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View Poll Results: What petrol C segment sedan would you buy?
Honda City 1.5 iVtec 113 55.39%
Fiat Linea 1.4 Fire 91 44.61%
Voters: 204. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 20th February 2009, 23:58   #541
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Originally Posted by pmbabu View Post
So, if one would like to buy a FIAT, he/she shouldn't worry about after sales service? That sounds illogical.
Dont put words in my mouth. My post was in response to the question if Tata Nano's launch will effect the serivce and support for both Tata and Fiat.

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Originally Posted by pmbabu View Post
BTW, though nothing personal against you - but your posts are not in the best interests of an "open" community. As someone else pointed out in this same thread, you even went to the extent of starting a thread bashing the looks of one particular car. But are unable to take similar criticism in this thread.
Can you point me to a post? BTW nothing personal against you but I dont think I need to explain to you why if you think that thread was just to bash that particular car.
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Old 21st February 2009, 16:26   #542
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My Dad and me had specifically kept today, reserved for checking out the Honda City. The very fact that both of us had to allot a common time to check this car out, out of our extended work schedules as well as social commitments, is an indicator of our seriousness behind the showroom visit. We did not plan any other showroom visits as we thought there was no point in checking anything else out. But that something else (Fiat Linea), however, came to our office yesterday.

I'll first start with the Fiat Linea petrol. It felt mighty underpowered. But then if you revved her to the max, the story got a little better. But is it possible to stay in the healthy rpm zone all the time? Maybe as you begin to live with it. But it impressed in other areas. I wont talk about the looks, or the climate control or that its BIG. I will ask people to lift the bonnet and the trunklid and check even the hinges. The engine bay has a solid grafted placeholder for almost everything. One look at the Bonnet inner panel tells you that even if this car might have had to meet certain padestrian safety norms in other countries, the gauge of the metal used is no-nonsense. The very buffer-zone from the extremety of the bumper to the radiator, gives the feeling that there are crumple zones even before an impact is transmitted to the radiator housing. What else? the Sump guard beneath the engine. Fantastic thought, my Ikon gets countless hits on its underbody everytime it hits the state highways of WB. In some cases you have to get down to the earthen shoulders in a hurry, sometimes dipping six inches and bang. Absolutely fantastic thought. The beams and pillars on the engine bay look very consistent and solid. As a matter of fact, even in my 5 yr old Ikon nothing looks to have sagged. The overall experence of having looked under the bonnet and under the car was very reassuring. Doors dont exhibit the same bank vault solidity as say in a Palio but heck, who cares. But frankly I admired the glances other people were giving us rather than, say, this car has automatic climate control and I want it.


The other aspects of the drive was impressive, mid corner braking, braking from triple digit speeds, brake modulation was fantastic, even without
reaching the threshold of ABS activation. The car was always planted and shouldn't it be?

Good enough to buy? No. Underpowered, can't live with it.

Coming back to the Honda City, had fixed up an appointment with Imperial Honda, it was just regulation activity, the salesman response was very
"professional". He even gave a courtesy call, it was always a very warm feeling. On reaching the neat showroom, the sales team was prim and proper. They had offered "coffee" as soon as we stepped in. How cordial. But then, it was "No thanks" from both of us, we had come to look at the car, not have coffee/tea and the like. We do not get swayed by the plastic smile that people give you when you mean business to them.

I had to tell them that I have owned Hondas earlier and I already know the build quality. I had a 1989 Honda Accord SEi in US, and a 1991 Prelude, they were such fine and solid cars. None of them developed any rattles till about 2004.

A few moments at the showroom was spent admiring the interior plastic quality, including those on the seats. I knew beforehand, but not my father, that the car did not have climate control. But then the salesman started blabbering about the USB music system. The moment he started, I pointed him to the Ikon parked outside, that it has all that and more by means of an aftermarket HU, no big deal. That actually shut his lips for some time. Coming to the interior space it wasn't bad, infact its quite good if I had not seen the Linea the day earlier.

