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Linea 2012 - Short Review

Discussion in 'Linea 1.3 MJD' started by teky, Jan 7, 2012.

  1. teky

    teky Esperto

    I was itching to lay hands on the Linea 2012 immediately post the launch. Today I had a chance to take the Linea 2012 for a spin along with fellow TFI'ans ramjn and sathya_sc. So here's a short review from myself, ramjn and sathya_sc will add more.

    The good
    *Looks beautiful in the oceanic blue shade
    *No more scrapping even whilst fully loaded with 5 adults on board
    *Ultra soft clutch
    *Reduced NVH
    *Same old handling & excellent steering feedback
    *Improved plastics and rubber beading's at few places
    *Improved air-conditioning

    The Bad
    * Fit & Finish still not so great at few places eg. Glove box, Horn pad, front quarter glass chrome strips
    * Doesn't have a monster of engine

    Let's look into each of the improvements what Fiat has got on board and how it affects us in real life

    Improved ground clearance

    The Linea now stands at 185mm which is almost 24mm more than previous version, The increase is due to a suspension upgrades and 16" alloys from the T-Jet. The Linea earlier was an mellowed Italian beauty, but looks like ready to charge with the increased presence. The immediate feedback was that she has lost her charm a bit, But I think we need to consider that our roads aren't exactly autobahns and we expect unmarked speed breakers to what not in our Indian roads. Whilst unladen there is a bit of gap in the wheel well clearly visible, however with people on board it doesn't seem to be visible at all. That emotion variant now is shod with 205/16/55 tires and the wheel well can easily accommodate 17", but the rear wheel well seems to have protrusion which the tires may rub against if going for higher profile tires.

    Once you get into the drivers seat you get more of commanding view, but not like the SUV's though :wink:. The car was driven around mostly with 5 people on board and not a single time we scrapped her underbelly. Also we didn't really care about the potholes as we literally glided over without having to do zig-zag maneuvers. This to me a big improvement because even now whilst taking unknown roads I'm afraid about scrapping my car, with this GC I'm sure we can conquer Leh with ease.

    Handling & Ride Quality
    We all know that Linea was the benchmark for Ride & Handling. I'm happy to say that it's still the benchmark in it's segment. The suspension has gone a bit stiffer in order to aid the handling, But it's not as stiff say 1.6 S. Your backbenchers will never complain, although we didn't get a chance to do triple digit speeds at regular city speed the undulations were masked very well. We took couple of S bends and she took it without drama, although whilst ramjn was putting it through the corner I was scared at the rear seat :grin:. One thing I noticed is the steering felt lighter than my Punto - ramjn and sathya_sc confirmed it's actually the same in their cars as well.

    We all know that the Fiat's interior is most cribbed due to the Plastic quality. The Linea now gets the T-Jet grade plastics, it looks good now although not matching the Vento's which is a benchmark for myself. The chrome near the Airbag area rather looks nice, may be the actual facelift will give some better looking interiors. However there are areas where the overall quality has improved example the rubber beadings. See the below picture and you will understand
    The Linea Diesel emotion also gets Leather upholstery from T-Jet and three headrests at the rear. If you remember the Linea initially came with 3 head rests and later reduced to 2, But the Dynamic and Active will still only get 2 head rests.

    Other Improvements
    The NVH has definitely been reduced at the optimum temperature. This was confirmed by Sathya_sc and ramjn post comparison with ramjn's 10K run Linea MJD. Check the below video, you can rather hear the diesel hum than the clatter. Inside the cabin we didn't find much of difference may be because the Linea was already a silent one.

    The Air-conditioning was also felt to be better than the previous versions, But honestly we didn't care a lot because the existing one's where already a chiller. The Linea emotion also gets Goodyear NCT5 tires instead of the bog standard GT3, these tires are from the original T-Jet's again. Should be hopefully better than the GT3's.

    Fit & Finish
    There are few things which Fiat can't probably do perfect, Whilst these are not really serious and wouldn't be noticed by layman they didn't escape from the eagle eye's of TFI'ans. Look at the chrome alignment between the front doors and front quarter glass
    The glove box and horn pads still had bit of gaps which has certainly reduced from the initial versions, but still are not completely eliminated. The international version also seems to have the same issues, may be the GP EVO wouldn't have these issues.

    Overall everyone agreed that it definitely seems like a improvement without loosing Fiat's legendary handling. However the Prices quoted seems to be a bit high for the 1.3 Motor. The Linea Diesel emotion stands at 10.7 Lakhs on-road, I personally feel it should be priced around 30k lesser. But the price hike may be justified with additional features like 16" alloys, Automatic wipers & headlights, but they don't cut it for me. Fiat please bring the 1.6 MJD with awesome torque, this chassis really begs for more power.

    Thanks to ramjn & sathya_sc for their inputs and also Ramanan from Concorde who gave us an extensive test drive on the vehicle. Attaching the brochure - Thanks ramjn for scanning them.





    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 5, 2012
    18 people like this.
  2. Bala

    Bala Esperto

    Nice and neat review Teky.
    Ride a little stiffer??!!,it was already a little stiff at low speeds.
    Just like how Fiat increased the ground clearance,I wish the rear seat head and legroom were also increased.Its'a complete disaster at the rear for tall people.
    I would prefer a heavy steering to a light one.
  3. ramjn

    ramjn Staff Member Janitor

    Linea 1.3
    Thanks teky for putting the points together with the review. It is very good.

    - One important thing that I noticed during the test drive is that Linea 2012 is indeed slower than my 2011 Linea (I have completed 10k). My Linea will actually accelerate better than the one that we test drove today. Not sure if this is because of the new vehicle and the engine needs to open up. My guess is that the current Linea 2012 can do 0-100 in 15 seconds.

    - As teky pointed out, the clutch was indeed butter smooth and light. After the TD, when I drove my vehicle, I felt the clutch to be very hard :).

    - Regarding the handling part, my feeling is that it is almost close to the previous Linea.

    - Now, GC increase has actually become a confidence enthusing factor to drive on bad patches.
    4 people like this.
  4. Hi Teky, excellent report. Thanks to Satya and Ramjn as well. True Fiat Fans.

    Good to read that the body roll is negligible despite 24 mm increase in GC. Well done Fiat.

    1. What are the variants in Petrol variant ? i dont see Emotion variant in the fiat website either. Is it going to be Active, Dynamic and TJet ?
    2. If yes; does TJet also get rain sensing wipers and auto headlights ?
    3. Will existing owners get to increase the GC (ofcourse, at a price) ? if yes; any idea on the cost ?
    4. Did you get the Chennai costs of Linea and Punto ? Fiat website has only Delhi prices.

    >>> Satya, did you notice any difference on the clutch smoothness between the new Linea and our Tjets ?
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2012
  5. ramjn

    ramjn Staff Member Janitor

    Linea 1.3
    Binze, my responses.

    1. What are the variants in Petrol variant ? i dont see Emotion variant in the fiat website either. Is it going to be Active, Dynamic and TJet ?
    For Petrol it will be Active and Dynamic with 1.4 Fire and T-Jet+ alone will be available.

    2. If yes; does TJet also get rain sensing wipers and auto headlights ?
    No. Not with the current refresh. But, the refresh for T-Jet and 90HP Punto will also happen soon.

    3. Will existing owners get to increase the GC (ofcourse, at a price) ? if yes; any idea on the cost ?
    Yes. It is most likely. But, not yet confirmed. Fiat is planning to come up with the upgrade kit for the existing owners.

    4. Did you get the Chennai costs of Linea and Punto ? Fiat website has only Delhi prices.

    Linea MJD Prices - All OTR Chennai

    Active - 9.2 L
    Dynamic - 10.35 L
    Emotion - 10.75 L
    Punto MJD Emotion (75 HP)- 7.8 L
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2012
  6. teky

    teky Esperto

    Thanks bnzjon!

    1.4 NA Petrol version comes in Active & Dynamic only. Emotion is the T-Jet Plus from now on, Don't know what happens to T-Jet

    No, T-Jet hasn't received any revisions what so ever. Rumours are that there will be different positioning of T-Jet and 90 HP during Q2 2012.
    Affirmative, But don't know about the costs.
    I don't remember them exactly but Linea Emotion Diesel is now 10.7 and Dynamic is close to 10.3
  7. gurjinder

    gurjinder Staff Member Janitor

    Great effort guys! Much awaited. I'm not surprised that the car handles like earlier, as that is why there was a stress on suspension redesign at the launch in order to preserve handling and ride, rather than a simple suspension lift up. I'm suspecting stiffer anti roll bars etc.

    Ramjn, i was waiting for someone to make a comment about the new version being a tad slower. The upsized tyres have effectively increased the final drive ratio by a slight margin and taller final drive ratio means slightly lesser acceleration, but lower revs at cruising. Wish we had the equipment to measure.

    The price is total bang for the buck in my opinion. A 1.6 is the only sore point when comparing with the competition, but it's not coming.

    But the open road and the 1.3 are a match made in heaven. Ofcorse the Linea is no drag queen, but it is a mile muncher for sure.


    ---------- Post added at 11:46 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:38 PM ----------

    Let's hold our horses over the retrofit GC increase kits. If Fiat VP is to be believed, then this idea is not even in the conceptual stage, yet. As he told me at the Caffe launch.
  8. ramjn

    ramjn Staff Member Janitor

    Linea 1.3
    This is surprising gurjinder. Because, I received this upgrade kit info from two independent sources but they were non committal. It seems that Fiat has instructed the dealers not to reveal this info as such. My wild guess is that we can expect it in another 4-6 months.
  9. Avinash

    Avinash Amatore

    United Kingdom
    Linea 1.3
    No more "Flamenco Red" color for LINEA??? And is it worth exchanging a 2009 EPK MJD, for the new 2012 MJD LINEA???
  10. ramjn

    ramjn Staff Member Janitor

    Linea 1.3
    My suggestion would be No :). Why would you want to exchange for the same 1.3 MJD?
    Enjoy with your current version of Linea.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2012
    2 people like this.

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