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The Saga Continues: My BN White Dynamite

Discussion in 'Linea 1.3 MJD' started by N Kiran, Nov 17, 2013.

  1. N Kiran

    N Kiran Staff Member Janitor

    Finally its here !!!

    Disclaimer: The following is the background, thought process and the decisions made by ME. The views expressed are strictly PERSONAL and they are not intended in any manner, to ridicule or humiliate other car owners or manufacturers.
    I wouldn't be surprised if any or many of you do not agree with my views. As said they are personal opinions and hence lets agree to disagree. :)
    All the cars that are discussed below are of Diesel variants only.
    The post is quite long, so have patience and read on if you have enough time.

    Lets Roll...


    Where do I begin??

    Let me start with few details about my previous (P)ride!! The Punto.

    As many of you know, I used to :( ,own an Exotica Red Fiat Grande Punto 1.3 MJD Active, which was bought in Dec 2010.
    I was checking out various Diesel hatches, back then and when I went to check out the Tata Indica Vista, I saw an Electric Blue Punto on display. I casually enquired with the SE, about the price and I was delighted to know that it was with-in my budget.
    I always thought that the car is too premium and very expensive to get one home.
    The down side though, was that I fixed my budget for 6 Lakhs OTR and din't want to stretch it to huge amounts. I was getting a Vista top end model with all rings and bells at 6 Lakhs OTR and the basic Punto Active variant for the same amount.
    Heart ruled over head. Was bowled by the looks.

    For the first time in my life, I researched about cars and Punto in particular. One review from the Definitive forum and I was almost sold for it. I researched further, being a bit skeptical about Fiat's unpleasant history during the Palio days.
    My research lead to a link from the Definitve forum and I landed straight into the 2010 Fiat factory visit thread on TFI. I went through various reviews and posts here and thought I can never go wrong with this vehicle, with such a huge mine of information and passionate owners around.

    My only grouse was that I thought the car wouldn't fit in my parking lot as it is quite cramped and the huge turning radius was one of the major cons of Punto. I raised my concern with the SE and he offered to bring the car to my place the next day and demonstrate the parking.

    The SE came the next morning with the car and had difficulties finding my exact location. I was instructing him the route over the phone and while doing so, went down stairs to the main gate of the building. I see this gorgeous Punto in Exotica Red and I decided the very moment I lay my eyes on it that this is the colour I would buy. (I only saw couple of BNW Puntos on the roads and had decided to go for it earlier)

    I joined TFI after buying the Punto and was quite active around. I ocassionally used to come across posts, where the importance of safety and the safety features offered in our cars were being discussed. I mostly ignored them as I knew that I have already got the car and there is nothing I could do about the safety features then, as there was no way one could retro fit them into the existing car.

    I always was under an impression, that we can do well without these features (though I always agreed that it is always a good option to have). To strengthen my opinion, I had nearly ran over a biker when he fell down and I could stop the car just in time. There was a post by me regarding the same somewhere on the forum, praising the braking abilities of Fiats.

    I did drive on highways ocassionally and even my wife was quite comfortable in doing so. Years passed by and there was this one incident which planted a bug in my head. I was going to Vijayawada on the newly laid Highway and it was a bliss to drive on it. Being the sedate driver I am, I was cruising at decent speeds.

    I spotted a cyclist who was standing on the left corner of the road looking at the other direction. It din't take much time for me, to realise that he was intending to cross the road. I was honking and he din't even look at the side he was supposed to, from where I was zooming in and started walking across the highway.

    Because of the speeds I was at, I was approaching him quite quickly. I was pumping the brakes instead of standing on them (what I usually do to avoid wheel lock) but still the gap was closing very fast. He was already bang in the middle of the road and I had to brake very hard.
    The wheels locked and with a loud screach the car came to a halt just meters before him. I don't exactly remember, how far the vehicle dragged. But felt like a life time. This I would say was the most horrific experience, with heart-in-the-mouth situation I ever had.

