Team Fiat is one of my favorite sites even after my purchase of New Linea in mid-June. I have two intentions of this writing. I am an auto enthusiast and spending considerable time in reading reviews in sites like Team Fiat, Team BHP, Motor beam and Mouthshut. It is possible because people are ready to; dedicate their time to share information, their thought process before decision making, buying and product experience. I am thankful to all and I owe you one. Share my buying experience and consideration of finalizing the car. I live in Chennai suburb and owning a Chevrolet Spark prior to my new buddy. It was a wonderful car which never gave me any kind of trouble during the entire period of six years. In 2009, I was in search of a used car, an Alto or a Palio. I didn’t have the competency to examine a second hand car and take decision because I had never drove any car before, moreover, I was disappointed in True value that 2.5Lakhs for a five years old Alto and held back. GM’s advertisement of giving Rs. 50000 discount and 3 years free maintenance led me to their show room and fixed a deal for Spark LX, silver color. I never paid a single penny in the first three years except for petrol. The cost of ownership was very minimal and the car was doing fine. In 2015, the question was that why I need a new car when my present car is doing well and done only around 40K Kms. I had driven this car to my native, Calicut, in Kerala with my family – wife and two kids- almost five times. It used to take around 13 to 14 hours to cover 680 KMs with adequate breaks. I tried both the routes via Bangalore and Coimbatore. (Coimbatore route is better, thanks to Tamil Nadu highways). Though I like long drive it’s very tiresome and exhaustive after the drive. Safety is another concern. Budget in mind: 10 +/- 1 Lakhs. Requirements: Powerful Engine, overtaking should be easy Good highway performance Good ground clearance with a spacious boot. All basic safety features – ABS+EBD, and two air bags Alloy wheels – only if accommodated in the budget. Preferably an SUV Should not be a dead common. What car? Duster, what else! Duster was in my head. It was in my dream since its market launch. I had gone through every possible article in the net. The only limitation was my budget, but I was ready to stretch it further – One thing I learned from my previous purchase was that, our affordability might be better in coming years, but the car cannot be stretched practically along with it. Being a middle class person, upgrading the car frequently like mobile phones is just a wish. The price I had to pay for a duster RXL Plus (85 PS, ABS+EBD, Air bags) was 13+ Lakhs on road in Chennai. With alloy wheels, RXL Plus option pack was costing more than 14Lakhs. Show room visits & Decision: I decided to see the real picture in second week of April ‘15. On the way to Perungudi, I stepped into MPL Ford to have a look of Ecosport. It changed all my perception towards it. It is a good car for a small family. The solid build quality impressed me. It has good seating, adequate boot space and good ground clearance. Only things not to my liking were Tail gate opening and space in rear seat. Price of Titanium diesel was 11.5Lakhs on road (un-negotiated) I wanted to see new fiesta (Considering a sedan, I had only two options in mind, that is New fiesta and New Linea) but display vehicle was not available in the showroom. Also I was told that the vehicle would be built and delivered upon placing order. The next stop over was Sulekha Motors Velacherry. Considering my requirements and stretched budget, XUV W4 (pre facelift) was comparable with Duster Plus option pack in the band of 14+ on road. They welcomed us warmly and offered an immediate test drive. Test drive vehicle was a W8 model and my wife and children were literally carried away by its rich and spacious interiors. I sat on the driver seat, bit nervous; a big vehicle; never driven before. I was amused with its effortless drive & light controls and instantly praised Mahindra in mind. The drive was good and body roll was evident on the speed breaker. After lunch in an adjacent hotel, we headed to Renault showroom at OMR, eager to see Lodgy too. Wife pointed to a Fiat board meters away. We stepped into Ramkay Fiat. It was noon, SA was away for lunch. After a few minutes wait SA turned up and explained the features of new Linea. He wanted us to have a test drive and I haven’t resisted. I have driven it in the same route that I drove the XUV. The interiors are good; drive was smooth, behavior on speed breaker was also good. In my perception Linea multijet is an underpowered vehicle and I couldn’t test it. SA assured a test drive on highway near to my house. He also informed me that there are a few dynamic models of 2014 available with discounted price. Duster was in mind and headed to OMR. In Renault OMR, people were queuing up to have a close look of Lodgy. We were directed to Duster and SA explained the basics. He was not pushy. I have seen three different vehicles in the same day and this is the fourth. Duster’s Interiors made my face grim though I was well aware of it, may be because I was influenced with the interiors of other three cars I saw the same day. Test drive vehicle was not available. The price offered after discount was 12.75Lakhs on road for RXL Plus, 85PS. I couldn’t see any reasons to convince myself when compared it to Ecosport or Linea. Stopped the research for time being and discussed with wife of scrapping the idea for a new car. With my pre-set mind and budget I have two options that is Ford Ecosport or Fiat Linea. I have an emotional attachment towards Fiat that tends me