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Old 10th June 2010, 15:18   #46
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@Urban_Nomad - gr8 write up dost, read it end to end. Any thoughts on the interior quality (dashboard, etc). Asking as i am planning to pick up a car soon and the quality is something which is of concern. Also how has your service experience being so far (average cost, efficiency, etc)
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Old 10th June 2010, 20:41   #47
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City driving and FE

Of a total of 19 odd thousand kms on the car, a big majority came from city driving. At least 75% if not more. Lets see how the Linea fares on city tarmac.

We at T-Bhp look at a lot many things whilst analysing a car's capabilities viz. handling, 0-100 acceleration, steering feedback etc. However, a lot of these components never even come to play whilst driving in bumper to bumper city traffic, do they? What is considered though is the overall comfort of driving which comprises of various bits and pieces.

Most of us know that the Linea is equipped with a hydraulic power steering. After driving a non PS santro for good 7 odd yeras, a power steering was a very welcome creature feature. Mind you though, while this (Linea's) steering provides great feedback and is pretty direct on high speeds, it is a bit on the heavier side. You will definitely feel the weight on your arms at parking speeds. My daily commute to work is about 12 kms (one way). I do not feel too strained or anything, but I feel if someone is constantly having to manouvre this sedan in heavy traffic for say an hour + non stop, their arms might feel tired. That said, this could vary from person to person and needless to say, comments are welcome. Whats great though is the steering wheel design itself. The emotion + variant comes with a 3 spoke leather wrapped steering wheel with contours to place your thumbs. In fact, if you do hold the steering wheel in a way that your thumbs fit the contours provided, things get a lot comfortable. On the flip side, you will have troubles reaching the horn and invariably move the position of your hand if you need to honk (and I am guessing you do need / like to your ride to go honk honk quite often. Dont smile you bugger, I know you do. Linea has a great sounding horn by the way).

There are blue and me and music player / media player controls on the steering itself. However, some buttons, especially the change song / FM station and volume +/- buttons are particularly hard. I would have preffered a scroller type thingy.

But its not just our arms that are constantly working during our daily commute. Your legs too are put to the test as you press and release the clutch to upshift / downshift gears. And in comes the looooong clutch travel, which again, is also on the heavier side. Not crazy heavy, but if you have been accustomed to light clutches with a short travel, it will take you some time to get used to it. Its not a major grouse really but it does make me wonder why Fiat could not have provided a more comfortable unit? The steering part I totally understand (and actually love). But why the clutch.

But then again, you would not have to engage the clutch too often if you do not have to change gears too often now, would you? And you probably wont have to. The 2nd gear is to thank here. It pulls cleanly from as low as 10 kmph, all the way to 80. The car never feels strained even if you have been in this gear for long. But let me warn you my friend, below 1500 RPM, the Linea is almost dead. The 1st gear, gggrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, it make me MAD, HOPPING MAD. What a stupid little retard of a gear. Its been a year and I still have not gotten used to this. It probably has a retard brain of its own. There are time when the car pulls super smooth in 1st. However, there are times, when the car feels almost dead (this is after you have released the clutch) and then suddently lunges forward. Like it woke up from a nightmare or something. This cannot be good in bumper to bumper traffic. I know I will get tons of advice as to how I need to watch the way I release the gear, how much throttle etc etc. Drive the Linea for a day, you will know what I mean. I never had such an issue in my Rs 3.3 lac Santro.

My (city) driving tip - Try and upshift at 2500 RPM. You will feel no lag, no loss of power or "why the heck are you not moving you freaky lil Italian" feeling. My take, if in 2nd gear, rev it to approx 2800 RPM. Hold the 3rd gear till 2500, 4th again till 2500 - 2700. The point is acceleration is always available, instantly if the car is above 2000 RPM. Mind you, this is not the kind of acceleration that would make the hair on the back of your neck stand. But it is more than adequate for city driving.

