My Sincere Thanks to the below folks who helped me in various stages of the decision making and stood by me in all phases till I got the possession of the vehicle. Names not in any specific order Vequar Mohammed - my closest buddy N Krishna - Thank you for all the help and by interfacing directly with FIAT to help in the delivery Arun Jose - Thank you for taking my calls and clearing my doubts Finay P - Thank you for assuring that Iam in the right direction Jaga M - Sales Rep AV Motors Naveen - GM AV Motors Ramakrishna - AV Motors Kranthi K - For sharing his SLR for the photo shoot My Family , friends & all other forum members whom I interacted with. Apologies if I missed anyone. The Opening Picture Before we start off with a detailed review I would like to put forward a few ground rules on expenditure that I have set for myself in life and thankfully have managed to strictly abide by them till date. 1 : Spend on what is needed. 2 : Have separate line of saving for important aspects in life 3 : Strictly a basic Credit Card ( till date I have a CC with a max limit of 20K and I only use it for online reservations and to clear bills) From the above three points you all would have got a basic Idea on how I manage my finances , now comes the interesting & the tough one 4 : No Car Loan - IMO car is luxury & I would buy or change one only when I have sufficient money to dispose at hand and will not borrow money for luxury. I have owned 2 cars in the past a Honda City 2002 & Hyundai Verna 2007 both were pre owned and you know the reason by now for going this way.Both cars kept me very happy and I definitely had a trouble free ownership with both of them.Honda made me grin every time I drove it and its low maintenance bills was a bliss.With my increasing run day by day and the sky rocketing petrol prices made me rethink on the priorities.I had to take the decision against my heart. Overpowered by my practical mind had to let go my dear Honda , plonked in some savings and that is how my journey started with the diesel beast.Boy Oh boy the turbo kick was additive like weed and this machine used to shoot like an arrow during overtaking maneuvers & every time " Yeah Dil mange more ".Well the Verna was not so light on maintenance like my earlier petrol Honda , and I had to get a new clutch , complete suspension overhaul and a set of new tires as well which I was fine with as the ride got better and I definitely was smiling. The car was serving the purpose of my daily commute to work and occasional highway dashes (Damm I still miss that turbo & will for a long time for now). Days and years passed by and all was happy , however slowing the maintenance bills started crawling up which was not a very huge concern at that point though.It was mid 2013 and then came a day where I had saved enough for a new car by not compromising on any of my preset priorities & something in store for emergencies.So the game begun in my mind and it was altogether a one sided argument and I already made up my mind that this time around I will get a new car and its time to say adios to by dear Verna.My wife always played an important role in choosing cars ( please dont say tell us something new) , but what I can tell you is she knows more than a thing or two about cars & has some good skills in financial planning which always come handy to me in all aspects & we started looking for a new car with the following things in mind as requirement. Has to be a Sedan Should definitely have 2 Airbags , ABS , EBD as minimum and more safety features are welcome. The car should drive well Decent fuel efficiency Need a diesel to justify my regular run Should have good boot space as we have multiple runs to the airport in the family Should be liked by my father as we always share the rides ( His regular ride is a Santro ) Last but most imp & a definite must ( included on strict demand by my wife ) should have rear AC vent No specific need of good alloys / audio & additional frills . No SUV's as way beyond my acceptable budget And we finally found the match we were looking for. Here goes my test drive experience. Disclaimer : All the views are strictly my personal opinion and I do not intend to debate and cause inconvenience to anyone ;-) Hyundai Verna Very Good package Had all the needed bells and whistles Excellent Interior I was only looking for the 1.4 CRDI ( my strict budget you see , this raises its dirty head everywhere) The test drive was pretty good , I loved the turbo again (Old habits die hard).I had the ride quality issues at the back of my mind from the past experience and also the possible high bills from maintenance on the long run. My wife however was not too happy with the comfort on the back seat, no rear AC vents & probably a Verna again was something she did not like much. Hence eventually this option was ruled out. Toyota Etios After reading reviews and ownership threads I was very exited about this car.The T badge & low maintenance kept on knocking in my head for long. Good Car , nice space. Bald Interiors & exteriors Center console was a total turn off However I still was inclined towards this car due to the merits that it inherited from the strong T But No rear AC vent was a drawback ( for obvious reasons) On a third visit to Harsha toyota my Dad tagged along with me and then at the end of the visit he pulled the trigger & the option was ruled out. Toyota Altis 1.4 D Altis always exited me and I loved the sheer size of the car. The small engine was no major concern for me. Although I was inclined towards a new car the Altis definitely made me rethink and I did check out some used cars. I found some good ones just a few years old (Post 2010 / 2011) in the range of 9L , and I parked this option as plan B. Maruthi Ertiga I liked the car & the space. Interior was pretty decent as well. The utility was good. Most importantly the test drive showed that the car handles just like any other vechile and the size is manageable in the city. Strong after sales support I liked the ZDI and it could have been accommodated as per my financial constraints with the ongoing discounts at that time. Then again a question which was practical , why do we need a car for 6 , somehow my Dad was not too comfortable driving the Ertiga and hence this as well was eventually dropped. VW Vento Loved the