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Old 26th June 2012, 21:14   #1
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Default All Hail Crusoe! Fiat Linea T-Jet+ : Four years and 47,000 kms done

Crusoe
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My friends know me for taking (seemingly) horrendous decisions and I have always managed to convince everyone that it was the best decision at that point in time. Won’t get into the details of past decisions but many friends consider Crusoe (My BS T-jet+) to be one. I have been planning to write an ownership review for a very long time. Today, Crusoe is 4 months old and I consider 1 car year = 4 man years (comparing 15 years of car's fitness to 60 years of man's fitness. It's purely a personal logic and doesn't have any scientific or automotive validation) so, Crusoe is now learning to make noise (rather announce his presence). Thus, I decided to take time out and complete the ownership review before it gets to a point where I have to contemplate writing a long-term ownership review.


There has been so much written on Linea T-jet by other equally enthusiastic forum mates that I might not have much new stuff to write. Still, being with Crusoe has been a special experience worth the mention. I will try to categorise the review into 3 major sections:
  1. How Crusoe happened
  2. How Crusoe makes me proud
  3. How Crusoe manages to keep me grounded (no, not the FE part)
How Crusoe Happened:

I had been driving a Santro Xing for over 8 years. It’s an extremely special car for me not just for its capabilities, but also the fact that I received it as a b’day gift on my 19th b’day. The plan to purchase a new car started in early 2010 and the cars that were shortlisted were i20 (1.2 Asta) and Punto. A change in job along with location delayed my plans by almost 18 months. My search began again around June 2011 and this time I was looking for an entry level sedan or a premium hatch with a budget of ~7 lacs. I wasn’t too inclined towards diesel as my monthly usage is ~1500 KMs. Moreover, I believe a petrol car is more suitable to my style of driving. The cars shortlisted were:
  • Polo 1.6
  • Fabia 1.6
  • Punto 90 HP
  • Tata Manza (for a brief period)
  • Linea Multijet Active (after stretching the budget)
  • Fiesta 1.6
  • Hyundai Verna 1.6
I did test drive SX4 but (with all due respect to Maruti) I could never convince myself for a Maruti.

Polo 1.6
just didn’t feel value for money and the dealer too, didn’t seem interested in selling the car. Somehow, their dealers suffer from the complacency that the brand is enough to sell the cars. For the same reason, I didn’t even consider Vento. Snooty attitude of VW dealers is what I will blame for my not considering their cars.

Fabia 1.6 was a very capable car and with the amazing discount on offer it made a very strong case for itself. It's design didn't help much. Though I personally couldn’t find a fault in the design of Fabia but no one in the family was convinced. Moreover, there were friends that considered it a girly car (no offense) because of Chitrangada's ad and Fabia's fab ad with earrings, etc. So, Fabia was out.

Punto 90 HP I love the ride and handling of Fiat cars. If I would have taken a hatchback then Punto 90 HP would have been my choice.

Tata Manza Amazing VFM and parents loved the back seat comfort. Still the Tata badge and Indica type facia wasn’t too inspiring.

Fiesta 1.6 Fiesta classic looked dated and New Fiesta isn’t priced correctly. So, decided to let them go.

Hyundai Verna I am a big fan of Hyundai (because of my Santro). I really wanted to take this car but the electronic steering and soft suspension weren’t suitable to my style of driving. I learnt driving on my dad’s Fiat 1100 D and then graduated on Cielo.

Linea Multijet I was a big fan of Linea’s styling, as were my parents. Multijet is a very capable engine too so, everything seemed fine with the car and I almost finalized the car. The display car at Oberoi Motors (Noida) was a T-jet+ and I requested for a test drive which they promptly arranged. One test drive of T-jet on Noida expressway and I knew what I wanted.

Higher EMI and higher fuel costs were staring at me but heart had overpowered the brain. I fell for the temptation and decided to go-ahead with T-jet. An important office assignment kept me away from the city for a longer duration and the booking process got delayed. Around end of December, I got a call from Oberoi motors that they have a Bronzo Scuro Tjet+ available and wanted to discuss the costs in a meeting. Met them and negotiated as much as possible (being a research buyer, negotiation is part of my role) and finally closed the deal at almost 2 lacs below on road price. Now, it was value for money too. Finally, Crusoe was booked and we took delivery on Feb 26, 2012. What followed was Linea's tagline to the T. "Admiration Guaranteed".

Crusoe was one of the first Fiats, definitely the first T-jet to be delivered from Oberoi Motors at Sector 63, Noida. Special mention for Rehman (Sales rep at Oberoi), he was extremely patient during my extra long decision making process. I test drove almost all options available in Fiat before finalising T-jet.

