Friends, Greetings! I booked Fiat Linea T-Jet on 9[SUP]th[/SUP] August 2013 and would want to share my experience on selecting the T-Jet. Few disclaimers before I narrate 1. I have never written on any forum, please excuse if something is wrong in my writing 2. I am no automobile/car expert, hence some of my observations and comments may not be worth considering for the experts,( hope to learn a few things by being more involved in such forums) 3. The ratings/comments are my personal views and based on my inference from my test drives. All cars come with their own value propositions for different market segments, no offence meant to any of the owners or the companies 4. My driving experience involves driving a Zen Estillo, 2008 model, which still works brilliantly for my city drives 5. My experience with the Fiat cars has been an odd drive of the MJD 1.3 which one of my relative owns and my test drives on the T-Jet 6. Given that the disclaimer in itself is a long write up, please grab something to eat or drink while reading this post Background: As any typical hatch back owner of urban India, I was always thinking to upgrade to a bigger, better, powerful, smarter, beautiful ( I do not know any more adjectives.. readers please add, while reading), car. Several times when such vehicles passed by would always think myself driving these vehicles. My recent change of job gave me the leverage to think of an upgrade. Initial State of Confusion and Criteria for my Upgraded Car: Without much knowledge about cars, I did not know where to start or what I could get out my budget of about 10 lakhs(allow a variance of 1.5 L). Started reading a few articles and came up with a list (given below), (somewhere deep down I had a preference to an SUV kind of a vehicle though) 1. This buy would be a long term buy (Will not think about buying car for the next ten years, Hopefully) 2. Powerful vehicle (within the budget though) 3. Looks should be admiring (am fed up explaining people how my Estilo was good and looks are very personal) 4. Fuel -Petrol - like the silence of petrol engine, compared to diesel, also ,my usage is very less 5. Highway driving needs to be fun 6. Vehicle needs to be safe as a house Initial Shortlisted Vehicles: Sx4, Ertiga, Scorpio, Vento, Verna, Ecosport, Duster, City, Tjet, Bolero, Etios Even More Confusion after the Test Drives: I did some reading about these cars and decided to test drive all of these shortlisted cars. Coming for a Zen Estilo which is easily 2-3 segments below the shortlisted cars, each one of them looked excellent and beautiful to drive. Gave up the test drives after driving just three cars. The confusion was enormous, and that is when I said, I need to read more and took to forums and magazines seriously. Read everything I could get on these articles from engines to tire sizes. Not that I understood everything but I was better equipped to evaluate on my second attempt of test drives. By this time I had also nailed down the criteria on which to rate these cars. As you read you will see my analysis. Second Round of Test Drives: The second round of test drives were more useful for my evaluation process and by now I knew a few more things than some of the sales rep at the car show rooms( even took a couple of people head on for a debate) :hit Below I will mention one or two liners about these cars and rest of the talking am hoping the decision matrix should do by itself. Sx4: Liked the shape of the car and everything was above average nothing great worth considering is the feeling I had. Ertiga: Liked the seating arrangement and the interiors (overdose of beige), did not like the exterior though. A very good VFM vehicle, for someone looking a 5 seater and an occasional people mover. Nicely positioned vehicle, but did not match my criteria. Scorpio: Liked the powerful looks and the likes ended there, rattling, body roll -was not impressed Vento: Liked the laid back looks, good handling, did not like the steering Verna: Liked the interiors and the safety features, but the the brakes were a bit disappointing Ecosport: Liked this only in the photographs, went to the showroom with lots of hopes. Dropped the idea of buying the moments I saw it in flesh and blood. Bad interiors and looks like made for photographs and not for driving. Also heard news (Un-confirmed) that there were a couple of cases where the vehicle overturned Duster: Liked the shape, the clutch was so hard that I may have developed muscles on my legs after the long test drive. Also the salesman said the company did not want to sell petrol vehicles. Also heard stories (Un-confirmed) that the company booked petrol cars but later ended selling diesel ones to customers. City: A very good car, have no big complaints of the car, but felt, that at higher speeds the car may not be reliable also did not like the build, it did not feel strong Bolero: Did not even test drive after doing the reading. Also understood that this vehicle has its own advantages of being rugged and most suited to where the road conditions are bad. I made the mistake of shortlisting this vehicle. Etios: Again I did not drive this, came back after just looking at the seats and interiors T-Jet: I will reserve this to the end. Decision/ Analysis Matrix [TABLE="width: 657"] <tbody> Looks Power Budget Handling and Safety Service Interiors Overall Score 20% 15% 15% 20% 20% 10% Vento 8 7 8 8 5 7 7.15 SX4 8 7 8 7 10 6 7.85 Duster 8.5 8 6* 7 5 7 6.9 Ecosport 8 NA NA NA NA 5 2.1 City 8.5 8 8 8 8 8 8.1 Ertiga 7 7 8 7 10 8 7.85 Verna 9 7 7 8 9 10 8.3 Tjet 10 9 8 9 5 7 8.05 </tbody>[/TABLE] *diesel variant I drove was above 13L ** No score as did not take the test drive # Have clubbed handling and safety together because safety does not come just with airbags, but also the car should allow one to break, maneuver at speeds and have a strong build From the decision table three clear shortlisted cars: City, Verna and the T-jet. Looking at the scores I had to choose Verna as it looked better compared to the rest. Why T-Jet? Score said go for the Verna but for some reason could not do away with the T-jet. So took another test drive and had told the Sales Rep that he selling this car would depend on how I liked the test drive. While was making my way towards the showroom on my Zen was thinking about service problems, spare parts, network – Coming from a Maruti stable have been pampered by excellent service. Decided to take the test drive assuming that Fiat in its new avatar will at-least be 70% of what Maruti is in 5 years time. Drove the T-jet came home really satisfied with the test drive. Now I was thinking why on earth I put the matrix together :uh the numbers were not telling me to buy T-Jet. But I made up my mind to buy – there is something that is present in this car that cannot be explained. I have called this the “X- Factor”,:geek:(readers can substitute this to “Gamma factor”, “Higgs Boson” etc) which has tilted my decision. Everything in T-Jet seems to be built for a cause and does its role exceptionally well. But when we read, we read features, capabilities, power, numbers but no one can explain how everything comes together. The sum total of everything working together in this car feels much more than when you rate and add the individual features(ratings). Another analogy I can think off is - What would you like to See? Chris Gayle slashing six over cover point in a T-20 match in Sharjah on a dead pitch against a military medium pace or a Cover Drive for a boundary from Tendulkar on a Day One of a test match at Perth Against McGrath. I would prefer the boundary (although 2 runs less), but it’s got some technique, grace and skill in it. That’s the T-jet for me. Likes: 1. Looks: Cannot see a better looking car even a segment higher than T-Jet 2. Power: The Turbo Petrol is just awesome, the turbo sound feels nice 3. Handling: Guess this is the biggest positives of the car 4. Safety at this price Dislikes: 1. There some kind of a “vroom” sound that comes at high speeds, this is not the turbo sound, but I guess it is the air gushing between the body and the mirrors 2. Lack of colors to choose – A Ferrari red would have been a dashing color for this beauty Friends, thanks for reading my first long write up on a million rupee gamble, hope it pays off.