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Old 25th October 2014, 22:46   #1
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Smile My 2nd Italian Beauty - Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD

My 2nd Italian Beauty - Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD-dsc_0649.jpg
The Prelude
For most part of 2013 & 2014, I was commuting quite a long distance to my office in Electronic City (65 kms daily), thereby running costs on my petrol Palio 1.2 was getting high (Rs.6500/month), and though my 11 year old Palio 1.2 is still in top condition, thought of shifting to a new-gen Diesel Sedan.

Shortlisted the following diesel sedans in the budget range of 10 - 12 lakhs.

Honda City - All time favorite sedan with Honda badge, but the downsides were: Light build quality, Electric power steering & OTR for top-end version (13.7 lakhs) was exceeding my budget.

VW Vento - A European car with a 1.6 TDI engine, downsides - Electric power steering, High maintenance cost & Unproven ASS.

Ford Fiesta - a good allrounder car, but not sure of ASS & maintenance cost.

Fiat Linea - being a very happy owner of Fiat Palio for last 11+ years (Ownership report here: http://goo.gl/xkN5Wl), I was naturally inclined to go for Fiat Linea, but the 1.3 MJD was a dampener. And, there was no confirmation from Fiat on their plans to bring 1.6 MJD in India. However, the option to get the ECU remapped in Linea MJD for enhanced power & torque gave me the confidence to pursue Linea MJD.

Test drive
Before I put my 1 million+ bucks on a car, wanted to thoroughly test drive the car & ensure it is the right choice. On the choice of dealership, a Fiatian friend recommended Vecto Motors & shared my no with their senior Sales executive – Madhusudhan. On the same day, got a call from Madhu & he shared the details on the prices, delivery period etc. Asked him to get the New Linea Tjet & MJD for test drive next day to my office.
Next day, Madhu came with both the cars, he drove the Tjet and his colleague brought the MJD. He warned me beforehand that if I test drive the Tjet first, I won't go for MJD. But, I knew what to expect from both the cars. Took the Electronic city Elevated highway for the test drive.

First, picked-up the Linea Tjet, started the car, slotted the 1st gear and released the clutch half-way as I would do on my Palio 1.2, the car jerked and stalled, realized it is a Tjet with 112 horses in the hood, so had to release the clutch gradually and car lunged ahead, slotted to 2nd and car was swift, 3rd gear - car was gaining speed, and once you cross the 2000 RPM band, you feel the turbo kicking in, and then 4th and 5th gear, car was easily cruising at 100 kmph. All this with AC on, there was ample power at the foot’s disposal.

Time to check out the Linea MJD. After slotting the car in 1st gear, the clutch had to be released till mid-way to get the car moving (power difference was very evident), and 2nd gear the car was gaining momentum, turbo lag is evident till 1500 RPM, but once you cross the 1500 RPM, you can feel the power delivery & post 2000 RPM, the turbo kicks off and the car blasts ahead, 3rd and 4th gear has good mid-range power and the car reached 80 kmph mark quite fast, and then you can cruise on 5th gear.

Overall, found the Linea MJD very driveable, linear power delivery helps to accelerate faster and the mid-range is real punchy.

Purchase:
Was planning to purchase the car sometime in July, but then there was some news that Excise duty rebate on cars will expire on 30th June, and until 24th June there was no confirmation from the new central government if they will extend the Excise rebate or not. Hence, thought of saving some moolah & booked the car on 24th June by paying Rs.50,000/-

Considering my running of 1500 kms /month and price difference of Rs.15/- between petrol and diesel that time, made sense to go for Linea MJD.
Hence, booked the New Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion - Tuscan Wine.

Madhu informed me they don’t have Tuscan Wine MJD Emotion in stock, and he has placed the order with Fiat and it will take 2 – 3 weeks for the car to reach the dealership. Was not an issue since I was not in a hurry. On 8th July, got a call from Madhu that the car has reached the dealership & I can come and have a look. Next day, took a copy of TBhp PDI checklist and visited the dealership, Madhu escorted me to the small stockyard behind the dealership, was delighted to see my Tuscan Wine Linea MJD basking in the sun

Did basic checks as per the PDI checklist, everything looked fine & good to go! Handed over the cheque for the balance amount payable from my side & asked Madhu to go ahead with the Registration and pre-delivery formalities.

Offer available for New Linea at that time was – Free Insurance, Corporate discount and Free Standard fitment.
The OTR price was Rs.11.54 lakhs.
Finally, took the delivery of my Linea MJD on 12th July 2014.

Add-ons/Accessories:
  • Replaced stock tyres (Goodyear NCT5) with Michelin Primacy 3ST (same stock size – 205/55 R16)
  • 3M CR-70 Sun film on Front Windshield & Side windows
  • 3M Nomad mats
  • 3M PPF film on OVRMs and door edges

Things I liked
  • Legendary Fiat Build quality
  • Awesome Looks
  • Superior Ride & Handling
  • Precise & weighted hydraulic Power Steering
  • Cruise control (a big boon on Highways)
  • Blue & Me Bluetooth system
  • Rain sensing wipers

Things I disliked
  • The Linea chassis deserves a 1.6 MJD engine, but found 1.3 MJD 90hp adequate for Indian driving conditions.
  • Turbo lag in lower gears, you need to be in the power band of 1500 - 2500 RPM to revv the engine.
  • Indicator stalk & Wiper stalk on the left & right respectively (as in left hand driving), quite painful if you have other car with RHD & drive both regularly.
  • Shortened Arm rest in New Linea, only the elbow rests on this arm rest :(
  • Excess chrome, especially in the rear, preferred the clean rear of Pre-facelifted Linea.
  • On an upward-incline (like in basement parking), if not in momentum, car gasps for power & need to taken on 1st gear. On my Palio, I would easily take it on 2nd gear.

Other useful features
Automatic Climate Control, Collapsible Rear Sun Curtain, Exact Door open Indicator, Automatic Headlamps, USB & AUX port near the dash etc.

Exteriors:
The front of the Linea has a classic Italian flair with those tear-drop shaped, double barrel headlamps. The rounded snout with a chrome garnished grill make it look elegant and sophisticated and stylish.

Coming to the side, the simplicity of the side profile takes your breath away. A single character line which starts from the middle of the front wheel arch and dissolves into the rear, emphasizing the car’s dynamic look.

New Linea has a Ground clearance of 185 mm. The 16" wheels with 205/55 R16 tyres looks perfect on the Linea.
Anything less, the gap between the wheel arch & tyre is glaringly visible!

Coming to the rear, Linea has a plain but exquisite back-end. The all red tail lamps have been contoured with white reverse parking lamps. I would have preferred the number plate on the bumper instead of the boot (as in prefacelifted Linea), also the chrome could have been lightly put instead of the bold usage on bumper & new hood of number plate.

Interiors:
New Linea has refreshing new interiors, with dual-tone dashboard of black well-textured plastic + white soft touch fabric dashboard, the latter may be difficult to maintain in dusty conditions though.

The center console in piano black houses the AC, Music system, Climate Control system and a small storage box at the top.

The instrument console has telescopic Speedo & RPM consoles (gives a sporty look) and two mini clock consoles for Fuel & Temperature indicators.
When lit up, the orange font with black background on the console, music system & climate control display looks awesome!

The Steering wheel is contoured on the 10:10 position that we hold most of the times. Also, has the remote buttons to operate the Blue&Me and Music system.
New Linea has a additional stalk for Cruise Control below the Indicator stalk on the left.

The USB & Aux ports are conveniently placed near the Gear box for ease of use.

The Emotion variant I bought comes with Light Beige Italian Leather seats, and the quality is definitely top-notch.

Initial drive experience: after covering 4,500 kms so far

In City:
Thanks to the gearing ratio tweak done in New Linea, driveability in City is much better. In bumper to bumper to traffic, you can move the car by releasing the clutch (that is lighter) in 2nd gear. Need to downshift 1st gear only if you want to move from standstill. In a moving traffic, you can ride the car in 3rd gear and 4th gear depending on the traffic & road condition. And 5th gear occasionally on wider roads with less traffic (like the Outer Ring Road in off-peak hours).

AC is powerful, cools the cabin quite fast. Has one AC vent at the rear too. There is no drag on the engine with the AC on, unlike in my Palio 1.2 where the drag was evident with the AC in lower gears.

The Blue&Me Bluetooth system is a big boon for making & receiving the calls on the go! No more digging out phone from the pockets and getting distracted. Not to mention the hefty fine if you are caught speaking on mobile...

For parking, the wide ORVMs & reverse parking sensors help immensely in parking the car in office basement & mall parking etc. I wish I had installed the Reverse parking sensor / cam on my Palio 1.2, would’ve saved so many dents & nicks on my Palio’s dicky door and rear bumpers. Planning to get it installed on my Palio soon.

Ride quality on broken roads is great, it just glides over without any grouse.

Another good feature is Rain sensing wipers, it auto engages the wipers as soon as rain hits the windshield & the wiper speed auto adjusts as per the rain intensity. You can focus on driving rather than engaging & adjusting the wiper speed on your own.

Mileage in City – Daily commute involves 6 - 7 kms of dense traffic on two-lane road & 10 kms of sparse traffic on four-lane road.
I am getting around 15 - 15.8 kmpl, I guess it should improve a bit after the 2nd service.

On Highway:
Any Fiat is a pleasure to drive on Highways! Linea is no exception, the Ride & Handling offered by Linea is awesome! It just cruises on the highway roads and takes the twisty turns & curves with breeze.

One new feature in New Linea is the Cruise control! It is a big boon on long highway drives on 4-lane / 6-lane roads, just switch on the Cruise Control and engage it at a desired speed say 80 kmph, and you can just relax, controlling only the steering. It Auto disengages, as soon as it you press the brake or accelerator, but then you can quickly re-engage by pressing the Resume button on the cruise control stalk.

The braking is very effective as well, thanks to ABS with EBD & Michelin tyres.

Boot is massive with a storage space of 500 litres.

Mileage on Highways – I am getting around 18- 19 Kmpl at speeds of 80 – 100 kmph.

Uphill drive
Drove to Ooty & back in August, the best way to drive a Linea MJD uphill is to keep the car in the power band of 1500 - 2500 RPM.
Anything below, there will be a lag and you have to downshift.
Moderate hair pin bends can be taken on 3rd gear if you are in the power band, else have to downshift to 2nd.
Steep hair pin bends can be taken on 2nd, but if not in momentum have to downshift to 1st.

Now, time for some pics

My 2nd Italian Beauty - Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD-dsc_0404.jpg
My 2nd Italian Beauty - Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD-dsc_0427.jpg
My 2nd Italian Beauty - Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD-dsc_0428.jpg
My 2nd Italian Beauty - Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD-dsc_0423.jpg
My 2nd Italian Beauty - Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD-dsc_0438.jpg
My 2nd Italian Beauty - Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD-dsc_0411.jpg
My 2nd Italian Beauty - Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD-dsc_0418.jpg
My 2nd Italian Beauty - Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD-dsc_0618.jpg
My 2nd Italian Beauty - Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD-dsc_0443.jpg
My 2nd Italian Beauty - Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD-dsc_0449.jpg
My 2nd Italian Beauty - Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD-dsc_0467.jpg
Cruise Control (the below stalk)
My 2nd Italian Beauty - Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD-dsc_0460.jpg
My 2nd Italian Beauty - Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD-dsc_0612.jpg
My 2nd Italian Beauty - Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD-dsc_0620.jpg
Attached Thumbnails
My 2nd Italian Beauty - Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD-dsc_0650.jpg  


Last edited by finneyp : 28th July 2015 at 16:58.
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Old 27th October 2014, 00:44   #2
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Default My 2nd Italian Beauty - Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD

Let me take the opportunity to congratulate you first. I still remember the countless arguments we had regarding FIATs during the Palio days, with me always on the opposition.

But having owned one for a long time now- I can relate to your words easily. The highways are truly where these cars shine and the engine is not really as much of a weak point once it is in the power band. Yes- being a 1.3L engine in a heavy car, you need to keep the gearbox in the right gear to make quick progress. I hope they offer a bigger engine soon!

That said- I can see a lot of people scratching their head thinking what is it that makes a FIAT'ian stick to the brand for a second purchase inspite of all such adversities!

PS - Do you receive support and spares for the Palio still?

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 27th October 2014 at 00:57.
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Old 27th October 2014, 01:03   #3
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Default Re: My 2nd Italian Beauty - Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD

Congratulations! Beautiful colour!