I read somewhere on this forum itself, that people usually choose to upshift at 2000 RPM. I just want to mention this again, especially for all petrol Linea owners. Keep the upshift at 2500 people and you will not be disappointed. And I am not just talking acceleration. Your FE is not hit considerably either. Maybe a fall of 0.5 kmpl at the MAX (actually lesser). Just take my word for it. It makes for a lot better driving experience. And for downshifting, you see your car going below the 1500 RPM mark, I say downshift.

Misc. pointers :

There is not much I would like to talk on the gear shift quality except that it is good. Not great ...... good. I personally feel that the Swift has a great gearbox. Linea does not hold a candle to it. In fact, now that I think of it, the fifth gear at times requires a bit of effort to engage. This only crops up sometimes though and is not a regular thingy.

NVH levels are good and the engine is quite refined, super silent on idle even after one year. However, place your hand on the gear lever and you can feel some (mild) vibrations. Nothing jarring but not super smooth. The engine noise is contained as long as the car is under 3000 RPM. More on that in the "highway driving" section.

Brakes are great and ABS helps too. No loud screechy incidents to date but as mentioned in my previous post, I am quite happy with the stopping capability of my car.

Finally, I think it is important to conclude with the everpresent and arguably one of the most important (if not THE most important) question - "Average kya hai"?

So peeps, my average consumption (last tank fill) was 12.38 kmpl. Its all city driving. Well, I do get a stretch of roughly 2 kms which is absoluetly khaali in my daily commute of 12 kms (one way). So you can also consider it as approximately 80 - 85% city and 15 - 20% highway type driving, ACC on at 100% times set between 22 - 25 degrees. The best I have achieved is 14.5 kmpl and the worst was 10 (this was during my run in period).

Chaliye, aaj ke samaachaar samaapt. Catch you all tomorrow. See ya.

Last edited by Urban_Nomad : 10th June 2010 at 20:51.
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Old 10th June 2010, 20:54   #48
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One of the best reviews I have ever read. Very practical!
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Old 10th June 2010, 20:54   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scarecrow View Post
@Urban_Nomad - gr8 write up dost, read it end to end. Any thoughts on the interior quality (dashboard, etc). Asking as i am planning to pick up a car soon and the quality is something which is of concern. Also how has your service experience being so far (average cost, efficiency, etc)
Thanks crow bhai .

I have mentioned in my previous post, the plastic quality is tolerable mostly, but some parts are bilkul cheap. If car's interior quality is very high on your list, I do not think the Linea would score well. But do check it out yourself. I heard that the quality has improved in recent times, but I cannot say for sure.

Last edited by Urban_Nomad : 10th June 2010 at 20:55.
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Old 10th June 2010, 23:11   #50
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Yo urban nomad. Well what can I say? You have exactly put in what I had in mind when I test drove the linea. The clutch is real hard. After having put in close to 70-80000kms of driving with four different cars so far, this was one doubtful clutch I have come across until now. Half the time I had it only half pressed much to my own disbelief. Bad sense to make a clutch of this type.

Gearshift - spot on comments. Good but not great. The fiesta and swift are way ahead in this department. The honda gearshift is at best described as a joystick which is not too cool. The VW Polo gearshift looks like a joystick, but then when you operate it you know what a good gearshift is made of ! I really mean it. I dont appreciate two piece gearshifts with a round knob on top and a slender stick which again expands towards the bottom. I like a one piece shift which feels good for the hands.

The pulling power itself was not much of an issue with me though at times I had to revv real hard to get the heavy bull (if i may term the car so considering its engine capacity and weight) to start butting people upfront as though someone had bitten it.

Service is the last straw. It may be good, may not be good god only knows. Whatever be the case, its still full of assumptions and anticipations.

On ground clearance I did a quick walkthrough and find fiesta is 168mm, swift is 170mm, sx4 180mm on zxi and 170mm on vxi, the honda is the worst at 160mm + soft suspension, and the linea somewhere in between at 165mm. swift and fiesta no doubts are therefore good cars, and needless to say the men are back too :-) (what an idiotic way to market sx4)

Keep the review coming. And do post some photos.
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Old 11th June 2010, 16:07   #51
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Fabulous review you have got going mate. 5 stars all the way.
Congrats on the car though.

