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Linea Facelift 2014 - Test Drive and Review

Discussion in 'Linea 1.4 T-Jet' started by nkrishnap, Feb 24, 2014.

  1. nkrishnap

    nkrishnap Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    1,900
    Bangalore
    Bangalore
    Linea 1.3
    The New Linea has been launched with prices starting at 7.44 lacs for the 1.4 T-Jet and 8.15 lacs for the 1.3 MJD (ex-showroom Delhi)

    Linea Facelift - 2014

    Firstly, we would like to thank Vecto Motors wholeheartedly for providing us the opportunity to review the Linea facelift.

    IMG_4740.jpg

    Likes
    • The facelift still looks good compared to the competition, but bring the older Linea into picture, the older one looks far more clutter less and the timeless design stands out.
    • High quality chrome on the exterior
    • The interiors have been revamped with the dashboard being new and brings in the freshness to the cabin.
    • A couple features have been added on the already feature rich car. The in built navigation and reverse camera would have been icing on the cake
    • All the positives of the earlier Linea are very much present in the facelift. Excellent build quality, the ride quality and handling, steering feedback, superb braking ability are to name a few.
    • The Linea facelift comes with the 1.4 Tjet motor as standard in the petrol engine department
    • The car finally gets 3 bottle holders at the cost of the arm rest space
    • Huge 500 litre boot
    • Cruise Control standard on the emotion variant
    • The reverse parking sensors are standard on the dynamic and emotion variants.
    • The Automatic Climate control is good, but the not as effective as the ones that were available in the Tjet and Tjet+ Variants that were launched in 2010. The AC vents have directional as well flow control now.
    • Placement of the Aux and USB port, it's no longer a trouble to use
    Dislikes
    • The Linea facelift deserved to have the 1.6 MJD under the hood for the diesel segment
    • The interior space packaging not as great the Japanese counterparts.
    • The lesser headroom in the rear for taller people
    • The low speed ride might put off the chauffer driven kind of customers, but they will appreciate the ride when the speeds increase.
    • The arm rest is more or less present just as a requirement as the space is sacrificed for a bottle holder
    • The spare wheel is now a steel wheel and not an alloy wheel unlike the pre 2013 models for emotion variant.
    • Increased weight on the facelift across variants and more so on the top end variant
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 4, 2014
  2. nkrishnap

    nkrishnap Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    1,900
    Bangalore
    Bangalore
    Linea 1.3
    Prologue

    Fiat India announced the break up from TATA and its future road map in December 2012. From then on during the year 2013 Fiat India did manage to open around 100 dealerships and launch the Linea Classic on schedule. The array of launches from Fiat India included a facelift to the current Linea as the current one is already on sale in India from the 2nd half of 2009 and has seen a bit of mechanical changes over this period based on the customer feedback like the ground clearance increase, improved AC, etc. The variants line up was rationalized from five to three. With all these changes, still the car was left behind as compared to the competition without a model change or a facelift. Come 2014, Fiat showcased the facelift Linea during the Auto Expo 2014. The facelift is now launched after a few weeks after the Auto expo.

    A glance at the price list

    Price List.jpg

    Source

    Old Linea price - Fiat India website.


    Competition Price Check

    Competition Check.jpg

    Specifications

    New Specifications page 1.jpg

    New Specifications page 2.jpg

    New Specifications page 3.jpg

    Source credit - TFI member kedarbendre.

    Weight comparison between the old and new Linea

    Weight.jpg

    Source - Old Linea - Fiat India website and new Linea from the brochure.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2014
  3. nkrishnap

    nkrishnap Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    1,900
    Bangalore
    Bangalore
    Linea 1.3
    Exteriors

    Linea has always been a good looking car with clean lines. The facelift carries forward these clean lines which a few changes to the exterior which makes it the best looking car in the segment. There are lots of chrome on the facelift at the front and the back. One would agree that the providing a facelift was tough job on the current Linea as it was designed so elegantly. Fiat has tried quite hard at it and the facelift does not take away the original elegance completely from the car.

    Front

    The car now gets the new grill and a bumper design. There are slight changes to the bumper with creases to match the grill design. The front somehow resembles a bit of the Verna transform especially the upper grill. However, this does not mean the car is looking ugly. The chrome additions can be welcome move as Indians love chrome. The quality of the chrome is top notch unlike the ones seen on the Toyotas, which can easily chip off.

    Front View

    IMG_4740.jpg

    IMG_4768.jpg

    Note the subtle creases on the bumper which goes with the design

    IMG_4750.jpg

    Side Profile

    The side profile of the car has remained almost untouched except for the turn signal indicators are now housed in the ORVMs instead of the fender and the fender gets the Tjet logo. Do note that this Linea arrived straight from the auto expo and hence the Sticker running across the side profile. The facelift gets a new alloy wheel design.

    Front 3 Quarters

    IMG_4757.jpg

    IMG_4761.jpg

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    Rear 3 Quarters

    IMG_4769.jpg

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    The turn signal indicators on the ORVMs

    IMG_4844.jpg

    Tjet badging on the fenders at the older turn signal indicator location

    IMG_4848.jpg

    New 14 spoke alloy wheel design goes quite well with the exterior

    DSC_0259.jpg

    Rear

    The Linea facelift has quite a bit of changes to the rear. The number plate now moves up to the boot instead of the bumper and get a tail gate release lever neatly tucked near the number plate lights. The tail lights are untouched and the old design is carried forward. A chrome strip sits with Linea embossed sits above the number plates. A thick chrome strip now runs across to break the monotony in the rear bumper and gets the safety reflectors too. The reverse parking sensors are placed below the chrome strip and it is body coloured. They do work quite well and o note that the reverse parking sensors give out only an audio warning and does not have any visual warn the driver.

    The black plastic at the bottom of the bumper now makes the rear look less bulky. The top end version get a factory fit spoiler which is not a bad thing. The rear tailgate also get the engine nomenclature too. The Tjet gets a chrome exhaust while the multijet retains the old style exhaust. The rear does appear raised due to the increased ground clearance especially on the Tjet which has 190 mm ground clearance on the top end variant.

    Rear View

    IMG_4753.jpg

    Note: Linea retains the twin reverse lamp unlike the other cars in the segment which has a single reverse lamp.

    The OEM factory fit spoiler

    IMG_4838.JPG

    The Linea badging above the number plate

    DSC_0268.jpg

    Apart from these changes, the Linea gets two new colors to go with the facelift. Sunbeam Gold and the Magnesio Grey. The Oceanic blue has now been discontinued.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 24, 2014
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  4. nkrishnap

    nkrishnap Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    1,900
    Bangalore
    Bangalore
    Linea 1.3
    Interiors

    The facelift has brought about a host of changes which has freshened up the interiors. The interiors still continues to have the black and beige combo which is not a bad thing at all. The interiors are now well put together and does feel premium.

    The dashboard is all new along with the speedometer console and the center console. The dashboard gets soft touch plastic and the texture is quite good. The center console gets a storage box at the top, which is quite well built and has dampening material inside to keep away the unwanted rattles when coins are placed in it. There is a single cup holder in front of the gear lever and the other cup holder location now houses the Aux and the USB port. The glove box is damped and get a light too which turns on when the glove box is opened. The AC vents now have the direction as well as the flow control which is a welcome addition to the facelift. The steering still has only height adjust and the reach adjustment has not made it into the facelift.

    The new dashboard layout. The glove box alignment lot better than the current design

    IMG_4786.jpg

    The sun glass holder

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    The illuminated glove box

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    The soft touch dashboard a closer look

    IMG_4801.jpg

    The AC vents with flow and direction control

    IMG_4802.JPG

    The storage slot above the center AC vents

    IMG_4805.jpg

    IMG_4807.jpg

    The instrument console is new and has black background with orange light font and looks quite premium when lit up during night. The passenger airbag area above the glove box gets an orange neon strip kind of light which looks uber cool in the night when the parking lights or the head lights are on. The center console too black back ground and is orange light. However with the black and orange theme going for the tell tale lights, the blue foot well lights do not go well with the orange theme. A warm white or light orange would have suited better.

    The new speedo console. Note the leather covering the empty spot below the console

    IMG_4810.jpg

    The speedo console with the keys turned on

    IMG_4821.jpg

    Speedo console illuminated

    Speedo backlit.jpg

    Center console with black background and orange font.

    IMG_4822.JPG

    View of center console at night

    Center Console at Night.JPG

    The key hole now finally sports a better finsih

    IMG_4812.jpg

    The cruise control

    DSC_0261.jpg

    The leather wrapped gear knob. Note the Aux and USB slot.

    IMG_4819.JPG

    The front doors get bottle holders; however note we found the 1 litre Kinley water bottle did not snug fit the bottle holder. However, the half litre Tupperware bottle did fit in ok. The other bottle holder is located behind the driver armrest above the rear knee level AC vents. This has come with the sacrifice of the center console space. The rear doors do not get any bottle holders.

