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Old 2nd January 2009, 12:54   #1
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Default The Fiat Linea test drive thread

When I first saw the car, I was a little apprehensive, which I still am because it looked too rounded and long for 8 Lakh cars, it reminded me of a catfish, with its snout stuck out like that.

Attachment 84399


The very next day after the Training commenced we were given the Details of the car , it's competition that Fiat Mainly Targeted was SX4,Fiesta,ANHC & the Verna. So along with the Linea the SX4, the Verna & Fiesta were there, as the ANHC wasn't launched then it wasn't available then.

The Car is sure loaded to the gills with features, If you guys go through the other Linea threads we can get a clear-cut idea of all the features in the car. The Linea on the road felt planted, might be due to it's low squatted stance, while in the car the whole car feels really low, the Power window switches and door locking switches are situated on the door armrest and all these felt enveloping around me, but the cabin was wide enough, to not feel claustrophobic, the Blue and me and MY CAR Function Switches are located on the steering wheel and also on the dashboard on the extreme right side under the steering wheel.

Attachment 84379

And no the Car haven't been stripped of any of it's features all that you see in the picture is there in the car.


The Overall fit and finish of the product seemed good, but still there were some grouches that can be seen in the car like the Steering column cover which had many unfinished rough edges and panel gaps, But the Steering wheel was Very good to hold and it had really good shape. The Rear seat space was "okay" and the seat reclining angle was very comfy, the ride in the back was unbelievable comfortable especially after getting rides in the competition cars. Even when going over speedbrakers or large potholes never did the Linea lose it's composure or give out loud noises when the suspensions bottomed out with 5 heavyweights in the car. The Ground Clearance of 161mm for the diesel car maybe a little problem but on the bright side the Skoda Octys are running around with 138mm GC , so that might not be much of a problem. The Petrol car's Ground Clearance is 165mm.

The Power Delivery from the Diesel Engines was smooth and It was very quite inside, outside there isn't much noise except for the usual Fiat Engine cooling fan which is soooo loud and it makes a huge racket just like in the Palio/Uno etc. Also the Fan's angle of deflection is same as that in the Uno/Palio which means all the Dust/dirt that is on the ground gets blown up and there is something like a sandstorm when the car is around. Typical Fiat Problem. Other than that the Engines were quite good, The diesel engine's Turbo lag is very low or unnoticeable, I just kept on flooring the throttle expecting the Swoosh like in the Swift/Palios but I was amazed when nothing like that happened till the redline at 5000RPM. The Diesel felt quick enough for that car, Maybe A Pete's Tuning box can be of much help to this car. The Petrol Engine felt Creamy Smooth and it sounded sexy, and there was adequate amounts of torque too but somehow, it felt underpowered to my taste after all 94.2PS is not something to write home about.

So the only question that remains now is, Is the Linea a better buy than the All New Honda City? Except for the engine everything is yes, then again there is no auto transmission even as an option, the engine is underpowered when compared to the ANHC,The built quality though much more solid than a Honda any day lacks the quality of the Honda. The service will be another aspect which we will have to wait and see, but I don't expect any miracles to happen in this part of the story, all the parts of this car is said to be heavily subsided up to 40% ,localization is still going on to keep the affordability factor in hand, the service intervals are quite long at 15000km between a service, the warranty is amazing at 80,000km or 1.5 years which can be extended to 3yrs or 1.5Lakh Kilometers.

The other cars like the SX4,Verna or the Fiesta don't even come into the picture in my opinion because of the unbelievable pricing of this car. The SX4 being too bland, the Verna Being bouncy, the Fiesta being too cramped, But it's just my opinion. This car like all the other cars when launched will have its own honeymoon period, when it will be selling like hotcakes for no particular reason, letís wait and see that's all that I can say.

This is the Make or Break point for Fiat, If all goes well we can see the Grande Punto in 4 months time I guess ,but now your guess is as good as mine. As one of the Fiat India Production head said "If the Linea doesnít do as well as we expected we can just pack up and leave".