towards Linea. The first automobile part I ever touched in my career was of Fiat’s. I still admire the looks of the blue doors, of Fiat Siena, brought to my office for a part fitment trial. They were heavy and solidly built. It is a stake of 10+Lakh rupees; not a small amount. I was even trying to settle with a sub-four meter sedan so I can limit my loan amount. Regarding Linea, the information I collected from various sources in the net were not at all encouraging. I got a call from Fiat and SA informed me the availability of a 2014 model of Linea Emotion T-Jet. Petrol car is enough for my usage. I went to their stock yard and saw the car in good condition. It was a September 2014 make and was laying in their yard since January, hardly driven 60Kms with H symbol. The colour was not of my preference, but I was ready to compromise. The next day I went to their show room with my friend and did a detailed test drive of T-Jet. The offer was 9.6Lakhs on road. I was not convinced after considering my compromise on colour, apprehension on mileage and car’s idleness of almost 8 months. The deal was not materialized. After a detailed discussion with my wife we decided to go ahead with a diesel Emotion variant. The price difference between new Linea T-Jet emotion and mutijet was only Rs50K on road because of the variation on discount offered. I have checked with two of my colleagues who own Linea and their feedback was encouraging. SA took the car near to my house and I tested it on highway. The power was more than enough for my style of driving. I was not ok with the door locking mechanism which can be opened at any time during driving, it is a concern while children on board. SA told me that it is based on European safety norms (and VW also carry the same type) and will get alerted in case of door unlocked. The price after discount + additional works (sun film on windows, PVC flooring and underbody coating) + additional cost for bumper to bomber insurance was 11.3Lakhs after discount. Delivery was in one month. I had only two conditions. 1) The car should be of May / April make. 2) A PDI before registration. They agreed and proceeded with other formalities and bank loan. I selected multijet emotion with silver colour (minimal gray). The basic cost difference between Emotion and Dynamic variant was only 40K, but in reality the on road price difference is almost 1Lakh rupees. This is because of tax up once the car price is more than 10 Lakhs in Tamil nadu – not sure of other states. I got a call in the second week of June for the PDI. VIN shows its April make. To my surprise the tyres were Apollo Acelere instead of Good year. They explained me about the batch production. Fiat is using Good year, Apollo and JK tyres. I was ok with it since I had no issues with the same on my Spark. Secondly, only one door lock was behaving the way I wanted. Actually, if we just pull and leave the internal door lever, the door does not open but we get an alert in the Instrument cluster. We need to pull the lever again and push the door to open it. Or we need to pull the lever and push the door simultaneously. It was same way in my Spark too. Here all 3 doors were in unlocked condition once it was pulled and left. I couldn’t tolerate it. I asked them to fix it before delivery. I went to take delivery on the promised date. The car was ready with registration but the door lock issue was not fixed. I came back without taking the car. I got a call next day saying my car was ready and fixed the locks to my satisfaction. I took the delivery after two days. The car is big, spacious and powerful. No comparison with my Spark. Over all a good feel. I started driving and start paining my right shoulder. I thought it’s because of the seating position and adjusted it and the steering to most comfortable position. The feel was same and I realized the left pulling. The gear liver was vibrating severely in the third gear and the steering was wobbling once I cross 110Km/h. Ramkay Service person came and picked the car upon my request and it took four days to them to correct it. They changed front stabilizing bar and did the wheel balancing and delivered the car back at my home. They did the ECU updating and asked me to bring the car to replace the gear cable with new one, once they got the cables under warranty. I got it replaced and the lever vibration became minimal. Overall the service center did a good job. What to say, the initial 3 months were really worrisome. The trust had been shaken. I never had such a feeling with my first purchase. The story changed later, I took it for a long drive. We, my family with in-laws, had a round trip from Chennai – Thanjore – Srirangam – Madurai – Rameswaram and back to Chennai. It was around 1400Kms drive and the car was showing its true colours. I enjoyed its predictable & planted drive, good acceleration, awesome ride. I drove 130Km/h (under 3000RPM) continuously in many stretches. I used cruise control occasionally. It requires some used to, to use it confidently. Our foot will move towards brake pedal automatically, once we lift it from accelerator; need alertness if it is in rest. Anyway it gave a good rest to my right foot. I have not checked the mileage precisely but put Rs.3.5K diesel. My first service in due on December 2nd week and the car has done 4200Kms. Request your suggestion regarding engine oil change, whether I need to replace it in first service or a top-up is ok? Conclusion: - My decision proved right. Fiat should make their QA stringent to avoid the struggle in the honey moon period, it is heart breaking. I took a patient wait to write this review and controlled my initial outburst.