BTW, the thread is 4 pages strong but still no pictures, not done. Upload some soon.
Vocal white has been discontinued na? Now its Bossa Nova white, I wonder what the difference is?

Cheers
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Old 11th June 2010, 16:48   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schoudhury View Post
Post some pictures.
I guess we all are waiting for those .
And yes i must say, excellent writing style, hats off man.
Cheers
Thanks. The pics may have to wait. Laptop's been acting funky lately.

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Originally Posted by GeekSrik View Post
Service is the last straw. It may be good, may not be good god only knows. Whatever be the case, its still full of assumptions and anticipations.

On ground clearance I did a quick walkthrough

Keep the review coming. And do post some photos.
Thanks Geek and I agree with what you have penned down. The ground clearance is not much of an issue here in Pune, though I will admit to scraping the underbody on a couple of occassions. One such painful memory I recall was on a ramp leading to a parking space. A Wagon R went over it with ease. Linea - RRRRSHHHHHRREEEEEIIIKKKKKKKKKKKKKK. But I guess in a city like Bangy, one may have to be doubly careful, haina? The sump guard (thats what its called right?) is a welcome addition though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hiren.mistry View Post
Fabulous review you have got going mate. 5 stars all the way.
Congrats on the car though.

BTW, the thread is 4 pages strong but still no pictures, not done. Upload some soon.
Vocal white has been discontinued na? Now its Bossa Nova white, I wonder what the difference is?

Cheers
Thanks for taking the time out to post your comments Hiren bhai. But Laptop ne problem chhe. Pikchaar thoda late mein. Just FYI though, the car is totally stock. I mean, it does not have tints (I almost mis-spelled "tints". Would have invited an infraction pakka ).

And yes, Vocal White has been discontinued. Its only Bossa Nova now. Difference - Bossa Nova = pure / milky white ....... Vocal White = off white with a pearl effect.

Last edited by Urban_Nomad : 11th June 2010 at 16:53.
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Old 11th June 2010, 20:47   #53
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Urban_Nomad, amazing writing and a fabulous thread! I voted "5 stars" as well. There is something in Linea owners here. They are all great writers and great photographers. I am sure whenever your post your (i.e. your car's) photos here, you will not disappoint us :-)

Your reviews are very useful for prospective Linea buyers. Thanks for such informative and entertaining posts.

Any comments on the headlights? My apologies if you have already commented on it and somehow I missed it. I have heard and read that Linea's headlights are very good! I guess you will cover this under "highway driving", and needless to say, I am eagerly waiting for that post.

Regards,
-AD

P.S. I also liked your signature. I can totally relate to it. I have been living my life one weekend at a time too, although if a long drive is our definition of life, then, maybe I live my life one "long weekend" at a time ;-))

Last edited by Dr.AD : 11th June 2010 at 20:54.
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Old 12th June 2010, 09:38   #54
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frankly urban nomad, this is the only thing i am concerned with linea about the ground clearance. other than that i have no real concerns.
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Old 13th June 2010, 08:19   #55
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Great writing style, Urban_Nomad. As some one said in an earlier post, your review is highly practical (and useful, of course). Can you please tell us if that rear sun protection curtain is of any practical use?
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Old 13th June 2010, 08:54   #56
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A super detailed and honest review there!

12.38kmpl is pretty good.
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Old 14th June 2010, 16:35   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.AD View Post
Urban_Nomad, amazing writing and a fabulous thread! I voted "5 stars" as well. There is something in Linea owners here. They are all great writers and great photographers. I am sure whenever your post your (i.e. your car's) photos here, you will not disappoint us :-)

Your reviews are very useful for prospective Linea buyers. Thanks for such informative and entertaining posts.

