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Old 2nd September 2008, 16:39   #1
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Default FIAT Adventure 12000 kms review

A review on team-bhp was due on me, considering the fact that team-bhp did contributed a lot in finalizing my Adventure.
The initial hunting, surveying, and then buying this adventure is in itself a long story. And I suppose the heart over mind decision, and fighting your friends and closed ones for buying a FIAT is common for almost all FIAT owners. What was difficult for me was that, Adventure got discontinued by the time i finalized it, and secondly it wasn't available in Gurgaon or anywhere near NCR.
However it was the car itself which gave me solid reasons for buying it, otherwise be it FIAT or TATA guys they were almost like giving me reasons as to why shouldn't I buy it.
The existing owners of Adventures also helped me a lot in finalizing this decision, specially Gemi and Omar.
So finally I got this car from Siaram motors from Agra on 7th No. 2007, and drove it back to gurgaon. Since now I have clocked 12000 kms and done two services.

Interiors:
The interiors are the thing which are sufficient unless you are sitting at rear. The front seats are just sufficient for a drivers comfort. What I liked most is that the seat height, which is close to a seating posture, not like a laid back posture of other cars. Also the sporty pedals are really fantastic and gives good feeling. The drawback is that the steering column is almost touching my knees, and every times i shift between braking and acceleration, the knee touches it (nothing of a big issue).
Next best thing is the OEM integrated leather steering cover and gear knob. It gives a solid grip with elegant looks. The dashboard is utility based, strong and sturdy. But the plastic looks are not appealing, rather its repelling, be it the grains or the finish or the colour of it.
The instrument panel adds to the good looks of steering column. At night when all the lights of instrument panel are lit up, it looks like some control room.
For the rear passengers the leg space is sufficient provided you are shorter than 5 feet 6 inches. In short the rear leg space is less than required.
And the more you talk about the boot, it seems more is left. It is really a truck if you acknowledge the space available. And in some minor shifting of household items it works as a truck.
Another plus point is NVH standards. Although the 1600CC engine does make significant noise, but inside the car its completely silent, what you hear is just the refined grunt of engine when you press the accelerator.
But at speeds above than 100, the road noise does becomes significant. In fact to show it to my brother that its not engine sound, i pulled the car to 120kmph, and then switched off the engine, the noise was still existing. I know this act was stupid, and wont repeat it again.
Also once you cross 120 mark the noise of air passing by is also significant. But for trucks aerodynamics is not primary feature.

Exteriors:
Everything about exterior in this car is stunning. The well built chassis, the strong thud sound of doors while closing, are well known features for all FIATs. Its height is more than average cars or station wagon, and the double roof rails, bull bars, Alloy wheels, halogen lamps, high ground clearance adds to it. Its prominent and distinct. If you put on all the lights at night, it looks like some flood lights are on. All together it keeps on reminding you that its meant for adventure trips.

Suspension:
Another thing which distinguish Adventure form other cars is its suspension. FIAT is well known for handling the Indian roads efficiently, and if we add to it the all wheel independent suspension, Pirelli tyres, than you are into a class apart segment in terms of ride comfort. The way you keep on cruising over potholes spoils you, and you know it when you are driving some other car.

Handling and Braking:
The handling is a typical cruiser type. You can cruise it upto 150+ and you will never feel that car is getting out of control, the moment you hit the brakes, it stops in a straight line without any swaying. But the big turning radius, roll over at turns compared to other cars, reminds that you are not driving mini, and its a station wagon which is 1230Kgs heavy and provides you stable grounded drive.
But the lacking point is the braking. Its really really spongy, I suppose this is the feature which is experienced by all FIAT cars. I don’t know whether it has some technical point behind it or not. For normal traffic the brakes are fine, but if in emergency you need harsh braking, then the car actually takes more distance than the predicted. The initial response is fine, but the stopping point looks as if its delayed by a second or two. I had few closed shaves due to this.
Another thing i like is the feel of handbrake, like in normal sedans the handbrakes are very light, and gives you a feel of clicking a switch, but in adventure the clicks are more strong and hard.

