This is going be a long LONG post. It captures how I was captivated by the Tjet and finally looked the 125S sibling. This is my 1st thread on Team Fiat! --- Hi Guys. My i20 is now ~ 6 years old, and has run 73 K Kms. At the time of purchase I did not have the good sense of buy a model loaded with safety features… sigh. A couple of untoward incidents in the friend circle got me thinking of replacing my car with a safer version. My i20, for its limitations, has been very reliable. I have so many fond memories with her, being my first car. It was in this car that my friend became a girl-friend, and then eventually agreed to marry me! This is a stand out memory… The i20 has been like a 3rd member of our little nuclear family. My new car report can be accessed here: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-.../89752-lady-maroon-hyundai-i20-1-2-magna.html I would like to use this thread to document my experiences in zeroing in on the correct new car. I have not bought a car year – so this is more of journey. I. Here is a list of my priorities: · Safety – the point where it all started; · Driving comfort: To me driving comfort comprises the following (no particular order): o A nice hard seat and good ergonomics; o A good seat height adjustment range ( I am 189 CM tall). Good height adjustment also helps with under-thigh support; o Good steering and suspension set up; o Confidence inspiring build; o Powerful Engine: It seems antithetical, but sluggish vehicles are unsafe. With the i20, boy is she sluggish, I have found myself stuck during an overtaking maneuver; · Reliability – I am particularly finicky about this; · Usual suspects (Frugality) : Mileage, ease of maintenance etc. The i20 has given me a real peace of mind with respect to ownership. Would be great if this continues. II. Other information: · Budget : INR 10 lacs (can stretch upto INR 12); · Current Location : Pune; · Current usage: ~ 12 K Kms per year (since the last two years). This number will certainly go up once I get a good car. My i20 has its own way of ensuring safety – it really keeps me from going out too much! · Driving Style – o In City : Sedate; o On Highways: Cruising. I am not into speeding. III. Brands Considered : · Given the budget and requirements, I mostly ended up considering Petrol sedans and diesel hatchbacks. Petrol Hatchbacks, the ones that meet my safety requirements, seem really under powered; · Safety and driving comfort being the top priorities, I considered only the following brands/cars: o Toyota: Etios petrol fit nicely into my budget. I really liked its simple looks. It has also scored 4 stars on the NCAP; o VW: Polo – GT TDI. Did not wish to take a chance with the GT TSI, given the reliability issues; o Ford: Figo (D). Good level of safety equipment, nice engines as well! o Maruti : S Cross. Did not consider any other Maruti car. I did not consider Maruti (other than S Cross), their cars appear notoriously unsafe to me. Also did not consider Hyundai – my friends and I share a joke that Hyundai designers work much harder than their engineers! I had taken a week off work from 20th to 24th June. The originally intended plan did not work out, hence got an opportunity to TD the cars listed above. Thoughts on the next thread. IV. TD thoughts: Day 1: · Today I TD’ed the Figo. Details: o Dealer: Sai Sakshi Ford. Wakad. o The show room experience was pleasant. Not a big crowd. Things were pretty hospitable. But the SP (Sales Person) assigned was a very new one. Having been through the Team BHP reviews – official review and Karan’s review, I thought I know more about the vehicle than the SP. He did seem like a nice chap though. o I took a 10 KM TD on the road leading to the Pune-Mumbai Express way. Did not get on the express way; o Drive impressions: § Engine was amazing! What acceleration! § Coming from i20, I found the steering and suspension to also be good. I was pretty much sold on the car. o PCMC now costs way more in terms of tax with the introduction of the LBT! o Follow-up – I informed the SP that I will come again, with more time to spare, on a weekday. Planned to take a longer TD. o References: § Official Review: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/official-new-car-reviews/170048-ford-figo-official-review.html; § Karan’s incredible video review: · Wild card : Fiat Linea T-Jet: While returning home after the ‘happy’ test ride of the Figo, I stumbled across the Fiat showroom. Entered casually, I was on leave. Did not have much to do. o Dealer : Sky Moto, Bhumkar Chowk, Wakad; o There were no customers in the showroom. The SP (Sales Person) was very enthusiastic and outstandingly knowledgable. The keenness to sell was so very evident; o We went for a test drive. Took a ‘U’ turn from Bhumkar Chowk toward the Sayaji Hotel. Just after the hotel, the SP asked me to take a left. I thought that this is a mistake, because there was no road there at all. But he insisted… o I beheld a road that would have a car’s nightmare. Moss covered, stoney, full of holes. No tarmac to speak off. He asked me to speed into this area. ‘Its