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Discussion in 'Linea 1.3 MJD' started by livelyyoungman, Nov 20, 2010.

  1. livelyyoungman

    livelyyoungman Regolare

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    Linea 1.3
    Prologue

    My date with four wheel beauties started almost two decades back. My uncle and his FIAT aka Premier Padmini ignited in me an inspiration that one day I should own one of them. This came true four years ago with my first car, the Hyundai Santro Xing. I did over 30K kms with this tall boy before deciding to go for an upgrade. Upgrade means either a premium hatch or a sedan. It was here that I started the process of Googling to create a list of cars in each of the category and then shortlist.

    What to expect from this post?

    I am here sharing the process that I adopted to zero on a car that would become part of my family during this festival season – the parameters that I took into consideration and my views on the same.

    This post will also contain my initial ownership report as well as it would continue to get updated with long term views.
  2. livelyyoungman

    livelyyoungman Regolare

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    Chapter 1:

    “It is now three years old and more than 30K kms of duties discharged; now it’s time to upgrade”, was the thought that flashed in my mind when I was driving from Kerala to Chennai. That was the trip when the car was used to its fullest capacity – with four adults and a kid on a weeklong trip. I had covered almost half of my journey and was turning right from Krishnagiri to Vellore when my eyes caught attention of a blue car only to realize that in fact it was a Linea. Instantly this became the first entry in my list.
  3. livelyyoungman

    livelyyoungman Regolare

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    Chapter 2:

    With Fiat Linea in my list I started to lookout for other cars in two the categories. My pleasant experience with Hyundai prompted me to shortlist two cars from them – the Uber Cool i20 and Verna Transform. From the Ford stable it was Figo and Fiesta. In the last week of May this year, one of my very close pal had got himself an ANHC after trading his Indigo. Having seen and driven the car that was also shortlisted. I had not been a fan of Honda Jazz for only one reason – it did not deserve the premium it commands (this is purely my personal opinion). Lastly it was SX4 that made it to the list of shortlisted sedans.
  4. livelyyoungman

    livelyyoungman Regolare

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    Linea 1.3
    Chapter 3:

    It was already July 2010 when Googling for new products from the VW group revealed that Vento launch was on cards. I fancied my chances of owning this product. Eventually this also made to the shortlisted cars.

    With the bag almost full, it was time to start the process of elimination.
  5. livelyyoungman

    livelyyoungman Regolare

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    Linea 1.3
    Chapter 4:

    I had always had a soft corner for the diesel engines. May be this is partially due to the fact that I am a rail fan. Having seen and travelled in locos for rail fanning assignments, I always wanted to get a diesel vehicle. But the nemesis of yesteryear diesel engines really distanced me from it during my Santro days. Technology advancements and stringent emission norms resulted in better diesel engines. So this time I did not want to miss the opportunity.

    All the cars that I shortlisted but for ANHC and SX4 had a diesel variant. This made my choice even more difficult as I had to understand the Total Landing Cost of all these cars. With complexities increasing, I had to get hands on to trim the list. I followed this process to achieve that objective:

    • Select at least couple of dealers for a brand and visit their showrooms.[/*:m:1i5fz8vi]
    • Check out the shortlisted vehicle in broad daylight for build and quality.[/*:m:1i5fz8vi]
    • TD the vehicle with full load (5 adults) to understand it better. Ensure that the few kms you drive contains a mixture of good and bad roads as well as with heavy traffic.[/*:m:1i5fz8vi]
    • Understand the features of various variants in that model. Shortlist on the important ones.[/*:m:1i5fz8vi]
    • Get On Road Prices. If the SA comes with current offers simply hear him/her out. Do not consider this as it varies from time to time. [/*:m:1i5fz8vi]
    • If possible get the spare parts prices and average maintenance cost. This would give you an idea of what would be your recurring cost.[/*:m:1i5fz8vi]
    • Ask the SA any questions/clarifications you may have before leaving the showroom.[/*:m:1i5fz8vi]
    • Check with peers, friends, colleagues who might own the car to understand how they feel on the ownership of the car. Also read reviews on the cars.[/*:m:1i5fz8vi]
    • Finally put this in an Excel sheet to calculate the Total Landing Cost.[/*:m:1i5fz8vi]
  6. livelyyoungman

    livelyyoungman Regolare

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    Chapter 5:

    It is my opinion that any one purchasing a car should go for the top end variant. But had that been the philosophy, so many variants would not have been made available at all. So features do play a vital role in decision making; and precisely that’s the reason why I said shortlist the important features in my previous post. The ones that I feel important are as follows:

    • ABS with EBD[/*:m:2hi7toa0]
    • Immobilizer[/*:m:2hi7toa0]
    • Seat Belts[/*:m:2hi7toa0]
    • Air Bags[/*:m:2hi7toa0]
    • All four Power Windows[/*:m:2hi7toa0]
    • Rear Defogger and if hatchback, then Rear Wiper[/*:m:2hi7toa0]
    • Wheel Base[/*:m:2hi7toa0]
    • Power and Torque[/*:m:2hi7toa0]
    • Height adjustable driver seat[/*:m:2hi7toa0]
    • ICE details – USB/iPod support, Bluetooth connectivity[/*:m:2hi7toa0]
    • FACT[/*:m:2hi7toa0]
  7. livelyyoungman

    livelyyoungman Regolare

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    Chapter 6:

    It is pretty simple to check the features. Just check with the dealer asking for a TD. That would throw all the features into limelight. Additionally check for the following during the TD:

    • Vehicle power in normal driving conditions – in city traffic and in gear acceleration [/*:m:20skihh7]
    • Vehicle suspension while negotiating pot holes – just run it on a pot hole and rest you are sure to know[/*:m:20skihh7]
    • Ground Clearance - < 170mm then check if the vehicle has adequate under chassis protection[/*:m:20skihh7]
    • Vehicle Braking[/*:m:20skihh7]
    • Seating comfort both front and rear[/*:m:20skihh7]
    • Overall visibility when you look at the RVM and OVRM[/*:m:20skihh7]
    • Getting in and out of the car[/*:m:20skihh7]
    • Parking the car in your house (if required)[/*:m:20skihh7]
    • Reversing the car[/*:m:20skihh7]
  8. livelyyoungman

    livelyyoungman Regolare

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    Chapter 7:

    You might be wondering why there is no mention on FE. This is because of the fact that FE is very relative. Each of the manufacturer claims that each of their cars provides excellent FE. But that is not the case. An e.g. to highlight the same:

    It is a known fact that Honda cars are among the best in terms of FE. According to Honda, its City 1.5 VMT variant gives 16.5 km/l on standard test conditions. This can be verified from the Honda City website. But with me driving ANHC of my friend for quite some time painted a different picture. In typical bumper to bumper city driving conditions the FE of the car was a max 11 km/l. In overdrive mode this went up to 16km/l. This I verified by using the standard tank full method and with 100% AC on. So this figure never matched the claims of the manufacturer.

    So the next obvious question is how to calculate approximate FE in typical driving conditions? To derive that the following need to be considered:

    • In a month what is the average km one would be covering?[/*:m:3b881oe7]
    • Out of the total what is the percentile is in city and what is in long?[/*:m:3b881oe7]

    I am quoting my Santro experience here as a citation. I did 1000 kms on an average every month during my ownership. This included daily trips to office and long drivers over the week end with my family. My daily office trips worked out to 500 kms and the rest in long drives. So it was 50% split between city driving and long drives. My Santro’s FE was quite similar to that of the City that I mentioned above. So approximate FE was:

    (50% of 11) + (50% of 16) = 13.5 km/l

    Arriving at this is very critical as this would determine your fuel cost on monthly basis.

    Still though I did this, I strongly feel there is more than just the km/l figures. Take it in your stride lest you may not enjoy your car.

    NOTE:

    When I said city driving conditions I meant driving mostly in first and second gear and rare third with lots of breaking and acceleration. Long meant driving mostly in fourth and overdrive and occasional down-shift to third. A big no to heavy footed driving.
  9. livelyyoungman

    livelyyoungman Regolare

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    Chapter 8:

    There are few more things before I describe my dealership experience during the TD phase is about loan processing.

    I believe that most of us opt for loan during purchase. When visiting the dealer for TD ask for the following details in case you are opting for a loan:

    • Dealer tie-up with financial institutions[/*:m:ggyn8a3w]
    • Interest rate and per lac EMI for the tenure that you are likely to opt for[/*:m:ggyn8a3w]
    • Processing fees[/*:m:ggyn8a3w]
    • EMI payable in advance or arrears[/*:m:ggyn8a3w]
    • Fixed or floating rate[/*:m:ggyn8a3w]
    • Daily or monthly diminishing rate[/*:m:ggyn8a3w]
    • Per lac EMI gives you the accurate interest rate. Added to this, you can get the total landing cost of the vehicle. [/*:m:ggyn8a3w]
    • Pre-closure charges[/*:m:ggyn8a3w]
    • Any part payment allowed or not[/*:m:ggyn8a3w]
    Interest rate at the dealership is always costly by at least 1%. It is better to get the loan processed separately. Approach the bank directly. Don't go through DSA's as well. So the information you gather from the agent at the dealership would help you to negotiate with the bank. Don't go with just one bank. Take quotes from multiple banks. Bargain for better interest rate. Most banks relent if you are really serious.
  10. livelyyoungman

    livelyyoungman Regolare

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