    The bells rang all over and rang so hard that I couldn't take off this incident off my mind. Slowly the fact that my ride wasn't having any safety features at all, was occupying me. Many people would find this reason quite stupid. But I was wondering, what if it were a stationary truck and I din't have enough time or distance to come to a complete halt. (Please remove the thought of advising to drive slowly. As I mentioned earlier, I am a sedate driver. Also, accidents may happen while being stationary too. Don't believe me?? Read on ..)

    Many of you might remeber, that there was this nightmare experience of one of our member from Chennai, who was sandwiched between a truck and a tipper while waiting at a traffic signal, who came out without a scratch, thanks to the Air bags.

    I also discussed this issue with my wife and then decided, if we are going to buy another car, then the safety features would top the priority list.

    Thought Process:
    Seeing many members, who got sweet deals for a car manufactured in the previous years, I always was on a look out for similar deals from Fiat in Hyderabad. There were several deals, but more on the petrol or lower variants.
    Last year, I got a news about a 2011 make Linea MJD Emotion Pack. The deal was set and I also had a buyer who closed the deal to buy my Punto for 4.5 Lakhs. Unfortunately, the information that I was passed on to, was wrong and I had no option but to drop the idea.

    August - September, 2013 : I was on one of my regular trips to, The Netherlands. I discussed with my wife and after much coaxing she was ready for an upgrade. For me an upgrade should be more of the safety features and not the next segment. I was very happy with my Punto and all I wanted was safety features. I was considering either 75HP Emotion or the 90HP. I finally decided that it would be a 90HP Punto.

    I was continuously discussing this with the mod team. I was also discussing with, vj_v1 and Hurricane (both 90HP owners and my closest pals from TFI) regarding the same. Almost every one asked me not to go for a Punto 90HP and that it was not a proper upgrade.

    My reasons for not to go for a sedan was that my daily running was around 60 kms in peak city traffic conditions, with occassional highway runs. Also the number of people travelling 99% of the time were 2, including me. I wasn't convinced that I do not need a sedan yet.
    When I proposed the same to my wife, she was dead against my decision. Changing a Punto to a Punto was not an upgrade according to her either and my other pals.

    After many hot discussions, my wife finally agreed to go for a top end hatch back, but her only condition was that it would be anything other than a Punto. :(

    Back to square one. I couldn't find or to be precise could'nt think of a hatch back other than a Punto which would suffice my requirements.

    The Search:
    October 2013: I was back in India. Didnot waste much time and I immediately started looking for cars that are available under 12 lakhs (my max budget). First it were hatch backs.


    VW Polo GT TDI:
    I enquired about VW Polo GT TDI. Heard and read, a lot about it. But the price tag never seemed to be worth the car and given the maintainance costs, it was a big NO for me.

    Hyundai i20:
    Went to the showroom and this time the sales guy was pretty enthusiastic (unlike the time when I was buying my Punto) and showed us the i20 and Fluidic Verna (wife was drooling all over it :p).
    The TD Verna was not available and were promised one the next day. We settled for a TD of the i20. My wife, who was earlier pushing me to consider i20, instead of Punto 90HP was very disappointed after the TD.

    Hyundai Grande i10:
    Not even close to consider as a replacement for my Punto.

    Punto 90 HP:
    I din't want to lose hope and literally dragged my wife to a Fiat Showroom. She sat in the display car and said I donot see any differnce in our Punto and this except few places. Doesn't feel like a new car to me at all. Dead End. :(

    Other Hatches, that could have been on the list but were not even considered:
    Maruti Suzuki Swift
    Regular Polo
    Ford Figo

    Atlast, I decided that if it is not a Punto 90HP, then I wouldn't go for another hatch back. So, Sedans it were.


    Hyundai Verna:
    We never went back for a TD of Verna as I was least intrested in it. I was also backed by couple of people, who straight away told me that I would never like a Verna for my kind of driving style.

    VW Vento:
    Somehow, both me and my wife din't like it. Was not taken into consideration at all.

