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Avventura Urban Cross Showcased at 2016 Auto Expo

Discussion in 'Fiat India News' started by Murphy_Fiat, Feb 3, 2016.

  1. manjunathkl

    manjunathkl Amatore

    Messages:
    61
    Bangalore
    Linea 1.4
    @asimpleson
    Duster has its plus points. But it feels cheap inside. Even comparing it to 2009 Linea/Punto, the interiors are quite disappointing in Duster. Also, creature comforts are real low. Ergonomics are poor. Except these, it is a very capable car. There is a big demography which just wants what Duster offers and are willing to compromise on what it does not offer. That is the sweet spot. This is Renault's best move in India so far.

    @acechip
    Duster success is in introducing a car in a segment where there are no such offering at that price points. All the reviewers are gaga about duster because it is selling very well. They even underplay the cons of the car in their reviews. But when it comes to Fiat, they tend to be over-smart and start abusing interiors, branding it as low-powered etc. They even make ridiculous comparisons with cars that are not its segment.

    Avventura will do everything what duster does, it even offers better features, but does not offer the space like duster. Indian consumer will never perceive Avventura as a mini-SUV. It is a cross-Punto for them. Duster, even the FWD ones will be perceived as SUV (not even mini-SUV). Indians will see the size, height and shape of the vehicle and decide whether something is a SUV. They cannot appreciate any mechanicals. I have told many of my friends that Duster is a big hatch with large wheels and longer suspension. They tend to disagree, but Avvy, they say it is a hatch with big wheels and high GC. This is all a perception game.

    Fiat is in no fault in not bringing Avventura in early. It would have made no difference. It is the failure of all the other manufacturers (not only Fiat) to ignore this demography and not offer anything in that segment. Maruti and Mahindra are the manufacturers that are banging their heads after Duster's success. Mahindra being a SUV king did not notice this big gap in the market. Maruti having Vitara on their line-up could have put a multi-jet engine, reduced some features and offered at an offordable (non-SUV) price. But they were happy introducing their 15th small car. They all thought SUV is only in premium category.

    Renualt noticed this market gap, they already had the product, they did minor changes to suit Indian conditions, they localized the manufacturing, and finally changed the game for ever.
    jackharrisw, prabhjot and asimpleson like this.
  2. acechip

    acechip Superiore

    I have owned a Linea T-Jet Plus and a Duster, so am reasonably qualified to comment . I wont write about driving performance, because that comparison may require a separate post !

    Interiors: 1)Both my Linea and Duster have leather interiors, the stitching on the Linea looked (just looked) more premium, but no difference practically speaking.
    2) Dashboard surfaces: Both are more of the hard wearing type. Renault has added a slightly better feel for 2015 models (which I have).
    3) Control switchgear: Again, qualitatively speaking, not much different. Both are dufable but- my Micra switches feel slightly better!
    4) Storage spaces: Or lack thereof, in both cases actually:wideyed:, although the Duster has some storage space on the dashboard that is carved out. But the Duster has an enormous boot space , more so than the Linea (already at 500 litres)

    Driving Ergonomics: The Duster AC controls are a bit of a pain , but its okay as long as you dont have to adjust every now and then. The touchscreen, while it looks good , is actually a tiresome feature to use. I challenge ANYONE who says that the touchscreen is a ergonomic feature. In fact, it is the most distracting feature in any car and must be used to a minimum. Speaking purely as car driving enthusiast of course!
    The Duster ORVM controls are below the handbrake - which is actually a great safety feature. You should never be able to adjust the mirrors while driving. Sadly, Renault has succumbed to market stupidity and moved it to the drivers side for 2016.:singing:
    Quite frankly, people are a bit too stuck up on Duster's ancient interior - its just another myth perpetrated around by mass market. Just like intolerance.
    And the Duster can do quite a bit more off road than the Avventura- there is simply no comparison in terms of either the suspension or the approach/departure and breakover angles. It is every bit closer to a monocoque SUV even though it is a crossover. The Avventura comes with smaller tyres (205/55R16) whereas the Duster has 215/65R16- larger tyres, greater sidewall. A must have for bad road/off road.

