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Fiat Avventura - Test Drive & Review

Discussion in 'Avventura 1.3 90 HP' started by nkrishnap, Oct 19, 2014.

  1. PradeepM

    PradeepM Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    693
    Hyderabad
    Linea 1.3
    Hello Vidhyashankar,

    This comes as no surprise to me. I had similar issues with Butta and they delayed the delivery for more than a month and eventually I had to let go the color of my choice due their inability.From what ever information I have Butta has some billing issues with FIAT and hence there are huge delays in allotting the cars to them (Iam not 100% sure though). Also I heard that if the dealer is not paying full amount to FIAT the car is delivered with only 1 key and eventually once the customer takes the delivery of the car the remaining amount is paid and the second key from the manufacturer is sent in 3-4 weeks time.
    I sent a request for cancellation to Butta and went straight to AV motors on 1-Feb 2015.They got the car in their stockyard by 16 Feb and I took the delivery on 19th Feb.Also I got both the keys at the time of delivery.

    Kindly check the link below.

    http://www.teamfiat.com/threads/the-new-linea-2014.13852/page-4#post-841931434
    Jagan Mohan Reddy and prabhjot like this.
  2. acechip

    acechip Superiore

    @prabhjot- I can assure you that my Linea scrapes the Pune speedbreakers every now and then, loud and clear as hell. Nothing wrong with the suspension, of course. I have even scraped the underbody while going up some mildly steep ramps that malls/buildings/hotel entrances usually have. Of course that engine guard has come in handy all the time!
    So I have every reason to believe that in a mildly offroading situation, the Avventura may have an issue with the departure angles, as will the I20 Active.

    With regard to the Duster, well, I loved the ride quality especially offroad! And I believe it has 3 stars on NCAP merely because it doesnt have ESP as standard. And btw, the Linea is an untested product as far as NCAPs go. We are merely "extending" a Eurospec Punto's safety rating onto it (assuming you think it is 5 stars). So lets not get into that NCAP debate.

    Also, I must say I did not encounter any of that turbo lag that the 110 BHP Duster is so infamous for. I was driving the AWD version, though.
    The only challenge I see with Duster is that (atleast in my mind) Renault needs to come out more truthfully on the rusting issues that their cars are facing. Otherwise, I think it is a good robust no-nonsense vehicle that should be on anyone's shopping list (minus a lac or two of course).

    Lets face it. Fiat isnt going to make much headway by giving us a faux-CUV like the Avventura, great though it may be as an individual product. While the other manufacturers can afford these tinkered versions, Fiat cannot. Atleast let them come up with the real deal !
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2015
  3. asimpleson

    asimpleson Esperto

    Messages:
    2,999
    Heptanesia
    Linea 1.3
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  4. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

    Messages:
    2,445
    delhi ncr
    @acechip

    But do consider the prices it commands (only because of as yet inexistent competition from the Jap and the Korean firms that control the market): it has flimsy and low quality build quality, 'period!', for a car that IS just a restyled Dacia Logan, whatever the excellence of its diesel engine, and of its suspension architecture, that costs as much as 12 lakhs (am I wrong) for non-4X4.

    As has been proven by the duplicity of Suzuki and Honda vis-a-vis crash-safety of the watered-down for India cars: the correct stance to take apropos the 'forever, all too conveniently missing' crash safety data for India-spec cars is NOT that 'any build quality goes, no matter how flimsy, until proven otherwise'! This is the stance you are taking.

    It is wrong, as I keep saying: ALL the evidence both reported and personally experienced and discussed with others at (Tata)FASS does indeed suggest Indian Fiats are built to the same standards as European ones when it comes to structure, safety, ride, handling, steering, paint, sheetmetal and braking. btw, I have driven and looked at the UK Punto extensively: we chose it as a rental car precisely to examine this very question (we had it with us for a week)!

    The truth is that the vast majority of Duster buyers don't get into or reflect on such subjects, they don't even realize they're buying Dacia-s NOT Renault-s, Dacia being the quintessential super-budget brand, which is why it has diluted quality standards of build and materials, whatever the excellence of its suspension architecture, of its engine, which the Avventura more than matches.

    It is more authentic as a faux SUV/CUV than an Ecosport let alone an Etios Cross or this i20 Cross, I grant you. That it is even slightly better a CUV than the Avventura I doubt very much, given that it costs 4 lakhs more.

    A UK Punto costs as much/little as a UK Duster, version for version! An Indian made Punto with special Cross aesthetics and suspension (the Avventura) and Euro-quality build and materials costs 3-4 lakhs less than an Indian-made Duster???

