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Optimus Prime comes home in Magnesio Grey Avtar

Discussion in 'Linea 1.4 T-Jet' started by mangeshtendulkar, Jul 11, 2014.

  1. mangeshtendulkar

    mangeshtendulkar Amatore

    Messages:
    232
    Pune
    Hi All,

    First of all extremely sorry for putting my New FIAT Linea - Dynamic ownership experience so late. Without wasting much time here goes my post, pardon me for incorrect grammer or language.

    Building Candidate List

    Our search for new car began in late 2013 and the plan was to get it by mid 2014. Since we (me and my wife Ashwini) had lot of time at our hands, we began our search using most looked upon place...yes you guessed it right... “The Internet”. With typical mindset (‘kitna deti hain’ and ‘service centers kitne hain’), we started looking towards Maruti Dzire and Honda Amaze and were totally inclined towards Amaze as it had “HONDA” badge. A Honda car and that too at affordable pricing, seemed to us as dream come true, by the way we also have Unicorn and Activa hence also went ahead with dream of being called upon as Honda family after we get our Amaze.
    Fortunately at that time of year, we were in US and had an opportunity to try hands on various cars like Chevrolet Cruze, Toyota Avalon, FIAT 500, Mazda, GMC Acadia, Ford Explorer etc. The features these cars had, made us think on what we are getting in Amaze. Comparing price vs. features, it was no brainer that Amaze was overpriced. Then we began looking for other options which were becoming endless. Each day we used to spend hours on internet reading on expert reviews, user feedback, forums (Cartoq, TeamBHP, Autocar, Motorbeam and list goes on). Finally came the eye opener NCAP tests on Indian cars and these left long lasting impression on mind. Only Ford and VW faired well in these and everyone’s favourites failed badly. Couldn’t believe that I had been driving Alto for 9-10 years and never thought of safety issues (in advert events).
    With NCAP news and various articles floating around, looking for European makes was not a hard choice to make. Then began actual search and three contenders were FIAT Linea T-Jet followed by Skoda Rapid (Petrol) and finally VW Vento (Petrol). I don’t think anyone needs explanation on the order of car selection ;).

    Candidate Evaluation

    FIAT Linea T-Jet was the first one for evaluation. I and my wife landed at Sky Moto, PCMC where we got first look of New Facelifted Linea T-Jet. No doubt, the looks were mesmerizing. We have always admired exterior beauty of Linea but in the ‘All New Fiat Linea’, FIAT has done excellent job by revamping interiors. Unfortunately that day, the new T-Jet was not available with the dealer for trial hence we opted to try out hands on earlier version. Boy! Fun was endless once engine cranked and gears got into action. We came out of TD with big smile and then we moved onto our next candidates Vento and Rapid. Both appeared to be good in terms of build quality & ride quality was bit better in Rapid in comparison to Vento but at the end, none of them matched the T-Jet fun. Now the question was how much we were going to shell out of pocket. Vento was outside our budget of 9.5L to 10L but dealer for Rapid was providing a very nice deal, to the extent that we were rethinking our decision to proceed with T-Jet. It was a typical clash between head and heart but alas there was a call from Fiat dealer and a list of freebies were offered which brought us back to our love and we did book Dynamic T-Jet.

    Ownership Experience

    It is not uncommon to face some hurdles during FIAT owning process so was the case with us. We were promised on delivery of car in first week of April but with each passing day, delivery date was getting extended week after week. Frustration was building up and to the extent that I was about to cancel the deal but again love for the car prevented me from taking this extreme step. Finally with lot of back and forth communication with sales person (Vaibhav and Roshan) and Fiat customer care we got delivery of car on auspicious day of Akshay Tritiya (2[SUP]nd[/SUP] May 2014). Car was in excellent condition, thanks to TFI for providing the PDI checklist which was very useful while performing pre-registration assessment. The longing for ownership still continued to follow us here, as we did not get original key (with remote) on delivery day and had to settle with spare key. Occasion of owning a Linea was very precious hence we did maintain our calm to enjoy the moment rather than yelling at showroom sales executives on the plight. Got the keys handed over by my father and with his blessings I entered “My dream car” and cranked the engine. Sales person (Vaibhav) demo-ed car features and happily we left the showroom and directly headed towards Chatushrungi Mandir (Pune). After doing rituals there, headed back home and there I had my “Optimus Prime” standing tall in my parking area. On a lighter note, still my possession of the New Linea is not yet complete as I am yet to receive a Key code card for which i already had couple of rounds at Sky Moto Service Center, seriously I believe if FIAT improves quality of Service Center personnel then nothing is gonna stop FIAT from growing.

