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1yr. Ownership: Linea MJD Oceanic Blue

Discussion in 'Linea 1.3 MJD' started by l13mjd, Oct 13, 2013.

  1. l13mjd

    l13mjd Amatore

    Next month, December 1 to be precise, my Linea will be 1 year old. I am only writing this today, for I feel I am only enabled today to offer something of substance in my review.

    How It Came To Be

    It started in 1998 with the launch of Indica. We were looking for a car and the staple Indian was Maruti 800, and since Indica was just launched and the Koreans were entering with Santros and Matizes we wanted to try everything before going for the tried and tested 800. Somehow, things didn't quite materialise, and over the course of time we even graduated from a humble 2 lakh budget to a little above 3 lakh, to include a car I was reading about, that though had little less mileage, but compensated with brilliant all-round dynamics, excellent steering, great brakes, amazing ride, and everything that was to be wanted or desired or expected of and in a car - the car in question was a FIAT Palio. No prizes for guessing. Yet, nothing materialised as such and plans were chopped.

    In 2009, it was on the streets of Kolkata that I saw a long, tasteful red beauty. First look and I went, "Oh gosh! This is beautiful!" and, "It's long!". Didn't know which brand. Looked very pricey, though. Some days later saw it again, and since I was not driving per se, or should I say, that car was stationary, I caught on to details.

    FIAT. Linea. Emotion Pack.

    Heart - Damn this car. Stunning. Redefines "sculpted".

    We came close to almost decided on this car, with not even as touching it once. This was because I was reading about it online in forums. And as fate would have it, plans got chucked again and I moved to Gujarat.

    As Fate Would Have It

    I never forgot the car. I kept reading about it, and I'd say, became obsessed with it and to cut a long story short, in November 2012, we finally booked an Oceanic Blue Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion with a "leap of faith" in FIAT. This was because of the following reasons:

    1. The Car Itself

    I could not justify spending serious money on any other car. Reading online, mind; I hadn't even learnt driving, and I knew that FIAT has made a gem of a car. I also realised at this point that I had fallen for all the good characteristics that ought to be in a car back then, too. And it was a FIAT that had fit the bill, then, too. This just cemented the relation all the more.

    2. You People

    The forum at Team Fiat India was pivotal in my going for FIAT. I knew, that they are improving, but I also knew that there is a community that I can talk to. I am not mentioning TBHP here for one reason - I read a lot there, that forum helped me shape my decisions for a FIAT too, but when I took delivery of my car and wanted to become a member there to share my experience and try and give something back to the community that helped me out directly/ indirectly, I was rejected, not once, but since I was stupid enough to try thrice, thrice.

    So, a warm, hearty, grateful Thank You to the stalwarts of the forum. I am looking at you, J Ravi, Driv3r, imrankhs, Italia-Linea, ramjn, Sat-Chit-ananda, and more. KarthikK I remember was from TBHP, maybe he is here, too, but you see, couldn't thank because I was not allowed to!

    And so as fate would have it, we finally settled for a FIAT only, and it sure is one of the best decisions of our lives.


    It has been a pleasant joyride. I have experienced what every FIAT buyer has gone through at some point in time. I have been through the trauma that they call service centre, I have at times have had things done to my liking there, leaving me surprised. I have covered 14,000 km and have loved every single of them. I never have thus far felt doubtful of my decision to go for a FIAT.

    1. Delivery

    I was allotted a June VIN, decoded through help from the guides here. Immediately shot mails to all those whom I could. Someone from Ahmedabad called and it was sorted that they could not get me a newer car, a newer VIN was present but allotted to someone else. I could have new VINs (September, October) if I wanted BNW. I told them just one thing: I will inspect the car before delivery and will not pay if I do not like it. Pre Delivery Inspection, though amidst resistance, was conducted and I duly noted that the Odo read H 8. Could not drive, because the car battery was kept to charge and they did not put another battery for me to test it out (reading through the forums I knew I should check vehicle pulling).

    The car did not emote a vibe that I would find concerning. It felt just right. It felt as if nothing was wrong. Keeping my heart in check, I let my mind look for signs of trouble. None. Tyres were new, seats were fine, a little smear sign here and there on sunglasses holder, thats it. Under the bonnet looked pristine. I wrote the balance cheque and left. Took delivery two days later.

    2. Experience

    It has been a wonderful experience with the car. Solid build, amazingly planted, and really, really, really fun to drive. Engine power matters, but is not all. What fun will a peppy engine give if it just bounces off here and there.. I believe this car is hugely confidence-inspiring. I had only driven a Swift Dzire before this, that's the car I used to learn driving. And I had immediately felt the difference in steering, and appreciated FIAT's moulded steering for better grip and the Hydraulic nature of it all the more. The brakes are very confidence-inspiring. The poise of the car is an object of marvel every moment spent inside the car. And oh, the sight of another Linea on the road, the lines, the majestic stance (pre 2012) just makes me go weak in the knees. There is also a reason for this: I am a designer myself.

