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Old 5th May 2007, 10:57   #1
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Default Fiat Palio 1.6 Sport 10,883 kms Report.

Car make: Fiat Palio 1.6 Sport
Year of Manufacture: G-06 i.e.July 2006
Purchase and Date of registration: 03Nov'06

On-Road Price: Rs. 5,30,627/-
Discount: Rs. 85,000/-
Cost to buy: Rs. 4,45,627/-
Freebies: Mud flaps, Sun Film and floor mats.

Aftermarket accessories:

ICE! HU: Pioneer 7650
Front Speakers: Infinity ref 5010cs
Rear Speakers: Alpine S-Type 6x9

I was on the lookout for a Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX for more than a year. After seeing about 20-25 cars and rejecting them for either being overpriced or badly maintained, I decided to settle for a new car. I almost bought an S10 but after checking the service history realized that the car had been through a bad accident and had a broken A-Pillar in the gamble. The owner did not reveal this fact to me but after making several rounds to the service station I got informed that the car had a bad knock. A bad experience with used cars it was! I decided to buy a new car instead of playing a gamble with a used car. Heard about heavy discounts on Palio's and walked into Jay-Vijay motors Pune. The sales representative Mr. Sandeep Deshmukh was very helpful with a test drive and other documents required. He showed me the car and July 2006 was the latest they had. Completed all the documentation work and took delivery of the car on 03rd Nov'06 with 32kms on the Odo.

As I shut the doors an instant thud greeted me to the drivers seat. I was assured of the build quality standards maintained by Fiat. The new car smell gives a very nice feeling. Went to work with the new car and did not inform any of my friends at work about my latest acquisition. At lunch most of my close buddies at work came by and congratulated me saying they knew it couldn't be anyone else who would buy a "Fiat"!!! LOL, inspite of my initial refusal of owning that car they seemed pretty confident about the deal. Finally took everyone for a short spin in the car and everyone was taken aback by the build quality and interior space offered in a hatch. A friend who owns an Indica diesel exclaimed "The doors must be made of heavy gauge steel". Showed him the engine bay and he says why have they plonked such a big engine in the bay? There is no space for anything else here to which I said I have a trunk to take care of my luggage. Made him lift the bonnet and he praised quality. Made me feel nice of course. People asked me for the keys to take a drive and I ran up saying I will miss a conference call.

Took the car to Bombay on Saturday and it was a pain to drive at varying speeds lesser than 50 kmph. Being patient helps. The car had just done 60 kms by then. Tanked up at the first HP petrol pump to check the highway mileage. On the way back from Bombay in the evening, tanked up at HP petrol pump at First toll gate and the car gave a mileage above 14 with 100% AC. Not bad considering I drove up to Nariman point and I was stuck up in traffic jams on both ways. A point of concern for me in this journey was the temperature gauge which kept steady at 50% and this was very very new to me. I have been driving Maruti's and Hyundai's until now where the temperature gauge sticks to 1/4th mark and doesn't move but here it was going upto 50% with AC and a mm or two below without AC. SMSed a friend who is a Palio 1.2 user and he said it is normal and I should ensure it doesn't go over the half way mark. I was still not satisfied and decided to take a second opinion and messaged Determinus who assured that it is normal. Came back to Pune and I was very very tired of driving below 50 kmph all the way and keeping the rpm varying.

Clocked about 400-500 kms in total till 16th of November when I decided to drive a bunch of friends to Alibaug for a weekend. A new car gives you a spring up your butt and you just tend to find every excuse to drive it. I drove to the nearest grocery store which should not be more than 100 meters away whereas normally I would walk although I had a bike. I wanted to drive to Alibaug through a different route hence chose: Pune - Mulshi - Mangaon - Roha - Alibaug route. The roads were pretty decent and I had to go slow anyways hence the small patches of bad roads did not bother me. Went easy with the car and had fun on the twisties etc. On the return trip I heard a distinct noise from the engine bay, immediately my eyes went to the temperature gauge but it looked fine. I was already on the expressway on the return journey since I chose the Alibaug - Panvel - Pune route. Decided to drive on until the first toll gate. Tanked up the car and the FE this time was 15.4 kmpl I was mighty impressed with it. Tried to check the sound from the engine bay but couldn't detect anything. The sound was like a loud whine. I could only point the source to an area where the belts are. Back to Pune and off to Jay-Vijay service station the next day. They said that the noise was from the timing belt tensioner and they will replace it under warranty. I was asked to return in the evening to collect my car. Unlike regular times, I decided to leave my car in their hands without personal inspection. When I picked up the car the noise had gone and they showed me a bearing like thing that was replaced. It had "Made in Germany" inscribed on it and was supposedly the timing belt tensioner. I said thank you to them and left.