It was time to open the bonnet, and whoaa, there is a nic plastic touchpanel near the bonnet latch. But, Whats this? How do I see the floor so clearly. Its like an open window.

Linea vs City Comparison Report-21022009.jpg

You bet I was tempted to lie down beneath the car and say hi to everyone looking at the engine bay from the top. No cross member nothing to hinder the view.

See this.

Linea vs City Comparison Report-21022009_001.jpg
The engine is the first in line to get a hit, if you discount the flimsy plastic front bumper lower portion. As a matter fact, not all cars are
expected to come from the factory with a sump guard, but then, there is atleast some solid member before the oil pan to take a hit and cause deflection of the car to minimize impact on the oil pan.

Then, look at this.

Linea vs City Comparison Report-21022009_002.jpg

The strut tower, it looks like it has been seam welded in place and hurriedly applied paint on. Please excuse the photo quality.
This was a brand new car awaiting delivery.

Two things already and then my attention turned to the top cross member housing the radiator. It looked like fabricated out of tin-foil, with inconsistencies in its surface. You can see it in the first photograph. The surface edges looked crumpled (even this you may notice in the snap). A little tap and it was evident this was easily deformable. Padestrian safety maybe fine, but cars in our country are prone to a few hits too many, in contrast to, say Europe, where they only use bicycles as a recreation tool.

I was grossly disappointed. Had I not seen the Linea engine bay the day earlier, I would have probably taken this as the order of the day, as padestrian safety norms are forcing manufacturers to make the front portion as soft as possible. But now I see this as one of those state-of-the-art weight reduction techniques, which also serve the purpose of saving cost for the manufacturer as a by-product.

Then it was time to go for the drive.The Demo car with its sticker was ready. This was the only reason I was excited over this car particularly. 118 horses under 10 lakhs was what was its USP. I knew I was going to have fun. Put on the belts, started the car, admired the slience of the engine for a few moments (not seconds) but was directed to the "check engine" light that stayed lit. Shut the car down, restarted it, same story. I just pointed this to the accompanying sales person. Heres the exact conversation

he: "thats all right, you drive syar, it ij not a issue".
me: "no thats not all right, this is a freshly launched car, its too soon for this car to have this light glowing"
he: "it ij ok, you uill get a fresh car syar, it uill not have this issue"
me: "but it will have after it runs a few kms, and if its to be ignored, why has Honda provided it in the first place?"
he: "Syar, actually, this ij a Demo car, the speedometer cable ij disconnected. That ij whoi this light ij glowing"
me: "WHAT!! This is unethical, why have you disconnected the speedo, so that it does not clock mileage" asking my father, as even I am leaving the car, "we are not buying a car from here"
he: "Syar it ij not unethical, this ij a registered demo car syar, see the sticker"
me: "That is very easy to remove"

As we are stepping into our car, we tell another prospective customer about this, he too is visually alarmed. The salesman makes an offer for us to drive one of their showroom cars, obviously one ready for delivery, I point that out, and then the prospective customer too seems upset. As my Dad drives off with me, he doesnot want me in a confrontational mood, but I still manage to tell them, that we see beyond those nice hand-folded courtesy, coffee and plastic smiles.

Verdict. Inconclusive. Linea, is a no-no unless there is more power to it.
Honda City, so far whatever I have seen, I am not impressed. Whatever had the potential of impressing me, I havn't yet found out. Lets see. For the moment, there is only one word that comes up to my mind and that is "flimsy".

They have made it cosmetically pleasing in all the areas most of its potential customers are going to see/feel.

The Fiat guys have asked me to find time for them to show me the Diesel. But I dont think thats going to cut much ice.

But then, we aren't exactly in a hurry.