    Safe to say the 'value' calculations in India vis-a-vis Fiats in particular and cars in general is, 'kahin na kahin', distorted greatly by misperceptions and absence of information and knowledge.

    The Duster had first mover advantage, indeed it pioneered the budget-small SUV/CUV in Europe/the Middle East. Likewise for the Ecosport at the micro/sub-4m level. And they've benefitted rightly for that.

    But to then suggest that there's anything wrong with Fiat's product specifications or planning with the Avventura is absurd, since it matches or betters both vehicles in most ways, not least of which is quality, capability and price.

    If people like the Avventura but then are tempted into buying the Evo 75/90 hp instead out of a vfm calculus, I can understand. BUT: Evo sales have plummetted since the Avventura's launch! That tells you and me that many buyers have perhaps found it 'overpriced' and have proceeded to....buy either the Duster or Ecosports for lakh(s) more, or say an Etios Cross which has awful capability, quality and VFM!

    The market's just biased against Fiats is what I conclude. In general, a priori, EVEN if the product offered is new, excitingly styled, well built, well-priced, capable etc etc, as the Avventura is.

    I do not see how such a market will be any more receptive to say a 500X at say 13 lakhs (Duster topend prices, i think?). OR a boxier/more 'SUV' Avventura that does not resemble the Punto Evo at 8 lakhs.

    Having said that: the decision to style the Evo like it, and then to proceed to launch it before the Avventura was....criminal, to use an admittedly too-harsh word for whoever made that call (Nagesh B?)

    PS: the higher GC cars for the past 2 years do NOT have the slightest issue with humps and potholes/ravines, so the Avventura will only further enhance Fiat's unknown and unacknowledged 'reputation' for making cars that are IDEAL for India and Indians! :cool: Although: "I know, i know...." :p;)
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2015
  5. acechip

    acechip Superiore

    Here is what I feel about Duster's build quality- note, real owners are better judges than either of us BUT- while it feels a bit low-rent in some areas, I think the basic underpinnings are quite robust, and the material used is more hard-wearing than luxury. But I can claim the same for Fiat as well, although the Linea top variant doesnt feel "low rent".
    Regarding seat comfort, which is really what the average Joe is looking, I think Duster is extremely comfortable for 4, and the 5th passenger is a bit more welcome than lets say, in a Linea/Punto Evo/Avvy. The diesel engine is workhorse like, no excitement but no disappointment either, and the suspension architecture as you put it, is superb. The boot space is great too, and yes, it carries its spare shoes inside, and retains 475litres of space. The ride and handling is car like at sane speeds (read <120 kph), and that is more than enough. The fuel economy is quite decent, with people reporting 15-17kmpl on highways.
    Should it be priced at 12-14 lac ? No, it should be atleast 1.5-2 lac below, that much is true. But then you also have an over priced Innova and Corolla (and an underpowered diesel at that) . Those cars are priced atleast 3-4 lacs more than they should be. Same with pretty much all cars upwards of 10 lac. In contrast, the XUV still manages to look VFM, niggles aside.

    So why blame Duster for washing its hands in the flowing Ganga :joyful:.
    As to the why/how of the Evo/Avvy strategy, I think its been discussed ad nauseum. That debate will continue until FCA produces atleast one commercially successful car in India.
    --- Double Post Merged, Feb 27, 2015 ---
    Let me add further- I am fully convinced that FCA India is at the mercy of their bosses in Europe. It seems to me that perhaps the Avvy testing (particularly that silly boot-release mechanism) got in the way of releasing the car in India. I will not be surprised if the FCA Europe is using India as a testing ground (cheap one at that) for its other products/geographies, taking up the local R&D's time and not sparing enough for India specific improvements/testing.
    Therefore FCA India did what it could do best under the circumstances, atleast release the Evo as a new car. If FCA India had their way, they would have convinced FCA Europe to bring the T-Jet powerplant much earlier, and make it standard issue in the current petrol cars. I am sure , inspite of their overall incompetence, FCA India have atleast that much sense.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2015
  6. Raj_pol

    Raj_pol Regolare

    Messages:
    495
    Bangalore
    Punto Evo 1.3
    This is the exact reason that Fiat is never going to do well in India. People generally like to be appreciated and whatever we may say about Hyundai - they are doing global launches in India (the upcoming i20 cross) and so are getting the returns. I have my ego and so would and should most of our countrymen. Why should " I " run after someone who does not give us respect, dump old engines (FIRE) and expect us to be happy with just 2 models in the portfolio.

    Fiat should listen to us or screw off. Even for Fiat fans once they outgrow the Punto or the Linea, there is nothing beyond that in Fiat.