Mom and Dad taking the covers off Crusoe!
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Dad was like, is anything left?
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Pooja done! (I'm the one on left, the one on right with striped socks is the pujari)
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Looks good from every angle (god, need to preserve smileys)
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Looks good in Grey-scale too
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These wheels were a big reason for selecting T-jet+ over T-jet
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A justification (one I gave to myself after the INR 7.5 hike) for petrol. It's perhaps greener than diesel. So, Crusoe loves nature.
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How Crusoe makes me proud

Right from the first drive, Crusoe has been able to attract admiration from one and all. A unique colour (Bronzo Scuro) makes it even more attractive. I have received compliments for Crusoe from people I don't know at petrol pumps to people I don't want to know at office. The friendly chowkidaar/car cleaner also loves Crusoe especially because I gifted him 2 microfibre cloths. The number of intelligent features that Fiat has packed in this car despite the budgetary constraints is phenomenal (Maruti guys should learn this art from Fiat). Some of the features I love bragging about to friends are:
  • The fantastic Blue&me. A colleague that drives Civic was in love with the seamless connection of Blue&me. I am not much of an audiophile and spend most of the time either on conference calls or talking to friends with whom I don't get time to talk to, once I enter office. So, Blue&me is a boon for me.
  • The 16" alloys: The fact that they are of same size as BMW and MERC makes it even more special. I love the simplistic design of alloys.
  • Follow-me lamps: I stay in Ghaziabad and electricity supply here is as regular as (I can't think of a metaphor as everything else seems more regular). This feature really comes in handy as the parking area (basement) doesn't have power back-up and reaching till exit based on cell-phone's display had always been tough.
  • Speed sensing volume: For me, music is the turbo whine and the magnificent note that the engine makes while accelerating. Still, whenever I use the music system or even during calls I like the way HU adjusts with speed/wind noise.
  • Independent reading lamps even at the front: I really like this as many times the co-passenger wants to read something e.g. CD label and the light becomes an irritant for the driver if the lamp is not independent. I wonder why it is not like this in every car.
  • MID: Which door is open and which light has failed is really useful. These are minor features that really improve the experience of using a well thought out product.
Moving on to Crusoe's real abilities i.e. performance and dynamics, it can only be felt when one drives a T-jet or gets overtaken by it. I have seen the reaction of some people moving in much more expensive and powerful cars than T-jet after being overwhelmed by this 1.4 L engine. The turbo kick is addictive and the smile that it puts to one's face is difficult to explain in words.

I took this car to Shimla when it had done about 3K KMs and I was amazed at the highway behaviour, even the hilly sections. I wrote a TL highlighting Crusoe's first highway trip. http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ng-crusoe.html (Short unprepared trip to Kasauli and Shimla - Cruising on Crusoe)

Some more admiration for Crusoe

A picture is worth a thousand words
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Got BHP???
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My seat! Yes, it's always that reclined. Need to correct the posture soon.
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The best part!
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Independent lamps
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Chiller of an AC
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Massive Boot
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Contrary to most, I like the interiors and don't see any reason to complain about the quality of plastics
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The special key with an extremely special Key Chain (Is there a way to get an approval for extra smiley?)
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Angel also loves Crusoe!
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Some of the accessories I got fitted are T-jet branded Door sill plates and LLumars all around including windshield (and the judgement had to come).

How Crusoe manages to keep me grounded

This car gives a confidence at high speeds that very few cars can match. I don't think any car in this price bracket even comes close. Crusoe's extra weight and brilliant dynamics keeps it grounded at speeds and roads where some of the other better selling sedans will give you the feeling that you might be launched into space any moment.

On a philosophical note, T-jet also teaches that popularity or higher numbers on the sales chart do not always ascertain the capability of a product. IMHO, I find T-jet as capable a product as City, if not better. It's disheartening to see T-jet production being stalled. Might have a lot to do with Fiat's internal business strategy still, being a proud T-jet owner I feel this product deserved more success than it received.

Summarising my experience with Crusoe till date, I would say I do not regret my decision. Yes, my fuel budget is much higher than what it used to be still, it gives me happiness that I couldn't have found legally with that sum of money.

As an update towards maintenance, I got it serviced at 5000 KMs earlier in the month. I insisted on getting the oil and oil-filter changed at my own expense. Surprisingly, Selenia is cheaper than what I had assumed it to be. The oil change was ~Rs 2600.

I would also like to thank JasonByrne (fellow BHPian) for clicking all the pictures while I was working.
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I am glad that a decision taken from heart paid off and I got this wonderful car. (touchwood).

I would highly recommend a T-jet (if available) to anyone planning to purchase a petrol car. Not everyday, would your car make you smile with its performance and the admiration it gets from others. Thus, after a long hard day at office, a drive on T-jet is a tonic for the soul.

All Hail Crusoe!!!

Thank you for reading!!!

