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    Thread: Balboa - My new white Linea TJet

    1. #1

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      Balboa - My new white Linea TJet

      If someone said to me on the first day of this year that I would soon purchase a new car, I would have laughed.


      I think it was a post on Gearheads that probably put the thought in my head. The car was in its 15th year, there were some niggles and a major issue with white smoke. I had already spent a lot of money on it. Would spending some more money make it last long? A few calculations later, I started looking at options just to keep my inner practical voice quiet.


      The contenders were a Skoda Rapid, a Fiat Linea, a Maruti Swift and after some time I added a VW Polo GT TDI too.


      I never went to a Skoda showroom- I guess all the horror stories I read about Skoda had something to do with it. After promising to provide a car to test drive later that week, Bimal never called despite several reminders, but they were willing to call and remind me of pending services for my Baleno. The build and interior plastics quality of the Swift made me feel that that the Baleno is still better off in that department. The VW showroom offered to give me a Polo TDI (not GT) or a GT TSI to test drive but not a GT TDO because they do not have any GT TDI to test drive. Apparently, there isn't a single GT TDI test drive in all of Bangalore.


      At Fiat Caffe on Koramangala Inner Ring Road, I met Mr. Tauseef who promptly went back to fetch the Linea's brochures when he learnt that I drive a Baleno. Talk about immediately understanding what your customer is looking for!


      The discounts on a 2014 pre-facelift and post-facelift models were tempting, so I set up a date for the test drive with Fiat Caffe. After the test drive, I was grinning from ear to ear till I realised that I would have to give up the Baleno. I was down in the dumps for the rest of the day!


      I initially wanted to take the Dynamic variant as it suited my requirements. But by the time I paid the booking amount, only the Emotion variant was available in the 2014 pre-facelift models. The post-facelift Dynamic was 40k more than the pre-face lift Emotion variant. I preferred the older look and White as the only available colour was acceptable, so I went ahead with the Emotion variant.


      With a heavy heart, I gave the keys to the Baleno to the showroom on Feb 28th. On March 2nd, I completed a PDI at the stockyard and made the remaining payments the following day. On March 6th, I went to pick up the car.

      Click image for larger version. 

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      And called my parents at Madras that I would be coming home for the weekend, fully knowing they would expect to see me in the Baleno.


      And now, onto the driving experience.


      When I drove the Baleno for the first time, I thought it was quiet. But the Linea is ridiculously so. The first time I started it, I thought the car had not started at all. While driving at 80-90 kmph speeds, it feels like you are sitting in a car on a conveyor belt. In the Baleno, grunt of the engine made it feel like the car was ready to spring.


      And the increased ground clearance meant I do not have to worry about scraping the underside. But I do miss the low-slung feeling of the Baleno. Would 180mm be fine, or should I stick to the stock 190mm?


      However, what scored well over the Baleno were the headlights. No more do I have to squint to avoid incoming glare, no more do I have to flick between high and low beam to see where I am going.


      I found a few things uncomfortable in the beginning. I am guessing that it will change over time.


      1. The steering is stiffer than I expected. I used to drive the Baleno easily with the right hand on the steering and the left on the gear stick. With the Linea, I have to use both hands because my right shoulder started to feel the strain after a few hours.


      2. The indicators are on the left of the steering in the Linea while it is the opposite in the Baleno. A few times I started the wipers out of habit.


      3. The gap between the dead pedal and the clutch is lesser in the Linea. Most of the time, the clutch does not engage smoothly because the dead pedal gets in the way.


      I noticed a very faint rattle at 5th gear when the car was pulling up from 1.5k rpm, as if a coin was rattling on a thin plastic base. I was able to hear it a few times in the drive back to Bangalore. Does anyone know what it could be?


      I am getting around 14km to the litre as opposed to 19 for the same distance in the Baleno. I suppose it will get better once the car settles down. As of now, the car has done only 750kms.
      | Hero Honda Splendor 2000 | Royal Enfield Thunderbird 2002 | Maruti Suzuki Baleno 2000 | Fiat Linea 2014

    2. #2

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      deuxBEER's Avatar
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      Congrats on the new buy! That is a fun to drive car
      Quote Originally Posted by arunj View Post
      The car was in its 15th year, ... my Baleno
      That is quite an experience.
      Go the extra mile in helping a fellow biker/cyclist/pedestrian on the road. We do not want another car on the road.

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      bala_321's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by arunj View Post
      My new white Linea TJet
      Congrats on your purchase. Linea is one of the very good sedans.

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      Congrats on your purchase arunj ! Its raining Fiat Linea TJETs. Even couple of my friends got TJET in the same offer & coincidentally they're White as well.

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      arunj, Congrats on your new acquisition. Wish you many happy (s)miles ahead.

      Pic of the car is clicked at a place very familiar to us. Please make it to the meets.
      This is the place where we head to for quick night drives or breakfast drives.
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      arunj congrats on your new ride. Linea is one of the best drivers car in the segment .Wishing you happy mile munching.

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      Congrats arunj. Lovely car!
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      Dev1984's Avatar
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      Congrats arunj for your Fiat
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      First of all - many congrats. Wishing you Happy and safe driving..
      Guess, more and more white cars are coming up - than it was earlier. Anybody has any pretty stat on the number of white cars sold for the past 5 years or so - with year wise break-up?

      More pics and more review pls
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    10. #10

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      Quote Originally Posted by deuxBEER View Post
      Congrats on the new buy! That is a fun to drive car

      Originally Posted by arunj
      The car was in its 15th year, ... my Baleno
      That is quite an experience.
      Ah well, if only I could claim that I drove it all its 15 years. I was the 4th owner, and I guess that strain started to show on the car in the 14th year.


      - - - Updated - - -


      Quote Originally Posted by Evolution88 View Post
      Pic of the car is clicked at a place very familiar to us. Please make it to the meets.
      This is the place where we head to for quick night drives or breakfast drives.
      Then you must be the guys I see there when I take my Thunderbird out on its weekend morning rides.

      Would love to join on one of the rides, let's see how it works out.
      Last edited by arunj; 10th Mar 2015 at 14:10.
      | Hero Honda Splendor 2000 | Royal Enfield Thunderbird 2002 | Maruti Suzuki Baleno 2000 | Fiat Linea 2014

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