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Unexpected love affair with an Italian beauty: Fiat Linea MJD. EDIT: 100,000 km up!

Discussion in 'Linea 1.3 MJD' started by arun_josie, Jun 17, 2014.

  1. arun_josie

    arun_josie Regolare

    January 4th, 2014:
    The new year started with a bang for me smile.gif . It was just another long drive in my Dzire from Bangalore towards Nagercoil (Kanyakumari Dist), the route was through Salem-Dharapuram(had some work there and hence the deviation in route) -Dindugal-Nagercoil) and as always, I was enjoying this long drive as well. I had a close friend for company till Dindugal and then it was a solo drive. Unfortunately, the drive ended abruptly 80Kms before my destination .

    For more details on the accident, you can refer to http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/street...d-my-life.html (Dzire Accident: How seatbelts, ABS & airbags saved my life)

    After discussing with few friends and family, I decided to go with the IDV pay-out from the insurance company and go for a new car/used car. Sticking to the Dzire meant I will have to spend minimum of 1L from my pocket + resale value will get affected badly + end result of the repair work was a question mark due to some major damages to the under body + Airbag needs to be replaced.

    Search for the next car begins with a tight budget for a decent sedan or SUV :
    Our original plan for the next car was to take the Dzire till 1.25-1.5L and then move up to XUV500 or the yet-to-be launched SUV from Maruti or SX4 Cross-Over. However due to a limited budget after the accident, our first plan was to look at the used car market. I was very hesitant to look in the used car market due to the fear of the unknown. I was fine with a used car if it comes from close circles or from any distinguished team-bhpians. I was looking at Dzire/SX4 ZDi , or any other well maintained Diesel sedan. But this didn’t click. So, we moved on to the next plan of looking for a new car.

    • Diesel Sedan (It was an easy decision because our Dzire was clocking around 2350 KMs per month)
    • Good boot space mandatory as we do frequent long drives.
    • ABS, Airbag(Driver + Passenger) - Mandatory
    • Open for a 7-seater like Ertiga as well (Parents/In-laws visit us occasionally)
    • Good FE
    • Good build quality
    • Good ground clearance (to escape giant speed breakers in Bangalore. We have plans for Leh/Ladhak as well)
    • Since it was month of January, we were looking at good discount and fine with 2013 make as well
    • We were open to look outside Maruti as well
    • Immediate delivery - Mandatory

    After considering/test driving Ertiga, SX4, Linea, Fiesta Classic, XUV500, Vento, Rapid, Verna, City, Ritz, Punto, finally it was between Fiesta Classic and Linea.

    Fiesta Classic Vs Linea MJD Emotion

    The difference in price after estimation of accessories for Fiesta, came to around 50K-70K.

    What we get in Linea for this 50-70K difference (approx)
    • Leather seating
    • Excellent ground clearance
    • Bigger tires
    • Auto lighting
    • Rain sensing wipers
    • Auto up/down for driver side windows, auto down for other windows
    • RTO-approved tinted windows including the front windscreen
    • Classy look
    • Climate control
    • Blue and Me - Bluetooth and USB connectivity to mobile phones
    • Driver hand-rest
    • Sun screen at the rear wind screen
    • Much better interiors
    • Immediate delivery

    Final Decision:
    We decided to go with Linea and the only concern about the car that we considered was that this car was lying idle with the dealer for close to 9 months. However, we couldn’t find anything suspicious. The explanation given by the dealer was, this car was booked for some government office and after a long delay, they dropped the booking due to some internal issues. Through PDI was done and couldn’t find any major red-flag issues with the car.

    With all the above positives and after having one more discussion with Krishna(nkrishnap), KarthikK, friends, my cousin and going through multiple Linea/Punto ownership threads, we decided to take the plunge with Fiat. Ertiga would have been a very close contender if not for my wife’s -ve feedback.