    Skoda Rapid:
    Had a TD of the Rapid. Liked the power on tap, handling and Solid build.
    I din't like the tractor like vibrating feel of the pedals. The clutch was vibrating all the time and I read that this is common in all Rapids.
    Missing features. No Blue tooth connectivity, steering mounted controls and even USB port was missing. And the price tag that it came wasn't VFM at all for me atleast.
    And before I forget, it comes with all the horrifying stories about the Skoda ASS. Peace of mind will be missing for sure!!

    Ford Fiesta:
    The only car which came closest to a Fiat IMO. The drive was excellent. Mature ride and handling. Best part was the smart steering, which would weigh up according to the speeds we were in. Solid build too. Came with all features and creature comforts including voice recognition, cruise control was like icing on the cake.

    Then again, rear bench was drastically opposite to the front seats. High price tag (though I was offered an OTR of 10.5 Lakhs for the top end) were the main reason this car did not sell. The looks of the car were not very appealing too, but nothing that one could not live with. (I see a lot of new fiestas on the roads these days)

    Again a war between head and heart. I kept this option on hold.

    Fiat Linea:
    As mentioned earlier, went to the showroom along with my wife. Parked there was a HHB Linea Emotion (Now its my turn to drool all over it). We sat in and I was feeling at home. My wife somehow din't like it. I still don't know the exact reason.

    I was very confused between Fiesta and Rapid. Heart kept on saying Linea. But, would it be wise to buy a Linea at the verge of an updated Linea being Launched from any time now?

    After much deliberation, I decided to wait for the launch of New Linea. But there was and is a lot of uncertainity as to when the New Linea would launch and if it would have the 1.6 heart. I was even ok for the 1.3 Linea though.

    Edit: The forum has a limitation of 20,000 characters per post and my post had 24,000 + characters and hence this post is being split into 2 parts. :D
  2. N Kiran

    N Kiran Staff Member Janitor

    Continued ... Part 2

    Encounter with the Dynamite:

    08th November 2013 (Friday):
    Was returning home after work, along with my wife. It was already late and usually the Fiat Showroom, Butta Automotives (which is a stone throw away from my work place) is closed by that time. That particular day however, there were decorative lights all over and I saw the showroom open. I thought of saying a "Hi", as I know almost everyone at the showroom.

    So, I casually walk-in along with my wife. The GM along with his other employees were about to leave and were discussing something. We had a warm welcome and we started a casual conversation about the offers and Fiat sales stuff. My wife was wandering around and spotted the Dynamite. Don't know what took her, but she immediately commented that this car looks very classy and better that what we saw earlier.
    I din't even look at the car propoerly and said its the NPW, a new colour replacing BNW. The Sales TL inturrupted me saying that it is infact a BNW.

    I was surprised and enquired what was the manufacturing month as I knew it should be pre April 2013 and the current discount offered on it.
    I was informed that it has been already booked by someone and was struggling to get a loan approved. I din't take it very seriously, but my wife was talking for some time about the same car while returning home and I said its now gone so no use of discussing it further.
    Next day I was supposed to go for another round of TDs with my FIL.

    09th November 2013 (Saturday):
    I checked my phone in the morning after I woke up. Found a new message and it was from Vignesh (vj_v1), asking if I was available for the first half of the day, to accompany his friend to Fiat showrooms for negotiations. Having nothing to do till afternoon, I said ok and vj drove down to my place and we left for AV Motors, the new Fiat showroom at Begumpet. Vj's friend was already at the showroom along with his brother. Negotiated a bit with the SE and then left for the other dealership, Butta Automotives at Jubilee Hills.

    While the negotiations were on at Butta, I was informed that the guy who booked the Dynamite had failed to get a loan and has dropped the buying. I spoke to my wife immediately and she was ok to buy this car if we had a good offer. So the negotioations started. I also spoke to nkrishnap and Amogh regarding the deal and they were quite instrumental in my decision making.