your car dude’, I thought, and gave the accelerator a shove… but then, magically, there were almost no bumps left in the cabin! He said I was driving too sedately. He took over the wheel and began driving like crazy. Still no bumps! I was mighty impressed! o The built quality, the solidity, sheer composure… o We then took to the highway. He was still driving. We entered a deserted service lane. He warned me that he will speed and then slam the brakes. The car picked up to 120 KM/Hr in no time, he left the wheel and slammed the brakes. Oh boy did we stop. The car did not move an inch from the straight line. Came to a deadstop expeditiously! o I took the wheel then. Had a first time experience of a turbo petrol. Man this engine call pull. I am typically a sedate driver, but in no time the car was doing high triple speeds (I will not post the number here). It was great fun. o Kms covered – 20. Followup: o Follow-up – I informed the SP that I will come again, with more time to spare, on a weekday. Planned to take a longer TD. The SP was very welcoming. In all my visits, this remained the best experience with any SP. In the further days, I TD’ed S Cross, Polo, Honda City and Ecosport. All in all, this test drive achieved the following things: o Linea totally won my heart; o There are numerous offers on the Linea, perhaps due to the dismal volumes. Making this a sweet deal. The price difference between Linea and Figo was ~ INR 1.2 L. This was pre-negotiation; o Killed the earlier ‘Happy’ feeling about the Figo; o From hereon, those of you who have watched the movie Inception will be able to connect, Linea became my Mal ( a crazy chick who always pops into mind during important points in the movie); My day ended in confusion and excitement. Linea attracted and terrified me. References: Linea is quite the cult car on our forum. There are a number of extraordinary ownership experiences: o Puchoo’s review: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-...tizze-lands-home-fiat-linea-t-jet-2013-a.html o Karthik’s review : http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/long-...t-jet-edit-3-years-4th-service-completed.html o Johy’s review: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-...134370-love-affair-fiat-linea-t-jet-plus.html o Sparameswaran’s review : http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-...linea-t-jet-initial-ownership-experience.html o Of course the Official Reviews: § http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-...14-fiat-linea-facelift-test-drive-review.html § http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/official-new-car-reviews/90735-fiat-linea-t-jet-test-drive-review.html There is a wealth of literature available on Tbhp. I read a lot during this week. Also spoke to a couple of fiat owners. Here is what I gathered: · Owning a Fiat will be a very different experience, especially coming from Hyundai; · I understood that bad service seems to a generic trait of the European car dealers. http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/techn...-volkswagen-polo-problems-service-issues.html · There will be niggling issues. One of my friends, who is a Punto owner, said that it took almost 6 months for the Fiat Service guys to figure out the reason for a rattle emanating from the boot of the car; · There will be service center incompetence to contend with; · If critical parts break down, there might be delays in procuring them. Volumes are very low. So unavoidable I guess; · Pandit automobiles has closed, and there are two authorized service centers left in Pune. Sky and Jay-Vijay. Both are not great – especially for diagnosing exact reasons for issues; · Fuel efficiency on the Linea might be suspect – especially during hard accelerations. But hard acceleration is not my style. I also got to know: · Just how safe the Linea is : https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/street-experiences/109249-pics-accidents-india-206.html https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/street-experiences/109249-pics-accidents-india-1022.html · Driving dynamics are outstanding. People love this car. It seems to bring out something deep and emotional in its patrons; · It basically ticked all my boxes – with the exception of service reliability and perhaps fuel economy. I can compromise fuel economy for the safety. But service has me rattled; · The Tjet might also have a low resale. This increases the risk, as it reduces exit options. Though re-sale is not high on my priorities. But a risk nonetheless; I further gathered that: · Tjet is more niggle free as compared to Multi-jet cars; · Fiat spares and service costs are typically lower; · If I can’t put up with niggles, perhaps T-jet is not the car for me; · A hat tip to the BHPians who guided me here. http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-...fiat-linea-facelift-test-drive-review-39.html I remain grateful! Day 2: · Etios (Petrol) o Dealer: DSK Toyota, Sus Road; o Showroom Experience: The showroom was bustling with energy. There were loads of people, mainly to check the new