Go Back   Team-BHP > BHP India > Team-BHP Reviews > Long-Term Ownership Reviews


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 31st January 2007, 12:58   #1
BHPian
 
prabuddhadg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 731
Thanked: 45 Times
Default The Petra 1.6 is a great car for the highway

I am not sure where to post this, so, since I am writing about how this car feels, I am posting in this thread. Mods do please take over if you feel otherwise.
Just did a terrific trip. This was my first longish drive in my Petra 1.6. I had been planning to do some trip or the other for quite some time. So, when a relative suggested a one day drive to Daman, a return trip of close to 350km, during the long Republic day week-end, I grabbed the opportunity.
We started from Kandivili East where our relatives live, at 8:30 in the morning. Two cars, my Petra and an Indigo diesel. After about half an hour, having crossed the Dahisar Check naka, I started raising the revs.
There were enough trucks to slow our progress, but in a way, it was a good thing, since I would have gone on and on picking up speed. This car feels rock steady. You can imagine, I had my wife and my mother-in law with me, and while I was constantly ranging between 60 and 120 (slowing for the trucks), they were dozing off every once in a while. Of course, a lot of it was because the road was pretty good, but still, you can not take away from the great car.
I had the windows rolled up, to keep the car clean. So, we never got to know how cold or hot it was outside, but generally, the insides remained cool and fresh. So, the conditions were perfect for a good drive.
As I drove along, overtaking trucks of all sizes, whenever I would reach one truck overtaking another, I would have to spend agonisingly long waiting for the behemoths to make enough room for me to slip by. At first, I did overtake some from the left, but these guys are so disciplined in their overtaking and letting the faster vehicle by, that I too soon picked up their good manners.
Now, at one point, every time I would have to slow down to overtake trucks, a Getz and a Qualis would come up behind, come up close to my left side, try overtaking the trucks from the left, hoot, and generally spoil the well oiled feel of the moment.
Now, what happens is this. The Qualis comes up close to my left with the Getz following, and starts blinking its right indicator. A truck is in front, slowly overtaking another. Now, as soon as the faster truck gets a few feet ahead of the slower one, the Qualis guy swings across, forcing me to brake a little to avoid contact. And man, am I displeased? So, I decide enough is enough. I have to teach this upstart a lesson.
By now the truck has almost finished overtaking. So, even as the Getz guy tries to follow suit past me, I downshift to 3rd. And the gentle giant (if you can call a 1.6 that) wakes up. And roars. Man, that is music to my ears. And the Getz just shrinks in my rear view. I go from 60 to 120 like that! And in doing that, I realise the Qualis too is behind. I maintain 120-130 for about a minute. By now all the displeasure is forgotten. I have a happy grin pasted on that same old frowning face.
And I was hooked. I made sure I did not maintain 120+ for more than 3-4 minutes at a strech, though it was usually shorter, perforce, with all the trucks. But what I must say, is that this car feels rock steady. And very stiff and sorted. At one point, a fast straight stretch led to a curve which I entered at about 100-110. Into the curve, I realised the curve was not as gentle as I had earlier thought. But still, I did not need to slow down, there was no tyre squeal and the steering felt in full control. In fact, I think I left the curve faster than I entered it. Also, there was almost no body roll, and my ma-in law actually commented on a nice looking hillock that we were passing just at that moment, which goes to show how comfortable she was even under those circumstances.
Till Vapi, except for the toll gates, there was no dense traffic, and I got ample opportunities to listen to the car at 4000-5000 rpm. Then on to Daman and back was without incident. Again on the drive back, it was between me and the Petra and the road. With fewer trucks now, I did some nice speeds. I did not go beyond 150, since I have stock tyres which though new, I do not want to find their limit the hard way. But even at 150, there was no reduction in the steering feel and the car in general felt as planted and steady as at 120.
Of course closer to Bombay, the traffic had to get worse and we got home after 3 and a half hours of driving with headaches from the last hour in bad traffic.
Finally, I must tell all you guys who have not listened to a Fiat 1.6 engine, you just must. Its heavenly. Its not shrill, its not too gruff. Its the perfect baritone, a kind of serious I mean business sound without being show-off'ish, if you know what I mean. And of course, its not all thunder without rain. This car can move. Its just great for the highway. Its balanced, it does not roll, it has minimal vibrations. In a nutshell, it behaves like an executive when you ask it to, and like an athlete as your demand changes. So, finally, if you can for a moment ignore FIAT, for driving, the Petra 1.6 is a great car.
Oh, and by the way, I did a tank full at the start and again just back home, and I got an FE of about 15.5 kmpl for the 349km I covered.
prabuddhadg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st January 2007, 13:12   #2
Senior - BHPian
 
satish_appasani's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 1,033
Thanked: 45 Times
Default

That is one nice review. I can feel your excitement. Fun with Fiat cars is one of the many reasons why we Fiat owners always forgive Fiat India for their dismissal support (short supply of spares and attention to detail).

