Fiat Linea Overview
The Oxford dictionary defines the word ‘Aspiration’ as ‘a hope or ambition of achieving something’. In simpler words, aspiration is what one needs to feel, when he or she needs to put in a tad bit more effort, to get a tad bit more out of their daily lives than they are used to. The Fiat Linea has been sold in India for a few years now, and on a personal level, it is the epitome of aspiration for a car that costs under the Rs.10 Lakh mark. But, with Fiat’s rocky history and a relatively expensive price tag, the Linea has always been out of bounds to most people who are looking for a sensible buy. Now though, there is a solution.
Fiat it seems, has taken a cue out of Ford’s playbook and have launched a ‘cut price’ version of the Linea to appeal to the price conscious Indian market. As per some Fiat officials we spoke to recently, they decided to go the way of chopping the car’s price by removing some of the features in the car rather than invest the time and money to make a sub-4 meter Linea. And thank God for that as it would have ruined the best thing about the Linea: the jawdropingly beautiful sculpted body screams Italiana. With inspiration taken from other brands that Fiat currently owns, the Linea is a perfect blend of everything that the likes of Maserati and Alfa Romeo offer but in a smaller affordable package. Check for Fiat Linea Price in Hyderabad at Tryaldrive.
Fiat Linea Design
The 125 S features the same design traits as the facelifted Linea that was launched in 2014. The layout is clean as ever with the only new addition being the ‘125 S’ plastic sticker that sits beneath the T-Jet badge on the boot. It’s still contemporary and the car’s classy persona is supported by elements like the slim chrome strip in the air dam, chrome slat in the rear bumper and of course, the distinctive oval muffler tip.
However, what we would’ve liked is more radical colour options or just something to add that all-important feel-good factor for a buyer who’s making such a ‘heart-first’ decision. We fell in love with the ‘Safire Blue’ paint scheme and black alloy wheels of the 125 S when it was showcased at the auto expo earlier this year. For some reason, Fiat has opted against offering either one these options, which is a let-down.
Fiat Linea Cabin
The cabin of the Fiat Linea 125 S though is a tad different than what you are used to seeing so far. While the general layout is the same, the age-old music system has been replaced with a fantastic 5-inch touchscreen system that supports navigation as well. Our top-end trim had leather seats, climate control, auto headlamps and wipers, a rear sun blind, all four auto down power windows with auto up for the driver, a rear AC vent and cruise control. The auto wipers though were a tad glitchy. It worked for the first day I had the car with me. For the next two days, even if it was pouring, the wipers didn’t work unless manually activated. Once you do this and revert to the auto setting, they will work just fine. Strange.
But what is worthy of mentioning is the music system. Ignore the ‘small screen’ for this segment and you will notice a crisp unit and good speakers. In many cars, the Bluetooth calling experience requires you to turn up the volume. The Fiat, however, was loud and crisp and sometime even required me to turn down the volume when not surrounded by honking traffic. It really is a good effort from Fiat’s end.
The front seats are supportive and kept me comfortable during the entire course of the test. The rear seat with a centre armrest in place is a tad cramped, especially for someone taller like me on the headroom front. Anis, who is 5’6″, could sit comfortably though (as evident from the photos). The 500-litre boot space is big enough. Speaking of which, Fiat could have added more useable storage spaces. In this digital age, there wasn’t any place to keep my smartphone and wallet. The glovebox is also small and can barely hold a few papers. The slim door pockets too can’t hold one-litre water bottles. Build quality is decent, but the glovebox closing action feels flimsy.
Fiat Linea Engine
But Fiat never intended this car to be a chauffeur-driven vehicle. Agreed, there are folks who do that, but think about it – it’s like buying an Xbox 360 for your household to play around and you sit around and look at them. This Fiat begs to be driven. The clutch isn’t very heavy but gets tiring because it is quite long and has a sharp biting point. The gearbox? You will either love it or hate it. I didn’t have any issues with the TA65 box, which does duty on other Fiat products and a few Tata ones as well. It does feel quite rubbery and doesn’t like to be hurried through, but you will quickly learn to work around it as I did. For Fiat Linea visit aryavarta
Get past all this and you will realise that the Fiat Linea 125 S is one fast car. It has considerable torque steer – step on the gas hard and the car wants to pull to either side as it struggles for traction instead of trying to go in the direction pointed. However, this is on a lower scale than the 15PS more powerful Avventura Abarth. The gearing pattern is on the longer side, and trust me, you will enjoy pulling her to the redline in every gear. I saw 95kmph in second gear with the motor uttering a mild roar at this point.
