Fiat Linea Hatchback First Drive Review

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Fiat Linea Overview

The Fiat Linea has always been a fun to drive car and the current model gets upmarket interiors and a healthy equipment list that makes it quite a good value for money offering. The interiors get a dual tone theme with a Fiat 500 like contrast mid section that houses circular chrome ringed air vents, the piano black housing for the middle air vents also look nice while the shiny black stereo compliments the air vent housing above. The Emotion variant also gets leather upholstery to give the car a premium appeal. Check for car loan interest rate.

The Fiat Linea comes loaded with a stereo, power windows all around, tilt adjustable power steering, electrically adjustable ORVMs, automatic headlamps with programmable follow-me-home function, rain sensing wipers, central locking, mileage computer, rear defogger, disc brakes all around and anti-lock brakes as standard. Top end models also get, rear a/c vents, a rear arm rest with cupholders, front airbags, a rear sun blind, cruise control, alloy wheels, rear parking sensors, climate control, Bluetooth compatible stereo with steering mounted controls and a height adjustable driver’s seat.

Under the hood, the new Fiat Linea will continue to be powered by a turbocharged 1.4 litre petrol engine developing 116PS of power @ 6,000 rpm and 207Nm of torque @ 4,500 rpm, a naturally aspirated version of the 1.4 litre petrol engine developing 90PS of power @ 6,000 rpm and 115Nm of torque at 4,500 rpm while the 1.3 litre turbo diesel engine develops 93PS of power @ 4,000 rpm and 209Nm of torque @ 2,000 rpm.

All three engines are mated to five-speed gearboxes and like earlier, there is no automatic variant for the Linea.

Fiat Linea Exteriors

The Linea has always been a beautiful car. The lines and the curves on the car have always created an impression that not engineers but artists have designed it. In the C+ segment, it is a bigger luxurious sedan compared to its rivals like the Honda City and the Hyundai Verna.Both the Fiat cars have a similar body language throughout the design. The Linea reminds you of the hatch from the front profile. The guys from the “Centro Stile Fiat”, the design centre in Turin, seemed to have striked a perfect balance between the retro and the modern.

It does not have a chiseled look or a cut-edge design, but instead it has a nice voluptuous profile to it. The artistically designed open eye headlamps spread to the side of the car. These are the dark sensing auto headlamps, with its sensor on the front windshield. The 2012 upgrade also feature rain sensing wipers.The Audi inspired front radiator grille has a chrome treatment to it, though in the recent international facelift, they have given it a miss.

The Linea is 4560mm in length and 1730 mm in width; this makes it a big sedan. The 2012 upgrade includes an increased ground clearance of 185mm as compared to 165 mm of the earlier generation. The increase in the ground clearance along with the 15inch alloys claim to have brought a change in the handling of the vehicle as well.In the side profile, the roof line connects the front and the rear very artistically in a flowing manner. The chrome waistline is a nice touch.

The retro styled ORVMs along with the door handles blend in with the overall design of the car. The ORVMs can be electrically adjusted from inside. These mirrors however are not the electrically retractable types, which even the C segment Nissan Sunny has. Also, the side indicators affixed to the mirrors would have been a superb addition.

The curvy bulging front profile is balanced by a big protruding rear. It is big indeed but does not look out of place. The rear profile has more of smart lines running across it. Something that I appreciate about the entire design is the use of chrome. One can see chrome on all the profiles of the car, but still it’s not on the face. It has been kept very subtle and uniformly balanced throughout.The Fiat Linea is indeed a beautiful looking car. The retro styling on it is very impressive and distinct .

Fiat Linea Interiors

On the inside you get the same refreshed interior of the 2014 Linea and the only addition is an intuitive five-inch touch screen system. Although the screen is on the smaller side, it is a high res unit and the piano black finish surround looks really nice. The dashboard itself has a nice flow to it and all controls fall to hand easily. The dull white and grey dual tone colour theme is livened up by the dim orange ambient lighting on the dashboard. Quality in some sections is exceptional and you get nice soft touch plastics for the dash top. But as you go lower down you will find some hard plastics and there are some ill-fitting panels too. But overall fit and finish is more than acceptable and is a huge jump over the original Linea.

Although the dashboard is ergonomic the same can’t be said of the driving position. Like before the pedals are still a bit off-set, the steering is placed too high and close to the driver and the front seats lack enough thigh support. On the positive side they are well contoured and back support is good too. At the rear, space is just about enough but the bench itself is comfy with good thigh support and a well-judged backrest angle. But headroom is in short supply and even people with average height will find it a bit cramped. The car still boasts of a humongous 500 litre boot that can accommodate your weekend luggage easily. But a larger opening and a lower loading lip could have make it more practical. For more information on Fiat Linea  check Getreadyoregon

As far as equipment is concerned the Linea comes with a long list of features. The touchscreen infotainment system comes with a radio, Bluetooth connectivity, AUX, USB and you also get a navigation system. You also get unique bits like rain sensing wipers and automatic headlamps which add to the feel good factor. On the downside the Linea doesn’t get a rear camera, but thankfully the car comes equipped with parking sensors.

