Detailed ownership review of Fiat Linea
Cars have come and gone, but nothing seemed to be like the Fiat. After 18 long years we again have a Fiat in our family. The difference is, that time it was the PADMINI and this time it is the LINEA MJD. The Linea’s are less on the road making it a “exclusive”. The car is built like a BULLET PROOF car. The doors, close with a solid european thud. The panel gaps are quite nicely filled in and the engine, ah just love it. The car was delivered to us on 30th march and have completed 10089 kms till date.
1) Brief Introduction
2) Selection Process
4) Driving Impressions & Observations
5) Things I love about the car
6) The Not so good things
1) Brief Introduction
We owned a Logan for 2 years and it had clocked 46000kms. So now time had come to replace this vehicle by some other car. The Logan is a typical European car which had heavy doors which close by a thud. The Logan is a very good car, but somehow in India it’s called a taxi.
My dad modded the car which didn’t look like a Logan BTW. Now after driving 46000kms in it my dad wanted to upgrade. We had many choices but we wanted a diesel car as the monthly running is around 2000kms. We had shortlisted few cars which had to be test driven. We never wanted a Tata as my mom thinks Tata only make good Tea and steel.
-We wanted a premium sedan which looks just awesome.
-Wanted a diesel engine only.
-Should have lots and lots of bells and whistles.
2) Selection Process
My dad always wanted a car which handles well around the corners. Even the Logan did those with ease. It had Hydraulic Power steering which weighed up perfectly and had nice feedback to it.
Our Logan did not have ABS and Airbags which is now a necessary on our roads.
We wanted a car which should have all these features as we had experienced the need of ABS on wet roads.
Well we started of with the
1) Vento- It’s a VW so no questions about quality. The car we drove was the 1.6 diesel. The car was just amazing and we all were blown away by it’s pickup and acceleration. But the car did not have many small features which are now standard on even a 5 lakh rupees car. The OTR of the car was around 11.3lakhs, and the waiting period was about 6 months. So we gave it a miss.
2) SX4 Diesel- This car was newly launched and the car for the test drive was a brand new car. The car never attracted any of us. The car had our national engine the MJD. The engine was tuned different from the Swift altogether. The car performed like a petrol engine and the steering was very good for city driving but the car did not handle well around the corners.
The car had all the basic features but did not have all those high end stuff like the DIS ( Drivers info display). The seats were comfortable but the quality was just too poor! even Maruti 800 seats were better as per my views. It had messed-up ergonomics like the passenger side grab handle is just above the passengers head. This was very uncomfortable and the hand hit my head badly. The OTR of this vehicle was around 10.5lakhs which seemed to be high seeing the quality of the interiors. So we decided not to buy this vehicle and walked off the showroom.
3) Linea MJD- Everyone in our family liked the looks of this car. The car was a fiat and we had heard about the solidity of the car. We took the test drive of the car and we were impressed with the handling, refinement levels and the features. This also had rear A.C vents like the Vento and the car we just liked it very much. The sales person also showed us the Blue & Me feature which was very exclusive. The car looked too good in white so my dad decided to book the car on the spot. We were happy that we had booked a fiat again.
The delivery process was smooth and we got the car at 4 pm. I checked all the parts and places which should be done in the PDI inspection. The car was manufactured in Feb 2011. The sales person showed me all the features of the car. They had promised me to fit parking sensors which they had fit. They had put white parking sensors which look as if it was fitted from the factory. Anyhow, we took the delivery and were happy with the behaviour of the executive.
4) Dealership Experience- I had taken the delivery from Concorde motors, Mysore road, Bangalore.
We initially went to check out the Manza but were blown away by the LINEA. The sales executive was quite nice and had good knowledge about the car and its features. We took the test drive of the car. The MJD was super smooth as silk. The refinement levels were just awesome as we drove the Renault Logan earlier.
The Logan was refined but initially has good vibrations but after the engine starts it’s quiet refined. The car pulled nicely in the first gear, but when my dad started in 2nd gear, the turbo lag was evident. the car responded quickly in the higher gears though. The brakes were nice and gave a good feel. The car had a long features list which impressed us all. The sales executive connected the phone to blue and me. The HU is good but the speakers start cracking very easily. We were promised few things such as Idol, Scuff plates, etc.
Till date those things are not given to me as they say ” Sir, we don’t have the stock.” When we had called up regarding this, they gave a positive response by saying that we have the stock, so you can come and get it fitted. When we went, they said the stocks will be arriving on Next month. My dad really got angry on them as they had lied on the phone. Anyhow we had some problems in the indicators which they were able to sort out in few minutes. Overall dealership experience was good we are little dissatisfied with the accessories department.
5)Driving Impressions & Observations
Few things that changed after 1000 kms-
1) Engine noise- The engine has become far more smoother than the engine we had on delivery.
2)Mileage- it’s showing an average mileage of 15.5kmpl in Bangalore city traffic with 100% a.c.
3)Turbo lag- The turbo lag has not changed but we are used to it now.
6) Few things that i liked about the car-
1) Solid built.
2) Looks just amazing.
3) The MJD.
4) The space.
5) The features list.
7) Some negatives of the car-
1)LOW CG. Though it did not scrap once even after full load. But i think fiat should have given the 16″ wheels in it. (15″ alloys cost 12500/- where as the 16″ alloys cost 13500/-)
2)Turbo lag- It takes getting used to. Initially we felt the acceleration is very bad, but has improved drastically after it covered distance.
And nothing else actually.
I’ve recently upgrade the ECO-DRIVE in the car which shows where the driver has the deficiency to improve mileage.
The power is enough for the car but we needed more power so we ordered the RACE-CHIP tuning box which increases the power from 94Hp to 120Hp and 209Nm torque to 275Nm torque.
2) Fiat provided me parking sensors from the showroom at free of cost.
3) Speaker Upgrade- We upgraded the speakers to JBL component speakers which have really good sound quality. The stock speakers are just pathetic. The only cheap bit in the car.
How the car drives after 10089 Kms-
The engine is lot more smoother as compared to the new engine. Now my car produces 112Hp and 25X Nm torque theoretically.
It’s very noticeable when you compare it to any other Linea MJD. The car’s main plus point is the Ride and handling. There is just no car in this segment that offers such balance between comfort and handling.
The mileage on highways is 23.2Kmpl if driven in controlled 80-100Kmph. But it drops to 19Kmpl when driven hard on the gas, say between 120-140Kmph.
The top speed achieved was 185Kmph. Then we ran out of road so couldn’t go further.
Overall I will rate the car 8/10. Two points discarded because of the resale value of Fiat in India.
Disclaimer- This is just my personal opinion, I do not mean to hurt anyone.