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Old 24th September 2010, 01:17   #1
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Default Fiat Linea 1.4 Emotion Plus - It's not just a car - it's an Emotional experience!

Can't say it was love at first sight, but yes it was love indeed! I saw her picture in an internet forum way back sometime in 2006 and everything about her was just perfect - bold and big eyes, a sheepish smile which sarcastically teases you, and boy a perfect and inviting stance from any angle.

I am sure all of you know I am talking about a beautiful machine - a Fiat Linea. It is one car in which many (almost all) of us are not able to find faults, at least in terms of design. Fiat is always known for its value for money products - poor man's Alfa Romeo or a Maserati. Fiat buyers are romantic and lovers know, love is not perfect and so is a Fiat.

My story is the same. I used to drive a Nov 2005 WagonR having done 50k and in perfect shape barring minor scratches which I got from frequent relocations - from Varanasi to Bangalore to Delhi to Bombay - Bangalore - Delhi and finally back in Bangalore. I love my WagonR and have maintained it well and my car is an example car for MSM. Frankly I didn't need a new car - we are a small family missus, my 4 month old daughter and me.

Buying decision and process -

Sometime in June 2010 my friend wanted to buy a car and was confused between Figo, Polo and Punto and being a Fiat lover I pushed him to buy a Punto and he did. Punto with a leaking roof l (Punto With A Leaking Roof) and while I was pushing him to buy he asked me if I would bet my money on a Fiat and I said why not. And that's how I decided to get a Linea for me. Told wife about the plan and she was all game for it with only one rider - no red and black as we already have a Wine Red WagonR and we don't like blacks - no offence to black owners - it's just that we have a black Opel at home and it's tough to maintain.

Decision making was very simple - I wanted the top end Emotion pack and after a bit of cost comparison of petrol vs. diesel opted for petrol since my monthly run is not more than 200 or 300 kms in the city and less than 1000 kms round trips once or twice every six months. So it was a no brainer that I will not be able to recover the extra cost in even 4 years. Color choice was also very simple as we were ready for any color except Red and Black.

But - buying a Fiat is not a simple process even if you have decided to buy a Fiat cash down, Fiat won't easily sell one to you. I visited Concorde at Dairy Circle 3 times and they never had a test car. Either it was out for some other drive or in service. The sales rep (I forgot the name now) confirmed that he will bring the car for a test drive at my home but never came back. This forced me to look for other dealers - Prerna though they were quick in responding but not ready to bring the car from Lalbagh to Kasturi Nagar where I stay on saturdays or sundays. Can't blame them. While reading through a thread at Team-Bhp got to know about KHT Motors at Whitefield and went to them to face the same story. No TD car available and they promised to bring the car next day at home but 'fiatfully' forgot.

Since I was very much aware of these horror stories and was sure that I had to buy the Linea went ahead and placed an order with KHT Motors for a Minimal Grey 1.4 P E+ on 16th June and then started the funny stuff.

KHT had an old Jan 10 made car in stock and wanted to push that car to me. Since that car was in the showroom me and my brother had noticed each and every nick and scratch both inside and outside on the car. After much pushing they gave me the VIN which was clearly January car. That's when I raised hell with Fiat management (Media background helps) and shot mails to their brand management head and Mr. Rajeev Kapoor which resulted in an enhanced level of activity with two executives getting fired at KHT Motors, I got a July car and finally took the delivery on 1st August 2010.

Delivery Process

Delivery process was extremely efficient and KHT sales rep Niranjan helped me do the PDI and car was ready with sunfilm, Fiat Mats, Mud Flaps, Parking Sensors (complimentary) on 1st August when we reached the showroom. Since it was a Sunday they opened the showroom just to deliver the car. The process was smooth, I was explained the documentations, features of the car and was given a box of chocolates. They took photos but never sent to me.

Initial Feedback

The car looks a stunner while standing and in motion. Minimal Grey (silver) is somewhat subdued as compared to others such as a Honda City and I like this shade - it's simple, will not age and easy to maintain. Missus was happy to see the space at the boot, rear bench with arm rest and dedicated AC vent (my daughter loves it cold) and hates no bottle holders. Missus likes SUVs and is used to driving them so prefers spacious cars and loved her poor husband's choice.