    8 people like this.
  2. kedarbendre

    kedarbendre Esperto

    MH 12
    Wow what a beauty.
    Linea looks amazing and those Turbine blade type alloys looks killer. :up

    Many congratulations for your new Linea my friend.
  3. arun_josie

    arun_josie Regolare

    My experience with Vecto Motors

    Dealership Experience @ Vecto Motors:

    I would say this experience could have been lot better if not for the Service Advisor who handled this sale.
    • Before payment, the SA was very responsive and was answering my queries. But after the payment, his attitude changed a lot and after delivery he almost stopped responding to my calls.
    • During the PDI, we requested for a battery change as the stock battery has almost died during the PDI. The SA agreed and confirmed for a battery change. I noted down the battery number.
    • But during the delivery, I noted that the battery was not changed, I pointed the same to the SA but he said that it was changed. When I said the battery number is same then he said it was given for replacement but after testing it was found that the battery is good and hence they charged it and fitted back. I was not happy at all with this response because I was sure that they didn’t take any action at all. As suspected, just before the delivery, the car wouldn’t start. This time Krishna(nkrishnap) intervened with Vecto Motors and made sure that the battery was changed.
    • Also, I had pointed few other minor things to SA during the PDI but nothing was taken care.
    • The final on road pricing came to 10.25L which also includes zero-depreciation insurance policy and extended warranty. This was before the tax/duty cut.
    My elder son collecting the keys,

    With his cousin

    My younger son,

    Service Experience @ Vecto Motors:
    • The positive I see in them is they don’t hesitate to go the extra mile to satisfy the customer.
    • They don’t make any fuss about parts replacement under warranty. They try to make sure that the issue is getting resolved no matter what.
    • At times we may get some vague response as well. So, we should make sure that we are talking to the right person.
    • Servicing is done only on prior appointment. It’s not possible to just drive-in and leave the car for servicing.
    • Recently they have opened a service center on Mysore road as well.
    • Overall, I would rate them good considering my experience with them till now.

  4. asimpleson

    asimpleson Esperto

    Linea 1.3
    Arun_josie, you have made a good choice safety wise considering the previous accident. Hoping that the new car offers better safety for your daily drives. Ofcourse, god willing we never want to put it to test. ;) This is one area we can clearly and confidently brag about a Fiat. :D

    The car looks great too, BTW. :)
    1 person likes this.
  5. arun_josie

    arun_josie Regolare

    Likes/Dislikes/Neutrals after 13K Kms

    Likes after driving 13000+ Kms(132 days/4months and 13 days):
    • Engine: Definitely this car requires 1.6MJD. At the same time, 1.3MJD doesn’t disappoint you as well. Pickup is not great especially when I compare with my previous Dzire. Life starts at 3rd gear for this car and from then on, it’s a pleasure to drive. But not in Vento/Rapid league.
    • Looks/Exteriors: Despite being a 5 year old model, it still looks good when compared to the new comers on the road.
    • On Highway: Excellent stability, feels much planted, corners can be taken at good speeds, gives a secured feeling due the build quality and length of the bonnet area.
    • Steering: It gives excellent feedback and gets little tightened as the speed increases. Also, steering can be tilted up/down.
    • Clutch: Its butter smooth but has a long travel. It takes some time to get used to it, especially on bumper to bumper traffic.
    • Gear Shifts are smooth as well.
    • Brakes: Excellent braking, you can expect it to stop in a straight line even at good speeds.
    • Fuel Efficiency: Fulltank-Fulltank(top-up) Lowest: 13.04 Highest: 19.94. Based on MID: Lowest: 13.40 Highest: 21. Most of my city drives are on the traffic-heavy Bannerghatta road.