Cheerscheers:

Muneem
Ex-Fiat Guy.
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Old 10th January 2009, 16:59   #2
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Default The Fiat Linea test drive thread

Got a call from Pandit Auto (Pune) that Linea Emotion (diesel) model is ready for test drive. Without a minutes delay rushed to showroom..and there it was standing (silver and maroon red colour)....my goodness it looks just awesome.

Immediately jumped inside the TD car (Emotion diesel variant) and turned the igntion. Engine noise is very silent. Well job done by FIAT on insulation front.

Interiors:
They are just unbelieveable in its price class and also above. Fiesta I guess also does not come near by.Probably better than honda city aswell. The plastics and fabric look very very expensive. The dashboard and AC vent look simply awesome. The steering looks damn good to see and hold.

Ride:
Took out the car from narrow alley of the showroom onto the road. I was bit apprehensive about the visibility hampering from A pillars..but surprisingly they dont and visibility is really good. Drove at around 50-60 speed in city on all kinds of road, pot holes and roads where construction is going on (very uneven roads), could not feel any difference or any noise...the Linea has unbelieveable suspension, trust me. If some one is acquainted with tilak road and mitramandal chowk they will agree with me. Driving is real pleasure, doesnot feel any turbo lag neither does it feel underpowered. We were 5 of us sitting in Linea. All in all I can say that this is THE FINEST car ever I have driven in India.

Looks:
Already enough has been said about the looks and I dont want to add much. All I can say is when you stand near it, simply you cant believe how beautiful car this looks...from any angle.
During test drive many people were stopping and turning their heads. There was one demo car of Ford Fiesta..all of them were looking and turned back and followed us and at signal the person got down and started asking questions...such was the Linea impact.

These are just my comments the way I feel and pls take a test drive then you can decide and say about the car. Enough has been said about the car even before its launch. And true to word the car is awesome.

I could not help and I simply took out my cheque book and booked Linea Dynamic (diesel) at Pandit Auto.

Cheers.
Looks
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Old 10th January 2009, 19:22   #3
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Default test drove the linea today

mods, please move this to TD section (new car drives and ownership) if required

--------------
guys

i got to test drive the top - 1 model of linea today. Crisply i am putting down what you can expect:

Good points

1. A feeling of extreme luxury right from the dashboard all the way upto the door knob and boot.
2. Spacious and silent cabin
3. Premium finishes and soothing orange display
4. Chilling AC with rear vent. Arm rests for front and back
5. Tactile steering and smooth clutch
6. Good MP3 player and good climate control with inside temperature display
7. The capability to be in fifth gear at extremely low speeds like 20kmph+
8. You can hide your kids in the boot, its that big.
9. Premium upholstery feel and quiet and smooth suspension response to soak up bumps with ease.
10. door open warning shows which door is open on dash!
11. separate lamps for front and rear ceilings.
12. Electric side mirror adjust and nicely integrated buttons and door handles

Bad points

1. Headroom is a bit less
2. Linear acceleration does not give a kick until 4000 rpm, the VGT makes driving this car a bit of a dull experience
3. Top - 1 model deserved atleast airbags and the ABS is a bit strong while braking
4. Perhaps a bit low ground clearance but not as low as NHC.

So will this be a honda city killer? YOU BET ALL YOUR MONEY ON IT that IT WILL BE ONE, period!

i am planning to write about this in more detail later on.

One last photo to finish the story!
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Old 10th January 2009, 19:27   #4
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Was this around 4:30-5pm at the Sarjapur road showroom?

I drove past at that time when the car was just going for a TD.
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Old 10th January 2009, 19:33   #5
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Today i visited Concorde Motors in Bangalore for a TestDrive. As much has been said about the looks & features - i wont go into too much details.

I took the drive mainly around the crowded places around and about 20 minutes in stop & go traffic. The car feels heavy in stop and go traffic, but pulls fine. I really could not rip it, but the salesguy took me to an empty private road to check acceleration & handling. Unfortunately a very small strip. As a petrolhead i wasnt very impressed with performance, but its nothing to sneer at.

