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Old 7th July 2008, 01:29   #46
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Old 8th July 2008, 01:31   #47
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Default 5000 kms in 3 months

Mods, could you please edit the name of my thread and add "5000 kms done" or something to that effect. Thanks in advance!

Today is exactly a day more than 3 months since I took delivery of one of the first Palio MJDs on this forum. It has done 4927 kilometres so far. While this car has been the subject of a lot of discussion on TBHP (and still leads the votes in the thread against its competitors), I must add that it still is being bought by the newbies like me rather than the gurus. Perhaps, its all about experience making people wiser. Time to pen down an interim review before this thread is passe and I look forward to a Long Term review.

Why Palio MJD as my first car?
Robust build with good ride. Spacious at the back and nice boot space. Relaxed seating position. Positive steering with loads of feedback. SDE version is 60,000 bucks cheaper than Swift VDi. Delivery in 7 days flat. Imported engine and gearbox from Poland (?) on the first 100 cars. Only real alternative to Swift Diesel if you want something that's not 6 lakhs OTR and not an Indica.

Problems:
None so far.
(Left indicator did not self-cancel on smaller turns. Replaced combination switch under warranty at first service, but did not realise it was a feature of the car. Wasn't told by ASC either!!)

Fuel Efficiency & Driving conditions:
Worst kind of traffic in Delhi (Ashram, Nehru Place, Lajpat Nagar, East of Kailash) and 80% of driving between rush hours of 6.00 pm to 9.00 pm. Average F E: 15.5 kmpl. Highway (200 km trip): 19 kmpl. AC on 70% time.
Fuel: Normal diesel from HP and Turbojet.

LIVING WITH IT:

PROS:
  • Ride:Robust build and likes taking bad roads at higher speeds. Doesn't lose composure. Body Roll is present, but far lesser than WagonR, Santro etc and perhaps better than the Indica too. Rides really well. Suspension might be noisy but nothing much reaches the cabin except sounds.
  • Comfortable seats and spacious cabin.
  • Build quality.
  • Ergonomics of the interiors.
  • Engine & Gearbox: Powerful and a good cruiser. Very driveable in city as well if you can keep it in the correct RPM range. Gearbox positive though not snappy.
  • Economy: At Rs 2.00 - Rs 2.50 per kilometre (pure running costs), it doesn't hurt at all. Only the CNG guys are better off.
  • Good Insulation: Tremendous difference between noise levels with windows being shut or being open. Diesel engine sound is audible in the cabin but on the outside the decibel level maybe higher than Swift D / Optra D / Verna D but definitely lower than Octavia / Laura / Fabia / Accent CRDI.
  • Steering. HPS does a great job.
  • Illumination from Headlamp / Foglamp / Reversing lamp.
  • A few features like double crank prevention, parking light operable from ignition (so that headlamps or parking lamps are never left on unintentionally if the engine is off), dead pedal, placement of accelerator and brake pedal conducive to heel and toe, illuminated power window switches, day-night mirrors.
  • Drives more like a sedan than a flickable hatchback. Put that into the cons if you wish.
  • Exclusivity People ask you at the Fuel Station, at the Red Light, at the Parking lot. "Palio aa rahi hai? Abhi bhi? Bandh nahi hui?" "Mileage kya hain?" "Maruti walon ka engine isme laga diya?" "Palio ki service bekaar hain!" "Nazar nahi aati hai, gaadi fail hai!"
CONS:
  • Large turning radius is a problem during U-turns on narrow roads but hardly a problem in parking. Reversing into the slot is easier.
  • A.S.S. leaves a lot to be desired, but experience has been okay so far with one service done.
  • Interiors fit-and-finish is not so great. But nothing's coming apart or anything. It's not flimsy by any standards.
  • Clutch pedal is still heavy but has become a bit lighter after 3000 kms or so.
  • Car is definitely under-tyred at 165/80/R13. GoodYear GPS 2 tubeless radials make a lot of road noise.
  • While trying to sell the car you might have to convince the buyer that this is not an imported car or modifed by DC but a regular production version. Nobody knows about it in Delhi-NCR atleast.
  • Car is wider than the Indica / Indigo and many sedans. Watch it while squeezing into that narrow gap behind the Alto!!
COSTS
  • Rs 4.99 lakh OTR with extended 18+18 month, 3 lakh kms warranty.
  • Rs 7,500/- Sony Xplod HU & 4 nos Sony Xplod 6" speakers (Grey market).
  • Rs 450/- Original Palio Radio Antenna
  • Rs 2,000/- PU Leather seat covers and Steering wheel wrap.
  • Rs 1,900/- Anti Rust Treatment
  • Rs 1,750/- Left ORVM assembly (mirror replacement is about Rs 1200/-. SDE does not have left ORVM and hence the additional cost of replacement of two extra parts.)
TOTAL for Car and Accessories: Rs 5,12,600/-

Service Costs:

Routine Service (as per manufacturer's recommendation):
Rs 0/-

Non Routine Service (not recommended by Manufacturer but carried out by me)
Engine coolant top-up at First Service: Rs 250/-
Engine Oil and Oil Filter Change: Rs 900/- approx.
Bardahl Additive: Rs 400/- approx.
Total: Rs 1900/-

Accident Repair

Complicated denting of left side both doors and painting of bottom 1/3 rd of entire left side of the car as well as finishing it to match the rest. Work performed at KJA Anthony Garage, Delhi. Quality of work much better than ASC. Costs-half of ASC costs. Entire car vacuumed and dashboard polished before delivery.
Total Accident Repair costs: Rs 6,000/-

Service experience:
Vivek Automobiles: Stand on their head and make them do it.
KJA Anthony Garage: Visit them every other evening and watch progress. They are slow but they do the job well.

Total Time spent by car out of action:
Service and Anti-Rust treatment: 7 hours.
Accident Repair: 5 days including weekly holiday.

Last edited by architect : 8th July 2008 at 01:51.
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Old 8th July 2008, 08:43   #48
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Nicely documented post Architect
Please do keep us posted on regular intervals.
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Old 8th July 2008, 12:02   #49
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Hi Architect,

Great note as usual...

Me going to contradict a few points again as usual...sorry

Quote:
Drives more like a sedan than a flickable hatchback.
Naaah... Turning radius is more by a 1 Foot (4.7 or so you get in a hatch and Palio is 5.1 = 40 cms (ok that is more than a foot) ). Does this really matter. I dont notice it anymore. Add lack of body roll and a precise steering feedback and boy does this car flick or what!!!!

I have done things in this car that i turn around and wonder would i have done this in any car.

[quote]
  • Clutch pedal is still heavy but has become a bit lighter after 3000 kms or so.
  • While trying to sell the car you might have to convince the buyer that this is not an imported car or modifed by DC but a regular production version. Nobody knows about it in Delhi-NCR atleast.
  • Car is wider than the Indica / Indigo and many sedans. Watch it while squeezing into that narrow gap behind the Alto!!
[/qoute]

My clutch pedal has a long travel yes but it bites all the way and no it is not hard at all. May be i am used to it

i disagree and i am from bangalore i follow Indicabs out of "majboori" not been stuck yet. Yes best not try to follow Altos and 800s; Palio looks thinner that an Accent though it could be because the upper body sort of tapers to the top.

Bangalore is virtually crawling with 2008 stiles petrol or otherwise and they are getting more common every day

One point i would love to agree with you but cannot is the milage.

I was getting real low milage figure (10.2 to 11.5 kmpl) it has improved after first service but by exactly how much i cant tell you just yet.

I am also trying to change my driving habits, i always tried to drive above 2K rpm (after first service) to use the turbo so in bangalore i rarely get above 3rd (yes i am stupid) now after reading GTOs article i try for the highest possible gear and try to cruise in netural when i approach speed bumps for as far as possible.

Got a battle scar too on the boot door it is going to cost 3.5K to repair.
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Old 8th July 2008, 12:18   #50
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Oh yes if you take flickable to mean changing lanes in slow moving bumper to bumper traffic yes Palio is more like a sedan.

but then again i only see altos zens 800 and a few brave santros doing it.

What do you say?

When i say flickable i am doing atleast 30-40 and i need a quick and precise change of course for e.g. an estilo trying to take a u turn ahead of me blocking half a lane and the lane next to me is empty a quick left indicator, check if my tail is clear and i can swerve to the left lane and back to right with minimum use of space and brake.
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Old 8th July 2008, 12:48   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by architect View Post
Good Insulation: Tremendous difference between noise levels with windows being shut or being open. Diesel engine sound is audible in the cabin but on the outside the decibel level maybe higher than Swift D / Optra D / Verna D but definitely lower than Octavia / Laura / Fabia / Accent CRDI.
Thanks for a very neat review, Architect.

The engine sound is very much audible inside the cabin, even with the windows rolled up.

My question is, did you notice any reduction in the in-cabin noise after running the car for 5k kms?
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Old 8th July 2008, 13:38   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaAT View Post
The engine sound is very much audible inside the cabin, even with the windows rolled up.

My question is, did you notice any reduction in the in-cabin noise after running the car for 5k kms?
If you stand outside next to the car, what you hear is quieter than Accent CRDi, Fabia but louder than Swift, Verna, Optra magnum.

The engine has become quieter after 2k-3k kms. Also, I could feel the difference due to the Oil change at First Service, which is not really recommended by manufacturer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AadiAtPlay View Post
Oh yes if you take flickable to mean changing lanes in slow moving bumper to bumper traffic yes Palio is more like a sedan.

but then again i only see altos zens 800 and a few brave santros doing it.
What I meant is that HPS is not super light like EPS of a Alto / WagonR. Add the somewhat larger dimensions of this car and you can't play games in Parking Lots.

But this car is still very driveable in city traffic.
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Old 8th July 2008, 13:39   #53
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Quote:
now after reading GTOs article i try for the highest possible gear and try to cruise in netural when i approach speed bumps for as far as possible.
Correct. But ensure that you are in the highest possible gear without *straining* the engine.
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Old 8th July 2008, 15:09   #54
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Hi architect,

> Car is wider than the Indica / Indigo and many sedans. Watch it while
> squeezing into that narrow gap behind the Alto!!

The Palio MJD is 1620mm wide.

The Indica Turbo is 1665mm wide.
The Indigo is 1620mm wide.
The Marina is 1625mm wide.

All specs are from respective websites.
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Old 8th July 2008, 15:24   #55
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trrk saab,

Let's also mention the silly plastic cladding that was added on the indica to make it same width as the getz? Without it one can percieve what the original poster intended!

@Architect:

Nice clean review brother. So much for a car that's been reviled only because of its ***. I can see you've pretty much captured alot of what we'd discussed recently.

That said, we'll all get a better perspective at 7500km once the second service is through - that's when the *** will actually do something

Last edited by phamilyman : 8th July 2008 at 15:26.
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Old 8th July 2008, 15:32   #56
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Hi GTO,

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Correct. But ensure that you are in the highest possible gear without *straining* the engine.
How do i understand i am straining the engine, apart from

"acceration is sluggish" meaning i hit the pedal and the response is less than what i expect.

Is there anything else...

I get extra vibration and lower rpm but the acceleration is fine, am i still straining the engine?
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Old 8th July 2008, 15:46   #57
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Hi phamilyman,

> Let's also mention the silly plastic cladding that was added on the indica to
> make it same width as the getz? Without it one can percieve what the
> original poster intended!

Forget Indica and its plastic cladding!

The Indigo never came with cladding and that is just as wide as the Palio MJD. So how can it be wider?
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Old 8th July 2008, 21:25   #58
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Hey there Architect,

Good one at 5000 kms. Enjoy your ride and good to know that you are not having major issues with the car. Like Phamilyman said, the A.S.S will come to light at 7500kms or more since that is when they will actually work on the car.

Happy driving and keep us updated on your journey with the car!!
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Old 9th July 2008, 13:57   #59
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Default Beware Palio Mjd users

i "had" been the proud owner of a palio mjd for the last 55 days, covered nearly 4000 kms and was really happy with the car, engine had smoothened out, 15.5 kmpl in city with a.c, 18.5 on the highway with a.c at 100 kmph , great luggage space, good ride and suspension, sufficient pickup etc....

But BEWARE, this car just does not stop under emergency braking....she will just skid with all wheels locked .... be warned and save a life, i nearly killed myself in a headon with a truck.

On a trip to kerala yesterday, i was coming down a small gradient at 60 kmph, when a truch was overtaking uphill around a bend. i saw the truck and applied brakes, and al the car did was to lock all wheels and skid down toward the truck.

In the 5-6 seconds all this took, all i could do was hold her in a straight line and as i saw the impact getting closer, i reflexively cut to the right, and the front left corner of the palio took the impact, and just crumpled al the way to the windsheld. LF door got jammed, however the rt side was intact, i was trown forward but the seat belt held me to the seat, the welt on my body will prove it. unfortunately, a suitcase came bursting out of the boot and took me on the back of my head, 4 stitches and one night in the ICU under observation. excaped without any other damages, must say GOD WAS THERE FOR ME .

Post mortem, the car just skidded for 30 - 35 feet, skid marks in a straight line down the middle of the road were visible. the impact must have happened around 25-40 kmph. and reduction in speed would have been not more than 30 kmph over 40 feet in 3-5 seconds. i had mentioned in my earlier post that ABS was sorely missed, i am sure with ABS, i would have been able to take the car to the left side, maybe even off the road, or else, would have been able to come to a full stop in that 40 feet. here i had no control over the car for the last 30 feet till impact.

My car looks like a total, but guys, please test your cars under emergency braking on a open road, preferably on a downhill, learn the limits of the car under emergency braking and it will surprise u how she will behave after the wheels lock. pls do this before u take a highway trip again.

And to fiat, pls provide ABS as an option, your car sure needs it, and i am a complete fan, really enjoyed the drive till the accident, and i will for sure buy a replacement mjd, but only if abs is a part of the package.
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Old 9th July 2008, 15:20   #60
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Ouch DB. That was scary. I hope no lasting damage.

We would all want more details: Was there water on the road, and in the same car could you have done anything better, in retrospect?
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