For my first service I decided to try B.U. Bhandari (A Tata-Fiat dealership) since I heard that Ashwamegh (A Fiat dealer converted into Tata-Fiat dealer) had shut shop and majority of its staff had moved to B.U. Bhandari. Ashwamegh had always had good reviews for customer service. Since the first service did not involve anything major I could take a chance with B.U. Bhandari. The service quality levels offered by B.U. Bhandari are way above any other dealer in Pune. They have a state of art workshop spread over a huge estate off Pune - Bangalore bypass. I think they have about 80 well equipped bays with a separate department for each job. To sum up in short, they have a workshop which I haven't seen any other dealer have and that includes Mercedes Benz in Pune too. Ample parking space, clean toilets, an airconditioned customer lounge with Auto magazines, etc. They had all tools and labour required to service Fiat cars and I enquired about a few rare to find spare parts and they already had them in stock! I knew the Asst. Works Manager there but did not choose that route to get good service. Walked into the reception and a Service advisor came to me asking me how he could help. I informed him that my car was due for its first free service. He promptly documented all complaints and asked for any other problems with the car. I told him that I will stand by my car when it is being serviced and he did not have any problems with it. The standard practice followed was:

1) Take the car on the washing bay ramp, do an underbody and engine bay wash.
2) Drive in to the service station. Cover the fenders with protection. Use plastic on the seats, steering wheel and the gear knob to ensure that it doesn't get stained or dirty.
3) Open the manual and check all requirements for first service.
4) Check the job card. (I asked for an oil filter change) Added an oil filter.
5) Topped up engine oil with the standard grade oil.
6) Checked all fluid levels.
7) Connect car to the examiner. Since I was available next to the car I mentioned the temperature gauge reading problem and they checked the engine temperature on the examiner. It showed 98 degrees with AC which was normal. I requested that the car be driven with the examiner connected and they did it for me and the result was the same. I heaved a sigh of relief.
8) Checked all electricals.
9) Observed that the clutch travel wasn't free enough. The clutch in the Palio is hydraulic and they did bled the clutch until it became soft enough.
10) Fill in the job card with everything that is done and post a review of the car and the service advisor+mechanic and me went for a test drive again. No issues seen. Service advisor asked for the list of jobs done on the drive and the mechanic explained each of them.
11) After about 20 minutes I went into the billing section and here is where the dealer loses marks. They made me wait for like half an hour to get the billing done. The total bill came up to somewhere around 300 bucks and I have the bill with me.
12) The car just came out of the washing bay. The interiors were vacuumed neatly using industrial vacuum cleaners. They were applying dashboard polish and some detailing material for the external vinyl. They also used some lubricant from Wuerth for the door hinges, locks and some more moving parts. Paper placed on the driver side door mat to ensure I do not dirty the car again.
13) Tried to slip in a Rs. 50/- note to the mechanic who worked on the car and for the good job he did. He plainly refused and threatened to complain to the management if I insist anymore. He asked me to come again any time for any problems I face. A 100 marks to his honesty!
13) Drove out with a smile and rated them 5***** for a good service experience and called up the Asst. Works manager to inform him about my experience and also a friend who owns an Adventure.

__________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ____________________________

A drive of a lifetime and me falling in love over and over again

Completed my running in and was excited to drive out of Pune again. Did a few trips to Bombay but the route doesn't excite me. Called up a few friends in Mid - December and decided to drive to Goa for new years eve. Set out for Goa on 28th December night. I had 4 friends in the car and I was doing a comfortable 100kmph for most of the journey. Made it to Goa in 8 hours. Had fun driving on Goa roads and they are the best I have ever come across in my life.

01Jan'07 0200 hrs. Friends father calls that his mother is in a critical condition and has been admitted in ICU. He gets restless to get back to Pune. We know that there isn't going to be any mode of transport at this time of the night on a new years eve. Decided to drive him to Pune drop him and come back. Buss no questions asked started off at 0230 and reached Kolhapur toll booth at around 05:45 hrs. Decided to sleep at twilight at the toll gate itself. Slept for an hour and made it to Pune by 11:45 and came back to Goa at about 1900 hrs. Drive of a life time. The car kept me company and I wasn't too sleepy though I pinching myself to ensure I dont fall off to sleep. Partied hard on 1st and 2nd and returned to Pune. The best FE I got was around 16.5 kmpl. Considering that I drove almost 2,200 kms in less than a week.