Innova out. Boy what a car it is. I am sure that this is another Toyota superstar in the making! I was asked to sit for a bit. Despite the rush, a Sales Person (SP) approach me within ~ 7 minutes. We got discussing about the car. In no time I was behind the wheel. Etios was one of my favorite cars. I liked the simplicity that it bought to the table. Not to mention the superb power/weight ratio, NCAP rating and the T badge – you cannot go wrong with this one. o Test Drive Experience: § Took around 15 KM test drive; § I liked the sorted suspension, the steering was good; § The car seemed pretty planted – especially for a light vehicle; § I however, did not like the seats. They were too soft for my liking. I suspect I might not them supportive on long rides; § The NVH level was not impressive at all. A lot of engine noise was filtering into the cabin at/near 100 KMPH speed. This was the 1st instance when Mal (Linea) popped up in my head. ‘This vehicle is good, you have liked her since years. But I am better…’. A very descent TD thus lead to an underwhelming feeling. I did like the low end grunt though. I decided that I will put Etios on my final list. The SP showed me the incredible car washer that DSK uses. It is completely automated, does a great job in a very short time. I tried clicking some pictures, but my phone said ‘Camera failed’:s Toyota service is legendary, DSK is renowned to be a world class facility. Yes, I would TD the Etios again. Day 3: · Polo GT o Dealer : BU Bhandari, Wakad; o Dealership Experience : The sales person (SP) seemed to have a lot of attitude. It is one thing to be proud of German engineering, and entirely another to behave as if customers need VW – not the other way around. I found this attitude of him sitting on his ‘German High Horse’ to be resentful; o Test Drive Experience: § I was primarily interested in GT TDI, but it was not available for a TD. I TD’ed a TDI car, and man it was good! § The interiors were the best put together in all cars that I TD’ed; § The car itself was solidly built and exuded confidence. Not in the same class as the Lines, but close enough; § This car can seriously get a person out and driving. 2nd most fun to drive car (after Lines of course); § I liked the steering and suspension; § The NVH levels were also acceptable; § I noticed an interesting thing, most cars parked in the staff parking were VW cars – policy? Or brand loyalty? o I also TD’ed the GT TSI: § Sheer amazing power and gear shifts. I was aghast at the way this little beast accelerated! With all the good things about diesel, and superior engine – this was a real pocket rocket! § I did not give GT TSI much of a thought because of the infamous DSG reliability. Reading through Tbhp, I came to know about some of the horror stories associated with VW after sales. http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/india...-after-sales-volkswagen-auto-group-india.html http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/india...w-after-sales-woes-my-polo-vidyut-motors.html http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-...oti-nagar-fails-again-rectify-problem-17.html A couple of more thoughts: · They say that VW cars are good only till the warranty expires! · One of my friends, who used to work at VW in the spare parts pricing dept., told me that their spares are exorbitantly prized! · By the way, this link here is a treasure trove of knowledge and 1st hand experiences for any one interested in buying a Polo http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/technical-stuff/101925-vw-polo-maintenance-service-cost-dos-donts.html The general thought process is – the car is good as long as it is good and under warranty. Thereafter it is anybody’s guess. I would love to be corrected on this, since the car is so amazing. The maintenance costs at VW authorized centers is exorbitantly high. Frankly, I am turned off after reading the above thread (Polo maintenance). Day 4: · Figo and Aspire: Same dealer as above. Took the wife for a TD. We had a good 20 to 25 KM TD on both cars. After having driven better cars, I felt underwhelmed at the build, steering feel and suspension. I experienced nervousness at 100 KM/Hr. and NVH was not satisfactory. I dropped both cars from my list. There is around INR 1 Lac difference between the Figo and Polo TDI. I believe that the premium is worth it (if you can live with the service costs), despite the fact that Ford packs a cracker of an engine. My opinion. · Wild card no. 2 : Ecosport Standing right there in the Ford showroom was a car I had not considered! The Eco sport. Being a technology geek, I had always loved the Ecoboost engine. This was an opportunity to TD it. o Test Drive Experience : The experience was pretty amazing! § The engine was so refined at idle, I was at loss to figure out whether the engine is running; § Found the motor to be immensely enjoyable. The way it accelerated, man it was impossible to tell that this is a little 3 pot motor! Kuddos to the Ford engineers for coming up with this marvel! § Loved the way it handled, found steering