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My Jet has landed : The Fiat Linea TJet+ - First Pit-Stop Completed (5500kms)

Discussion in 'Linea 1.4 T-Jet' started by punto-er, Nov 9, 2012.

  1. punto-er

    punto-er Amatore

    Messages:
    156
    Bengaluru
    "It is IMPOSSIBLE to drive this car with a light foot. The turbo boost is addictive. Don’t fret over the fuel economy, There’s More to Life than KMPL. Take the wife for a dinner less or something"

    I couldn't find a better opening to my first ownership thread than the Imortal words from the team-bhp Review thread. Words that connected with me from the very first time I read them and that still rings in head everytime I get behind the wheel. Words that I have seen in many Ownership threads already. And words that made sense to my better half as well!!

    Disclaimer: This could get long-winded and hence boring for some. If you are looking for my selection process and experiences with the TJet only please proceed to the second/third posts. Else grab a Cuppa and read on

    History

    Hi Friends,
    Those who know me on teamfiat (there are very few who do) would know that I started my motoring journey May of 2007 when I got delivery of my Lil Pocket Rocket, the Original Zen. Enjoyed the car thoroghly for its sweet engine (with aircon off) and excellent handling (almost GoCart like). I loved her and the expierence was enough to search online for answers to my motoring doubts and eventually stumble upon Team-BHP (eventually started the Zen Modification thread too). But, after 2 years, we had to part ways. Her aging body (rusting etc) and frequent visits to the A** meant that our relationship was going sour. It was better to end it on a High.

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    Anyway, after the expirence of a Used and not well maintained car it was decided to get a new car this time. Blame it on the lack of Vitamin-M and I was faced with the daunting task of choosing the "right" hatch. Now "right" is defined as a different combination of characteristics by all buyers. But after going through numerous test-drives and process of eliminations, I figured that "right" actually means The Perfect Compromise that "I" will be happy with. So, based on gorgeous looks, excellent ride and handling, decent space and size, good interiors (to me) and excellent build quality, I put down my money on the Fiat Punto. Now since the money I put down was not from a money-plant and was limited, I was forced to settle of perhaps the weakest engine in the Fiat line-up, the 1.2l. It served me well for almost 2 years with no major issues or incidents with the TASS. But there was a distinct feeling of Heavy Car being pulled by this lack lustre engine. So I was sold on the idea of increasing the power once I complete 2 years. But as fate would have it, I got an oppurtunity I was waiting for and moved back from Karm-bhumi to Janm-bhumi. We decided to sell the Punter and avoid hassle with traffic cops, road-tax issues and issues while trying to sell it (eventually) in a different state.

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    To Be Continued.....

    - - - Merged Post - - -



    The Hunt Continues...

    So then, it was that time again. The time to scan the What Car, New Launches, Official Reviews, User Reviews, Scoops and other such threads on the Forum that had now helped me get equiped to make informed decissions in my cars rather then rely on non-petrol-head friends and family members. First-up a few ground rules were established for this search:
    1. I was not ready to Live like a King on Borrowed Treasure anymore. So NO loans as far as possible.
    2. Redefine "right" car and find something that I will Live "happily" and "safely" with.
    3. Since most "right" cars were expensive, I was ready to buy used cars again, but trust My instincts this time.

    Now the process of elimination starts again. It obviously begins with setting the budget as it does with most middle-class Mango-People . Once the budget (money of the sold Punter + a few month of saving etc) was set, I started scanning for options. This time I was pampered with the Punters handling and ride qualities, its sexy looks and its vault like build but still missed the sweet, revv-happy, peppy engine of the Zen.

    I then went on to eliminate most hatches as I had already used 2 and was looking for a change in that department too. So, I was left with a plethora of sedans and some SUVs too. It was planned to take this car to work daily, which meant a daily run of about 40kms and hence a new confusion arised, Petrol or Diesel?

    While doing my homework on diesel cars I found the Optra Magnum to be most powerful diesel car in my budget, but couldn't find any good specimen in the market and the fact that it is discountinued coupled with fact that it is not a great handler meant it was slowly going out of my list. Most other diesel cars including Vernas, Fiestas, DZires etc were excluded after one drive because they were either too Noisey (bad on NVH) or too boring or too Ugly (No offence meant, Looks are subjective). I did like the Skoda Octvia 1.9tdi but striked it off the list for similar reasons as in Optra's case plus the Skoda service issues (faced by numerous users). Then drove Linea MJD and instant connected with it. It was a choice which made sense coming from the Punter. Not too much would change on the Drive dynamics and build front and the engine is peppy in the turbo band too. But then again finding a well maintained Diesel Linea with low mileage proved quite a task, since New Fiats sell less to begin with. Therefore, I was ready to bear the Petrol bills if it meant getting the "Right" Car (I know, back to the same thing).

