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Old 21st October 2010, 23:21   #1
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Default Fiat Palio 1.2 ELX nv - Long Term Ownership Review

Hi fellow Team-Bhpians. I am a newbie, got the approval on 30th sept. Recently, a relative bought a Polo 1.6 and I told Dad that I could post a Test Drive report here. To my surprise, Dad said, ďWhy donít you post an ownership report of our Palio?Ē I said why not! So here it is!

Buying decision- Dad had bought a second hand Ford Ikon diesel from Mumbai in 2003. By 2006, the car had become pretty old and frequent visits to the garage had become inevitable. So, we decided to buy a new car (Mom was against second hand cars.) And so began the search for a new car. I was 17 then and being a car lover, was full of enthusiasm. We test drove almost every sedan in the range of 6-8 lacs. Fiesta and Verna were quite new then. Dad liked the Optra and we were getting a good deal. We had almost finalized Optra when my brother decided to go abroad for higher education. So we decided to lower our budget and go for a hatch. The search began all over again because the segment had changed. Meanwhile Dadís friend bought a Palio 1.2 and told him the awesome deal he got. He suggested we check it out. So, we checked it out, loved it and got an awesome deal too! At that time, Fiat was carrying on the sales promotions for Palio and hence was giving generous discounts. We did consider Petra, but the styling did not appeal. I was persuading Dad to go for the 1.6, but sadly, SADLY, it was available only in Yellow and Red which Dad didnít like and so, was out of question. We also considered the Adventure, but Mom didnít like it. So we decided to go for the Palio 1.2 ELX nv. We got it for Rs 4.16 lacs OTR Nagpur.

Fiat Palio 1.2 ELX nv - Long Term Ownership Review-img_0696.jpg

Das Auto (The Car :-D ) Ė The model is the top end one with all 4 power windows, power steering, dual tone interiors, body coloured door handles, bumpers and ORVM. The colour of the car is 'Slate Gray'. We wanted fog lamps to be fitted, but the bumper of 1.2 had no provision for fog lamps. The dealer however took a bumper of 1.6, fitted the fog lamps and painted the bumper with colour of the car. A neat job indeed. He did not charge much for this. We got a set of alloys (ĎNeoí brand), the tires being 13 inchers, we did not have much of a choice. We also bought a Sony Xplod with an aux-in. The dealer himself ordered the head unit for us and fitted it too (Also 4 speakers of the same make). After all the fog lamps and alloys, the car looked quite good.

