To juice the lucrative mid-sized sedan segment and to quench the increasing thirst for petrol turbos, Fiat brings in upgrades to the T-Jet. Ravi Ved takes it for a spin to find out what's new
When the Fiat Linea was introduced in the late 2000s, it was meant to hoist the Italian marquee to the top of sales charts in the Indian C-segment sedan space. More importantly, it was also to fill up the space left empty after the Petra’s decommissioning. However, the Linea couldn’t quite shake up the market as much as Fiat would have hoped for and although the T-Jet launched later did make for an interesting offering, being one of the few petrol turbos available in its time, the high price when pitched against similar cars in the segment didn’t quite let the T-Jet to take wings and set sales soaring.
With the launch of cars like the Volkswagen Polo GT TSI and the much-awaited Ford Ecosport recently, the love for turbocharged petrol-engined cars in India seems to have been rekindled in the Indian market, and Fiat decided to cash in on this enthusiasm early on by giving the Linea T-Jet a new lease of life.
So what’s new in this refreshed 2013 T-Jet? While the body shell remains the same, as does the engine, with the 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol unit producing 115PS @ 5,000rpm and an impressive 207Nm of torque at 2,200rpm, Fiat has brought about changes where they matter most. The petrol-powered Linea is now offered in three trim levels namely, Active, Dynamic and Emotion.
The ground clearance on the Active and the Dynamic variants has been increased to 185mm. Now this itself was sufficient to start with but Fiat went ahead and raised the top-end Emotion’s ground clearance by an additional 5mm. Whilst the T-Jet’s underbody doesn’t scrape while driving over those massive speed bumps or potholes, it has compromised the car’s handling marginally while cornering. But considering that we drive more often in the city than go corner craving, the move is justified.
To fulfil customers’ ever-expanding demand for more features, the new Linea T-Jet comes with additional equipment such as automatic headlamps, an audio system with remote, rain sensing wipers, ABS, EBD and disc brakes on all four wheels.
The top-end variant also gets 16-inch alloy wheels, wider 205/55 R16 rubber and new white leather upholstery as opposed to the earlier beige. Both the Dynamic and the Emotion variants get twin airbags as well as the Microsoft Blue and Me infotainment package.
The highlight of the new T-Jet, of course, is its price. The car was initially launched in just the top-end variant, which too at an unbelievably high price that made it more expensive than a few diesel cars on sale.
But the revised T-Jet comes in Active and Dynamic variants as well and starts at an extremely competitive Rs 7.6 lakh for the base trim while the Emotion variant is priced at Rs 8.8 lakh. While the new pricing will undoubtedly attract potential customers to Fiat showrooms, a complete design overhaul could have surely helped the T-Jet stand out from the regular Linea. Fiat, are you listening?