    No doubt, its a great Crossover hatch, much more so than the I20 Active, Polo Cross and Etios Cross (all ridiculous IMO), and it may hold its own in comparison to the Creta (from rough road perspective) ,but not quite in the league of the Duster.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2016
  3. asimpleson

    asimpleson Esperto

    Messages:
    3,000
    Heptanesia
    Linea 1.3
    I never have thought too much in detail about interiors and find it kind of amusing. Drivability features, maybe a quality HVAC ac unit like ones provided in emotion variants and seating position and knee room and viewing angles outside and perhaps overall feel (non-claustrophobic) are top on list. Agree with acechip the lcd units is a driving hazard and kind of pain and in some cases too many buttons also in some car consoles. Simplicity is not to be underrated in these regards.
    rusticnomad and prabhjot like this.
  4. manjunathkl

    manjunathkl Amatore

    Messages:
    61
    Bangalore
    Linea 1.4
    @acechip regarding orvm switch under the hand brake: there are so many controls you must not use while driving. That does not mean you hide it in inconvenient places. Driving sensibly is a lot about judgment.

    Sorry to disagree, it is not a safety feature, but a case of poor ergonomics.
    rusticnomad likes this.
  5. varunrtr

    varunrtr Esperto

    Messages:
    1,256
    KL-01/ TO
    Grande Punto 1.3
    This is one thing i can never understand. Everyone wants touchscreen player in their cars but i havent seen a more distracting gadget in a car than that, moreover some manufacturer even went to the extent of having a touchscreen Ac control .You can never adjust any of them without taking your eyes off the road for a considerable amount of time. I can just blindly control anything in my headunit without looking at it, its same as messaging in our good old keypad mobile phones in lightning speed under the bench in college which is impossible with our new gen touch phones !! :D :D
  6. manjunathkl

    manjunathkl Amatore

    Messages:
    61
    Bangalore
    Linea 1.4
    The right solution is HUD with steering mounted controls. HUD will show the display, but on a transparent surface on the windscreen. Driver need not take attention off driving. It is safe and offers excellent user experience.
  7. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

    Messages:
    2,455
    delhi ncr
    @acechip

    Sir, the DUSTER is is THE benchmark.

    For what, though? For a low-budget monocoque (i.e., light) yet rugged and handsome cuv (suv if with 4x4 and independent suspension). It is indeed just a Logan, also a Dacia, also a handsome hyper-utilitarian vehicle, albeit with different skinning etc.

    Materials used, many/most fitments including lamp assemblies, wing mirrors, nvh, sheet metal etc are decidedly lower-rent, a good deal lower than the Avventura's actually, whci are as good or sometimes much-better than say the ecosports'.

    Have been in the updated 2015 Duster too: still unimpressive slightly too-light build, poor nvh etc. And that torquey but merely 8-valve (emissions non-er-compliant?) dci motor. One worries about its crash-safety credentials too, although that is impossible to judge in india definitively since....there are no engineering rules (enforced or not) nor crash tests.

    Therefore, mefeels you paid a lot more for it, given when you bought it (well-before creta-mania?), than it might've deserved (unless you managed to avail enough and well deserved discounts). Now, if you'd waited for the first competition to it to arrive (although the Safari Storme 4x4 would'v been my own choice), you'd have gotten it at a 'fair value' price, since i believe they've had to severely discount older Dusters once its sales plummtted from 4000 odd a month to 1200 or so a month, just as soon as the Creta and SCross etc were released.

    The DUSTER has been badly overpriced since it had no MNC-brand competition, and was a first-mover. BUT also because ALL of Carlos Ghosn's other Indian bets/investments had/have gone so badly sour financially (micra, sunny, evalia, now lodgy too, nissan as-a-whole in india etc). Till the KWID, where they're being ultra-conscious to not repeat the duster over-pricing, indeed seem to be underpricing, for now.

    They have to make some margins somewhere: they've been here many years now already, since the Logan-days, remember. ERGO: Exports and.....greatly overpricing the Duster. How much does a Logan/Mahindra Verito cost, and how much the Duster? That'll give you a sense of the mis-pricing. the market was, like you, ok with that, since there was no mnc competition, other than the Avventura (doomed to be ignored). The Ecosport is not any sort of compliant-yet-flat-riding cuv that the Duster is the champ at, alongwith the smaller Avventura.

    The Creta, too like the Duster (close derivative as it is of the Indianised Logan) and unlike the Avventura<--->Punto, is hugely overpriced since it shares under the skin most things with the 4-6 lakhs cheaper i20 elite (from platform and suspension architecture to some powertrains).