Last edited by 1100D : 21st February 2009 at 16:39.
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Old 21st February 2009, 16:44   #543
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Nice review and pics. @ 1100D. I agree with you totally, that car (Linea) needs a bigger engine to do it justice. Maybe Fiat should stick to the present engines for the sake of the "mileage kya detaa?" guys and give the rest of us a decent engine(s). Your pic of the space (as in space) in the engine bay clearly indicates that this car was originally made to have a bigger engine than the puny ones that Fiat has stuck in it.

The part about the dealer using cars from the stock as demo cars is disconcerting. I would have hoped that the dealers would have mended their ways by now. In Hyderabad, the Linea test cars have huge stickers all along their side - screaming out "Test Drive" in bold.

Cheers,
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Old 21st February 2009, 16:46   #544
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Apart from ANHC, there are cars like Fiesta, Aveo, SX4 & Verna. Like Linea, Fiesta & Verna come in diesel variants. In fact Verna was relaunched few days back with AT option. And then there is segment leader Dzire (with diesel option and similar 1.3L engine as Linea).

Why are potential Linea customers not considering Fiesta, Aveo, SX4 or Verna?
(The reason I ask is, I can't think of any)
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Old 21st February 2009, 17:22   #545
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@1100D, you could have taken the test drive of the City and bought it from another dealer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravveendrra View Post
The part about the dealer using cars from the stock as demo cars is disconcerting. I would have hoped that the dealers would have mended their ways by now. In Hyderabad, the Linea test cars have huge stickers all along their side - screaming out "Test Drive" in bold.
It's the City that 1100D is talking about not having a dedicated demo car.

Still, I feel 1100D got a bit too suspicious with the disconnected speedo. It was probably a dedicated demo car.

By the way, why would the check engine light stay on for a disconnected speedo?
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Old 21st February 2009, 17:44   #546
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@amit: even if it was a dedicated demo car, disconnecting is unethical, since they will later sell this off as - demo car, but very less driven! I guess all car dealers are like this.
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Old 21st February 2009, 18:30   #547
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Nice review there 1100D. The strut tower looks awful.

So the Honda dealers do remove the speedo cables, huh!?

NOTE FROM T-BHP SUPPORT: Please do not quote entire messages. Quote only what is necessary.

Thanks.

Last edited by khan_sultan : 21st February 2009 at 18:47. Reason: removed message quote
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Old 21st February 2009, 18:56   #548
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@1100D:
An excellent review.
The gap might be there in case of Honda city for pedestrian safety, but is too large. I hadnt noticed this earlier.
I wonder why Honda does this for the city. I think that this car in thailand will not be so flimsily built. I always had thought that Honda India is not upto the mark. But G3HC is better than G2HC. I wonder how ACI claimed that G3HC feels more solidly built than Verna, Fiesta and SX4 in their comparison test. May be they forgot how to lift hood.

Another thing is that EU laws state that there must be a 10cm gap between engine and hood. I dont think that G3HC, which is purely for Asian markets, will have this. And sump guard is something not each and every car has, but yes its a necessacity rather than luxury.

I think an email must be sent to Honda regarding the dealer doing wrong practice and the car with what I can call " Defects ". That strut tower image is almost shocking for a Rs. 9 lakh car. Even our Maruti 800 is not like this.
About the dealer, in whatever cars we have test driven, all of them had speedo disconnected, and the list includes Baleno, Swift, Honda City, Fiat Palio, Accent, Indica family of cars, Ikon. It was only in Corsa and Optra that the speedo was not disconnected. This is a common practice that is being followed by most of the dealers. These demo cars, after the car gets a bit old, will be taken to stockyard, stickers removed, repainting if required and then it is sold off to an innocent customer.

As for Linea, thier product has only one weakness and that is the motors. As a product, Linea is better than others in many areas. Linea is no doubt solidly built, but they could have given better motors in the first place. I would like to say that they have missed an opportunity here with Linea coming with underpowered motors.
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Old 21st February 2009, 20:57   #549
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amit View Post
@1100D, you could have taken the test drive of the City and bought it from another dealer.



It's the City that 1100D is talking about not having a dedicated demo car.

