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Old 12th March 2008, 19:56   #1
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Default Palio 1.3 MJD Test Driven and Ripped.

Today around 1PM got a call from a friend that PALIO 1.3MJD has been launched and is available at TATA showroom. I didn't show much interest in it as the last 2 time when i went for 1.6 Stile Test Drive they didn't had the car. He checked with the dealer again and called me back that he has booked the test drive and he is coming by my office.

My friend arrives at 3PM and we head to TATA-Fiat dealer to check the car. I won't bore you with all the looks stuff as all have seen he car in flesh but i will do talk about interiors quality and fitments as i have never felt the NEW Palio interiors.

Interiors: I think it was the biggest let down for me at least. Fiat has gone TATA way. I was checking the top-end model and its interior quality was no way better than Swift or old Palio (blue interior). Plastic was tacky and it was giving TATA cars feeling. The beige is never my choice but to each his own. No complaints regarding car having beige interiors. Check the 4th pic for interiors fitments.

Handling / Comfort: Well no complaints in this section. FIAT as always a winner here notch above swift in handling / comfort and high speed stability. Touched 140 during the test drive. The full test drive was around 10 - 15 KM and everyone was comfy.

Engine / Refinement / Gear Box: Well this was not a let down at all engine is good but not as fast as swift or refined. The engine does the job quiet well. A little load can be felt when AC is switched on but the chilling AC lets u forget that. Only the one driving can feel the AC load. Engine picks up well after 1500 RPM and even though it says the torque kicks in at 2000 RPM you will not feel it until ~2200RPM (maybe because of the heavy metal build). I slotted the 5th gear @40KMPH (which is my test speed for every petrol or diesel car i drive for vibrations) and one can feel the vibrations on the floor, not like Indica V2 but yes there are vibrations. Slot the 5th gear at 50 - 60 KMPH and you can easily cruise upto 130. As i said it pick up pretty good after 1500 RPM.

Its in no way as fast as swift. I tried it many times and yes its dash must be around 15 secs to 100. Didint pay much attention as i like the handling of the car and was busy doing head to head with a safari. The road in which high speed test was done was curvy and bumpy and car gets 10/10 on that aspect. Max i could touch was 140 on that bumpy and curvy road and i would say the car still has the tank build as it was straight on line and i was still driving the car with 1 hand unlike swift which will need to hands on the steering at that speed. Even breaks were very good without ABS. Good job there FIAT

Gear box was not much to talk about i had problem slotting 1st and 3rd gear but only 2 times but yes still the problem is there. 5th gear was pretty smooth.

When i started the car i was clearly able to make out it was a diesel. There was clear sound inside the cabin during idling but on the move it was quiet smooth and felt like swift. One can even feel a bit of vibration on the floor. Not as refined as Swift.

Conclusion: A good car for anyone who wants alternative to swift (4 months waiting period here). Comes at 5lacs on road without ABS in Chandigarh. Where as Swift will need ABS which comes out to be around 5.45lacs on road Chandigarh. The price should have been less as Swift VDI (without ABS) is just Rs 20k costly than Palio SDX, but with a 4 months waiting.

Misc: The doors still shut with that THUD so its still tank like build. Fe will be good as Low fuel warning lamp was on while test drive and i even asked the Sales girl if that Fuel gauge was working or not. Engine is free revving as swift but don't over rev when u buy the car as its useless.

Two Disappointments:
1. Interior Plastic quality and its fitments.

2. Stupid Maruti dealers don't have SWIFT D for Test Drive. All the 3 dealers here in Chandigarh . I wanted to test drive the swift after Palio for more detailed comparison but no test drive car available. On asking how the hell they are selling the car without test drive they say "Sir, its hot selling its same as petrol." I even saw people booking Swift D without test drive.

Any more questions just ask :-).

