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Linea Classic Test Drive/Review

Discussion in 'Linea Classic 1.3 MJD' started by nkrishnap, Oct 6, 2013.

  1. nkrishnap

    nkrishnap Staff Member Janitor

    Linea 1.3

    Class Plus Fit and finish Exterior 2.jpg


    • Ride quality
    • Powerful AC
    • Drivability compared to the 93 PS VGT engine
    • Build Quality remains the same
    • Improved fit and finish on the interior
    • ABS and EBD available on Classic Plus variant
    • Huge 500 litre boot but with high loading lip

    • Skinny tyres looks one size too small for the Linea
    • In consistent Fit & Finish on the exterior
    • No airbags in any variant
    • The base variant comes without manual central locking
    • The seat material in the classic variant is of shoddy quality more like Rexene instead of art leather
    • Tricky situation for FASS to handle volumes if the classic makes a good seller.
    The newest of launches from Fiat which is nothing but a strip down version of the existing Linea. Why launch this when the Active variant which was very much available? Reason, pricing it competitive for its target market. The classic has been launched as an affordable sedan at the price of premium hatchback. The classic gets two engine options 1.4 Fire and the 1.3 MJD recognized as the National engine as this engine powers Swift, Dzire, Ritz, Etriga, SX4, Sail UVA, Sail Sedan, Vista, Manza, Premier Rio apart from Fiat's own Linea and Punto with various states of tune.

    A glance at the Tech Specs

    Linea Classic Tech Specs.jpg

    Source - Fiat - India Website

    Price tag for the Linea Classic - Ex showroom Bangalore

    Classic Price List.jpg

    Since the Linea classic is positioned as a sedan at the price of a hatch. A comparison of the prices with its nearest competitor Punto.

    Punto 1.4 Vs Linea Classic 1.4

    Punto Vs Linea Classic Petrol.jpg

    Punto 1.3 MJD Vs Linea Classic 1.3 MJD

    Punto Vs Linea Classic Diesel.jpg

    PS: Only comparison point is the price; the features list in the Punto simply beats the classic


    The exteriors have undergone minimal changes and it's a good thing that Fiat left it at that. With the target pricing, the Linea classic loses all the chrome on the exterior barring the front grill surround on the Classic variant. The fog lamp bezel is now silver and blends well with the Chrome + Silver grill on the Classic Plus variant. The base variant gets the black grill with chrome surround and the black fog lamp Bezel combo. The door handles and mirrors are body colored in the classic plus variant and black in the base variant. The Classic Plus gets the wheel caps from the Punto Active and the base variant has none. The 14 inchers makes the Linea Classic look quite under tyred and is shod with 175/70 R14 Apollo Accelere tyres. The fit and finish is inconsistent on the exteriors with the window beadings not aligned. It is high time that Fiat had sorted this out as this car is being manufactured from early 2009 and yet they have to get it right on the alignment. Though the panel gaps are consistent, there is scope for further improvement to make it better. The existing colors New Pearl White, Tuscan Wine, Minimal Grey, Oceanic Blue and Hip Hop Black are offered on the classic too. With the target market, expect the Pear White and Hip Hop Black to move of the showroom floors.


    Class front view.jpg

    Classic Plus

    Classic Front Pic.jpg

    Classic Exterior.jpg

    The irregular fittings

    Class Plus Fit and finish exterior 1.jpg

    Wheel well - the dark colors would hide a bit of the emptiness whereas the white and minimal grey it looks a bit odd

    Class Plus Wheels.jpg

    Classic Empty Wheel Wells.jpg

    Interiors, Comfort and Features

    The classic gets a dual tone Black and beige interior. The combination looks decent for the asking price. The fit and finish of the interiors is surprisingly better. The glove box and ill famed key hole console fitments have improved quite a bit. The feature list is a giveaway that this car is equipped minimally and price that way too. The Classic Plus variant gets the integrated audio and 4 speakers which is shoddy in terms of sound quality. Both the Classic and Classic Variant gives a world of options for setting up the ICE as these two variants have none of the Blue and Me compatibility headaches. The all door power windows, manual AC, power steering with height adjust, manual mirror ORVMs adjustment, Arm rest for rear passengers are some of it that is retained with the classic. The base variant misses the manual central locking.