The wrong side indicators are a pain. You get used to it in a few mins, but people who haven't driven an LHD - it might feel odd for sometime. I think FIAT should have corrected it. Turning radius is a pain.

I will post a TD report sometime soon - hopefully by tomorrow morning. Its been a long & tiring day as i have completed 3 TDs - Linea,City (2nd time) & Civic (2nd time).

I know it all sounds a bit negative - but overall i came back very impressed, and even after a TD of City & Civic immediately following it, i still have very good feeling about the Linea. And btw, the salesguy was very helpful.

Thanks t Opendro for the recommendation of the salesguy. The salesguy claimed it was the first TD of Linea from that branch of Concorde (which may not be really true )

Last edited by SkyWalker : 10th January 2009 at 19:35.
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Old 10th January 2009, 20:49   #6
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One observation - just like GeekSrik has mentioned. i would have loved to have airbags standard on Emotion variant (its ok if the price goes up a bit). I do not want to extra for a fancy feature like Blue-n-Me, but airbags are important.
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Old 10th January 2009, 21:26   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vid6639 View Post
Was this around 4:30-5pm at the Sarjapur road showroom?

I drove past at that time when the car was just going for a TD.
yes and no. it was around 5:45-ish. but location is same. missed seeing you in person!
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Old 10th January 2009, 22:39   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyWalker View Post
Today i visited Concorde Motors in Bangalore for a TestDrive. As much has been said about the looks & features - i wont go into too much details.

I took the drive mainly around the crowded places around and about 20 minutes in stop & go traffic. The car feels heavy in stop and go traffic, but pulls fine. I really could not rip it, but the salesguy took me to an empty private road to check acceleration & handling. Unfortunately a very small strip. As a petrolhead i wasnt very impressed with performance, but its nothing to sneer at.

The wrong side indicators are a pain. You get used to it in a few mins, but people who haven't driven an LHD - it might feel odd for sometime. I think FIAT should have corrected it. Turning radius is a pain.

I will post a TD report sometime soon - hopefully by tomorrow morning. Its been a long & tiring day as i have completed 3 TDs - Linea,City (2nd time) & Civic (2nd time).

I know it all sounds a bit negative - but overall i came back very impressed, and even after a TD of City & Civic immediately following it, i still have very good feeling about the Linea. And btw, the salesguy was very helpful.

Thanks t Opendro for the recommendation of the salesguy. The salesguy claimed it was the first TD of Linea from that branch of Concorde (which may not be really true )
Ah!! so finally you TD it. I was hoping for a better turning radius in Linea after driving the Petra ( which has quite bad turning radius IMO).

Could anybody clarify this as i aint sure :-

The airbags is not standard on Emotion and is available on Emotion Pack only??
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Old 11th January 2009, 17:37   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by opendro View Post
I also did a short test drive in the Concorde, opposite Christ College today at around 12pm.
- Pickup is very good, much better than what people project it out to be. But first gear ran out too quickly. May be we should sparingly use this only when required
- I heard that there are only four alloys. Fifth one is steel. That is bad. They should have given all five steel or alloys in Emotion pack also.
- They should have provided reverse parking sensors at least.
I also did the test drive along with Opendro. Things I noticed -
Good bits -
  • Didn't find the engine to be noisy inside during idling.
  • Navigating in traffic wasn't difficult and the turning radius wasn't an impediment, could easily take a U turn in one single try.
  • Driving in traffic is was very good, pull was great and it never felt underpowered.
  • AC chilled quite effectively.
  • Seat comfort front and rear was good.
  • Loved the arm rest and the LCD display that can be configured to display various data.
Bad bits-
  • Found the dead pedal & clutch pedal placements a little discomforting, guess they are too close together and dead pedal was too steep.
  • As many have pointed out, head room at the rear is less.
  • With two on the rear seat, visibility during reversing is hindered.
  • 4 alloys only
Hopefully the A SS is as good as the car
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Old 11th January 2009, 22:58   #10
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Has anyone in Chennai managed to get a TD of Linea? Need to cajol Concorde motors to give it for a TD.
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Old 11th January 2009, 23:18   #11
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i missed a TD this weekend due to some other issues...will have to do it soon :(
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Old 12th January 2009, 01:27   #12
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Default Fiat Linea.................. nothing else in that segment matters!

