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Old 10th November 2006, 00:10   #1
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Default What makes us so passionate about the Palio / Baleno?

Ok, this is something thatís Iíve been thinking about for quite some time now, especially after seeing a lot of threads dedicated to certain cars like the Palio 1.6 and the Baleno in particular.

How come these two cars have such a major fan following in Team BHP.

I am not questioning the existence of this, just wondering how come it is so concentrated with these two cars in particular

There are other cars out there that are equally fun to drive like the Ikon 1.6, yet somehow, its these two cars that seem to invoke the most passion amongst team BHPians.

What is it about these cars that make both owners & wannabe owners so passionate about them that sometimes even a statement against them is taken personally. . . maybe I havenít read all the threads on team bhp, but Iíve definitely seen this more in the case of these two cars than towards any other car, if at all

Are both these cars the perfect all round package? Apparently not, else they would have sold a whole lot more

Are they the ultimate in driving pleasure? Ok, here opinion may be divided, but there are other very capable cars out there.

Are they so stunningly good looking that all else is forgotten? Again, varied opinion

Do they come from such a credible lineage that they are must haves? Donít think so, one comes from the company that practically put the common man on 4 wheels and the other comes from a company that nearly died out due to its reputation for poor service (ignoring the Ferrari link here

So what is it that sets these cars apart, atleast in many team BHPians minds?

Now, before this post becomes so long that everyone is too tired too reply after reading it Iíll stop rambling on and go back to ponderingÖ

Looking forward to some varied opinions

P.s: mods, please change the title of this thread if it isnt clear enough, else just delete this sentence

Last edited by swale84 : 10th November 2006 at 00:12.
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Old 10th November 2006, 01:22   #2
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I think there's 3 cars most team-BHPians are passionate about. The third one is the OHC 1.5VTEC
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Old 10th November 2006, 02:00   #3
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Firstly, I think you answered most of your questions yourself.
Secondly, I think it also has to do with perception. I fell in love with the Palio when they had started their test runs & I used to notice them on the Mumbai Pune road, 5 cars in a line, & the road presence was AMAZING, the camouflaged cars with their stock black rims zipping on the concrete roads somehow looked better than the finished version. And this was almost 5-6 yrs ago dude. I've always wanted one since then. Overall, the design of the Palio is way ahead of other cars in the hatchback segment. I still cannot get enuf of staring at my Palio, it looks so damn YUMMY !!! The car left a lasting impression on me which did not fade the slightest bit with time. About questioning the service factor of FIAT, I think this is subjective, I've had a horrible experience with Maruti in Hyderabad. I think & hope FIAT India has good times ahead.
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Old 10th November 2006, 04:39   #4
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because both are underdogs and never stormed the market sales wise that makes them fairly rare compared to say and Accent or NHC
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Old 10th November 2006, 09:13   #5
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There's one more car which is very underrated here. I dont think any member even has the car but everyone talks good things the car.
The lancer Cedia. A very good drivers car which like the baleno and the palio is underrated.
The only difference is still noone has it.
It's the same with the safari which has a fan following even though the car's not perfect.
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Old 10th November 2006, 10:00   #6
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One very important factor with both these cars and the Honda City Vtec is affordable performance. Sure, we all love the Skoda RS but how many can shell out 15 lakhs and cope up with the high maintenance? The Palio 1.6, Maruti Baleno and Honda City Vtec are way within the 10 lakh level. Also, each of them is pretty cheap to run and maintain.

They are also great cars to drive, and some of the very few that pleased the driver. You can modify either of them for more power very easily. Except for the Palio, the trio is pretty fuel efficient. Lastly, they offer a good amount of practicality for day to day use.

The Ikon is nice too, but somehow the car never cut it for me. I hate cars with lousy brakes so maybe thats why....
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Old 10th November 2006, 10:19   #7
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Palio was the love at first sight.. The Stunning looks was miles ahead when launched. Even today giving tough competition to others considering the fact nothing much is done for cosmetic changes.

Have driven for more than 30000 kms on my 1.2 ELX. Not a single problem. Still curse myself for not going for a 1.6. But still, i love my car..

OHC and baleno are the other fav. of mine.. Though OHCs look better than baleno. Moreover OHC looks better than the NHC..

About Skoda---- Hot Favorate...
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Old 10th November 2006, 10:26   #8
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One of the main causes which made such cars cult-figures, is that they came when there were few/no other precedents.

