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Old 16th May 2022, 00:05   #1
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Default Looking for a worthy & reliable replacement for my Fiat Linea T-Jet

I am, finally, considering replacing my Fiat Linea T Jet emotion (2014).

I bought the 2014 updated version after much deliberation and I had shared the thought process behind choosing the T Jet (over the competition) with the initial ownership review on T BHP - https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/long-...xperience.html (2014 Fiat Linea T-Jet: Initial Ownership Experience)

I owned a (pre-worshipped) Maruti Baleno sedan before the T Jet.

I must admit that I love driving the T Jet.
The odo stands at 91200kms as of yesterday, almost entirely driven by yours faithfully (less than 5000kms driven by a driver and my brother). The car still feels like new. The engine shows no signs of age (I was meticulous with servicing and despite the Fiat service centre closing down in Pondicherry within an year of me buying the car, I ensured the car was serviced only at authorised service centres all these years, though I went as far as Salem to ensure this once). No rattles, whatsoever. The only thing which makes me feel the car is 'old' is that the working of the steering mounted controls on the right side is erratic for some time now.

The fact that I bought a car like this at 9.4 lakhs on road less than 9 years back feels unbelievable now. Look at what all the T Jet had on offer at that price point:

1. A proper (full) sedan with solid build quality
2. All 4 disc brakes
3. 205 55R16 tyres with alloy wheels
4. Cruise control
5. Auto headlamps, Rain sensing wipers
6. Blue & Me (Bluetooth connectivity)
7. Rear parking sensors (no camera, though)
8. Automatic climate control, Rear AC vent
9. A suspension which eliminates rough roads at high speeds
10. Spacious boot with the boot hinges having a unique design maximising space available
11. An involving driving experience - the car feels 'planted' (often described as 'being on rails' in t-bhp jargon), extremely stable at high speeds, hydraulic steering step up providing great feel of the road, a mid-range which is an experience in itself (lightnight fast overtakes)
12. Small but significant (usable) features like Follow me home headlamps, mirrors (with lid and a light) on sun wisors for both driver and co-passenger, a usable hand rest, individual door & boot open warning display (specifies which door is open), customisable speed limit warning notification, single touch open and shut function for driver side window

Mileage was, obviously, not great. The highway mileage used to be between 12 - 13km/l. And this dipped to as low as 6-8km/l with short runs inside the town.

My intention was to keep the car as long as I can, because it doesn't make sense to me to change cars often, esp something like the T Jet.

However, the car has left me stranded 'in the middle of nowhere' not once, but five times so far , the last being yesterday.

The alternator seems to be the 'Achilles' heel' of the T Jet.

It first failed about 5 years back (when 3 years old). When it failed the first time, it was while I was in town and hence I was spared the experience of getting stuck on the road. The lack of a service centre in Pondy gave me a LOT of trouble then, but finally the alternator was replaced at RamKay Fiat at Chennai (the horrible experience was chronicled on T-BHP by me and you can read it here - https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/india...nt-metros.html (The plight of Fiat car owners who aren't in the Metros)) and the car was back with me after a month.

Then it failed again about 2.5 years back, leaving me stranded on a rainy day somewhere between Uthamapalayam and Cumbam in TN, on my way to Kerala. That resulted in an ordeal; the only positive part was the service experience at Hyson Jeep Service, Kottayam (https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/india...r-service.html (For a change, a very pleasant experience with Fiat/Jeep (MOPAR) Service))

And it failed again yesterday, stranding me and my family on the road, again on a rainy day, in Kerala. Worst of all, I was on a quick 3 day trip to Kerala and this has spoiled my plans and schedule.

This is in addition to two other episodes where I got stranded on the highway, one with a (dual) tyre burst episode (near the Kuthiran ghat between Palakkad & Thrissur (Kerala) and another fuel line leak episode (Koothattukulam).

Finally I am thinking 'enough is enough'. Getting stuck on the road with family (includes a very small child) at unfamiliar, distant places, in inclement weather and no easy way to resolve the situation is worst you can ask for, while travelling with family. Esp if it has happened more than once.

So, I am looking for a worthy replacement, which is RELIABLE too.

Having faced hardships with Fiat service where I live, I want the car to have service centre in Pondicherry (which will not shut down in near future). This includes Maruti, Hyundai, Tata, Mahindra, Kia, Volkswagen, Skoda, Toyota, Renault & Nissan.

So, here are my 'requirements':
1. A driver's car
2. Reliable
3. Safe
4. Service available in Pondicherry itself
5. Would prefer to have the features which were there in my T Jet to be there in the new one too (any extra creature comfort is welcome). Specifically, cruise control is an absolute must.
6. Preferably a sedan, willing to consider other options if worthy

Resale value and mileage are good to have, but not the primary concern. I am willing to compromise on these, if I have to do that to avail the above listed requirements.

It will be helpful if the replacement car has more space than the T Jet. We always use a child seat and because of this, seating two adults on the rear seat is really difficult. With the car seat in place, actually only one adult can sit comfortably at the rear. This is a problem, because we are a family of five, including my parents. Family trips are uncomfortable for the two adults on the rear seat.

I also own an Ignis Alpha AMT, which is my wife's daily commute. I don't use a car on a daily basis and I walk to work. The T Jet was primarily a highway car used for out station trips and the same can be expected for the new drive too.

I haven't really shortlisted cars yet.

To be honest, my heart says "get the octavia"!

But my brain tells me "don't even think about it" because the ownership experience of the T Jet was marred by poor service (Skoda service also has poor reputation) and mechanical issues (reliability issues with the DSG in VAG cars).

My better half, who drives only because she need to, is very 'practical minded' and has been asking me to get rid of the T Jet and go for a Innova Crysta, for some time now.

My original plan was to wait for a few years more hoping that an EV with good range (600kms or more) will be arriving in the market by then and to replace my T Jet with the EV then.

So, here are a few questions :

1. Does any of you think that I should just replace the alternator and retain the T Jet hoping that this issue will not recur?

2. I have been closely tracking the launch of Slavia & Virtus, but am not convinced it will be an upgrade over the T Jet. Is this a reasonable assessment?

3. My idea of a car is a sedan. Ground clearance was never an issue with T Jet. Hence still not convinced I need to get a SUV. But is there a proper sedan in the market which is a worthy upgrade and which meets the above listed requirements other than the Octavia? But is octavia more spacious than the T Jet?

4. Does it make sense to go for the Innova Crysta (no idea how it drives), by a 'sedan' guy like me?

Soliciting all fellow car lovers inputs to help me replace my T Jet with a worthy successor!

Thanks in advance!
sparameswaran
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Old 16th May 2022, 01:31   #2
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Default re: Looking for a worthy & reliable replacement for my Fiat Linea T-Jet

My story is similar to yours except that my car is 2011 Corolla Altis CVT, bought as pre owned in 2016. I have also been stranded on many occasions in highways. The problem with my car is, when driven on highways under hot sun that too during peak summer season, there will be sudden loss of power resulting in engine shuddering and many a times the car would come to a grinding halt. Sometimes I have to wait till 5 PM or pray the rain god so that my engine wakes up and you wonít believe the car would drive smoothly like you are in a heaven. It has happened to me in Shimoga, Salem, Bengaluru, Thanjavur and I have taken my car to these authorised service centres and everyone would conclude that the system diagnosis does not throw any error and have asked me to change the injectors, valve etc.. I have also consulted many local mechanics who could not give a proper solution. After searching the internet I realised that higher octane petrol would be a possible solution. Since then I have been using Speed 97 or Octane boosters and now XP 100 and the frequency of this has come down. Last week when I countered the same problem near Thiruvannamalai en route to Bengaluru, my trusted mechanic asked me to open the fuel tank valve and when I opened it, there was a sudden rush of vapour coming out of the petrol tank. He has now suggested me to change the Purge valve. I will do this now. The reason why I am narrating my ordeal is, I strongly believe that most of the cars upto 30-35 lakhs is not value for money as good as mu Altis and in terms of reliability, known devil is better than unknown angel. I have driven the crysta and it doesnít handle a corner as good as a sedan. It is heavy and very big as well. I have test driven the compass and Tucson as well and could not find it better than my Altis in terms of ride quality and handling as well. The products from VW and Skoda are both underwhelming and unreliable. My wait for a more capable, reliable and VFM sedan or SUV continues.
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Old 16th May 2022, 02:13   #3
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Default re: Looking for a worthy & reliable replacement for my Fiat Linea T-Jet

I guess you should replace the car now. I would suggest go check out the new Honda city eHEV that has just been launched, it could be a great all-rounder that you might need.
Yes the Crysta too is a fantastic car that you can purchase eyes closed ! It’s the best people’s mover you can buy I feel. Although it is on the expensive side, it’ll last you for years and kms without breaking a sweat, and when it’s time to sell it, you’ll get unexpectedly good price for it.
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Old 16th May 2022, 06:29   #4
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Default re: Looking for a worthy & reliable replacement for my Fiat Linea T-Jet

TJet is a super hard car to replace. Period.

Fun to drive is a relative term and may not go along with reliability all the time.

Getting stuck 5 times is a lot. Most people look for a replacement after the 1st breakdown. That's some love you have for the TJet.

Since you tend to keep cars for long and value reliability, I'd suggest you to check out the Innova and take a long test drive. That's the only way you'll know whether it's a fit for you, especially as a sedan person.

If reliability is truly important to you, ensure you check out the Innova first before anything else. Chances are if you test drive the Octavia first, you may not like anything else.

And speaking of the Octavia, that is the real upgrade for the TJet and not the Virtus/Slavia. The Virtus/Slavia is a lateral upgrade but doesn't hurt to check it out either. Part availability is expected to be higher for them than the Octavia at any given time.

And regarding the sedan experience, it is dying and these are the last days. Not too many choices like 2014.
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Old 16th May 2022, 07:03   #5
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Default re: Looking for a worthy & reliable replacement for my Fiat Linea T-Jet

Quote:
Originally Posted by sparameswaran View Post
I am, finally, considering replacing my Fiat Linea T Jet emotion (2014).
IMHO, you really need to spend big bucks to upgrade from the Jet. It's a very hard car to replace when one considers what it does for what it cost. I will eventually be in the same boat as you (2014 facelifted version) and shudder to think of how much I will have to dole out on the replacement.

The Innova Crysta is probably the most sensible option, but will it give you the same driving pleasure, I really don't know.

I TD the Octavia, but honestly didn't find it enough of an upgrade and I didn't like the DSG guillotine hanging over my head.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sparameswaran View Post
1. Does any of you think that I should just replace the alternator and retain the T Jet hoping that this issue will not recur?
Since you have no issues with the car except for the alternator ( failing 3 times in 8 years is a bit much), I would suggest taking the car to Tru Sai Salem and getting it completely checked out. I haven't used Tru Sai personally, but have many friends who have and swear by the work done there.
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Old 16th May 2022, 08:14   #6
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Default re: Looking for a worthy & reliable replacement for my Fiat Linea T-Jet

"A difficult car to upgrade from"

Exactly what an enthusiast should hear. Kudos on a choice well made.

Virtus/Slavia are definitely worth considering. Not only does it have a decade of progress over the T-jet, it still has enough to offer to enthusiasts. In fact, the only area you are compromising on is rear discs, but I'm sure overall braking would still be better. And the 1.5L will definitely be appreciated by turbo petrol enthusiasts like you.

Another option usually considered by Fiat fans, is the Jeep compass. Although a totally different segment, you're still in the same family so to speak.

The Compass is an excellent car, and definitely worth a test drive. Turbo petrol is let down by the DCT, but it's not a deal breaker. Diesel is lovely, of course. This is a better choice than an innova IMO.

And Octavia, if you are considering it, is a no brainer. One of the best cars in the market right now, and punches far above its weight. It's another car that you will struggle to replace.

As for reliability, the DQ381 gearbox is much more reliable than the DQ200 we keep hearing about. Plus, extended warranty is available.

Do a TD for all of these and go for it.
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Old 16th May 2022, 08:32   #7
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Default re: Looking for a worthy & reliable replacement for my Fiat Linea T-Jet

Quote:
Originally Posted by CArspeed View Post
My story is similar to yours. The reason why I am narrating my ordeal is, I strongly believe that most of the cars upto 30-35 lakhs is not value for money as good as mu Altis and in terms of reliability, known devil is better than unknown angel. I have driven the crysta and it doesnít handle a corner as good as a sedan. It is heavy and very big as well. I have test driven the compass and Tucson as well and could not find it better than my Altis in terms of ride quality and handling as well. The products from VW and Skoda are both underwhelming and unreliable. My wait for a more capable, reliable and VFM sedan or SUV continues.
How I wish the Altis (or the Jetta or the Civic) was on sale now!

Quote:
Originally Posted by NarediAni7518 View Post
I guess you should replace the car now. I would suggest go check out the new Honda city eHEV that has just been launched, it could be a great all-rounder that you might need.
Yes the Crysta too is a fantastic car that you can purchase eyes closed ! Itís the best peopleís mover you can buy I feel. Although it is on the expensive side, itíll last you for years and kms without breaking a sweat, and when itís time to sell it, youíll get unexpectedly good price for it.
Thanks! Was not really thinking about the City, but shall check on the eHEV for sure.

I expect to eventually own an EV. The issue now is the range. The distance from where I work to my native place is about 550kms (shortest route) and I don't want to stop in between for an hour or two to recharge. Given the route I usually take (Dindigul - Theni - Kumily) from Pondy to KL, recharging on the way is right now not an option too (not available).
So, one (logical) way to look at the current situation is to get a car with good resale value and dispose it off to get an EV (hopefully in less than 5 years) as and when it is available. In this plan, the Crysta seems a good option, given its resale value. Just thinking aloud. Need to convince the heart too!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbohead View Post
TJet is a super hard car to replace. Period.

That's some love you have for the TJet.

If reliability is truly important to you.

And speaking of the Octavia, that is the real upgrade for the TJet and not the Virtus/Slavia. The Virtus/Slavia is a lateral upgrade but doesn't hurt to check it out either. Part availability is expected to be higher for them than the Octavia at any given time.

And regarding the sedan experience, it is dying and these are the last days. Not too many choices like 2014.
I took time and effort while researching the replacement for my Balerno sedan in 2014. I am convinced that I bought the right car, based on what I aspired for. Service woes were there, but was manageable because I didn't need a car on a daily basis. It was a nuisance, not a threat to my work schedule. However, the breakdowns in the middle of nowhere is something I think I should not put my famiky through, again. So, yes, reliability has moved up in my list of essential requirements.

Octavia has always been on mind, for more than 20 years now. Didn't consider it in 2014 because I didn't want to spend that much. Even now, I am not happy to splurge 30 lakhs on a car (which is a liability and not an asset in financial terms), eventhough my heart is on it and I can stretch my budget that far if necessary. I do believe that Octavia is the defenitive upgrade from where I am now (though I haven't sat inside one yet).

It is really sad that sedans are dying. The GC argument is nonsense. T Jet never hit its belly and I have taken it to all sorts of places. Even my Baleno's GC improved with a calculated tyre upgrade and it ceased to be a serious issue after the tyre upgrade. I really don't buy the GC argument for SUVs. But there are other advantages, like a 6 seater or a 7 seater (though the rear seat usually can take only kids and 6 or 7 people means practically no luggage space in almost all 6/7 seater).
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Old 16th May 2022, 09:06   #8
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Default re: Looking for a worthy & reliable replacement for my Fiat Linea T-Jet

My recommendations to you would include the following:
1. New Honda City Petrol
2. Hyundai Alcazar Petrol
3. Hyundai Tucson Petrol

Some of the other options out there trade in driving pleasure for reliability and given your needs, that wouldn't make sense.

I also think the above options are sensible from a budget standpoint. To be clear, none of these would stir your emotions like the Linea but I am saying this as a former Punto owner -- I would never trade reliability for driving pleasure. You have been far more patient than most people with your Linea.

Personally, I think the Honda is the perfect fit for your needs.
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Old 16th May 2022, 09:32   #9
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Default Re: Looking for a worthy & reliable replacement for my Fiat Linea T-Jet

Quote:
Originally Posted by sparameswaran View Post
Soliciting all fellow car lovers inputs to help me replace my T Jet with a worthy successor!
Indeed, it's time to let the T-Jet go. Fiat's long-term reliability can be shaky.

IMHO, you should get:

- Jeep Compass. It's the spiritual successor to the Punto / Linea. On Team-BHP itself, you will see many ex-Fiat owners getting the Compass (most recent being Crazy Driver). It's a very satisfying car to own & drive, especially on the open road. But the rear seat won't accommodate your parents and a child seat.

- Mahindra XUV700. You'll be surprised at how competent the car is. It is mechanically solid, but I would prefer waiting a year for all niggles to be ironed out (the waiting for good variants is anyway that long). Get the Diesel AT or Petrol AT.

- Octavia would be awesome, but it won't give you the reliability you desire + the usual Skoda headaches. Personally, I am okay with enduring 4 days of pain a year in exchange for 361 days of driving pleasure. But everyone has their own preferences, so decide for yourself.

- Since you are considering the Innova, let me recommend the Carnival to you. It is absolutely brilliant & luxurious. You will enjoy the drive (superb engine + gearbox), while your parents, wife & kid will be enamoured by the sheer space & luxury. There is no highway limousine like the Kia Carnival and I would buy it over many 60-70 lakh German SUVs. If I needed the space, a Carnival would already be parked down my house.

- If you want something for ~20 lakhs or under, get the Slavia 1.5 or the City. Both are fun to drive.

Happy shopping ! Keep updating this thread with your test-drive experiences & the final choice you make.

Last edited by GTO : 16th May 2022 at 09:35.
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Old 16th May 2022, 10:24   #10
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Default Re: Looking for a worthy & reliable replacement for my Fiat Linea T-Jet

You really have not mentioned your requirements You really have not raked up miles over the years. I believe the city you live is a reason for this.

Unless you have a good parking lot and wider roads to deal with. I wouldn't think Innova or Carnival. For a 2+1 family they are an overkill, unless you have parents or in-laws accompanying frequently on trips.

You should take a serious look at the City, given you are not worried about GC. This is probably the closest petrol successor with relatively less risk apetite.

If you want to go VAG way, choose the MT.

Skoda in TN is a monopoly, I think Gurudev is the only dealer serving Madras, Vellore.
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Old 16th May 2022, 11:19   #11
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Default Re: Looking for a worthy & reliable replacement for my Fiat Linea T-Jet

I think you should change the car as you have already left stranded 3 or 4 times due to the car. Considering your requirements I think you should take Reliability as the top most priority everything else is next.
  1. Reliability- Since you are going to use this car for long drives outside of the city and getting stranded somewhere on the road along with family is not an option. This should be your 1st priority. Consider Crysta or City to meet this.
  2. Driver's car - Considering the Reliability is top most priority you should consider City. As GTO said City is as good as Skoda sedans up to 120KMPH. I hope you may not drive beyond this when you are going to drive along with your family.
  3. Build Quality - Crysta might score better compared to City though there is no rating of India Manufactured car available currently as far as I know. Other crash test certified car XUV700 may not be available for you till next year. I strongly believe reasonable safe car along with safe driving practice which is completely in your control gives you the complete protection. We heard enough cases of airbags not getting deployed.
  4. Comfortable - Crysta will be spacious and comfortable I guess for long drives for your family. I understand City also spacious and comfortable for back seat riders.
Considering these I suggest you to go for City as it would be a better drivers' car compared to Crysta.
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Old 16th May 2022, 21:02   #12
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Default Re: Looking for a worthy & reliable replacement for my Fiat Linea T-Jet

Quote:
Originally Posted by GBX View Post
Do a TD for all of these and go for it.
Space is indeed a concern and in that sense, Compass may not suitable for me at this point of time. Almost all long trips are with 4 adults and a kid.

No harm in test driving Virtus/Slavia/Octavia, I guess.
Between Virtus & Slavia, I think Virtus looks better (understated design, more elegant) and I will be inclined towards it rather than the Slavia, if I seriously consider the twins.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyrotek View Post
Personally, I think the Honda is the perfect fit for your needs.
Never seriously looked at the Tucson, hence clueless. Shall check.

I must say I agree with you on the reliability part - having learned it the hard way!

Honda City is frequently appearing in the recommendations. Guess I need to take a serious look at it, though it may not qualify as a significant upgrade. Shall defenitely do a test drive with the child seat also in position, if the service staff allows it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Happy shopping ! Keep updating this thread with your test-drive experiences & the final choice you make.
Thanks for your very helpful suggestions, GTO!

I am adding the XUV700 to the list of cars I shall be test driving. I know the waiting period is long. But no harm in checking it out, I guess.

Never thought about the Carnival. Need to check up on how much it will set me back. Shall check up on this one too

You mentioned Slavia or City, but I guess you would keep Virtus also in this group? Guess you left it out because it is not yet available at the show rooms? Any other reason to prefer Slavia over Virtus? To my eyes Virtus looks better than the Slavia. So, if I have to go for one if it, I will be more inclined to the Virtus.

Quote:
Originally Posted by narayans80 View Post
You really have not mentioned your requirements
I shared my thought process and putting down these things in writing actually helps. Not to mention valuable suggestions from the forum members! Having gone through a lot, I guess I should be wiser and more discerning by now! Sorry if I came across as too choosy and posing impossible demands.

Regarding the miles, I don't frequent my home town in Kerala. Visits are not more than 3 or 4 a year. But I do travel to Chennai, Vellore etc for professional reasons and there are the occasional leisure trips which are almost invariably road trips of substantial distance. So it is not daily commute and Kerala trips accounting for the miles.

I do have enough space to park and have a dedicated garage too. Small perks of being in a government accommodation .

As I mentioned above, most trips are with the entire family (4 adults with a kid in a child seat) and it is rare for me to travel out of station only with my wife and kid. So Space is indeed a concern.

City is figuring prominently in recommendations and I am taking note of it. Thank you.

I am in Pondicherry and not exactly in TN. Skoda never had a show room / service in Pondy. They opened only about an year or so back (KUN Skoda) and it is not Gurudev Skoda, I believe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blorebuddy View Post
Considering your requirements I think you should take Reliability as the top most priority everything else is next.
I totally agree with the priority setting. You are spot on.
Also, shall be taking a really serious look at the City.

Last edited by aah78 : 17th May 2022 at 05:07. Reason: Quotes trimmed.
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Old 16th May 2022, 22:12   #13
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Default Re: Looking for a worthy & reliable replacement for my Fiat Linea T-Jet

Just replace the alternator with a new one. It will set you back by Rs 25K but you will have peace of mind atleast for the next 3-4 years. You won't find a decent replacement for TJet in sub 25 Lacs segment. TJet is a gem and a definite keeper. But do get the alternator replaced asap and enjoy the beauty.
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Old 17th May 2022, 04:13   #14
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Default Re: Looking for a worthy & reliable replacement for my Fiat Linea T-Jet

Quote:
Originally Posted by CArspeed View Post
My story is similar to yours except that my car is 2011 Corolla Altis CVT, bought as pre owned in 2016.
I had the exact same problem with my 2012 Nissan Altima. I think it is something to do with CVTs. Neither the Nissan dealerships nor the local mechanics were able to identify the root cause. One guess was that I had changed the transmission oil at a local workshop and they might not have used the genuine Nissan trans oil.

Last edited by aah78 : 17th May 2022 at 05:05. Reason: Spacing.
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Old 17th May 2022, 07:35   #15
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Default Re: Looking for a worthy & reliable replacement for my Fiat Linea T-Jet

Quote:
Originally Posted by sparameswaran View Post
To be honest, my heart says "get the octavia"!
Thanks in advance!
sparameswaran
I too own a FIAT MJD which is 12+yrs old and done close to 2l kms. Wanted a car and went with an Octy 1.8TSI. Honestly, I am pissed off with the both Gurudev Motors and Skoda India for the way they have handled my car as well as my friend's car. Once a Skoda always a Skoda now gets a twist from my side. Once a Skoda NEVER a Skoda.

Hence think twice before you pick up an Octy considering costly spares and support.

You can look at XUV700.
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