    Please refer to the feature list for the complete list of features available on two variants

    Interior View Classic

    Classic Front seat view.jpg

    Interior View Classic Plus

    Class Plus inside view.jpg

    Door Pads Classic

    Class Door pads.jpg

    Door Pads Classic Plus

    Class Door pads1.jpg

    Classic Roof lamp

    Classic Interior Light.jpg

    Classic Plus roof lamp

    Class Plus Interior Lights.jpg

    Door handle and the manual ORVMs adjustment lever

    Class Plus Door pad front.jpg

    Speedo Console Classic

    Classic Dials.jpg

    Speedo Console Classic Plus

    Class Plus Fit and finish Dails.jpg

    No seat belt height adjuster

    Class Plus Seat Belt.jpg

    Lever to move the seat back and fro. This is different from the existing Linea and Punto

    Class Plus Seat rail.jpg

    The Classic Plus variant gets the rear defogger where as the base variant is not provided with the defogger. The rear defogger is a safety feature than a comfort feature which needs to be available across variants.

    Classic Plus rear windshield.jpg

    Glove box and Key hole console

    Class Plus Fit and finish Glove box.jpg

    Class Plus Fit and finish Key hole.jpg

    Gear knob

    Class Plus Gear Knob.jpg

    AC foot vents are absent on the classic

    Classic Foot Vents.jpg

    Foot well

    Class Plus Fit and finish Foot Well.jpg

    Performance, Drive and Handling

    1.4 FIRE

    The 1.4 Fire engine coupled with the base variant makes this the least sought after car. The drive from the 1.4 feels slightly better than the 1.4 NA Linea from the other variants that were on offer before the Tjet was relaunched. This mainly is due to the car going a few kilos lighters due to lesser features as well as a bit of cost cutting. The drive was very short and the numbers of this variant too is going to be quite low.

    1.3 MJD

    Though the Linea classic has two engine options, the ones that move out of the showroom floor would be the 1.3 MJD. With the target market in mind, this 76 PS engine would suffice most of the users. Make no mistake that the engine is not a topper on the 0-100 sprints or the top speed records. However, the drivability from the 76 PS engine is quite commendable. The turbo lag is lesser than the 93 PS VGT engine for obvious reasons and it does match the Punto 76 PS on the drivability front. The additional weight has not hampered the performance much. The enthusiasts looking for a performance sedan at an affordable price needs to looks elsewhere. The acceleration till 100 kmph is quite decent and the 2nd gear drivability is better in the classic than the regular 93 PS Linea. The full turbo spool or the pull is evidently felt around 2200 rpm and the strong pull is offered till around 3000 rpm. Beyond 3000 rpm, the engine feels quite boomy and it does not make swift progress on the speeds front either.

    What the classic betters the regular Linea is the ride quality. The ride feels a lot more softer due to the 14 inchers couple with the higher sidewalls. Shodding the classic with the 185/70 R14 profile tyres will not only improve the ride quality, but will fill the wheel arches a bit better. However, the down side of having higher sidewalls is increased body roll, but it isn't alarming to make its occupants feel sick and make them puke.

    The brakes are reassuring as always with the Linea and the classic plus variant gets ABS - EBD as a safety feature.

    The fuel efficiency should match the target market's expectations as the 1.3 MJD is never known to be a gas guzzler unless pushed real hard.

    Overall Impression

    The classic makes a compelling case to the buyer hell bent on getting a sedan at the price of a premium hatch back. However, on a personal note I would have liked to see the classic plus diesel priced another 30k less or simply provide discounts to the extent of it to set the cat among the pigeons in the taxi segment.

    The downside of it, if Linea classic manages to sell good numbers, the rush at the service centers is only going to increase from already an overloaded state (there are exceptions, but the norm is overload). Another aspect of the classic is to keep the cost of running low to achieve success. High cost of service will definitely have a detrimental effect on the sales. The taxi segment will not take it kindly to a high cost of service. Fiat providing a cheap/affordable AMC could help gain confidence and keep the running costs low.

    Looking forward to the sales charts to see the effect of this launch from FIAT.

    PS: Karthik accompanied me to the Linea Classic test drive. He will pen down his observations too.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2013
    23 people like this.
  2. nkrishnap

    nkrishnap Staff Member Janitor

    Linea 1.3

    Competitors - most common ones in the taxi segment.



