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Old 20th August 2015, 23:31   #1
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Default FIAT Accompli - Linea T-Jet Emotion (Pearl White). EDIT: 1st service completed


FIAT Accompli - Linea T-Jet Emotion (Pearl White). EDIT: 1st service completed-img20150728wa0015.jpeg

This buying experience and review of my latest acquisition will not contain usual aspects such as other cars considered and their plusses and minuses. Why? Simply because there were no other cars considered. It was Linea T-Jet all the way… a foregone conclusion or a ‘Fiat Accompli’ (pun intended). It had to be a worthy upgrade from my other car (the Palio 1.6 GTX) and once that premise was defined, I realised that the problem gets compounded for there is hardly anything in the market that qualifies (barring probably, the VW TSI (notwithstanding the DSG gremlins)). But then the Vento/Polo duo is just too... everywhere, amplified by the same design language across models, too bland, devoid of curves and just……too German! And adding to that over population, it is also present in the form of its rebadged brother-from-another-mother, the Skoda Rapid.

The decision to buy a new car was marinating in my head for a while as the GTX, although great (read - FANTASTIC) to drive, was aging and never really held the top spot as far as reliability was concerned as it is currently in its 14th year of existence (and in the 6th year with me - Link to the ownership report ------>) (The GTX arriveth. Palio 1.6 GTX) .It plasters a big smile when it runs and leaves you looking for a cab when it doesn’t. And the arrival of my first child earlier this year meant that I needed something bigger, more spacious, yet F.U.N. to drive and most importantly, safer. The GTX can be termed as insane, but not unsafe. The Palio saved my life once when a Honda City t-boned me and sped away. The doors bore the brunt and kept all passengers safe, even without any airbags. If I were in a jap tin-can, this ownership report would have had to be written from the after-life, if there is one.

A photo of the GTX after the accident

FIAT Accompli - Linea T-Jet Emotion (Pearl White). EDIT: 1st service completed-20140608_155332.jpg

When the New Linea was announced in 2014, I was hoping that the 1.6 MJD would be launched. It made sense to have two FTD cars in the garage - a petrol and a diesel each; as a hedge against fuel prices and to suit the mood of the day. But the 1.6 MJD never came. Suzuki managed to plonk it in the S-Cross but not FIAT. The irony is just too much to ignore. It’s like ‘X marries Y but goes on a honeymoon with Z’. But luckily, the T-Jet was no longer a halo product, as it made its way into the face-lifted Linea as the default petrol engine. Although the new look of the car is not as timeless as the earlier design, it does grow on you and definitely makes the Linea look classier and one segment above its weight.

I personally like the new rear styling better than the outgoing model. It is a more upmarket look with neat integration and proportions. Viewed from the side, the new Linea is still a ‘line’ but a forward slanting line.

FIAT Accompli - Linea T-Jet Emotion (Pearl White). EDIT: 1st service completed-pdi-2.jpg

PRE-PURCHASE EXPERIENCE


Mumbai has just three FIAT dealers around and fewer service centers. All the earlier dealers (Fortune, Galaxy, Wasan etc) have moved on. The new ones in town are Torrid Motors and Esskay Motors (and Balaji in Thane and New Bombay).

I initially went to Esskay Motors as it was quite close to my work place. They have a nice big showroom but no dedicated service centre. They claim that they are on the verge of opening one at Sewri in south Mumbai but I have been hearing that for months. That means, they could sell the car to me without being responsible for after sales service for which I would have to rely exclusively on Torrid Motors. Although the showroom officials deny it, the list of authorised dealers listed in the booklet provided by FIAT with the car (as of March 2015) does not list them as an authorised dealer. Besides, they were very inflexible on pricing.

The test drive experience with Esskay was quite good. The drive was fairly long (about 5km) and could drive the car across different road conditions. Also test drove the Avventura 1.3 MJD. The drive was sluggish and somehow felt the car to be too cramped. In contrast, the Linea seemed airy and spacious.

A couple of weeks after the test drive (when the negotiations on price reached a deadlock), they offered to sell their existing test drive mule Sunbeam Gold T-Jet (done about 2500km) for approx. 8.5 Lakhs on road. I wasn’t too keen on purchasing a potentially abused vehicle for a mere 2.5 lakhs difference. Further, the car was also registered in the name of the dealership which would have made me the second owner. It’s bad news value wise for an already depreciating disaster. Besides, one of the alloy wheels were replaced with a pre-2014 turbine alloy wheel which just made the side profile look mismatched.

FIAT Accompli - Linea T-Jet Emotion (Pearl White). EDIT: 1st service completed-esskay-td.jpg

In parallel, I was also in touch with Balaji Motors and Torrid Motors. Although the sales guy at Balaji was very good, they remained inflexible on pricing and it did not proceed further. On the other hand, Torrid Motors sent a car across to my residence for a test drive and appeared to be willing to extend certain benefits. The month of June 2015 had certain offers on the T-Jet which included a 15k discount and 10k exchange bonus. Torrid was willing to convert the 10k exchange bonus as a loyalty bonus. Apart from ex-showroom price and registration charges, the other included items in the price list were:
  • Insurance – approx. 38,000 (for comprehensive, not zero depreciation)
  • Depot charges – 5,000
  • Accessories pack (with some matting, cushion, perfume etc thrown in) – Approx 6,500
  • Registration Fees & Road Tax - At actuals plus a small markup for 'incidental expenses'
  • Extended warranty was apparently discontinued, so that didn’t figure.
Insurance - While Torrid agreed to match the insurance quotation from the market, it could not match the quotations available online (approx. 23k for Zero Depreciation Policies by the same provider, Future Generali). I am guessing they would have lost out on the commission. So they ‘agreed’ to let me procure the insurance on my own. In the meanwhile, I went with HDFC Bank for part financing and got a decent offer on interest rates, waiver of loan processing fees and HDFC ERGO Zero Depreciation Insurance for 95% IDV. So I saved a good 13k on insurance vis-à-vis the dealer’s quote.