and suspension also to be likeable; § Whilst the backrest on the seat was pretty amazing, the under-thigh support was severely wanting. Sometimes I felt like I was at the edge of my seat – literally! Tried lowering the seat, pushing the seatback back – but it just did not work… alas a wonderful car let down by the seat. § I could not go ahead with this wonderful car. Heading home from the Ford Showroom, I cross the Fiat one. There she was – Mal (linea) staring at me! Ah! I sighed, and moved ahead… Day 5: · Honda City: Well, City being City, I had to TD it. This car is an icon in India – a rare vehicle that has, over the years, appealed to the young and the old alike. I had loved the previous generation City, and found the new one to be too gaudy for my liking. But I TD’ed it anyway. Dealer: Deccan Honda, Pimpri; TD Experience: I did not actually go to the dealer. Had raised a request on the Honda website for a TD. A sale person (SP) bought a petrol City for the TD. o The car was pretty spacious. The interiors looked neat – a definite upgrade from the previous gen.; o Seats seemed soft... That was a downer. I am almost certain that long drives in this car will give me the back-ache! o We started off on the road leading upto the expressway (I stay at Wakad); o The build was light and the steering was a bit vague. The way it drove, it was not too different from my i20; o There seemed to be some rattles from the cabin; o When we passed over the white speed lines near the expressway, the entire dash shook ferociously! Some more lines and I thought the dash will come loose! o I missed an un-marked speedbump, leading to a loud thud from the suspension… All in all, the worst car I drove during the week… What a mighty disappointment! I expected a lot – LOT from the City. Came back home, logged into Tbhp, and found this painstakingly detailed thread authored by @ Crazy Driver. http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/india...ion-arent-honda-cars-niggle-free-anymore.html City certainly was not a car for me. Day 6: · S cross It was my turn to experience the Nexa dealership. I went to the one on Baner road. The showroom was spic and span. Not chaotic like typical Maruti showrooms. A sales person (SP) in a grey suit greeted me. He showed me the vehicle. I liked the way the S Cross looks – its very understated – just the way I like it. It is built unlike any Maruti ever! Its build is closer to VW than Maruti, that is very appreciable. They had only the 1.3 S Cross for TD. They promised to get the 1.6 at my place for a trial. · TD Experience: o The car has good interior ambience. I liked the all black look. Interiors were very well put together. Some switchgear and steering wheel seems to be shared with Swift ( or even Alto!). Other than those, the feeling was positively plush. o The touch screen infotainment was very cool; o I TD’ed the car for ~ 25 KM. Went through dense traffic, open road, bad road, no road. The S Cross handled like a dream! I liked the suspension a lot. Steering was also very good; o The elbow rest for the front passenger was also very good; o The driving position was comfortable, brakes were confidence inspiring; o I loved the way the bad roads were dismissed! This would be on my final lineup. Day 7: S cross · TD – 1.6 o If the 1.3 impressed me, the 1.6 blew me away! o The acceleration, the punch! My God, mind stood blown! o We took the car on the actual expressway this time. Within no time I had crossed triple digit speeds. The speed masking is stellar; o The SP asked me to accelerate further, the S cross obliged! This really is the diesel equivalent of the TSI/Tjet motor! o I came close to one incident. I was travelling pretty fast on the expressway, and out of no where, I saw some orange plastic pods – road was under ‘under maintenance’. They had cordoned off 2 of the high speed lanes, I was in the right most lane. I panicked a bit, but the way the vehicle handled the highspeed lane change was pretty awesome! All disc brakes, suspension, steering – all of them coming into play. The 1.6 S Cross was the best vehicle I drove during the week. The S Cross is a golden mean between Japanese reliability and European build. Another interesting note. There used to be a ‘U’ turn just before the toll plaza. They have now closed it off, and they charge a hefty INR 175, just for taking a ‘U’ turn! There is a small – almost invisible ‘U’ turn around 1 KM before the 1st toll. I saw an Innova turning from there. If you head out to the express way, watch out for this turn. The 1.6 though is now available only in the top Alpha trim, and costs a pricey INR 14.77 OTR Pune. I do not have that kind of budget at this time. With a heavy heart, I had to let go of this vehicle… I decided that I could live with the 1.3. It made it to my final line up. The 1.3 has all the good bits from the 1.6 (excluding the gem of the engine), and amazing fuel economy! Look at these incredible ownership reviews: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-...ove-ordinary-my-crossover-maruti-s-cross.html