build. Interiors were fine and looked to last long The test drive was pretty good with the TDi showcasing its capabilities Unfortunately VW does not come with safety features which match my requirement with the money in my pocket. The huge rear hump as well was something not too pleasing for me. Nissan Sunny Acres of space and truly a CAAAR. The shape did not excite me much and found bulky in odd corners Fiat Linea Adorable Looks The interiors looked very good. The price on offer was excellent. The test drive was definitely good with the Linea handling like a pro on the deserted banjara hills roads on a lazy Saturday afternoon. The turbo lag was evident in the lower rpm's but It was definitely manageable for my sedate style of driving. Post the test drive pushed the SA for offers and he did come up with some good discounts. Collected all the sheets and retired for the day. I had a long night thinking about the price point and what the Linea had to offer and the amazing ride quality was hard to forget , post the 2.5 rpm the car behaves different in spite of the weight and sticks to the ground. Next day I sat lost in my thoughts about the Linea and started browsing the internet for ownership reviews and experiences. The deal was excellent but the only thing that was slightly pushing me back was the company reputation itself which killed the brand. After going through many threads I understood the prons & cons and I was able to make a decision to step towards the deal. My wife was happy as well with the car and previous day test drive.So it was Sunday and I went back to the FIAT showroom along with my parents and this time my Dad too did not have anything to complain about, he gave his nod. With this me and my trusted friend sat down at the table and further pushed the SA for deals and were able to squeeze the max. The booking amount was not paid as we said we will come back in a few days after some more thinking. All retired home happy. The rest of the options from Nissan, Renault , Ford , Mahindra , TATA were given a quick looks and were not opted for more or less on the same lines captured for the cars above. Then came the twist in the tale. The news of the launch of the new Honda city Diesel was catching up and the stage was all setup. I grueling was stuck to the pre launch discussion thread of the City and with every post I read it became more exiting.Somewhere at the back of my mind the fond memories of the trouble free & less expensive ownership kept my interest mounting. With this I informed the SA (poor soul has been chasing me for a week for booking amount) from FIAT that my decision is on hold as of now and I will get back to them.With the anticipated pictures and discussions the thread was on fire and it kept me glued all the while.In the meanwhile my Verna still continued to be my ride and I was determined that I will wait for the city. After some discussions at home it was agreed in harmony that we shall wait for the launch of the most awaited car in diesel. The car was launched in Nov and after looking at the initial pictures and reviews I paid the booking amount to Pride Honda (51K) with a fully refundable clause written on the booking receipt. The model and color choice was left blank as there was no clarity at that point of time. In the meanwhile I bid adieu to my Verna in the mid of December and started taking hops with my colleges to work.I used my cousins Honda City Automatic for about 2 months as stop gap arrangement in between. Everyone at home was pretty happy and the wait continued.Eventually the time moved briskly and the physical launch of the car happened in December and after looking at the car in person I was pretty happy with the decision. I was one of the limited customers who were invited for a special preview of the car at the dealers stockyard before the actual launch across India.I felt special , and thanks to the detailed review by GTO I managed to give a walk through to the SA on all the features rather than the other way around. Now the wait for the price started eventually when out I saw that "S" fitted my budget the best , however all that I needed started from SV. So with a an uneasy feeling financially I set my mind on Sv. The test drive was pretty good , the rear seat comfort was fabulous the diesel clatter was chosen to be ignored and was agreed that it can be lived with.However I asked the SA to postpone the delivery to March 2014 instead of Jan as I had to rework on my finances to accommodate the 11.5 L OTR Hyderabad figure. The choice of color was initially Urban titanium but later changed to white.As days passed by and we waited for the calender to turn , one day I was called in by Sr Management and informed that I would have to travel to Latin America for an year for business requirement. Oops, Honda has to be parked for now was my first thought. The options given to me was a fly back home every quarter or I can be accompanied by my family , after a few discussions at home I opted the later as my wife and kid never traveled international. I still did not cancel my booking while I filed my documentation for the visa and I initiated parallel discussions at home if we can still get the car in March and my Dad can use it while Iam away.After a couple of discussions my father ruled out the option and said he would not be justifying the diesel machine with his run and he is pretty happy with the Santro for his daily commute and he wanted me to enjoy the new ride ( Parents !!! sigh they think about us so much ). I tried convincing him until april and kept postponing the delivery date and finally cancelled the booking in the 1st week of April 2014.The 51K was promptly refunded after 10-12 days as a cheque which was later collected by my father after I left. Eventually days and months passed by and in November 2014 the discussion started again and CIAZ was added as an option , however after a few discussions and reading on the forum , We were firmly stuck with the Honda City and towards the end of November taking advantage of the Thanksgiving holidays went for a weeks vacation to the US of A and my wife returned to Hyderabad from there as she was bored already with the life in LATAM. In December the news on exice duty started picking steam and then it was evident that the government was in no mood to extend the soaps.This