Other Discounts: As stated above, Dealer passed on the offer of the month (a 15k cash discount and 10k loyalty bonus) and an extra discount by knocking off the ‘compulsory’ bundle of accessories so that I could get the cash value equivalent as discount (of approx. 5000). Wasn’t able to get any further discounts as petrol cars were back in demand and I was told that the T-Jet is now selling more than the MJD (which had some heavy discounts going).

Road Tax: In the meanwhile, FIAT had hiked the price of the car marginally and the ex-showroom price went up a couple of thousands above ten lakhs. This meant that I would have to shell out an extra 1% as road tax as there is a differential rate (10% as opposed to 9%) for vehicles costing between 10 and 20 lakhs (translating to about Rs. 10,000/- of extra tax). Apparently, the RTO does not consider the discounts provided on the ex-showroom price and considers only the full ex-showroom price for purposes of road tax. If you ask me, the road tax should ideally be levied on the ex-factory cost of the car because the ex-showroom price already includes 12.5% VAT and 4.5% Octroi. So essentially, a part of the road tax is nothing but double taxation i.e., a tax on the VAT and Octroi already paid. But then again, it is the age of the ‘acche din’ and we are all like Karan-Arjun’s mother sold into the belief that ‘acche din aayenge’.

Depot Charges – The dealer insisted that this is market practice and is, therefore, mandatory. In response, I sent them a barrage of news articles and supreme court orders which held that logistic/handling/depot charges were illegal. Further, although they have a stockyard in Vasai, they admitted that operate with zero inventory and order vehicles upon receipt of full payment and thus, were not able to justify ‘depot’ charges. There was even a hint that these charges were authorised by FIAT but on being asked to provide a receipt from FIAT, they back-tracked. Yet, they refused to waive the charge. So I wrote to FIAT asking them to confirm amongst other things whether the charges were authorised by FIAT or not. After almost a week of back and forth (and constant follow up by email and SMS, to request confirmation of at least the queries relating to ex-showroom price and depot charges), FIAT responded with a vague statement that the prices indicated on the website and by the dealer are correct. I had also asked FIAT if any further discounts will be made available for an existing FIAT owner as a goodwill gesture in recognition of our commitment to FIAT over the past years despite parts and service issues. The question was side-stepped.

During this time, I had half a mind not to go with FIAT. Consider this - FIAT managed to dispatch a mere 152 units of the Linea in the previous month. And the earlier months were no better. With such low sales, I expected them to be proactive and more so, since they didn’t have to market the car to acquire me as a customer. I was already a willing customer served to them on a plate. I started to dread that if a ‘potential’ customer’ is greeted with apathy, what happens when I become an *actual* customer. Maybe this is FIAT’s idea of playing hard to get, or ensuring that only the ones who persevere and really *WANT* to buy a FIAT, end up doing so.

Eventually, the dealer came around and agreed to waive the depot charges. I decided to take the plunge.

THE PURCHASE EXPERIENCE

Booked the vehicle with Torrid Motors on June 21, 2015. At the time of booking I also took a long test drive of the Linea 1.3 MJD as there were (and still does have) discounts of 80,000/- which made it almost on par with the T-Jet, pricing-wise. The Multijet had significant lag in the first two gears and picked up pace in the third gear. Although, it bordered on the acceptable, it didn’t seem quite as fun as the T-Jet. So the heart overruled the head and I paid the booking amount with a specific request (a) for a May or a June manufactured car (as I didn’t want a piece which has been languishing in the stockyard for too long), and (b) delivery by July 15, 2015.

The stocklist at the time of booking only reflected April/May manufactured vehicles. The dealer assured me that the revised stocklist with June manufactured stock should come in a few days.

FIAT Accompli - Linea T-Jet Emotion (Pearl White). EDIT: 1st service completed-stocklist-1.jpeg

Colour wise my first preference was white as not only is it considered to be easy on maintenance but also that, in my opinion, the new Linea looks best in this colour as the blacks in the grille and rear diffuser appeared to be good contrast with white, topped with chrome accents. The close second was Magnesium Grey which is a fantastic shade for the car. Even today, a magnesium grey Linea gets a second look from me.

I insisted that I should be able to do a PDI of the car before paying the full amount but this was not possible as none of the dealers in Mumbai keep any inventory, and order the vehicles directly from FIAT on the basis of confirmed orders. I was extremely uncomfortable with this and had to speak to the FIAT’s regional manager for an assurance that if a serious or a potentially serious defect (with which the car should not have left the factory) is detected during PDI, a different vehicle will be allotted. As a degree of control over the process, I agreed to pay only the cost of the car with the understanding that the registration amount will be paid upon satisfactory PDI.

After almost ten days of twiddling my thumbs, the updated stocklist finally came on July 1, 2015.

FIAT Accompli - Linea T-Jet Emotion (Pearl White). EDIT: 1st service completed-stocklist-2.jpg

I completed the payment formalities within a day as I had lined up everything in advance. Then came the dilemma of delivery, as delivery with the complete registration formalities could not be guaranteed because the trailer leaves the FIAT stockyard at Ranjangaon only when there are 8 assured dispatches. I was informed that most dealers (and customers) in Mumbai/Maharashtra prefer the car being driven down to ensure quicker/timely delivery. And this practice is also preferred by dealers as they save on the cost of transporting it by trailer whereas the driving option involves conveyance & food (for the driver) and about 1000 odd rupees for petrol. Although I was extremely apprehensive about a new car being driven down for 200km and possible mishaps, I relented as I wanted delivery by a particular date and it’s driven at the dealer’s risk at the end of the day.

