Fiat Palio 1.3 Multijet Test Drive Report

The most awaited Fiat Palio 1.3 Multijet Diesel was launched on March 11. Oh! that’s a beauty.
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Here is a brief report.
Let me start off to the point. I had spoken to one Mr.Divya Kumar, sales executive of Manipal Motors,expressing interest in the test driving the palio multijet. Since the vehicle was unavailable till Friday, I went on Saturday 4 30 pm. Right outside the showroom was parked a silver Palio Multijet. My eyes lit up seeing the multijet badge. The new grille doesn’t look bad either. There were three customers already waiting for the TD and I had to wait till they all finished. Then finally at 5 30 pm, I had the key in my hand.
Here are some salient points.
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1. I started the engine and it instantly brought a smile on my face. Super silent engine.
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2. I started off slowly at the first gear because it was my first diesel vehicle. Then I switched to the second gear and really felt the diesel power. Turbo Charged Multijet engine. OMG its awesome.
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3. I had a lot of problems with the clutch. he clutch is a hydraulic clutch, you have to Tress it fully with your might to engage the gear (this is specially so for 2nd gear which does not slot in properly if on half clutch). The foot-rest is too close to the clutch which makes it even harder to press the clutch. Many times my foot got stuck in between the cutch and the foot-rest. I happened to stop once due to this, and had a Qualis honking behind me. Thanks to avoidance of multi cranking, I had to fully switch engine off and recrank again.
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4. I deliberately went on bumpy roads to test the suspension. No problems what so ever.
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5. AC on / off didn’t matter too much. Pickup was more or less the same. Have to mention here — AC is too good, press the button and you feel the chill.
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6. Get on to 3rd and 4th gear, and the car is an absolute beauty to drive. I pressed the A pedal and the car was just cruising away. Its a poweful 75 bhp engine.I reached a speed of 80 kmph.
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7. Even thought there were no ABS, the braking is too good. Really good. No second thoughts.
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8. Interiors are still yuck !! Palio needed new interiors. No digital dashboard, fonts on dashboard are not good either. There is no leather covering for gear knob.To sum it up, an Unbelievable car. GOOD JOB FIAT.
I would have loved to get some goodies along with the car like leather upholstery and music system with speakers, but the dealer said ” no offers on fiat ” :(.

All the best Fiat, Welcome back to the market.

Edit: Pics Uploaded

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32 thoughts on “Fiat Palio 1.3 Multijet Test Drive Report

  1. hey aditya, nice review! Its the first positive review of the multijet. i have been readin reviews on Team Bhp and all said the engine is noisy…no power..gear shiftin problem..etc etc.
    It was great to read u didnt face any of the above.

  2. @ Aditya,
    Well it means that Fiat is manufacturing widely differing vehicles. One vibrates the other does not.
    I live in a very small town called Kottayam, where we had a Fiat service centre but that is closed now and the Tata dealership here does not service Fiats. Also I am in a transferable job, where I might land up in a still smaller town.
    Moreover I have many friends and relatives in all corners of the country, who have Indicas, Sumos and other vehicles from Tata stable and none of them have a very good word to say about Tata service.

    Swift definelty has better visibility in that you can see the road as near as 2 meters away from the bumper, which is from my seating position. Fiat it starts at 4 meters. Yes rear visbility is slightly limited due to a small window.

    Anyway these things are a matter of opinion coloured by prior expereince. Hope you have good time with Fiat.

  3. I agree. But I feel Maruti is a common man’s choice. Fiat is the choice of someone who is passionate about

    his car. Thats’s why you mentioned ” my heart says fiat ” .

  4. Dear Aditya

    A nice review in a nutshell..thanks.

    I drive an alto lxi, have TD experiences of i10, swift, santro, stile 1.1, indigo gls etc. While TD Stile 1.1 I have noticed the following drawbacks:

    1. Highly underpowered
    2. Stiff steering, even appears as not powered and
    3. Tough gearshift.

    It appears from your review that the first drawback is overcome in 1.3 MJD Palio. My question to you is how about the rest of problems. Would appreciate if you can give a comparative feedback w.r.to Swift/Alto’s power steering & gearshift. Infact I found all of swift, alto, santro, i10 and Indigo’s steerings are very easy, even at rest, which matters during parking the vehicle.

    Though I am passionate about palio, smooth drive quality is desired for my wife.

    May wish two e-mail me at char@hotmail.com.

    Regards,
    Chandan.