Still, I feel 1100D got a bit too suspicious with the disconnected speedo. It was probably a dedicated demo car.

By the way, why would the check engine light stay on for a disconnected speedo?
Almost all modern car ECUs can detect if the odo/speedo is disconnected or changed and this is logged. This prevents people from changing the odo reading and pawning off a car as low mileage. Of course, when the dealers do this, it is easily cleared by the service tools and some poor sod will buy it.
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Old 21st February 2009, 23:28   #550
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1100D View Post

Verdict. Inconclusive. Linea, is a no-no unless there is more power to it.
Honda City, so far whatever I have seen, I am not impressed. Whatever had the potential of impressing me, I havn't yet found out. Lets see. For the moment, there is only one word that comes up to my mind and that is "flimsy".

But then, we aren't exactly in a hurry.
Nice review. Wish you would do a test drive of the new Fiesta 1.6S and write a review as well

Please buzz me if you do so.
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Old 21st February 2009, 23:32   #551
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amit View Post
@1100D, you could have taken the test drive of the City and bought it from another dealer.


It's the City that 1100D is talking about not having a dedicated demo car.

Still, I feel 1100D got a bit too suspicious with the disconnected speedo. It was probably a dedicated demo car.

By the way, why would the check engine light stay on for a disconnected speedo?
There are other dealers in Kolkata we will try them out. It was just that we needed a common convenient time and place for both Dad and me. Which is becoming increasingly difficult.

As skywalker and ImmortalZ put it

The speed sensor being disconnected throws up the error code.

It will be sold off as a "sparingly used" demo car. Or who knows, if the particular vehicle itself is registered as the demo vehicle or not. There could be many malpractices that this particular vehicle could be a part of.

As for me, apart from the ethics part, without the speedo, the test drive was anyway going to be pointless. Hence walked off. As buying this car, there is a different aspect to it, beyond the scope of discussing on this forum.

What I was pointing out was that the oil sump is too "exposed". Would suggest people to lift the hood up and also have a look at the undersides of the car seen from the front. The engine sits partly on a cross member situated behind the front axle line, its suspended in the front by mountings on longitudinal beams situated highter up. The engine is semi-suspended.

Last edited by 1100D : 21st February 2009 at 23:36.
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Old 22nd February 2009, 15:05   #552
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1100D View Post
No cross member nothing to hinder the view.

Then, look at this.

Attachment 103324

The strut tower, it looks like it has been seam welded in place and hurriedly applied paint on. Please excuse the photo quality.
Great report, 1100D. The glaring cost-cutting measures in the ANHC left me a little surprised too. Honda has skimped in most areas, including even proper NVH insulation! Definitely not keeping in line with its premium price tag. The NHC was a pretty well-built high quality product. Heck, even the OHC for that matter. It was lacking in bells & whistles, but under the hood, material & build are as robust as they come.
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Old 24th February 2009, 20:14   #553
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@1100D: The build quality around the engine bay of the ANHC is very disappointing. Regarding the disconnected speedo, I guess this is a common practice now with most dealers and thats unethical. BTW, Imperial Honda is owned by the same person who used to sell Fiats earlier.

The linea has everything going for it except the power. They surely need to plonk a more powerful petrol engine and bring in the 1.6MJD atleast. This can be kept as an option for those who do not need a "mileage kya hai" car. But the question is, what is the % of such people to make it a viable business option.
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Old 24th February 2009, 21:23   #554
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Originally Posted by 1100D View Post
You bet I was tempted to lie down beneath the car and say hi to everyone looking at the engine bay from the top. No cross member nothing to hinder the view.
This seem to have been addressed in the 09 models.
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Old 24th February 2009, 22:25   #555
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1100D, that was a frank and concise report on the Linea and the ANHC. I agree with your viewpoint that Fiat should have ploned a more powerful engine into the Linea and sold it as a variant.
Your pics about the flimsy build quality of the ANHC are quite revealing and shocking.But I feel you should have TD'd the ANHC despite the hitches you pointed out.
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