When the OHC/Vtec came around, there was no other car in the sub-10L category, which could give such blazing performance, great handling and at the same time was very practical in terms of maintenance and FE.

Similarily, when the Palio 1.6 came around, where else could you find a 100bhp, 11-sec (0-100) car which was so sweet to drive, at just 5L.

And there would be similar reasons for the baleno as well. (Bet SB would love to fill out this space)

Thus, even though now there are many more newer beauties on the block, its difficult to forget your first love (even though she may be temperamental)

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Old 10th November 2006, 10:44   #9
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Are they so stunningly good looking that all else is forgotten?

Well.... why Baleno? "Charging BULL with unmatched TORQUE"
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Old 10th November 2006, 10:56   #10
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There is another thread, why people love Bullet, and I see a distant parallel to it.

I really do not know the answer. When I bought my car, it was instantaneous. I saw it once some one driving and decided I will buy it.
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Old 10th November 2006, 11:08   #11
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I fell in love with the Palio the day autocar previewed it somewhere in 2000.Was literally lusting for it(1.6)since it was launched in India.
For me:
Its a stunner!!Looks handsome from whichever angle you look at it.I second all of Mb_jg's thoughts.
Best optimised ride and handling for a car below 10L.
It gives a tremendous sense of security and stability at high speeds and as GTO says....Affordable performance is the most important factor.
And as the official sticker of PUG(Palio users group )mentions"No drivers,Only lovers"
Even though the baleno is a plane jane in looks department there is something I like about the car....
OHC- The low stance of the front bonnet has kept me oggling at this car since long not to mention the performance of the Honda coupled with the smoothness of the engine.
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Old 10th November 2006, 11:14   #12
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I think one of the reasons that adds to the passion to the palio/ baleno is the fact that these cars have not been apprecated enough by the general public. Cars which are on par/ inferior to these cars are being preferred and these cars have been sidelined to an extent.

It's a tendancy in some of us to root for the underdogs when we feel that they have been given a raw deal
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Old 10th November 2006, 11:15   #13
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As Sam mentioned, the OHC-Vtec is another favourite around here.

Regarding the Baleno & Palio1.6, I guess it is the bang for the buck that they provide. Plus the underdog factor, as MPower pointed out. And the uniqueness it provides (due to low sales) when compared to say an Accent or NHC (everyone has one).

@vid6639, inspite of HM, the Cedia seems to be slowly making inroads, however feeble that might be. I am seeing a couple of them in Chennai and I like what I see (the rear lights seem odd though). One of them was fully kitted - skirts et al.

Last edited by supremeBaleno : 10th November 2006 at 11:16.
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Old 10th November 2006, 11:16   #14
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I used to own the Palio 1.6 and I now own the Baleno. So I'll just tell you guys what prompted me to buy these cars and hopefully you'll have the answer. Before the Palio, I had a Matiz which was a drivers car to some extent what with a strut brace and decent dynamics. But it had no zip and for a long time I contemplated buying an Ikon. I found it good looking and with excellent response and handling albeit a little cramped for the driver. At the same time, I also test drove the Siena (new one) and was floored by the mid range and the overall solidity of the car. Somewhere in between I also test drove the OHC 1.3 but of the three found the Siena to be the best VFM. In those days, I was doing only 200 kms a month so FE was not an important issue. And then one fine day, my Matiz conked on the way to a wedding (alternator belt broke) and my friend who owned a Palio 1.2, gave me his car for a few days. My family was impressed with the big car feel and space and I harboured a desire to buy a Palio but the 1.6. So it thus happened that Palio sales started goin south dramatically and the S10 was being sold with huge discounts and so it was the S10. I loved the car while I had it and reluctantly gave it up for the Baleno as I wanted a sedan which had good performance, handling and above all had to be FE and trouble free. Only the Baleno fit the bill considering my budget. My ideal car below 10 L would be one with the looks, build and midrange grunt of the Palio, handling and lowend grunt of the Ikon and the top-end, quality (including reliability and A.S.S.) and economy of the OHC Vtec. I personally feel the Baleno givces a little bit of all these virtues at a reasonable price.
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Old 10th November 2006, 11:45   #15
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The underdog factor combined with them being quirky, yet brilliantly powered (for our market) cars.

Plus, anybody in the market for a hot hatch at that price, getting into a Palio 1.6 would get converted faster than you could say Jack Schitt because of the torque!!!
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