    Most SUV samples I checked out were either used a lot or asking price was too high. Plus a added headache of parking a beast, not much use of all the available space and the non-sedan like drive dynamics. So I was in 2-minds for the likes of Scorpios, Innovas etc.

    Just then there were some new launches that were quite tempting. The Duster was a nice package, but since I was looking only for the fully loaded variants, this one got out of budget. Quanto was, well, oddly designed and Compromise written all over. So after the process of elimination, I was now finally looking for a decent sedan which is as new possible, has great ride and handling, a peppy engine, all bells and most whistles (especially safety related), decent city mileage (9-10kmpl) and the least amount of issues to deal with. Below are my findings/decisions on the cars in my budget.

    Fiesta 1.6: Great Car, but now sold alongside the new Fiesta, dropping it to entry level sedan status.
    DZire: I apologise to any current owners reading this but no matter how VFM this car is, I still find it one of the worst designs in the market today (same goes for most other cars from Maruti Suzuki)
    Accent: Just too Old
    Etios: Build a budget and it shows. I have seen many bashing the interiors in the modern Fiats but Etios twins (to me) are the worst.
    Manza: Test drove a few decent samples. All single-person driven, fairly low run but somehow this and most other Tata cars give a feeling that they are put together with Fevi-Kwik. If a car can develop weird rattles within just 1-2years of sane driving, then I cant imagine being happy driving it for a longer time.
    P.S: This is probably a good time to mention that I am very finicky about the sounds in my car. The acceptable noise are the Engine/Exhaust and the music from ICE (and the tyre roar to some extent). Any other kat-kat, kit-kit, knock-knock, tic-tic, tic-toc are just not acceptable.
    Verna (Petrol): Not a good handler as most hyundai cars.
    And the list goes on. So I'll cut it short and anyone who has any question on the process of elimination can post them subsequently

    Finally, my contenders were the ANHC (OHC is great but too old, and the Dolphin is a non-looker) and Linea both Petrol and Diesel (one of the few Diesel cars which doesn't sound like a truck). And if I couldn't find anything then may be the Scorpio and Fieasta 1.6S.

    As fate would have it, my searches lead me to the Fiat Linea TJet Test Drive thread. Our very own team-bhpians discussing how brand-spanking-new In-Stockyard Tjets were being offered as mouthwatering price. Spoke to better half about the deal. We both (infact even my lil one) loved the Linea's look, plus I knew how it excelled in the ride and handling department, plus this was the probably the most-fun engine available in this price-bracket. We took 2-3 days to pool in most of our resources and decided to take a serious look at the available specimens of the JET.

    To be continued...
    (I warned you this would be long *winks* )
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 7, 2013
    4 people like this.
  2. punto-er

    punto-er Amatore

    Messages:
    156
    Bengaluru
    Hunt is Over...

    Here I would officially and whole-heartedly like to THANK fellow Fiatians Parimal and KHOJ for making this acquisition possible. Parimal helped me get in touch with the right people at the Balaji Cars dealership and also helped me negotiate a great bargain. And both Parimal and KHOJ patiently answered all my questions and cleared all my doubts/apprehensions.

    As for the car itself. It is a 2011 manufactured lying the dealers yard. I had to go all the way to Kalyan from Kandivali (its far, especially when taking the trains), and all along the way there were questions in my mind. Questions like 'its been lying in the yard for so long', 'could there be anything wrong with this peice? a possible Lemon?', 'shud I buy a Fiat again, when most Indians dont prefer buying them?' , 'is buying a petrol Fiat a good idea'. Anyway on reaching the dealership, I met the sales rep and he had the car prep'ed for me. I knew that I would love the looks of the car, I also knew that I would love it even more in the Tuscan Wine color, I also knew that I would instantly connect with it after experiencing the Punter in the recent past. So I tried to keep all these Obvious feelings at bay and kept focus on finding any and every issue with the car. There were no damages/dents/broken bits of any kind. There were scratches, but I was expecting that since it was in the yard for almost a year. I was instantly promised that these scratches will be taken care off incase we proceed with the deal. Drove it briefly and found no issues/noises from anywhere. All electronics, plastics, mechanicals seem to be fully operational without a hitch. Best part, the Odometer still read " H 157 ". So with the Jet passing my inspection, we sat down to finalise the deal. The sales rep was very helpful in the whole process (start to end) and it was settled. Delivery was planned in a couple of weeks in 2 weeks, by the time I make the payments and car goes the registration process. It was also decided that all Fluids in the car will be changed before delivery and any scratches/grease marks will be taken care off.