    On the other hand we got a decent discount for vj's friend and the deal was sealed. They booked a TW Linea MJD Emotion the very next day.

    10th November 2013 (Sunday):
    I went with my wife and daughter along, to check the Dynamite for any visible issues. Found few areas which needed to be fixed. Reported the same to the SE and left for a Kid's expo.

    11th November 2013 (Monday):
    I initiated the loan process with SBI and filled in all the required forms and submitted all the documents from my end. There was a bit of confusion with regard to the warranty and extended warranty. The SE told me that there would be only 2 yr Manufacturer warranty and probably no EW as the vehicle was a 2012 model.

    I called Rajan (patchyboy) as I know that he had taken the delivery of his T-jet which was manufactured a year earlier and was lying at the dealer stock yard. He assured me that both the warranty and EW is applicable. The loan application was kept on hold as requested by me.

    12th November 2013 (Tuesday):
    The final price was not being finalised yet and I had to make multiple trips to the showroom and had few discussions with the GM. Fortunately, Mr. Nitin, the Sales head of Karnataka and AP was at the showroom for some meetings. I got to meet him and detailed him about the situation. He said he will look into the matter and the very evening I met the GM and closed the deal.

    I also raised my concern to Mr. Nitin, regarding the Warranty issue and he said that any car, despite of any make, sold after April 2013 will carry a 3 yr manufacturer warranty and EW can be bought individually. That got rid of all my apprehensions.

    It was decided that the delivery would be on 17th November (Sunday) being the most auspicious day of the month (Karthika Pournami).

    13th November 2013 (Wednesday):
    Went to the showroom and drove the car to the PDI yard myself to check if anything strange could be noticed mechanically. Everything was alright. Reached the PDI yard and instructed them about the issues I noticed earlier. Also requested them to replace the battery with a new one and change all fluids.

    My loan was logged in and was processed on the same day. I recieved a verification call and the loan was sanctioned immediately.

    14th November 2013 (Thursday):
    Went to SBI for signing the loan agreement and received a sanction letter.

    15th November 2013 (Friday):
    I bought a Hero Pleasure for my wife in Feb 2012 and was registered on my name. To avoid the extra 2% road tax, I would need to transfer the scooter to my wife's name. I gave all the required documents to the SE on monday the 11th, who promised me that it would be done in couple of days. But nothing was done and friday being Moharrum and a public holiday, the RTO was closed.

    If I had to take the delivery on 17th then the TR has to be generated on 16th and before that the name transfer on the RC had to happen. I lost hope and even thought of postponing the delivery. I was suggested by the SE, to take the delivery on TC (Trade Certificate) and get the TR after couple of days. I din't like the idea initially.

    Met Amogh in the evening who was in Hyderabad at that time, along with vj for dinner and while we were discussing many things, the topic of the delivery with TC came up. Amogh suggested that I take the delivery and keep the car parked at home until I get the TR. I was fine with this idea.

    16th November 2013 (Saturday):
    Requested vj to accompany me for the final PDI. His friend who was also taking the delivery on the same day as mine, also joined us in the afternoon. We drove to the showroom, sat around and were waiting for the GM, to get his signatures on some forms. When vj's friend arrived, we started the PDI. All was well except 2 issues.

    The rear left door was not opening from inside, no matter what. The rear right fog lamp was blown. The PDI incharge at the showroom took the vehicle and got both of them fixed and returned back to the showroom in the evening.

    Upon my request, vj enquired with couple of RTO agents whom he knew and they assured that there wouldn't be an extra tax while the TR was issued and only when the vehicle is taken for inspection for the permanent registration would they check if any other vehicle is registered on our name and hence applying the extra 2% tax. I then asked the SE to proceed with the TR issue and that I will take delivery with the TR only.

    During all this, I finally get the news that the transfer of name on my RC has been done and the same has been updated on the RTO website. We checked it and I was glad that everything had fallen in place.

