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Old 31st August 2009, 11:33   #1
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Default Am I the last LINEA Emotion Pk Petrol Vocal White new owner?

Hello fellow Lineans…
Greetings from Vadodara (Baroda). This is my first post ever and I thought it wise to share my story after a month of experiencing the ride with my beauty. But before I begin, a BIG THANK YOU to all of you Linean’s who shared your experience at Team-BHP and helped transform my belief into a conviction to go for the Linea.
Now back to a rather long story…

The Past :
Lets say it all began eighteen months ago when I started thinking about a sedan. I have an Indica LSI and with the kids growing up and wife needing it more than me (my office is only a couple of kms away) – thought it wise to finally go for a mid sized sedan. What were my needs? Less than 5 kms of daily commute, an occasional short trip nearby, long trips – probably twice a year. Focus on safety, ABS and all the goodies possible as I would not be buying sedans often… Budget was around 10 lakhs. Could have gone for higher budgets but for the guy with my limited needs – I just did not need it. Any way buy anything on loan to get an item that starts depreciating from day one. The financial turmoil that happened eventually added more conviction to my thought then The mantra ‘Save over spend’ took root and that’s another story.
Discussed it with wife and listed cars not to go for
  1. HC – the looks were a downer and somehow the experience was ‘it is not as big inside as seen from outside’. I must also confess that the price was a downer too.
  2. Maruti SX4 – Had experienced the ride sitting behind a friends car and it was NOT comfortable though it had some goodies at a better price. Never been a Maruti fan.
  3. Hyundai Accent – Was getting old
  4. TATA – Not again !!
  5. Ford was ruled out as some of my friends had bad experiences (petrol version). Had heard about Fiesta diesel, I did not want a diesel so it was struck off.
So we had limited choices (period – May / June 2008).
  1. Hyundai Verna – Checked it out on a TD. Good ride quality but it felt a bit cramped inside and with all the goodies thrown in was quite a bargain though. I actually liked the diesel more than the petrol. But something else was importantly missing… We did not feel comfortable in the showroom and it was a repeat experience of 2002 when we tried out the Santro. We were treated as one of the many buyers and in fact the disinterested sales guy informed if you really want to buy, will show you in detail etc.. We were shocked and I remember discussing this at home and how important a sales experience is to an actual sale. Since I liked a diesel version and did not want one so this was struck off. Over the next few months also had occasions to ride in my friends petrol car and heard some stories about poor service.
  2. GM Optra – The showroom and TD was a fantastic experience. The Diesel really caught me on here too. The petrol seemed sluggish but it came on its own after the 3rd gear. Was not happy with the gearbox shift. The sales guy was patient and really made us feel at home and there was no pushing around to buy a car. I had informed that I was just looking around and have not made my mind but that did not dampen their spirit. In a budget of less than 10 L was able to get most I could but felt the following went against the car ; Tyres were not right sized for the weight; Steering was not as good and the Gears were not as smooth. The following went for the car ; GM then had also announced the 3 yr warrantee scheme; the car was not new but the design was such that it commanded a look always. Wife and kids liked the ride sitting on the back seat. Had pretty much made up my mind and it was time to take same opinion. Discussed with close friends & family and most were against it. The usual ‘value for money’ arguments (petrol does not fetch good resale; its GM so better watch out etc). We do see a good amount of GMs in Vadodara (its plant is 40 kms away).
Did also have a look at Toyota Corolla and the Innova. Thought Corolla was overpriced (it still is) for its offering and had half a mind to go for Innova – dreaming of getaways. Parking this vehicle and negotiating tough corners at my office u/g parking put me off this dream. Skoda was never on my radar.

By then the world economy was on its way down and I doubted the whole idea of buying a car in such times. Felt it was not necessary but thought I should keep in touch with user car reviews on the net. Came across Mouthshut & Carwale reviews but many a times doubted the authenticity of the user reviews but read them with a pinch of salt anyway and kept my idea of buying a sedan on the backburner..