    Accessories agreed upon mats, mud-flaps (old ugly ones), Teflon (Wax) coating, 'TJet' car cover and underbody antirust coating. Skipped accessories like the parking sensor, scuff-plates or spoiler etc in liu of more cash discounts. I also inquired about getting the Tyres changed, but the rep denied saying that they have no stock and they will have t order causing a long delay. I wanted to change the tyres asap because the GY NCT are known to be noisy and car was in the yard without much driving for about a year, which means the tyres were already a year old before I use them. Finally decided to get it changed from outside myself.

    Eventually it was decided that delivery will be on 26th October. Regular follow-up ensured there were no hiccups in the delivery date.

    Just to make sure of my decision, I called Fortune Motors (Sakinaka) and asked for test-drive of the TJet (before making the payments). After driving it on a 3-4 km stretch of the eastern express highway, I was grining from ear to ear. I didn't care about the Petrol bills anymore. I just wanted that car! This is the "RIGHT" car!!!

    Finally, the day was here. Me and my better-half reached the Thane show-room ontime. Minutes passed in the waiting room, traffic was blamed but finally it was here. My Fiat Linea TJet Plus in Tuscan Wine was parked under the sun-shine. This moment was special. I had been without my car... any car for almost 6 months now. I was about to own a car that I wanted to own since the time it was launched and reviewed. It was the best drivers car, especially in the price I got it. This was a special moment for sure. Both me and my wife a lil tear of joy and smile of satisfaction. It gave me a great sense of achievement, for obvious reasons.

    I have driven a tad over 850kms (~1100kms on the odo) since dleivery and below are my expiriences so far.

    Engine:
    This engine is a good All-Round performer. It is responsive enough in city traffic and pick-up is smooth even below the 2000rpm mark. This was observed in comparision with the NA Petrol Linea. I felt that the NA suffered not just on top-end power but also on the low-end grunt front. And the best part is that even after 2000rpm the engine is super-smooth. Even when pull in full force the engine has never felt strained at any point (upto about 3000rpm). The car is still new so I haven't forced it above that yet and neither have the traffic confitions allowed me to do so. So performance above 3000rpm is still unknown, but from the way the Engine was breathing while pulling this bahemoth, I have a strond feel it will be ease even upto 4000rpm. Another interesting observation I've made is that the engine just loves the 1500rpm mark because (1) Just above this mark (~1800rpm) the awesome torque burst starts (2) Remain steady at this mark and see the mileage (kmpl) increase. All in all, I like the way engine behaves because I dont see the difference in-turbo band and out-of-turbo band power as a huge turbo lag.The pulling-power of the engine is just mind-blowing. My friends and family who have expeirenced it have asked to slow down and take it easy not realising that the acceleration come so easily to this beauty. To quote a lil incident: My manager (at work) is a good man but is the 'Hard to Impress' kinds. So be it performance at work or choices outside of work, he always has something better to offer than what you have done. So 'Aadat se Majboor' this guy obviously made sure he conclude that while my new car was decent choice but he could have suggested better. But yesterday, while going for a team-dinner, he saw the car in flesh for the first time and was bowled over by the looks, the spacious interiors and lil gadgets, but still maintained a Poker face and remained Silent as if nothing was unexpectedly special. Then once we hit the Eastern Express highway and I purposely crossed 2k mark in 2nd gear, I see his left hand reaching for the handle on the door and clasping it tight . Eventually I eased my right foot to avoid strain the new engine too much and he softly exclaimed "Mast Bhagti hai!!". Not that I listen to all his commands all the time, but this was another special moment.

