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8 years with my Fiat Linea T-Jet: Ownership experience

As someone once said, the Fiat Linea makes the bad roads good and good roads velvety.

BHPian abhi_tjet recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

This is with regards to my ownership of a FIAT Linea T-JET – Emotion variant (top end). It's a November ‘13 manufactured and January ’14 registered vehicle. I booked it in mid-December and took delivery on 4th Jan 2014 from Pandit Auto, Pune.

Since the production of this vehicle is long stopped and FIAT as a brand isn’t selling vehicles anymore, I am pretty sure it’s not going to help any people planning to buy a new car. However, if someone is going to consider FIAT as a used car (generally available dirt cheap or some ‘FIAT enthusiasts’), this log may cheer them up a bit.

Mine is now 7 years 8 months old and the honeymoon period is long over. On that note, below are the key takeaways.

Likes:

Looks – Looks can be subjective. However, yet to find a person who says they can’t digest its looks or hate it. Second glance guaranteed in this magnificent Oceanic Blue paint. It might look dated to some now but pleasing nevertheless. I still can stare at it for hours admiring its elegance. No bad angles for this beauty.

The overall design, ORVM’s, headlight, taillight, alloy wheel design, etc is just awesome.

Engine – The 1.4 T-JET with its 207 nm of torque (delivered at 2200 rpm) is a cracker of an engine. Lag is felt only when you are facing slope and rpm falls below 1500 in 3rd/4th gear.

To give perspective, it’s much better to drive on a city/highway than a Jeep Compass Petrol. The Compass engine is very ‘laggy’ till 2K rpm and flies after that. At least this was observed by me in my test drive of BS6 Compass petrol AT. Unmentionable speeds can be attained very easily in Linea with or without load.

Features – For its time, Linea was loaded with features - Blue&ME, ACC, Leather seats, 16-inch alloy wheels with 205/55 R16 tires, all-wheel disc, a cavernous boot are just to name a few.

Build Quality/Safety – Linea has spoiled me. It has just fabulous build quality. Approaching 8 years with approx 62K km on the odometer and no major rattles or squeaks from the cabin. It still feels fresh and safe.

While looking for a smaller AT city car for my wife/parents in 2018, I was not able to like any vehicle apart from Ford/Tata. I still remember how aghast I was after the test drive of Baleno/Ignis. Build quality was not much different from my ’98 M800 (no disrespect to the owners) and felt tinny. I finally went ahead with Tiago as per the compromises.

Further, just compare the boot heft of Linea with its contemporary.

Ride Quality – As a reviewer said, Linea makes the bad roads good and good roads - velvety. Nothing much to add here then.

Need to plan for size.

Dimensions – For me, the bigger the better. Linea’s design is a flowy, curvy one with no attempt to restrict the size and it shows. No sharp crease and cuts. I like it. You need to plan carefully before parking it though. Chances are it will overshoot the parking space allotted.

Brakes – All wheel discs do help here to stop the 1.25-ton behemoth. The brake pedal feel is very good and progressive. Not at all spongy like our erstwhile 1.4 MPFI Indica.

Steering – The set-up is to die for. The wonderfully calibrated hydraulic setup complements the Linea’s wonderful chassis and suspension set-up.
Communicates the road perfections as well as imperfections clearly to the driver. Whether it’s a good or bad thing, it’s an individual’s pick. However, I have heard the 2nd gen. Fiesta one was better.

Ground Clearance – FIAT advertised the GC of Linea as 190 mm. I can vouch for the same since it has barely scraped the underbody in the ownership timeline. This doesn’t mean it hasn’t. There were some unscientific ones that kissed the underbody.

Could be better:

Gearbox – The fly in the ointment. Since I upgraded from an M800/ Indica, it is ok for me. However, I can totally relate if someone upgrading from Swift curses it. This degrades the experience and is nothing to write home about.

Space Management – Despite it being the largest in the class, it's not that spacious and lacks a few cubbyholes here and there. Spaces-wise, no major problem for average build people (till around 5ft8in) though. Definitely not a 5 seater.

Part quality – Mine is from the late 2013 batch so all niggles were already sorted. However, there are some odd parts/areas which are not up to the mark. For eg – the ac vents (front/back) are very fragile. Luckily, no damage till now.

Engine compartment – Air intake placement doesn’t seem optimum. Intercooler size is smaller than what FIAT offers in other countries. This is even though India faces higher ambient temperatures. Fuel economy and acceleration suffer during bumper to bumper traffic as a result.

Turning circle – It requires a 3-point turn if not carefully planned at most places. Wish it could be a bit better.

Dislikes:

No reverse parking sensors as a factory fitment. FIAT corrected it in the 2014 facelift. This was available as an official accessory and it was the only accessory in my car till recent times.

Service quality - With only 1 official service station in most of the cities, this is bound to suffer. In Pune, this is not much of a problem since there is a workshop owned by ex Pandit FASS guys.

Parts availability – Mechanical parts availability is still ok. However, cabin(plastic) parts such as sun visors are not available easily. I am waiting for the one for quite a long time.

Weight issues/Fuel economy – With weight tipping almost 1250 kg and a turbo petrol engine you will never see 18 km/l on MID unless it’s a flat straight expressway and you are using cruise control with a speed less than 100. I, on my highway trips generally get 13-14 km/l as per tankful. MID is optimistic by 0.5 km/l.

The first major milestone achieved last year in March '20 along with the typical fuel economy.

Continue reading for abhi_tjet's ownership review for BHPian comments, insights & more information.

 
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