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Linea 2012 - Short Review

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

  1. teky

    teky Esperto

    Messages:
    1,587
    Chennai
    I don't think there is enough reason to do that, a logical upgrade would be with a car with a bigger engine. Although some improvements are significant, they aren't exactly path breaking for existing owners to upgrade unlike the T-Jet upgrade which 1.4 NA got. Linea 2012 I believe will attract more of new customers than the existing one's.
  2. sathya_sc

    sathya_sc

    Messages:
    347
    Chennai
    Great review there Teky. You actually covered it all. I will add my 2 cents here-

    I will start with Thanking Mr.Raman from Concorde for providing us the opportunity to drive the beauty for some extended kms. As usual we arrived on time there (Self, Suresh and Ramesh) to lay our hands on the car. First sight, I really thought, the beauty has lost some charm due to raised wheel wells. Indeed the gap is little overboard without any passengers. Once it gets loaded with atleast 3-4 people its all fine.. but to see it normally, the wheel well was little high than normal. It may attract our (TFI-ians) attention but not sure about others. The reason I say this is because, we went there with the assumption that it will be high and it immediately caught our attention.. But to normal buyers, it will surely not be a deal breaker. Take it from me for sure.

    And one more interesting thing I noticed is - the rise in GC is little gradual i.e. from front to rear of the car (low to high). What I mean is, the car now is relatively lower on the front gradually becoming higher at the rear. You can see the difference in wheel well heights of the front and the rear. The reason might be aerodynamics and weight of the engine. But it will catch your attention only on very careful observation.

    Now comes the real part - The test drive.

    I was almost sure that there will be some compromise on handling and I was totally wrong. Hats off to Fiat - with a 24mm GC increase, the handling is exceptional even at hard cornering (Thanks to Ramesh, he indeed tried to put the car off the line on a corner but the Linea didn't make any fuss). The car as usual inspires a lot of confidence and it was a total rejoice when we realized the dynamics of the car are not disturbed by the raise in GC. Though this comes with the suspension being a little stiff at the rear but not too bouncy as well (since I owned both the MJD and the T-Jet, I always felt that MJD's suspension was a little softer than the T-Jet. Now I can say both are at par with the new 2012 MJD-Stiffness is similar to T-Jet). Ride and Handling are amazingly balanced and still Linea feels planted with great driving dynamics. Round of applause to FIAT here.

    Plastics is very similar or even the same (if that is the best way to say) as the T-jet, but I saw some improvements over and above my T-Jet as well. For e.g. the door inner beadings are of high quality now.. but FIAT, there is still room to improve. Are you listening? (still, Vento and Skoda's are my benchmarks at the mid size segment). Overall, it feels like a 10L (or even more) car now with respect to plastics if it was a grouse earlier.

    Performance - I was not able to really judge it since I drove it immediately after my T-Jet. But, to my observation, 16 inch wheels and 205 rubber has definitely eaten some performance.. I didn't feel comfortable with 1st and 2nd gears, from 3rd I was fine. I always believed the earlier MJD (2011) had the potential to do 0-100 in 13.5 seconds and in relation to that I will say this will take 15 seconds now. But as I sat in the car at the back for more rounds with Teky and Ramesh driving it, I actually felt fast.. may be I am too addicted to taller and powerful 1st and 2nd in the T-Jet. I always rev her to 6000 in 1st and 2nd (atleast most of the time). Overall I still feel the performance to have slightly taken a hit. Ramesh/Suresh.. you can correct me if am wrong here..

    Now all that we need is only one thing - a bigger engine to exploit the chassis of the new Linea, it surely begs for more power given the brilliant handling. For a normal buyer, this engine will very well solve the purpose, since I know the current Linea will very well pull all the way to 170-180km/hr types.. but for an enthusiast (or am not sure how to call.. a speed freak or an insane driver) who would want every other car to disappear from his rear view mirror be it in a traffic light or on a highway, a 1.6 is needed.

    Overall an excellent package with super cool looks, elegance and class (esp. the blue color is rocking) coupled with "adequate" power, balanced ride and superior handling. Good job FIAT, but do remember to bring the bigger heart atleast later if not immediate. My set of pics will follow.

    MODS if possible, can you put this as an immediate post following Teky's starting post so that there is continuity pls.

    Some pics that will help you realize the large wheel well much closer along with a closer look at the infamous key area..

    DSCN0571.jpg

    DSCN0574.jpg

    DSCN0576.jpg

    DSCN0580.jpg
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 8, 2012
    4 people like this.
  3. xplorauto

    xplorauto

    Messages:
    82
    Bangalore
    Nice crisp note @teky and sharp pictures @sathya_sc.

    So finally Fiat took 3 iterations to get their demo cars to acceptable grade of interior quality and fnf (fit-n-finish). Nevertheless what is encouraging is the fact that they finally seem to have got their act together with it this time round. However, it remains to be seen if the Ranjangaon plant can deliver identical levels of quality in a repeatable fashion from their production line as in these demo cars. Strict quality control has always been weakness so far for Fiat and if that is not reversed in a hurry this time, in an era of brutal competition no auto manufacturer can and should enjoy as much of head room to survive as Fiat seeks.

    As far as the introduction of additional equipment levels are concerned, Fiat clearly hasn't been listening to their customers closely. If one were to conduct a survey of the kind of after-market fitments installed on the Linea and Punto by the exiting Fiat car owners, I can guarantee, they wouldn't have found many who desired for an auto-on head lamp or rain sensing wipers function citing them as sticking pain areas. I am also certain, that those functions would not have even found place in the wishlist of many. The 3 most incorporated after market accessory or upgrades that are very apparent from most forum discussions have been:
    1. Reverse parking aid.
    2. High intensity head lamps
    3. ICE
    While ICE is mostly a subjective need and can be ignored, what certainly needed to be augmented were the first 2. Now, from the perspective of a judicious buyer, non essential feature enhancements and mere cosmetic corrections cannot warrant a price hike from a manufacturer which does not enjoy any considerable brand value in this market. What is worse, is the CEO making a comment to the effect of a 1.6 litre engine, which happens to be pretty much a standard in this class these days, putting the product beyond the current segment. Nothing can put them farther away from the reality where every Linea MJD owner I have known or spoken to wished for the 1.6L oil burner and the competition has been offering it at comparable price points.

    On a positive note though, its heartening to learn that the accentuated GC hasn't had a detrimental effect on its well known strength, i.e. the ride and handling. Also reduction of an already class leading NVH level is welcome. These would be re-assuring to the few remaining fiat admirers who were waiting with baited breath to own this much anticipated 2012 edition.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2012
  4. Gurujinder's auto expo post shows that the Linea has 3 head rests at the rear. Did they add one. The one I have (6 months old) has 2. Also the rear sit does not fold. I am really looking forward for the interior chrome kit.
  5. sathya_sc

    sathya_sc

    Messages:
    347
    Chennai
    Yes, the current Emotion variant has 3 head rests and seats are foldable. You can safely assume that what ever you got in a T-Jet from an interior context, you will have them now in the MJD Emotion variant. Also, there is something more - Auto Headlights and rain sensing wipers.
  6. ramjn

    ramjn Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    5,244
    Chennai
    Linea 1.3
    Linea MJD Active and Dynamic will be 2 headrests. Emotion will now have 3 headrests.
  7. shams

    shams Esperto

    Messages:
    2,388
    Bangalore
    Above mentioned features would have been good to have but the point to note here is that all the three things mentioned by you can be fitted aftermarket but you can't have auto headlamps and rain sensing wipers from outside!!

    1.6 MJD was certainly need of the hour but supposedly Fiat have their own JV concerns with Tata regarding this.
  8. xplorauto

    xplorauto

    Messages:
    82
    Bangalore
    So can the auto head lamps and rain sensing wipers
  9. Bala

    Bala Esperto

    Messages:
    1,070
    Villupuram
    Suddenly,the tyres appear puny with the car seated high above(just like the qualis!),neat looks are gone.
    About the nonavailability of Red color,it's a mistake,different people choose different colors for various reasons,I would not have bought a Linea if red was not available,will be writing in the CEO corner to continue with red(it was the largest selling color in Linea,almost 60%of the total sales,so why discontinue?)
    About auto headlamps and rain sensors,already the TASS guys are clueless about the car,how will they handle if there is a problem??
  10. ramjn

    ramjn Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    5,244
    Chennai
    Linea 1.3
    bala, Flamenco red has been discontinued in Sep'11 itself. It is not the thing that is changed now. For the flavor of red, Tuscan wine is available for Linea.

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