Volkswagen had drummed up quite some noise. Read news reports about the FIAT re-launching sometime during Diwali last year. Coming to think of it we had almost purchased a PALIO in 2002 but settled for the Indica Petrol LSI. FIAT then had horrible records of service but some friends of mine still swore by the quality of the car.

The road that led me to the LINEA:
It was end of 2008. GM sales guy was following up once a month about doing a TD of a car to help me make up my mind. Hyundai guys did follow up till Sep’08 and then gave it up. By then the ANHC was around and came to know about some features that they had packed in at a ‘Honda’ price and got interested in cars again, fleetingly. Had heard about FIAT launching the LINEA but did not even think about it until I sighted one at Mumbai airport sometime in Feb’09. It was a silver Emotion Pk version but was late at night and there was no one around to tell me about it. It looked quite big and the styling was indeed different. Thought it must be a version in the price league of 10L plus and left it at that.

But I did not know that the Linea bug had entered my subconscious mind.

Checked it out on the net sometime during early March. First thing was about the price in Gujarat. It blew me off. In just over 8 L I could get it home. But the downer - there was no showroom in Vadodara. Wanted to know if there was going to be one and called their toll free number to know. I should have known better that I will only get a generic answer that the company will get one in place after some sales volume is established. By then I had studied the LINEA features and was getting attracted to the entire package. Discussed it with wife and although she liked it, was apprehensive about the nearest service at Ahmedabad (120 kms).

Did the rounds of the web and came across the team-bhp forums for the first time. Since, as someone eventually put it – it was raining LINEA’s in March / April, I could read many threads and became an ardent follower of the forum - but as a guest. I was still convincing myself that I do not need a sedan but it appears my mind was made up with LINEA. Now I had to convince myself if FIAT was delivering the goods.

With all what I had read about in the forum, FIAT had its winner in what it had delivered and was also encouraged by the services some of you Linean’s have experienced. I also read good reviews about the Ahmedabad dealer - Aspi Motors and so thought let me check this car out at Ahmedabad (Dr Amit – Thank you!!)

The dealer experience
It was sometime end of April. Since I am located at Vadodara, the only thing I could do was to call Aspi motors. The conversation was pleasant with their sales guy – Balkrishna Bhat. From the talk I felt he must be a new guy but knew things about the car and informed that he will inform me when the next TD event is planned for Vadodara. It never happened and when I questioned that why there was no follow-up he confessed that they all are held-up with the Punto launch. Was both happy & sad about the news. Happy because FIAT is serious in its new avatar ; Sad because the Punto was denying me a TD in my city.

Thought about it and felt it was no fault of the dealer if I am located at Vadodara. As luck would have it, I had a meeting at Ahmedabad during third week of June. Had some time off in the evening and called Aspi to check if a TD was available for a Petrol Emotion Pk. It was and I reached the dealer at 5pm. They were all busy in a meeting (Punto buzz I guess) and I was handed over to a new sales person - Prakash who was extremely courteous and so was the staff. Balkrishna apologized for not being with me but assured Prakash will stand in for him.

I was given all time in the world to have a look around the showroom and its exhibits. The TD car was ready for me and at 5.30 pm & took her for a spin. All along I was trying to recollect the points in the forum that was discussed. The ride & handling quality was good and it took some time adjusting to the controls though. I must confess I had almost had the experience of driving a Linea before I took a TD – all because of you Linean’s. Thanks!!

Did not like the 2nd gear but overall the beauty was worth buying and fit my specifications fully. Prakash by then had realised that I know much about the car (and its niggles that he mentioned he was unaware of) and was almost apologetic while explaining its features after we came back after the TD. I asked him to explain everything about the car including Blue & me. He showed me about pairing and it was successful with my Nokia E51. He went on the explain most of the features rather guardingly but I admired the earnestness. So was Balkrishna who met me after the TD and informed that there will be a discount of 8K for sale in July.

Then we hit the stumbling block. Vocal white was the unanimous choice at home but was informed it had a waiting period of 3 weeks. I said its okay but wanted to have a look at it. They did not have one but was I shown a Tata Safari which had a similar colour. Then someone remembered that a V-W Linea had arrived for servicing. We ran to the service area and located it almost leaving the premises. Got the security to stop it. Had a look at it in fading light (almost 6.45 pm) and made my mind I wanted that colour.

We came back to the showroom to discuss the details. It was almost 7 pm and the staff was leaving. I was told other colours are available in a weeks time but V-W will take 2 months according to their GM. I was taken aback – delivery time that was 15 days a few minutes ago became 2 months. I lost my cool that time and informed that I will decide about it only if I can get it in 2-3 weeks as told in the beginning and including the 8K discount.

Both Prakash & Balkrishna told me they will do their best and asked when I will make booking. I informed – only after I know about the delivery period. I thanked them for their time and we bid good bye.

The Purchase experience
It was nearing end of June. There was no call from Aspi yet (Punto to blame I guess) . I thought about checking it once again and expressed my displeasure that the dealer was not interested in a potential buyer. There were many apologies over the phone and I was asked to book it and they will check to see if there are any cancellations.

So I booked by paying 50K on 30 July and waited. I was prepared for a two month wait as I had liked the entire package & did not want any other colour Three days later I was in for a surprise. Some one had cancelled a booking and one V-W Emotion Pk Petrol was being re-directed to Ahmedabad for me. I was over the moon and asked for the details. It was expected in a weeks time. Well it was much earlier than I thought. But FIAT had raised its price for about 8K on my model and I did not want to have any of it. Aspi agreed to retain the July price. The deal was there were no discounts in Aug but they promised me free mudflaps, carpets, ganesha idol, number plate and ‘teflon’ coating (that I denied).

So got my finances in place and did some calculations to have the insurance & registration done myself. Saved about 10K in it. The package was fitting just below 8L (a steal I thought). Paid the balance amount during second week of Jul. Set the delivery date on Sat,18 July and hired a taxi to take my family to Ahmedabad & bring the beauty home.

The sun was shining that day although it had showered minutes ago. On entering could see the beauty parked beneath a shed. Wife & kids were really excited & so was I – but the PDI was not over yet. It was 5 pm when we entered the showroom & very good courtesies were shown to us (tea / cold-drinks) . Wife & kids went about seeing the Punto and Nano as I fished out the PDI check list. Having forewarned Prakash about it he said he is ready for the PDI – however long it may take. Liked the attitude of the young new salesman.

Had the family get in the car to experience its features first time. Noticed odometer was 18 kms. First I allowed Prakash to finish his bit of PDI as I struck off the points one by one. Checked out the usual suspects : chrome strips, fiat logos, seat levers, boot & bonnet levers, overall colour, the electrics & control. Found one flaw – the wiper fluid was not working. It was almost 7 pm by then but one service guy was kept as standby for me. He attended to it informing the problem was some kind of vacuum in pipe. The bonnet inside had some black spots on it - which got attended. Got all the audio & control programming done – including Blue & me pairing. (Had to push the contacts into the B&M as I learnt later in the forum).

Aspi guys were really patient with me as I cannot afford to visit the showroom for small things and guys there understood. It was 7.30 pm when the PD was over and I was satisfied. Signed on the dotted line. The car is of June’09 and tyres are April’09 (Goodyear). Wife did the puja and we headed home. Aspi staff came up to the gate after congratulating (including security).
Was satisfied with the experience so far.

Post ownership story:
It was almost 8 pm. Had to make a journey of 120 kms for home on the Ahmedabad – Vadodara Expressway. Had to check the tyres & fill her up. Round the Vishala corner, there is a BP(I think) petrol pump where I planned to get a tankful and check the tyre pressure. I am sticking to normal petrol – so was waiting to fill her up when I was surrounded by the owner of the pump and his staff admiring the new FIAT cars. He confessed he was filling one new car every week there !!. Like all old timers, he wanted FIAT to do very well this time admiring the new offering from the stable. Boy, did that make me fee great !!

Pumped up, we whizzed past Aspi on our way home. Negotiating the bad traffic at Narol circle we made it to the expressway toll gate at 8.30 pm. Stuck to 80kmph and started calling everyone in the family. The B&M controls were fantastic and the kids and wife enjoyed the conversation all the way till the expressway ended. I normally make that journey in 1 hr – but took 15mins more time. Altos & Jeeps had past me but I knew my day will come !! Went to the temple we frequent and sought blessings before bringing it home at 10 pm.

The Average reading was showing 9 kmpl. Road grip was good and wipers action super in the rain. Night riding & lights were good too. ACC did its job quite well but I had to test it during daytime. Although I felt uncomfortable with the seat initially – adjusted it at 8 notches and realised that I did not feel tired after 2 hrs of driving. Good – I thought.
Had to travel on work and therefore could not enjoy the ride for a week. But I had some friends in the neighborhood raving about the excellent package I got (including ANHC owners). Its look surely had the buzz going around and a golfer admired the boot space. I guess the only thing unsaid is – will the sales pick-up for FIAT to deliver a good service; that too in Vadodara? So that was a risk I took and so far – no problems and everything is good.

Off the topic - my son who is eight now and loves cars like any kid does; noticed the toy Linea at the showroom which Aspi motors couriered home for free !! He is a Linea owner too !!

Have completed 800 kms in a month of possessing this beauty. The average fuel consumption is now increased to 10.6 kmph. I try to keep the rpms to 2K level till some initial run is over. These are my general observations.
Car comes to life in the 3rd gear. Till that time it appears to be struggling. I expect this to improve over time. Controls and handling is good and now have trouble driving my 7 yr old Indica petrol LSI !!
Kids now ant to travel in the Linea only – and that too in the night. Me too; I like the orange hypnotic glow. Am happy with the ACC and audio. Am careful of the GC and the length does not help Linea here.

Niggles : None of those that have bothered a few of you. But a list is ready.
  • Yes, the seat lever does seem to come in the way while getting out of the car.
  • Some pen drives are not automatically detected and I have to remove it & reinsert . This happens intermittently and am yet to know the reason.
  • Twice the right-side window got stuck and could not be closed. I noticed it missed its alignment when fully withdrawn and had to pull it & bring it in place. Checked it many times lately and appears to be okay. Is on my list during the first service.
  • Felt the steering vibrating at low speeds sometimes. Have not gathered the reasons
No long drives yet except for a 160 km quick trip to Dakor (Shrinathji temple). Roads are good in Gujarat and therefore enjoyed the ride. Intend to make a trip from Baroda to Jaisalmer – Jodhpur & back sometime in October just before the first service and will certainly post that experience.

In the meantime I have attached the pics of my Linea parked at my home. These are low res to help upload. The skies did not open up and will have some high res images once it is bright. Have done nothing for the interiors so no pics currently. This is all I had to say folks… Bye for now.

..and you can call me Sam.

Note from Team BHP Support

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Attached Thumbnails
Am I the last LINEA Emotion Pk Petrol  Vocal White new owner?-p8301028.jpg  

Am I the last LINEA Emotion Pk Petrol  Vocal White new owner?-p8301023.jpg  

Am I the last LINEA Emotion Pk Petrol  Vocal White new owner?-p8301024.jpg  

Am I the last LINEA Emotion Pk Petrol  Vocal White new owner?-p8301025.jpg  

Am I the last LINEA Emotion Pk Petrol  Vocal White new owner?-p8301026.jpg  

Am I the last LINEA Emotion Pk Petrol  Vocal White new owner?-p8301027.jpg  

Last edited by Dippy : 1st September 2009 at 23:12.
lightinin95 is offline  
Old 31st August 2009, 11:57   #2
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Congrats lightinin95,

