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Old 3rd March 2014, 21:08   #1
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Default The 2014 Fiat Linea Facelift - Test Drive & Review

Linea Facelift - 2014

The 2014 Fiat Linea Facelift - Test Drive & Review-img_4740.jpg

Likes
  • The facelift still looks good compared to the competition, but bring the older Linea into picture, the older one looks far more clutter less and the timeless design stands out.
  • High quality chrome on the exterior
  • The interiors have been revamped with the dashboard being new and brings in the freshness to the cabin.
  • A couple features have been added on the already feature rich car. The in built navigation and reverse camera would have been icing on the cake
  • All the positives of the earlier Linea are very much present in the facelift. Excellent build quality, the ride quality and handling, steering feedback, superb braking ability are to name a few.
  • The Linea facelift comes with the 1.4 Tjet motor as standard in the petrol engine department
  • The car finally gets 3 bottle holders at the cost of the arm rest space
  • Huge 500 litre boot
  • The reverse parking sensors are standard on the dynamic and emotion variants.
  • The Automatic Climate control is good, but the not as effective as the ones that were available in the Tjet and Tjet+ Variants that were launched in 2010. The AC vents have directional as well flow control now.
  • Placement of the Aux and USB port, it's no longer a trouble to use
  • 3 Year standard warranty with an option of 2 years extended warranty with coverage for 150,000 kms
Dislikes
  • The Linea facelift deserved to have the 1.6 MJD under the hood for the diesel segment
  • The interior space packaging not as great the Japanese counterparts.
  • The lesser headroom in the rear for taller people
  • The low speed ride might put off the chauffer driven kind of customers, but they will appreciate the ride when the speeds increase.
  • The arm rest is more or less present just as a requirement as the space is sacrificed for a bottle holder
  • The spare wheel is now a steel wheel and not an alloy wheel unlike the pre 2013 models for emotion variant.
  • Increased weight on the facelift across variants and more so on the top end variant
PS: I would like to thank Vecto Motors wholeheartedly for providing the opportunity to review the Linea facelift.

Last edited by nkrishnap : 4th March 2014 at 21:30.
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Old 3rd March 2014, 21:13   #2
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Default Prologue

Fiat India announced the break up from TATA and its future road map in December 2012. From then on during the year 2013 Fiat India did manage to open around 100 dealerships and launch the Linea Classic on schedule. The array of launches from Fiat India included a facelift to the current Linea as the current one is already on sale from the 2nd half of 2009 and has seen a bit of mechanical changes over this period based on the customer feedback like the ground clearance increase, improved AC, etc. The variants line up was rationalized from five to three. With all these changes, still the car was left behind as compared to the competition without a model change or a facelift. Come 2014, Fiat showcased the facelift Linea during the Auto Expo 2014. The facelift is now launched after a few weeks after the Auto expo.

A glance at the price list

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Competition price check

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Specifications

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Weight comparison between the old and new Linea


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Old 3rd March 2014, 21:26   #3
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Default Exteriors

Linea has always been a good looking car with clean lines. The facelift carries forward these clean lines which a few changes to the exterior which makes it the best looking car in the segment. There are lots of chrome on the facelift at the front and the back. One would agree that the providing a facelift was tough job on the current Linea as it was designed so elegantly. Fiat has tried quite hard at it and the facelift does not take away the original elegance completely from the car.

Front

The car now gets the new grill and a bumper design. There are slight changes to the bumper with creases to match the grill design. The front somehow resembles a bit of the Verna transform especially the upper grill. However, this does not mean the car is looking ugly. The chrome additions can be welcome move as Indians love chrome. The quality of the chrome is top notch.

Front view

The 2014 Fiat Linea Facelift - Test Drive & Review-img_4740.jpg

The 2014 Fiat Linea Facelift - Test Drive & Review-img_4768.jpg

The 2014 Fiat Linea Facelift - Test Drive & Review-img_4750.jpg

Side Profile


The side profile of the car has remained almost untouched except for the turn signal indicators are now housed in the ORVMs instead of the fender and the fender gets the Tjet logo. Do note that this Linea arrived straight from the auto expo and hence the Sticker running across the side profile. The facelift gets a new alloy wheel design.

Front three quarter view

The 2014 Fiat Linea Facelift - Test Drive & Review-img_4757.jpg

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The 2014 Fiat Linea Facelift - Test Drive & Review-img_4743.jpg

Rear three quarter view

The 2014 Fiat Linea Facelift - Test Drive & Review-img_4769.jpg

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Turn signal indicators on the ORVMs

The 2014 Fiat Linea Facelift - Test Drive & Review-img_4844.jpg

Tjet badging on the fenders at the older turn signal indicator location


The 2014 Fiat Linea Facelift - Test Drive & Review-img_4848.jpg

New 14 spoke alloy wheel design goes quite well with the exterior


The 2014 Fiat Linea Facelift - Test Drive & Review-dsc_0259.jpg

Rear


The Linea facelift has quite a bit of changes to the rear. The number plate now moves up to the boot instead of the bumper and get a tail gate release lever neatly tucked near the number plate lights. The tail lights are untouched and the old design is carried forward. A chrome strip sits with Linea embossed sits above the number plates. A thick chrome strip now runs across to break the monotony in the rear bumper and gets the safety reflectors too. The reverse parking sensors are placed below the chrome strip and it is body coloured. They do work quite well and o note that the reverse parking sensors give out only an audio warning and does not have any visual warn the driver.

The black plastic at the bottom of the bumper now makes the rear look less bulky. The top end version get a factory fit spoiler which is not a bad thing. The rear tailgate also get the engine nomenclature too. The Tjet gets a chrome exhaust while the multijet retains the old style exhaust. The rear does appear raised due to the increased ground clearance especially on the Tjet which has 190 mm ground clearance on the top end variant.

Rear View

The 2014 Fiat Linea Facelift - Test Drive & Review-img_4753.jpg

Note: Linea retains the twin reverse lamp unlike the other cars in the segment which has a single reverse lamp.

The OEM factory fit spoiler

The 2014 Fiat Linea Facelift - Test Drive & Review-img_4838.jpg

The Linea badging above the number plate

The 2014 Fiat Linea Facelift - Test Drive & Review-dsc_0268.jpg

Apart from these changes, the Linea gets two new colors to go with the facelift. Sunbeam Gold and the Magnesio Grey. The Oceanic blue has now been discontinued.

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Old 3rd March 2014, 21:39   #4
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Default Interiors

The facelift has brought about a host of changes which has freshened up the interiors. The interiors still continues to have the black and beige combo which is not a bad thing at all. The interiors are now well put together and does feel premium.

The dashboard is all-new along with the speedometer console and the center console. The dashboard gets soft touch plastic and the texture is quite good. The center console gets a storage box at the top, which is quite well built and has dampening material inside to keep away the unwanted rattles when coins are placed in it. There is a single cup holder in front of the gear lever and the other cup holder location now houses the Aux and the USB port. The glove box is damped and get a light too which turns on when the glove box is opened. The AC vents now have the direction as well as the flow control, which is a welcome addition to the facelift. The steering still has only height adjust and the reach adjustment has not made it into the facelift.

The new dashboard layout. The glove box alignment lot better than the current design

The 2014 Fiat Linea Facelift - Test Drive & Review-img_4786.jpg

The sun glass holder

The 2014 Fiat Linea Facelift - Test Drive & Review-img_4787.jpg

The illuminated glove box


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The soft touch dashboard a closer look

The 2014 Fiat Linea Facelift - Test Drive & Review-img_4801.jpg

The AC vents with flow and direction control

The 2014 Fiat Linea Facelift - Test Drive & Review-img_4802.jpg

The storage slot above the center AC vents

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The 2014 Fiat Linea Facelift - Test Drive & Review-img_4807.jpg

The instrument console is new and has black background with orange light font and looks quite premium when lit up during night. The passenger airbag area above the glove box gets an orange neon strip kind of light which looks uber cool in the night when the parking lights or the head lights are on. The center console too black back ground and is orange light. However with the black and orange theme going for the tell tale lights, the blue foot well lights do not go well with the orange theme. A warm white or light orange would have suited better.

