in a league of its own.

 

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FuelRunGod2008-02-25 07:05:27

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Prefer the Sumo Grande to the Safari for the following reasons:

 

1. Front facing 3rd row

2. Dual adjustable AC vents for 2nd and 3rd rows - they can even be shut fully

3. Reclination adjustable middle row

4. Tight turning radius

5. Hummer like looks in side profile - side-by-side it looks more bullish than the Safari.

 

Loses out on the poorer ride quality, slower engine, lower ground clearance and lack of 4x4 capability when compared to the Safari.

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Me thinks the new version of the Sumo is a bit too wishy washy!!

Yes, i agree. I dislike the A pillar, which should have been slightly more rakish. It would have looked better with a protruding hip which blends mildly from the rear and progressively increases in the middle. It looks like a toad right now and to reduce bulkiness, they could've made a prominent hip line across the sides. The taillamps look awesome though.

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The looks, certainly it is better than the previous Sumo, but still quite boxy and tall boy-ish. Wider front grilles or horrizontal accents in the front and back would have given it a wider and better look.

Shame it doesnt have separate lamps for low and high beams instead of combination ones in spite of wide headlamps.

And shame that Tata did not even give customers a chance of a 140 bhp option to the customer. I would have gone for the more powerful version had it been available for better perfomance!

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You can always tune up to 140bhp but then FE is consideration also if the gear box could take that much stress . The gearbox issue made M&M detuned m-Hawk to 120bhp.

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