Then started the real nightmare. After the payment was ostensibly forwarded to FIAT, I spoke to the regional manager to put in a request for expediting the invoicing of the car so that the dealer doesn’t throw up his hands at the last minute. To my shock, I was informed by FIAT that the invoicing was put on hold due to insufficient funds. Between the dealer (who kept insisting that full payment was made) and FIAT (who insisted that funds were short), I spent an anxious 3 days. Strongly suspecting some cash flow issue at the dealer’s end rather than FIAT, I wrote a strongly worded letter to the CEO of the dealer reminding them that a customer (having paid full price upfront) cannot be treated like a tennis ball. On phone, also casually let it slide that being a lawyer by profession, I won’t have much lead time in taking either of the parties to court. Thankfully, the CEO was very approachable and stood up to the task. Finally, issues were sorted between senior officials at both ends, and FIAT invoiced the car on July 14 and I got the chassis number, one day before the agreed delivery date. The dealer’s driver immediately set out to Ranjangaon by bus in the morning. Once he reached the stockyard, I spoke to him requesting him to drive the car gently and briefed him on some of the important PDI items including verification of the odometer reading with the H marking. He drove the car down without incident and parked it at the showroom at about midnight. The very next morning, I went to the showroom for the PDI and saw her for the first time.

Some pics from PDI

FIAT Accompli - Linea T-Jet Emotion (Pearl White). EDIT: 1st service completed-pdi-1.jpg
FIAT Accompli - Linea T-Jet Emotion (Pearl White). EDIT: 1st service completed-pdi-3.jpg
FIAT Accompli - Linea T-Jet Emotion (Pearl White). EDIT: 1st service completed-pdi-4.jpg
FIAT Accompli - Linea T-Jet Emotion (Pearl White). EDIT: 1st service completed-pdi-interior.jpg
FIAT Accompli - Linea T-Jet Emotion (Pearl White). EDIT: 1st service completed-pdi-engine-bay.jpg
FIAT Accompli - Linea T-Jet Emotion (Pearl White). EDIT: 1st service completed-pdi-turbo.jpg

I had prepared my own PDI checklist days in advance (in anticipation!) which ran into into 8 pages. It took about couple of hours to complete the PDI process.

Scanned copies of the PDI checklist with my observations. (The PDI list was compiled using various sources including TBHP PDI checklist, dealer's PDI checklist, cross reference with car brochure and some common sense! Posting here for the community's benefit. If anyone wants the word document, please contact me.)

FIAT Accompli - Linea T-Jet Emotion (Pearl White). EDIT: 1st service completed-20150821161546_page_1.jpg
FIAT Accompli - Linea T-Jet Emotion (Pearl White). EDIT: 1st service completed-20150821161546_page_2.jpg
FIAT Accompli - Linea T-Jet Emotion (Pearl White). EDIT: 1st service completed-20150821161546_page_3.jpg
FIAT Accompli - Linea T-Jet Emotion (Pearl White). EDIT: 1st service completed-20150821161546_page_4.jpg
FIAT Accompli - Linea T-Jet Emotion (Pearl White). EDIT: 1st service completed-20150821161546_page_5.jpg
FIAT Accompli - Linea T-Jet Emotion (Pearl White). EDIT: 1st service completed-20150821161546_page_6.jpg
FIAT Accompli - Linea T-Jet Emotion (Pearl White). EDIT: 1st service completed-20150821161546_page_7.jpg
FIAT Accompli - Linea T-Jet Emotion (Pearl White). EDIT: 1st service completed-20150821161546_page_8.jpg


Found everything to be substantially in order and verified the odometer readings which read as 226km, and the Trip Meter B showed a distance of 205km driven with an average speed of 44km/hr and consumption of 14.7 km/litre. So I was happy that the driver didn't settle his scores with Schumacher at my expense. There were a couple of minor issues with the driver seat recline which I asked them to fix those before delivery. The only thing that caused some concern was the engine idling note. There was a weird rhythmic almost diesel-like ‘kad-kad-kad’ clatter coming from the timing belt area. I had never paid attention to the engine note of a T-Jet and I was especially paranoid because it sounded similar to the sound made by the bracket of the tensioner bearing in the GTX before it broke and damaged the valves leading to an engine head overhaul. The showroom guys naturally insisted it is normal and checked against their test drive T-Jet which had done about 500km. The noise was present but it was lesser. I made them note this down for the workshop personnel to check before delivery and as a part of their own PDI. Even they insisted that the sound is normal. An audio clip of the same can be found below. However, after 1000km of running, this has reduced significantly but will wait and watch till the first service.

Engine Idling Note

https://clyp.it/p3gnm4on

Finally, the car was delivered to me on the 15th July with the fitted accessories (Mud-guards, Linea Door Sills and Spoiler) but pending registration.

FIAT Accompli - Linea T-Jet Emotion (Pearl White). EDIT: 1st service completed-delivery.jpg
FIAT Accompli - Linea T-Jet Emotion (Pearl White). EDIT: 1st service completed-duet.jpg