    Bottle holder front door

    IMG_4792.jpg

    With a bottle. Notice the silver finished door lock handle which replaces the chrome ones.

    IMG_4817.JPG

    The bottle holder for rear passengers

    IMG_4837.JPG

    The center storage space and shortened armrest

    IMG_4823.jpg

    IMG_4826.jpg

    The seats as such are quite comfortable and the emotion variant gets perforated leather, which is light beige. Good luck in maintaining the interior clean. The rear seats get 2 head rests and the armrests with the leather strap to help pull out the arm rest with ease. The front seat pockets are now smaller and recessed to free up a little more leg room. The rear seats gets ample leg room. The transmission tunnel is not too high to be intrusive and the fifth passenger will be a tight fit if they are well built or tall. At best, the Linea is comfortable for 4 people.

    Two headrests and a leather strap to help ease of access to the arm rest. Note the rear sun blind too

    IMG_4834.jpg

    The seat pockets and the recessed a little for better leg room

    IMG_4835.JPG
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  5. nkrishnap

    nkrishnap Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    1,900
    Bangalore
    Bangalore
    Linea 1.3
    The Drive

    With the facelift what has been done to the existing engine line up? None actually. The Linea facelift comes with the same but very capable 1.4 Tjet and the same 1.3 Multijet. The top end emotion variants gets the cruise control as standard.

    1.4 Tjet

    Tjet Engine.jpg

    The 1.4-liter Tjet is rated at 114 PS (112.4 BHP) at 5,000 rpm and a diesel like torque of 207 NM at 2,200 rpm. The turbo starts spooling around 1700 rpm and once reaching 2000 rpm there is sufficient pull to make brisk progress. Like all turbo petrol engines, there is lag below 2000 rpm, while in traffic one may needs a downshift to keep up the pace. The mid range punch is quite strong due to the max torque coming in at 2200 rpm, the strong pull continues all the way till around 5500 rpm. The engine note is quite sporty. Though we did not time the runs, the Tjet does make quick progress even with the increased weight. Fiat has not come out with any official 0-100 numbers for the facelift Linea. Unlike the diesel counterpart, the gear ratios are nicely selected to give the best of both worlds. The gears do slot nicely but there is rubbery feel to the way the shift happens. The gear lever feels smaller in length; this may be due to the gear console itself being a little higher. The Tjet can cruise quite comfortably at 120 kmph speeds without breaking a sweat. The punchy mid-range makes overtaking a piece of cake on the highway.

    The current positive traits of ride, handling and steering feedback have been carried forward in the facelift too. The ride is a little stiff at lower speeds; however, this is due to the stiffer suspension to counter the increase in ground clearance. As the speeds increase, the suspension dismisses the uneven road surfaces like nobody's business. There is increased body roll compared to the pre-2012 suspension set up. The Linea is still one of the best handlers in the segment even with the 190 mm ground clearance. With grippy tyres, one will have to push hard to make the car lose its mechanical grip and make the tyres squeal. The Tjet gets all wheel discs, it not only does go fast, but also has outstanding braking capabilities.

    The real life fuel efficiency would not be too different from the current Linea Tjet, but one may see a marginal drop in the mileage due to the additional weight.

    Cruise Control

    The cruise control is now standard on the top end emotion variant. During the drive that we did, we had ample opportunities to test the cruise control. The cruise control once turned on will get activated after attaining a speed of 30 kmph or more. Note that the cruise control won't engage in the first and reverse gear for safety reasons. There is no visual display in the MID of the set cruise control speed. Given the opportunity of an open highway the cruise control does work well and keeps the stress off the right leg and helps in getting better fuel efficiency due to the better control over the throttle by the ECU. On the flip side, bring in the normal scenario of the traffic on Indian highways, the cruise control will see very less usage. For example, the 20 odd kms drive on the NICE road section for saw us cutting off the cruise control quite a few times due to the slow moving traffic.

    Instructions on how the cruise control to be used as per the owner's manual.

    Cruise Control Instructions 1.jpg

    Cruise Control Instructions 2.jpg

    PS: The Linea facelift with multijet engine is yet to be driven. The drive report will be posted after the drive.
  6. nkrishnap

    nkrishnap Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    1,900
    Bangalore
    Bangalore
    Linea 1.3
    Overall impression

    The Linea has always been a very capable sedan and the facelift retains these traits. The solid build quality, good ride and handling, excellent steering feedback, very good braking ability and the features list makes it quite a contender in the crowded C+ sedan segment. The 1.4 Tjet, 1.3 MJD form the engine line up. Fiat needs to plonk the 1.6 MJD under the hood to satisfy the power hungry customers out there

    Other Points

    The storage slot below the my car buttons panel

    IMG_4816.jpg

    The ORVMs coverage

    OVRMS - Left.jpg

    OVRMS - Right.jpg

    The IRVM coverage

    Internal rear view mirror.jpg

    The USB slot with the cover closed

    IMG_4847.JPG

    The USB slot with the cover open

    IMG_4846.JPG

    The spare wheel now 15 inch steel wheel.

    IMG_4839.jpg

    Illuminated door sill


    Illuminated door sill.jpg

    The tow hook cover neatly tucked in the fog lamp Bessel.

    DSC_0254.jpg

    LED indicators in action during day time.

    IMG_4845.jpg

    LED indicators in action during night

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    Indicators in action at night

    Indicators in action.jpg

    Interior Ambiance at night

    Interior Ambience at Night.jpg

    Exterior Comparison - Old Vs New

    The front

    IMG_4775.jpg

    IMG_4771.jpg

    The rear

    IMG_4773.jpg

    Alloy Wheels

    IMG_4851.jpg
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2014
  7. nkrishnap

    nkrishnap Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    1,900
    Bangalore
    Bangalore
    Linea 1.3
    Competition Check

    Honda City

    Honda City.jpg

    Positives
    • Spacious
    • Superb high revving petrol engine
    • Autobox on the petrol
    • Honda quality, reliablity and service

    Negatives
    • Overpriced
    • Skinny tyres
    • No Euro type build quality and not so great handling and high speed ride
    • Sub par diesel engine which is noisy and not as great a performer as the Hyundai 1.6 Crdi or VW 1.6 TDI

    Maruti SX4

    SX4.jpg

    Positives
    • The National engine under the hood
    • Service network and perceived better service back up
    • Cheap maintenance

    Negatives
    • In the market for long, the replacement could makes its way by end of 2014
    • Not so great brand image in the premium segment

    New Ford Fiesta

    New Fiesta.jpg

    Positives
    • Good ride and handling
    • Precise steering
    • DCT available with the petrol
    • Feature rich

    Negatives
    • Over priced
    • Lesser known car due to poor sales

    Nissan Sunny

    Nissan Sunny.jpg

    Positives
    • Proven track record of the 1.5 litre diesel engine
    • Space, the rear seat space the segment best
    • CVT Option on the petrol engines

    Negatives
    • Sales network not wide enough in the tier 2 cities
    • Not so great steering feedback and braking abilities

    Skoda Rapid

    Skoda Rapid.jpg

    Positives
    • European build quality
    • A capable diesel engine in the line up
    • Neutral handling
    • Brand image in India

    Negatives
    • Inconsistent service quality
    • Relatively higher service bills
    • Noisy Diesel engine

    Renault Scala ( more or less same as Nissan Sunny)

    Scala.jpg

    Positives
    • Proven track record of the 1.5 litre diesel engine
    • Space, the rear seat space the segment best
    • Better looking than the sunny

    Negatives
    • Sales network not wide enough in the tier 2 cities
    • Not so great steering feedback and braking abilities

    Hyundai Verna

    Verna.jpg

    Positives
    • A powerful diesel engine
    • Autobox on the diesel
    • Loaded to the gills
    • Service network

    Negatives
    • Poor high speed capabilities in terms of handling, ride and steering feedback
    • Hyundai no longer cheap to maintain

    Volkswagen Vento

    Vento-.jpg

    Positives
    • European build quality
    • Superb TSI engine with the DSG auto box and a very capable diesel engine
    • Neutral handling
    • Brand image

    Negatives
    • Inconsistent service quality
    • Relatively higher service bills
    • Noisy Diesel engine
    PS: Image credits to respective owners.
  8. Ravi

    Ravi Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    6,001
    Bangalore
    Grande Punto 1.3
    Brilliant effort Krishna and this looks one of the best review on new Linea.

    Linea with T-Jet is certainly one of the best option available in market, can't say same for MJD. Let's see how Fiat markets this product and how buyers responds to this.
    Interior upgrade is a welcome change, even exterior is better than the market (but the classic look of Linea is timeless).
    1 person likes this.
  9. ramjn

    ramjn Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    5,243
    Chennai
    Linea 1.3
    Brilliant review there. This is one of the most detailed review I have ever read. Well done Krishna. :)
    2 people like this.
  10. zenwalker

    zenwalker Esperto

    Messages:
    2,150
    Bangalore
    Awesome detailed review there krishna. :clap
    1 person likes this.

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