was finally dropped as a boulder by my wife via a call early Jan 2015 that prices of the City have shot up and she called pride honda to find the new price and its now 12.3 OTR.This practically meant I was looking at 12.5 L at-least if I include basic accessories like floor mats , under body coating etc.,. Now most of you would be thinking that additional 1 L is not much of a deal as Iam already on an intl. assignment , honestly yes you are right but then the question raised its voice loud is the car with what it has to offer worth the spend of 12.5 L. Honestly I was not able to find a justifying answer.Suddenly the car started looking too heavy on my pocket and my practical mind started playing its role again.I strongly felt that I should not be spending this huge money on a car and I should put the money at hand for a better use. Eventually a discussion with my wife who was on a instant agreement (remember I already told you all how good she is in financial planning) we dropped the plans to buy the City and mutually agreed to look for a used car when Iam back home and invest the remaining money in a much better prospect for future. The decision taken gave me immense relief and we started looking for used cars the question which one. Both agreed to find a Linea as we loved it for the reasons mentioned already. On a casual Friday night around 10 PM after work I started browsing and bumped across the deals for 2014 models and found killer deals on Linea which was already lingering on the mind anyways as an used car option.Immediately called butta and spoke to the SA and he gave me a figure over the phone however said that the deal is only on Dynamic as emotion is not available.I was fine with it as there was no major difference anyways. I said one of my Friends will meet him in person.Another call made to a very close friend and he swung into action immediately.Saturday Morning when I woke up there was a heap of messages on whatsapp about the discussions he had with the dealer and asked me to call asap.I called him and immediately can sense his excitement , the number he told me along with the freebies was irresistible. We agreed that I would need sometime to talk and home and revert. Couple of calls and guess what I was the last one to know this news as my buddy already spoke to my wife and she is all exited and waiting for my call to let me know that she is in to grab the deal and she spoke to my Dad already and he was absolutely fine. So the stage was set and we all liked the interiors of the 2014 model much better than the 2013 model which we saw earlier.Next day a through test drive from my Dad and my dear friend to get the impressions and a thumbs up was sent to me.The subsequent Wednesday the deal was finalized and the booking amount was paid and we we started waiting for the VIN and the wait lasted for more than a month. I had a terrible dealership experience with Butta , which I have written about further down and almost pushed me away from FIAT. But for obvious reasons I put in some effort changed the dealership and moved to AV Motors. The experience at AV was excellent, the updates and communication from them are highly appreciated. Now for many of you who are thinking how did my practical mind allowed me to decide on the Linea which is not known to command a good resale , then this is what I had in mind when the decision was made.Iam saving a straight 3 L ( if I opted out of the Honda City) and I have some additional savings which I have already planned to invest on Land and Iam sure that I will make more money in the coming years than what I would be loosing as resale value in the Linea. Moreover Linea appealed to the heart as well .Hence we have decided to go with it as it was a plus in all our views. We strongly felt that we should not be thinking everything in a practical perspective and went ahead with the voice of the Heart towards the Linea . By now you all would have understood that Iam hard to get carried away & can resist temptation when it relates to finances so the deal on the plot is already being materialized and I should be closing this deal as well in a couple of weeks. --- Double Post Merged, Feb 22, 2015 --- This is my first FIAT and I dont want to sound a fan boy so early and it would not be apt to conculde on the car without an ownership experience. Having said this I would now capture some likes and dislikes about the car. Likes Amazing Looks - Nobody can deny the fact that Fiat knows more than a thing or two about design. You can easily identify a Linea in the crowd because of the striking visual appeal and for sure is a head turner. Build quality - The massive thud is hard to miss every time one shuts any of the doors. The thick metal not only keeps the occupants safe but insulates most of the external noises. The stalks are of good build and the hydraulic steering is a champion in the segment. Stability - The car is pretty heavy which helps it stay planted at high speed and gives you great confidence to push the car more. Ride quality - Most of us agree that the ride quality known to be one of the best in the segment and the bad patches and pot holed filled roads are no more concerning. Braking - Amazing braking ability and the car holds to the tarmac in the best possible way when the peddle in between is pushed hard. Clutch - Iam not boasting but the clutch on this diesel can put some clutch's from some petrol engines to shame. Nice to drive - With good handling , brakes amazing ride quality the car demands to be driven more. The engine has a good punch in the mid-range and the lag is manageable. It’s not the quickest car in the segment but for sure is an excellent car to drive around. Dislikes Turgo Lag - Very evident in lower rpm's and for sure is painful in heavy traffic. Sound quality from speakers could be better Rear leg room - Thankfully we don't have any 6 footers in the family and we can manage with the available space Headroom could have been better Driver Hand rest , god alone knows what was going through the designer's mind when they were cutting this so short and making it useless. High Boot loading lip Orange Dial light - I loved the blue in Honda very much The car is the longest in the segment however Italians should attend some special classes about space management from Japs Honda & Toyota.