P.S. I like both Swift DDiS and Palio MJD and i do not own either of the cars . So the review is totally un-biased and what i felt and i could be wrong too.
Attached Thumbnails
Palio 1.3 MJD Test Driven and Ripped.-12032008166.jpg  

Palio 1.3 MJD Test Driven and Ripped.-12032008167.jpg  

Palio 1.3 MJD Test Driven and Ripped.-12032008168.jpg  

Palio 1.3 MJD Test Driven and Ripped.-12032008169.jpg  


Last edited by abhibh : 12th March 2008 at 20:02.
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Old 12th March 2008, 20:10   #2
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good review , do you have the front grille picture ? The instrument cluster lookes outdated, not even a digital odometer .
Built it to a price , isnt ?
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Old 12th March 2008, 20:15   #3
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could the engine have been a little noisy and slow since it was new? it probably hasnt even been run in.
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Old 12th March 2008, 20:16   #4
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abhibh! thats fast!

Stile was supposed to be more silent than Swift.

Both cars weigh the same right?
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Old 12th March 2008, 20:19   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by undead View Post
good review , do you have the front grille picture ? The instrument cluster lookes outdated, not even a digital odometer .
Built it to a price , isnt ?
Well i didnt took Exterior pics at all as it looks same as stile. Except for the MJD badging.

Quote:
Originally Posted by akshay1234 View Post
could the engine have been a little noisy and slow since it was new? it probably hasnt even been run in.
Maybe it can be the reason but car was warmed up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkdas View Post
abhibh! thats fast!

Stile was supposed to be more silent than Swift.

Both cars weigh the same right?
Hehe i was amazed how fast the car reached the TATA dealership as i was hoping it to reach them by next month or so. Swift VDi weighs 10 KG's more.
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Old 12th March 2008, 20:27   #6
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I will definitely agree with you in respect to Interiors.

-BSR
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Old 12th March 2008, 20:29   #7
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hey abhibh, thnx for that quick review.
quite a good one indeed...
the interiors is definitely a total let down (similar to the palios that came about 5-8 years back)
did u manage to query about the mileage? If its about the same weight as the Swift, do we expect the same mileage?
Also with the tank like build quality, i think Palio is one up against the swift
the only think the swift goes up would be is the interiors.
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Old 12th March 2008, 20:35   #8
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Nice Abhibh! Your reviews echoes mine which I had posted in the earlier thread. Except for the engine noise. I felt MJD is more quite than DDiS and Indica Dicor
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Old 12th March 2008, 20:37   #9
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Very good review. Diesel engines generally take atleast 10 to 15k to free up completely. So should drive better then.
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Old 12th March 2008, 20:40   #10
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@abibh: That was a very concise and matter of fact review. Quick off the blocks too..

I guess the Swift still has the edge with being a time tested model and positivity in their A.S.S. The waiting period could be the only sweetener for the FIAT(other than the regular FIAT crazies).

May the best man .. ahem car win.
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Old 12th March 2008, 20:50   #11
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Very well written and yes you are right as far as the build quality is concerned, Fiat have a Tank instead of a car. Atleast lot better than the maruti swift where the power window switch breaks down at a click of a button.
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Old 12th March 2008, 21:00   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abhibh View Post
Well no complaints in this section. FIAT as always a winner here notch above swift in handling / comfort and high speed stability.
Was the MJD running on punny 13" high profile tyres or 14" GTX wheels ??
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Old 12th March 2008, 21:03   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kpzen View Post
Was the MJD running on punny 13" high profile tyres or 14" GTX wheels ??
Running on 13" puny tyres.
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Old 12th March 2008, 22:18   #14
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that seems to be a pretty high redline - about 5K... isnt that high for a diesel?
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Old 12th March 2008, 22:41   #15
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@abhibh, that was a quick one.
Quote:
madan80 : that seems to be a pretty high redline - about 5K... isnt that high for a diesel?
The speedo is caliberated to 200 kmph .. Redlining at 5k looks to be in line
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