Two weeks back I drove my Palio D to my hometown and back (440 KMS one way). I was as excited as you and had loads of fun. I drove alone all the way and there was not one single moment of boredom.
satish_appasani is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st January 2007, 13:16   #3
BHPian
 
sreenivass's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Bangalore India
Posts: 872
Thanked: 6 Times
Default

That 15.5 is a good FE for Petra. You have put down the character of the car on highway very well. I did up to 145+ KMPH and the car inspires confidence to go further. Rock and roll my friend. Your FE seems better than mine, I achieved 13.5 max on highways.
sreenivass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st January 2007, 14:10   #4
Senior - BHPian
 
himanshugoswami's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: !!!!
Posts: 2,006
Thanked: 1,018 Times
Default

Thats a great report man! the Petra and Palio are great highway cars. Considering the speeds you kept, 15.5 is an amazing FE.
himanshugoswami is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st January 2007, 14:41   #5
BHPian
 
prabuddhadg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 731
Thanked: 45 Times
Default

Its such an interesting car to drive, I have been disregarding FE almost completely, except to make sure the car is free from flaws. And after having driven an 800 for over four years, and a four year average FE of over 16 kmpl, with almost no highway driving, you can imagine how affected I would be with a city FE of 8.5.
Oh, and thanks guys for the praise. Its just that i enjoy driving and the rest is the car talking.
prabuddhadg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st January 2007, 15:01   #6
BHPian
 
prabuddhadg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 731
Thanked: 45 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by satish_appasani View Post
That is one nice review. I can feel your excitement. Fun with Fiat cars is one of the many reasons why we Fiat owners always forgive Fiat India for their dismissal support (short supply of spares and attention to detail).

Two weeks back I drove my Palio D to my hometown and back (440 KMS one way). I was as excited as you and had loads of fun. I drove alone all the way and there was not one single moment of boredom.
You know Satish, my Daman drive has inspired me (and now my wife too has started looking at it as a distinct possibility) to do a Bombay Goa drive in one go. Its 600km, and usually takes 12 hours with lunch and snacks breaks. I can now actually understand what you mean when you say 'exciting drive'.
prabuddhadg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st January 2007, 15:02   #7
Senior - BHPian
 
typeOnegative's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Vikhroli, Mumbai, India
Posts: 1,502
Thanked: 20 Times
Default

Prabuddha. You have captured the spirit of the Petra so well. Everytime I feel upset about the company, I have to only wait to take this beauty out on those long and winding roads to feel the thrill and the excitement of a perfectly well balanced car and a gem of an engine.

I have done 170 on this vehicle and have not heard a complaint from the chassis or the engine. And the truth is that the car does come into its own on the highway. Nice review.

The best highway economy I have got on the Petra is close to 16kmpl (15.97 kmpl to be a bit more precise). Of course now I do not drive for consumption records anymore. LOL
typeOnegative is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st January 2007, 17:26   #8
BHPian
 
greatDrive's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 546
Thanked: 4 Times
Default

Last long weekend I also did a Long trip (950km overall) in my petra. from Bangalore- Tumkur- Shimoga-Agumbe- Udupi- Mangalore-Hassan-bangalore. Have writen my Trip report in the travelogue Section.

Car felt rock solid on all kinds of Road, It just glides on Highways.. I got a milage of around 15kmpl(including 2-3 hrs of City Driving in Bangalore).

cheers
GD

Last edited by greatDrive : 31st January 2007 at 17:44.
greatDrive is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st February 2007, 20:44   #9
BHPian
 
roms's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 640
Thanked: 22 Times
Default

That was a beautiful review Prabuddha.Enjoyed it and read it twice.As others have already mentioned, you've done justice to that divine 1.6 engine by brilliantly putting down the character of the engine in words.It shows how 'one' you are with the car.Its not a massively fast car,but it does everything it can with aplomb.

I liked the last paragraph where you urge others to atleast experience the FIAT 1.6 engine once.And I agree to that completely.Dont buy it for whatever the reasons.But drive it on a wide open road or in the twisties and do justice to your life.You will be mesmerised.Not because it is fast,but because its a near perfect package.Driving nirvana at the price of peanuts I say.

For mumbaikars, i'm sure everyone is aware of the long left hander just after the domestic airport on the western express highway,the road towards bandra.Or the tight right hand bend on the flyover towards reclamation/s.v road. Those are two roads where the Palio / Petra 1.6 would virtually be unmatched in terms of handling and body control.Yeah the Octi RS would probably be better,but at 3 times the price of the Palio.

Hoping you have really great times ahead with your car Prabuddha.

P.S- Prabuddha,great fe as well, considering you drove it the way it should be driven.I got around 18 on the same highway last month and overall f.e was around 16.5 kmpl.But I did not really drive fast.

