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Old 6th April 2007, 12:14   #1
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Thumbs up The new Palio Stile 1.1 - Test driven !!

Hello all,

Its my pleasure to post here my experience with the test drive of the new palio stile. Without bragging much about anything, let me start off to the point. I has spoken to one Mr.Subbiah the manager of Prerana motors, next to urvashi theatre (lalbagh road) expressing interest in the test drive. since the car was still unavailable in the showroom around April 1st, he said he will contact me once its there. Maybe due to his busy schedules, he never did that. We all are busy, and we can't expect others to be proactive when we ourselves are not! So I decided to call him up again, and this time he remembered me, and asked me to come on Good Friday morning for the test drive since the car was now available in the showroom.

And what a good friday it was !! There was no traffic whatsoever in the morning, and I promptly presented myself in their showroom spot on at 10am. They were just opened for the day and without any surprise i found the Palio Stile parked there. The lady who received me was very courteous and to the point, and she said she "doesnt know" for whatever she "didnt know" Me already having owned a palio, starting checking out the car by myself. The driveable car was another piece which was getting ready, so i indulged in the one in the showroom.

Here a few salient points:

1. The double barrel headlamps are a thing of beauty and is master crafted to a perfect shine! it simply blows you away when you stand and observe it from the distance.

2. The beige treatment within the car is sort of dirty, but you get used to it after a while.

3. The power window switches are now part of the door lock mould, instead of the previous door handle mould (if i am not wrong)

4. The rear indicators are vertical (the ones in the earlier photos from shineshine are not the indicators, its the reverse lights) and are clear lens. Needless to say, the remote fuel cap release and boot release are there as well.

5. The seating position is not the greatest (i found the indigo to be better in terms of back support and sitting straight, whereas the palio is more of a slide-back-relax-and-drive kind of seat), but its the same since the older model. overall the changes mentioned above makes the car looks refreshing.

6. while sitting in the rear seat, i shook myself a lot, and found that the car too shakes on this impact. well this only means that you can notice the weight shed from the times of the old palio. nothing to be anxious about since the reassuring door thud still is there! (if you know what i mean)

After drooling over the car much, the car was ready for the test drive, and no fuss, the key was given to my by one mr.thimmiah and he said lets go!!one point though is that i feel the cars going to be delivered to someone are the ones being offered for test drive, which i feel is cheating on some unsuspecting person! the one i drove already had 57kms clocked on it. i can understand their yard is in peenya, which is far far away, but come on for 57 kms i wouldve crossed hosur even!!being familiar with the car, i started it and there is only a faint feeling that the car is on. quite impressive. i had a drive from lalbagh road onto krumbeigal road upto rv road circle, u turn, and then to jc road and via poornima theatre road back to lalbagh road (about 1-2 km with all kinds of traffic and empty stretches today being good friday) my observations:

1. the clutch is a hydraulic clutch, you have to press it fully with your might to engage the gear (this is specially so for 2nd gear which does not slot in properly if on half clutch)

2. on the first gear you cant even go a few metres, you will have to change. this car has the ability to give a feedback on when it requires a gear change (much like the santros i have driven), which is good. onto second gear and I dreaded the sluggishness that was there in the earlier palio nv's will repeat. I cautiously pressed the accelerator, intially without a/c with two people in the car, i was NOT confident the car is going to pull, just marginally 2 seconds later, the car much to my expectation, just started pulling magically! definitely the sluggishness of the previous version is much lesser now. as reported earlier, trying to take the car upto 100 on second gear is quite foolish with such a beauty, and i went into third gear quite easily much before a 100!! (remember i had traffic)

so the moral - you expect the car not to pull, but the car shows who it is! so have confidence and step on the gas!

3. i happened to stop once due to early clutch release, and had a bus blaring its horn behind me. thanks to avoidance of multi cranking, i had to fully switch engine off and recrank again (this is a waste of time in busy traffic, but its best for the engine itself)

4. onto third gear and the car is just a beauty to drive! it just sails on third gear effortless pulling all it can! oh boy i really thought i was on cloud nine! i pressed the gas pedal much more confidently this time, and the car surged forward just as i wanted! fourth gear was pretty much the same experience. one thing to mention is that i fully well tested the torque in third and its just great!! the guy even told me sometimes when we come to almost dead stop in second gear, i can confidently move on in the same gear with this car! (i atleast appreciate his liking to a palio considering he was mr.ratan TATAs boy - and his honesty in his liking!)

5. Finally I was in fifth gear, the car is capable of pulling well in fifth gear, though the feedback received on gas pedal press isnt exactly matching the expectation of this capability. perhaps then this is the effect of 57bhp and only if i crossed 100+ would I have known if it was exactly like my old horse!

