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|3rd September 2009, 18:09||#1|
Join Date: Apr 2006
Thanked: 7 Times
Inizio della seconda storia d'amore con un italiano di belleza. La sua Fiat Linea!
The header means - Its the start of second lover affair with an Italian beauty, its FIAT Linea.
Before I start my review, let me tell you, this is purely my opinion on the cars, and I do not remain responsible for any choices you may make post reading this article.
I have owned Maruti 800, Santro, Fiat Adventure and presently own Honda City (2009). I was planning to buy and new car and I was stuck between Corolla Altis and Linea.
Fiat Linea - Looks are one of the best in any car on the road as on today up-to a price level of upto 15lacs. External finish of the car is superb. The door trims, chrome handles, side moulding, bumper guards are very elegantly placed and worth the looks. Linea takes your breath away at its looks, there is no doubt and no one will disagree on this. Even the ardent FIAT haters will vouch for the looks of the car. The side indicators cover the entire bi-parabola headlamp area when switched on and give a classy look to the front of the car. The car has a follow me head lamp feature, which will remain on even after you are out of the car and will switch off after few seconds, depending on how you program it. This is for your convenience, when you are parking in the dark. The rear boot has a hydraulic release (My Honda City and also the corolla has a manual metal clamp for the rear boot. The rear boot cover is well protected with carpet matt, with Fiat written on it. The boot space is 500 litres. The Italians have taken great care to ensure to give a foldable spare wheel cover holder, so that, when you are getting the spare wheel out, you don't have to hold the spare wheel top cover with your hand. (Very good, I saw this in Volkswagen Jetta and also in Chevrolet Optra)
Interior could have been done better in terms of quality of plastic. This is only when, you compare this car to Honda City/Civic, Corolla Altis, Optra (top end) and Skoda. All others in that segment, such as Fiesta, SX4, Verna etc. are either similar in interior quality of inferior to Linea. I have compared the interior quality of the car with that of 100% imported Fiat 500, and found that, the quality of almost same. It shows, Fiat is giving the similar quality what they are selling in Western Europe market. Interior space is generous. Though, the rear space could have been better. The dash board, door trims are very well done. Fiat has taken care to give chrome plated internal door handles as well. All 4 power windows are one touch down (Not seen in the 12 lac plus Corolla and Skoda). Only the driver's window is one touch up as well. A very significant feature such as impulse down is missing in Linea (This means, the window of the driver seat will go down automatically if there is any obstacle between the window and glass. There is a rear sun shade. The rear A/C vent is a great feature though the quality of plastic of the vent could have been better. The top end (Emotion PK) version has vents below the front passenger seat as well to give leg cooling to its rear passengers (Great thinking). The front cabin light has laser lights to give you the view of the gear box area, just in case you do not want to switch on the cabin light. Of course, we all know about the Blue&Me and Advanced My Car options anyways. The driver side arm rest is well placed and usable. (Unlike Honda City, where its of no use). Rear arm rest is not of very good quality, but solves the purpose. The music system is adequate, but produces jarring sounds when go beyond volume level 20. Well, at 20, its good enough to wake up you neighbour though. I found the music system in Honda and Corolla better. The seating is OK, could have been better. The seat height adjustment lever and the sear back rest lever are of poor plastic quality. But they solve the purpose.
Now Let's come to the Heart , first the DIESEL - Well, the diesel engine is remarkably smooth and produces lesser noise that usual diesel. The cabin noise is also insignificant (At least in the car which I drove, that had done 10000 plus kms and very poorly maintained, as it was a test drive car). The diesel engine responds well, but responds like a horse after 1500 RPM. It pulls the car to a great extend. You tend to forget, you are driving the 86HP car which is close to 1300kgs. The handling is marvellous. The car's suspension is just like any other Fiat. Ride of the car is superb. It rides beyond 120kmph with ease. All those who need more power than this, must look elsewhere, because they must not be driving in city. I was convinced that, this car is more than adequate in city and will give decent power on the highway. The car's steering feels excellent but little heavy as its a hydraulic power steering. The car returns more than 13kmpl in city and close to 20kmpl on the highway. I started the petrol engine as well as the diesel engine to check the differential noise levels. But, remarkably the diesel, obviously noisier than the petrol was much less noisier than usual diesel. I was quite impressed with the refinement of this engine.[/COLOR]
...and Petrol - My brother-in-law owns petrol and while he is very happy with the car otherwise, always remains dissatisfied with the knee-jerk pick up which he is looking for. Frankly, I was not expecting much out of this engine. This car also had done about 9500 on the ODO. I drove the car. To my surprise, the car was responding decently. On a pure 0 rpm when you revv the engine, the engine responded pretty well in 1st gear but on 2nd gear with a soft clutch there was a little lag in response. But with a heavy clutch and high acceleration, the 2nd gear also responded quite nicely. 3rd gear onwards, the car was in control. It’s a good engine for adequate city drive. If you love drag race on the highway and get a kick leaving other cars behind from the moment you are on 1st gear, then this is not the car for you. But if you are practical, and think that, reaching 0-100kmph faster than anyone else in the world is not much of your life's priority, then this is a fairly placed engine. All those, who have written about this engine to be poor, have forgotten the 77BHP Honda City engine which was sluggish but pulled through by thousands in the country. Ditto for Skoda Octavia diesel, which produced 90BHP for a 1270kg car and many bought it without complaining about the engine. Its all in the mind. I was franky confused between the two, as I did not find great difference between the two. The company offers 2+2 year warranty. The service interval is 15K kms.