What we like:

Almost everything but a small list -
1. Driver and Passenger side vanity mirrors with lights
2. Good seats
3. Automatic Climate Control
4. My Car and Blue&Me (I have a JVC bluetooth system in my WagonR also)
5. Large glass area - gives a certain freshness to the car
6. Control stalks - now I prefer left stalk for turn indicators
7. Large boot
8. Really stunning alloys (have always love Palio sport alloys though)
9. Those 2 small orange LEDs on roof light cluster that come at night
10. Very little engine or road sound despite car being loud outside
11. Doors when closed give a reassuring thud
12. Awesome steering wheel with controls
13. when people look at us with a hint of desire - admiration guaranteed

What we don't like -
1. No bottle holders
2. Cigarette lighter is just good for the lighter and doesn't connect well with mobile chargers
3. Glove compartment is very small
4. Music system is lousy - sounds more like a glorified old age transistor radio

What we would love to have -

1. Sun or moon roof
2. Integrated navigation system
3. Electric folding ORVMs
4. Tons of bottle and glass holders - it's a large car please make some space
5. Reverse illumination like Bravo

So far I have done around 900 kms in two months which included a round trip to Mysore. Will post more on the driving experience and other stuff tomorrow.

Here she stands in all her glory -
Attached Thumbnails
Fiat Linea 1.4 Emotion Plus - It's not just a car - it's an Emotional experience!-dscn0248.jpg  

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Old 24th September 2010, 01:59   #2
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Let me be the first to congratulate you .
Excellent write up and stunning photograph of the beauty . Can you please share some interior pics?
Enjoy your new posession and take care of her.
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Old 24th September 2010, 06:59   #3
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Congrats on the silver beauty Vivek. Good that Fiat was prompt on action erring showroom officials. Regards phone charging, I am using an HTC one and it fits, though not snugly, yet efficiently. Lets see some more pics. Drive safe.
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Old 24th September 2010, 09:16   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vivekshukla View Post
sunfilm, Fiat Mats, Mud Flaps, Parking Sensors (complimentary)
Congratulations and best wishes, vivekshukla, on becoming a proud owner of a precious Fiat Linea. Glad to know that you have got reverse parking sensors as complimentary after the avoidable mental agony that you had undergone. Happy and safe motoring in your Fiat Linea.
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Old 24th September 2010, 10:39   #5
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Default Congratulations

Great decision made simple!! Welcome to the Linea club and enjoy her thoroughly. Looks a stunner - in that angle.

Your dealer experience was not good but hopefully you should get a good A.S.S - the thing that matters most!!

Cheers, Sam
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Old 24th September 2010, 10:48   #6
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Congratulations,

This was the car which inclined me to upgrade from Santro to a sedan. It really has a killer looks, had it been packed with a powerfull engine it would have been parked in my stable. One day for sure.

Drive safe and have fun.

More pics and FE figures please.

Cheers
Raghu

Last edited by raghu230506 : 24th September 2010 at 10:51. Reason: typo
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Old 24th September 2010, 11:02   #7
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I finally know why i don't find one of the sales guys that i dealt with at KHT motors anymore . Congrats on your purchase. The Linea is a great car and if i was looking for a Sedan, I would put my money on it without any second thoughts.
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Old 24th September 2010, 11:09   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prashant.dinkar View Post
Let me be the first to congratulate you .
Excellent write up and stunning photograph of the beauty . Can you please share some interior pics?
Enjoy your new posession and take care of her.
Thank you very much for your wishes Prashant. I have taken a few more pictures but with a little baby at home, it's tough to spend any available time on anything else than her. Will be uploading more photos with more thoughts on driving, accessories, power etc.

@NutsNBolts, @J.Ravi, @lightinin95 - Thank you very much for your wishes and I feel happy to be part of the Linea group.

