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Old 21st January 2007, 12:47   #1
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Default Fiat Palio 45Kkm Review (Now SOLD!)

Hey guys,
i completed ths review only a few days before i lost her. Dad sent it to the factory in Akola. No new car coming but we have now got a Sonata Gold from our factory in exchnge.
here's the review -

Pros Ė Looks, power and performance, handling, space, build quality, small useful details which many people donít notice but miss when driving other cars Ė egs would be the dead pedal, windscreen washer spray had 6 outlets which covers the full windshield and is a boon during the monsoons.
Cons Ė Ride isnít the best, bad service but shifted to a private garage, resale value, interiors not the best in terms of quality.
Avg FE Ė 9kmpl in city but has dropped to 6-7 kmpl in the last couple of weeks but has increased to 7.5 kmpl. On the highway, it gave 14 with a.c. on a 160kmph run. I suspect the odo playing around.
Accessories Ė 185/65R14 Goodyear Eagle NCT5 tires were put when the car had done 25000km. Ambipur Car Perfume, Mud flaps, Silver no. Plate, TPC3 Teflon coating for 3 years.
ICE Ė Pioneer HU (Cass and Radio) with a really cool (at that time) blue LCD Display mated to Pioneer front speakers and Pioneer 6 * 9 rear Speakers on tray. Showing its age now and is cracking quite often and I am trying to get them changed to JBLs or something but then, the fiesta got a broken bumper so we got that repaired and hence I couldnít get the speakers put

Problems Ė - Drop in F.E (I think because of faulty Speedo) after crossing 40Kkm. Increased to 7.5kmpl after service. Still present and no one believes me. Can any one help? Please.
- Faulty instrument cluster. The Speedo, fuel gauge, km reading is a bit messed up.
- A.C. water leaking into LHS front Passenger side carpeting
- Strange creaking noise coming from engine. No one knows why because it mysteriously vanishes when it goes to the mechanic.
- Ignition Coil was replaced at 43000 km when on one fine day the car started giving jerks and there was a noticeable drop in power and increase in engine noise. All this at Peddar Road on the flyover.
- There is some noise coming from the center console. I have a feeling that itís because some padding came off when they opened it to check the air con.
- The driver who drives the Fiesta and me feel that the accelerator pedal is a bit sticky because even if you press it minutely, it revs to 1500-2000 Rpm.
- The Rear doors have been quite difficult to open since quite a long time.

- The front passenger side window button got stuck a bit but was easily repairable.
- The front passenger side central locking is not working. I.E. the passenger canít lock the doors as he could.
- There was something wrong with the air con, which made the car overheat in the middle of the W.E. Highway recently. But the blame for this could be the poor roads of Mumbai which ruined the fan as the car went over a new unmarked pothole/crater at a considerable speed

Strangely, apart from the rear doors most of the problems have appeared 4 months ago and keep on coming one after another. I think some one has nazar lagaoed our car.
Also, every car has its faults and the deep throaty note from the engine more or less makes up for it.

Accident History Ė
Luckily there has been nothing serious. Just some small incidents that happens with everyone who drives in India.
- Small scratch and dent on front bumper left side
- A small accident with a biker
- Taxis ripping out our bumper by hooking their bumper with ours.

Now for the review,
One day, when I came home from some tuition, my dad was sitting in the den. As usual, I walked there to say hi to him and ask him how his day was. Only this time, the regular Ďit was goodÖ yours?í was followed by Ď Son, I have to give a car to someone. What do you suggest? Should we give them our Indica (a bright red Pre 2000 Indica petrol done some 20Kkm) and buy a new car or should we buy them a used esteem instead. So, instantly, my brain instantly went into overdrive and my thoughts went to the new Fiat Palio that was launched in end 2001 and more specifically to the picture of the silver 1.6 GTX in ACI and I realized that god actually existed because I had always wanted a Palio ever since I read/saw it and on that day an opportunity presented itself and I took it.
10 days after that day, while I was sitting in on of our cars (think it was the siena), dreaming about the day I would finally be allowed to drive, a carís horn broke the silence. When I looked up, I was surprised to see a brand new silver Palio entering our gates. Surprised because at that time, people needed to wait for at least a month or two before they could drive away with their Palio and ours was here in 10 days.
Anyways, after the initial shock period got over, I checked out the car from outside, performed a small puja.