  5. Hey Chandan,

    Palio is a great car indeed.I am too a fan of Palio and FIAT..But if you want to purchase a car for your wife,you can check Chevy Spark which more suits the ladies and offers as smooth a drive as u can imagine..Palio has got a manly looks and offers a smooth drive too….but I feel it is more a Man’s car than that of a woman..:))

    Cheers
    Sujoy

  6. Aditya,

    I really liked the pics u posted..was it a white / Magnesium Grey one??Also a few more questions:

    1. Is there no change whatsoever in the interiros,especially in the dashboard,from the earlier PALIO STILE 1.1??

    2. Does the engine make any noise/did u feel any vibration standing in traffic with the engine on??

    3. How smooth is the gear shift??Does the gear box make a click sound every time u change the gear indicating that it is correctly placed??

    4. Are they offering any corporate discount on the vehicle??If yes then how much??

    Cheers,
    Sujoy

  7. @ Sujoy

    I agree that palio is a MAN’s car, but it is not that women should not drive it. Chevy Spark would be smooth since it is a more refined petrol engine.

    The pics are of white palio.

    Engine noise is negligible with windows up. There is a little ( I repeat little ) the other way round.

    Interiors is same. No change whatsoever.

    Gear shift didn’t have any problems. I did not give much attention about the click sound as I was unaware about that.

    Verify with your dealer about corporate discounts.
    Only prerana motors,mysore road is giving test drive at the moment.

  8. Dear Sujoy

    Thanks for the suggestion. You might have noted none of the Chevy cars are listed in my TD list, which would have answered you before your post, had you consumed the matter! However, you next post indicates that both of us are on the same platform.

    External appearance of a car is highly subjective. It only depends on the fact whether the shape is well aero-dynamic or not, which I hope most of the manufacturers provide now-a-days.

    Would appreciate a fare, unbiased and to-the-point feedback based upon which one could arrive at a conclusion.

    Coming to the present context, from tech. spec. it is clear that Palio MJD is enough powerful. Its low end torque might help in reducing the number of gearshifts during city-drive, which is very pleasant indeed.

    The hesitation resides in its steering and stiff gearshift, problems which I faced with its petrol 1.1 counterpart, as mentioned earlier.

    Anybody in this blog, having countable driving experiences of these cars may compare and give me a feedback.

    Dear Kavoor/Aditya – could you please compare the steering & gearbox of palio MJD with swift/alto/santro/i10/indigo, prefarably on a 10 point scale? Add to this, an elevated drivers’ seat (like Hyundai/Indigo’s) for straight posture would be an extreme necessity.

    Have a good day.

    Chandan.

  9. Hi Aditya,

    Well,I am not saying that women shouldn’t drive a Palio..I was saying that Spark suits the ladies more due to its cute looks and zippy drive and he can probably check that as an option..also it does offer a descent mileage too..

    Hi Chandan,

    Yep..I saw that none of the Chevy cars are there in your TD list..hence thought if you can check Spark..probably u will like it for your wife…:)..or is it that u don’t like cars from Chevy??

    I had test driven below cars before I could decide on my car:

    1. Palio Stile 1.1
    2. Maruti Suzuki Alto
    3. Tata Indica XETA
    4. Chevy Spark
    5. Maruti WagonR

    I straight away discarded the options like ZEN Estilo for its bad looks(according to me of course),Santro(Somehow I do not like it..),Getz(I thought it was over priced..also they were not offering any corporate discounts except on the highest model).

    I narrowed down my options to Spark and WagonR..I was more keen to go for the spark..but then my friends and my father advised me to go for WagonR due to the Maruti factor..I own a black Vxi model….

    I had test driven a Stile 1.1 with a lot of expectations,but I was very upset after the TD when I found it pathetically underpowered.Also I didn’t like the interiors that much.This was during the last quarter of 2007 when the MJD was yet to be launched. Now that it has been launched,I am pretty much curious about it since I am yet to take a TD of it..Hence thought to discuss with you guys since some of you have driven the car..

    I am really a FAN of vehicles from FIAT and my next car would be a FIAT that’s for sure…:)..not before 2011 though..waiting for models like Linea,Punto,Bravo and the new Palio to be launched…:))..and let’s hope they improve on the after sales service with the JV with TATA..

    Have a Great Day guys…n keep posted..

    Cheers
    Sujoy

  10. When it comes to power steering, Hyundai is way ahead of fiat.

    i10 power steering is just awesome.

    Palio power steering needs a bit of refinement.

  11. Nice review. I had test driven both Palio MJD and Swift DDiS. Swift’s boost threshold (the rpm at which the turbo charger really works: wrongly called turbo lag by some) is arround 1500 rpm and is not noticible in palio. Palio’s clutch is slightly problematic as indicated. Beause of lower gear ratios/smller tyres palio runs at higher rpm for the same speed (2000 rpm at about 60kmph at 4th gear comapred to 2000 rpm at 70 kmph at 4th gear for swift). Above 2000 rpm, pickup of swift is much more. Palio’s turning radius is 5.1m compared to 4.7m of swift, which is a clear disadvantage for palio in Guwahati city driving condition where I tested. Very low speed driving (bumper to bumper) is better for Palio as the minimum speed is (perceived) lower and low speed power (below 1200 rpm) (probably) slightly better in Palio. I felt very uncomfortable sitting in Palio probably due to lower hight of driving seat and was slightly tired after driving the Palio. For this reason and for the longer turning radius I find it difficult to opt Palio MJD and shall probably decide to buy the Swift. Otherwise the lesser width of Palio (by three inch) and better build quiality, uniform pickup over the whole usable range of rpm, more features and lesser price makes Palio MJD attractive. because of gear ratio and wheel size difference, Pal

  12. Hello,

    I own Palio Multijet. I have completed 2500 KM including a long drive of 600 KM. I am absolutely agree with Aditya’s review.
    Except heavy clutch and big turning radius problem this is the best vehicle. No vibration at all. Pick up is excellent. Engine power is too much. A/C is very powerful. No gear problem at all.

    Rahul

  13. Hi,
    I am thinking of a diesel engine..
    I TDroved both Swift DDis and Palio SD Multijet.
    My comments are

    to recommend palio
    power at lower rpm
    elegant look
    very power full AC
    interior space, boot and rear seat leg space are like that of a sedan.
    Rigid and strong body
    Suspension.
    break
    tubeless tyres

    draw backs
    need of full clutch
    dated interios (while comparing with hyundai and maruti)
    turning readius
    driving seat is lower
    after sale service and expenses (can any experienced hands comment on this?)

    to recommend Swift DDis
    good interior (but not as good as i10)
    driving seet height
    name of maurti
    lower turning radius
    sporty (my father didn’t like it)

    draw backs
    larger width
    rear view is less
    rear seat leg space..
    interior width seems not much better that zen(old)
    AC was not that fast chilling as palio
    Gear shift was not that smooth as that of my old zen
    delay in delivery and price

    I found both the cars on the same level on a balance having slight wheight on palio side. but maruti’s after sale and spare price compensats for that.

    Currently I set my mind for Palio

    Johince

  14. I had done with my Multijet’s first servicing. It is ok. All tools are available with TATA dealers. They have trained person for Fiat cars. The car does not need any special maintenance.

    Yes, service is not as good as Maruti people. But definitely the service will be better as the number of Fiat vehicles will increase on the road.

  15. Hi guys i bought a multijet a month back.I was a bit disappointed that a top end model with abs,airbags,rear spoiler and alloys was not available and the same old interiors disappoints,the new interiors available in the brazilian model was kept away to cut costs(REALLY DISAPPOINTING,FIAT FANS IN INDIA WOULD PAY FOR IT).About the car ,really no words to explain,i simply love to ride it on highways.I’ve done 4 long trips in this car,chennai to bangalore two times & chennai to trichy two times,obvious din’t take her more than 120kmph and decided not to strain this new bird.But i feel the car is relaxed & vibration free at 100-110kmph,the other reason could be its a new engine,will have to wait and see.Mileage was 18kmpl,i was trying to cruise at 80-90kmph so that i can get the best fuel efficiency,but that was impossible as it easily touches 120kmph & i did not like slowing down.The handling and ride quality was excellent,but not new to me,i also have a palio 2001 1.2ELps.