Enjoy a few pics:









End of Part 1. (Please ignore any spelling/gramatical mistakes. I haven't reviewed the post)
To be continued in Part 2...
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Old 5th May 2007, 12:26   #2
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Wow, MoralFibre... That was an excellent and comprehensive review. Congrats on listening to your heart and choosing the 1.6 - you seem to be having a dream run! The pics are awesome too. Looking forward to Part 2.


(Possibly) OT: Well, I am quite keen on getting the new 1.6 Stile Sport too (though i liked the old one better), but predictably, there're a million dissenting voices around. The unavailability of a demo car doesnt make things easier too.
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Old 5th May 2007, 13:17   #3
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Good review and a great car!
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Old 5th May 2007, 13:36   #4
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Very nice review of a fabulous looking car! A red Palio 1.6 looks mouth-wateringly delicious. How about changing the alloy wheels? Am not too big on the stock design.
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Old 5th May 2007, 13:49   #5
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Nice review.

I always feel bad that I did not wait for a few more months and get a little more money and buy 1.6 instead of 1.2 NV I have.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
How about changing the alloy wheels? Am not too big on the stock design.
The very thought of hunting for a 98 PCD alloy is dissuading enough for people not to try it I guess.
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Old 5th May 2007, 14:06   #6
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Quote:
The very thought of hunting for a 98 PCD alloy is dissuading enough for people not to try it I guess.
Is it that hard to find? I have seen a good number of Palios with after-market alloys. Am sure competent dealers could source the same. Or is it?
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Old 5th May 2007, 14:15   #7
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From what I have heard from various alloy wheel dealers in Bangalore, it is difficult to get 98 PCD alloys. They always advised me to get 100 PCD ones and alter the alloys and I was not too enthusiastic about doing that. It is a different matter that I do not have the budget for alloys now, but that was the situation when I had some budget and was looking for them.
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Old 6th May 2007, 08:25   #8
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I can agree to every word wrritten.
Just came back after a long drive..... The more you... drive... it... the more you understand the dynamics of the car.....

Cheers!! to FIAT
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Old 6th May 2007, 13:29   #9
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A very well written review Moral. The Palio in formula red looks amazing.

Quote:
The doors must be made of heavy gauge steel
Quote:
why have they plonked such a big engine in the bay?
Quote:
There is no space for anything else here to which I said I have a trunk to take care of my luggage.
Quote:
People asked me for the keys to take a drive and I ran up saying I will miss a conference call.


Are you considering any mods on the car in the near future like KnN, exhaust??
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Old 6th May 2007, 14:20   #10
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Thumbs up Palio 1.6 Rocks!!!

Great writeup moralfibre!!!

I too bought a FRed Palio 1.6 around the same time and have clocked ~7500Km till now. I am based in Delhi and have done Delhi-Jaipur twice along with one Delhi-Agra and one Delhi-Dehradun trip.
Was planning a Delhi-Chandigarh and a Delhi-Lansdowne run but sadly had a bad accident last month
Now waiting for the car to be repaired. As for FE, I have not got those great numbers. One a few highway runs that I checked, I got somewhere around 13kmpl (without AC).

@GTO: me too didnt like the palio 1.6 alloys much (Alfa Romeo inspired albeit), but it is classy thats for sure!
If I ever go for a different set of alloys in future, it will be an all black one like this one:

ImageShack - Hosting :: mmrgt1blackwg7.jpg
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Old 6th May 2007, 15:33   #11
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A good report of an excellent car (read engine). Its a very solid one and the secure feel it gives on highways even at 120+ speeds is unmatched.
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Old 6th May 2007, 16:48   #12
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very nice report dude.
GTO you know that finding alloys for palio is a mission impossible.
i think he needs only to change his tyres as i like the look of these stock alloys.

Last edited by payam : 6th May 2007 at 16:49.
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Old 6th May 2007, 17:13   #13
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great stuff moral...we need more like you to spread the Fiat Gospel...may your tribe increase! the car really does deserve better than what its getting...still drives so much better than the other "modern" copetition...
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Old 6th May 2007, 17:36   #14
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Nice one there Moralfibre. There are really very few DM series Palios around, and if I see a red one, I will immediately know its yours :P .
This review sounds really tempting... Might go for my very first set of wheels a few months from now. A used Palio might fall into my (low) budget.
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Old 6th May 2007, 17:37   #15
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Very well done moral,That car looks fabulously maintained.
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