I am a 90’s baby. If you were born in 1999, you are not a 90’s baby. This new generation is confused. 90’s baby means you grew up and remembered the 90s.! EARLIEST MEMORIES: THE 90s We saw the first metal shells on wheels from the earliest 1950 where only the elitist owned the four wheels. But it was the late 80’s or the early 90’s , when you spotted the cars in common mans garage. For me. I was surrounded by FIATs! But there was none of my then. Be it Dukkar, Premier 1100, super select and the 118 NE. I remember the black Dukkar with laal batti on the roof and two gunned bodyguards standing along the parked car. I don’t know whom the car belonged. But if I have to guess I could point out to Mr Ashok Bhau Jadhav. As he is the only politician who stays two blocks away from my home. The Dukkar is a sheer beauty to look at and the pristine condition and the combination of red vertical rectangular fiat logo on black background simply looks wow! And the white Premier 1100, why my friend owned. He is a neighborhood friend, we used to travel is same schoolbus. Though sometimes his dad would drop him in his 1100. The shock when I got was when I asked him I haven’t seen his car, he said he sold it as it was not compatible with the current BS norms. The black and yellow Mumbai taxi with bizarre gear shifter mounted on steering column. And the pista green 118NE. I like the 118 NE for two reasons. (i) It was the most reliable car sold in india. Smooth revving engine made most of its torque at highish 4000RPM and 52BHP. (ii) And used to go red in the face by looking at the girl in my school whom her dad used to drop her in their pista green II8 NE, whom I never got a chance to talk until the school got over!. It was the 90’s I fell in love with FIAT. MILLENIUM AND ABOUT A DECADE.: It was in the 2009, the all new Linea was launched. When I saw the pictures in magazines and the newspapers, I didn’t liked the car. I used to think 1.4L motor will be underpowered. Why not a 2.0L? And when in college campus, taking a stroll with friends, I came across a bright Tuscan Wine Linea. My god, my first reaction, when I saw the car first time physically, JAW DROPPED! WHAT A BEAUTY! What a car , ADMIRATION GUARANTEED ! it was stunning. The car looked much more bigger and pricier than what it was priced. I want to buy a LINEA I told to myself. PRESENT YEAR 2014. It was on my birthday. Yes, 5th May 2014, I got my car , my Fiat Linea , my first car, and that too on my birthday. It is so amazing , you get a best admired gift and not less than a dream to be fulfilled that too on birthdays. I cant explain the feeling how it feels and exciting to the car you liked, the car you imagined and the car you wanted to buy, you get it as a gift on your birthdays. It is not like, that, a big gift mean well-off to me. But I am no brainer and a numbskulled guy who doesn’t have a school report card to brag about. But a got a affluent gift, which motivates me to study and work hard in my college exams and more marks can equal more car parts for me. HOW IT HAPPENED: It was in the ending of Dec 2013, where I we had to take my grandma to the hospitals every week, and she cant walk. We had to wait longer times to get a single rikshaw to and fro to home and hospital, as here rikshaw wallahs treats his ride a chariot and doesn’t help the distressed passengers, and there are times where we had to wait for 45mins to catch one rikshaw. Here in Mumbai be it anywhere , it is difficult to travel in a rikshaw. Not because weMumbaikars cant afford the travel fare. But : (i) The rikshaw wallahs want a longer journey fare (ii) They always say they don’t have a change to repay you back for collecting exact fare. (iii) They will overcharge you , by saying their rikshaw runs on petrol and not on CNG in a share auto. (iv) They have gangs in working and have multiple tricks to rob the passengers. For the years, we didn’t require a four wheeler. My mom has office 3kms away, where she walks to and fro office. Dad travels by company bus. And me and my sister , having college and school in the vicinity didn’t made my parents to feel the need to buy a car. The reason when we felt to buy the car is for Lord Ganesha, which we are bringing home from last 23 years. It was when, I was born my mom decided to bring home the elephant head Lord home. And because of him that I got the car. THE DECIDING FACTOR: I had made myself clear. The car I buy should be A EUROPEAN SEDAN, and I am not of a person who wants to finf the middle way out. For me its either premium hatchback or a proper mid sizer sedan and not an inbetween sub four meter car. My first and only choice were (i) Volkswagen Vento (ii) Fiat Linea. Although I also test drove Maruti Celerio as it was launched at that time and it was 300m closer from VW. (i) Skoda showroom. The Rapid. Same feel as Vento, Skoda servicing worst. Ignored. (ii) Honda showroom. The City. Very good car, doesn’t feel like build to last. (iii) Maruti showroom. Swift and Celerio. Parents liked both the cars. And Swift is also the car where I had learned to drive in my driving school. My parents were like, you learned on Swift, you should buy this car. Booking almost done, but I told my parents to come and book on an auspicious day. (iv) VW. Everyone in my house liked Polo and Vento. But I didn’t liked driver seat comfortable and the rear bench good on thigh support. We liked both the cars. (v) Fiat Finally. AT THE SHOWROOM: TORRID MOTORS, WEH, ANDHERI, MUMBAI. (*SHOWROOM NOW SHIFTED TO ANDHERI LINK ROAD FROM OCT 2014.) There are limited Fiat dealerships in Mumbai. Torrid and Balaji, one in each region. Torrid in western suburbs and Balaji in Thane. Moreover I was having great difficulty in finding the showroom of Torrid as the address mentioned was only WEH,ANDHERI. And not a fully specified address, just to state their showroom is in prime location, atleast they should specify full address and not just a part of road, and that too having 2 showrooms in the region. The showroom is very well . the three cars were on display Punto, Linea, Linea classic. (the Avventura and 500 Abarth was on display when I took the delivery in May.) , although showroom is big , but we are not able to look at the car 360degrees. Only the all side and back view is you can see as desired, but if you want to get a good front look, you need to step out of the showroom to get the best possible look of the front. The sales guys were friendly and courteous . being enthusiast, we already know about the car. The sales guys were not able to provide good info about the car about its features, as about a normal customer is not an enthu and he just wants a car for A to B commute. And nor they were knowing (I was consulted by 2 sales persons) about how to use blue and me and where the VIN and engine number is located. (experience: I have observed that many sales guys irrespective of the dealership, are not bothered to explain features to the customer properly. If we are working at the deal, and their phone rings, they chit-chat on the phone and excuses us for minute, I find this very rude. And someplaces the sales guys wants to be over friendly like a family member, I think you should not mix business with pleasure, as if anything goes wrong/ or not as planned, we become hesitant to take lawful action against so called friend. These guys just pretend they are busy, in all the showrooms I had visited, they just want you to pay money , take the car and leave. Nothing much.) I went to the showroom on March 2014 a day before Holi and made it clear to the sales guy I wanted the car delivered on 2nd May, on Akshaytrithiya. Which they delayed it and I got my car on my birthday 5th May. ODOMETER READINGS: Months: 6.5 months approx Distance clocked: 1022kms Fuel economy: 8.1 kmpl SERVICE/WORKSHOP EXPERIENCE: For my first free service they told me they will vacuum clean my car inside and pressured wash. There was a black mark scratched on wing mirror I told them to correct it, but did nothing and I have to bring this to their notice. the company didn’t call for first service reminder. Being a car guy, we know about this. But what about non car guys or common people who are not known what is service and when to go? When I gave my car at service center, the fuel inside was more than 7litres as the yellow warning light has not lit. but when I took the delivery the warning lamp has glown, I assumed for test run and working upon the car, fuel may had combusted, but to my horror, after reaching home and checking distance to empty, they might have lifted my fuel as my distance to entry shows my car can travel more for 9km more, meaning sipful of fuel in the car? I cant believe service guys coiuld do this as if even 6litres was available the car could run 36kms taking 6kmpl as average. The price mentioned by AUTOCAR INDIA SPARE PARTS SURVEY I cheaper than what service station guys quote. FIAT LINEA CLASSIC USER/PERSONAL LIKE AND DISLIKES. LIKES: 1. BIG CAR FEEL 2. 500 LITRES OF BOOT SPACE, SEGMENT LEADER 3. ITALIAN DESIGN 4. COMFORTABLE SEATS. BOTH F/R 5. LEG ROOM AT THE BACK 6. TOUGH BUILD QUALITY 7. HYDRAULIC POWER STEERING 8. POWERFUL STOCK HEADLIGHTS(DIM/HB) 9. RIDE AND HANDELING 10. NOISE INSULATION 11. NO VIBRATION INSIDE THE COCKPIT. DISLIKES: 1. REAR HEAD RESISTANT NOT COMFORTABLE 2. DELETION LOT OF FEATURES FOR THE CLASSIC 3. COSTLY SPARE PARTS 4. FUEL ECONOMY 5. A-PILLAR CREATES BIG BLIND SPOT 6. 14in wheels looks under sized for a bigger car. AMEY KHEDEKAR.