    Driveability:
    Its a well known fact that new-gen Fiat twins have a long cluth travel and this can get tiresome for many new owners. But having used the Punto for sometime, I am now used to it. Apart from the issue with the clutch, the gearbox is also a bit of a sore point. I am not an expert but after test-driving a few cars now, the gearbox of the modern Fiats are a set-back. How I wish Fiat had designed it better, the cars would have been so much more desirable. Again since I am used to driving with these 2 components on the 1.2 Punto, I love the way this TJet drives. The Positives of the engine actually take a lot of focus from these lack-lustre components making the drive pleasurable. Be it City traffic or open roads, this car loves to be driven.

    Fuel Efficiency:
    I have not manually calculated the FE yet but have noted the changes on the MID. My daily run to office happens at relatively low-trafic hours (since I work UK hours), so apart from some pockets the road has smooth moving traffic. To give an idea of my route to fellow Mumbaikars I live in Kandivali (w) and work at Godrej IT Park Vikroli (w) and take the infamous JVLR to and fro. Keeping all this in mind and after noting that I drive a JET , I get about 9.5kmpl from tank-full reset to low-fuel warning light on the MID. I did do a lil experiment on FE before coming to a conclusion on the 1500rpm sweet-spot. I reset the Trip(A) meter at the pump immidiately after refuelling (around 10:45pm) and set-off for home on the above mentioned route. I remained in the 'slow' lane and kept the tachometer needle to around 1500rpm as much as possible and by the end of the ~22km journey the MID shows 12.4 kmpl.

    Ride and Handling:
    I like the way both the Fiat twins handle and that coupled with the 'built like a tank' quality kept me with the brand. I have taken some swooping curves at high speeds and loved the experience because the cars love to do that. They do get a little unsettled on bad roads on really low speeds, but increase the speed and they eat up the undulations for lunch and dinner. The steering is another highlight that I simply adore. Yes it is on the heavier side on parking speeds, but while in motion it follows my every command. Its almost that I am connected to the car. I think about avoid a weird pothole and turn the steering accordingly and VOILA it is done. It still amazes me even after using this similar rack for more than 2 years now. Plus the effect of 4 disc breaks is just so confidence inspiring. I found out how effective the breaking is when I was new my driving route (joined the company recently and took the trains to travel, so less knowledge of the speeds-bumps) and suddenly saw the need to slow down very late. The ABS was not on but still the car controlled the deacceleration excellently.

    Bells and Whistles:
    The Linea TJet Plus is still has one of the longest equipment lists in the segment. It was also a trend-setter and (in my opinion) made other manufactueres up their game as far as equipment level is concerned (correct me if you think otherwise). Anyway, besides the power and handling prowess, this variant comes with safety features like ABS, Airbags, 4 disc brakes, Immobilizer, Crank-protection etc. The Automatic Climate control works excellent in Mumbai's infamous October heat without any protection films and is easy to use. The ICE provided is acceptable to a non-audiophile like me and steering mounted controls look and work great. The Blue&Me system now means that I can now be disturbed while driving and so far its worked flwlessly with my S2. The 16" Alloys look beefy and fill-up the wheel arch nicely compared to the 15" on the other variants. The ground clearance is great and I haven't scrapped anything yet, apart from the brushing of the mud-flaps. The Seats are super-comfortable for my family and the rear seat easily sits 5. I personally like the leather used also. The interior space is great and even my 6.2 friend was happy with the leg room. Because of the curved roofline, the headroom is on the lowerside at the back. The Seat height adjustment has a good range, and in the highest position it gives a great view of the road. The height adjustment was sorely missed in my Punto and meant that I had to crane my neck often causing a lot of discomfort. The front armrest is a also another great boon. It does obstruct access to the hand-brake but in my driving position reaching all the gears is flawless. I miss the secondary glove-box from my Punto, but I wont complaint as it is filled with life saving stuff. The Boot space is enormous. Also, this may come as a surprise to many, put I was able to folder the rear bench flat, by folding the seat-bottom forward first and then folding the seat-back. I dont think I will miss 60:40 spilt, but they could have given a secret passage to the boot from the rear armrest hole. This could have proved very handy. Another point which many was spoken about is the interior fit-finish and plastic quality. I think the fit-finish could be better too but it is still better than it was in my Punto. The TJet seems to have plastics that are softer/silkier to touch all around. Bottle holders are sorely missed too, there was one in the Punto but that is replaced by the front armrest module. The rear AC vent is another great feature and it works great coupled with the foot level vents. The interior cabin lighting with theatre effect, the follow-me home headlamps, seat-belt and handbrake-on warning sounds, the sound deading leading to great NVH, the little rightly placed chrome bits are all very usefull features. The headlamps are not just a piece of art and work great on High-beam, but on low beam the throw is limited even after fiddling with the leveler. Will need to upgrade the Bulbs or better still get projectors. The foglamps are not for show only, they are effective for sure. The Doors open in 3 stages and close with a 'Thud', but the ingress is a little tricky. A tall person does need to mind his head while seating down. I have to tilt my head to the right while getting into the drivers seat. But once seated, I dont find a lot of issues with the ergonimics, may be cause I'm used to them this way.

