Fiat Linea Performance & First Drive

Fiat Linea Overview

Fiat Linea received a more powerful variant to its range ‘125 S’, delivering upgraded power akin to its name. Based on the regular Linea, it sources power from the 1.4 litre T-jet petrol engine calibrated to produce 123bhp of power as against the 87bhp developed by the regular petrol variant. Other than this, the sedan comes in two more variants powered by the 1.4 litre petrol and 1.3 litre Advanced Multijet diesel engine. Aesthetically, it looks largely similar to the standard model, sporting additional features. View offers on Fiat Cars from Fiat dealers in Hyderabad at Autozhop

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Rivalling the likes of Hyundai Verna and Honda City in the C segment, Linea gets a new 123bhp 1.4 litre T-Jet petrol engine making it the most powerful sedan in the segment. The diesel range draws power from the 1.3 litre Multijet engine pumping out 90bhp and petrol variants plonk a 1.4 litre Fire petrol engine making 87bhp. All these engines are mated to the five-speed manual transmission missing out on the auto-box. On the feature front, Linea sports a new 5-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Map my India navigation, Bluetooth, USB and AUX connectivity. It also comes with goodies including rear view camera, dual stage driver airbags, rear disc brakes and ambient lighting.

Fiat Linea Look

Fiat Linea exudes an international appeal in the style statement it carries which makes it a head turner wherever it goes. The front as well as rear overhangs seem quite proportionate which is one of the biggest advantage in its aerodynamic structure. The front looks quite sophisticated with a chrome plated front that proudly carries Fiat badge in between.The twin pod headlights are carefully underlined by a pair of fog lights that improve vision in misty foggy times. The side profile is a combination of sophistication and muscle. The beefed wheel arches gradually merge into the waistline. The 16’inch alloy wheels looks stunning and play an important role in defining its distinct style statement.

The stylishly protruding electrical ORVMs, clutch style door handles and a nicely embellished C pillar gives a coupe-like look to this sedan. The rear profile looks equally attractive with a large boot lid, chrome linings, and three light clusters of tail lamps. The ground clearance of 165mm accompanied by a strong suspension makes it a suitable option in terms of Indian roads. Fiat currently offers this sedan in seven vibrant colors which adds another feather to its cap.

Fiat Linea Comfort

The interiors have a similar tale to tell. Instead of featuring a sporty all-black layout, you get the same (read: safe) beige and black combo with a few silver and piano black accents thrown in for good measure. The updated dashboard design from the 2014 version manages to look chic even now. The fit, finish and quality levels are above average in most places and will give you very little reason to complain. We like the orange ambient lighting that lends a nice, warm and not to mention welcoming feel to the cabin. With the 125 S, the interiors have been left untouched. That means you still get the leather upholstery, super supportive front seats and slightly awkward ergonomics. And, in spite of being the longest car in its class, legroom or headroom at the rear bench isn’t the best there is. Seating two six-footers back to back can be a bit of a squeeze and three people will struggle to settle alongside each other in the rear bench.

The only addition to the cabin is the 5-inch touchscreen infotainment unit. The system supports a variety of inputs including Bluetooth, AUX and USB. However, the screen size is a tad too small and the interface feels dated — especially when you compare it to its rivals that offer Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink. Also, Fiat says the screen is reverse camera compatible; however, the camera itself isn’t a part of the standard kit. That said, audio quality is really crisp and we can imagine calm long drives with some soothing music on the radio. On the practicality front, the Linea continues to sport a rather awkwardly placed sunglass holder, slim door pockets and a few more cubby holes in the floor console between the front seats. Boot space is rated at a gigantic 500 litres that is more than adequate to swallow most of the airport-run luggage.