Honestly, diesel engine was peppier, but comes 1.25 lacs costlier (approx.). Hence, if you drive less than 40kms a day, petrol will solve the purpose. But if more, diesel is a sure recommendation. (I have done the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Calculation for 5 years on Linea Petrol and Diesel, where I found that, if you are driving about 1200 kms a month, considering the finance cost, petrol/diesel cost, cost of maintenance, resale value etc., the TCO comes almost the same for both the cars despite the diesel being 1.25 lacs costlier). I have a Honda city which produces 118BHP @ 6600 RPM. But the car feels very shaky beyond 100kmph and also the engine becomes noisy once you cross 100kmph. It has got very poor back seat ride and the overall ride is very bumpy in the Honda City. (Those who prefer their driver's to drive, please think twice before going in for the new Honda City). What's point of you feel so in such a powerful car? On the contrary, Linea @ 160kmph makes you feel rock solid. I have been driving a Fiat Adventure which had 100BHP @ 5500 rpm, I found the Linea's petrol engine slightly underpowered than that one, and not to a great extent. The torque in the diesel is excellent which will give the initial pick up which you will miss in the petrol, if you enjoying frequent knee-jerk pick ups.
Verdict: It’s a value for money car. VFM cars normally do not extend the luxury you are looking for, but Linea is VFM with loads of luxury. I never faced any issues with Fiat service (given by Tata) in last 3 years. And they have only become better. Fiat, worldwide is doing better than most of the car manufacturers. In Europe, they are growing faster than any other. They have gained 3 positions & are 4th largest in Europe from 7th position few years ago. They are 6th largest worldwide after Fiat took over Chrysler. That calls for a reason that, its India plan will be in place, I think. Whether you agree or not, it's a MUST EVALUATE car when your budget is anything between 7 lacs to 12 lacs. Whether you will buy it, will depend on so many other things
Finally, with a lot of thought and deliberation, I decided to go for Fiat Linea Emotion PK petrol, flamenco red colour. My ownership experience is mentioned below
Dealer Satisfaction : - 10/10 (Interacted with Pratik from Concorde Motors, Prabhadevi)
Timely Delivery : - 10/10 (It was delivered on the promised date)
Initial Ownership Experience : 10/10
KMs driven : - 850 kms in last 10 days (mileage : approx. 10kmpl in Mumbai city with 100% AC on)
Complaints (if any) : - None so far
Additional Accessories :- Fiat branded tissue paper holder (from e-bay), Door sill protectors (Rs. 450/-), Leather seat covers (INR 24,000/- from Orchis Leather Works, Mumbai), perfume (220/-), compass (150/-), Mobile holder (500/-), Large view mirror (has been with me for last 8 years), Full floor mats including dickey mat (Rs. 1050/-), Crome door guards (Rs. 150/-)
So, the second lover affair with the Italian beauty has just begun….hope this one is more exciting that the 1st one.
Last edited by omar1310 : 3rd September 2009 at 18:14. Reason: Spelling mistakes
|3rd September 2009, 18:19||#3|
Join Date: Jun 2009
Thanked: 73 Times
Omar, it makes reading really difficult with those [FONT],COLOR], etc. You have to remove those formatting. Anyways congrats on your Linea. Post some pics of your car.
|3rd September 2009, 18:23||#4|
Join Date: Jan 2006
Thanked: 13 Times
Congrats Omar! Somehow in this forum, when there is anything told about Linea and Punto, English seems to suffer . Not sure why people dont use Japanese, Korean or German when they buy other cars.
|3rd September 2009, 18:50||#7|
Join Date: Feb 2005
Thanked: 1,037 Times
Linea is a great value proposition and cant write enough about the looks... it makes you a poet! But the Fiat branded mud flaps are an eye sore, too big.
Congrats on your purchase.
|3rd September 2009, 19:45||#10|
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Thanked: 17 Times
|3rd September 2009, 20:06||#11|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: New Delhi
Thanked: 1,406 Times
Welcome to Linea club..
After a long gap we are again seeing a bout of fresh Linea initial ownership reviews.
I also have a 1.4 Linea and the engine analysis you have done is perfect. The MJD is quite torquier engine but if you dont hesitate to downshift quickly then driving the 1.4 is also fun revving hard till 4-5k RPM.
|3rd September 2009, 22:21||#13|
Join Date: Jan 2009
Thanked: 0 Times
Congrats omar. Welcome, you have arrived to the Linea-club in style with the pics and all!
Going by power to weight ratios bhp/ton:
Linea FIRE: 90/1240: 72.5
Linea MJD: 86/1291: 66.6
Higher power-to-weight and also no turbo-lag in Linea-FIRE. All this should mean that the Linea-FIRE should be more powerful to drive than the Linea-MJD.
Hey I know that the MJD has higher torque, but still why do people call the petrol Linea as lackluster when compared to MJD?
Last edited by neotraveller : 3rd September 2009 at 22:30.
|3rd September 2009, 22:35||#14|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: New Delhi
Thanked: 1,406 Times
You gotta drive both MJD and 1.4 Linea back to back to know the difference.
Fire Linea is called lacklustre because there is no torque at all near 1500 RPM where it takes a lot of time to pick up in 3rd or 4th gear if RPM drops below 2k rpm.
The initial pickup of the mjd is much much better than the fire because its a diesel, has a Variable geometry turbo. I have driven one and its really a good engine, if i had sold off my Scorpio i would have definitely bought the MJD but my monthly running doesnt require a diesel + i am very hesistant in taking Linea to crowded markets as am scared of 2 wheelers
|4th September 2009, 12:59||#15|
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Navi Mumbai
Thanked: 11 Times
Congrats Omar! so the love for FIAT still remains untouched after owning a Adventure!
Fantastic ownership review, everything summed up!
I saw your Advy on sale. What happened to it? I had referred someone from team bhp to yours long back.
Its always been a pure love and hate relationship when you own a FIAT car, i dont know why. There is something that holds you always to own it once again..
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