Fiat India has introduced its new model Linea in three variants – Active, Dynamic and Emotion. All these variants come in 1.3 ltr diesel and 1.4 ltr petrol engines. I test drove this car almost a week back and couldn’t manage to write a review. After my initial reviews on Tata Indica vista, Maruti A-Star and Hyundai i20, here is my much delayed review on Fiat Linea.
Looks: I went to Bangalore Concorde Motors show room on Hosur road near dairy circle. This show room was the authorized showroom for Tata Motors until Fiat announced sales and after sales service tie up with Tatas. There were Fiat Linea Dynamic and Emotion models for display. No second thought on its looks. The Fiat linea commercial lives up to its tag line of “Admiration Guaranteed“. I really liked the board styling, buttons & switches design/quality, steering design, seats comfort – these will certainly grab anyone’s attention. On the exteriors – twin barrel head lights, rear lamps and the stylish front grill will get your eyeballs rolling. However, I am not much impressed with the quality of plastics in this car too. They are just very ordinary. Other than that features like climate control a/c, integrated stereo with controls on steering wheel and USB dock are awesome. Multifunction display, instantatious milage Info, ABS (only on high end models), alloy wheels, blue ’n’ me software, rake adjustable steering wheel etc., are the other features you should check out in these cars.
Test Drive and Engine performance: Diesel variant of Linea Dynamic was the vehicle allocated for my test drive. Steering rake is adjustable and I don’t understand the logic behind having ignition key going vertically down. Slight noise of the engine was audible from inside, I would say it is much better shielded compared to other diesel engines. So I assume petrol version would hardly have any engine sound. There were 4 of us in the vehicle including a showroom guy. I am not impressed with its initial pick up, for a diesel engine of 1.3 ltr I expected much better performance. Another fact that let me down was the gear shift. It wasn’t smooth like I had experienced in Tata Indica Vista. May be it is a bit harder since the car was very new and had done only about 680kms or may be that the car is looking forward for its first service. After reaching a speed of about 40kms+ the engine was responding well on the Banneraghatta road. I could drive for a very short distance at this speed under dairy circle fly over. I found the breaking to be pretty good as well. If this slow pick is a genuine issue, then this car wouldn’t be a good option for city drive. Atleast in cities like Bangalore for the kind of road traffic, this will be a big minus. I would suggest readers to test drive the car and get satisfied yourself before arriving at any conclusion.
Mileage, colors and Pricing : Buyer has an option to select from 4 colors. The petrol variants are available with a starting ex-showroom price range of 6 lakhs to 7 lakhs while the diesel variants cost from 6.9lakhs to 8.1 lakhs. Road tax and other charges will go upto a minimum of another lakh for each of these. You can check out the exact price from Fiats official site. You can refer to that site for more information on technical specs and all other info. Salesman was skeptical on exact mileage, he told the petrol car will yield anywhere between 10-14 kmpl for petrol engine while 14-17kmpl for diesel engine. No specific numbers on mileage, appreciate if any of the readers can feed in that info.
So, the verdict is that it is a good looking car with lot of attractions wrt interior and exterior. Certainly it lives upto its caption of Admiration guaranteed, but the concern in over the performance and after sales service. Though Fiat has tied up with Tata’s, I doubt if they will be able to deliver an efficient service model like Maruti. You may want to consider similar players in the industry like Honda City, Ford Fiesta and Swift Dzire.