Last edited by roms : 1st February 2007 at 20:49.
roms is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st February 2007, 21:14   #10
Senior - BHPian
 
typeOnegative's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Vikhroli, Mumbai, India
Posts: 1,502
Thanked: 20 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by roms View Post
P.S- Prabuddha,great fe as well, considering you drove it the way it should be driven.I got around 18 on the same highway last month and overall f.e was around 16.5 kmpl.But I did not really drive fast.
Whoa. Are those figures for real? I have to beat that now.
typeOnegative is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st February 2007, 21:23   #11
BHPian
 
roms's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 640
Thanked: 22 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by typeOnegative View Post
Whoa. Are those figures for real? I have to beat that now.
yup typO, its the same car that does not deliver more than 8-9 kmpl in mumbai.I was pretty shocked myself and kept checking and re-checking the figures.I drove at 80-90 kmh on the mum-guj highway and got around 18.Probably you should drive at 55-60 kmh and try beating me

Last edited by roms : 1st February 2007 at 21:26.
roms is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st February 2007, 21:30   #12
Senior - BHPian
 
finneyp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 2,619
Thanked: 160 Times
Default

Very interesting drive blog Prabuddha!

Yes, I too feel the same thrill when I drive my Palio 1.2 on highways, and with 1.6, it must be all heavens!

What a pity, such Excellent cars are ignored by people, who are hell bent on Service Centers in every Street!
finneyp is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 1st February 2007, 21:33   #13
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: pune
Posts: 2,088
Thanked: 48 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by roms View Post
Its not a massively fast car,but it does everything it can with aplomb..
Actually it is fast after 100+, where other cars either slowly start running out of breath or become unstable. Petra will obviously not be fast in league of VRs or even Civic/Corrolla, but in 1.6L category, it has enough punch to challenge any other car.

I drove down to Mumbai last weekend and had some fun with a beautiful white Civic. I was forced to drive at 60-80 kmph on Expressway (can you believe it?) since I had to accompany a slow moving Omni. So, while I was cruising at 60-70 with every tom/dick/harry zipping past, suddenly noticed a white Civic approaching fast with lights ON (3.00 pm) in the truckers' lane. In no time, he passed us and changed 2 lanes in front of me to jump right in fast lane. I was already pissed off after being forced to drive so slow, and required no second invitation :-) Immediately jumped on gas and followed him up. Few seconds later, I was approaching him with speedo reading 165. Car was absolutely stable with that nice engine boom (don't you love it?). I was expecting Civic to go faster but to my surprise, Civic decided to get into middle lane past 160 and gave me a way. I overtook him and slowed down back to 70 after few minutes. (Meanwhile, the Omni folks must have been cursing me for doing that sudden vanishing act).

No! It didn't mean that Petra is faster than Civic. Would be foolish to say that. But, it never felt slow compared to faster & more powerful 1.8 Civic.

OT: I have really started liking Civic (I am NO WAY a Honda fan). Strangely, to me, it appears as more modern cousin of Mitsubishi Lancer. I seriously need to get my brain checked.
RX135 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st February 2007, 23:28   #14
Senior - BHPian
 
typeOnegative's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Vikhroli, Mumbai, India
Posts: 1,502
Thanked: 20 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by roms View Post
I drove at 80-90 kmh on the mum-guj highway and got around 18.Probably you should drive at 55-60 kmh and try beating me
That my friend will be tough. :(

RX,

I think the guy was running in his car. Even I like the Civic, but sometimes, just sometimes when I see it from the side at a certain angle, it looks like a flying saucer.
typeOnegative is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd February 2007, 10:42   #15
BHPian
 
prabuddhadg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 731
Thanked: 45 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by roms View Post
Its not a massively fast car,but it does everything it can with aplomb....

...Dont buy it for whatever the reasons.But drive it on a wide open road or in the twisties and do justice to your life.You will be mesmerised.Not because it is fast,but because its a near perfect package.Driving nirvana at the price of peanuts I say.

...
I liked those statements.
It does make you feel like you are a great driver. You start to believe its your control that is making the turns and high speed lane changes so smooth.
Also, I think this engine has a pretty high end power band. Why I say this is that every car, including a Getz, a Ford Endeavour and for some time, an old badly maintained Lancer, that was following me on this Daman trip at say 100, did seem to fall away when I would accelerate. At low speeds, the Petra does feel sluggish, but over 60-70, it changes character. It sort of removes its Gucci shoes and dons a pair of sprinting spikes.
A few years ago, I had driven a Peugeot 305 SR, and had liked the way it handled. And now, the Petra. Man, I'm loving it.
prabuddhadg is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Nepal: Driving through the East West Highway (Mahendra Highway) Samratrek Travelogues 3 24th July 2016 12:26
Car(petra 1.6) Starting Problem - Review of Tata and Fiat service greatDrive Indian Car Dealerships 12 28th March 2007 11:39
Our great indian roads with great indian truck drivers... low_bass_makker Shifting gears 3 11th July 2006 01:15
great forum, great people and great cars... tadukuttan Introduce yourself 8 19th June 2006 10:52
Petra - Gonna be my first CAR - THANKS BHP manupriyam Hatchbacks 13 7th February 2005 02:07


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 22:57.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks