Fiat Linea Test Drive in Pune

Fiat Linea Overview

Driver-centric updates are more the exception than the rule when it comes to India. The fact is, enthusiast cars don’t offer enough sales incentives to draw a manufacturer’s focus. However, one brand that has gone against the tide is Fiat. With launches like the Abarth Punto and Abarth 595 Competizione, the Italians have showcased their focus on the front seat time and again.

With the latest update coming in the form of the Linea 125 S though, they’ve tried to balance both worlds. While the T-Jet engine now gets angrier, the cabin has been modernized with the addition of a touchscreen infotainment system as well. Effectively, they’ve made this enthusiast’s sedan more powerful, yet, more approachable. View offers on Fiat Linea in Bangalore at Autozhop.

With it, Fiat India will be hoping to give its weak sales a little protein. So we got our hands on the 125 S to see how different the updates make the Linea and answer one very important question – Is it enough?

Fiat Linea Exterior & Style

The New Linea thankfully retains its original essence along with revisiting certain bits to make it look modern. The large dual barrel headlamps have been retained but then the illumination has been improved with reworked reflectors. The radiator grille has been changed and gets a chrome surround with twin chrome slats running across. The front bumper gets its set of modern upgrades with multiple layers. The jaw line is very evident with a strong rib section flowing across the bumper. It also gets a new housing for fog lamps.

On the side, the new alloy wheels are the first to be noticed. The new design makes it look sporty. The ORVMs have been embedded with turn indicators. It looks visually tall with an increased ground clearence of 190mm.

The rear boot lid also gets some changes, the number plate position has been changed from the rear bumper to that on the lid. It also gets a chrome highlight with ‘Linea’ embossed on it. There is also a solid chrome line running along the rear bumper. The rear diffuser also starts at a higher point on the rear bumper.Over and above, the new Linea looks attractive with the modern elements added to it.

Fiat Linea Interior & Space

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.

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 Engine & Gearbox

Mechanically, the Linea retains its engines from the earlier model. We will drive the petrol model soon but for this we chose the popular diesel version. The 1.3 L Multijet diesel engines, which Fiat claims to deliver 20.4kmpl produces 93PS at 4000 rpm and 209Nm of torque at 2000 rpm. It has a 5 speed manual transmission.

The Linea has always been a delight to drive and even the new Linea feels just the same. It is not one of the best engines to deliver enthusiastic performance but then it has its comfort zone where it performs the best. Even though it is a diesel engine, the NVH levels and vibrations are almost negligible. Even at higher engine speeds there is no redundant noise or engine sound seeping inside the cabin.

It comes across as one of the most comfortable cars to drive around. This one is actually lengthier and taller than the earlier model. The marginal change in dimensions does not in any way affect its performance and instead the Linea maintains its precision and accuracy in handling. To know more information on Fiat Linea  check Pasear-w

It is a heavier car so agility is not Linea’s forte but then who wants the Linea to be doing amazing at slalom test?…No one. The Linea is for those who cherish driving. Not just in city, it is as impressive on highways. It maintains its confidence at high speeds and the car is very stable. It holds on to the corners when turning on sharp corners at high speeds and this is mainly because of the wide profile tyres.The suspension quality looks nimble but then it can surprise all by its true potential. On rough roads too, the Linea delivers its best ride quality which speaks volumes about the car.

Fiat Linea Driving Dynamics

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 & Security

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 Price in Bangalore

Fiat Linea On Road Price is 9,57,875/- and Ex-showroom Price is 7,93,912/- in Bangalore. Fiat Linea comes in 5 colours, namely Magnesio Grey,Sunbeam Gold,Tuscan Wine,Hip Hop Black,Minimal Grey. Fiat Linea comes with FWD with 1368 CC Displacement and 4 Cylinders with Maximum Power 112 bhp@5000 rpm and Peak Torque 207 Nm@2200 rpm DRIVE TRAIN FWD and reaches 100 KMPH at N/A . Fiat Linea comes with Manual Transmission with FWD . Apply car loan for Fiat Linea.

Fiat Linea Verdict

Fiat has done well to introduce the new updates and, true to its core values, the brand hasn’t shifted focus away from the driver. By giving the T-Jet motor more power, the Italians have made the 125 S one of the best driver’s cars you can buy at a reasonable price (Rs 10.46 lakh, ex-showroom, Delhi).

However, these token additions aren’t enough to make the Linea sell significantly better. Apart from Fiat’s sales and service network being more of a gamble than a bet, the Linea itself is showing its age and even Fiat lovers are shying away to more proven alternatives. The company needs to revamp its presence in India and go beyond the Linea-Punto formula to win over new buyers and reassure the loyalists that Fiat is indeed, crafted for car lovers.

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