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Old 25th October 2005, 15:10   #1
DRC
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Default One more Petra Review..

I thought I would post the first long term review on Petra, but Type0 took the pie!

I have tried to put in this review obsolutely from the user's perspective, not necessarily a enthusiasts' view. So no accn. figures, top speeds etc..Sorry to disappoint.

Like everyone else's mine is also a long enough story to decide which car to buy, and that is when I got into this forum. After 3 cars were booked and cancelled, Finally it was Fiat Petra 1.6EL against all odds.

DEC 23: I was delivered a Fiat Petra 1.6EL with autocop. with nearly empty fuel tank. usual!
After pooja, I went to tank up, 40L, and fuel gauge did not raise. First problem within 1 hour:(
Next day I had plans to go to Dharmastala with mum and dad and this creeped in. I called those guys , they said fix it next day. Next day nothing happened, I am in a hurry.
Made a 800KM trip without any other problem. came back, the problem was fixed. Problem with sensor in the tank.

31 DEC: I am going to the new year bash with wife, drove a couple of meters, then there is a problem. The engine is revving by itself at mid night :( Called up the help line. after a little shouting, a guy came to fix the issue, tried all the tricks he knew and could not. I had to use my head to figure out and tell him the problem boiled down to a stepper motor in throttle body. I had to drive back to home with out a fix. My party mood is gone. Next day they fixed it.

Enough of problems!, Now about the car. In so many months, I have done about 15000 KMs. average 1.5K kms per month.

Every one here knows the specs..
Look:
I always liked it. Feel very muscular to look at. gives the feeling of a big car. Looks too much like a palio, then I like palio too!





Build:
I read a comment some where . "Tank like build". I agree here. I and my family feel very safe in this car. Honestly. Quality of build is reasonably good. no uneven panel gaps, everything shuts and opens properly. Cabin is quite silent in spite of 1.6 L engine roaring out side. In this silence, all other cabin noise from the dash board and door trim becomes very noticeable. This is the area of improvement for Fiat. Interiors are very old fashioned. The door handle and the pod for window operation looks alien.

Quality of the interior build, though, I would have liked it to be a little better. Keep getting rattle very often.
Other thing I complain about is visibility. Too thick A pillar and a big cluster like thing near the side mirrors create a blind spot. Some times I have felt it dangerous!

Comfort:
Good:
I am so big that no car is comfortable for me. So certainly it is not the space which gives me the feeling of comfort. Though space is just good enough, compared to all other cars I chose before I zeroed in on this, this has the best configuration (may not be space alone). has space for my son to hop around front - back seats






A very good ride
This one has a very precise and butter smooth gear shift (why this one under comfort?).
Centrex console door trim part like handle and windows switches do not foul with my legs.
Meaty, though a little biggish steering is very well weighted and very comfortable, not too light, not too heavy.
Don't have to rub shoulders with the co-driver seats occupant.
Seats are very good and supportive. Has good amount of slide to have me completely stretched drive as well as my wife's nose on the steering wheel.
Excellent AC.
Enormous boot space, Takes all the weekend trips baggage, with bicycles and skateboards etc.. with ease.

Bad:
I just could not understand the reason the rear window switch is hidden behind the gear shift!! and why two different locations for front and rear switches??
Rotary adjust for the seat recline is real pain in the fist. and I think are on the wrong side of the seat to make things worse.
I bought a coffee , so did my wife, where should I keep the cups? So thought get some cup holders fixed. Now accessory guys asked me where to fit? I thought of buying a thing which normally fits between the seats, then here it fouls with the seat recline adjustments. So absolutely no cubby holes. The one which is provided is again hidden behind the gear shift.
The dash board simply does not have any flat space to keep anything for a while.
The clutch pedal is placed so close to the left foot rest or dead pedal , that it obstructs movement of clutch with a thicker foot ware.
Locking the door is tricky. You must know how much to pull.
It always happens. I have to pull out of parking before my wife boards. Soon the I start the engine, the doors lock. Them my wife knocks the door, when I try to pull the lever for unlocking the central lock, my side door (not just lock) opens!

Ride and handling:
I did not go for any alloys or bigger tires yet for obvious Fiat warranty reasons.
Yet ride is very good. If I don't have to care about some rattles around the cabin, I really do not have to care about Bangalores bad roads.
Though there is a good amount of under steering, I have never felt I am out of control.
A heavy body and a little higher stance is quite pronounced, but never a scandal. I love the Hebbal fly over bend, the one from RT nagar towards Hosur road exit.

Engine and Transmission:






Hmm.. Delicious.. nothing like 100 horses that too for 5.6L. I really enjoy the rush of power, those wheel spins, effortless overtakes, nothing to complain about here! Surprised! Changed the oil to Shell Helix Ultra, and it is further smooth. Funny thing is When I switch on the AC, with additional load of AC, the engine actually cools down. Fiat guys told me that AC also switches on an additional pump for coolant. But the idea works just great.
I never noticed the difference in performance with AC ON/OFF. I think if you observe carefully, this issue is handled psychologically. Try these experiments.
Start the engine and leave it to idle, it idles at 800rpm.
Switch on the AC with your left hand on the gear knob. You will see the idle speed changed to 860rpm. and nothing happened unless you have set the fan at 0 position. if so fan starts spinning. (why left hand on gear knob?, read on)
After about 6-7 seconds, you start feeling a very light grinding vibration on the knob. This is when AC clutch is engaged. By this time, you would have thought AC has no effect on engine and forgotten and started feeding the engine in actual driving condition with more power to be noticed at all. Finally you never felt it.