@J.Ravi - your long distance travelogues have boosted my desire to do a similar trip soon. Planning a trip to Bhutan (but not sometime soon), waiting for my daughter to turn at least one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by raghu230506 View Post
Congratulations,

This was the car which inclined me to upgrade from Santro to a sedan. It really has a killer looks, had it been packed with a powerfull engine it would have been parked in my stable. One day for sure.

Drive safe and have fun.

More pics and FE figures please.

Cheers
Raghu
Thanks Raghu! Feeling is mutual on the looks part. But I never felt that the car lacks power. I have been able to take it to 120 without a fuss. I agree it's 2nd gear is at best useless but 3rd and 4th give enough range to make any drive fun. And, I am no Senna - and prefer to drive easy following proper lance discipline and enjoying the car and 'beauties' around.

I will be posting more pictures soon. Stay tuned.
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Old 24th September 2010, 11:32   #9
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Congrats vivekshukla,

Welcome to FIAT Linea Club.
I too have the same color but in MJD.
Easy to maintain and swirl marks or scratches are not visible evidently.
Really a Good Buy and you can never regret in this regards.
Linea give you immense joy whenever you take her for a ride.
Enjoy an admire the Beauty and Drive Safe
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Old 24th September 2010, 13:48   #10
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Hey Vivek, A Hearty Congrats on your Latest Italian Acquisition mite.

I am pretty sure you are already penning your thoughts over, but just a gentle reminder for you to update the thread with "Traditional Pics with Performance stats".
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Old 24th September 2010, 13:54   #11
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Congrats on the Linea!

You have had 'Not So Good' showroom experience. But I am sure the LINEA will give you miles of joy in the coming days.
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Old 24th September 2010, 14:01   #12
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Heartfelt congratulations my friend.
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Old 24th September 2010, 14:28   #13
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Congrats on the Linea. The silver looks good, may be elusive as well. Not too many minimal grey lineas moves off the showroom floor.

Enjoy many more happy miles with the Linea. Drive safe!
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Old 24th September 2010, 19:25   #14
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Default Updates - Pictures, Driving Experiences and other stuff

During the delivery, Niranjan, Sales Executive of KHT told me that he will give some petrol voucher of 5 lts. Since the showroom was not fully open that day they didn't had the coupon printed. Instead they sent their driver along with us to the nearby petrol pump where the driver put Rs.500 worth of petrol instead of 5 lts. Upon checking, I was told that the manager has told him to do so. I was pleasantly amused.

With the ODO reading at 44 kms, I took the car out finally for the first time and I loved every moment of it. I reset the trip meters, switched on the radio to figure out that tuner is not tuned to 94.3 FM whereas all others are tuned with RDS. Audio without equalizer settings was sounding bad and since my daughter was crying turned it off and rushed home. After taking the delivery of the new car, we had planned to go for a drive but my little one decided against it and we had to rush back home. I wouldn't say I am an atheist but I don't follow too many rituals. So promptly came back home where my mother performed basic pooja. I feel there's nothing better than being blessed by parents.

On second thoughts, I remember AC took almost 5-6 kms to cool at 22 degrees whereas outside temperature was 31 degrees that day.

Once the car came home, we were just finding opportunities to drive it but whole next week passed being busy in office and since the registration number was not there, I hesitated in taking out the car much too. Since my parents had come from Lucknow, we planned a trip on Saturday, 7th August to Mysore.

On 7th, left home early at around 7 and drove the Linea for the first time in mild traffic.

Driving Experience

I had driven several large cars like Opel Astra, City and Accord so there was no learning curve although to be honest I had a sleepless night before. Increasing traffic doesn't really hurt but increasing road rage hurts and we don't drive the cars, we simply save them on road now.

But to my surprise, I found maneuvering the car with an extremely responsive steering a breeze. Switching from an extremely light WagonR steering, this initially appeared tough but later I just loved it. The only other car (apart from the Fiat stable) that comes close to this is Astra.