Now came the toughest part. Having a T-Jet in your garage and not being able to drive it for a week!! The wait for registration was punctuated by the extended weekend due to Id. As 7 days slowly and excruciatingly elapsed, I once again followed up with the dealer and was surprised to hear some lame explanation that all papers had been submitted but payment of road tax was not complete as the funds were in an account which was no longer in the list of banks accepted for online e-payment of road tax. All this despite asking me to wire the money into that specific account. Again suspected some cash flow issue and escalated the matter to their CEO. Then things started to move slowly. A copy of the e-challan evidencing payment of road tax on Thursday, July 23 was given to me and I was promised that that the number would be issued on the next day (Friday). After an anxious wait till end of Friday, I was told that tax receipt has been issued but due to work pressure, the RTO has not issued the number. By this time, I was in no mood to hear any excuses and asked them to provide me with the original road tax receipt and Form 19 to be able to drive the car using the dealer’s trade certificate. I got them to deliver the road tax receipt and Form 19 on Saturday. That’s when I chanced upon the reason for the number not being allotted yet. The receipt for online payment of octroi indicated that payment was made only on Thursday night. Technically, the RTO will not process the papers for Mumbai registration without evidence of payment of octroi. Thus, the papers were submitted only on Friday and somehow, the dealer was able to get the road tax receipt issued. Normally, the road tax receipt itself has the allocated number written on it. By this time, I didn’t want to engage with the dealer any more. I finally drove the car for around 50km over the weekend - to do a customary Pooja at the temple and for some body treatment at 3M in Andheri (E). The number finally did come on Monday, a good 12 days after delivery of the car.

Overall, the experience with Torrid Motors did have some anxious moments but it worked out fine in the end. To their credit, they did somehow manage to deliver the car on time. The people are quite pleasant. Had I written this review a month ago, it may have been a bit harsher and emotionally charged, but in retrospect, as long as they didn't goof up in a spectacular way, and the fact that the escalation did have the required effect, I would give them a satisfactory rating.

FIAT Accompli - Linea T-Jet Emotion (Pearl White). EDIT: 1st service completed-puja.jpg

My daily running is about 40-50km through Mumbai traffic. So far, I have driven about 1100km and have been clocking a mileage between 9 and 11 kmpl (tankful to tankful method) in the city with A/C usage at about 40 percent of the time. I have so far filled in only from Indian Oil pump and I have noticed that the engine is significantly smoother and quieter with Xtra Premium than regular unleaded. Yet to try other brands. I am maintaining a detailed log on an Android app called Fuel Buddy and will post observations once I have enough data. I try to take care that I don’t cross 3000rpm but it’s very difficult to drive it with a light foot. Turbo lag is present but it is not at all a problem as the car is very revv-happy and once you figure out driving in and around the turbo zone, it’s a breeze.

Managed to upgrade Blue & Me to version 9 and the convenience it offers is quite good. Am able to return phone calls while on the move and it saves time. It does a good job of recognizing the Indian accent and name of person is better detected if said in a ‘last name, first name’ format. Funny thing is when I am alone, it works flawlessly but when I try demonstrating to a third person it usually fails to recognise names/commands, leaving me embarrassed. I tried installing Eco-Drive, but for some reason it throws a USB error which occurs with all drives thrown at it. Maybe the B&M upgrade caused some incompatibility. Also, the MID appears to have certain hidden/blocked features such as gearshift prompt indicators. Please see the image below and you can see provision for it at the bottom right, even though its disabled. Wonder what other features are locked viz. the international models.

FIAT Accompli - Linea T-Jet Emotion (Pearl White). EDIT: 1st service completed-gear-shift.jpg

WHAT I LIKE

Ride Quality – Rides like a mature european sedan, soaks in bumps well. There is a bit of body roll due to the ground clearance but I’d rather have body roll than scraping of the underside.

Build Quality - Satisfactory 'thud'. ‘nuff said….

Ground Clearance - Don't have to worry about scraping the belly even when fully loaded. Tends to induce body roll but its an acceptable trade-off.

Steering response – Good, but not as good as the GTX. Both of them are communicative. Ummm….How do I differentiate it? The Linea talks to you diplomatically whereas the GTX is a straight talker.

Equipment:

Automatic headlamps - are a boon when driving into basements. Sometimes the system behaves a bit weird, for example, when entering a tunnel it switches on, but on exiting the tunnel it takes quite some time to switch back. Perhaps, it was overcast conditions that confused the unit, but there was sufficient day light.

Automatic Wipers – They work very well during rains. Even in heavy pouring rain, I never had a situation where the visibility was compromised. Its rain and speed sensitive and works quite well except on a couple of occasions where there would be no water and it would still vigorously keep swiping. The rimless wipers are good and so is the jet spray of windscreen washer fluid.

Cruise Control - Have not managed to use it much. It can’t be used in the city but I got to experiment with it in an empty stretch of highway. Once the speed is set, the way it accelerates to get there is fun. It’s rapid and relentless.

Air-Conditioning – No complaints here. Cools quite well and fast. I rarely keep it below 24 degrees. Has negligible effect on acceleration or engine response when switched on. Engine vibration very slightly goes up.

Interior Lighting -Theatre dimming lights are very cool and lend the car an air of sophistication and I way in which they are programmed to switch on and off is very nice. Maybe I'm easy to please but my earlier car did not have this feature. Even the rooftop panel night lights (which throw a warm light over the gear shift area) are nice. The orange ambient lighting on the left side of the dashboard is exceptionally good. Wish they added that to more areas of the car such as in the door trims like Mercs do. Follow me home headlamps are another nice feature to have.

Power windows with Delay – Switching off engine before I have closed all windows happens to me on a regular basis on the Palio and the delay feature which keeps the windows powered for a brief while after switch off is a welcome move.

Leather seats – are of good quality, firm and supportive. Driver’s seat could have benefited from slightly better cushioning and lumbar adjustment.

Blue and Me - Enhances convenience.

Brakes– Excellent braking capability. Fuss-free stopping. So could that am afraid of getting rear ended.

Boot space – Large enough to swallow good amount of luggage. Loading height slightly high because of the raised stance of the rear.