    Niggles/Issues:
    No issues or niggles faced so far, apart from the one taken off before delivery by the Sales-rep. I'm still waiting for the TJet Car Cover and the TJet Mats. It seems that the stocks are low as TJet was not a best seller and the sales-guy is finding it a little difficult to get hold of them. So lets wait and see how it turns out.


    Vitamin-M: I paid a total of 8.5lacs all inclusive.


    Modifications:
    Tyres changed right after delivery, from Goodyear NCT5 to Yokohama AVS-Db-V550 in stock size and grip is excellent with almost no noise. Spoiler and reverse parking sensors coming soon. Changing from stock ICE to components and better co-axials will follow (in touch with Ramie for this). Nothing else for now as the car is pretty much loaded to the brim.

    Before I let feast on your eyes on My Italian beauty all I want to say that after all that I've been though I have found a car with a sense of Character and Drama. The way is move is no less than an Opera and when I switch it Off, the show is all over (headlights, music etc all switch off togther) and the threatre like cabin lights come-up to slowly fade away eventually.

    Thank you for reading, any and all questions/comments on the car/my writing (first attempt at a Ownership Review) are welcome.

    Edit: Balaji Cars (a TASS) is getting a Fiat only Dealership in Thane! Guess thats the first Fiat only dealership/cafe in Mumbai?

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    Last edited: Nov 9, 2012
    13 people like this.
  3. bna

    bna Novizio

    Messages:
    44
    Bangalore
    Gr8 Review mate. Enjoy your JET and drive safe.
  4. Ravi

    Ravi Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    6,001
    Bangalore
    Grande Punto 1.3
    Excellent report, lovely story of selection.
    T-Jet is indeed a great car in market today, but sadly, as other Fiat cars, this also couldn't keep Indian buyer happy.
  5. punto-er

    punto-er Amatore

    Messages:
    156
    Bengaluru
    Thankyou gentlemen!
  6. dharmesh

    dharmesh

    Messages:
    54
    mumbai
    Congratulations for your new beauty mate. It looks really cool in TW.
    But I always feel bad about TJet, being a car that can compete with other high end petrol cars, is dieing and sold at mere 8.5 lacs. But this is good news for us customer. :D
  7. punto_emotion

    punto_emotion Esperto

    Messages:
    1,245
    Bangalore
    Grande Punto 1.3
    One of the best ownsership reviews I have read !!!! Superb report and superb choice of the car as well. Honestly never felt so much 'J' about not owning a Tjet ::V Congrats for your beast. Happy and Safe motoring :steering
    1 person likes this.
  8. punto-er

    punto-er Amatore

    Messages:
    156
    Bengaluru
    Thank you Dharmesh! I agree, TJet is a much better car that what the Monthly Sale and Discount numbers show. But I'm not complaining. Just one month back, when searching of a car, I almost finalised a deal for a 2011 registered TJet, driven 11k kms in Bandra (Mumbai) for about 6 lacs. I thought that was a cracker of a deal, but this is miles ahead. It really feels like Me and the Jet were meant to be together, something on the lines of "itni shiddat se maine tumhe paane ki koshish ki hai ki har zarre ne mujhe tumse milane ki koshish ki hai..." :D
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2012
  9. raj29

    raj29 Superiore

    Great review there about one of the best cars of its segment.
    The TJet is a rocket and also a very good handler making it a deadly combo add to that the awesome deal :ugeek:

    Congratulation on your buy and wishing you happy motoring
    1 person likes this.
  10. varun pandit

    varun pandit Amatore

    Messages:
    133
    dehradun
    u made a gr8 choice bro.t-jet with yokos:ugeek:
    1 person likes this.

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