    AS A PALIO FAN I WOULD SAY THIS SHOCKING FACT ABOUT THE NEW STILE MODELS:
    When compared to the old palio this multijet has lost. 1.)agressive looks.(but a feminine look which would impress indian buyers)
    2.)bulid quality, yes the sheet metal used on the body looks more thiner and not put together as well(the body lines are not shut properly as the old palio but like an indica), the trade mark thud when you close the door is missing.(SO WILL THIS MODEL PRODUCED IN INDIA MEET SAFETY STANDARDS AS THE INTERNATIONAL MODEL).
    3.)the interior quality is not good(old palios though outdated had excellent quality interiors) and fabrics used in multijet is very poor.
    SO THE PALIO HAS GOT A GEM OF AN ENGINE,BUT LOST ITS QUALITY.SO BETTER GO FOR FOR SWIFT(which will let you rest in peace with excellent service back up and resale value),IF SPACE IS NOT A CONCERN OR WAIT FOR THE NEW AVEO DIESEL(WHICH WILL ALSO GET THE SAME ENGINE AND LOOKS OF THE AVEO SEDAN) OR i20.DON’T WASTE UR HARD EARNED MONEY IN TATA PALIO(its not a fiat)!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. Dear All

    All your reviews are actually interesting. Just two days back I booked one Palio Multijet 1.3 SD [Magnesium Grey]. I had a test drive and it was ok. My concern was the front section is too big and the road visibility particularly on the left was low, I think a lot of practice would be required. Besides at Jamshedpur the service of Tata Motors is good. Today I met a man who owns a petrol model. His experience for last 1 and half years is on 7th heaqven. Please let me know whether the colour, Magnesium Grey, is durable.

  17. […] It was about the same time a year ago, my table was flooded with brochures, quotations, price lists and pictures of various cars. Believe me, there is so much of choice available here, deciding on a car to buy is a real task. Maruti Swift, Hyundai Getz, Hyundai i10, Renault Logan, Fiat Palio Stile, Chevy Aveo Uva, Tata Indigo CS and the list continues. Finally, its Hyundai i10 which was the family choice as against my love Fiat Palio Multijet. […]

  18. All Dear Guys,

    Let me add to the above list, another FIAT-fan. I am Shakeel, from Srinagar(J&K).Actually,I drive 1.1 Stile and I agree with most of you guys for its power(so called), bought it in oct.2007.I was informed then, 1.3multijet will arrive one year later…..so I COULD NOT WAIT,…..but it arrived in feb.2008. DHOOKHA HI DHOOKHA….!!!!But still I admire FIAT PALIO..which is the basic Italian-Connection.Now, I am ready to GO FOR 1.3 MJD. What YOU GUYS SAY? please respond…..!!!!!!
    Wish you happy life,

    S A SHAH

  19. Dear Palio Fans,

    Kindly, guide me how i can post my wonderfull Palio-Pictures here. Looking forward to recieving your responses and also reply my earlier posted Question.

    Enjoy life,

    S A SHAH

    1. Hello Shah,

      At this point of time I would suggest you to go for the Punto rather than a Palio.

      Your comment seems like you have already bought a Palio. So congratulations. You can email the photos to akavoor@gmail.com and I will publish them on this site.
      Thanks.

      1. Hi Aditya,
        There are some problems in my computer, not able to post photos to your e mail, i will soon fix it.Now i am waiting fo NEW PALIO with ABS etc. as safty features + a good POWER under the hood…!What are the chances? Please inform.
        Enjoy LIFE.
        S A SHAH

  20. Dear Aditya,

    Quick response, thanks.
    You’ll soon get my Palio Photos, you’ll surely like them.

    You suggested for Punto, What about having No Double-barrel Head-light system, poor Back-lights including poor reverse-light.

    Idrive PALIO Emotionaly..! it TAKES ME HOME EVERY WEEKEND with the SONG…”COUNTRY ROADS TAKE ME HOME”

    lIKE TO HEAR from YOU again.
    Be Happy, all Palio Lovers..!

    S A SHAH

  21. Dear PALIO Fans,

    Aditya,Quick response, thanks.
    You’ll soon get my Palio Photos, you’ll surely like them.

    You suggested for Punto, What about having No Double-barrel Head-light system, poor Back-lights including poor reverse-light.

    Idrive PALIO Emotionaly..! it TAKES ME HOME EVERY WEEKEND with the SONG…”COUNTRY ROADS TAKE ME HOME”

    lIKE TO HEAR from YOU again.
    Be Happy, all Palio Lovers..!

    S A SHAH

  22. Dear Aditya

    I purchased Fiat Palio in Nov 2008 and till date I drove around 17000 km. Now last few months I was facing a problem of shifting gear. The work shop after a long R&D of 6 months could discover that the problem was no pressure plate and I had to change the whole assembly pay Rs 8K. Now my question is that whether the pressure plate of a car goes off so fast or it is the marvel of fiat? Under what circumstances the pressure plate goes off?

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