    And that's that. I had no experience driving any other car, and I was satisfied - did not feel the need to have any other car experience.

    3. Service

    First service came and went with no fanfare. Before this service, though, the rear bumper was involved in an unfortunate, evil kiss with another car in an underground parking while I was working in my office upstairs. Evil, I say. The car spent a week at the service centre, who took pains to solve this issue and create an "alloy" of an issue for me and cause me to use my insurance claim. They scuffed the alloys some, I guess due to negligence in parking or what not. had them replaced under insurance.

    4. ICE

    I knew before buying the car, through forums such as TFI, that the stock system is crap. Well, hearing is subjective, so I decided to let it play out and then take a call. It sufficed for an In Car system for 3 whole months. Then I started hearing them crackle, I started hearing them at louder volumes because the volume just wasn't enough, and the louder they went, the cracklier they got. And the madder I got.

    After a long thought (there was no way for me to audition anything here) I decided to go for Rainbow, since I like my music to be true and neither bass heavy nor trebly. The people were not interested in selling - they gave me their bank account details and that's it. What, I just deposit an arbitrary amount without you telling me how much to deposit and without having a word with you? Found Saravana from Power Zone and PHD, bought them. Very knowledgeable and professional fellow, this. He chews on gold biscuits in his profile picture though, mind.

    Found thorough the forums another Linea owner who is dabbling into audio equipment, and said he is also going in as installers now, so I agreed. Now, I will only say that this was one of the worst decisions I could have made, and I will put up a thread in the ICE department about it maybe, as my ICE story.

    5. Race Dynamics Tuning Box

    I have installed the Race Dynamics ECU 'fooler' and have experienced better power delivery. I use it on P1 mode, and have tried P2 on rare occasions. Results are good, very good. The turbo kick is slightly more pronounced, and it does make a lot of difference. I feel the kick around 2500rpm now. I think, though, that the RD box has learnt my 80% mileage-oriented driving and has gone lax.

    6. Suspension

    Suspension on 2012 Emotion with 16" alloys and GoodYear Eagle NCT5 rocked the world. Four months and 9,000 km later, it started rocking me. Another 5 months later, and with knowledge leveraged from people like imrankhs, sat-chit-ananda, I moved over to pre 2012 suspension and resolved a lot of my issues.

    So, What Was I Doing For A Year, And Why Now?

    I was reading through these forums, had nothing real much to offer on the table and was just enjoying the car. Why now?

    I happened to drive a 43600km done Manza yesterday night. Damn. Now I know what they meant when they mean long travel clutch and butter smooth clutch on the Linea. Manza clutch was so hard! And I couldn't help but feel Linea seats are much better, Manza felt firmly hard. Almost like the fibre backrest chairs. The instrument cluster looked sleek, but FIAT's looked classier. Ergonomics were wired weird in the Manza with angled controls on the door pads and weird placements of buttons on the center console. I never knew I will need to switch off headlights even after I have taken the keys out. I mean...! What! Plus, the steering angle. I think I now know what it feels to drive a truck.

    I did not write a review before for I did not have a comparison to offer on the table. I knew only about my car, and I did not know how good or bad that is.

    I realised, within 300m distance, I didn't make a mistake with Linea, instead, best 10l I could spend for a car. Kudos, FIAT, for this gem of a vehicle. Today I'm going to enjoy my Linea all the more. Wait - not just today.

    Only thing I don't understand is, how is it that people don't appreciate the marvel FIAT is giving in 10lakh..

    Loving FIAT all the more, and feeling bad as to how can the public be of this mindset that they don't want what FIAT is offering? They are offering a car, not just a means of transport. Thank you, FIAT. No wonder you are perplexed as to how to conquer this market, and you never will with good products. Thank you TFI for all knowledge that you share in the community and for the world to see. Also, thank you for being open-minded and allowing new registrations.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2013
    11 people like this.
  2. mchanna

    mchanna Esperto

    Linea T-Jet
    Congratulations and Happy Anniversary in advance. Well IMO team-bhp is not for fiat lovers PERIOD :)
    Heart is crying for photos :evilsmile
  3. l13mjd

    l13mjd Amatore

    I never knew the kind of community they serve till I experienced it the way I did and realised many more did. They sure are a bunch of knowledgable people, but it is a pity what they are doing with that and how. The quality they talk about, their own members are not following it. I poured my heart out for their questions, every word was true, and rejected.

    Photos, yes.. I will, just need time to find and post. I don't have many.. most are from 3M care. :)
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2013
  4. l13mjd

    l13mjd Amatore

    Snaps of My Linea: The Exteriors: 3M and TATA-FIAT






    Snaps of My Linea: The Interiors: Cabin

    Sorry guys, no internal photo in the daytime. Whenever I got out, I just got in and drove away. :(



    - - - Merged Post - - -

    Snaps of My Linea: The Interiors: Miscellaneous

    I love the instrument cluster.