The ownership experience - The Palio is an amazing machine to drive. The build quality is tank like, SOLID. It clocked 29k kms today. Yeah, my Dad doesnít drive much. A small city and no road trips. It doesnít have an adjustable steering nor a height adjustable seat. But still, the driving position is quite good. The seat lacks lumbar support and the back hurts a bit during long drives(or is it just me?). The steering feels amazing to grip and gives great feedback. The car literally hugs the road. The clutch is a bit heavy to use. I have driven my brotherís Swift and I loved itís clutch and gearbox. Gearbox of this car is decent. It has a bit of long throw. Brakes are good and do their job nicely.
The stalks are of good quality and tactile to use. Both the ORVMís can be adjusted from the inside(not electrical). However, the plastic which contains the ORVM adjustment lever came off within a month of purchase, but was easily fixed at home. All the plastics are kind of rough and hard to touch. I personally like soft touch plastics. Overall the gray and beige dual tone appeals to the eye. It has wooden finish centre console and AC vents. It blends nicely with the interiors. The AC is an absolute chiller. Chills the car in 5 mins in the Nagpur heat. Mind you, Nagpur is around 47 degrees in May, but still 5-7 mins and the car is chilled. The turning mechanism of one of the vents doesn't work now though.
The leg space at the rear is unbeatable(except for Indica) and so is the shoulder room. In my experience neither the Swift, U-VA, i10, i20 have have good leg and shoulder room as compared to Palio. This car seats 3 easily at the rear. We are a family of tall people (5í11Ē to 6í1íí) and we can seat very comfortably. The doors open-close in a 3 stage action.They close with a nice noise and it imparts a feeling of safety. Recently, the door hinge of the front right door broke. It didnít literally break, but some part of it broke. Because of this, the door lost its 3 stage action. The service guy told me that this is the case with almost every Palio. This part was not available at any showroom in the city. The door is opening and closing alright now, sans the 3 stage action. There have been minor niggles and rattles, but these all go away with every servicing. Dad has a habit of servicing the car every 4-5 months. Dad also said that there is some problem with the coolant pipe and it leaks every 4-5 months. Itís a cheap part, but it is very irritating to replace it every 4-5 months. Also, Dad said something about front suspension caliper pins (donít know if I am saying it right). We have replaced it twice.
The paint on the front bumper has come off (the dealer painted, remember?). We go on long drives occasionally. It as an absolute pleasure to drive the car. Totally confidence inspiring. Goes where you want it to. Point and shoot! The steering, stability, suspension all are amazing. I feel the turning radius is quite big. I donít remember the last time I took a simple U turn. Itís always a 3 point U turn. We also bought leather seat covers after one year of buying the car. There was absolutely no choice. Dealers didnít have the seat covers of the old Palio. Those of the Palio Stile fitted miserably. But we went ahead and bought them from a Tata-Fiat dealership (We bought a car from a Fiat dealer. But as a result of Tata-Fiat JV, the dealer closed down the Fiat dealership and started a Hyundai one.) The seat cover is of ok-ok quality. It got torn within a year of usage.
Driving the car with AC off is bliss and pure FUN. The way it handles, it invites the driver to push harder. Doesnít at all feel under powered when the AC is off. Sucks quite a bit of power when itís on though. But the difference is felt only in acceleration. The fan noise is LOUD. Typical Fiat. NVH levels are decent. Though the stock tyres are not that great I guess. Lot of tyre noise is heard inside the cabin. Apart from that, the cabin is pretty silent. So far, the car has not broken down or anything and no major trouble. Regular servicings are done. Fuel efficiency is not that great. Around 11kmpl in city driving, mostly bumper to bumper. Now after 29k kms, tyres are all worn out and we plan to replace them soon. Any recommendations? The after sales experience is worth a mention. The Tata-Fiat service centres are very co-operative. Every time after the servicing, Dad gets a call from Pune asking the quality of service and if he is happy/disappointed with the service. Also, the service guy calls to confirm the same. We have faced no major issues and all minor issues, hence I feel I cannot comment on overall after sales service. A guy with a major problem might have faced hassles. Overall, I am a happy Fiat customer. I would like to own more Fiat cars in future. I am 21 right now and hopefully would start earning in 2-3 years. I would probably buy the the Punto T-Jet (if Fiat launches it)(or Punto Evo T-Jet? :-D). Another thing, Palio has absolutely no resale value. We wanted to sell it few months back and all we could get was 1.3 lacs. We decided keep it for a year or two. We were expecting at least 1.8-2 lacs as the condition is very good and it is a well maintained car. But sadly, itís too high for our market. People are willing to pay reasonable amount for any used maruti/Tata but not for a Palio, breaks my heart. Still, my Dadís next car will be a Fiat.

PS Ė It is an amateurís attempt. All views are personal. Sorry for the long post!

Fiat Palio 1.2 ELX nv - Long Term Ownership Review-img_0701.jpg
The Alloy design.

Fiat Palio 1.2 ELX nv - Long Term Ownership Review-img_0703.jpg
The cockpit.

Fiat Palio 1.2 ELX nv - Long Term Ownership Review-img_0704.jpg
The centre console. I like the wooden finish.

Fiat Palio 1.2 ELX nv - Long Term Ownership Review-img_0705.jpg
This the maximum the rear power windows can roll down.

Fiat Palio 1.2 ELX nv - Long Term Ownership Review-img_0706.jpg
This is the amount of legroom available after adjusting the driver's seat for a Six footer.

Fiat Palio 1.2 ELX nv - Long Term Ownership Review-img_0708.jpg
The rear bench.

Fiat Palio 1.2 ELX nv - Long Term Ownership Review-img_0709.jpg
The torn seatcover.

Fiat Palio 1.2 ELX nv - Long Term Ownership Review-img_0710.jpg
Clocked 29k kms today After almost 4 years.

Fiat Palio 1.2 ELX nv - Long Term Ownership Review-img_0712.jpg
The glove box and storage area above it.

Fiat Palio 1.2 ELX nv - Long Term Ownership Review-img_0714.jpg
The front bumper sans the paint.
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Old 23rd October 2010, 17:15   #2
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driveanddrive,
Nice ownership report and congrats on owning such a wonderful machine. The color stale grey looks stunning on the roads.

Regarding the back pain you get on long drives, its due to the seat covers that you have put. The bare seat contours offer excellent lumbar and lower back support. Seat covers completely spoil this.