The new Speedo console. Note the leather covering the empty spot below the console

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The Speedo console with the keys turned on

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Speedo console illuminated

The 2014 Fiat Linea Facelift - Test Drive & Review-speedo-backlit.jpg

Center console with black background and orange font.

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View of center console at night

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The key hole now finally sports a better finsih

The 2014 Fiat Linea Facelift - Test Drive & Review-img_4812.jpg

The cruise control

The 2014 Fiat Linea Facelift - Test Drive & Review-dsc_0261.jpg

The leather wrapped gear knob. Note the Aux and USB slot.


The 2014 Fiat Linea Facelift - Test Drive & Review-img_4819.jpg

The front doors get bottle holders; however note we found the 1 litre Kinley water bottle did not snug fit the bottle holder. However, the half litre Tupperware bottle did fit in ok. The other bottle holder is located behind the driver armrest above the rear knee level AC vents. This has come with the sacrifice of the center console space. The rear doors do not get any bottle holders.

Bottle holder front door

The 2014 Fiat Linea Facelift - Test Drive & Review-img_4792.jpg

With a bottle. Notice the silver finished door lock handle which replaces the chrome ones.

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The bottle holder for rear passengers

The 2014 Fiat Linea Facelift - Test Drive & Review-img_4837.jpg

The center storage space and shortened armrest

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The seats as such are quite comfortable and the emotion variant gets perforated leather, which is light beige. Good luck in maintaining the interior clean. The rear seats get 2 head rests and the armrests with the leather strap to help pull out the arm rest with ease. The front seat pockets are now smaller and recessed to free up a little more leg room. The rear seats gets ample leg room. The transmission tunnel is not too high to be intrusive and the fifth passenger will be a tight fit if they are well built or tall. At best, the Linea is comfortable for 4 people.

Two headrests and a leather strap to help ease of access to the arm rest. Note the rear sun blind too

The 2014 Fiat Linea Facelift - Test Drive & Review-img_4834.jpg

The seat pockets and the recessed a little for better leg room

The 2014 Fiat Linea Facelift - Test Drive & Review-img_4835.jpg

Last edited by nkrishnap : 3rd March 2014 at 23:04.
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Old 3rd March 2014, 21:44   #5
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Default The Drive

With the facelift what has been done to the existing engine line up? None actually. The Linea facelift comes with the same but very capable 1.4 Tjet and the same 1.3 Multijet. The top end emotion variants gets the cruise control as standard.

1.4 Tjet

The 2014 Fiat Linea Facelift - Test Drive & Review-tjet-engine.jpg

The 1.4-liter Tjet is rated at 114 PS (112.4 BHP) at 5,000 rpm and a diesel like torque of 207 NM at 2,200 rpm. The turbo starts spooling around 1700 rpm and once reaching 2000 rpm there is sufficient pull to make brisk progress. Like all turbo petrol engines, there is lag below 2000 rpm, while in traffic one may needs a downshift to keep up the pace. The mid range punch is quite strong due to the max torque coming in at 2200 rpm, the strong pull continues all the way till around 5500 rpm. The engine note is quite sporty. Though we did not time the runs, the Tjet does make quick progress even with the increased weight. Fiat has not come out with any official 0-100 numbers for the facelift Linea. Unlike the diesel counterpart, the gear ratios are nicely selected to give the best of both worlds. The gears do slot nicely but there is rubbery feel to the way the shift happens. The gear lever feels smaller in length; this may be due to the gear console itself being a little higher. The Tjet can cruise quite comfortably at 120 kmph speeds without breaking a sweat. The punchy mid-range makes overtaking a piece of cake on the highway.

The current positive traits of ride, handling and steering feedback have been carried forward in the facelift too. The ride is a little stiff at lower speeds; however, this is due to the stiffer suspension to counter the increase in ground clearance. As the speeds increase, the suspension dismisses the uneven road surfaces like nobody's business. There is increased body roll compared to the pre-2012 suspension set up. However, the Linea is still one of the best handlers in the segment even with the 190 mm ground clearance. With grippy tyres, one will have to push hard to make the car lose its mechanical grip and make the tyres squeal. The Tjet gets all wheel discs, it not only does go fast, but also has outstanding braking capabilities.

The real life fuel efficiency would not be too different from the current Linea Tjet, but one may see a marginal drop in the mileage due to the additional weight.

Cruise Control

The cruise control is now standard on the top end emotion variant. During the 60 odd kms drive that we did, we had ample opportunities to test the cruise control. The cruise control once turned on will get activated after attaining a speed of 30 kmph or more. Note that the cruise control won't engage in the first and reverse gear for safety reasons. There is no visual display in the MID of the set cruise control speed. Given the opportunity of an open highway the cruise control does work well and keeps the stress off the right leg and helps in getting better fuel efficiency due to the better control over the throttle by the ECU. On the flip side, bring in the normal scenario of the traffic on Indian highways, the cruise control will see very less usage. For example, the 20 odd kms drive on the NICE road section for saw us cutting off the cruise control quite a few times due to the slow moving traffic.

Instructions on how to use the cruise control from the owner's manual.

The 2014 Fiat Linea Facelift - Test Drive & Review-cruise-control-instructions-1.jpg

The 2014 Fiat Linea Facelift - Test Drive & Review-cruise-control-instructions-2.jpg

PS: The Linea facelift with multijet engine is yet to be driven. The drive report will be posted after the drive.

Last edited by nkrishnap : 3rd March 2014 at 23:04.
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Old 3rd March 2014, 23:01   #6
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Default Overall Impression

The Linea has always been a very capable sedan and the facelift retains these traits. The solid build quality, good ride and handling, excellent steering feedback, very good braking ability and the features list makes it quite a contender in the crowded C+ sedan segment. The 1.4 Tjet, 1.3 MJD form the engine line up. The pricing is spot on with a marginal hike and a couple of features thrown in. The discounts in the form of free insurance/loyalty or exchange bonus will make the Linea look even more lucrative.

On an enthusiast note, Fiat needs to plonk the 1.6 MJD under the hood not only to satisfy the power hungry customers out there, but to compete in a very crowded C+ segment with the likes of Honda City, Hyundai Verna, German Twins Vento and Rapid, Sunny and Scala.

Other Points

The storage slot below the my car buttons panel

The 2014 Fiat Linea Facelift - Test Drive & Review-img_4816.jpg

The ORVMs coverage

The 2014 Fiat Linea Facelift - Test Drive & Review-ovrms-left.jpg

The 2014 Fiat Linea Facelift - Test Drive & Review-ovrms-right.jpg

The IRVM coverage

The 2014 Fiat Linea Facelift - Test Drive & Review-internal-rear-view-mirror.jpg

The USB slot with the cover closed

The 2014 Fiat Linea Facelift - Test Drive & Review-img_4847.jpg

The USB slot with the cover open

The 2014 Fiat Linea Facelift - Test Drive & Review-img_4846.jpg

The spare wheel is now a steel wheel shod with 195/60 R15 tyres

The 2014 Fiat Linea Facelift - Test Drive & Review-img_4839.jpg

Illuminated door sill

The 2014 Fiat Linea Facelift - Test Drive & Review-illuminated-door-sill.jpg

The tow hook neatly tucked in the fog lamp Bessel

The 2014 Fiat Linea Facelift - Test Drive & Review-dsc_0254.jpg

LED indicators in action during day time

The 2014 Fiat Linea Facelift - Test Drive & Review-img_4845.jpg

LED indicators in action during night

The 2014 Fiat Linea Facelift - Test Drive & Review-img_4722.jpg

Indicators in action at night

The 2014 Fiat Linea Facelift - Test Drive & Review-indicators-action.jpg

Interior Ambiance at night

The 2014 Fiat Linea Facelift - Test Drive & Review-interior-ambience-night.jpg

Exterior Comparison - Old Vs New

The front

The 2014 Fiat Linea Facelift - Test Drive & Review-img_4775.jpg

The 2014 Fiat Linea Facelift - Test Drive & Review-img_4771.jpg

The rear

The 2014 Fiat Linea Facelift - Test Drive & Review-img_4773.jpg

Alloy Wheels

The 2014 Fiat Linea Facelift - Test Drive & Review-img_4851.jpg

Last edited by nkrishnap : 4th March 2014 at 21:17.
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Old 4th March 2014, 22:27   #7
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Default re: The 2014 Fiat Linea Facelift - Test Drive & Review

Moderator's note: Thread moved from Assembly Line section. Thanks for sharing.

What an awesome review Krishna. There's no better person to do a Linea facelift review than an existing Linea owner who knows the car inside out.
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Old 4th March 2014, 22:46   #8
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Wow awesome pics and awesome review. The linea is back in a new avatar (ish), it still maintains its 1.3 mjd disappointing not to see the 1.6 mjd. Too bad turbo lag kills the fun a bit but it's beautiful and you could use it as a garden decor piece. Thumbs up but I wouldn't buy it purely because of the same engine.
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Old 4th March 2014, 23:20   #9
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Default Re: Interiors

Quote:
Originally Posted by nkrishnap View Post
Speedo console illuminated

Attachment 1214785
Excellent review nkrishnap. Is this new T-Jet driven mostly on the highways? Because i see a mileage of ~13kmpl in the new car(Considering the car has run 109km totally as displayed in the console) . Or is there any change in the engine characteristics that lead to higher mileage in the new 2014 model T-jet?
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Old 4th March 2014, 23:27   #10
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Default re: The 2014 Fiat Linea Facelift - Test Drive & Review

Wonderful pictures and review, Krishna . Thanks for letting me tag along and get a drive of the new T-Jet. You have aptly summarized most of the differences vis-a-vis the older T-Jet, so there is hardly anything left out to add at all .

- As a present T-Jet owner, I felt that the facelift has addressed most of the minor flaws of its predecessor - the interior fit and finish, quality of plastics, refreshed dashboard, better looking and better sounding ICE (and controls).

- Mechanically, the only new feature I can recollect is the presence of cruise control. This is a welcome addition to cruise on expressways for longer duration journeys and will save some fatigue for the driver. However, what I didn't like was there was no visual notification on the MID for what speed the CC is set at. We have to manually watch the speedometer and release the lever at whatever speed we want; it holds the speed at that point. Also, the acceleration when holding '+' on the CC stalk is as though someone floored the throttle pedal. It should be more gradual than a hurried scramble, from what I've seen in other cars.

- The gear shifts definitely felt like they had a shorter throw than the outgoing version. Shift quality still has a rubbery feel to it though, which they ought to have addressed first. I don't believe there are any changes made to the gear ratios. There was nothing wrong with the T-Jet's gearing anyway, so I am not complaining. It was the MultiJet which had shorter ratios and needed amendments.

- The interiors have been spruced up with the footwell neons/LEDs, new instrument cluster and backlit dash panels. They could have chosen white or yellow as a more subtle shade for the footwell lights though in my opinion. Blue is a bit bold and may not be to everyone's taste.

- Steering feel felt lightened compared to the 2011 versions and same as the 2012 facelifted version. It still retains the famous feedback and connected feel.

Overall a nice upgrade to the outgoing model where they have got rid of most of the frequently bashed areas, but they really needed to get that 1.6 MultiJet version stepping in now into the lineup. Is it a case of too little too late?? Only time can tell.

P.S - is the 1.4 FIRE version discontinued officially now??

Quote:
Originally Posted by azhar915 View Post
Is this new T-Jet driven mostly on the highways? Because i see a mileage of ~13kmpl in the new car(Considering the car has run 109km totally as displayed in the console) . Or is there any change in the engine characteristics that lead to higher mileage in the new 2014 model T-jet?
There are no changes in the engine specs with the new version. On one stretch, we drove on a highway at constant speeds while testing the cruise control feature, and that's probably the reason the MID is reporting higher numbers.

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Old 4th March 2014, 23:43   #11
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Default re: The 2014 Fiat Linea Facelift - Test Drive & Review

A couple of other things that I noticed today during the unveiling of the Linea facelift is.
  1. The blue LED footwell lights are not standard and so is the illuminated door sill on the multijet top end variant. The spoiler too is absent on the Multijet.
  2. The beep volume of the reverse parking sensors is adjustable through the mycar settings. This is now integrated with the buzzer volume.
  3. The white Linea gets black grill, which makes it look better
A couple of pics from the event today. Please excuse the mobile picture quality.


The 2014 Fiat Linea Facelift - Test Drive & Review-20140304_165343.jpg

The 2014 Fiat Linea Facelift - Test Drive & Review-20140304_165454.jpg

Last edited by nkrishnap : 4th March 2014 at 23:55.
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Old 5th March 2014, 06:30   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D'Artagnan View Post
Too bad turbo lag kills the fun a bit but it's beautiful and you could use it as a garden decor piece. Thumbs up but I wouldn't buy it purely because of the same engine.
At 93ps and 209Nm- the engine is still competent. What spoils the fun is the gearing on the Multijet versions. 1st and 2nd gear ratios are chosen very weirdly, and as any Punto or Linea diesel owner will tell- fun begins only from 3rd gear.
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Old 5th March 2014, 08:19   #13
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Default re: The 2014 Fiat Linea Facelift - Test Drive & Review

Amazing review NKP. As Vidd mentioned, no one but a Linea owner can do a perfect justice to check out the face lift.

Few questions/clarifications?

- Any changes to ICE? Are the new speaker better or the same?
- Rear AC vents?
- What tyres do they come with now? Any changes there?
- Sad to see, the spare is not an alloy.
- Rear power outlet if any?
- How is the cruise control? Looks like will take quite a lot to get used to it. I checked out the Fiesta. Felt it to be much easier than the way you described it for Linea. Did you get a chance to test it out?

Great review overall .

Still that elusive 1.6MJD.....!
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Old 5th March 2014, 08:43   #14
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Default re: The 2014 Fiat Linea Facelift - Test Drive & Review

Thanks for sharing this excellent review with us nkrishnap. I think removing that Fiat logo from the front grille and putting on the bonnet will make the Linea look much smarter. Also, the horizontal slants on the grille need to go along with that rear spoiler. It is just spoiling the solid look of that wonderful boot. I love the new alloys. The scuff plates looks very aftermarket, but the fog lamp bezel reeks quality.

The interior looks much better now, but the fit of that plastic casing over the steering column is still amiss even after all these years. Please don't take this as a rant, I am just feeling very sorry looking at it. And the old instrument panel was a work of art! Too bad they have replaced it. Also, I would have also preferred the original color theme of black and grey on the inside.

Very good to know that Fiat has extended the excellent T-jet across the range and the car is still a hoot to drive. That petrol power pack ought to get sold more.
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Old 5th March 2014, 09:02   #15
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Default re: The 2014 Fiat Linea Facelift - Test Drive & Review

Wonderful review! Sorry, I could not make it yesterday.

The cruise control seems to be a welcome addition. The interiors look better than my T-Jet, but I fancy the exteriors of the one that I have. All in all, it looks good. The old Linea was so good looking and well proportioned that it is quite a challenge to come up with a facelift.
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