Any comments on the headlights? My apologies if you have already commented on it and somehow I missed it. I have heard and read that Linea's headlights are very good! I guess you will cover this under "highway driving", and needless to say, I am eagerly waiting for that post.

Regards,
-AD

P.S. I also liked your signature. I can totally relate to it. I have been living my life one weekend at a time too, although if a long drive is our definition of life, then, maybe I live my life one "long weekend" at a time ;-))
Thanks AD. Good that you brought up the headlights bit. I missed to cover that. On my way back from work, I do encounter a few not so well lit areas. Frankly, low beam is not great, not great at all. I actually want recommendations for a bulb upgrade. The high beam is OK but I do not like to drive with the high beam on, especially on single lane roads.

And about my signature - well its a spinoff from the cheesy tag line (actually, I feel its the cheesiest line ever) in the movie "Fast and Furious" - "I live my life one quarter mile at a time. For those ten seconds or so, I am free". I just felt it was so cheesy. I wanted my signature cheesy, so I put my weird crazy spin on it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GeekSrik View Post
frankly urban nomad, this is the only thing i am concerned with linea about the ground clearance. other than that i have no real concerns.
Ya, but with Octys running with a GC of 140 (???), I think Linea's 165 ain't too bad, haina?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bansal98 View Post
Great writing style, Urban_Nomad. As some one said in an earlier post, your review is highly practical (and useful, of course). Can you please tell us if that rear sun protection curtain is of any practical use?
For the rear passengers, which is a rarity in my car, it is helpful for sure. In fact, it even helps cut down the high beam glare from the stupid gaadi waala behind you. The only minor problem is whilst reversing. It also dims the reverse light intensity (especially if you are habitual of reversing whilst lookig at your 3 rear view mirrors rather than craning back your neck to see what not to hit).

Quote:
Originally Posted by FiatMyLife View Post
A super detailed and honest review there!

12.38kmpl is pretty good.
Thanks FML. 12.38 is good, but mind you, not the best. In light of the same, I have sent the car back to the service center (got the 2nd service done a month ago) for a thorough once over. Maybe it was because I had used Mobil 1 engine oil in my 1st service and Selenia in the second. But since its a Fiat recommended brand, I dont think it should be the case. More of that in the A$$ part of the writeup. Was planning to pen some more down over the weekend, but soccer came in the way.

Last edited by Urban_Nomad : 14th June 2010 at 16:40.
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Old 14th June 2010, 21:00   #58
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Highway driving :

The highways she has seen thus far are the Mum-Pune expressway, Bangalore Highway, Nagar road (Pune - Shirdi) and the ghats of Lonavala. All highways can be ranked from good to great. Of all the highways, she has spent the majority of her time on the Mum-Pune expressway.

Now the fun part. This baby loves the highways. You can really stretch her legs while you, yourself kick back, turn on your favorite track (sometimes a problem when the wifey takes charge of the moojik sheeshtam) and hit the gas pedal. The max speed I have attained thus far is 165 kmph. Here's my take on highway driving for the Linea :

On an expressway like the Mum - Pune, you need acceleration unless you want to watch the world go by. An upshift at 2500 RPM is fine on the highways too, but I recommend this - upshift at 3000 to 3500 RPM. You will not regret it, I assure you. Acceleration is almost instantly available without any lag whatsoever.

But lets face it, acceleration is not Linea's forte. Dont get me wrong, she is no slouch. She keeps up with the Cities, Octies, Civics et all without much fuss. However, she is not in the league of say a 1.5 Honda Vtec (my experience here being with OHC type 2). Where she truly shines is the road handling manners. Take that slow winding curve at 130 or the truly curvacious ghat section (small one) at 80 ......... no tyre screeching, barely any roll (I do wish the seats were more supportive though) and she stays poised even if you were powering through a corner. Its lovely. I have not driven any car that even comes close to the Linea in this respect. But I suggest doing this only if you are alone. Not because the car would have any issues, but the occupants might. Especially if the occupants are your wife and your in-laws. Poor in-laws, they just sit and smile with the whiteness of their faces slowly fading away. However, the (angry) red from your wife's eyes may take some more time to fade away. So be careful. You have been warned.

