Fiat Linea MultiJet Long Term
It’s been a few weeks now since the 2012 Fiat Linea arrived at MotorBeam and this Italian beast has already won our hearts. Our long term car is the Linea Multijet Emotion loaded with leather seats and 16-inch wheels. Other than the normal day to day city trips we have subjected the vehicle to, the Fiat Linea has also done a couple of highway runs, giving us a fair picture of how it’s to live with the flagship Fiat vehicle in India.
Even after having absolutely no styling changes (wheels aside) since the time of launch, the Fiat Linea continues to be one of the best looking cars in the segment. The 2012 version gets 16-inch wheels which do fill up the wheel arches well but the jacked up ground clearance take away from the lowered look the old model possessed. However the increased ground clearance offers benefits in terms of gliding over speedbreakers without having to worry one bit about scrapping the underbody.
The changes to the GC have lead to a higher centre of gravity which has in turn affected the dynamic balance of the car to a certain extent. Ride becomes a bit bouncy on bad roads but the Fiat Linea continues to offer among the best dynamics in the segment with overall composure improving as speeds build. Handling is good and the steering offers good feedback too. Even after hours of continuous driving, braking performance remains excellent with good pedal bite. One grudge we have with the steering is the high turning radius, one needs to reverse very often on U-turns, a typical Fiat trait.
Making easy work of driving and putting a smile on the drivers face is the 1.3-litre Multijet Diesel engine which outputs 93 PS and 210 Nm. As with all turbocharged diesel engines, turbo lag is an inherent character and this oil burner is no different but once the turbo spools up, the Fiat Linea moves ahead with a surge and performance is very good. We specially loved the highway characteristics of this motor. Slot it in fifth gear on the expressway and watch how the Linea gathers speed. Acceleration in higher gears is so good you often find yourself doing higher speeds then you wanted to. With spirited driving, we have been getting a mileage of 13 km/l, which is decent for a car of this size. Our test car has done 10,000 kms and its second service is due at 15,000 kms, post which mileage should see a definite improvement. Fiat’s 15,000 kms service interval is easily the longest in the segment.
Quality levels on the Linea are very good and Fiat has done a fantastic job to ensure everything feels solid and well put together. The doors are heavy and close with a solid reassurance. You feel you are sitting inside a tank with the car offering a vault like feeling. The contours on the steering wheel making it great to hold and the size of the 3-spoke unit is spot on too. However that buttons on the steering wheel feel a bit hard to use but it’s more about getting used to. The Blue&Me system works very well and making calls is a breeze. Comfort levels in the Linea is very good including decent space for rear seat passengers. The boot too can swallow quite a bit of luggage. The small attention to detail on the Linea pleases us everyday, like the perfectly located switches on the driver side door and the twin blade wipers which not only work fabulously but also swipe back after a few seconds to ensure no water residue is left. The automatic headlights are another boon in this car.
After spending time with the Fiat Linea for a few weeks, we simply can’t ignore the fact what an attractive purchase this vehicle is at Rs. 11.08 lakhs (on-road, Mumbai) for the top end Emotion diesel variant. The Linea offers many things which only more expensive vehicles come close to. The vehicle is a very stylish and is very rewarding once you get behind the wheel. Our initial long term impressions are very positive and we look forward to putting this Italian machine through its paces in the coming weeks.