My blokes at home are worried.Very worried. They think I am crazy. I got up early from bed on a lazy Sunday morning, for a car. But then thats what passion can do to you. Being a Fiat fan, you get your fair share of praises and brick bats from the world around you, more of the latter anyways. So you really want your beloved company to do something out of the ordinary.After a seven year long wait, Fiat finally decides to dish out what is probably their most important offering in India, and by God she is beautiful...umm, the car that is. So I had to just go. Took the Churgate local from Bandra and headed straight for the Wasan Motors showroom at Marine Lines. I'll "try" and get a bit objective from here.

The showroom now has a huge Fiat logo outside and Tata vehicles have actually taken the back seat here. None of the Tata vehicles were inside the showroom. Just this sole Linea MJet Emotion+ waiting inside. And a dedicated TD vehicle outside with bright stickering on it. The TD vehicle was the Emotion variant (not emotion+). Being a Sunday, there was just this one guy taking care of everything at the showroom. And he did not have a clue about the Linea or its features. Must have learnt about a few features by the time I left from there since I was there for about 2 hours![/SIZE][/FONT]

Linea................First Impressions Exteriors:-

This thing is a mammoth, with a purposeful stance and the wheels covering the wheel arches gracefully. And the paint job, which in this case was "flamingo red" is top notch. Both the TD as well as the display vehicles had the same colour. The exterior fit and finish is splendid and much better than the ANHC,even the insides of the wheel arches have a neat black plastic cladding, unlike on the ANHC which looks shamelessly unfinished to keep costs down. On the whole, this car on first glance feels that it belongs to the Civic, Corolla, Jetta category and not its intended competition.

Linea................Interiors :-

The interiors of this Fiat are airy with great visibility all round. It may be a long car, but because of the big glass house, getting used to the bulk is not a problem. Infact, its got much better visibility than the Palio. The front seats I thought were very comfortable with good underthigh and back support with seat height adjust available. The seats at the rear are comfortable, but not as good as the NHC (dont know about ANHC but I think it should be similar to the NHC). Shoulder room is decent again.The mags and some members have mentioned that the rear head room is a bit of a problem. I am 5ft 9 inches and there was about 5 inches still to go. I dont think it would be a major cause of concern in the Indian context. The rear legroom however, is not good. I will be attaching a pic taken to show the lack of rear legroom.

More to follow later.........

Last edited by roms : 12th January 2009 at 01:33.
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Old 12th January 2009, 02:35   #13
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Linea..........Continued ............. [Ok I know this whole Linea theme of "Linea..........blah, blah" is a bit over the top now, but what the hell, I'll go with the spirit of Linea ]

So I am in the rear bench which feels a bit cramped as far as leg room is concerned with the front seat not even fully pushed back. It is surprising because you are expecting a car this big to have pretty good if not class leading leg space in the rear. I am comparing it to the Honda City again here. But it is better than the Fiesta, Verna or even SX4.

The quality of the switchgear is high grade and the materials used at most places in the cabin is great. I had attended the launch party of the Volkwagen Jetta last year. And I distinctly remember for a fact that while the top end diesel models had high quality materials for its interiors, the low end petrol model had a few rough edges around the steering console and even center console looked dull with boring black plastic. The Linea, and its purely my opinion, trumps the low end Jetta variants for cabin quality, finish, features and space. The steering wheel is another delight. Its small and you would love to hold it with both your hands while driving. The Dynamic variant that I drove was devoid of steering controls. I started fiddling with the vast expanse of gadgets available and found a few nice ones. The display in the instrument cluster shows outside temp, trip meters, languages available, service reminder, fm/cd track display. There is also this speed buzzer that you can activate and keep your driver's throttle inputs in check. Did not get to check the Dynamic variant's Blue & Me system since they had not received the software code required to activate it. The incabin lights for the front and rear have a soft glow and you have right and left toggle switches for passengers on each side. The key fob is a work of art as well.