Welcome to Linea Club.
One of the clean looking car.
Enjoy and Drive Safe
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Old 31st August 2009, 12:14   #3
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Congrats lightinin95. Beautiful car. Wish they had not stopped this colour. Wishing you a happy and peaceful longterm ownership experience.
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Old 31st August 2009, 12:56   #4
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Congrats Sam

Have always wondered how Baroda does not have a Fiat sales service point in Tata network.

Enjoy the Beauty !!

Jaam, Jalsa ne Jalota....

Ke pachhi? .... Moj, Maja ne Mojdi

(The above reminded me of my college days & such slangs we used to use)
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Old 31st August 2009, 13:14   #5
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congrats .the way the linea threads are so many on tbhp . a newbie will think that the only car selling in large numbers in linea

p.s congrats to me also this is my 100th post
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Old 31st August 2009, 14:07   #6
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Default Pendrives ...

congrats buddy. Welcome to TBHP.

Regarding your question:
Some pen drives are not automatically detected and I have to remove it & reinsert . This happens intermittently and am yet to know the reason.

There are few things to make sure that pen drives work properly with mediaplayer:
1) Format in FAT32
2) Place ONLY music files/playlists on it.
3) Insert/remove the pendrive ONLY when the key is in MAR position.
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Old 31st August 2009, 14:58   #7
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welcome to team-bhp linea ship. ahoy!!

congrats and drive safe.

Felt the steering vibrating at low speeds sometimes. Have not gathered the reasons
have you done the wheel allignment and balancing?. may be thats the reason of steering vibration. anyways that can be done at first service

Contact Dr.Amit. he may have a few link ups at universal ASPI
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Old 31st August 2009, 15:49   #8
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Hey Sam
Congrats and welcome to the Linea owners club. Very well written story and packed with emotion
and a golfer admired the boot space
Very important factor in my decision too.

And yes the Vocal White looks stunning.
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Old 31st August 2009, 16:23   #9
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Congrats Sam on your purchase and welcome to the Linea club. Must say that you've given a very detailed and well written choosing and sales experience. And yes as Karthik pointed out your car seems to be the cleanest. One thing I liked about your dealer was that they couriered a Linea model for your son. That is a nice goodwill gesture. I guess other dealers should take training at Aspi.
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Old 31st August 2009, 16:58   #10
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Congrats Sam! I've seen a few Lineas in Vadodara (esp. on RC Dutt Rd.) . Might have seen yours too! If only you had a TBHP sticker on it - I'd wave you down and exchange greetings!

Enjoy the beauty
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Old 31st August 2009, 17:39   #11
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awsome man!
congratz and enjoy your ride
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Old 31st August 2009, 18:27   #12
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please keep the engine revs around 2-3k if not a bit more. Driving a petrol below 2k is frankly lugging the engine - use the rev range a decent bit more. Use the rev ranges cleanly - i'm sure your averages would increase
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Old 31st August 2009, 19:14   #13
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Congrats on the Italian Beauty. That was a very detailed write-up on your hunt and the buying experience.

BTW, Why is Fiat Stopping the Vocal White Color?

Drive Safe!
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Old 31st August 2009, 19:47   #14
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the vocal white is replaced with bossa nova white.
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Old 31st August 2009, 20:06   #15
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Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post

please keep the engine revs around 2-3k if not a bit more. Driving a petrol below 2k is frankly lugging the engine - use the rev range a decent bit more. Use the rev ranges cleanly - i'm sure your averages would increase
Exactly. +1 to above. Lot of people dont realise that driving at too low speeds in a high gear also adversely effects the FE. If the engine is running below its useful torque range and consequently lugging, then the FE will drop.
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