Tag Archives: road test

Fiat Linea India – An eagle with sparrow wings

3 Jul

I had a chance to test drive the Fiat Linea Petrol – Emotion Pack – a couple of weeks ago. I must say that, I haven’t seen any better looking car in this segment or for that matter even in immediate upper segment until today in India. It looks so beautiful, feel heavy and nice but unfortunately has a weak heart.

Image courtesy: Fiat India

Fiat make amends in India

Fiat had spoiled its image in India way back in 70s and 80s itself. Since then nobody seriously took Fiat as a serious brand probably except those Mumbai taxi drivers who still maintain their 1965 Fiats. However, eight years back, Fiat India surprised all of us with a stunning Fiat Palio which was a highly successful model. It went through many modifications and the next was the turn of the Linea.

If Palio was peppy enough and beautiful, its bigger brother has its European traits of inherited looks but it really drags on the road. The 1368cc (what a pity, it’s not even a 1.4L engine) petrol unit delivers a pathetic 115Nm torque at peak which means that you have to be somewhere in third or fourth gear to feel that the car can actually move. The engine offers a decent 90BHP power but nobody will feel it due to the poor torque.

The ground clearance is another area of concern. It hits almost every speed breaker on the road with just two people in the car itself and I can imagine the situation if the car is fully loaded. The car comes loaded with a lot of features such as Blue and Me blue tooth integration and the interiors are okay for the price.

However, a car is a car first because of its engine, anything else comes next. Due to the same reason, the Fiat Linea’s Indian edition is not a great car. On top of this Fiat’s notorious after sale service adds to the woes. Overall, the vehicle can be rated something like 3 out of 5.

You can find my road test report of Fiat Linea Petrol at Mouthshut.com. Let me know your thoughts on this beautiful laggard.

Happy Motoring!

Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla Altis reviews

25 Jun

I have been test driving quite a few C and C+ segment cars of late because the time has come to bid bye to my favorite Ford Ikon 1.6. I preempted Skoda Octavia from my test drive suite as it was already becoming an outdated vehicle.

The reviews

You can find my detail reviews on both these awesome cars at the following links. At the end of it, though my heart said Civic, my head said Altis for the practical reasons in Bangalore and hence booked a Toyota Corolla Altis.

Image courtesy: Honda Siel Cars India
Honda Civic review

Image courtesy: Toyota Kirloskar Motors India
Toyota Corolla Altis review

Enjoy reading and Happy motoring!

All New Honda City (ANHC) iVtec road test

20 Jun

As usual, I had posted my detail road test and review of the ANHC (All New Honda City) i-Vtec on mouthshut and here are the excerpts from that review. You may head to the All New Honda City i-Vtec review page for more details.

All New Honda City - iVtec
Image courtesy: Honda Cars India

Futuristic design

Honda India has been one of the pioneers in bringing in futuristic car designs with their Honda City and Civic series. The ANHC is no different. In fact, from the exterior design point of view, it’s an extremely good looking vehicle. When it comes to the interiors, it has tried to mimic some part of the Civic’s console and steering but the plastics and finish are extremely disappointing.

The engine and performance

The best thing about the ANHC is its 1.5L iVtec engine that is so smooth and powerful. It delivers a 118ps power with a decent 146Nm torque. In fact, I thought, in a 0-100 shoot out it may overtake the Toyota Corolla Altis. The gear is slick and butter smooth so are the brake, gas and clutch pedals.

So, what’s the problem?

At the time of writing, the ANHC is a totally under-featured vehicle that has no fog lamps, no alloys, no electrically foldable mirrors and no CD-player etc. And without all these it is priced at something like 8.5L ex-showroom in Bangalore. Moreover, the interiors are extremely disappointing and one wouldn’t feel like they are sitting in a 9L car. Read more about the ANHC in my Honda City review on Mouthshut.

Happy Motoring!

Ford Ikon – In a league of its own

13 May

I have been fascinated by cars and bikes from a very young age. I always watched, studied and admired them along with the various aspects of automobile engineering from my childhood. We did not have any car or bike in my house at that time and hence never got to try my hands on those coveted machines (if you can call them so) of that era. My first hands-on with a bike was at the age of 7 whereby I tried to ride my uncle’s Luna (do you remember that moped?) and got nice scolding and a couple of whacks for the same.

After I got my first job, the very first thing I did was to buy a bike. I, in fact, bought a Royal Enfield Machismo at that time – which was obviously a little too much for my thin frame :). After moving to the US for about three years, I got to experiment with a lot of good quality cars but most of them were auto-transmission models.

Coming back to India in 2001, gave me the opportunity to experiment with various nice cars. Since I always preferred driver’s cars over those who looked great or provided good mileage, I picked Maruti Zen as my first car in India. It was an awesome car to drive but I was yearning for more and hence in 2004-’05 I switched to a Ford Ikon 1.6 Petrol which, at that time, was probably the best driver’s car in India.

Ford Ikon 1.6 Review

Though, I have been writing car reviews here and there, I thought of organizing my auto reviews a little bit and hence started publishing them on my blogs. Unfortunately, some of them got closed due to other blogging priorities and hence I moved some of my reviews to Mouthshut.com.

My Ford Ikon review on Mouthshut is the first organized and complete review of that kind. You may please read the review and provide your feedback there itself. At some point, I plan to consolidate all my reviews on this blog.

Happy Motoring!