Fiat Linea Gearbox

Interestingly, the 125 S feels faster than it actually is. For example, you feel like you are at 130kmph when the speedo is actually hovering at around 90kmph. The top speed we recorded was about 190kmph on the clocks with a little more to go. How does she feel compared to the now discontinued 114PS Linea T-Jet? This reflects in the acceleration numbers 0-100kmph in 10.4s compared to the T-Jet’s 11.08s. Like the Abarth siblings, the 125 S struggles to set a quick 0-100kmph time because of huge and wasteful wheelspin in first gear. A 0-100kmph number is not fully indicative of this car’s performance because it has a very strong midrange, upwards of 2,000rpm and feels faster than any other segment rivals. But all this comes at the expense of fuel efficiency. Fiat claims 14.2kmpl but don’t hold your breath. The best we could get was 8.3kmpl in the city and 13.1kmpl on the highway. In our three days with the car, I saw an all time low efficiency of 5.1kmpl on the display. Alarming indeed and wallet busting too!

But again, you will not buy an Abarth or T-Jet for the fuel efficiency. She delivers on the thrills point. While being a total sleeper, she will be a pleasant surprise to other Linea owners when you go like a banshee. She can cruise effortlessly on the highway with 100kmph being held at 2,300rpm. In traffic though you have to slip the clutch a bit to avoid stalling her, something I learnt the hard way.The 125PS/210Nm 1.4-litre turbopetrol motor is the same from the old Linea T-Jet, but in a higher state of tune. There is turbolag but it’s bearable. The best part is the sharp all-disc brake set-up. Considering the zingy performance for a sub-Rs 12 lakh sedan, the Fiat Linea 125 S can shed speeds rapidly and confidently. In traffic, the sharp brakes (discs all around) take some time getting used to.

Fiat Linea Rideing

Low-speed ride is a strong point with the Fiat. The well-tuned suspension does just enough to not upset the cabin when bad roads raise their ugly heads. Moreover, the healthy 190mm of ground clearance gives you that extra bit of confidence whilst tackling broken terrain. The flipside is that the soft suspension tends to make the ride slightly ‘floaty’ once you move into triple-digit speeds. We’re sure a set of stiffer springs will make the Linea a lot more fun, especially around a set of twisties. The steering is heavier than you’d expect and will make parking a chore. That said, it knows what the 205 section tyres are up to, and it tells you exactly that. Grip from the stock tyres is just about acceptable, but, we don’t see them lasting too long if you keep slamming the throttle in first. The tyres, along with the disc brakes do a swell job of getting the 125 S to a dead halt. The brakes bite in sharply (a bit too sharply if I may add) for very little pedal travel. This, too, gets a bit of getting used to.

Fiat Linea Safety

Braking and safety, both these aspects have been looked well by Fiat in Linea. The halting of front wheels is supported by disc brakes while the rear wheels have been awarded with drum brakes. The larger diameter of disc brakes allows instantaneous deceleration of car while the safety aspect in sudden braking is looked into by Anti Lock braking System (ABS) and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) system that distributes braking force equally to all four wheels preventing sliding and squealing of tyres. Other measures taken to ensure safety of its passengers include an Anti-theft engine immobilizer, Fire Prevention System (FPS), 3 safety headrests, programmable speed limit that helps controlling speed of the car, digital door open indicator, power steering, and double crank prevention system.

Fiat Linea Price in Hyderabad

Fiat Linea Ex-Showroom Price in Hyderabad ranges from 7,59,778/- (Linea 1.4L Active Fire) to 10,67,046/- (Linea 1.4L Emotion). Get best offers for Fiat Linea from Fiat Dealers in Hyderabad. Check for Fiat Linea price in Hyderabad at Carzprice

Fiat Linea Bottomline

Fiat doesn’t intend to sell huge volumes with the new Linea 125 S. In fact, we wonder how many cars Fiat plans to sell at all, considering that the brand has not had a single functioning showroom in Mumbai (of all places!) for well over a year now. Nevertheless, 125 S is a decently specced car but doesn’t offer anything staggeringly new over the competition, apart from some added performance and a subsequent loss in efficiency.It will be a niche car which will likely be brought by an enthusiast or an existing Fiat owner. It though remains to be seen how it will fare against the Volkswagen Vento TSI in terms of performance. But let’s reserve that for later. The talking point of this car then remains its timeless form, that enthusiastic motor and sharp handling. Just like its Abarth siblings then.

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