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|6th April 2009, 05:49||#1|
'Emotionally Packed' - 1.3 MJD Linea Emotion Pk.... finally (whew!!)
It had been exactly 60 days from the time that the booking for our linea was registered and paid up for till the date it was finally delivered…
This intervening time has been fraught with fighting, arguing, threatening, losing my cool (with the dealership and the bank) and endless frustration. Fiat dealers seem to have all gone on a crash course of, “how can we make a truly memorable car buying experience complete hell for our car buying customers.”
It is now here and I am glad for it! Our Flamenco Red Fiat Linea 1.3 Multijet (Emotion Pack) was finally delivered on the 30th of March 2009. I traveled out of the country on that morning, so my wife duly went to complete all the formalities and picked up the gleaming little lady in the evening. The Linea replaces a well loved and much abused 6 year old Palio 1.2 sport and is for the use of the wifey…
Much has already been written about the car already, so I am unlikely to add anything dramatically new or news worthy.
What I will say is that on this forum, all of us seem to be direct descendants from the gene pool of Michael Schumacher. When we test drive cars costing between 6-10 lakhs, anything short of Scaglietti levels of grip and acceleration is promptly written off as underpowered and not worth the hype created. Fit and finish levels less than that of a Bentley Azure are shoddy… All I ask is please be realistic. This is aimed at FIAT, FORD, TATA, HONDA, GM bashers in equal measure…
Now that I have that off my chest – here is the verdict. We drove the car to the nearest Mandir in the evening yesterday, where she was ceremoniously blessed and coconut water sprayed on!!! Having owned a Palio prior to this, I can safely say that the fit, finish and the general quality of the interiors have improved by pretty much 100%. The Palio was a rugged little thing but fairly functional in its approach to motoring. The Linea puts in a whole lot of refinement and oomph into essentially the already strong Palio package.
In terms of driving it, there is a distinct reluctance to pull strongly till the 1400-1500 rpm range. If you coax her politely, the lag is far less noticeable but if you want power on tap – it is not there; period. Once you’ve got past the 1500 rpm mark, she will pull like a large locomotive pretty much till the 3.6-4K rpm mark – keep her in this band and she is an entertaining drive.
Apart from that, the steering is very nicely weighted and the car responds to minute steering inputs very accurately. Again, the way the driving dynamics are set up, you will tend to cruise in the Linea more happily than when you are pedal to the metal, trying to qualify for the next WRC!! There is a distinctly audible diesel thrum in the car and I really like the way it turns into a rorty, throaty bark as you rev the car during quick overtaking. But yes, the cabin is not as well insulated from the noise of the engine as people would expect of a car in this price band. I enjoy hearing the engine – some others won’t.
You WILL feel the weight of the car, there is just no way around that except to be driving a peppy 1.9 ltr multijet version or a massively boosted petrol engine variant of the car. Unfortunately, the minority of people who will be willing to pay the price for those engines and corresponding drop in mileage figures for the same, is so minute in our country, FIAT will not cater to this market of its own accord.
The Blue and Me is a gimmick, but having said that – name one other car maker (even substantially more expensive) that has a similar product even as an option. Please don’t start throwing bmw’s, mercs and audis into the fray here. Again – be realistic.
I have paired my wifes phone as well as my own and it is very funky to have a car speak to you!!! Dialing out is simple and the voice quality is crystal clear. The system is relatively simple to get used to and after sitting with it for a bit, you will figure out most of the basics yourself…(having said that, I had to finally go back into the manual(s) to figure out the code to pair blue and me to the phone!) my 30 gb ipod has not loaded onto the system yet because there is almost 20 gb if music on it. So i now need to get a 2 gb usb stick and load stuff onto that, to use as my default music player in the car.
As reported on earlier threads, the speakers are rubbish! That is one of the only three mods I have planned in the very near future. The others being some nice rich dark brown leather seat covers and a set of xenos sensors front and back. The car cries out for that!!! The audio system is easy to operate and simple to read and understand. It ingests single cd’s from the front and if your little heart so desires, you can hook up a cd changer etc to the system as well.