http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-...ttle-hippo-maruti-s-cross-ddis-200-alpha.html http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-...71018-ride-glide-maruti-s-cross-1-3-zeta.html Day 8: Thank you for reading this huge thread! The final Line Up is as under: · Fiat Linea; · S Cross 1.3; · (Perhaps) Etios Petrol (not certain. Will need another test drive. If I find the seat to be soft, I will not proceed). My heart says Linea, head says S Cross 1.3. I will try Etios once again, but I suspect it will be either of the top 2. Update from 9th July'16. · Took the wife to TD the S Cross 1.3. As noted above the 1.6 is out of budget. Having loved the 1.6, we found the 1.3 to be underwhelming. The NVH was not up to the mark either. My wife asked the sales person about crumple zones and the ncap rating. He did seem flabbergasted on being questioned about safety and not fuel economy! He mentioned the ncap rating as 4.5 - I may be ignorant, but I have never heard about a 4.5 rating! Also, the place he pointed to as a crumple zone was clearly the radiator fan! Unfortunately, safety did not seem to have figured on Maruti's sales staff training. We as a market also don't care much, so why will the manufacturer care... Anyway S cross is out for me now. · Linea 125s got launched! I'm very excited about this. Update from 12th July 2016: 12th June 2016 was the date when I TD'ed the Tjet once again. This was the existing one 114 PS. Took my wife with me this time. We did a very extensive test drive. My wife loved the car that I had already fallen for. She immediately zeroed in on the silver colour (Minimal Grey). There were still lingering doubts about the service. I went to the Kharadi Service station, with the SP. I met the Service Manager : Mr Mathpati. He did not give me the feeling of an insincere person. I talked to him at length about the Tjet motor, the spares, service quality. I quizzed him about the life of consumables like clutch assembly, fly wheel, alternator etc. Consumables are not covered by warranty, but if something fails within 10 K KM, they help get it done under warranty – was the feedback I received. I was still researching the forum and the ‘team-Fiat’ group. Read almost all remarks on this great thread about the Linea/Punto quirks: http://www.teamfiat.com/threads/fiat-linea-punto-did-you-know-series.21/ I received outstanding guidance from BHPians : @Prokinetic, @nkrishnap, @nkapoor, @puchoo, @ASHWIN Morey, @neoonwheels, @SSD2122, @johy, @Vibbs, @sudeep_Kimster _/\_ With the analysis done, experiences requested & read, TD’s done, other cars eliminated – it was time to decide. With my heart, as much as the mind, I decided to go with the Linea! Booked the 125 S version. After negotiation, I got the amount nailed in at INR 10.8 lacs ( Free Camera, Zero Dep Insurance, Mats and Mud Flaps). The TD was promised in the last week of Jul’16. On 12th July’16 – unlike Mal from inception, Linea Tjet won the race to be my next car! J Update from 24th July 2016: This was the day I TD’ed the new 125S. The colour was Bronzo Tan. The car felt almost exactly like the 114PS version. This seemed more slient and gearing seemed a bit taller. Or was it because it had only 100 KM on the ODO, and had not been subject to the typical TD car abuse. The engine was noticeably tighter. I left the feeling surer about my booking. The delivery date was fixed on 5th Aug’16. Upgrades Planned: · I will get new tires. Will upgrade to Michelin Primacy 3ST. There is a very good deal of information and experience available for being accessed on this link: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/tyre-...chelin-primacy-3-st-tyres-launched-india.html Some of the individuals who helped me (noted above) also recommended the primacy 3ST tires. I got a deal for INR 15 K for a set of 4, in exchange of 4 new OEM (Apollo Alnac 4G) tires on the Tjet. · I will get a paint sealant treatment done on the car, from 3M Aundh; · Eventually I will get head-lighted upgraded to Osram Night breakers. Update from 29th July’16 : PDI On this beautiful rainy day, I had the 1st look at my Tjet. Went to the Sky Moto workshop in Akurdi. I had requested the SP to park my car under a shed, if possible. He managed to do that. The car looked wonderful! I had a very careful and long PDI. And noted the following: · Noted the VIN no. It was a June’16 manufactured car; · Tyres were new and spotless; · The car has run 18 KM. ‘H’ mark was very much there; · Under the hood – all looked spic and span; · Noticed the following stuff that needed correction: o There was an un-even panel gap on the LHS of front bonnet; o There were rust marks on the external side of the front disc brakes. Rear ones were ok; o The shiny dashboard cubby hole would not open; o There was a bit of dust on the rubber beading on the rear windows – LHS and RHS; o On being driven, the car tended to pull – very slightly, to the left; The PDI representative at the workshop assured me that all the stuff will be corrected before delivery. I plan to visit the workshop on 4th Aug to confirm adherence. Now I wait for the delivery!