    • Proven track record of taxi
    • Broad rear seat which can accommodate 3 Adults comfortably
    • Amble boot space


    • Under powered engine




    • Toyota Badge
    • Ample space inside
    • Good Boot space
    • Low maintenance cost

    • Wafer thin build, not in the league of other Toyota cars
    • Underpowered and noisy engine. The latter versions have a bit of improvement on this


    Dzire Tour.jpg


    • Comes with the same MJD engine
    • Maruti service network
    • The established Dzire brand

    • Not as spacious the competition
    • Boot too isn't in the league of the competition.



    • Proven track record of taxi
    • Cheap maintenance
    • Ample space
    • A decent sized boot


    • Niggling issues
    • Cheap quality spares

    Image credit to respective picture owners.
    15 people like this.
  3. PaddleShifter

    PaddleShifter Staff Member Janitor

    Grande Punto 1.3
    Awesome review and report Krishna. Really liked the detailed comparo with other cars. esp the taxi segment. ;) haha.
    1 person likes this.
  4. Sailer_Punter

    Sailer_Punter Amatore

    Amazing review. Hats off.

    Good comparison with positives and negatives listed appropriately.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk - now Free
    1 person likes this.
  5. Good review,spot on service cost of FIAT.
    1 person likes this.
  6. PaddleShifter

    PaddleShifter Staff Member Janitor

    Grande Punto 1.3
    I have a few queries Krishna.

    01. You say that the rear foot level vents are absent in the Classic. Here, do you mean "Linea classic" or the "classic variant of Linea classic"? I mean that are these vents absent in both classic plus and classic variant or just the classic variant?
    02. The brochure mentions same features in "Instrumentation" section in both Classic and Classic plus variants. But the classic variant gets smaller MID and Classic plus has bigger MID in the pics you posted. Did you notice any difference in the options available in both? Since the bigger MID offers more options in regular Linea and Punto.

    Its interesting to note that apart from Verito, none of the car listed as competition has comparable build quality as Linea classic.

    If someone is in the market to buy a Linea classic in diesel variant, buying the Classic+ variant makes much more sense even if ICE is planned to be upgraded.

    Reason for spending extra 55000 are justified (highlighted in bold are features that cant be added in aftermarket shops):
    - Bigger MID and better instrument cluster with full options
    - Manual central locking is present so finding the keyless entry system is easy.
    - Anti lock braking system (ABS)
    - Rear defogger
    - Boot lamp
    - Exteriors- chrome around front grill, body colored handles and ORVMs
    - Fabric seats as compared to vinyl in base variant
    - Integrated audio system gives better look to center console and is a theft detterant to some extent as well. Speakers can always be upgraded.
    - Electric boot release/opener

    Edit- ​I wish Linea classic had an option for black center console. :ugeek::ban
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  7. Pilot lights seems to have gone.
  8. BoseSuman

    BoseSuman Superiore

    Midnapur (W.B) & Hyderabad (A.P) India.
    Linea 1.3
    Excellent review & post Krishna. From the pics its good to see that Fiat learnt their mistake, Glove-box & plastic cover near ignition looks good now.Good job done Fiat. Liked the black-gray RPM-Speedometer in Classic+ variant.

    One question:- Seems Fiat tuned the engine for classic, how about it now if you compare to Punto 76. How you felt, any significant difference?
  9. nkrishnap

    nkrishnap Staff Member Janitor

    Linea 1.3
    Yes, the foot level AC vents are missing on both the variants. The classic model as such does not have the foot level AC.

    The Classic plus gets a bigger MID with a lot more features while the base variant gets the bare basic MID. A picture for the MID function buttons on the Classic Plus variant. The fog lamp switch is missing as well as the fog lamp.

    Class Plus Fit and finish interior.jpg

    +1. Apart from Verito and to some extent the Indigo, the other two cars are pioneers in wafer thin build quality :evilsmile

    +1 Again. The classic is already getting the free insurance and RSA which makes it even more lucrative. Wont be surprised if the exchange bonus or loyalty bonus kicks in the next few months.

    Yes, they are gone. The red pilot LEDs does enhance the overall interior feel at night and looks uber cool.

    Did not get to drive the Punto 76PS back to back. But from the past experience with 76PS Punto. The drive more or less feels similar, but the Linea does not feel bogged down to the additional weight of the boot.
    1 person likes this.
  10. Krishna & karthick,

    Thanks for taking time to do a photoshoot and excellent review.I hope this thread is made sticky by mods.

    Five stars to the thread.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2013
    1 person likes this.

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