Engine and Gear Box:
Engine is quite powerfull and does deliver you its 100bhp, but as the car is really heavy so the initial pick up is a bit sluggish. Once in momentum, you can easily pull the car to 150+.
The gear shifting is really sweet, no vibrations in gearing knob at all. The gear fits into slots perfectly like a lock without any play. Infact I was habitual of using the knob as a sort of arm rest, but when I read in manual that by putting even slightest pressure on gear knob after shifting gears can damages the gear spokes, I stopped using it as armrest.

Fuel economy:
I get a FE of 10 with a mix of city and highway traffic with 100% AC. Nothing surprising, I suppose if you load any 1600cc engine with 1230 weight, you will get similar figures.
However never actually measure it on longer trips. Hopefully it will be more.

Service:
In gurgaon Dhingra motors has just started selling FIATs, so I was reluctant to go there for my service. I called FIAT and they suggested me to go to either Sanya motors in mayapuri or Vivek Automobiles at mathura road.
I took it to Sanya motors, there was one more palio for servicing, rest all were TATA cars. The guy who was doing service got involved in fighting with some of his colleagues. I was amazed as to what is happening. Anyways he showed me my Air filter box which was filled with pieces of paper which were sticking to it. He told me they must be lying there for longer period and rats must have accumulated them, and during PDI they should have been taken care of. I shooted a mail to FIAT and got a typical FIAT reply.
Also during service I complained for engine noise, and the guy put the analyzer to check it, but there was some problem with analyzer. So at the end of day I wasn't satisfied with Sanya motors.
For second service I took my car to Vivek autmobiles, 60 km from my home. Here I was more than disappointed. What was done in the name of service was changing of filters and oils. Nothing was done as per the tasks mentioned on service leaflet. Later I refused to sign the service leaflet and asked why the mentioned tasks were not done, the service advisor told me with a grin that "sir ye sab faaltu likha hai, iski jarurat nahi hai". When i asked him whether FIAT is a fool that they have written these tasks, or he knows more than FIAT, his grin vanished. I signed on leaflet mentioning all the tasks which were not performed. Got a call in couple of days from FIAT to take back my car to Vivek to get all the tasks done. I did that but even then few tests were not performed.
so in short, be it Sanya or Vivek, you should be 100% sure of what you want to get done on you car, and you have to stand on their head to get them done.
Infact I am looking for some better place in NCR where I can get professional response for my third service. I would request FIAT owners to suggest me a good place.

Spares:
Well spares availability is a issue. Actually all the running spares which are essential for running of a car are available, but for other spares there is still a waiting period. I waited for some parts for more than 4 months, luckily they weren’t critical ones, so it didn't stalled me from driving my car.
What makes me furious is that every time when i escalate the things, i get a reply that, sir this model is discontinued, so it will take time. It felt like being cheated. Also FIAT has hiked the prices of spares by a considerably amount.
At times I feel that FIAT is thinking that they will change their fortune by simply leaving their existing issues (After sales support), just by introducing new models. I suppose 90% of people who buy a FIAT does that by the positive feedbacks about the car from existing users, and 90% of people who wanted to buy a FIAT, but didn't buy it, does it because of such sad episodes of bad After sales support.
Maybe FIAT thinks that they have got the magic potion of TATA and all their issues will be solved.

Issues:
I got a lot of issues with my Adventure. This is my first car, so I am not sure as to whether it is common to have these issues or I am the exclusive case.
Following items got replaced under warranty
One defogger line of rear windshield was not working, so rear windshield was changed under warranty. Was available on time.
The front electrical switch for sliding windows was not showing light in background, so got it replaced under warranty. Was available on time.
The clock was very hazy, and segments were not prominent, so got it replaced under warranty. Wasn't available and waited for 3 months for the same.
Got moisture in left headlight, got it replaced under warranty. Was available after three weeks waiting period.
Rear left Taillight cluster got broken by a biker. Got it replaced and paid 1700 for it. Was available after 2 weeks.

