All excited about my first FIAT - Here’s my story about falling in love with a FIAT Coming from a conservative family, I am by nature thinking value. I always preferred a basic car that would take care of my need and deliver good mileage. After owing a Zen for 7 years, we got an Indigo about 3 years ago. It was pure value for money. We like long drives on our Indigo until our baby arrived. During one of our long drives, with our child in the carseat, we experienced a car skid during a nasty turn, safety became our biggest concern. We realized the need for a car with ABS and Airbags. We could also use some extra leg room as well. So an SUV/MUV was in order. With a budget of about 10 lakhs, our options were limited to Tata Safari, Grande and Scorpio. In the range, Grande lost it due to lack of ABS and airbags. My first encounter with a Scorpio was bad. I love the car but with my height (I am 6’2.5), I was not comfortable in the driving seat. The next obvious choice was Safari. So, I finalized the deal and I was all set to exchange my old car for an SUV. My wife and I visited the dealership for one last test drive before signing the papers. While we were waiting for the demo car to arrive, the dealer offered us a test drive of T-jet. (I liked Fiat brand since we owned one when I was a kid. I wasn’t too inclined to buy a Linea due to poor reviews about its power and service network) Well a test drive wouldn’t hurt and it’ll be another experience. So I accepted. We dropped our jaws the moment we saw the interiors. It is rich and classy. I was amazed at the quality and the clever design. I wasn’t expecting much since I was under the impression that Linea housed the same engine as Indigo, Swift and Dezire. When I sat in the car for the test drive, the salesmen told me that this was the new refined engine with a turbo charger which is not the same as the ones in other cars. Hmm... A petrol with a turbo charger, never heard of it in India – I was still not impressed. The demo car ran in 450 kms and it was in an exclusive sunbeam gold colour. My wife pointed it out twice that she liked the colour. I always check the mileage on the demo car. It tells me what to expect from the car after a certain time. I am not too particular about colour though. Just want the car scratch free. Well ... when I started the car, I lost my breath. The engine was so smooth, it was unexpected. Since I was used to driving a diesel car, I did not realize the capability of a petrol engine. The first gear was so smooth I can feel the raw power in my hands and also feel safe knowing that the car has ABS, EBD, Airbags and other safety features. I drove for about 5 kms switching different gears and zipping through traffic. I was continuously impressed. When we reached the highway, I asked the salesman if it was allright to drive around for a little longer to test the speed. He was happy that I asked and when he saw that I was interested, he started explaining the features of the car. It was simple impressive. I went all out on the highway 10 – 100 in barely seconds. My wife couldn’t believe that I can do that. She was amazed as well - Credit to the car. I still had my doubts. With this kind of power, I did not expect a great mileage. The salesman begged to differ. In fact he helped me navigate through the distance to empty and other features in MID to show that Linea T-jet ran an average of 13.8 kmpl in the last 455 kms. I was impressed again. We drove for about 10 kms when the salesman received a call that the demo car – Safari was waiting for us. So we turned back and headed to the dealership. By the time we reached there, I looked at my wife and asked if she liked the car. She said, lets cancel Safari and go for a T-jet instead. She did not even drive the car. It was very clear. We liked what we saw and experienced. We sat down at the dealership and learnt more about Fiat in India – It seems that they are serviced by Tata and that they manufacture majority of the spares in India. We learnt more about the service costs and ownership cost and other deals. This was reassuring. (I was not getting any discount on a T-jet since it’s a new model and I was told that the gold colour costs 5000 more but what the heck. With the experience I just had, I decided to go for it) We did not even complete final test drive on a Safari. The demo car was waiting for us outside. We let the Safari salesman know that we are not interested anymore. He was not too happy hearing but he was all right eventually since we were getting a car from the same compound. The Saturday 20th Nov changed our month long planning, looking at options, colour choice etc etc. Everyone else at home is expecting a Safari but we are about to surprise them. It took us less than 30 minutes to decide that a T-Jet was the right choice. We returned the next day (By the way, they opened the dealership on Sunday just for us to complete the formalities) to do the paperwork for Linea. I am hoping the bank will process my loan request in 2 – 3 days and we are expecting to drive home in a Linea T-jet plus on 25th or 26th November. We decided to go for a Sunbeam Gold Linea T-Jet plus - the difference between T-Jet and plus is about 44,000. The 16”alloys with a tyre size used in a Mercedes C Class or a BMW 320 and the beautiful leather interior (Not just the seats but also the door pads and other works) makes it all worthwhile. Additionally we have requested for 1. Parking sensors 2. Mudflaps 3. Floor mats I can’t think of any thing else that I should get. I welcome suggestions.