Linea...........the drive :-

After loving the detailing and the efforts made by Fiat to make a great quality car, you expect the drive to be a revelation. The Linea misses the mark sadly. Its pretty refined at start up and while vibrations and harshness are at a minimal, the engine noise makes itself audible at almost all engine speeds, except when cruising in higher gears. Turbo lag is pretty obvious when starting off the line and there is virtually no grunt uptil the 2K rpm mark. It does'nt matter whether you feather the throttle or mash it to the floor, it will it take its own sweet time to pick up and start showing some decent progress. In gear driveability is good though, provided you keep it above the 2K mark and below the 4K mark, above which the engine gets pretty noisy. The Swift Diesel still makes the best possible use of this 1.3 MJet engine, although it is light, but it is a good 15bhp down on power as well. The VGT employed in the Linea does not give a firm push in the back and though its cruising abilities cant be doubted, I think this engine may run out of breath while overtaking faster cars on the highway. I was easily touching the 4K mark on a regular basis without bothering the speedo too much.

Continued.......

Last edited by roms : 12th January 2009 at 02:37.
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Old 12th January 2009, 03:14   #14
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Coming to the Linea's forte, its ride and handling. This car's ride and handling is so good, the chassis so competent, it begs for a 150 bhp engine upfront. The steering feel is good, but it does feel a bit vague at very slow speeds. As the speed picks up, the steering starts communicating. The suspension set up is in typical Euro fashion, stiff at low speeds but great for smothering undulations at higher speeds. The setup is even better than in the Palio, not too soft, not too stiff, just perfect. Some amount of road noise does filter in the cabin on cement roads though. The new gearbox feels very similar to the ones employed in the Swift, precise but with a little long throw. The Automatic climate control does its job well and cools down the cabin within a matter of few seconds, the rear a/c vent helps as well.

Linea........ I am tired of typing now :-

There is no denying the fact that this car is the "potential" segment leader. It is a well rounded package. If I was in the maket for a sedan, would I consider it? I came back home and went out in my Palio for a spin. Within the first few moments came the answer - No I would'nt..atleast not till Fiat gives us enthusiasts a chance to rejoice with the 1.9 Mjet or 1.4 TJet. There are rumours of the 120 bhp 1.9 Mjet being made available within the first few months itself. Now that would be the real deal.

Pictures to be uploaded tomorrow.
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Old 12th January 2009, 10:00   #15
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Hi Guys
I went to tayal Motors here in Faridabad. They are Tata-Fiat Authorised dealers.
They didn't have a Linea available for display even, but since i have a friend there, i managed to get a look of the car kept secretly at their stockyard.
It was a base model Silver Linea's diesel variant
Here are my observations from the first encounter with Linea.
1. The car looks huge and bigger than ANHC, Verna, Fiesta and may be even SX4.
2. Rear headroom is a bit cramped.
3. The car's front seems a bit ugly if you look at it from closely. It snoots out from the rest of the car.
4. I could not see any provisions for number plates in the car. Probably coz it was a TD vehicle.
5. The interior quality in base model was not good.
6. the doors were closing with a jarring noise to my surprise, however they had a heavy feel.
7. The wheels are huge and show no cost cutting as in case of ANHC.
8. Started the engine and the diesel clatter was very much there.On the inside the sound was not much audible untill you rev it.
9. The panel below the wiper assembly had a very cheap rubbery feel to it.
10. Headlights and tails lights look awesome.
11. The engine assembly is covered from below and is a real good thing.
12. Boot is huge and can take up good amount of luggage.
13. Being a base variant the centre console did not have any frills. The console reminded me of the basic one like one present in Indica V2.

Overall the exterior looks OK to me but i was not much impressed with the fit and finish of the car.
Would go again to see the top end version and i sincerely hope the top end variant doesn't have this interior quality. I have a lot of hopes from linea to quash the monopoly of Honda and its dealers
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