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Fiat Linea
    Change Model
Customer Rating
: 3/5
Expert Rating
: 8/10
Warranty
: 3 Yrs / 1,00,000 Kms (Whichever is earlier)
Ex-showroom price in 
Delhi
 help (Rs.Lakhs)
    Change City
7.06 Lakhs-9.99 Lakhs

Strong Areas

  • Beautiful flawless design
  • Best-in-class ground clearance
  • Class leading dynamic abilities 
  • Feature loaded functional cabin  

Weak Areas

  • Poor driver`s vision
  • Lacks finesse in fit-finish
  • Compact rear seat space
  • Small dealership network
  • Unanimated diesel performance
Fiat Linea
 

Fiat Linea Road Test Review - ecardlr

Fiat Linea got a mild makeover and comprehensive cabin update in 2014. We drove the car to what has changed and if it still retains its ride quality and other likeable characteristics. Read on for a detailed report.


Fiat Linea Road Test Review

The facelifted Fiat Linea was first showcased in India at the Auto Expo 2014 and it was launched a few weeks after this glimpse. The car has always been a good looking sedan in its segment but it was getting dated after the first generation launch in 2009. So a facelift was needed to rekindle the interest of buyers. Linea competes with likes of Maruti Suzuki Ciaz, Honda City, Skoda Rapid and Hyundai Verna.


               Fiat Linea
There is no change in the engine line-up. Fiat Linea is powered by: 

?    1.4 litre T-JET Petrol engine generating 112 bhp at 5000 rpm and 207 Nm torque at 2200 rpm 
?    1.3 litre MULTIJET Diesel engine generating 92 bhp at 4000 rpm and 209 Nm torque at 2000 rpm 
Both of these are mated to 5 speed manual gearbox. Fuel efficiency is claimed at 14.9 km/litre for petrol and 20.5 km/litre for diesel. 
 
What changes did the makeover bring for the looks and feel of this mid segment sedan? Here’s the story: 


The External Impression 

The facelift has enhanced the aesthetic appeal of Fiat Linea giving it a more premium look. But the lavish chrome treatment on the top end Emotion trim does polarize opinions. There is chrome around the two-slat grille and it brightly underscores the bigger air dam. The front bumper has a change with creases to match the grille design. This sedan has a beautiful headlamp design and the fog lamps have powerful lateral spread which helps in dark zones.

 
              Fiat Linea Rear Tail Lamp

 

There are not many changes for the side profile but the blinkers have been put on the wing mirrors instead of the fenders. There is the model logo Tjet/Multijet on the fenders now. The 16 inch alloy wheels have a new design. They use 205/55 R16 tyres. 

You will see quite a few modifications at the rear of facelifted Linea. The number plate has now shifted to the trunk lid from the bumper. Chrome garnish over this number plate has the name Linea inscribed on it. A tail gate release lever is neatly tucked near the number plate lights. The tail gate also has the engine model nomenclature. Another thick chrome strip runs across the bumper and right below it are the safety reflectors. 
 
The tail lamps carry on with their old design. The top end variant has a spoiler fitted as standard. The petrol Linea has a chrome exhaust while the diesel model still has the old style exhaust like its predecessor.  The car does appear raised due to its increased ground clearance particularly for top end T-Jet version which stands 190 mm above the ground. 

In addition to the design changes, the facelifted Linea also got 2 new body colours. These are Sunbeam Gold and the Magnesio Grey. The Oceanic Blue has been discontinued.


Inside the Cabin 

The bigger changes brought by the facelift of 2014 are seen inside the Linea’s cabin. It is a beige and black interior with glossy black finish for centre air con vents and the music system that are neatly placed on the dashboard. The whole design for dashboard is actually new with modified centre console and instrument cluster layout. The soft touch plastic texture for the dash is of good quality.


          Fiat Linea Dashboard
 

With its black background and orange light fonts the instrument console looks premium when lit up in dark. The front passenger airbag area over the glove box also has a light in form of neon strip that appears illuminated when the parking lights or headlights are on. Then there is the black centre console that too has orange light. But against all these black and orange theme combinations, the blue lights for the foot well feel odd.
 
A storage slot with lid sits above the air con vents – it is well built and also has a lining of dampening material to cut any noise caused by coins or any small item placed inside it. The glove box is also damped and it is illuminated – the light turns on when the box is opened. There is only one cup holder in front of the gear lever and the adjacent location of other cup holder now has Aux and USB port.