Meaty Tyres - The size of the OEM tyres contribute majorly to way the car rides and behaves. Kudos to FIAT for not going the Honda way and providing really meaty tyres. I am also thankful that Apollo Acceleres were fitted in my car than Goodyear. Thankfully, since the Acceleres are actually quite decent soft compound tyres, I have saved some 22k by not having to upgrade to Michelin Primacy 3ST. I might have to upgrade if the tyres were of Goodyear considering the feedback.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE

Seating Ergonomics: It is slightly difficult to find the right seating position and it requires a good amount of trial and error. The ergonomics of the Honda City are spot on but in the Linea, the placement of the pedals, the seating etc., cause some lower leg pain over a period of time. Its not a deal breaker as I have adjusted to it, but it could have been addressed as this is not a new issue.

Storage – Hardly any. One bottle holder and some space of change and toll tickets. That’s it. At the bare minimum, a nice spot to keep your wallet and smartphone would have been good. Although I do not any issues with the shortened hand rest, the earlier one could have been retained as it had better storage.

Placement of Dead Pedal – Comes in the way of clutch operation. I wear Size 11 shoes and it’s a problem for me.

Single Key w/ Remote Locking – Apparently, it’s a royal pain to order a spare and it’s also expensive, time consuming and needs to be hardcoded into the ECU.

Plain jane audio system – FIAT could have thrown in the touch screen version offered in the Elegante – Limited Edition, or atleast offered it as an option.

Pathetic quality leather over the steering wheel – My GTX has much better and thicker leather which feels lovely to hold. This one looks like some cheap rexin wrapped over the wheel. To FIAT’s credit, it’s very well wrapped and the contours of the steering for the thumb feel good to hold. I doubt an aftermarket leather cover will fit as well.

Low beam – Not very good in spread or throw. Am very sceptical of changing bulbs and ending up with white or blue light. Can someone recommend a good upgrade for the low beam (H7 type). Are the Osram Nightbreakers any good? I don’t want to end up with white light which is useless in bad weather.

Non Folding Rear Seats – Increases the storage versatility. The Palio has transported a 4 foot cabinet, a 40 inch television with box, bamboo jhoola and a Split A/C unit. Of course, in separate instances!

Removal of middle head rest at the rear – Unexplainable cost cutting. Wonder how much money was ultimately saved.

Slightly questionable paint quality: The 3M Car Care franchisee pointed out that the paint at the rear right quarter panel is not homogenous and does not match well with the paint of the adjacent areas. There were also some very minute bubbles. He was of the opinion that it has been repainted. I dismissed the concerns as the dealer could not have done anything as the car was delivered to me directly from the factory with hardly a few hours at the dealer’s end. However, a couple of days later, when I noticed a few standing water droplets had left a temporary dull white marks, I was convinced there is an issue. Wrote to Mangesh Kodalkar with photos and requested this to be attended to in warranty. Upon inspection by Torrid Workshop, they too agreed that there is a paint defect and the area under question will be repainted under warranty. I intend to get the same done once the monsoons are over or during the first service at 5000km. Hopefully, (and god forbid) if there are any other affected areas that come to light, I can get the same resolved in one shot.

Paint Defect
FIAT Accompli - Linea T-Jet Emotion (Pearl White). EDIT: 1st service completed-white-spots.jpg


Mud Guards
– The moulded type mudguards look very good. But it’s horrible when it comes to preventing splashes. The tyres being quite fat, bulge out of the wheel-arch at some places and throw a lot of muck at the doors, rear bumpers and the running board.

WHAT I AM NEUTRAL ABOUT

Gearshift - Perfectly acceptable, not very notchy or rubbery. Perhaps, I feel this way as I don't have a point of reference to compare with say, a Vento or Verna.

NVH - NVH is decently controlled. I haven't yet heard the turbo whine. I may have to upgrade to quieter tyres, perhaps. Wind noise is also not as significant as earlier Linea owners have made it out to be.

Steering Radius: GTX has the same radius and I am used to planning turns in advance or doing three point turns.

WHAT I WISH THIS LINEA HAD
:

The front end of the earlier generation and those lovely turbine alloy wheels.

It’s not that either is bad in the current iteration. The front end now looks a whole lot more sophisticated, but the understated elegance and timeless design of the earlier generation front end is more appealing. In case of the wheels, the current propeller type design is very nice with subtle variation in the shape of the spokes. From close by they look like single spokes and from far off they look like prongs, and look great when the car is in motion as each facet reflects light differently. But the earlier generation turbine design is a different league altogether and is more in tune with the character with the car. In my opinion, even the new ABARTH Scorpion wheels come second as compared those wheels. If anyone is willing to trade the turbine wheel for the current ones, do contact me!!

Continued....

Last edited by thedragula : 21st August 2015 at 15:43.
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Old 21st August 2015, 12:48   #2
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The Engine & Driving Experience

The T-Jet Engine in the Linea is a slightly detuned version of the 120 Bhp version available abroad. As GTO said, this is the engine the car should have had in the first place.

The engine has a nice revving note and does not sound strained unless pushed to around 4000 rpm and beyond. Probably, once the run-in is complete and an oil change later, the car should be a lot smoother to drive. At 1500km it already feels smoother.

At regular speeds, the engine is not very audible. But its a very rev friendly unit and you are looking at the engine hovering around 3000rpm plus if you dab the throttle for a couple of seconds from near idle speeds. The turbo boost is not pronounced as it used to be in the initial production run of the Linea. It's more linear and geared towards driveability than for a 'kick in the pants' feeling.

Once the revs hit 1750 rpm and above, the car surges ahead and pulls with a singular force all the way until around 4000rpm. I expect a remap will enable the engine to pull longer and harder. Conservative remaps of the T-Jet with the same turbo peg it at approx 135 bhp and 245nm of torque.

The engine bay plumbing looks quite complicated considering the number of pipes that come in and out of the engine and the turbo. The pic below is from the T-Jet training manual for the Fiat Bravo and does a good job of indicating all the plumbing.