Looks and Build Quality Ė
The fact is, the car looks HOT and it was one of the reasons for us wanting to buy the car at that time and it was easily the best looking hatchback of its time back then and IMHO, it makes the new & yet un-launched (But given the rate at which this Long term review is going, it may get launched before I finish) Palio look kind of sissy-ish. In fact, the first thing I noticed was that this car had a very solid, strong feel to it the minute I saw it.
However, I was not fond of the color options that were offered then and hence we chose silver but if given a choice, I think I would have opted for Hondaís Gray. My other option was black but I wasnít very fond of Fiatís black back then (I love the Adventure black though) and hence we chose silver. From the outside, the only accessories present are LEGAL black tints which increase the appeal of the car (though darker tints would have looked cooler, they arenít as convenient and is tough to see around the car in the night time), along with bumper strips which may not look good to some eyes but add a sense of uniqueness to the car. In fact, I have begun liking it. Another accessory are the silver number plates with the DC font. They look as though they are body colored and go swell with the car and it adds a sense of sportiness to the car.
Coming to Build Quality, let me just say that it is amazing. The minute you close the door, you get a sense of security that is missing in most of the other cars I have sat in. Infact, this car even feels more solid then our Corolla and has definitely held up better too. The 30kkm done Corolla has some rattles which though present in the 45Kkm done Palio, only cropped up after the car was used daily on the 26/7 flood ravaged W.E. Highway and other roads from our old residence at Malabar Hill to my school in Juhu.

Ride quality and Handling Ė On the road.
The ride however, highlighted the sporty stiff set up of the suspension, which isnít as good for the passenger as it is for the driver. The ride was a bit harsh (but not jarringly uncomfortable. I personally found it better then the Santro) but that is because of the stiff set-up of the suspension but if one sits in a Petra or any other Palio-based Fiat vehicle except for the GTX, they will all praise the ride quality of the vehicle. Also the hard seats present in the GTX are partly to blame though I prefer them to some extra soft seats in which you just sink (which again sounds good but is bad for your back).
The good side of the slightly stiff ride though is the awesome handling and from the 10 km I mustíve driven the car, I can say that it is awesome fun to drive even though I never ripped it, I always felt confident and even the driver who took it to 160 on the expressway was amazed by itís stability (and Iím waiting to get my license out here). The car is also easier to handle then it feels and looks and Iím waiting for a tire switch when I get my license.
As you can see, the driving experience is quite entertaining but it has its minuses too. For starters, the pedals are too close to each other, which may not be a nuisance to people like me who donít drive much but my driverís who have been driving for the last decade say it is a bit irritating and need to get used to it, but thatís their complaint for even the fiesta. Apart from this, something I have noticed is that the ORVMs are a bit too small and if they were bigger, it would really help. Also the high dash and thick A pillars makes it quite difficult for learners to drive (and hence the reason for the ĎLí stickers on the Lancer and not Palio). Apart from these three things, there is nothing else I can think of at the moment.
Oh wait, almost forgot, the brakes donít inspire confidence, which is quite sad as the Siena had awesome brakes on it but it wasnít carried forward with any of the Palio look variants of both the Siena and the Palio. Also missing is the eccentric rail adjustment, which increased the seat height as the seat was brought forward and really helped shorter drivers.

Moving inside, the car was one of the most spacious hatches at the time of its launch and this is the only point, which was agreed upon by all my friends and family. Though the Getz and the SRV might trump it, it still is quite big especially in comparison to more popular hatches like the Santro and wagonR, Its two main competitors. Also, I quite like the fabric on the GTX especially in comparison to the lancerís and fiestaís seats. The quality of the plastics used however is quite poor and the dash gets dirty quite easily which isnít something I like. Apart from the poor quality of the plastics, I quite like the design of the dash and everything falls at hand however, they couldíve used dials instead of the sliding controls for the a.c., which is quite cheap. Also, the silver material used in the center console is two toned and it is definitely not a nice thing unless Fiat India is offering us a 3 - tone interior.