            Fiat Linea Premium Leather Upholstery
 

A welcome feature of the facelift is that the air con vents now have both direction and flow control. But the steering still has only rake adjustment and it still cannot be adjusted for reach.
 
For a car that is so big outside, Fiat Linea does not have a very spacious cabin. On a wheelbase of 2603 mm, the space utilization is not as smart as seen in Japanese cars. It is not possible to have five average-sized adults on-board. It is suitable only for 4 occupants. The front seats have a long-travel range giving the driver and passenger enough legroom. But the lower-back and under-thigh support are not so good.

 
             Fiat Linea Front Airbags 

 

At the rear tall passengers will be bothered by very limited headroom. Leg space is just enough. Volkswagen Vento and Honda City have more interior space. On a positive note however, the rear bench support is praiseworthy. The backrest angle is perfect and under-thigh support is also great. The passengers on the rear seat will feel comfortable. There are two headrests on the rear seat and a foldable broad centre armrest is provided. A bottle holder is provided on the rear AC vent tower.

The large boot of this sedan runs deep and it can easily take in luggage for your holiday trips and airport transfers. The boot volume is 500 litres and compares well with Honda City’s 506 litres.  


On the Road – Engine, Gearbox, Performance 

T-JET


The 1368 cc petrol engine of Linea churns out 112 bhp at 5000 rpm and has 207 Nm of torque at 2200 rpm. There is fair bit of lag below 1500 rpm. Because of this you will need to frequently downshift to keep pace in the city traffic. The turbo starts spooling at 1700 rpm and it is after 2000 rpm that you get brisk progress. The mid range punch is rather strong because of the peak torque that comes in at 2200 rpm. The TJET then actually gives you the push back in the seat.
    Fiat Linea Multijet Diesel Engine
The petrol engine of Linea is quite rev-happy up to 5,500 rpms. But the unit does run out of breath after this mark. The power delivery tapers off after 6000 rpm and there is no point straining the engine to this point. 
Overtaking is effortless on highways – it’s much better than diesel Linea. The mid-range carries a good punch and the engine feels quite tractable. For 0-100 km/hour the petrol Linea takes 11.7 seconds.

The gearshift quality is nothing to write home about. The throws are long and shift quality is rubbery. The clutch pedal however is light to use and does not cause disappointment.

As for fuel efficiency you can expect between 9.3 and 9.8 km/litre in the city and up to 13 km/litre on the highways. The claimed fuel efficiency for petrol Linea is 14.9 km/litre.


Ride and Handling 

The ride quality in city is great even with those 16 inch wheels. The suspension is well-calibrated and Linea rides like a typical European car. You do not need to slow down for broken patches. And the ride is really flat on highways. With those 16 inch wheels having lower profile tyres, the turn in is quite sharp.

The steering feels light at parking speed, medium-light in the city and weighs in very well at speed on open roads. It has good feel and accuracy. The turning radius is 5.6 metres. Also, the chassis poise and grip levels around fast corners are perfect. 

Brakes of this car also inspire confidence. It does not let you down in emergency braking conditions. Petrol Linea has discs for all wheels. 

The cruise control is standard on the top end Emotion trim. during our road test we did get an opportunity to test it too. Once turned on, it gets activated at a speed of 30 km/hour or more. For safety reasons, the cruise control will not engage in the first and reverse gear. The MID does not display set cruise control speed. On open roads, the cruise control works nicely giving your right foot some rest and it also affords better fuel economy because of more control over the throttle by the ECU. However, in the normal scenario of Indian highway traffic, this cruise control will not be used frequently. Because of the slow moving vehicles and unpredictable conditions you will have to cut it off again and again.


Verdict 

All the strong points of the older Linea also made it to the facelift. These include excellent build quality, pliant ride quality, adequate steering feedback and admirable braking abilities. The T-JET petrol engine is refined and makes the sedan quite pleasing to drive. The fly in the ointment is the long throw and rubbery gearshift. The rear seat of the car is not good enough to accommodate three passengers. And the after sales service quality of Fiat is miles behind the Japanese and Korean rivals.

If build and ride qualities of European cars rank high on your preference list, the Linea is a good buy. Price starts at Rs 7.25 lakhs for petrol and Rs 8.70 lakhs for diesel variants (ex-showroom price, Delhi). 

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