    • MID, some good information here - Instant FE, Trip FE, Avg Speed, Range based on the fuel balance, has Trip A and Trip B.
    • Excellent ground clearance, no need to worry while taking the mega speed breakers in Bangalore roads
    • Auto headlight is a good feature and helps while entering underpass, basement parking etc.
    • Happy with the head lights/fog lamps, didn’t feel a need for an upgrade to 100/90 which I felt with my previous Dzire.
    • I like the rain sensing wipers, it is helpful and even there is an option to adjust the wiper speed automatically. Also, the wipers do an excellent job during rains.
    • Horn, I would say it is good
    • Driver arm rest is a boon during long drives. It has some storage space as well and it is height adjustable.
    • Decent music system, no complaints there
    • Auto-up/Auto-Down of driver side window is a nice feature. We will feel the need especially @ the tolls. It comes with Auto-Down for all other windows as well.
    • You can set speed limit warning, I normally set it at 100/120 based on the stretch I am taking and it gives a long beep when we touch this limit.
    • You get a beep when hand brake is ON and you try to move
    • When any of the doors is not locked properly, it displays which door is not locked along with a warning light.
    • Driver seat belt warning is there. You hear a loud beep if the vehicle is moving when the driver seat belt is not engaged.
    • Excellent Boot space, no worries during long drives. Boot can be opened either using the keys or using the button inside the car.
    • All glasses are tinted including the front/rear windscreen
    • It comes with a Sun-Screen as well, for the rear wind screen
    • Bigger tyres (205/55/R16) and 16 inch alloys
    • Factory fitted Leather Seating
    • Rear Seat comes with Hand rest/Storage/Cup holders.
    • The comfort level/back support in rear seat is good, this is the feedback that I get from the rear seat passengers.
    • I like the Thud Sound that comes from the front doors while closing.
    • Double cranking is not possible. If the engine turns off accidentally then we will have to turn off the key completely and then start again.
    • Driving position (awkward)/Driver Seat, it took some time before getting adjusted to the driving position and driver seat. For my height, I have to push the seat back than the normal position. Also not as comfortable as my previous Dzire as under-thigh support is not adequate.
    • I find the Foot rest/Clutch area little cramped, especially when I am wearing shoes.
    • Pathetic 1st and 2nd gear ratio. At slow speeds in bumper to bumper to traffic or while taking speed breakers, I have to down shift to first gear. Even on some inclines, I have to come down to 1st gear. I didn’t face this issue with Dzire
    • Ride quality on patches/bad roads is hard, could be due to the suspension which is little stiff and also the Goodyear tyres are very hard. I planned for a change to Michelin 3ST during delivery, but decided against tyre change at the last moment
    • Wind noice @80+ Kmh speed, looks like this is due to the ORVM design
    • No bottle holders on the doors. Very less space to leave your personal paraphernalia in the cabin.
    • Niggles despite 5 years since launch
    • Less Service Centers, requires appointment for normal servicing as well. I miss MASS here.
    • USB port is in a weird location, its inside the glove box
    • Sun glass holder is just above the driver side door. Since I am tall, when on bad road or trying look behind on the right side, I get a hit on my head.
    • Rear seat space/leg room is limited considering the size of the car. But the seats are comfortable.
    • A/C Effect: It is inconsistent. Some times excellent and at times average. For rear seat, especially when the outside temperature is around 24 degrees and when the inside temperature is set to 20-22 degrees it is average. Not sure what exactly is causing this issue.
    • Steering is adjustable but it hides the MID console at certain heights.
    • Ingress and Egress is little difficult as this is a low slung vehicle.
    • Rear window doesn’t goes down completely
    • No indicators in the ORVM(Now they have introduced in New Linea.)
    - - - Merged Post - - -
    Issues faced/Parts changed under warranty:
    • Battery was changed on the delivery day.
    • Front (right/left) shock absorbers replaced, it was giving some sound while going on rough patches.
    • Front Wind Screen replaced due uneven finish on the borders with the sealant coming out.
    • Hand Brake was not working intermittently and hence replaced.
    • Rear right side door lock/latch was not locking/unlocking intermittently and hence replaced.
    Service Experience @ Vecto Motors:
    • The positive I see in them is they don’t hesitate to go the extra mile to satisfy the customer.
    • They don’t make any fuss about parts replacement under warranty. They try to make sure that the issue is getting resolved no matter what.
    • At times we may get some vague response as well. So, we should make sure that we are talking to the right person.
    • Servicing is done only on prior appointment. It’s not possible to just drive-in and leave the car for servicing.
    • Recently they have opened a service center on Mysore road as well.
    • Overall, I would rate them good considering my experience with them till now.
    My Overall impression on Fiat based on my current experience
    • Excellent products, Linea and Punto. But to compete with other majors they will have to improve the Quality Control which can reduce the niggles and give confidence to the prospective customers or the one waiting at the fence. Bringing down the price is just not enough to attract new customers. Also, they require few more products, Service centers to make an impact.
    • They don’t make any fuss in changing parts under warranty but obviously it increases our visit to the service center when it is outside our regular servicing visit.
    • The Fiat dealer, Vecto Motors doesa good job in resolving the issues. They make sure that the customer is satisfied. Also, they do provide loaner cars if the case really justifies one.
    • Despite poor sales, good to see them maintaining the build quality and not compromising it for the price.
    • We need some patience to enjoy this product especially when there are initial niggles.
    • New Linea looks more matured, hope its free from niggles.