6. the brakes - this is a department i was not exactly comfortable with, and just like the older model, the brakes here too was very very rigid! you know this is exactly also why the palio stops where you want it to stop and makes other cars behind it paranoid and bang into it anyways, i d rather have tight braking than a loose one. after all i want the car to stop where i want it to!

7. a welcome addition is the dead pedal which i dont think was there in the earlier one (maybe i m getting too forgetful of the old horse now!) though in the city i dont think it will solve any useful purpose!!

8. the a/c is mind blowing as before, and one flick of the switch and in seconds you already feel the chill! good job fiat! i love you for making me comfortable in this scorching summer! (a level 1 of the a/c is more than enough if you are only one or two people in the car. and hey guys, always leave to office early, much early in the morning, not only are you kept cool by nature, you also save on fuel by not using a/c!!)

9. the storage space on palio isnt exactly impressive.for the driver to reach the shelf on the left seems too far off. and absolutely nothing can be kept on the dashboard (personally i like this since otherwise, we indians will think its an almirah and start stacking so many things! a dashboard is a dashboard, use it like one!)

10. fiat provides wiring for either 4 or 6 speakers, but not the stereo or the speakers itself. personally again, thats the best, i mean why must i pay and accept whatever given by the company! fiat does what its best known for, the car! i ve also heard before that its difficult to fit certain stereos on palio, dont know whether thats true!

11. the boot is quite good, but no 40-60 seat split only full. some cars i notice have vertical storage like swift or indica, while others horizontal with getz being the best and then palio!12. the wheels are the same radii but tubeless this time, but somehow the gaps between the wheel arches and tyre remind me of the earlier indicas. it removes a certain composed figure of the car that was there in the old horse.

i expect this car to be frugal with fuel and atleast 14 without a/c is assured. and for the price and features as earlier posted in this forum, nothing matches this car. so then what about colours, i liked the red and green the most, since i already own a blue maruti 800, the other good colours would be black and blue, though white and silver are known ones to be sedate looking! but i d anyday vouch for the fact that NO ONE will have the heart to call a white palio a taxi!!

Please note that the colours mentioned in the brochures exactly match that of the actual car which is good.fiat have worked on all these changes themselves and not with tats support. tata only do sales! prerana has a service center next to big bazar on old madras road. their showroom team is 100 times better than the disorganized manipal motors. there is also a prerana showroom on sarjapur road next to hsr layout entrance (27th main)

finally as i exit the car, i listen to the reassuring thud one last time before heading off to my maruti 800 again. what a dramatic change once i enter my maruti. its unbelieveable that i ve been driving this car for 2 yrs now! but a few minutes with it and i am back to normal.

Handing over the baton for fellow bhpians to continue the saga of writing long term reports (of whom most likely i myself will be one sometime soon)!

Cheers
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Old 6th April 2007, 12:27   #2
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Excellent first driving impression Greeksrik. Should try out one myself on the weekend. i presume you drove the 1.1 ? Do you have some pictures on you?
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Old 6th April 2007, 12:40   #3
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Quote:
Excellent first driving impression Greeksrik.
well written GeekSrik .. which variant did you drove ?

Last edited by navdeep : 6th April 2007 at 12:47.
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Old 6th April 2007, 12:41   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dippy View Post
Excellent first driving impression Greeksrik. Should try out one myself on the weekend. i presume you drove the 1.1 ? Do you have some pictures on you?
yes i did drive the 1.1 (frankly 1.6 is an overkill for bangalore city unless you have great roads to try it on, i agree though its a powerful machine)

unfortunately somehow didnt want to take pics, since there are already many pics taken at ranjangaon. maybe when i buy mine, the first thing i ll do is take it out somewhere out of bangalore and get some nice shots!

and by the way i am geeksrik
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Old 6th April 2007, 12:45   #5
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Thanks for the really nice report, GeekSrik. So things are not all that bad with the new Stile.

The pre-NV Palios did have the dead-pedal (My 2002 1.2 ELX) has one. And the power window switches were part of the door-lock unit itself (and not the the door-handle unit).

Were the 1.6 Stiles not available yet, or did you want to test only the 1.1?
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Old 6th April 2007, 12:46   #6
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Great report GeekShrik. Seems you are happy with the performance. Did they have the 1.6 for a test drive? I will try my luck soon in Pune. Will post a report on this thread once the car is here. I was already informed by someone who test drove the 1.1 that it moves like a Santro in 1st and 2nd gears.

Quote:
The power window switches are now part of the door lock mould, instead of the previous door handle mould (if i am not wrong)
It was always a part of the door lock mould .

