Car tested: 2011 Fiat Linea 1.3L Multijet Emotion Pack
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 10,06,003/-
Competition in the C-segment has grown massively. A decade ago, there were only two cars fighting it out – The Honda City and the Mitsubishi Lancer. Today, there are close to ten! The Fiat Linea is one of those cars which deserves special applause for the way it looks. At one time the most beautiful car in the C-segment, does buying the Linea make sense today? The petrol offerings are very value for money and the T-Jet offers extremely exhilarating performance. We have already reviewed the Linea T-Jet (here) and the Linea Petrol (here), so will keep this review specific to the engine of the Linea diesel.
The Fiat Linea is powered by the famed 1.3-liter Multijet motor which has powered quite a few cars to success in India. This 1248 cc engine produces 90 BHP of power at 4000 RPM and 209 Nm of torque at 2000 RPM. With a power to weight ratio of 75.92 BHP per tonne, the Linea diesel is by no means a tarmac scorcher. However, don’t be deceived by the performance on paper, because on the road, the Fiat Linea is quite a decent performer. The variable geometry turbocharger ensures good performance at low engine speeds, while mid-range performance is more than adequate.
Turn on the ignition of this Fiat and you immediately hear the Multijet powertrain come to life. Noise insulation could have been better even though the idle is smooth and almost vibration less. Power delivery is not very linear and the kick in the pants feel, although very minor, is certainly present. A small amount of turbo lag is evident with the turbocharger’s boost coming around 2000 RPM. Mid-range is little noisy but the Fiat Linea pulls with punch and will easily redline at 4500 RPM. The gearing is short which is very good for city driving and can put bigger diesel cars to shame. This short gearing gives the Linea a fuel economy figure of 13 kmpl in the city and 18 kmpl on the highway.
Out on the highway, the mid-range of the Linea is more than enough for overtaking. However, outright acceleration is nothing to talk about and the Linea Diesel takes all of 15 seconds to reach 100 kmph and 30 seconds to reach 140 kmph. Top speed is a little shy of 170 kmph and the shift action is extremely light and trouble free. However with the more powerful diesel cars being offered from Hyundai and Volkswagen, the Linea feels underpowered compared to them. Fiat needs to launch the 1.6-liter Multijet to ensure power seeking customers consider the Linea.
When the Linea arrived in 2009, it was greeted with car of the year awards. Sadly though nobody even talks about the Linea anymore. Fiat has not really bothered much with marketing activities in India. The sales of the Linea have been declining steadily and nothing is being done to improve them. This car has huge potential but with the poor service experience and lackluster brand awareness, the Linea will continue to be brought by only Fiat fans, who understand the true potential of this machine.