My driving habits of WagonR posed some problems initially. I am used to shifting gears in WagonR as prescribed in the manual -

1st Gear - 0-10 kmph
2nd Gear - 2-20 kmph
3rd Gear - 20-30 kmph
4th Gear - 30-40 kmph
5th - North of 40 kmph

Following this has helped me maintain the engine very well which drives better than most new cars at least that's what the service advisors tell me at Maruti. Whereas Linea gear ratios are different, so when I slotted 2nd as soon as I touched 10 kmph, I felt a sudden power drop and I had to take 1st again and move forward. So this time around I peaked till 20 kmph and slotted 2nd and at 30 kmph with 2200 rpm shifted to 3rd. Linea changes it behavior entirely at 3rd gear, as if someone has poured Red Bull in it and you get a wide power band. From Banaswadi flyover to Kumble Circle, a distance of around 7 kms, I covered cruising in 3rd and 4th gear comfortably.

The real characteristics of the car truly comes out on the highway. It remains planted on the tarmac, steering precise, just a hum of tires coming inside and passengers clueless about the speed.

Wife is very pleased with speed limit warning which is duly set at 80 kmph. I am a comfort creature and drive to enjoy not fight the clock, so have no problems at all. Earlier when we used to go for long trips, my wife used to keep an eye at the speedo and was my speed limit warning system but Linea has taken over her

Braking

With all other tests going on, why wouldn't brakes prove their worth. On my way to Mysore, just before we were approaching Channapatna a dog jumped from the side and came in the middle of the street. Carefully keeping an eye at RVM, I slammed the brakes and Linea came to a stop screeching but without hurting either the dog or the passengers inside. And that's when Dad said - good decision!

The car has very little body roll which is evident only at high speeds and by high speeds I say upward of 100 kmph otherwise inside the cabin you just sit straight and in comforting lap of the seat.

Seat fabric is good and color is just right for Indian environment and compliments the black and beige interiors beautifully. Coming to interiors, plastic quality etc, I would agree that overall fit and finish can be much better but we must keep in mind all other things that Fiat gives at the price point which no other car can keep up. ACC, Integrated Stereo, My Car, Blue&Me, Arm rests, Rear AC vents - Fiat has just upped the benchmark and now every car manufacturer while launching cars will be compared and pressurized to match Fiat offerings. Twin roof lamps just fill the cabin with light at night, rear curtain allows privacy at times, driver side arm rest with storage is a boon for forgetful people like me. Now, I keep my wallet, phone (after pairing with B&M) inside and I can be sure that it won't fall off while driving - two less things to worry about!

The only place where I see serious panel gap is at the steering wheel mount around the ignition key besides that I don't see any place where the spot if glaring and we can't live with it.

Fuel Efficiency

In city cycles, I am getting around 12 and on my trip to Mysore, I got 15. I am too consumed in love with to notice and observing FE figures. But as the time passes will surely be monitoring.

Attaching few more images from different angles. I just love them. Will be posting other stuff and more images in following post. Stay tuned.
Attached Thumbnails
Fiat Linea 1.4 Emotion Plus - It's not just a car - it's an Emotional experience!-dscn0253.jpg  

Fiat Linea 1.4 Emotion Plus - It's not just a car - it's an Emotional experience!-dscn0257.jpg  

Fiat Linea 1.4 Emotion Plus - It's not just a car - it's an Emotional experience!-dscn0282.jpg  

Fiat Linea 1.4 Emotion Plus - It's not just a car - it's an Emotional experience!-dscn0259.jpg  

Fiat Linea 1.4 Emotion Plus - It's not just a car - it's an Emotional experience!-dscn0260.jpg  

Fiat Linea 1.4 Emotion Plus - It's not just a car - it's an Emotional experience!-dscn0267.jpg  

Fiat Linea 1.4 Emotion Plus - It's not just a car - it's an Emotional experience!-dscn0269.jpg  

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Old 24th September 2010, 21:46   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vivekshukla View Post

Increasing traffic doesn't really hurt but increasing road rage hurts and we don't drive the cars, we simply save them on road now.
Current Road conditions , Civic Sense and Patience levels in Metros can not defined better then your statement above.
Good to know that you along with your Dad and Wife are very satisfied with the cars performance .
Are those seat covers aftermarket or standard ? Looks Really nice and rich . I love those alloys on linea
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