During the installation of rear windshield the mechanic broke the plastic panel at rear boot door. Its two months old incident, and I am still waiting to get an idea, as to when can i get it replaced.
The top roof rails has to e replaced as there was a scratch at the time of purchase, the spares are available after a waiting period of two weeks, but i want to get the Door panel also installed at same time, so i am waiting for it.
Another Issues which need to be addressed:
The paint on bonnet is getting small tiny holes at few places. When initially I told this, the vivek automobiles got it buffed (Don’t know why buffing was required for that), but now the holes are increasing,
Also just below the side glass at boot area, the paint has faded in patches. If I polish it, it gets normal, but when I wash the car, they it become visible.
A couple of times the rpm of my car drops down, when the car is at stand still, and it keeps in fluctuating below 900 mark.
The doors are giving slightly creaking sounds at rough roads.
So will show these issues to some senior guy in service department.


All in all, to summarize my overall experience, If I have a option of buying another car and Fiat adventure, I will still go for Fiat Adventure. I will give it 8 out of 10. 1.5 marks less for poor after sales support, and half marks less for less rear leg space, less front head space and poor braking.

Last edited by hrsraghav : 2nd September 2008 at 16:43.
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Old 2nd September 2008, 17:26   #2
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That's a nice review.

And the issues you have faced are very common Adventure issues.
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Old 2nd September 2008, 23:12   #3
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saar

samyak/elegant ki kahaniyan are legendary. wonder why you went to others but not samyak? Architect can give you their number. They will help.
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Old 2nd September 2008, 23:25   #4
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Wow!. Wait for the best long term review award!!!!
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Old 2nd September 2008, 23:29   #5
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Try Samyak. They are good. Ask for Ajay and explain your problems.
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Old 3rd September 2008, 10:00   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
saar

samyak/elegant ki kahaniyan are legendary. wonder why you went to others but not samyak? Architect can give you their number. They will help.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderernomad View Post
Try Samyak. They are good. Ask for Ajay and explain your problems.
Thanks guys, will surely go there for future services.
I was told by the TATA-FIAT service group, that Sanya and Vivek are amongst the best.
Sanya don't have proper skilled manpower and tools for FIAT, and Vivek has strong attitude problem.
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Old 3rd September 2008, 15:55   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hrsraghav View Post
Thanks guys, will surely go there for future services.
I was told by the TATA-FIAT service group, that Sanya and Vivek are amongst the best.
Sanya don't have proper skilled manpower and tools for FIAT, and Vivek has strong attitude problem.
Vivek Auto people have a serious attitude problem. That is really quite sad, because they have the biggest set-up and service the maximum number of Fiats.

Next time, try Samyak (now called Elegant Cars). My experience with them has been good. Atleast they seem more committed.

Except for the RPM dropping, you don't seem to have any serious mechanical / electrical problem. Fellows in PUG can help you out, as it seems to be a common issue on Petrol Palios.
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Old 4th September 2008, 10:52   #8
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Some pictures of Adventure.
Attached Thumbnails
FIAT Adventure 12000 kms review-19012008392.jpg  

FIAT Adventure 12000 kms review-25022008435.jpg  

FIAT Adventure 12000 kms review-14122007305.jpg  

FIAT Adventure 12000 kms review-14082008561.jpg  

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Old 4th September 2008, 10:59   #9
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Before and after some playing.
Attached Thumbnails
FIAT Adventure 12000 kms review-img_08582.jpg  

FIAT Adventure 12000 kms review-29122007343.jpg  

FIAT Adventure 12000 kms review-picture-0051.jpg  

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Old 7th September 2008, 12:45   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hrsraghav View Post
The drawback is that the steering column is almost touching my knees, and every times i shift between braking and acceleration, the knee touches it (nothing of a big issue).
Hey Raghav, the steering is adjustable in the Adventure! .... just search for the lever on the column and fix it, in fact this is one of the features of the Adventure I really like..try it.
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Old 9th September 2008, 11:43   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manoj Biswas View Post
Hey Raghav, the steering is adjustable in the Adventure! .... just search for the lever on the column and fix it, in fact this is one of the features of the Adventure I really like..try it.
Yaa, and If I lower the steering, the steering wheel touches my things.
So its best when its fully upwards.
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