The boot can swallow a whole host of things but owing to the shape (i.e. deep and narrow) as well as hugely intrusive rear wheel wells, putting in bulky long items (fitting two full size golf bags yesterday was ‘interesting’!!!) can be a test of patience. But it will take 3 full size suitcases and a couple of small duffels with room to spare, no problem.
Design elements on the exteriors abound and the ones that I am really fond of are the way the rear bumper travels almost vertically down the wheel arch, making a distinctive side profile. The tail lamps and the rear in general are a work of fluidity and grace. The 2 quarter glasses (front and rear) give the entire glass house a vaguely coupe ‘ish’ look and I daresay, a 3 door version of the linea will cut a very impressive swath! I continue to feel as I did when I first laid eyes on her, the front comes across as very streamlined and narrow, while the rear becomes buxom and curvy. This is classic Italian styling – emotive, easy on the eye, laidback and effortlessly chic.
The interiors are a nice place to be in, although I do think the seats are a little bit TOO firm for my liking. Like fiats of the past, the switchgear and control stalks are chunky and well made. The plastics covering the central facia are certainly suspect, but they are definitely not shoddy. My Palio had shoddy plastics on the facia – this is better. Not by much…but better! I quite like the orange backlighting and at night, you are bathed in a gentle orange glow from all the orange coming off the front of the car!!! It might not be to everyones taste but it does make the cockpit look quite distinctive.
Just realised that I have really rambled, so will now finish off. We waited pretty much 2 years for the Linea to arrive and I almost ran out of patience and just bought a Fiesta instead. Having bought the parents a Fiesta SXI last year, almost tipped it for me as well, but I am glad we had the patience to wait.
This is a well sorted, grown up car which in my opinion is really good value for money. We paid 8,77,000 and change on road in Delhi and as far as I’m concerned, its 8,77,000 Rupees well spent! We own a Safari as well and people may be forgiven to think that we bat for the underdogs; but I am really tired of people bashing the Linea and proclaiming death for FIAT on the basis of the 15 mins spent in the car as a test drive, ‘ripping’ it as some will say. It is unrealistic and unfair to make cast iron opinions in 15 mins or less. I suppose FIAL has itself to blame for this mess, but I sincerely hope the Linea changes that.
Stay safe and drive sane motorheads.
|6th April 2009, 07:22||#4|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Dec 2007
Thanked: 216 Times
Congrats! Man, you baby is shining like hell. I think this is the best color in Linea.
OT: Offlate I do see the Skoda guys putting ad in of their car in this color.
|6th April 2009, 08:07||#8|
Join Date: Mar 2009
Thanked: 201 Times
congrats mate!!. i have also booked a flamenco red emotion pack petrol linea. couldnt wait to get my hands on it
|6th April 2009, 08:48||#9|
Join Date: Jan 2006
Thanked: 129 Times
Great review and super pictures! Boy am I jealous !! Enjoy your new car! It really is awesome.
|6th April 2009, 09:02||#11|
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: New Delhi
Thanked: 152 Times
The car looks stunning in the particular colour.
BTB, a advice, the 'Swastik' thing that you have on the bonnet, I advice you to remove it soon as you can or else it will leave some permanent mark even after you will try removing it after 2-3 days.
We are facing the same problem with one of our cars.
|6th April 2009, 09:34||#12|
i wanted the sky blue colour which is slated to come later in the year, but wifey not keen. also, since the car had to come now, this was pretty much the only option between the available colours...
i shall take the swastik off today, since the car will get a full douching with water and a wipe down. hopefully there will be no permanent markings left there-after
cheers guys and thanks for the wishes.
Last edited by Rudra Sen : 11th April 2009 at 11:56. Reason: Removed bold tags
|6th April 2009, 10:08||#13|
Join Date: Nov 2007
Thanked: 5 Times
congratz bit the bullet
indeed a damn good review,straight from the heart!
nice pics too.
do post a initial review with fuel economy figures.
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