Engine and Performance Ė
Even though I havenít exactly driven the car a lot, around 10 km max (our driver drives it. Yes, I know it is ironic but Iíll be getting my license next year so all you people watch out (P.S - I do not advocate street racing)) I love the torque available an the awesome note when the accelerator is floored.
F.E. is around 8.5 kmpl in the city with the a.c. and the one time it went to Pune, it gave around 14kmpl which was amazing.

The review seems to be getting quite long so I think Iíll just cut it short and end it around here.
Iím Loving it!

BHP garage Ė http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indiancarpicture-135.html
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Old 22nd January 2007, 19:03   #2
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For such a fantastic review on one of our favorite cars, its surprising no one has noticed it yet. Great job Lambo with the writeup......you have covered up each and every minute detail of the car (including seat rails and 6 nozzle washers!!!)
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Old 22nd January 2007, 20:24   #3
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Awesome review Lambo. Your car has always looked well kept to me and was an inspiring car which inturn led me to buy the car that you see in my signature
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Old 22nd January 2007, 21:58   #4
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Still remember the time when magz were ripe of the speculation that palio will come to india, in the cover story ACI had shown two palio's one red and the other yellow and the moment i saw it, i said to myself, this is THE car that i always wanted. Even when i look at my Palio 1.2 now, i still feel the same. Infact give me that 1.3 JTDI in the current Palio, i will still buy it over anyother car, midsizers included.... It the most awesome looking hatchback to have rolled on indian streets.
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Old 23rd January 2007, 13:38   #5
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Wow,missed this thread somehow.Such a long review from someone who has'nt even driven the car a lot.Shows how passionate you are about your GTX.

Sad that your car is being shifted to Akola.But I really hope that you get to drive it once you have your valid license.

Originally Posted by lamborghini View Post
- The driver who drives the Fiesta and me feel that the accelerator pedal is a bit sticky because even if you press it minutely, it revs to 1500-2000 Rpm.

Well,what I've experienced is that both my Fiats - 1.2 and 1.6 or even the Palios,Petras and Petra D that I've test driven in the past have the same pedal feel that you are talking about.You just put your feet on the pedal and it rushes to 1500 rpm or so.This is unlike any other car from any other brand where you have to press the accelerator pedal a bit atleast for the rpm needle to rise.

I have enquired the same from the service centres and got a reply that Fiats are made this way.The throttle gives you an instant response.However,if you find it uncomfortable, ask any roadside mechanic to loosen out the throttle cable just a teeny bit,so that the pedal goes in.This will allow you or you driver to rest your foot a bit on the accelerator and it wont be as responsive.I personally love the character of the car and the way it accelerates.So I would'nt change a thing.

Lambo,cheers to you man.You've got pretty good experience with cars even without a license and it shows in the this lovely review.You've covered up almost everything that matters.

Last edited by roms : 23rd January 2007 at 13:40.
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Old 23rd January 2007, 23:42   #6
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Thanks GTO, Moralfibre, Extreme n roms.
@ extreme - i remember a orange 1.2 and a silver 1.6 in the background of the sep 2001 review. The 1.6 seemed as though she had rear fog lights in the bumper.
@ roms - damn! would've liked to have known that better. No wonder no one could drive her properly. Thanks for the advise. Don't think i would get to drive her anytime now unless she comes to Mumbai. But right now, im dreaming of the Fiat Linea 1.9 JTD. That is one car i would love to buy. She is one irressistable piece of machinery.

Cheers guys!
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Old 28th December 2008, 14:25   #7
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This trip to India had a huge surprise in store for me.
She's back, a few battle scars and some work required. Some shady seat covers and a dirty interior.
Odo reads 64000km, but in reality, I am sure its higher (faulty odo).

Watch this space, as a proper update is coming soon!
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Old 22nd August 2009, 23:26   #8
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Hey guys,
the car has been sold. I wish I could drive her once but from what I heard, it was best avoided.
We spent a bomb on repairing her (Nearly 90,000 INR), but small problems were always there, and then there were some more. In her later days she started overheating, and it was decided that it would be best to sell her off, as no one really used her much, or had time and the resources to do her up and keep her running.

Mods please close this thread. It has served its purpose, and since I will not be able to help prospective owners of the 1.6 Sport, as I haven't driven her much at all in the last few years.

Last edited by Rehaan : 24th August 2009 at 14:05. Reason: Title edited, but leaving the thread open as other members might find points to discuss here in the future. Cheers.
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