    About Optimus Prime
    Likes:
    - Vault like build quality
    - Ride and Handling
    - Hydraulic power steering. Instils tremendous confidence especially on highways.
    - Auto headlamps, Rain sensing wipers, Day-night IRVM and last but not least Blue n Me features are simply awesome and I use these extensively. Till date I did not use Follow-me-home headlamps except for trying it to confirm its working :D
    - Ergonomics: Had read lot of posts with respect to time needed to find the sweet spot. In my case I got one immediately, it felt like “Man doesn’t choose a machine but Machine chooses the man”
    - Interiors: Dual tone combination especially Piano Black finish of Dashboard, Music System (2 Tweeters provided this time), Revamped dials, Repositioned USB slot and newly added Aux-in & bottle holders. Lot of reviews mention about hard to read dials however I feel new ones more pleasing to eyes, both at day and night time as well.
    - Exteriors: Revised front grill, Repositioned number plate recess (now on boot lid) which is topped by broad chrome lining with LINEA emboldened on the same. Man I am really in love with this look of rear.
    - Excellent & comfortable sitting both at front and rear. Got to hear from friends that rear seat of new Linea has more under thigh support in comparison to earlier version. All in all its very comfortable to seat on either sides.
    Dislikes:
    - Although liked the provision for bottle holder on front door but for practical purpose the space is insufficient. Adjustment is needed even to fit a 0.5 L bottle.
    - Squeaky noise coming from front seats. Will try to get this fixed by visiting FASS.
    - Excluding provision of opening a boot with key. In new Linea, boot can be opened only by using remote or button provided on dashboard. It’s hard that both will fail at once but personally I find mechanical controls more reliable than remote openersJ.

    On 3[SUP]rd[/SUP] May, Optimus Prime was up for some pampering at Car Cupid, Baner, Pune. Thanks TFI again for recommending Car Cupid. Optimus Prime got following add-ons at Car Cupid:
    - 3M coating (underbody, paint protection and engine compartment)
    - Sun control film on all windows and windscreen
    - Maxpider 3D mats (Beige colour)
    - Seat covers (Jute-Leather combination)
    - Upgraded headlamps to Osram Nightbreakers.
    - Body moulding and Door scratch protector

    After ownership experience:

    First of all sorry folks to put in the review so late, almost after 2 months of ownership, thanks to my odd work schedule :thumbs down. Finally decided to pen down my thoughts and take timeout for my passion. Had been taking Optimus Prime to office (20 km to and fro) in peak traffic hours onto Hinjewadi road. Highlights from my driving experience in bad city traffic:
    · Driving in city is not at all tiring as clutch is very light. Some might complain of higher clutch travel but frankly I did not find that as an issue at all. As matter of fact, I found Linea’s clutch to be super light.
    · Seems like there has been changes done to transmission. Since I did TD on older Linea T-Jet, I found 1[SUP]st[/SUP] and 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] gear to be bit cumbersome but same was not experienced on my car. May be the car I test drove was not maintained properly, will wait for TFI’ans to reply with their feedback.
    · Hydraulic Power steering and Disc brakes on all wheels instil confidence while driving. Manoeuvring car through traffic is not a problem at all.
    · Mirrors give a great view of surroundings. Over period I had developed habit of looking over shoulder while negotiating lane changes and in my ALTO I have saved getting hit on many occasions only due to this habit, however with Linea’s ORVM’s I feel that view that driver gets is good enough to avoid deadly blind spots. However per my habit I still continue looking over shoulderJ.
    · Last point, FE of 10.5 kmpl is what I got consistently in city driving conditions.