Quote:
The rear indicators are vertical (the ones in the earlier photos from shineshine are not the indicators, its the reverse lights) and are clear lens. Needless to say, the remote fuel cap release and boot release are there as well.
The base model 1.1 misses the remote boot release and will require a key to open it.

Quote:
the key was given to my by one mr.thimmiah and he said lets go!!one point though is that i feel the cars going to be delivered to someone are the ones being offered for test drive, which i feel is cheating on some unsuspecting person! the one i drove already had 57kms clocked on it
Did they tell you something about the anti-theft mechanism? Was the odometer rolling while the car was in motion, if yes then I doubt they will sell the car to any customer since it would not be easy on them to roll back the speedo.

Quote:
on the first gear you cant even go a few metres, you will have to change
Explains short ratio for the first gear. How was the torque?

Quote:
a welcome addition is the dead pedal which i dont think was there in the earlier one (maybe i m getting too forgetful of the old horse now!) though in the city i dont think it will solve any useful purpose!!
It was there in pre-nv models and then went absent on the cost cut models. I procured one for my 1.6 from a totalled car.
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Old 6th April 2007, 12:46   #7
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oops a typo there my friend. Considering its a 1.1 it seems quite impressive. Did you ask them about the diesel by any chance?
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Old 6th April 2007, 13:03   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hydrashok View Post
Were the 1.6 Stiles not available yet, or did you want to test only the 1.1?
@moralfibre

personally i am interested for now on the 1.1, and no they did not have any 1.6 for test drive yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dippy View Post
oops a typo there my friend. Considering its a 1.1 it seems quite impressive. Did you ask them about the diesel by any chance?

dippy, personally again i did not ask him about diesel, and i dont think they will sell it even if it comes. with all the news floating around, they might plonk the 1.3 mjd directly onto punto in 2007 end 2008 beg. alternatively they might release the 1.3mjd palio diesel by sep. going by the fact that all fiat only dealers arent even mentioned, i think its going to be directly on the punto. the logistics of these guys selling only 1.3 mjd through fiat only dealers wont work out for them and will be too complex. that aside, they seem to totally be aligning with tata in a proper way.


they also offer 18 + 18 extended warranty similar to tata cars. which is a welcome move to inspire confidence in car buyers. but only bhpians have to tell me if their service is spot on without major issues and whether they keep to their word on the warranties.
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Old 6th April 2007, 13:31   #9
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Good review on the car geeksrik i have been waitng for the palio since september and now its finally thier and now i have to wait a lil longer to get my hands on te 1.3 multijet engine

and can anybody confirm if the diesel version is coming or not
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Old 6th April 2007, 13:34   #10
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The vehicle sounds as impressive as your writeup, both good. I can sense the improvement in drivability of the car in city conditions.
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Old 6th April 2007, 14:04   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dippy View Post
oops a typo there my friend. Considering its a 1.1 it seems quite impressive. Did you ask them about the diesel by any chance?
Had gone to Tej Motors. The guy slipped the words that the Diesel should be out within 2 months max.
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Old 6th April 2007, 14:19   #12
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i find that the palio is a 2 valves per cylinder, SOHC, whereas the getz prime is 4 valves per cylinder, SOHC. can anyone point out which is better and in what way please?

i found this link which explains it, but not sure what it translates to for the end user

SOHC vs DOHC Valvetrains

Last edited by GeekSrik : 6th April 2007 at 14:23.
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Old 6th April 2007, 14:20   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devarshi84 View Post
Had gone to Tej Motors. The guy slipped the words that the Diesel should be out within 2 months max.
Will be interesting to see how it stacks up with the Swift diesel since i'm sure they will share the same powerplant. I feel the pricing might be on par with the Swift
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Old 6th April 2007, 14:21   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devarshi84 View Post
Had gone to Tej Motors. The guy slipped the words that the Diesel should be out within 2 months max.
These guys have such ( bad ) habits .. I visited Hyundai dealer in Oct'06 to inquire about Getz and when asked about Getz D. He said by dec it will be out.. max by Jan'07.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dippy View Post
Will be interesting to see how it stacks up with the Swift diesel since i'm sure they will share the same powerplant. I feel the pricing might be on par with the Swift
looking at the prices of Prime .. I am sure it will priced competitively , may be 3-5k lower then Swift D.

Last edited by adya33 : 6th April 2007 at 19:05.
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Old 6th April 2007, 14:27   #15
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hyundai may realease the getz diesel after fiat.

Fiat's diesel should be the same mill as the Swift's which makes me think that it maybe slower if the stile's body is heavier. Which also means that you can install 1.3 swift engine in palio, which again means that 1.6 can be installed in a swift.
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