    I have opted to go with, 0 Dep insurance from Royal Sundaram upon strong recommendation from Italia Linea and nkrishnap. I bought the policy online with the help of their executive. vj's friend also went for the same upon my suggestion.

    It was already late in the evening and we left the showroom. The TR was done later that evening and I was promptly sent an SMS by the SE informing me the same.

    17th November 2013 (Sunday):
    Ahhaa!! The D-day arrived and I drove down to pickup my uncle who is now the current owner of my Punto. We then drove to the showroom where the staff were waiting for us patiently. I dropped my wife, daughter and uncle at the showroom as I had to go out for few mins.

    In the mean time the delivery of vj's friend's Linea was done and they were waiting for me to bid good-bye. I reached the showroom after some time and congratulated vj's friend and they left after taking couple of snaps.

    The paper work was quite simple, unlike my previous sales experience (I believe, since the main part was already done the previous day). All I had to do was make 3 signatures and I was handed over the delivery challan, TR and all related documents. The SE explained me few features as I requested him not to take the trouble of explaining everything and I will learn it myself or from fellow members. I thanked everyone at the showroom and distributed sweets.

    My wife who recently learnt driving, took the car out on the road and I took over the steering from there. Went straight to the Fuel station, filled the tank up and drove to the nearby temple. Unfortunately, the temple staff said that they donot perform poojas on Sunday. Returned back a bit disappointed. Went to McD and had something to eat.

    Later, drove to Ashoka Wheels and got the tyres changed to 195/65 R15 Yokohama AVs DB V550. The existing tyres were bought back for Rs.3600each. Went home, showed the car to my mom and then drove to a near by temple. Got the pooja done.

    The poojari, first sprinkled water and then haldi which left yellow marks on the bonnet and boot, even after cleaning the car immediately after reaching home.

    18th November 2013 (Monday):
    Was driving a sedan for the first time in peak Hyderabad traffic. Gurjinder asked me to take it slow (no sudden acceleration and stuff) for the first thousand kms and I was following the same.

    Being the sedate driver I am, my wife complained that I am not driving the car as it is supposed to and I have to get over the feeling of driving my Punto.

    Dropped my wife at her work place and drove straight to 3M. The employees there were very curteous and listened to me patiently. I opted for Paint sealant treatment. Since the car was old and there were already visible swirl marks, they recommended me to go for advanced paint sealant treatment. I went ahead and got the same done and I must say, I am impressed with the outcome.

    Have also installed Xenos reverse cam with display mounted on the IRVM. Ordered Sunglass holder from 99rpm and received the same yesterday. Have to get it fixed.

    Since then I have been driving around blissfully. I had earlier planned a trip to Vijayawada last saturday, but was cancelled due to heavy rains in that area. Don't know when I would be able to do it. Looking forward for my first highway experience with my Dynamite and hope it blasts away all the boredom of the city drive.

    I have only driven around ~550 kms so far and I will post the difference I experienced between the 75HP Punto and 90HP Linea in my next posts.

    This ownership review is worthless, without thanking the people who were by my side at all times through out.

    My wife: For extending her support in every decision I make and letting me realise my dreams.
    Mod Team: For their constant inputs, unbiased opinions and guiding me through out the purchase experience.
    Vignesh (vj_v1): For being there for me all the time and any time. He spent 2 full saturdays with me at Butta Automotive. Hundreds of e-mails exchanged discussing the upgrade. Thanks buddy for your patience and everything. I owe you a big one.
    Amogh: For all the suggestions and help extended.
    Gurjinder & Italia: The 2 main driving forces for me to go for a 1.3 MJD Linea. Assuring me that I am not making a mistake. Also answering my queries regarding tyres and insurance stuff.
    nkrishnap: For all the inputs and support. Suggesting me about a lot of things including the tyres, insurance and reverse cam.
    Rajan (Pathcyboy): For clearing all my inhibitions regarding the warranty and stuff.

