In order to make way for the new-gen Linea in our market, Fiat had to choose between two options; either to discontinue the previous generation of Linea or sell both cars alongside each other. Wisely, Fiat has gone for the latter option which seems to be very beneficial for the company. Rather than ditching the original Linea, Fiat rechristened and repositioned this car in our market as a much more affordable entry level sedan; now known as the Linea Classic. This idea was quite similar to what Ford did in our market with their Fiesta. The new Classic is now a big threat to a new segment of cars out of which most of the cars don't even stand close to Linea Classic in terms of size and ride capability. This happened thanks to a few cosmetic and cost-cutting changes made by Fiat along with a slight shuffle in the engine line-up. Interestingly, the Classic still retains both its 1.4 litre petrol and 1.3 litre Multijet diesel engines. Then what——s the catch?
The Linea Classic retains both its famous engines from the previous generation but with new technical specifications. The Linea Classic in no more available with the T-jet technology and only features the standard 1.4 litre, DOHC, 4 cylinder petrol engine which has a power output of 89 bhp. The torque output of this engine is 115 Nm, which is achieved at 4500 RPM. Apart from the petrol engine, the Linea Classic in also available with the reliable and much acclaimed 1.3 litre Multijet diesel engine which now churns out a power output of 75 bhp, which is 15 bhp less than before. This engine does so by ditching the Variable Geometry Turbocharger for the much more economical fixed geometry configuration to lower costs. This type of turbocharger is mostly used in hatchbacks and entry level sedans including the segment ruler, the Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire. This 4 cylinder, DOHC engine delivers a torque output of 197 Nm which starts coming in as early as 1750 RPM. Fiat claims a fuel efficiency of 14.9 kpl and 19.5 kpl for its petrol and diesel engines respectively. Both these engines are offered with a five-speed manual gearbox. When you ride both these engines in city conditions you would notice more turbo lag in the petrol engine compared to the diesel engine as it also requires frequent gear shifts to keep this heavy built car on the move. The car also retains its same solid suspension system which offers brilliant high speed stability along with a well weighted steering which gives positive feedback at high speeds. Big potholes and uneven roads don——t bother you much inside the Classic. This is one of the few sedans available in our market which, despite having a high ground clearance (185 mm), still manages to give a steady ride on highways while shifting lanes at high speed. The only difference in ride quality is felt when you hit corners hard and that's only because it now rides on smaller 14 inch wheels in comparison to 15 inch wheels that were used before on the Linea.
Apart from the smaller wheels, there are almost no exterior changes made to the Linea Classic and it looks as stylish and glamorous as ever. The pointed nose, double barrel headlamps and rising boot is what makes this car look attractive from every angle. With a 2603 mm wheelbase and 500 litres of boot space, the car offers best-in-class legroom for all its passengers and luggage capacity. The petrol version is only available in a single variant while the diesel version is available in two variants with a choice of five different colours. As far as features are concerned - AC, all four power windows, manually adjustable ORVMs, adjustable rear headrests, power steering and a rear armrest come as standard in the Linea Classic. The Classic+ variant additionally gets body-coloured side mirrors and doors handles, a rear defogger, chrome radiator grille, wheel covers, fabric upholstery and integrated music system with CD/MP3 player. The base variant of the Linea Classic comes equipped with safety features such as Double Crank Prevention, fire prevention system, seat belt warning and immobilizer with rolling codes. Apart from these, the upper variant also gets ABS with EBD as premium safety features. Unfortunately, Fiat has not given airbags to the new Classic, which might disappoint few buyers.
The Fiat Linea offered Italian design at an affordable price and that was one of the biggest things that drew people to this car. Now, with the new Linea having arrived with all its bells and whistles, several people would have thought that the car was above their reach. But thanks to Fiat——s decision of selling a toned down version at a lower asking rate, a lot more people can enjoy one of Italy——s finest cars in its segment.