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

  1. livelyyoungman

    livelyyoungman Regolare

    Messages:
    428
    Chennai
    Chennai
    Linea 1.3
    Chapter 15 Continued....

    Everytime I park any car in my garage, there is risk of the vehicle being hit either in the front or the rear or the side if I don't get the precision right. "Z" is the best letter I can describe that you need to follow when you park a car in my garage. Start reversing the car from the road up the slope and into the garage slowly turing the steering accordingly. Straighten the automobile and viola you have parked the car inside.

    Parking the SX4

    Having gained experience over the years I never thought that it would be a tough call for me to park the masculine SX4. Ravi came down with the car and I was off into it in a jiffy to do my usual "Z" pattern.

    The Attempts

    It was the worst attempt of parking any car in my life. A very close miss for the bonnet. The SA had his eyes really wide open and balls popped out. I could read from his expression - "Sir, do you know to drive?". But he could not brave himself to ask that to me. Attempt number two was also a failure; just got in too straight. It was then I realized that the high rise boot along with low coverage of the RVM was the culprit.

    I parked the car the third attempt by following the traditional way. Taking the car out was pretty easy and off went the SA with his driver heaving a sigh of relief.

    Calls started pouring from the dealership to know when I would be booking the car. I politely declined stating that there were few more cars that I need to try before finalizing one. With assurance that in case I go with the SX4 I would get in touch with them stopped the calls.

    With just three brands and a total of 5 cars in my kitty I was excited and pretty sure that I would be able to finalize a car shortly.
  2. livelyyoungman

    livelyyoungman Regolare

    Messages:
    428
    Chennai
    Chennai
    Linea 1.3
    Chapter 16:

    VW had always fired my imagination. Sketches of Vento as well as spy pictures kindled interest in me. So it was Vento calling after the SX4 saga.

    Presales
    VW has only one dealership in Chennai. They have two branches. The moment I heard this my heart sank - It just took me to the days when Honda had only one dealer in Chennai.

    Shortly after the official launch of the vehicle I called up the showroom only to figure out that none of the SA had any idea on the product. Not even the basic feature details were available. The SA did not have even inclinination to call me as promised to update me with the details. That clearly showed how much VW valued their customers. I had to then call up the support to find out the details. This really put me off. If presales is so worst, I was wondering how the ASS is going to be. Still though my faith with VW did not diminish fully, it started to fall apart.

    I would call Vento as a diesel loco at the price of an Honda gasoline; and that is the only advantage it stands to gain. Features wise it is not too impressive either. Only two trims are available and from what they offer it is clear that VW wants to sell only the top variant in huge numbers.

    I was not keen to do any booking for the vehicle for the following reasons:

    • Worst presale support - VW has not cared for Indian customers which shows their shoddy attitude of taking Indians for granted.[/*:m:2exexfuu]
    • I needed to see the car in flesh and skin and then decide - wait till September for the TD.[/*:m:2exexfuu]
    • Official waiting period of 3 months (likely to be more as VW is known for all kinds of delays) - meaning no car with me for the festival season.[/*:m:2exexfuu]
    • A whooping 75K booking amount. I simply could not digest this. The dealer does not accept credit card, nor willing to reduce this amount (says VW demands this). NONE of the car manufacturers demand this high booking amount for order placing. Even Honda that has built a reputation that dates back to a decade demands only 15K as a booking amount. Added to this, in the event of my cancellation, it is going to take 7 days for them to despatch my cheque which I felt ridiculous. I only asked one question - What is the ROI I get by placing this amount for booking? Going by VW's past (read Polo experience) it is only in red.[/*:m:2exexfuu]
    • Above all the central hump in the rear seat making this sedan a 4.5 seater instead of a full 5. And this is what is precisely called as German Engineering made for India :mad: [/*:m:2exexfuu]
    With this Vento went off packing. And personally I don't recommend VW to any of my known persons.
  3. livelyyoungman

    livelyyoungman Regolare

    Messages:
    428
    Chennai
    Chennai
    Linea 1.3
    Chapter 17:

    Now it just burned down to three - the two versions of Lineas and ANHC. I was not a big fan or Linea Petrol. Still I did not mind TD the vehicle. So called the dealer and fixed an appropriate time for this. Initially the dealer was not obliging to get the vehicle to my place citing one reason or the other. With consistent pressure, he relented.

    It was on a Saturday that the vehicle came down to my place. I was pretty excited to drive this on some of the worst roads all with little humps and pot holes. It was business as usual and the entire family of five along with the driver went for the drive. Drove in a terrain that tested the vehicle to a good extent and was fully satisfied with the performance (read drive quality). Also, parked the car in my garage. After the TD, I felt the vehicle to be slightly underpowered. Though I am not a sprinter I understood that one has to drive within its limitations. Added to this I felt the engine was not as refined as that of ANHC. The decision was made instantaneously - if Linea then diesel else ANHC. I am aware of the fact that the diesel is not as powerful as that of its competitors; still I was willing to stick on with it for two reasons - FE and brilliant ride after the turbo kick.

    So finally it was a contest between the titans - one with a formidable reputation built over a decade of its presence another trying to regain its past glory with some innovative product and pricing.
  4. Grandeur

    Grandeur Staff Member Janitor

    Keep coming in...one of the best thread on purchasing experience I have ever read in recent past. I can't wait to read your ownership experience and your feedback on your car.