    Mr. Rajesh (SE): For handling my sale impeccably. Answering all my calls and obliging all my requests.
    Mr. Sunil (GM Butta Automotives): For his time and support through out. Taking personal care that my car's sale goes smoothly. Following up with everyone from Butta who was associated with the sale.
    Mr. Shabbir (TL Sales): For his suggestions and follow up.
    Mr. Raghu (Loan Department): For helping in my loan being processed smoothly and swiftly.
    Mr. Ismail (PDI Incharge): For getting the small issues resolved without any fuss. He handled the situation very professionally and always delivered what he promised on time.

    The first TFIan to drive along in my Dynamite was Yashki (Paddleshifter) :D

    A big thanks for each and every TFIan from our Fiat family, whose presence and enthusiasm restored my faith in Fiat and that I could never go wrong with these cars. You guys Rock!!!

    P.S: Before some one blasts me for not posting pictures. I have only few pics of the car taken from my mobile and will be posted soon. I have a deal with Prasanna_godugu to help me out with his photography skills to complete my ownership thread.
    Photo session is scheduled this weekend and I hope to post as many pictures as I can asap.
  3. N Kiran

    N Kiran Staff Member Janitor

  4. Ravi

    Ravi Staff Member Janitor

    Grande Punto 1.3
    Now, with pictures, your initial report looks complete. Linea is beauty.

    Your parking pictures looks scary, be careful.

    Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk
    1 person likes this.
  5. Nadeem Ahmed VR 46

    Nadeem Ahmed VR 46 Esperto

    Pheew,:-DAwesome & very long initial report written by you Kiran Bhai,Superb
    Beautiful pics of your Linea,She's Classy & Beauty to look at for sure.
    As said by Ravi,your parking spot looks scary & dangerous,plz take her carefully.
    Happy miles with smiles in your Linea,drive safely in your New BNW Dynamite.
    1 person likes this.
  6. pandemd

    pandemd Novizio

    Hi Kiran,
    Congrats for your new ride. Hope you are enjoying every moment with it.
    Your parking place is very scary yaar; If I had a place like this, I would have gone for rear, front, even sides camera and sensors if available. Jokes apart, please take care of this beautiful and please do not take comment on parking place otherwise.
    Linea is one of the longest (?) car in it's class and need utmost care while parking. I used to tease one of my friend who never parked his Linea in one go. But now I understand why he has to try multiple times.

    Milind Pande
    Wakad, Pune - 57
    1 person likes this.
  7. N Kiran

    N Kiran Staff Member Janitor

    As mentioned earlier, I was a bit skeptical about being able to park the Punto in my parking lot and the same has been demonstrated by the SE before buying the Punto. I am used to park my Punto, which had exactly the same gap from the pillar as shown in the above pics. I do it in one go and very rarerly in two.

    I have been doing this for the past 3 yrs. Everyone who knew about this situation said that it will be an impossible task to park a sedan. Initially, even I thought the same untill, I brought the Dynamite home and wanted to give it a try. I succeeded in the very first attempt and it was more or less similar to parking my Punto.

    Rest assured, I always take utmost care while parking. All we need to do is use all three rear view mirrors generously. In my case, the left side ORVM is very crucial for me. I got the reverse cam, but by the time the display starts up and shows images, I am already out of my parking lot. :D

    I always give full credits to my parking lot for giving me enough practice to know how much gap I need to squeeze-in, on daily basis in the horrific city traffic. (TFIans who have driven along with me know what I am talking about.) ;)
    Dr. Fixated, raj29 and nkrishnap like this.
  8. sampy


    Congrats for your new ride.......
    1 person likes this.
  9. gurjinder

    gurjinder Staff Member Janitor


    So happy for you Anna. Great choice. I'm sure you're loving the Linea experience. Have you taken it on the highway trip you were mentioning about? That should really show you it's capability ;)

    1 person likes this.
  10. Congrats Kiran,
    ]Linea is sure a big car,yesterday I was comparing dimensions of Lancer with Linea.
    From outside looks Lancer looks bigger but, dimensions tells a different story.

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