Fiat Linea Transmission

Fiat offers Linea with two engine options a 1.4-litre FIRE petrol power mill and a 1.3-litre multijet diesel power mill. Both engines have been placed transversely under the hood and use a 5-speed manual transmission to deliver power to front wheels.

The petrol versions of the car are powered by a 1.4-litre FIRE petrol engine that displaces 1368cc to deliver power worth 91PS against a peak torque of 115Nm. A lag may be felt at higher speed as the engine can manage to pull the 1240kgs kerb weight of the car at lower speeds only. But that doesn’t mean it is slow, the car speedily accelerates from 0-100kmph speed in just 16 seconds and attains a top speed of 165kmph.

The diesel version of the car, on the contrary, is powered by a 1.3-litre 16 valve engine whose power and performance is enhanced by Multijet and Dual OverHead Camshafts (DOHC). The DOHC and Multijet not only enhances the efficiency of this engine but also help in improving its performance. The engine smoothly manages to delivers power worth 86PS along a maximum torque of 203Nm. The Variable Geometry Turbocharger (VGT) supports the engine’s performance and helps it in gliding from rest to 100kmph speed within 15 seconds. The diesel version of Fiat Linea carries ability to attain a maximum speed of 170kmph.

Out of the two fuel options offered with this sedan it is its diesel version that makes it especially proud in terms of mileage. Fiat Linea delivers an ARAI rated fuel efficiency of 20kmpl with its diesel engine. The fuel tank of the car bears a capacity to store 45-litres of fuel in one go which means with the diesel version you can easily travel a distance of 900kms in one go. The petrol version on the other hand delivers mileage of 15kmpl as certified by ARAI. The range of distance that can be covered via this version with a full tank is 675kms, not bad considering its cost and segment.

Fiat Linea Driving

Now to the aspect the Linea has always shone in. Despite raising the ground clearance to an SUV rivalling 190mm, this Fiat is still one of the finest in terms of both ride and handling. The steering which feels a bit heavy at low speeds, comes alive as you go faster and it provides good feedback and it weighs up consistently too. The car does roll quite a bit when you corner hard but never to the point of feeling nervous or out of its comfort zone and the wide 205 section tyres provide loads of grip too.

If the handling is good then the ride is even better. You do feel some firmness at lower speeds but is well judged and the Linea absorbs the biggest of potholes with aplomb. The high 190mm ground clearance combined with the long travel suspension makes it perfect for our ever broken and rutted roads. Straight-line stability is exceptional too and this combined with the potent engine makes it a potent long distance tool. The brakes though feel wooden and a more progressive brake feel would have been welcomed.

Fiat Linea Safety

Braking and safety, both these aspects have been looked well by Fiat in Linea. The halting of front wheels is supported by disc brakes while the rear wheels have been awarded with drum brakes. The larger diameter of disc brakes allows instantaneous deceleration of car while the safety aspect in sudden braking is looked into by Anti Lock braking System (ABS) and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) system that distributes braking force equally to all four wheels preventing sliding and squealing of tyres. Other measures taken to ensure safety of its passengers include an Anti-theft engine immobilizer, Fire Prevention System (FPS), 3 safety headrests, programmable speed limit that helps controlling speed of the car, digital door open indicator, power steering, and double crank prevention system.

Fiat Linea Cost in Hyderabad

Fiat Linea On-Road Price in Hyderabad ranges from 9,27,699 to 10,66,238 for variants Linea 1.4L Active Fire and Linea 1.4 Dynamic Advanced Multijet respectively. Fiat Linea is available in 3 variants and 5 colours. Below are details of Fiat Linea variants price in Hyderabad. Check for Linea price in Hyderabad at Tryaldrive.

Fiat Linea Final Thought

Fiat Linea sets a high benchmark in C segment with its stunning looks, well done interiors, and above par driving dynamics. The car gives a tough competition to all its rivals now only in terms of style and design but also in terms of power and performance. The exteriors have been done really well which allows the car to enjoy a huge fan following. The excessive use of chrome gives it an upmarket appeal which is one of the favourite features in Indian automotive market. The acceptable ground clearance in combination with a strong suspension system makes it a suitable choice with respect to Indian roads. Those looking for long trips and frequent air port trips would love to have this car as the boot space easily swallows entire luggage, a higher bay though ask for long hands to place the luggage.

Will the Linea appeal to a car enthusiast? Absolutely yes. It’s got a willing motor that is refined and combined with its sorted dynamics you get a sedan which is apt for every driving condition and need. Sure at Rs 10.63 lakh it is on the expensive side and Fiat’s after-sales and service network is sparse, but for the money you get a sedan which stands out from the other boring sedan crowd and is sure to put a smile on your face every time you are behind the wheel.

 

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