Engine Bay Air Intake/Exhaust Schematic

FIAT Accompli - Linea T-Jet Emotion (Pearl White). EDIT: 1st service completed-21.jpg

The release/training notes indicate that the turbo is water cooled (See Highlighted Portion below). Even from the Engine Bay pics, you will notice that here is a direct line from the coolant reservoir. This means that this engine is not susceptible to coking problems associated with oil cooled turbos. Therefore, there does not appear to be any real need to idle the engine for 30 seconds before and after a run. In fact, the owner's manual states that a short bursts of acceleration or idling before switch off serve no purpose than to waste fuel.

FIAT Accompli - Linea T-Jet Emotion (Pearl White). EDIT: 1st service completed-22.jpg
FIAT Accompli - Linea T-Jet Emotion (Pearl White). EDIT: 1st service completed-23.jpg


ACCESSORIES & TREATMENTS
  1. Mudflaps
  2. Door Sills (non-illuminated) with Linea branding
  3. OEM Spoiler (the spoiler is stuck on to the boot and no drilling is done. However, the adhesive on one end is coming off and will have to be removed and re-stuck.
  4. T-Jet branded floor mats – I ordered the boot mat from 99rpm.com and floor mats were instead delivered. I decided to keep them. But they get dirty real quick and the area where the heel rests gets deformed easily.
  5. 3M Nomad Mats – These are quite expensive. Since I already have the T-Jet mats in the car, I opted for Nomad mats only in the front where it will be used most. They are quite good in trapping dirt. Black colour gels well with interiors and a contoured cut ensures they don’t look tacky. 10 sq. ft of mat required.
  6. 3M Underbody Anti-Corrosion Treatment (with 2 year warranty)
  7. 3M Silencer Anti – Rust Treatment – This is a spray which coats the entire silencer and the pipes right from the cat-con till the end pipe. It coats the metal with a matt silver coating.
  8. 3M Paint Sealant Treatment – Though I wasn’t sure of the benefits, I opted for it for peace of mind. Though driving through Mumbai rain sort of negates the visual effect of the finish.
  9. 3M Paint Protection Film – Only for door edges. Did not opt for Side RVMS and bumper film as PPF over white tends to turn yellowish.
Some pics of the underbody before the Anti-Corrosion treatment. Sorry, I have not clicked any photos of the underbody post the treatment.

Note: Metal sump guard

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FIAT Accompli - Linea T-Jet Emotion (Pearl White). EDIT: 1st service completed-exhaust-pipe.jpg
FIAT Accompli - Linea T-Jet Emotion (Pearl White). EDIT: 1st service completed-underbody-1.jpg

3M Silencer Anti Rust Spray
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Undergoing the Underbody Treatment
FIAT Accompli - Linea T-Jet Emotion (Pearl White). EDIT: 1st service completed-anti-corrossion-treatment.jpg

Post the Paint Sealant Treatment
FIAT Accompli - Linea T-Jet Emotion (Pearl White). EDIT: 1st service completed-post-3m-paint-sealant-treatment-1.jpg
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FIAT Accompli - Linea T-Jet Emotion (Pearl White). EDIT: 1st service completed-post-3m-paint-sealant-treatment-3.jpg
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FIAT Accompli - Linea T-Jet Emotion (Pearl White). EDIT: 1st service completed-post-3m-paint-sealant-treatment-5.jpg
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PENDING ITEMS
  1. Replacement of Speakers – To give credit where it’s due, the default speakers are actually quite good and acceptable. So I might defer this purchase till some Vitamin M is produced.
  2. REMAP – Why? I reproduce my earlier post elsewhere in this forum on the comparison between the T-Jet and the GTX as below.
“The question is, is the T-Jet the true successor of the 1.6 GTX.

The answer is NO.

Not that the Linea isn't fun, but the GTX is F.U.N.!!

Sure, the Linea T-Jet is bigger, marginally more spacious, arguably safer and probably more reliable (too early to speak!) but it lacks the urgency and the lurch of the GTX. The Linea is drive by wire whereas the GTX has a manually controlled throttle. In other words, in both the cars, there is cause and effect, but in the GTX there is a taut cable between the cause and effect. Its difficult to explain in any other terms.

I may well change my opinion once I spend more time with the Linea and/or once I remap her. The T-Jet is the logical successor to the 1.6 GTX but maybe not the spiritual successor, atleast not in the Linea in its current form. Perhaps, in the Abarth Punto, but only time will tell.

This is the reason I will still keep the GTX. No amount of logic can explain it to someone who expects that the GTX will be sold in light of the New Linea. But even if I sell it, it will most probably be to some guy who will lowball me and I may expect to make some 50-60k by selling it. The 50-60k will soon be claimed by routine monthly expenses or an unexpected illness. But the smile it puts on your face as long as it runs, is priceless.”

I am yet to decide when to do it. I am first keen to drive the car around for 5000-10000km to make sure that the car is otherwise trouble-free. If I am going to have to rely on the warranty, then there is no point remapping the car and losing the warranty in the first place. Tune-o-tronics and Wolf Moto come to mind. I think Wolf-Moto’s USP is the switchable maps. Will deliberate more on it when the time comes. If you have remapped your linea and are reading this, your feedback will be appreciated.

I think I have covered some decent ground in this post. Happy to hear views/comments/criticism from other members on the forum. Apologies for the quality of some photos as most photos were shot with a mobile phone camera. Will post some better shots once I get the SLR out of its hibernation.
-----------------------------------------------------
And lastly, I have a question for the larger community. Please see below the updated stock list out of which my vehicle was allotted. The one which has production date of June 10, 2015 (marked with the red arrow) is the car that has been allotted to me.