Regards,
Bejoy
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Old 23rd October 2010, 17:49   #3
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Thank you bejoy Thanks for the advice. The seat covers would be off by morning! Thanks again.
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Old 25th October 2010, 11:25   #4
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Nice post there!

My Palio is 1 year older and has done 1K kms lesser. Hehehe! Regarding city mileage is usually that much with the A/C on. With slight changes to the driving style you can get about 13 also.

How much are you getting on the highways?
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Old 25th October 2010, 14:08   #5
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Where did you get the wooden dash done from ? How much did it cost ?
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Old 25th October 2010, 14:19   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by praful View Post
Nice post there!

My Palio is 1 year older and has done 1K kms lesser. Hehehe!

How much are you getting on the highways?
Thanks Praful. I get around 14-15 on highways. But not much highway travel though. A/c is always on. One year older and 1K less, Nice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seeler_Rebeiro View Post
Where did you get the wooden dash done from ? How much did it cost ?
The wooden dash is stock.
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Old 25th October 2010, 14:28   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by driveanddrive View Post
The wooden dash is stock.
I have never hear of Palio coming with Wooden finish dash as stock. I owned the original Palio 1.2 and the Stile 1.6, and am quite certain that the NV did not come with wooden finish dash. Anyways it does look good. Something that I might consider for my Stile 1.6. Don't like the Silver Finish dash.
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Old 25th October 2010, 15:51   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seeler_Rebeiro View Post
I have never hear of Palio coming with Wooden finish dash as stock. I owned the original Palio 1.2 and the Stile 1.6, and am quite certain that the NV did not come with wooden finish dash. Anyways it does look good. Something that I might consider for my Stile 1.6. Don't like the Silver Finish dash.
Hey it's stock We bought it in 2006 Dec, Fiat was running promotional schemes for it then. Must've done this cosmetic change for it I guess.
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Old 28th October 2010, 12:58   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seeler_Rebeiro View Post
Anyways it does look good. Something that I might consider for my Stile 1.6. Don't like the Silver Finish dash.
And you can surely go ahead with the wooden finish/console. It definitely looks better than the silver one.
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Old 30th October 2010, 15:41   #10
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Well written review driveanddrive.

The alloys looks awesome. Are they 98 PCD? or 100 PCD?

Your review brings me the memories of our Fiat Palio 1.9 D ELX SP PS. I wish my father had not sold off our car!

I know that you've got more pictures to share with us. Please upload more pics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seeler_Rebeiro View Post
I have never hear of Palio coming with Wooden finish dash as stock.
The Fiat Palio 1.9 D that we had owned in the past came with wooden finish dash. Moreover, I've seen many Fiat Palios with stock wooden interiors.

Always wear your seatbelt and drive safe.

Amith
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Old 30th October 2010, 18:24   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Klub Class View Post
Well written review driveanddrive.

The alloys looks awesome. Are they 98 PCD? or 100 PCD?
Your review brings me the memories of our Fiat Palio 1.9 D ELX SP PS.
I know that you've got more pictures to share with us. Please upload more pics.
Always wear your seatbelt and drive safe.

Amith
Thanks a lot Klub Class! I am not sure if they are 98 or 100, pardon my ignorance. I will confirm and let you know. Man you had an amazing car! You still have a Fiat in your garage though, congrats on that! I will try and upload some more photos later.
Thanks.
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Old 11th November 2010, 15:05   #12
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Changed the tyres last week. Got a set of Michelin XM1+. The ride and handling has improved a lot and tyre noise has also reduced.
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Old 11th November 2010, 20:26   #13
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The Palio is a very sturdy and SAFE car in accident situations. People who really know cars buy the Palio. The power to weight ratio of this car is awesome, and dont worry about mileage and kpl...

I hope with tie up with Tatas, after sales service and parts issues are resolved.

Drive Safe..
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Old 12th November 2010, 09:48   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by driveanddrive View Post
Changed the tyres last week. Got a set of Michelin XM1+. The ride and handling has improved a lot and tyre noise has also reduced.
to what size did you upgrade to ?... how much did you pay for each tyre ?
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Old 12th November 2010, 10:23   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nanduchitnis View Post
I hope with tie up with Tatas, after sales service and parts issues are resolved.
Drive Safe..
Thanks The after sales service has been great. They guys at the service stations are prompt and there is not much of an issue of parts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sanjaymugur View Post
to what size did you upgrade to ?... how much did you pay for each tyre ?
I upgraded to 175/70R13 as 185 was not available. I paid around Rs 3500 for every tyre.
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