    Now comes the real fun experience, taking Optimus Prime on highways. Got couple of chances to travel Mumbai via Pune-Mumbai expressway and later had a short trip to Kolhapur. Highlights from my highway driving:
    · Awesome performance, once Tachometer needle crosses 1500 mark, immediate surge of power is simply awesome to experience. It’s very hard to drive this beast with light foot.
    · Overtaking is damn easy. No need to downshift and plan your overtake manoeuvre.
    · Amazing ride quality, be it negotiating corners or riding through rough patch, Optimus Prime takes on anything and everything that confronts its path.
    · Last point, got a FE of 15 kmpl with intermittent AC on. AC is strong enough for Pune climate conditions hence feel the need to shut it down when it gets much colder inside cabin.

    Next step for me is to post pics of Optimus Prime.

    Regards,
    Mangesh Tendulkar
    Dr. Fixated, Ravi, rishike007 and 6 others like this.
  2. Lunafiatic

    Lunafiatic Amatore

    Messages:
    177
    Pune-Mumbai-Pune
    Congratulations Mangesh. A very comprehensive post you have there. Please post some pics of your ride.
    1 person likes this.
  3. mangeshtendulkar

    mangeshtendulkar Amatore

    Messages:
    232
    Pune
    Here are a few pics of my Optimus Prime.
    DSC01524.JPG DSC01525.JPG DSC01527.JPG DSC01528.JPG DSC01530.JPG

    More will follow soon.
  4. pabhishek

    pabhishek Esperto

    Messages:
    1,379
    Oslo
    Pune
    Linea T-Jet
    Congrats Mangesh!! I had not yet seen a new linea on road. What is your office timing? I will keep a tap; :) post some pics and congrats for the real jet!!
    1 person likes this.
  5. mangeshtendulkar

    mangeshtendulkar Amatore

    Messages:
    232
    Pune
    Thanks @Lunafiatic & @pabhishek. I have posted some pics and are awaiting go ahead from moderators hence have to wait till those get reflected here.
    @pabhishek, I start for office from Wakad at around 10.00 to 10.30 and return time is anywhere between 21.30 to 00.30, although I enjoy return journey late at night as that ride takes all day stress off my mind and head :p. Hope to see you around soon.
    1 person likes this.
  6. asimpleson

    asimpleson Esperto

    Messages:
    3,000
    Heptanesia
    Linea 1.3
    Congrats MangeshTendulkar,

    As far as experience with car is satisfactory the smaller annoyances wouldn't matter much I guess. Enjoy the ride..!
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  7. mangeshtendulkar

    mangeshtendulkar Amatore

    Messages:
    232
    Pune
    Thanks asimpleson. I would say ride is damn excellent, way above satisfactory. You know what, I had to actually sit and think about what are nuances :cool: as I just enjoy driving this beast to that extent that I don't even recognize these very trivial issues exist.
    2 people like this.
  8. asimpleson

    asimpleson Esperto

    Messages:
    3,000
    Heptanesia
    Linea 1.3
    This is one of the reasons why we still keep talking about Fiat cars inspite of all the lacunae and stigmas, both real and artificial that comes associated to the brand's service support etc. :)

    A word of advice, keep a very positive frame of mind and exercise precaution when it comes to service support. A lot of good and bad, dos and don'ts are there to be understood by TFIans collective experience shared on threads. Do make time and go through those on regular basis. There's a lot to gain and share.

    Best of Luck.
  9. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

    Messages:
    2,446
    delhi ncr
    Hi Mangesh.

    Great stuff man, you (we! ;-)) have chosen well. So well that one cannot help pitying the buyers of the Linea's competitors: they know not what they have missed out on! There is no automotive therapy as good as the Linea T-jet at night, after hours in the city, no?

    cheers man, enjoy!
    Tornado and mangeshtendulkar like this.
  10. pabhishek

    pabhishek Esperto

    Messages:
    1,379
    Oslo
    Pune
    Linea T-Jet
    Well said, Prabhjot! I too, eagerly wait for my return drive to home after work to rejuvenate myself. :) Pure Bliss!!
    prabhjot likes this.

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