FIAT Accompli - Linea T-Jet Emotion (Pearl White). EDIT: 1st service completed-stocklist-2-my-vehicle.jpg

All vehicles which were June manufactured (i.e., which have "MCA xxxx FHZ" in the VIN are numbered serially (including mine) and all of them have entered into production on June 8 except my vehicle which shows as June 10. Now since the VIN for all the June manufactured cars are 'serially/consecutively numbered', it is safe to assume that even my car entered production on June 8. In fact, various quality control stickers in various places in the car have the date specifically as June 8. What could be the reason that of all the other cars, only mine is listed as having been produced on June 10 when it entered production on June 8. Could it be that this car was randomly singled out for batch testing? Or could it be that there was some defect that was noted and the car had to be sent back to the production line for rectification and it perhaps, was placed in the stockyard only on June 10? Views solicited!

Thanks for the patient read.

Last edited by Rehaan : 3rd September 2015 at 16:35.
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Old 21st August 2015, 15:52   #3
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Default re: FIAT Accompli - Linea T-Jet Emotion (Pearl White). EDIT: 1st service completed

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 21st August 2015, 16:58   #4
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Smile re: FIAT Accompli - Linea T-Jet Emotion (Pearl White). EDIT: 1st service completed

@thedragula,

Let me be the first to congratulate you on the T-jet. The colour white looks pristine on the car.

I am surprised to see 246 kms on the odo, where had the car run so much before the delivery? Surely not for the registration which anyways would not push the odo so much. Sad to know that the spoiler glue is coming off. Where are you based in Mumbai?

Happy mile crunching and fly safely.
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Old 21st August 2015, 17:05   #5
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Default re: FIAT Accompli - Linea T-Jet Emotion (Pearl White). EDIT: 1st service completed

Quote:
Originally Posted by thedragula View Post
It was Linea T-Jet all the way… a foregone conclusion or a ‘Fiat Accompli’ (pun intended). It had to be a worthy upgrade from my other car (the Palio 1.6 GTX) and once that premise was defined, I realised that the problem gets compounded for there is hardly anything in the market that qualifies
Congrats thedragula on your latest acquisition. Its a stunner !!

I think the opening few lines of your ownership shows how sure you really were in zeroing on your next car, considering the fact that you owned GTX !!


Quote:

But the 1.6 MJD never came. Suzuki managed to plonk it in the S-Cross but not FIAT. The irony is just too much to ignore. It’s like ‘X marries Y but goes on a honeymoon with Z’.
I heard from a very close pal recently that FIAT had signed a deal with Maruti/TATA which apparently restricts them from launching the 1.6MJD engine on their own cars in India for about 10yrs at least!!

I am really unsure how much truth is behind this, but seems quite a respectable rumor in the current scenario.
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Old 21st August 2015, 17:30   #6
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Default re: FIAT Accompli - Linea T-Jet Emotion (Pearl White). EDIT: 1st service completed

Congrats on the Tjet! A worthy upgrade from GTX!

Reg Underbody treatment, all Fiat cars come with underbody anti-rust coating, not sure if you knew about it.
And how much did Silencer coating cost you?
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Old 21st August 2015, 17:41   #7
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Default re: FIAT Accompli - Linea T-Jet Emotion (Pearl White). EDIT: 1st service completed

Congrat's on the new purchase.

I had the exact same problem on my 16 month old T-Jet about 6 month ago. The driver’s door would look like it had come out in an ugly white rash when it rained heavily. Took some pic’s of the offending door and sent it off to KHT Fiat who promptly fixed it under warranty on advice from the factory. I have been very impressed with KHT service so far.

Remap: Well like you I thought I would wait for about a year before I took the plunge, but after I drove my car with a remapped ECU that Rajiv (Wolf-Moto) brought across for me to try, there was no going back to stock. I guess my car was one of the first to get the remapped ECU.

1. Throttle response when feathering the throttle for city driving is clearly better. I am talking about response before the turbo spools up, i.e. Low end torque is better
2. The midrange response was always good, but with the remap it does pulls a bit better towards the top, and the biggest gain is it pulls cleanly to about 5000 RPM against the stock’s 4500 RPM before power starts dropping off.
3. Mileage: I am getting between 10-11 kmpl in city driving with say 50% AC. I normally fill shell regular since I have a pump right down my road. I am getting this mileage by mostly keeping it below the turbo zone with occasional bursts when you have some idiot in front of you or you find an empty stretch, which is almost never in Bangalore. I have managed to get 14-15 kmpl on runs to the airport with the cruise on most of the way at the regulated 80km speed limit (about a 100 km round trip).

The other modification I did do was to change the stock Goodyears (which I felt were extremely noisy) to Hankook Ventus V2’s. The Hankooks are quiet, grip and stop just the way I wanted and, I can honestly say that they have significantly contributed to upping the fun factor of the car.

I hated the stock speakers, so I replaced them with Infinity Kappa’s and a Hertz amp. I guess the layers of Dampmat that were added for acoustical reasons also help keep the insides nice and quiet along with the tyres.
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Old 21st August 2015, 17:48   #8
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Default re: FIAT Accompli - Linea T-Jet Emotion (Pearl White). EDIT: 1st service completed

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghodlur View Post
@thedragula,

I am surprised to see 246 kms on the odo, where had the car run so much before the delivery? Surely not for the registration which anyways would not push the odo so much. Sad to know that the spoiler glue is coming off. Where are you based in Mumbai?
The 246 km was the reading when I took that particular photo. When I got the car, it read as 226 km. 20 Km reading when the driver picked it up. 205km clocked between Ranjangaon and Mumbai.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vik0728 View Post
Congrats thedragula on your latest acquisition. Its a stunner !!

I think the opening few lines of your ownership shows how sure you really were in zeroing on your next car, considering the fact that you owned GTX !!




