by cyrus dhabhar , Photography : jamshed havewala |
April 9, 2014 13:22 IST
The Fiat Linea T-Jet has always been full of turbocharged goodness. We find out if the new 2014 version is better than before.
The Fiat Linea has a lot of things going for it. It is a good looking car, and one that handles well. The Linea Multijet diesel meanwhile is also efficient. You can read more about it here. But, the Multijet isn't exactly a driver's delight. The Fiat Linea with the T-Jet though, priced between Rs 7.43-9.01 lakh (ex-showroom,Mumbai), well, that’s a thoroughbred enthusiasts car all the way!
The Linea T-Jet is almost visually identical to its diesel sibling. With the exception of a larger chrome garnish on the tail pipe, one could easily mistake this little go-fast version for its more practical twin. Fiat, of course, has generously garnished the T-Jet with badges on the bootlid and the front fenders, but even those aren’t obvious enough.
The 2014 Fiat Linea T-Jet gets the new three slat grille and the new well crafted front bumper, all of which give the new Linea T-Jet a more upmarket feel. The new Linea also gets a set of multi spoke alloy wheels that look plain-jane at first glance but actually have a ton of smaller details in them.
As we mentioned in our Linea diesel review, the new interior is a Neil Armstrong sized step over the last one both in terms of design and overall finish. The old driver-centric cabin has now been replaced by a conventional symmetric design comprising of two rather curvaceous bulges on the dashboard. The interior quality is something we need to harp on again with the touch and feel of everything oozing a sense of class.
The centre console for example is festooned in a piano black finish with the infotainment system nestled nicely in the centre. Come nightfall, the insides are still draped with Fiat’s signature orange lighting with a sliver of orange light running across the dashboard. Although the Linea doesn’t have the number of gadgets as compared to say a Honda City, it is still a very fine place to be in.
The most important thing about this particular car though is the bit under the hood. The 1.4-litre, turbocharged, 4-cylinder DOHC engine makes an impressive 114PS of max power and 207Nm of peak torque. Although the power doesn’t seem to be too high on paper, on the road, the Fiat Linea T-Jet possibly has the best sub 10-lakh rupee petrol engine currently available in India.
Being a turbocharged car, toque is available as low as 1800-2000rpm making the Linea T-Jet a dream to drive in the city. Let it loose on an empty stretch of road though, and the Linea is a real hoot to drive. Not only does it get off the line with effortlessly, the way it reaches triple digit speeds is extremely rewarding. The Linea T-Jet though deserves a much-needed upgrade in the gearbox department.
The 5-speed gearbox may have been acceptable at the turn of the decade, but today, with the creamy engine and fantastic torque, a 6-speed is sorely missed. The 5-speed gearbox though too feels slightly outdated with its notchy and rubbery gearshift action and the lack of feel.
The Fiat Linea is known for its phenomenal handling and the 2014 Fiat Linea T-Jet does not disappoint. By no means is the 2014 model as planted as the original version, but neither is it a bowl of jelly. With its massive 205 section tyres and 16-inch wheels, the Linea is possibly the best handling sub 10-lakh rupee sedan available in the market.
There is a hint of torque steer in the Linea T-Jet, but one could blame the added torque and power of the T-Jet for that. That said, the rigidity on the chassis and the overall balance is phenomenal. The steering too is well weighed for aggressive and sporty driving but can feel quite cumbersome in city limits. The Linea T-Jet may not be as easy to drive as a Hyundai Verna or a Honda City but it certainly manages to light up one’s day.
The Fiat Linea and the T-Jet variant in particular is possibly one of the most under rated car in the country today. Priced attractively between Rs 7.43-9.01 lakh(ex-showroom, Mumbai), the 2014 Fiat Linea T-Jet may not have the simple and clean looks that the earlier models came with, but they certainly look more grown up and a lot more value for money than they ever were. The 2014 Fiat Linea T-Jet is certainly a car to consider if fun and driver involvement is something one is looking for.