    Indeed, as usual, Hyundai's margins are epic, since they, unlike Renault-Nissan and Fiat or others, are allowed TONS of duty-near-free component imports (esp powertrains for their bigger more expensive models) from Korea.

    But, at least Renault-Nissan got several thousands of crores of tax subsidies from the tamilnad govt (that apparently remain unpaid, so carlos ghosn, the biggest Indian-car-market-trier has failed doubly, speaking financially, having also been betrayed by the broke tamilnad govt).

    From all my readings and research (partly for investment purposes etc) FIAT (and TATA, until the Sanand plant land for free in Gujarat for the Nano, land that is still mostly unused since the brilliant nano is lost in our market place) is one of the least subsidised car firms in India, precisely because its investments are old, from WAY before the real mnc investment boom, and before the long economic boom in the early 2000's, and that too in the manufacturing ex-heartland of less-generous with giveaways to corporates Maharashtra: few tax subsidies, no 'free' land-for-a-song, few investment subsidies. Maruti as we all know has benefitted from epic govt patronage in a myriad ways in its earlier days.....and even now, who would believe, as it has just recieved 1000's of crores of subsidies from the Gujarat govt.

    This, alongwith the difficulty in finding export markets for indian-made Fiats, lies at the heart of the DIFFICULT economics FCA faces here, for cars that is: not engines etc, which is why their new 1700 crores (late 2015) investment has gone into JEEP and not Fiat.

    And which is why FCA will not launch an-all new Fiat-branded model here that is not heavily-exportable, presumably to europe, esp southern and eastern, and turkey, and north africa. Till 2017/18, if then.

    If the Jeep venture does ok here and well in exports (likely enough): the FIAT brand in India makes little-to-no sense in India. Just not financially do-able, let alone worthwhile.

    cheers

    @asimpleson
    dadasaheb, asimpleson and manjunathkl like this.
  8. asimpleson

    asimpleson Esperto

    Messages:
    3,000
    Heptanesia
    Linea 1.3
    @prabhjot for the Duster it is difficult to exactly quantify the engineering compromises or mainly material compromises made on duster. But from the overall feel the quality is largely A or A+ at places if not A++ and savings are made especially from weight savings perspective for the specific powertrain. Smart savings if you will. Fuel economy and performance and handling benefits criteria.

    For Fiat with regards Maharashtra as you mentioned previously the current CM has infact met the officials at US visit which is after the older special status to FCA's projects near Pune also including CNH global which by itself seems a steady thoroughbred winning variety. The newer investments are a part of those assurances they have given and/or gained from current regime.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2016
  9. kk27

    kk27 Amatore

    Messages:
    203
    Kandivali - Mumbai
    Kandivali - Mumbai
    Fiat Enthusiast
    Well while I'm all for bashing Fiat for poor show at the expo... But i do not understand the link of people who understand and like Fiat for it to sell more and have good sales numbers? Saale holds for Vespa! Why shd sales numbers of a car or scooter matter for opting for it! It completely bums me. If I liked a vehicle for what it offers I'm happy buying it, whether another 50k people like it or no doesn't change the vehicle or its dynamics or even the joys it offers me. Probably people look for reaffirmation of thier choice. Yes if there is confirmed news of the company being shut down or the model discounted then it's a different matter.
  10. acechip

    acechip Superiore

    Ah, the Storme Varicor 400. I must admit I got the pangs when it finally came out. But then, I wince at the thought of my mother climbing its steps up to the 1st floor cabin. A car that is a bit too unwieldy in tight spots such as my housing complex . A bit too tall and wide for all practical purposes. And If I compare the power/torque to weight ratio, the Varicor400 is just about the same as Duster. So no difference in performance, practically speaking.
    With regards NVH, I believe the Duster is better at cruising speeds than, say, the MJD (having also owned the Dzire). So its not bad at all. Regarding switchgear quality, like I said, the Nissan Micra switchgear feels more premium and damped than either Fiat or Renault. Slightly OTT, but the Micra is just about as under-rated as a Fiat car. It is notches above the other Japs overall.
    --- Double Post Merged, Feb 8, 2016 ---
    You must try to use it first. It is really not as inconvenient as it is made out to be. In fact, that single joystick is better than the two-switch adjustment. Switch to either side and rotate around as per required angle.
    asimpleson likes this.

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