    Drive safe and have a happy stay!
  5. gReyHound

    gReyHound

    Messages:
    65
    Bangalore
    Now this is some real nice writing.. I am loving it..
  6. livelyyoungman

    livelyyoungman Regolare

    Messages:
    428
    Chennai
    Chennai
    Linea 1.3
    Chapter 18:

    With the options closing down to just two it was always a tough call. My friends ANHC provided me with every bit of space to understand the car. But unfortunately I did not have one such contact with a Linea. But as luck would have it, one of my acquaintances did get himself a Linea FIRE Emotion Pack. And that kicked off my testing.

    It was on our (four of us) way to Pondy that I had an opportunity to drive that beauty. We took her on NH45 for the onward journey and brought her back on ECR. NH45 is pretty good but for its uneven nature. Lots of ups and downs but no pot holes. It was a real test for the vehicle.

    No sooner that we joined the expressway I started to drive. It was really memorable hour from the time I ignited her. Slowly but surely I started falling for this car.
  7. livelyyoungman

    livelyyoungman Regolare

    Messages:
    428
    Chennai
    Chennai
    Linea 1.3
    Chapter 19

    The first impression that I got was that the Linea FIRE was NOT underpowered. All one needs to do is to know its limitations and drive within it. It was really awesome to drive the car. I also attribute my conclusion to the fact that the TD vehicle was not maintained/serviced properly.

    The Linea was a BSIV vehicle and I have to admit that FIAT has imporved on the fit and and finish of the car. This was much better than the one I had seen during my early hunt. I would describe the drive as a cruise. The uneven nature of the road did not bother us at all; even at good speeds it was a pleasure. Mentally I just compared to the days when I used to drive my Santro on the same road. Bigger and broader tyres proved its mettle. The FACT was also effective. The two guys who sat in the rear belonged to 5' 7" club. Head room was quite good too - they both had at least 4 inches of space between their head and Linea's roof. Pretty good under thigh support.

    ICE was OK. Speakers were too loud at high dbs. I would call Blue&Me as an innovation. It was on that drive that I understood its functionality. Hats off to MS and FIAT for getting this right - personally I call MS as Marketsoft and not Microsoft for they are known for their marketing. The only sad part was that the you really need to bend your back to connect to the USB. The MID was pretty useful too. I personally liked the dials of the Tacho and Odo.

    The breaks along with EBD worked wonders by bringing the car to a grinding halt in no time upon just ramming the breaks hard. The engine was really refined and made me bite my own views that I had after the TD.

    Pretty useful horn too; though I belong to the league who philosophy that honking is for five sense creatures and not for humans. But unfortunately it is always the other way round here in our country.

    Road presence, grip and the excellent steering added to the positives of Linea.

    Overall I felt quite at home inside the Linea - safe and secure thanks to the solid build. This really tempted me to test the MJet on similar road conditions.
  8. livelyyoungman

    livelyyoungman Regolare

    Messages:
    428
    Chennai
    Chennai
    Linea 1.3
    Chapter 20:

    A lot of positives for the Linea but I did notice some negatives as well.

    The headlights were pretty bad in highway conditions.

    The ORVMs were smaller and hence the coverage was less. I would not say it was really difficult to drive but one needs to get used to it. Also, it would have been a benefit had there been an option to close the ORVMs electrically.

    High rise tail lamps added to the boot and the tapering nature of the rear windshield ensured that the view and coverage of the RVM was less. A tall person in the middle was sure to hamper the view. But it was a boon to drive with such a RVM in the night as the sharp headlights from the rear vehicles did not hamper the vision.

    Only one key with remote as well as the steel stepney did not go well with me.

    All four auto-down power windows is a boon but FIAT could have added all four auto up as well; not just restricting it to the driver's side only.

    Overall space utilization was bad.

    I describe the front arm rest as an uncomfortable option. I was well off by putting it off.

    The reception of the roof antenna was also not up to the mark. It was it was much better in my Santro.

    The user interface of ICE definitely needs a face-lift. So do the speakers. FIAT please understand that we Indians have good ear for music.

    Back-light of MID could have be better. Also, I am not too convinced on the placement of the Menu button as I felt that it was not easily accessible. Added to this is the old school interface. Think FIAT was influenced by MS. FIAT please note that MS only supports you for Blue&Me and not for vehicle design.

    With these as the gathered inputs it was time for a final showdown. Even at this juncture, I stuck to my guns - if Linea then diesel else City.
  9. kaps

    kaps Superiore

    Messages:
    673
    Arakkonam
    Fantastic writeup young man.
    Waiting for the rest of story.

    @mods. I was looking to rate this thread, but wasn't able to find a rating option. How about including a star rating system or a simple thanks button that just counts the number of users finding stuff useful and thankful for the same.
  10. livelyyoungman

    livelyyoungman Regolare

    Messages:
    428
    Chennai
    Chennai
    Linea 1.3
    Folks, thanks for patiently going through this thread. It has been really a long time since I have updated this thread - had to set my family in order. Hoping to complete on how I got hold of my MJD and my initial reviews on the car as well.

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