    Maybe a Scoda RS for turbo heads or the XUV for SUV dudes.
    --- Double Post Merged, Feb 27, 2015 ---
    Meanwhile in a parallel world the bad version of me is street racing on this :p

    Renault-Sport-RS-01-10.jpg
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2015
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  7. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

    Messages:
    2,445
    delhi ncr
    @Raj_pol

    Hyundai charges more for discount-engineered cars, including warranties and ASS. None of their cars begin to match the engineering (build, suspension and chassis, steering, braking) of a Fiat (or Ford).

    Hyundai IS still a discount brand EVERYWHERE in the world, including in China.

    Hyundai's successes here have nothing to do with them offering 'world class' cars, since their cars are NOT world class, but 'third world specials' that pander to the wannabe/nouveau-riche yet risk averse 'aspirational' ethos of a throroughly ill-informed and inexperienced car buying public that does not understand or care to about safety, ride-handling, braking etc, preferring gizmos, visible spit and polish, and garish styling.

    The Hyundai example is COMPLETELY inappropriate for Fiat. Fiat cannot make Hyundai-like cars, it flies in the face of their basic engineering and design DNA.

    Another reason is that Hyundai's success in India is the exact obverse of Fiat's problems. Both were early movers. But Hyundai used India as an export base, thereby pricing a bunch of (for desi standards back then i.e., abysmally low) 'aspirational' 'middle class cars' well (mainly the Santro and later the i10), and then proving that their cars were reliable and easy and affordable to service. REM: their cars were as awful in engineering and design terms relative to Fiats and Fords etc then as they remain now, only more so. But then as now: hardly anyone cared for engineering (safety, suspensions etc).

    They thereby got lakhs of 'happy' buyers, whom they then enticed with seemingly 'world class' (but in fact poorly engineered, tackily styled third world specials: the i20 and the Verna) cars, gizmo laden at seemingly attractive prices. Success begat success, given herd effects so prominent in India. So now, Hyundai-s sell more or less because they are Hyundai-s, not because their cars are 'world class' offerings that 'respect' the Indian car buyer.

    The truth is the opposite: they are fleecing the Indian car buyer, since this is the only car market in the world where Hyundai is regarded as a premium brand rather than a DISCOUNT albeit improving and high-volume one. Their cars are poorly engineered and flimsily built yet among the most premium-priced to buy, and for warranties, spare parts prices, ASS frequency and labour charges.

    Moreover, Hyundai is only one part of a quasi-soveriegn-backed monumental Korean chaebol that has endless amounts of low cost (risk) capital. Think Samsung: that's what Hyundai is in the global car world, hugely cash rich, family controlled, having tremendous risk taking capacity, backed by the korean government financially.

    Fiat in India (a) messed up the sales and ASS stuff when the mass market was incipient (b) it thereby developed a disrepute among the wider car public which cared and cares two hoots for engine tech/specs, build, safety, suspension engineering etc (c) does not have the risk capital to take wild bets in India which are a breeze for Hyundai.

    Hyundai's example is perfectly useless for Fiat in India. Hyundai-s are successful for long term reasons that are by definition adverse in Fiat's case. Moreover, the idea that Hyundai-s sell because they launch so many all-new models and so Fiat should do the same, begs the REAL question.

    Which is that: Hyundai-s sell because they are Hyundai-s, whereas Fiat-s don't sell precisely because they are 'Fiats' (in the wider, risk averse, uninformed public). The 'qualities' of the cars, all-new or old, are a distant secondary factor.

    After all: the Punto Evo and Avventura (9-year old cars, globally) are better than the i20 (new or old, elite or active) is (almost) every respect, including arguably, and this is not a Fiat fan's opinion since most people agree, design/styling, not to mention reliability, durability, pricing and cost-of-ownership.

    Engines: what are the slightest virtues the i20 elite's petrol engine that make it better than the 1.4 Fire? Or even the 1.2 Fire (in the real world)? You clearly have not driven or compared any of these engines. btw, a majority of Hyundai i20 buyers go for the 'anaemic' petrol, not the good-enough diesel: so much for engines as a factor in sales figures.

    I do agree, however, that Fiat should wind-up mass market efforts, such as they are, in India: they have next to no chance of redemption here, given the scale and force of mass-market concentration in the hands of MS, HY, H and T (with trifling shares maybe for Ford and Tata.)

    How can you sell cars whose main virtues (build, safety, suspensions, steering and handling braking etc) are a trivial component of most buyers' decision-making equations? Or compete against firms selling badly-discounted build quality and engineering (and their engines aren't cutting edge either as the i20 elite's diesel and best selling feeble petrol reveal), and yet being lauded for being 'futuristic' and 'world class', 'respectful of rising aspirational India' etc?