I heard from a very close pal recently that FIAT had signed a deal with Maruti/TATA which apparently restricts them from launching the 1.6MJD engine on their own cars in India for about 10yrs at least!!

I am really unsure how much truth is behind this, but seems quite a respectable rumor in the current scenario.
Thanks! Thats exactly the reason for the Title of the thread. It was simply a foregone conclusion!

I hope that rumour is true because if they now launch the 1.6MJD, I may regret buying the T-Jet!

Quote:
Originally Posted by finneyp View Post
Congrats on the Tjet! A worthy upgrade from GTX!

Reg Underbody treatment, all Fiat cars come with underbody anti-rust coating, not sure if you knew about it.
And how much did Silencer coating cost you?
I am aware that the car comes with underbody treatment. In fact, the pics I posted before doing the treatment show. However, its not of the complete underbody. There are many places where it is not covered. Plus the wheel arches are not covered. I made sure that 3M covered the whole underbody, even the hard to reach parts. I didn't click any photo because I was in no mood to step into once again step into the recess under the car for inspection and taking photos. Silencer treatment cost approx 700.
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Old 21st August 2015, 20:18   #9
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Default

Congratulations on owning the T Jet. I was initially shocked that no other cars were considered but was relieved when came to know that your other car is a Palio GTX. I am sure finding an upgrade for that 'hoot-to-drive' car would have been difficult.

Modern cars lack the surge and punch present in older cars. For instance, Swift diesel. While the earlier version had a wild turbo kick, the newer one feels more tamed and neutral. The same you must be feeling in the Linea when compared to 1.6 GTX.

A pretty detailed report, nicely put up. Car looks great in the pictures. White colour mutes the overdone chrome treatment to a great extent. Enjoy the drives!
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Old 21st August 2015, 20:50   #10
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Default re: FIAT Accompli - Linea T-Jet Emotion (Pearl White). EDIT: 1st service completed

Quote:
Originally Posted by thedragula View Post
This buying experience and review of my latest acquisition will not contain usual aspects such as other cars considered and their plusses and minuses. Why? Simply because there were no other cars considered. It was Linea T-Jet all the way… a foregone conclusion or a ‘Fiat Accompli’ (pun intended).
Congrats thedragula on the T-Jet purchase & the wonderful report . Guess after the GTX T-Bone incident, the FIAT brand must have been strongly embedded in your heart & mind
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Old 22nd August 2015, 13:11   #11
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Default re: FIAT Accompli - Linea T-Jet Emotion (Pearl White). EDIT: 1st service completed

Congratulations thedragula on Linea

I own new Linea MJD Emotion and covered more than 5000 kms. Some of my observations are as follows.

"Sluggishness" : Well, for the first 1000 KMs or so, the car was little sluggish in 1st and 2nd gear, but now its super smooth. In fact, I easily overtake Citi's and Verna's after the signal stopover. 3rd Gear to 5th Gear was never the problem in the first place. On top of that, Fiat has now issued an ECU update which kicks the turbo at as low as 1200 RPM. I am yet to get this update done, but whoever has done, are simply praising the MJD now. Not only the pickup in 1st and 2nd gears has become butter smooth but the mileage has also increased.

Cruise Control: This is super fun on highways especially on long trips. Feels like you are playing a video game Very nice feature indeed.

Driver Seat Positioning: There is a simple trick which I found out by trial and error method. First using the height adjustment lever, take the seat to its lowest position and then adjust the seat for leg distance (front and back).. Once, you have found the right position for your legs reach, stretch the seat backwards by an inch. Now slowly take the seat higher till you find comfortable position..(The leg distance reduces with every move upwards)

Speakers: I found them pretty good actually (This will vary from person to person) and not thinking of any upgrades here.

Enjoy !
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Old 22nd August 2015, 13:56   #12
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Default re: FIAT Accompli - Linea T-Jet Emotion (Pearl White). EDIT: 1st service completed

Many congratulations , it is a fantastic buy and will serve you well. Mine has now crossed the 2 year mark and still going strong minus dents and scratches thanks to Delhi

Are the new models still coming with Good Year's as well? I just changed mine to new shoes from Pirelli. Will be putting up a post on that shortly.
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Old 23rd August 2015, 01:53   #13
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Default re: FIAT Accompli - Linea T-Jet Emotion (Pearl White). EDIT: 1st service completed

Congratulations on your purchase, this is a car you buy from your heart and not mind. I own one from early 2009 batch and the tank is still going strong, drives like a beauty even today, this should serve you well for years to come.
Congrats again and drive safe
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Old 23rd August 2015, 02:32   #14
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Default re: FIAT Accompli - Linea T-Jet Emotion (Pearl White). EDIT: 1st service completed

Thedragula, the TJET looks stunning. Congratulations.
Since you are already a FIAT customer you were able to put up with the lackluster delivery process from the dealership. A new Fiat customer would certainly have taken this in bad taste as far as the delivery process is concerned,. As an ex Fiat Linea owner i feel sorry that Fiat just do not learn to create a great customer experience. Inspite of great products they still lack in this area. I hope you can remap and enjoy the full potential of this brilliant product
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Old 23rd August 2015, 10:10   #15
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Question re: FIAT Accompli - Linea T-Jet Emotion (Pearl White). EDIT: 1st service completed

Quote:
Originally Posted by thedragula View Post
The 246 km was the reading when I took that particular photo. When I got the car, it read as 226 km. 20 Km reading when the driver picked it up. 205km clocked between Ranjangaon and Mumbai.
You mean the car was driven 200+ kms for the delivery, was it the only vehicle to be delivered? I always thought that Fiat transports the cars in those heavy vehicles.

How was your PDI experience at Torrid motors? One of my friend is expected to do a PDI in the coming days and would like to know the nitty gritties of Torrid functioning. Also can you share the PDI document used by you? Thanks in advance.
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