    - - - Merged Post - - -
    A word about my previous cars:

    Fiat Padmini: First car in our family, my dad used to drive this one and the car which pulled me towards driving. I learned and stabilized my driving skill in this car.

    Wagonr Lxi: 5 years and around 63000 Kms, during my entire ownership I never came up with any reliability issues or spare parts quality issue. No niggles as well.

    This was the last pic before selling the car,

    Dzire ZDI(Diesel): 2 years 8 Months and 74493 Kms, again no quality issues or reliability issues. Only the rear axle was changed at around 60K Kms under warranty for a tyre wear issue. You know what? This tyre wear issue was minor with the tyre life going till 48K Kms. But still MASS went ahead and replaced the axle. Not sure if this will happen with any other Manufacturer.

    And the last pic before the accident, @3M HSR

    • Both Wagonr and Dzire were very reliable and I still feel that they are cheap to maintain when compared to other competitors in the market.
    • Excellent Service network
    • In case of any issues or unsatisfied service experience, it is easy to escalate and they are very open to hear our concerns/issues and address the same. Also, the feedback are taken very seriously.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2014
    5 people like this.
  6. arun_josie

    arun_josie Regolare

    Thanks a lot, kedarbendre!!
    Thanks a lot asimpleson!
    Yes, the accident made me move the "Build Quality" to the top of the requirement list.

    - - - Merged Post - - -

    Some random pics during my Kanyakumari trip,










    4 people like this.
  7. Nadeem Ahmed VR 46

    Nadeem Ahmed VR 46 Esperto

    Congratultions Arun,
    Stunning pics of Beautiful Linea with sexy 16'' turbine blades,Brilliant review done by you on buying,dealership & ownership experience:up
    happy motoring,enjoy the drive & drive safe in a Fiat:D
    1 person likes this.
  8. Ravi

    Ravi Staff Member Janitor

    Grande Punto 1.3
    Excellent report Arun. Your likes, dislikes and other points are spot on.
    Since you are coming from Maruti's world, hope Fiat keeps you satisfied :).
    1 person likes this.
  9. ramjn

    ramjn Staff Member Janitor

    Linea 1.3
    Congraulations on the Linea MJD. I am sure you will have lakhs of kms. of fun filled and safe journey in your new beauty.

    • Well, apart from the features you missed to point that Linea has more modern 16 valve 93 PS engine against Fiesta's 8 valve 68 PS engine. :)
    1 person likes this.
  10. kiranrv

    kiranrv Amatore

    Congratultions Arun
    1 person likes this.

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