    Better to re-position Fiat as a niche brand for : (a) very sporty-fast, 'high tech' yet affordable cars: t-jets+Abarths with dual clutch autoboxes and/or the 1.6 mjd/1.3 mjd2 with autoboxes (b) ckd/partly localized/cbu-even sales of the 500, the 500L, the 500X and the upcoming 5-door 500 and 124 Spider roadster (to go up against Mini, Merc a/b-class, etc, at lower prices.) (c) launch 1 or 2 all-new premium cars (d-segment), say the 500X or the upcoming chinese CUV Ottimo Cross ONLY if they can afford to keep costs down by focussing, like Ford does with the Ecosport or Renault does with the Duster, on exports.

    And meanwhile, refocus/re-center FCA India around Jeep, for local assembly, manufacture and exports. And over the next 3-6 years also add the upcoming all-new Alfa Romeo-s to the mix to go up against the German marques + grow Maserati and Ferrari sales.

    Also meanwhile things like: outsourcing serviceand spares to the likes of Mahindra First Choice, shutting down redundant/duplicative dealerships and FASS while focussing on e-commerce platforms for sales.

    I feel that 'Fiat' as a brand in India has no mass-market, mass budget future in the medium or even short run other than as a (growing?) niche(s) car firm, including esp the t-jets+ddct, Abarth-s and the 500 line-up of cars.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2015
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  8. acechip

    acechip Superiore

    @prabhjot, c'mon , tell us the truth- you are a Fiat India employee and you just came out of a stormy meeting with the new FCA India CEO. Only- you are putting the MoM out on this forum in the above message:wacky:. Nothing else can explain the relentless penchant you have for throwing up ideas for FCA 's success in India.
    But seriously, since this is an Avventura review thread, I have to say this- whether 1.4 FIRE is anaemic or ebullient (which is isnt) , it is obviously not a choice for the buyer. Ultimately, FCA wants to do some "business" in selling cars, right ? They had better listen to the customer then. Forcing the customer to undertake a 2-3 step process to open/close the boot without any advantage of space is not a clever idea at all. The I20 Active is going to apparently retain its 280 litres of boot without that encumbrance. If it has about 200mm of GC, people will go for it vis-a-vis the Avventura. I already read people in other forums stating that the Avventura looks rather too heavily built:woot: !!

    This is Fiat's RANK failure to market , produce and sell a product with obviously noble engineering attributes. And this, after all the churn and burn about it in media (including this one) ! Brings back @Raj_pol 's point. People love to be cared about. And thats what Hyundai and MSIL do. Fiat is still behaving like that corner-shop mithaiwale- "If you still care about driving...":meh:
  9. joeswatmail

    joeswatmail Amatore

    Messages:
    91
    Pondicherry
    Punto Evo 1.3 90 HP
    @prabhjot... Reading some of your posts, I used to feel the same way man... No offense....

    @acechip... You are on to something... But u have pointed that Fiat is using India as a proving ground for their new models or concepts.... But I beg to differ... Looking into the product line up of European division of Fiat, its evident that we (Indian Market) is being used as an attic. An attic where you put ur outdated stuff. Just for the sake of a garage sale.. Avventura being an exception.

    But Indian car buyers in general are pretty hard to impress... Fiat might be great round the rest of the world. But Avventura is meant for a market like India... Because an Indian buyer looks to have every thing a car can offer in a small and cheap package (which a cross does well). The boot may be so bonkers to look past it or compromise for most of the Indian buyers (coz there r other options available in this segment)...
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  10. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

    Messages:
    2,445
    delhi ncr
    @acechip

    Tell me: who is more critical (and pessimistic) about Fiat (in) India, you or me?;):p

    Unlike everyone else, I actually think FCA (India) these days sort-of know what they are doing, GIVEN a hostile marketplace, and severe resource constraints/risk-reward calculations imposed by Marchionne and company.

    Obviously, they still F-up (pun!) a fair bit operationally, and, if anything, they are too optimistic about the possibilities this marketplace affords them ('Fiat' NOT 'Jeep', which should do great), with the current great cars, or any of their other greater ones from Europe/China/Brazil.

    That is the learning for me at least from the whole Avventura debacle. I cannot fathom the failure of its launch. Let's see: they're still advertising it continuously, even through 'events', and perhaps with the upcoming t-jetted one? Before you say it, I will: won't make that much of a difference.

    So no, they don't need 'me' as an employee.:p

    They made 200 crores of profits last year from India.:cool:
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