Expected in Dec 2008
Estimated price: Rs. 7-9 Lakh
Biggies have been pouring in with well-packaged family sedans to lure the fancy of the Indians. It was Honda which came in with its City and then Ford introduced the Fiesta. Hyundai joined the bandwagon too and its Verna became instantly popular. The latest entrant in this segment has been Maruti which has hit the bulls eye with the hot-selling SX4.
Fiat on the other-hand has been miserable as far as sales chart and success in India is concerned. The Italian marque tried its hand at the C-segment with Siena and later Petra. Both did not sell. Now, with the new alliance in place in form of the JV with Tata, Fiat is thinking big for this segment. Thinking big in the shape of Linea.
A lot has been talked about this car internationally as well. The Fiat Linea has been designed from dot by Fiat Style Center. The main objective was to design a sedan which would appeal to all. So the car had to look uncluttered yet elegant. Sporty even, if possible! Which the Linea manages to look, with aplomb.
The Fiat Linea is not just a Grande Punto with a boot. It is a far cry from that! Linea sports smooth lines and there is a perfect harmony between the sharply raked windscreen, A, B and C pillars and it gives the car a uniform look from nose to tail. The front is characterized by large projector type headlamps which have a ‘Bravo-inspired’ look to them. The grille gives a stubbly look and helps the car look intimidating. The neatly integrated fog-lamps also add to the look. The rear is dominated by a simple yet attractive boot and those tail-lamps endows the behind with a luxury-car look. Standing at over 4.5m in length and 1.7m in width, the Linea is 1.5m tall and carries a wheelbase of 2600mm. It looks stunning, specially in profile. A gorgeous machine this.
Equally good looking is the inside of the Linea. The interior, as expected from Fiat, has a spacious and airy feel about it. The well-sculpted seats and ergonomically laid-out dash and center console speak of a focussed approach towards comfort and practicality. The quality of materials used is right up there with the best in the business and steering mounted controls will elevate the comfort factor all the more. The orange back-light looks super cool!
Fiat has always been known for good ride and handling compromise, so it will be business as usual for Linea as well. Expect comfy ride quality and dynamic handling with accurate steering response and a delightful gearbox. Hope Fiat has gained knowledge from its past experience and will offer the Linea with all the safety and luxury options like ABS, airbags, climate control, leather upholstery etc.
An array of engines are there in Fiat’s kitty that it could offer the Linea with. A 1.3-litre multi-jet diesel that already powers the Swift could come in as an entry-level diesel option which will be complemented by a 1.4L diesel and petrol option too. It is our personal wish that the Linea be powered with a 1.6L petrol motor in addition to the 1.9L diesel. Giving another petrol option might be a 1.4-litre, 78bhp engine.
The Fiat Linea is going to precede the Grande Punto as far as the launch date is concerned and should be here by mid next year. Expect a good-looking, well-behaved and comfortable sedan which would have all the ingredients to disturb the sound sleep of its rivals. A winner it can be for Fiat, provided the pricing is bang on with the adversaries.
Car Segment: Mid-sized sedan
Fuel Type: Petrol/Diesel
Engine: 1.4L Petrol/1.3, 1.4L Diesel
Max Power/Torque: Petrol - 78PS/115Nm, Diesel - 90PS/200Nm; 120PS/206Nm
Dimensions (LxWxH): 4560x1730x1494