    The mileage figure you read is the trip back from Vadodara when I got my tires replaced with MY-02 from Bridgestone. I have never got this figure since, and I don't know how I got it. I had got pressure checked the next day - nearest pump is 1.5 km, and it was 46psi average in all tires.





    Also forgot to mention tyre upgrade in my Ownership. So, here's number 7.

    7. Tyre Upgrade

    My Linea Emotion MJD 2012 came with GoodYear Eagle NCT 5 205/55/R16. 3 months down the line, found a thick thorn stuck dead into the shoulder of one tyre, and it was then that I decided I will change all four tyres. So, with an odo reading of 3800km, I changed to BridgeStone MY-02 after much deliberation over Michelin PLC or Yokohama AVS DB.

    My quick comments:

    1. Tyres have completed close to 10,000 km
    2. There have been only two incidents of punctures, one by a long screw (some months ago), one by a 1cm normal screw (just yesterday) and both were in the meat of the tyre
    3. I, personally, can't seem to find any wear on them, visually, in 6 months and 10,000 km. I had found a decided wear on my NCT 5 in just 3 months and 3800km worth of driving.

    4. I travel on moderately severe dried keechad dust patch for about 500m, a stone-laid patch (the kind of stones that are on railway tracks) for about 1km, I cross two railway tracks as well, I cross several bumps and I'd say severe undulations, and finally I do chance upon 1km of normal tarmac as well - every single day, beginning from my home to any place I wish to go to - I have to cross this variety of roads or lack of them. Grip is excellent. I have covered monsoons in the same track and on normal roads and highways, and the tyres have held well. And I realise as I write this, that I never ever realised when I was driving on wet roads and that I should be careful.. this is the level of grip provided by these tyres. I didn't even brake earlier as I should do - a mistake, but I feel it is testimony to these tyres.

    5. Road noise is practically non-existent on decent roads. On the stoned tarmac I have road noise, but I also feel the pain the tyres are going through. I think the harder NCT 5 did not convey that pain to me. Something tells me that the softer tyres such as this, are not exactly going to smoothen out much of the harshness of tarmac. Their primary job is to give a silent drive, it seems, and they excel here. On rough terrain, a harder tyre is definitely 'smoother' in terms of the 'feeling' of what you're going over. At speeds touching 100 and beyond, you do hear noise (on the expressway) which may or may not be because of the road but it did surprise me with loudness on occasion.

    All in all, I am very happy with the investment into these tyres and can and will wholeheartedly recommend them to anyone. They are harder than Michelin Primacy LC. And they offer an excellent balance of road comfort and noiselessness along with excellent grip in both dry and wet conditions. I now recall, I have, on many occasions, driven fast and zoomed through pools of water just because my fiancé enjoys that splash of water going past. And I don't remember having to change my driving style because roads are wet. Don't flame me! It's all testimony to the grip levels this tyre offers!
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2013
    8 people like this.
  5. limraj

    limraj Esperto

    Linea 1.3
    Thanks for the feedback on Bridgestone tyres. My Linea also runs on stock Goodyear whereas my other car runs on Bridgestone. I would be choosing Michelin / Yokohama / Bridgestone for the next change.
  6. l13mjd

    l13mjd Amatore

    Suspension Downgrade (which is actually an upgrade)

    Above pics were with stock suspension which was 185mm high above ground. I had troubles with it after around 9,000km and since the service centre refused to do anything about it, I had no choice but to take word of the forum and plonk my money on a downgrade to pre-2012 suspension. Bliss. Here are shots as to how the car now stands.


    And I love this view.. Sculpted as I like to call it. Wonderful lines. Passionate Design. Love it.

    5 people like this.
  7. Stance looks great with pre 2012 suspension
  8. l13mjd

    l13mjd Amatore

    And it does glide over every bump quite well without scraping. I scraped twice with 185mm in 9 months. I have scraped exactly 4 times in past 2 months. Not much na? ;)

    But seriously, 2 of them could be avoided if I had slowed down just a little more, and the rest two were totally unexpected, the particular craters in question grew in depth and my 185mm too had scraped once in them (out of the 2 times in total it ever did).
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2013
  9. l13mjd

    l13mjd Amatore

    Some More Photos

    Is that the moon gracing the bonnet? Or just a fallen leaf?


    Just another side view. Notice the damage to the fender.


    Close up of the damage.


    Anyone who notices the Lay's packet in this pic before noticing the automotive - please PM. You are not real but surreal.


    The automotive version of Madonna. Or JLo. Or Kim if you will.



    There is a discussion on these tyres at GearHeads forum. Look there. This tyre is a very good tyre and a lot of people recommend this tyre for several reasons ranging from grip to lesser road noise. This is also a better compromise between (if you believe it) the notorious soft walls of PLC and the infamous hard walls of most tyres.

    Tyre tread that can be seen in these pictures is now just about 100 short of 14,000 km.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2013
  10. Nadeem Ahmed VR 46

    Nadeem Ahmed VR 46 Esperto

    Linea is looking Beautiful with downgraded suspension & Awesome in OB colour.Happy Belated Anniversary.
    1 person likes this.

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