2014 New Fiat Linea Diesel: Review
Coming to how the Linea drives. The new 2014 Fiat Linea diesel shares its mechanicals with the outgoing model. This means, the new car has the same 1.3-litre Multijet engine that powers the rest of the Fiat diesel range. The 1.3-litre diesel makes 90PS of peak power and 209Nm of peak torque. In 2008, this was enough power to please most, but in today’s day and age where the Honda City pushes out 100PS and the Hyundai Verna a staggering 128PS of power, the Linea feels underpowered in comparison.
Although the lack of power isn’t really apparent while driving around the city, up a hilly road, it becomes frustratingly obvious. The shift quality of the gearbox isn’t the best in the business either, and along with a clutch that needs better feel and progression, the Linea doesn’t score highly in the drivetrain department.
The saving grace for the Linea comes in the form of its sheer dynamic prowess. The steering for instance is the most feel-some in its class. It is heavier to use than the competition being hydraulic and all, but it’s a steering one enjoys especially on the highway and at higher speeds. It also makes the Linea diesel an involving car to drive around a twisty section.
To add, it has one of the finest chassis and suspension setup in its class of cars. Even raising the ground clearance to 190mm hasn’t upset the Linea’s balance. The Fiat Linea feels precise and well-balanced around corners, the grip levels are high, and it feels the surest of the lot at the limit. Its braking impresses as well. But the commendable bit about the new Linea’s dynamic behaviour is that even though it handles so well, the ride quality remains pliant. It doesn’t feel busy over broken roads, there’s no real wallowing to worry about (even with load) over undulating surfaces, and there’s hardly any noise or vibration that seeps into the cabin. It feels like a solid, European car.
Rounding it off then, Fiat has done a good job of breathing new life into the 2014 Fiat Linea. The interior is a real step up from the old car, both, in terms of layout and quality feel. It had and has strong mechanicals giving it class leading ride and handling. It has good equipment, and the boot at 500 litres is practical and usable. As is clear, there are a number of reasons to buy the new Fiat Linea. But, given the limited service reach of Fiat currently, and the relatively poor resale Fiat cars come burdened with, the new Linea has to be an emotional purchase than an outright practical one. The new Fiat Linea will be launched in the first week of March and should be priced between Rs 7.5-9.5 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai).