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Old 28th July 2008, 07:32   #1
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Default Tested: Palio MJD and Indigo CS Dicor

Continuing our search for the next car, yesterday my wife and I TD'ed Palio Multijet followed by Indigo CS Dicor at Autofin TATA/Fiat showroom in secunderabad.

Palio MJD.
The TD vehicle happened to be the base SD, grey colored, with power steering. As soon as my wife laid her eyes on the car, she went "WOW"!

We tested tested it on empty roads as well as moderate traffic, but I had to test it in my usual way: drivability in low gears ("torque" for the geeks) - the conditions similar to bumper to bumper traffic. having driven an Indica DLS (Long term report: ) for 5 years, my wife and I desperately wanted something which involved lesser wrestling with gear shifts in traffic.

We were not disappointed.

Things we loved:

(1) Excellent diesel engine. strong and quite silent (tho not as silent as its twin in Swift)
(2) very good gear ratios. I could cruise along slowly in 2nd and 3rd gears without touching the clutch or accelerator. the AC was running. this was what we were looking for!
(3) excellent ride quality. swallowed bad road patches with ease. a Fiat hallmark.
(4) hot looks. very sporty. the double barrel headlights look great.
(5) great build quality. feels strong and big car like, right from the "thump" on closing the door. another Fiat hallmark.
(6) very spacious inside, like the Indica.
(7) biggest boot in this class of cars.

FE is a given!

Some negatives:
(1) very plain interiors, esp after seeing the "posh" interiors of i10.
(2) No stereo or keyless entry even in the SDX variant.
(3) no ABS brakes. it has another technology that prevents skidding but i've never heard of it before.
(4) resale value as of today. but my research in Team-BHP and elsewhere indicates that this seems to be improving, esp looking at the increasing sales of this car since it was introduced in march-april.

I would require the fully loaded SDX variant. Apart from stereo and remote lock, i have to add alloys and spoiler for the complete sporty look. The sales guy hinted that he might even be ready to throw in some goodies like teflon coat, mud flaps, mats etc.


Indigo CS Dicor
This was one "WOW" looking one too. But as soon as I turned the ignition key I knew I made a mistake - I should not have tested it immediately after Palio! the amazing Palio experience had colored my view so much that the lesser performance of Indigo CS made me rule it out. Not that CS Dicor is bad, but its just that Palio MJD is superior.

By the way, the red CS that I TD'ed had the typical new car "ribbons" on the bonnet. I suspect it is meant to be delivered to a customer...

The Positives:
(1) Space inside.
(2) Resale value
(3) Boot space
(4) Good looks, externally.

The Negatives:
(1) Ride quality (compared to Fiat). Every time I lift my foot off the pedal, the car shook like crazy, esp in lower gears. Bad road patches were absorbed well, but the shaking and vibration (compared to Palio) was irritating.
(2) Gear ratios and engine. Was strictly 'OK', but this again is in comparison to Palio. NVH was also more.
(3) No tubeless tyres.
(4) Post purchase, have to spend minimum 60K for power windows, remote lock, alloys, tubeless tyres, teflon coat, seat covers, spoiler etc etc. and this in the top end variant. this is the single major factor that makes me rule out this car.
(5) Spartan interiors. We was seeing almost the same thing in our Indica for last 5 years and wanted a change now.

so right now, my shortlist has come down to 2 cars:
(1) i10 "kappa" ASTA
(2) Palio SDX MJD

I think I need a new thread to compare the pros and cons of these two!

I will go for one of these, unless I get a great used Swift VDI or Dzire!
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Old 28th July 2008, 12:01   #2
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so right now, my shortlist has come down to 2 cars:
(1) i10 "kappa" ASTA
(2) Palio SDX MJD

I think I need a new thread to compare the pros and cons of these two!

I will go for one of these, unless I get a great used Swift VDI or Dzire![/quote]

My opinion, go for the Palio
a) Diesel - So savings on bucks.
b) More boot space - Good for weekends out of town.
c) More interior space - No elbows clasing when co-passenger is sitting.
d) Sturdier
e) Price points are nearly the same but then you are comparing deisel with petrol.
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Old 28th July 2008, 12:44   #3
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I am 99% going for the Palio because dilli has 6 month waiting on swift!

Resale is a moot point. Buy the palio blindly if you will keep for 4-5 years minimum. As a delhiiite I can tell you palios age very slowly. Bigger problem is parking patience from your better half for five years

and here are some numbers: 5L car today. After 5-6 years and more than 1L km driven, even if someone gives me 2L for it, I don't mind. Maybe a swift would still get 2.5-2.8L then, but:
a. Its 10% (50k) costlier
b. 50k difference after five years means an investment of 20k today. With the savings I have upfront, the peace of mind of a sturdy car, 20k is fine enough.

PS: My gripes with swift:
a. dZire's bumper is hand pressable.
b. At 100+, try doing an S curve emergency style (sharp left - right - left) on swift. Zero feedback and the tyres squeal before you realize what you're doing

Last edited by phamilyman : 28th July 2008 at 12:46.
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Old 28th July 2008, 13:13   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
Bigger problem is parking patience from your better half for five years
haha! thats not an issue..she's an expert in maneuvering, reversing and parking an Indica
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seeler_Rebeiro
My opinion, go for the Palio
i might do just that! i just hope the diesel situation in Hyderabad eases up...some filling stations have no diesel stock these days and there are large queues at others...
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Old 28th July 2008, 13:28   #5
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Out of the cars shortlisted, Palio would be a great choice. The engine is a beauty and you get the tank like built quality of the fiat along with it. Also, as phamilyman pointed out, they do age quite slowly.

Check out any S10's and from a distance they always look spanking new ( probably a little due to the yellow color)

Also, the A.S.S seems to be improving
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Old 28th July 2008, 13:48   #6
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@CTRL-ALT-DEL

The MJD has not disappointed me for the last 6000 kms, atleast. phamilyman tested my car yesterday (but did not try that famed S-curve, though) after TDing the Swift D and his response seemd quite positive!

Much has been said about the MJD and not so much about the i10 kappa in terms of performance. I can't comment.

You will get more space in the Palio: elbow room, legroom, rear seat space and a bigger boot as compared to the i10. Add to it, the savings on diesel.

I tend to agree that Palios age very well. On Delhi roads and service centers, the oldest Sienas and Palios are still running strong, not to mention the Unos.

P.S. The "cruise without touching accelerator / clutch pedals" is the part I enjoy most about modern diesel engines! Do it in traffic jams (1st / 2nd gear) and it will reduce any heavy-clutch related fatigue as well as save fuel and the prolong clutch life! My car even reverses up an incline without pressing the accelarator by just releasing clutch gently.
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Old 28th July 2008, 13:55   #7
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Get the Palio man you'll love it, guaranteed. cheers:
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Old 28th July 2008, 14:46   #8
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My 2 cents regarding our 1.3 MJD

cent 1 - On the very first drive out of the showroom it had consumed 10.7 liters for a distance of 237 kms ( driven leisurely at 70 to 90 kmph on highways with 50% AC)

cent 2 - Dad got a call from Pune reminding him that the car was due for the first service, but it was a sad sight to see my dad exhaust his hindi vocabulary on that guy. He got an SMS couple of days back informing - 'SDX is ready for pickup after service '. Interestingly the car was in our garage when he got the SMS and is yet to be sent for service.
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Old 28th July 2008, 15:27   #9
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Crtl-Alt-Del - Fiat MJD engine is far superior than Tata Dicor engine. Its a proven engine and as you know, almost all manufacturers would like to get that engine under their small car hoods. While Dicor is a step better than TDI engine, it does not come anywhere closer to MJD.

While I am in love with CS Dicor, the build quality of Fiat is far superior. The engine is far superior. I am not sure if you would like to compare Kappa with MJD. One is a petrol variant while other is Diesel. Both have different characteristics and other issues like daily mileage would more govern your decision on Petrol Vis-a-vis Diesel. You have chosen the bets of both the worlds as your choice, but unfortunately, you need to go in for only one :-(

My suggestion is Fiat MJD. Based on the fact that your earlier was was Indica Diesel, I am of the opinion that you travel a lot and hence would go in for Diesel. As of today, from whatever I know, Kappa is nothing great shakes and a technology breakthrough about Kappa engine. MJD definetly is.

Anyways, happy hunting and do let us know your final choice.

takecare and drive safely
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Old 28th July 2008, 18:19   #10
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Real koshun:
What is your running?
What is your expected ownership frame?

If either is alot, Palio MJD. If either is less, i10.
Plus if you're quite paranoid about safety, i10 Asta it will be.
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Old 31st July 2008, 09:43   #11
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thanks for the replies guys! and sorry for the late response - i was caught up in some work last 2 days.

anyway my wife too seems to be leaning towards the MJD, tho she speaks longingly about i10's interiors.

i travel between 1000-1100 kms a month on an average and this might increase next year. i also plan some long distance road trips to bangalore and deep south in the near future (after the run in period of corz).

to be frank both the options are very tempting and I cannot choose one without a sense of regret over ignoring the other.

I have one thing to ask about any current Palio owner: what is the position regarding availability of spares? this is one point all are warning me about. I hear it will take days to procure even the smallest component. but i usually respond that Palios rarely need change of spares!
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Old 31st July 2008, 10:26   #12
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you must be kiddin me, right !! . Read this thread (The ABS discussion thread)


And watch to put things into perspective.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CtrlAltDel View Post
Some negatives:
(1) very plain interiors, esp after seeing the "posh" interiors of i10.
(2) No stereo or keyless entry even in the SDX variant.
(3) no ABS brakes. it has another technology that prevents skidding but i've never heard of it before.
(4) resale value as of today. but my research in Team-BHP and elsewhere indicates that this seems to be improving, esp looking at the increasing sales of this car since it was introduced in march-april.
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Old 31st July 2008, 10:47   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CtrlAltDel View Post
I have one thing to ask about any current Palio owner: what is the position regarding availability of spares? this is one point all are warning me about. I hear it will take days to procure even the smallest component. but i usually respond that Palios rarely need change of spares!
My brother has a Palio 1.2 ELX 2002 model. No issues to date. Fan had to be replaced. Done in a day. Clutch life and brake pad life had been reached and so replaced in a day. Personally he had had abolutely no issues. And the spare parts of the Palio are amongst the lowest after Maruti and on par with Indica and surprise surprise lower than Hyundia and GM.And you will be really ripped for spare parts if you own Skoda Fabia.

I own a Palio 1.6 Stile Sport. No issues to date.
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Old 31st July 2008, 15:39   #14
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Palio is the choice for you considering your monthly running and if you are comparing I10 Kappa and Palio MJD

I own Palio 1.6 and trust me i just need a reason to drive out in this car.
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Old 31st July 2008, 16:54   #15
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If you like the MJD engine but are worried about Fiat brand, you can wait for tata indica(new one) which is coming with MJD.
If there are no Fiat hangups for you, then buy the MJD, its a logical choice.
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