Interestingly, the 125 S feels faster than it actually is. For example, you feel like you are at 130kmph when the speedo is actually hovering at around 90kmph. The top speed we recorded was about 190kmph on the clocks with a little more to go. How does she feel compared to the now discontinued 114PS Linea T-Jet? To be honest, I hadn’t driven the older car but for a perspective, I made Rishaad drive the Linea 125 S. He said that this felt a smidgen faster though the feel was the same from both the cars.
This reflects in the acceleration numbers 0-100kmph in 10.4s compared to the T-Jet’s 11.08s. Like the Abarth siblings, the 125 S struggles to set a quick 0-100kmph time because of huge and wasteful wheelspin in first gear. A 0-100kmph number is not fully indicative of this car’s performance because it has a very strong midrange, upwards of 2,000rpm and feels faster than any other segment rivals. But all this comes at the expense of fuel efficiency. Fiat claims 14.2kmpl but don’t hold your breath. The best we could get was 8.3kmpl in the city and 13.1kmpl on the highway. In our three days with the car, I saw an all time low efficiency of 5.1kmpl on the display. Alarming indeed and wallet busting too!
But again, you will not buy an Abarth or T-Jet for the fuel efficiency. She delivers on the thrills point. While being a total sleeper, she will be a pleasant surprise to other Linea owners when you go like a banshee. She can cruise effortlessly on the highway with 100kmph being held at 2,300rpm. In traffic though you have to slip the clutch a bit to avoid stalling her, something I learnt the hard way.
The 125PS/210Nm 1.4-litre turbopetrol motor is the same from the old Linea T-Jet, but in a higher state of tune. There is turbolag but it’s bearable. The best part is the sharp all-disc brake set-up. Considering the zingy performance for a sub-Rs 12 lakh sedan, the Fiat Linea 125 S can shed speeds rapidly and confidently. In traffic, the sharp brakes (discs all around) take some time getting used to.
Fiat Linea Rideing
The Linea was possibly one of the best balances between ride and handling in recent times and the new Fiat Linea Classic is no exception. The Linea boasts superb ride quality and is almost totally unaffected by the quality of the roads we have come to expect in India. Both low and high-speed comfort is equally good and it is this balance that makes the Linea so good to drive. Yes, the Linea does have a slightly firm suspension and you can feel a slight thud once in a while traversing over a pothole at speed but it can be forgiven for the way the Linea Classic handles the twisty bits. View offers on Fiat Cars from Fiat dealers in Hyderabad at Autozhop.
The Linea Classic is so well set up that the level of grip you get out of the Linea Classic border on incredible even while running on the smaller 15 inch wheels. Where one can expect other cars to wash off speed heading into a corner, the Linea grips endlessly. This is where the lack of power is more than obvious and where the likes of the Linea T-Jet score so well on drive pleasure. The increase of ground clearance too hasn’t taken a toll on the Linea’s drive characteristics. The Linea Classic’s hydraulic steering too hasn’t been altered which means the Linea’s impeccable overall handling package remains just as well as it was. The steering response is accurate and begs to be pulled up by the scruff of its neck and thrown around the bends. Lane changing too is accurate and the Fiat Linea Classic feels extremely planted at higher speeds too.
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 Price
Fiat Linea On-Road Price in India ranges from 8,24,185 to 11,37,067 for variants Linea 1.4L Active Fire and Linea 1.4L Emotion respectively. Fiat Linea is available in 5 variants and 5 colours. Below are details of Fiat Linea variants price in India. Check for car loan at Fincarz.
Fiat Linea Verdict
We cannot say this enough but the Linea Classic is beautiful. Possibly one of the most beautiful saloons India will see for a long long time to come considering recent trends in design. The Linea Classic also handles exceptionally well. Infact, it is better than all it’s similarly priced rivals here too. It is a tad low on power compared to it’s predecessors and is definitely far less equipped that its rivals. Going up against the likes of the Honda Amaze and the Swift Dzire might certainly be something that Fiat never intended to do but by placing the new Linea Classic in a similar price bracket they have done just that.
On the whole, the Linea is an excellent value for money package if you are looking for a larger car that doesn’t cost as much as one would imagine. We also think that the new Fiat Linea Classic will do extremely well with the fleet operator segment and hotel owners looking to add a bit of class to their range. And with Fiat gearing up in a big way with over 100 showrooms by the end of this year, we foresee a drastic change in the way the general public perceive Fiats in general.