I upshift ~2100RPM when in economy mode, and I've noticed driving sedately can show magical mileage numbers, they'll soon improve even more.

Happy to see FIAT owners repeating. I find their service quite satisfactory and looks like FIAT is in it for the long term where they want the customers to absolutely enjoy their cars.

Wishing you a million happy miles.
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Old 27th October 2014, 03:51   #4
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Default Re: My 2nd Italian Beauty - Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD

Quote:
Originally Posted by finneyp View Post

Now, time for some pics
Congratulations finneyp ,

This is the first Linea 2014 on the forum as far as I know. I was going through the customer testimonials on you tube and there was someone who said this " Linea is a car which you buy with your heart rather than your mind " and also another quote " Once a FIAT-ian will always remain a FIAT-ian".

I see both the above statements true in your case. The car is definitely a looker and the only one which has true premium interiors in the segment and also 11.5 L in Bangalore is a pretty good deal.

Good choice and keep us posted .

Cheers,
pdma.
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Old 27th October 2014, 08:30   #5
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Default Re: My 2nd Italian Beauty - Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD

Congratulations Finney, the Linea is looking gorgeous in this colour and thanks for the nice and crisp review of the italian beauty

Wish you a wonderful ownership!
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Old 29th July 2015, 22:51   #6
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Default Re: My 2nd Italian Beauty - Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section). Thanks for sharing!
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Old 2nd December 2017, 21:41   #7
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Default Re: My 2nd Italian Beauty - Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD

My Linea's ownership update was long due, anyways better late than never!

1st Service:
Completed 5000 kms and it was time for 1st Service, got it done on 2nd Jan 2015.

1st Service is just a check-up, but as some Fiatians recommended, decided to change the Engine oil & Filter.

The service was done at KHT Fiat Service center, Whitefield.
Reached the SC around 11 AM, the Service Advisor was Saba, as he was in the middle of something, had to wait for 5 mins, and then he took the details & filled in the job sheet.
Asked specifically for change of Engine Oil & Filter, and no problems reported.
He said he will call me around 5 PM and then I can come & collect the car.

Till 5:15 PM, didn't get any call, so I called back & he said the car is gone for a wash & I can come around 5:45 PM.

Reached the SC by 5:40pm & saw the car was getting washed. It was then cleaned & wiped dry and brought for delivery.
Meanwhile, Saba showed me the bill, went through it and I was charged as below:
  • Engine Oil (3.3L): Rs.1980/-
  • Oil Filter: Rs. 411/-
  • Other consumables: Rs. 281/-
Total (incl Tax): Rs.2672/-

Found the charges reasonable & the overall Service experience was Good!

2nd Service:

Got the 2nd Service (1 year/15k kms) done in July'2015 at KHT Fiat, Bangalore.

Dropped the car at the Service center in morning around 11 AM, though I didn't have prior appointment the Service Advisor obliged to take the car for service.
Just the general service, no issues reported, told them specifically not to do the Wheel balancing & alignment as I get it done at Madhus every 5k kms.
Later, in evening got a call around 5:30pm from Service Advisor that service is done & I can come and collect the car.
Came around 6PM, car was getting washed, meanwhile SA showed me the bill. Here is the break-up, the price is including VAT.
  • Engine Oil (Selenia): Rs.1980/-
  • Oil Filter: Rs.432/-
  • Filtering element: Rs.431/-
  • Air Filter: Rs.221/-
  • Fuel Filter: Rs.2162/-
Total Amount: Rs.5511/-

Everything seemed ok, except for a small comment at the bottom of job order that Steering tilted to left!
When I asked the SA on the same, he told that since I didn't do the Wheel alignment hence this issue. I was bit surprised to hear this, as the steering was perfectly fine when I gave the car for service in the morning.
Anyway, I thought will get the WA done at Madhus & it should resolve this issue. Paid the bill & drove back home.
Over the next few days, I can feel the steering pulling to the left and was worried on this new issue in the car which was fine until it went for 2nd service :(
Went to Madhus & got the Wheel Alignment done, but sadly the issue still persisted and I was getting frustrated.
After 2 days went back to Madhus, got the Alignment rechecked, but no improvement, they suggested to swap the front left & right tyres, but it made no difference. Finally, they asked me to get it checked at FASS.
So had to visit KHT Fiat again, met the same SA, told him this new issue that cropped up after the 2nd service, as expected he didn't accept it, told me he will get this issue checked & asked me to give him some time.
They did the Wheel alignment, went for a test drive, acknowledged the left pull is there, the car was taken into the workshop & they checked various things, not sure what all they did.
After many hit & trials and waiting for 4 - 5 hours, the SA said it is fixed & I can take a TD. Went for a short TD, felt the steering was holding much better, no significant pull, although sometimes the steering veers a bit to left on its own.
SA told me to recheck it on a flat road, it should be fine. I also felt I need it observe it more closely next few days and see if it is fine.

Took this opportunity to get the ECU updated (Fiat had issued a ECU update for all 90 hp MJD Punto & Linea 2014 models & above).
Well, to negate the sour left pull service experience, the driving experience post ECU update was great!
The drivability in lower gears is vastly improved, the turbo lag has reduced, the car picks up neatly at low rpms. A big boon for city driving!
Also, the car zooms to 100 kmph quite fast, need to test the top end on a highway, which is planned soon.
Kudos to Fiat for this much needed ECU update

Also, in July the Insurance was due for renewal.
As Future Generali has a cashless agreement with FASS across India, decided to continue with them, paid the Insurance premium of Rs.15,925/- and got it renewed.

Coming to the mileage front, in City (mix of B2B and bit highway traffic) I am getting a mileage of 15 - 16 kmpl, which is pretty good.
It is been sometime I hit the highways, however one trip is planned soon, so will gauge the highway mileage then.

In Jan'16, got the Wheels Balancing, Rotation & Alignment done at Madhus.
I don't feel the left pull, however while driving, steering has a slight veer to the left, not sure if this is a 'feature' with all Lineas.

Next month (Feb’16), we had a Fiatians Meet at Dandeli, and while driving on the flat NH4 highway, realised the left-pull issue still exists
After returning from the Meet, pinged our in-house tyre expert NikhilB & asked his help to fix this issue. He told me to come over to Madhus when he is around & will help in checking and fix the issue.
So we fixed one day & went over to Madhus. Nikhil fully supervised the Wheel Alignment with the technician and after doing various checks & adjustments, he told me the Alignment is set to the best values & asked me to drive the car and let him know the feedback.
As I drove the car, I could no longer feel the left-pull , though the steering still has slight veer to the left, it doesn’t pull to the left. I was delighted that issue is finally fixed. Kudos to Nikhil for the same!

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Last edited by ampere : 2nd December 2017 at 22:57.
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Old 3rd December 2017, 20:27   #8
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Default Re: My 2nd Italian Beauty - Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD

Wonderful writeup. Tuscan Wine looks beautiful. I own T-Jet and can relate to all your words. It is really a fun to drive car. Highways are where it excels. Wish you many more happy miles.
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Old 4th December 2017, 22:32   #9
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Thanks Crazy Driver, GrammerNazi, Pradeep, Anachronix & Shantanu.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
PS - Do you receive support and spares for the Palio still?
Sorry for my late reply! Palio spares are still available at 99rpm.com and multi-brand spare shops in cities.
Off late, FASS is not stocking Palio spares, but some of them are ready to order if requested.

Last year (Feb'2016), got the Detailing done on my Linea. Protected with Ceramic Quartz coating - Gyeon Mohs
Some pics after the detailing & coating:
Attached Images
    

Last edited by aah78 : 5th December 2017 at 00:19. Reason: Posts merged. Check Announcements section for posting rules please. Thanks!
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Old 5th December 2017, 20:36   #10
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Default Re: My 2nd Italian Beauty - Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD

Nice review, finneyp!

I got my Linea from Vecto too and the same sales representative

Something that I miss from the face-lifted version is the Cruise Control. It will be really helpful when on the highway.


Quote:
Originally Posted by finneyp View Post
Another good feature is Rain sensing wipers, it auto engages the wipers as soon as rain hits the windshield & the wiper speed auto adjusts as per the rain intensity. You can focus on driving rather than engaging & adjusting the wiper speed on your own.
This is very true. I am addicted to rain sensing wiper now and I found it tough to handle when the rain sensing wiper didn't work for few days. Very nice feature this is.
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