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Fiat Palio Stile 1.1

11th Dec 2009 8:00 am

With the 1

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  • Make : Fiat
  • Model : Palio Stile

The face-lifted Palio gets bigger and bolder double-barrel headlamps, new honeycomb grille, new bumpers, slightly reshaped bonnet, tailgate and tail-lamps and they only serve to improve the already-handsome proportions of the Palio.

This car casts the same silhouette as the outgoing car, but is slightly longer thanks to the new bumpers. However, it is still below the 4-metre cut-off length to help it qualify for the small car  excise sop. The biggest difference in the Palio Stile is its change of heart. To qualify for the excise sop, the petrol small car has to have an engine that displaces less than 1.2 litres. So the old 1242cc engine has been done away with and in its place debuts the 1108cc engine borrowed from the Fiat Panda 1.1 sold in the UK.

Fiat has stuck with the old dash design simply because re-engineering the new one would have sent costs soaring. It looks the same, but the dark grey interiors have been replaced by a far more welcoming dual-tone dashboard that is beige on the lower half of the dashboard and brown on the top half. The centre console and the instrument console surround look far better with their brushed silver finish. Four colours on the dashboard lead to a bit of a mismatch, but it looks better than the coal bin interiors of the earlier car. The seats are supportive and the cushion provides just the right amount of support. The driving position is good, and Fiat has re-introduced the rotary seat-back angle adjustment, so it’s far easier to find a good position. Visibility from the driver’s seat is not great, thanks to the lowish seats and thick pillars, but Fiat has fitted a pair of wider mirrors, which really help when manoeuvering in tight places.

The superb handling and the steering that complements the Palio’s superb on road poise remains. The low-speed ride is a little on the stiff side but, as speeds increase, the suspension irons out irregularities beautifully.

Fuel efficiency is marginally up on the old Palio. The Palio 1.1 went 10.2km to a litre in the city and 15.04kpl on the highway, similar to other cars in its class and better than the Getz Prime 1.1. Strangely, with the air con on, the car has a very disturbing vibration at idle. It sounds rough, like it is about to stall. The cabin shakes and this can get irritating.

Fiat Palio Stile 1.1
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