Fiat Linea T-jet in India


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Fiat India, on the way to a re-emergence in the Indian markets, started out with launching a new Palio and re-badged it the Palio Stile. This may not have gone well with the consumers since the interiors of the Fiat Palio Stile were still out dated than the competition. Fiat then realized that it had its work cut out and now realized that they need to bring their whole international range to India. Out of this thought came the Italian beauty, the Fiat Linea followed by the classic Fiat 500 and then the Fiat Grande Punto. Fiat loyalists applauded Fiat’s efforts by making the Linea, one of the best sellers in its segment. However consumer feedbacks informed Fiat India that the Fiat Linea was lacking in power and especially from the 1.4 liter petrol engine. So out goes that engine and comes in a new 1.4 liter engine putting out more power. Is this engine worth it or is it just a marketing gimmick? We investigated this and came out with the following report.

Fiat Linea T-jet Looks

The Fiat Linea was and still is a handsome car in its segment. Its Italian looks ensure that it turns heads wherever it goes. For the new Linea, the old curves are retained but a slightly re-worked front lamps distinguish it from its diesel sibling. Only the eagle-eyed would notice this. Its front grille is Aston Martinesque and is all chrome lined. Having subtle air dams help in the overall look and housed inside the air dams are one of the best in the business, fog lamps.

Petal shaped rear view mirrors are now present on the Fiat Linea T-jet in India and they also have the side indicators moulded into them. These are electric in their operation as well. The car seems to be decked with chrome as you can see from the side strips and also on the door handles. The T-jet model wears better boots in the shape of the chunkier 205/55 R 16  and also makes do with a new design for its alloys.

Three reflectors at the rear end distinguish the diesel Linea from the T-jet petrol one. The rump is one of the curviest and still makes do with Aston Martin cues. It seems to be very spacious for keeping all the cargo and travel bags.

Fiat Linea T-jet Interiors

The Fiat Linea T-jet in India model gets a two toned superb interior trim. It enhances the feeling of space inside. It is a combination of white and beige and though we know this would make cleaning it all the more harder. It has typical Fiat build quality but with a fashion statement now. The door handles are the first to signify the car’s build quality and we got the same reassuring thunk so reminiscent of the old Linea and even the other cars from Fiat India’s stables.

Contoured and almost flat at one surface poly urethane wrapped steering wheel is still retained from the old Linea. That is not a bad thing since it is a fine unit giving control to the car. It also has audio and Bluetooth controls in it. Inside the Linea cockpit, you get a WRC styled tell tale lights and two circular dials housing the speedometer and the tachometer. Overall, the use of plastics is good, leaving us no grouse with the interiors as well as the build quality. The panel gaps are even and soft touch plastics suitable for this class are present.

The Fiat Linea T-jet Emotion plus model that we tested had the indigenous Blue and Me technology in it. This enables one to sync in 5 Bluetooth enabled phones at a time with the car’s Bluetooth system. The system is quite intuitive to use and works well. The car can read your messages, make and receive calls from your phone. Plus in case, if your phone is lacking a battery charge, there is a 12V socket to take care of that.

The percieveness of ample space in the boot is given out by the figures that it can load  upto 500 liters. However the loading bay is a bit high with some amount of suspension intrusion inside the boot.

Fiat Linea T-jet Handling and ride quality

The Linea always had a good ride and handling package and the new T-jet model is the same in the ride and handling department. The handling has found a sweet spot with the now 16 inch alloys shod with high profile Good year GT3 tyres. The ride quality has lost some of the nervousness now at low speeds and is evenly good even at low and high speeds.

The Fiat Linea T-jet model is one heck of a silent car. The use of sound obstructing material used is commendable as is the absence of road noise even at triple digit speeds.

Seating for 5 people is what the Linea offers and quite comfortably at that.

Fiat Linea T-jet Engine,Performance and fuel efficiency

The biggest change is in the heart of the Linea T-jet model. The old 1.4 liter FIRE engine is now assisted by a turbo charger. This bumps the power to 114 ps of power from the previous 90 ps and 207 Nm of torque from as low as 2,200 rpm. Torque has risen by 21.3 Kgm to give the Linea T-jet class rivaling times of 11.2 seconds for the dash from 0-100 kmph. The Linea’s Achilles heel is that its gearbox isn’t in tandem with the engine and it sometimes feels notchy.

The T-jet model now never seems out of poke when pottering around town in 3rd gear at speeds as low as 20 kmph or overtaking on the highway at speeds of 100 kmph. This shows the engine’s tractability. Honda City Vtec better watch out.

Braking has improved significantly with disc brakes all around. It is boosted by EBD and ABS. This is available only in the T-jet Emotion and Emotion Plus package. Safety features remain unchanged from the old Linea.

The Fiat Linea T-jet in India is a very fuel efficient car and actually bringing in a turbo charger has boosted the fuel economy as well for this heavy car. It returns 13.9 kmpl in the city and 20.7 kmpl on the highway.

Verdict

The Linea T-jet model would be sold in the T-jet Emotion and Emotion plus variants. With the Linea T-jet model, Fiat have ironed out the only chink in its armour and that was lack of power for the petrol variants. Now, it is even more value for money and can go heads on with the Honda City, its nemesis.

The Linea T-jet Emotion is priced at Rs. 8.84 lakhs to Rs. 9.29 lakhs for the T-jet Emotion Plus ex-showroom, Mumbai.

Fiat Linea T-jet Technical Specifications

Engine Displacement: 1399cc, Turbo Charged Petrol
Maximum Torque: 200 Nm @ 2500 rpm
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Maximum Power: 110 Bhp @ 5000 rpm
Maximum Speed: 191 Km/Hour
0-100kmph: 11.2seconds
Fuel Tank capacity in liters: 49.00
Kerb Weight: 1284.00 kgs.
Max. Horsepower (ps/rpm): 114 PS @ 6000 rpm
Ground Clearance: 171.00 mm
Brakes: Front and rear disc brakes.

One Reply to “Fiat Linea T-jet in India”

  1. I took a test drive of the Linea. The Exteriors are immaculate and the looks are simply great. However once you sit inside the impression changes dramatically.
    1. The fabric used on the interiors is rather poor quality and looks like an economy sofa set you would buy in a cheap exhibition on discount.
    2. The inner padding above the doors was hollow. If you grip anywhere at the top level while getting in or out, the whole padding gets crushed under the fingers, which indicates that the interior trim is mounted on a hollow mould like an egg tray. There is no stiffness.
    3. The lines around the sun blinds and mirror light area are very sharp, highlighting the poor trim padding.
    4. Legroom was decent though not extensive.
    5. Plastic trim interior could be much better quality for the price

    Everything else about the interiors is great but when any part of a car gives way, it gives a rather poor feeling.

    I hope FIAT will improve on this and stiffen up the interiors, roofing and doortop trims and provide better fabric. The roof trim profile around the driver reading lights really need some softening as one can almost see the sharp profile of the padding material underneath.

    Sorry but I did not get the feeling of luxury one would expect for this price.

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