Last edited by Biraj : 27th June 2012 at 03:36. Reason: Typos
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Old 27th June 2012, 12:30   #2
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Default re: All Hail Crusoe! Fiat Linea T-Jet+ : Four years and 47,000 kms done

Note from Mod : Thread moved to Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing it with us
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Old 27th June 2012, 12:43   #3
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Default re: All Hail Crusoe! Fiat Linea T-Jet+ : Four years and 47,000 kms done

Congrats on the Tjet. Every drive will get you a smile on the face, except for the fuel bills. But there is more to life than kpl, (GTO's tag line)

Enjoy many more happy miles with the T-jet
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Old 27th June 2012, 12:48   #4
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Default re: All Hail Crusoe! Fiat Linea T-Jet+ : Four years and 47,000 kms done

Congratulations on the "heart-over-head" purchase Biraj! The T-Jet is one heck of a car and very capable in terms of unleashing raw power. I wish you tens of thousands of safe and happy miles in it!
I wonder how you could negotiate for (did I read it right?) 2 Lakhs less than the on-road price! Need to take a lesson or two on this from you! Loved the way you put smileys without actually putting them

Once again, happy and safe driving and always buckle up!!
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Old 27th June 2012, 12:57   #5
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Default re: All Hail Crusoe! Fiat Linea T-Jet+ : Four years and 47,000 kms done

Congratulations Biraj... Bronzo Scuro is one of my most favorite colours and we tried desperately to get that colour on our Multijet, but couldn't as wasn't available. I think Linea looks at its absolute best in this colour only and this is such an exclusive colour to boost as well.

All I can say is Excellent Excellent choice made and enjoy every km driving the T-JET.. And do post more and more pics of the car.
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Old 27th June 2012, 13:48   #6
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Default re: All Hail Crusoe! Fiat Linea T-Jet+ : Four years and 47,000 kms done

Hi Biraj, many congratulations for the best driver's car this side of 20 lakhs (the other being laura TSI, but Tjet's value proposition is unmatchable). Nice colour choice as well. No doubt this will bring you millions of smile everytime you hold the steering wheel. And all this matched with the killer looks. Amazing combination and very truely said that the numbers on the sales chart do not determine the capability of a car. As the saying goes the beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, similarly the true value of the tjet can only be realized by an enthusiast (no offence meant to anyone).
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Old 27th June 2012, 14:02   #7
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Default re: All Hail Crusoe! Fiat Linea T-Jet+ : Four years and 47,000 kms done

Congrats on the Linea. Yes, Maruti has to learn a lot from Fiat in terms of features at a given price point. What's with the registration number, never seen 5 digits, is it some temp registration ?
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Old 27th June 2012, 14:37   #8
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Arrow re: All Hail Crusoe! Fiat Linea T-Jet+ : Four years and 47,000 kms done

Congrats. In the face of petrol hikes, this is one bold decision! All the best with your new Fiat. They do make some beautiful cars, but I don't seem to understand why they can't get a decent foothold in the Indian market yet.

I would suggest for the colour of your car get the yellow LTD sticker. It will look nicer!
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Old 27th June 2012, 14:58   #9
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Default re: All Hail Crusoe! Fiat Linea T-Jet+ : Four years and 47,000 kms done

Congrats Biraj,

you have picked a Very Good Car in all terms in very Special color.
Photos are not waranted the color as we see it in person.

Enjoy and Drive Safe
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Old 27th June 2012, 15:20   #10
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Default re: All Hail Crusoe! Fiat Linea T-Jet+ : Four years and 47,000 kms done

Congrats on purchasing this brilliant car. I agree with what you say - If one drives this car; then its very hard to get that brilliance in any other car (below 20 lakhs). I haven't driven the Laura TSi; so cant compare there.

Keep updating this thread. Happy Driving!!!
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Old 27th June 2012, 15:24   #11
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Default re: All Hail Crusoe! Fiat Linea T-Jet+ : Four years and 47,000 kms done

Congratulations Biraj! The color is indeed quite special. Go green with the Petrol wonder and drive safe!

By the way, what’s the Pujari (with stripes socks) doing at the wheel?
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Old 27th June 2012, 15:31   #12
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Default re: All Hail Crusoe! Fiat Linea T-Jet+ : Four years and 47,000 kms done

Fantastic write up Biraj! It was a great pleasure to meet and Jason last Sunday. Although our drive didn't materialise. As you said, it seriously is a case of heart over head. Your Crusoe might find company in my soon to arrive FTA T-Jet plus. Will keep you posted.
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Old 27th June 2012, 16:05   #13
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Default re: All Hail Crusoe! Fiat Linea T-Jet+ : Four years and 47,000 kms done

Congratulations on your latest acquisition, looks awesome in pictures- Like they ' Admiration guaranteed '. It is one heck of a car, I am sure you won't regret buying a T-jet.

BTW what was the OTR price ? Recently, I heard a dealer in Gurgaon was giving T-jet for 7.2 L OTR.

Wish you wonderful miles ahead, drive safe

Cheers,
Sameer

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Old 27th June 2012, 16:15   #14
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Default re: All Hail Crusoe! Fiat Linea T-Jet+ : Four years and 47,000 kms done

Congrats Biraj

From one T-Jet+ Owner to another - I can perfectly understand and appreciate an amazing and heartfelt review!! Very well written and kudos to you for following your heart, you will never regret buying the T-Jet+.

Drive Safe!!
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Old 27th June 2012, 16:58   #15
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Default re: All Hail Crusoe! Fiat Linea T-Jet+ : Four years and 47,000 kms done

Congratulations Biraj (though this should have come 4 months ago).
Since the car was available in Dec, why did you wait till Feb to pick her up?
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