The hills of Lonavala have also been responsible for me adding up those 19000 kms on the Italian. I m sure you must have guessed why. You feel so confident taking the curves all the way to the tiger hill and back. In this department she outshines cars from higher segments ...... period. But on your way up, make sure you select the right gear or you could be in for a terribly slow climb up that hill you plan to conquer. Again, rev till 3000 at least. The Lonavala ghats would see her finish her climb in 2nd or third gears majority of the time.

FE? Well, its around 14.5 ish kmpl. Mind you, she barely sees anything less than triple digit speeds (or less than 3000 RPM) through the expressway journey. Drive her sedately, say in the range of 80 - 100, and you could be seeing 17 - 18ish even, I kid you not.

There is a small part of this journey that I am not very fond of though, which is the drive from Talegaon (PCMC) till the diversion towards the expressway. This is a single lane road (no physical divider) with lots of slow moving traffic. You ve got bullock carts, those loooooonng trailer trucks, a cabbie who is taking in the sights and sounds while screming and laughing on his cell etc. You overtaking would mean a game of chicken with oncoming traffic. I do not like the Linea here. Here's my dilemma.

The traffic ahead of you is slow, so you cannot be "high revving" the car. However, the moment you see an opening, you swerve around...... say a trailer truck and step on the gas. You see oncoming traffic and punch the accelerator and ......... hit the brakes, come back in your lane. I know you can downshift and get the power necessary but :

1) You waste precious seconds shifting gears and this could mean you have passed the opportunity to overtake.
2) You downshift, overtake and are now behind the next slow vehicle and the truck you just overtook is now catching up to you. You repeat this exercise at least 10 times before you hit the expressway diversion. It is very cumbersome.

Personally, I would not suggest a "last second manouvre" whilst overtaking in your Linea on such single lane roads.

Overall, she is a comfortable crusier and long journeys would not tire you easily. It could be different though for ones regulary driving on an expressway like maybe Delhi - Mussourie(??) mostly owing to the overtaking part mentioned above. However, even on that highway (Del - Mussourie), you will surely appreciate the fact that she soaks in most bumps and road irregularities with relative ease, only getting disturbed by maybe a grand canyon type pot-hole. NVH levels again are good, however, engine begins to develop a throaty (typical Italian) note @ 3000 RPM and gets really loud beyond 4000 RPM. I love the sound she makes. The wifey hates it though. In our last Mumbai Pune trip which was towards the end of this July, I distinctly remember the wife saying to me "isski aawaaz band karo". All my efforts to describe the "noise" as sporty, cool and what not fell on deaf ears(Or maybe she could not hear me over the engine noise). Its a love it or hate it thing really, no Buddha's middle path available.

Next up - Fiat A$$ experience.

Last edited by Urban_Nomad : 14th June 2010 at 21:10.
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Old 15th June 2010, 11:04   #59
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Thanks. The pics may have to wait. Laptop's been acting funky lately.

Thanks for taking the time out to post your comments Hiren bhai. But Laptop ne problem chhe. Pikchaar thoda late mein. Just FYI though, the car is totally stock. I mean, it does not have tints (I almost mis-spelled "tints". Would have invited an infraction pakka ).

And yes, Vocal White has been discontinued. Its only Bossa Nova now. Difference - Bossa Nova = pure / milky white ....... Vocal White = off white with a pearl effect.
Your gujju is all wrong buddy, not that mine is great.
I wonder why they discontinued that color, I think it looks better than BNW.

Still waiting for the pictures mate.
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Old 15th June 2010, 13:32   #60
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Your gujju is all wrong buddy, not that mine is great.
I wonder why they discontinued that color, I think it looks better than BNW.

Still waiting for the pictures mate.
Arrey cut me some slack yaar. Will ask my gujju wifey for some extra classes.

Photos coming up jaldi, promise.
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