Tranny is again a delight. Butter smooth. No hitches any time so far,. Clutch is very linear(unlike maruti vehicles) and smooth. Not too short not too far throws. very well weighted.

Now the million India question. FE. If you guys remember, I had posted my FE figures in detail on different roads. Any ways..
Purely city...9~ not any less. Windsor Sheraton - to Marathahalli via airport road.
Sub Urban.....11.6~ ...''... via outer ring road
Highways......12.6 Bangalore -Tumkur
Highways......14~ Bangalore Mysore

Not bad at all!! At least I am not unhappy.

Accessories:
Pioneer HU +6 OE Blaupunkth speakers , 3M window sunscreen films, Autocop XS. Got the door handles and mirros painted to body color.

ASS:
Bad ASS. really, unresponsive. The very first assumption they make is every mechanic there is an expert and all those who paid money and own the car are idiots. Forget to carry out the work you give Printed in bold letters, over that they try to explain they didn't do that for a good reason. If you want anything get done, shout. Prove you understand the car better than they do.


Problem and other incidents:
As I mentioned above,
A faulty speedometer sensor,
A faulty fuel level sensor,
a faulty throttle body,
A snapped body panel in the boot,

Some construction material fell on the RR door-window beading caused the hard window windings.
Foolishly banged a pillar in the office parking lot and lost RHS fender,
Hit a tree in the blind spot during backing up,
Some idiot on a 2 wheeler riding across the median banged driver side door,
Some vandalism on LHS rear lights cluster,
and some dents due to cricket ball of community kids.

Conclusion..
Though many a times I have messed around with the idea of a new car, I am reasonably happy with the car now. Forgive the rattles and I have a nice car. I have not seen a new problem in six months now. Hope this goes well.
If anyone plans a new car and decides on this one, they will not be disappointed atleast. If you know how to take care of the baby your self, thats all it needs.

Enjoy your drive!!!
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Old 25th October 2005, 15:47   #2
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Very balanced review, great job.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRC
Hmm.. Delicious.. nothing like 100 horses that too for 5.6L.
Quite low for a 5.6L, don't you think...
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Old 25th October 2005, 16:56   #3
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Nice Review.
Rattles happen in almost every car due to fault roads. Be it a corolla (suspension creaks, door panels loose in all the corolla's i have seen), Citys, maruti's so no worries there.
Enjoy the 100 BHP and i am sure your car won't give anymore trouble in the future.
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Old 26th October 2005, 08:14   #4
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Quote:
It always happens. I have to pull out of parking before my wife boards. Soon the I start the engine, the doors lock. Them my wife knocks the door, when I try to pull the lever for unlocking the central lock, my side door (not just lock) opens!
It's not an issue with the car locking mechanism or the Autocop. It's problem with the fixing.

We had the same problem when we bought our Siena 1.2. But that was later fixed by Autocop engineer. Contact your local Autocop distribution office. They will have few engineers to fix the issues.
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Old 26th October 2005, 09:56   #5
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Very nice write up... from the eyes of a common man rather than an enthusiast....

nice car there.... but so many problems (even though minor) coming on a brand new car is certainly a cause of worry...

and so many bangs within a few months....????
CAT
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Old 26th October 2005, 10:27   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catamaran
and so many bangs within a few months....????
CAT
Bangs, Bangalore... Goes with the territory
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Old 26th October 2005, 10:54   #7
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Balanced Review. It looks like Petra is a great car with a few minor issues. Whether the 'greatness' is worth taking care of the issues is the moot question
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Old 26th October 2005, 11:56   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai
Bangs, Bangalore... Goes with the territory
All Bangaloreans agree here..
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Old 27th October 2005, 01:20   #9
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well. every car should have a problem.

It defined a good car.

its like having a smartphone and an ordinary phone.

ordinary phone lasts 4-6 days and never hangs but a smartphone always hangs every 2 days and needs charging twice within that time.

a more relative eg would be

a royal enfield and a hero honda cbz

So congrats on your car dude and enjoy. Petra is certainly a great car.
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Old 27th October 2005, 11:45   #10
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A very balanced review! Superb.
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Old 21st November 2005, 19:26   #11
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Good review, I advice 185/65/R-14 Goodyear NCT-5 and a spoiler. Yes, I too have a Petra!
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Old 21st November 2005, 21:49   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rishi_kapoor
Good review, I advice 185/65/R-14 Goodyear NCT-5 and a spoiler. Yes, I too have a Petra!
Did you speak to my son anytime??
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Old 21st November 2005, 22:31   #13
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nice review! nice one.

by the way, you drive to work to fly a helicopter?
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