The new Fiat Linea was already making news before its launch and now that it’s officially launched, its aggressive prices have made it even more of a hot topic in our Indian car market. The Linea always had good potential and with the new, better interior and exterior updates, the Italian beauty now looks even more appealing and dynamic. The Fiat Linea deserved more but now that Fiat has improved it significantly and repositioned it alongside segment leaders like the Skoda Rapid, Hyundai Verna and newly launched Honda City, we feel that the Linea should deliver what it requires to become a value for money premium mid-size sedan.
The new Fiat Linea carries forward its range of three engines from the previous generation, out of which two are petrol engines and one is a diesel. Only the base variant of the new Linea is available with the 1.4 litre 4 cylinder petrol engine which only produces 89bhp of power. For enthusiasts and speed lovers, the much acclaimed T-Jet version of the same 1.4 litre petrol engine is available for all the three trim levels. This engine churns out a power output of 112 bhp but the biggest USP of this engine is its class leading torque output of 207 Nm, which is available from 2200 rpm. Both the petrol engines are connected to a five speed manual transmission but their behaviour is totally different. The actual power and dominance of the T-jet is engine is felt on highways where the car drives very well with its well matched gear ratios and sporty handling. The famous 1.3 litre Multijet diesel engine also continues in this new age Linea with an increased power output of 92bhp. Similar to the petrol engines, this engine is also mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox which performs best after 2000rpm and offers a punchy mid-range. Fiat claims an ARAI-rated fuel efficiency of 14.6 kpl for both the normal 1.4 litre and T-jet petrol engines whereas the diesel engine returns a mileage of 20.4 kpl (ARAI).
Fiat has added a significant list of features to the new Linea to give it a premium and upmarket feel. The new Linea is based on the same chassis as the older one, so there is no difference in its dimensions and it still retains its 2603 mm wheelbase, which makes it longer than most of its competitors and also gives it an extremely spacious feel on the inside. The car features a new set of 15 and 16 inch alloy wheels with increased ground clearance of 185mm and 190mm respectively. The new Linea gets a new front bumper with a revised front grille and air dam, which now gets a bit of chrome to enhance its looks. The side chrome stripes and side indicators on its ORVMs are also new features on this car. Move to the back and the repositioned number plate on the boot lid and generous chrome garnishing on the rear bumper instantly grab your attention. Also, the new Linea is available in six different colour schemes. Step inside and the list of changes continues with the new dual tone dashboard with soft touch materials, orange mood lighting, a new instrument cluster finished in glossy black (which can easily get smudged), premium leather upholstery. Fiat has also added two bottle holders in this car while the rear armrest now comes with a bottle holder and glove box. The top end variant comes equipped with premium features like rear AC vents, climate control, cruise control, Microsoft’s ‘Blue and me’ software with Bluetooth connectivity and steering mounted controls. It also comes with an integrated music system with CD player, adjustable driver’s seat and steering, and disc brakes on all wheels. As for safety, the new gen Linea is equipped with dual front airbags, rear parking sensors, fire prevention system, double crank prevention system and ABS with EBD.
The Fiat Linea catered to people who wanted Italian flair without busting their wallet with its flowing looks, soft and comfortable ride quality, strong diesel and T-Jet engines and so on. But now, in addition to all this, this sedan also gets improved interiors that look and feel good, and a decent features list. Fiat needed to do something with the Linea to help it stay in the market which was fast becoming crowded with very capable cars and in its latest form, the Linea has what it takes to do very well.