Next month, December 1 to be precise, my Linea will be 1 year old. I am only writing this today, for I feel I am only enabled today to offer something of substance in my review. How It Came To Be It started in 1998 with the launch of Indica. We were looking for a car and the staple Indian was Maruti 800, and since Indica was just launched and the Koreans were entering with Santros and Matizes we wanted to try everything before going for the tried and tested 800. Somehow, things didn't quite materialise, and over the course of time we even graduated from a humble 2 lakh budget to a little above 3 lakh, to include a car I was reading about, that though had little less mileage, but compensated with brilliant all-round dynamics, excellent steering, great brakes, amazing ride, and everything that was to be wanted or desired or expected of and in a car - the car in question was a FIAT Palio. No prizes for guessing. Yet, nothing materialised as such and plans were chopped. In 2009, it was on the streets of Kolkata that I saw a long, tasteful red beauty. First look and I went, "Oh gosh! This is beautiful!" and, "It's long!". Didn't know which brand. Looked very pricey, though. Some days later saw it again, and since I was not driving per se, or should I say, that car was stationary, I caught on to details. FIAT. Linea. Emotion Pack. Heart - Damn this car. Stunning. Redefines "sculpted". We came close to almost decided on this car, with not even as touching it once. This was because I was reading about it online in forums. And as fate would have it, plans got chucked again and I moved to Gujarat. As Fate Would Have It I never forgot the car. I kept reading about it, and I'd say, became obsessed with it and to cut a long story short, in November 2012, we finally booked an Oceanic Blue Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion with a "leap of faith" in FIAT. This was because of the following reasons: 1. The Car Itself I could not justify spending serious money on any other car. Reading online, mind; I hadn't even learnt driving, and I knew that FIAT has made a gem of a car. I also realised at this point that I had fallen for all the good characteristics that ought to be in a car back then, too. And it was a FIAT that had fit the bill, then, too. This just cemented the relation all the more. 2. You People The forum at Team Fiat India was pivotal in my going for FIAT. I knew, that they are improving, but I also knew that there is a community that I can talk to. I am not mentioning TBHP here for one reason - I read a lot there, that forum helped me shape my decisions for a FIAT too, but when I took delivery of my car and wanted to become a member there to share my experience and try and give something back to the community that helped me out directly/ indirectly, I was rejected, not once, but since I was stupid enough to try thrice, thrice. So, a warm, hearty, grateful Thank You to the stalwarts of the forum. I am looking at you, J Ravi, Driv3r, imrankhs, Italia-Linea, ramjn, Sat-Chit-ananda, and more. KarthikK I remember was from TBHP, maybe he is here, too, but you see, couldn't thank because I was not allowed to! And so as fate would have it, we finally settled for a FIAT only, and it sure is one of the best decisions of our lives. ONE YEAR OWNERSHIP It has been a pleasant joyride. I have experienced what every FIAT buyer has gone through at some point in time. I have been through the trauma that they call service centre, I have at times have had things done to my liking there, leaving me surprised. I have covered 14,000 km and have loved every single of them. I never have thus far felt doubtful of my decision to go for a FIAT. 1. Delivery I was allotted a June VIN, decoded through help from the guides here. Immediately shot mails to all those whom I could. Someone from Ahmedabad called and it was sorted that they could not get me a newer car, a newer VIN was present but allotted to someone else. I could have new VINs (September, October) if I wanted BNW. I told them just one thing: I will inspect the car before delivery and will not pay if I do not like it. Pre Delivery Inspection, though amidst resistance, was conducted and I duly noted that the Odo read H 8. Could not drive, because the car battery was kept to charge and they did not put another battery for me to test it out (reading through the forums I knew I should check vehicle pulling). The car did not emote a vibe that I would find concerning. It felt just right. It felt as if nothing was wrong. Keeping my heart in check, I let my mind look for signs of trouble. None. Tyres were new, seats were fine, a little smear sign here and there on sunglasses holder, thats it. Under the bonnet looked pristine. I wrote the balance cheque and left. Took delivery two days later. 2. Experience It has been a wonderful experience with the car. Solid build, amazingly planted, and really, really, really fun to drive. Engine power matters, but is not all. What fun will a peppy engine give if it just bounces off here and there.. I believe this car is hugely confidence-inspiring. I had only driven a Swift Dzire before this, that's the car I used to learn driving. And I had immediately felt the difference in steering, and appreciated FIAT's moulded steering for better grip and the Hydraulic nature of it all the more. The brakes are very confidence-inspiring. The poise of the car is an object of marvel every moment spent inside the car. And oh, the sight of another Linea on the road, the lines, the majestic stance (pre 2012) just makes me go weak in the knees. There is also a reason for this: I am a designer myself. And that's that. I had no experience driving any other car, and I was satisfied - did not feel the need to have any other car experience. 3. Service First service came and went with no fanfare. Before this service, though, the rear bumper was involved in an unfortunate, evil kiss with another car in an underground parking while I was working in my office upstairs. Evil, I say. The car spent a week at the service centre, who took pains to solve this issue and create an "alloy" of an issue for me and cause me to use my insurance claim. They scuffed the alloys some, I guess due to negligence in parking or what not. had them replaced under insurance. 4. ICE I knew before buying the car, through forums such as TFI, that the stock system is crap. Well, hearing is subjective, so I decided to let it play out and then take a call. It sufficed for an In Car system for 3 whole months. Then I started hearing them crackle, I started hearing them at louder volumes because the volume just wasn't enough, and the louder they went, the cracklier they got. And the madder I got. After a long thought (there was no way for me to audition anything here) I decided to go for Rainbow, since I like my music to be true and neither bass heavy nor trebly. The people were not interested in selling - they gave me their bank account details and that's it. What, I just deposit an arbitrary amount without you telling me how much to deposit and without having a word with you? Found Saravana from Power Zone and PHD, bought them. Very knowledgeable and professional fellow, this. He chews on gold biscuits in his profile picture though, mind. Found thorough the forums another Linea owner who is dabbling into audio equipment, and said he is also going in as installers now, so I agreed. Now, I will only say that this was one of the worst decisions I could have made, and I will put up a thread in the ICE department about it maybe, as my ICE story. 5. Race Dynamics Tuning Box I have installed the Race Dynamics ECU 'fooler' and have experienced better power delivery. I use it on P1 mode, and have tried P2 on rare occasions. Results are good, very good. The turbo kick is slightly more pronounced, and it does make a lot of difference. I feel the kick around 2500rpm now. I think, though, that the RD box has learnt my 80% mileage-oriented driving and has gone lax. 6. Suspension Suspension on 2012 Emotion with 16" alloys and GoodYear Eagle NCT5 rocked the world. Four months and 9,000 km later, it started rocking me. Another 5 months later, and with knowledge leveraged from people like imrankhs, sat-chit-ananda, I moved over to pre 2012 suspension and resolved a lot of my issues. So, What Was I Doing For A Year, And Why Now? I was reading through these forums, had nothing real much to offer on the table and was just enjoying the car. Why now? I happened to drive a 43600km done Manza yesterday night. Damn. Now I know what they meant when they mean long travel clutch and butter smooth clutch on the Linea. Manza clutch was so hard! And I couldn't help but feel Linea seats are much better, Manza felt firmly hard. Almost like the fibre backrest chairs. The instrument cluster looked sleek, but FIAT's looked classier. Ergonomics were wired weird in the Manza with angled controls on the door pads and weird placements of buttons on the center console. I never knew I will need to switch off headlights even after I have taken the keys out. I mean...! What! Plus, the steering angle. I think I now know what it feels to drive a truck. I did not write a review before for I did not have a comparison to offer on the table. I knew only about my car, and I did not know how good or bad that is. I realised, within 300m distance, I didn't make a mistake with Linea, instead, best 10l I could spend for a car. Kudos, FIAT, for this gem of a vehicle. Today I'm going to enjoy my Linea all the more. Wait - not just today. Only thing I don't understand is, how is it that people don't appreciate the marvel FIAT is giving in 10lakh.. Loving FIAT all the more, and feeling bad as to how can the public be of this mindset that they don't want what FIAT is offering? They are offering a car, not just a means of transport. Thank you, FIAT. No wonder you are perplexed as to how to conquer this market, and you never will with good products. Thank you TFI for all knowledge that you share in the community and for the world to see. Also, thank you for being open-minded and allowing new registrations.