The interiors of the Linea are ergonomically designed and have one of the most loaded interiors. The quality of the materials is decent, and some competition sedans have better quality too. The fit and finish is decent too. The new Linea upgrades are brilliant and the design is very contemporary.
The seats are also large and are cosy enough. The other good bit of the Linea is its steering position and the seating position. You sit comfortably and there is even a dead pedal to rest your foot on. All these small things do make the passionates love the Fiats. We have been driving the Linea in Mumbai’s bumper-to-bumper traffic and have had no complains of fatigue after driving for so long. The Linea is an incredible car and we love it. One of our colleagues drove a Fiat Linea for the first time and only had praises for it. However, there are some downsizes to the Linea as well. The space is decent in both the rows, except for the head room in the rear is a bit tight for six footers.
Active: Active is the very base model of Fiat Linea and hence, carries only the very basic elements of comfort, convenience and safety. Starting with power steering and front power windows, the driver's kit consists of many gadgets and controls like remote fuel lid opener, low fuel warning light, adjustable steering column, tachometer, electronic multi-tripmeter, digital odometer and power adjustable ORVM. The seats come lined with premium-grade fabric upholstery and carry adjustment options, lumbar support and headrests for the second row. The safety arsenal, meanwhile, comes bearing central locking, adjustable halogen headlights, rear fog lights, rear seat belts, seat belt warning, side and front impact beams, engine immobilizer and centrally mounted fuel tank.
Dynamic: Next comes the Dynamic version, which costs a little more than the Active and so, offers a little more than the Active. Except for the tachometer, Dynamic carries forward every other trait from its lower end variant and adds some more to the pack like rear power windows, height adjustable front seat belts, rear AC vents, outside temperature display, front fog lights and wiper-washer-defogger combo for rear window. Even safety gets enhanced in this model owing to the arrival of ABS, power door locks, child safety locks, door ajar warning and key-less entry.
Emotion: One notch higher than the Dynamic stands the Emotion variant of Linea. Additionals, besides those that adorned Dynamic, that make their way into Emotion include automatic climate control, air quality control, multi-function steering wheel coated in leather, alloy wheels, driver and passenger airbags and crash sensor. Automatic headlamps, Italian leather and 16-inch alloy wheels also top up the brownies of the Linea Emotion.
The facelift version of the Etios gets improvement in quality. The sedan has always been practical, with loads of space to seat five and a massive boot of 595 litres. The brownies on the Etios are decent. The only thing we are against is the plastic quality.
Major changes have been made on the interiors of the Etios and the results are positive. The dashboard now has beige and grey trim and even the quality has been improved by a couple of notches. The interior trim has been changed from grey to beige fabric and even the headrests are no longer integrated and can be adjusted. This alone changes a lot in the interior, and it does feel premium than before.
The music system on the Etios has been changed and even the new 2 DIN music system does look a lot more stylish and better in design. Toyota built a sedan for a family that can only afford a single car, so the Etios had to be spacious. The Etios can comfortably seat five adults and to make things easier the central tunnel has almost been flattened. Even the boot space is large, as it can swallow 595 litres of luggage, making one the best in its class. The driving position is great and the light steering makes maneuvering in city convenient.
J: This is the base variant of the Etios and now comes in diesel variant also. This version comes with body coloured bumpers, tubeless tyres, air conditioner with heater, cooled glovebox and digital tripmeter. It even misses out on power steering.
G: This is a variant higher than J and is available in petrol and diesel engine options. It also includes body coloured door handles, body coloured ORVMs, B-Pillar Black-Out, intermittent wiper, chrome garnish on boot, power windows, electric power steering and central locking.
G Safety: Similar to the above variant, it comes with some additional safety features that include SRS Airbags, ABS (Antilock Brake System) with EBD (Electronic Brake Distribution) and Driver Seatbelt Warning. Hence, the name is G Safety. It comes in petrol and diesel variants.
V: This variant encompasses front fog lamps, 12 spoke alloy wheels, and roof-mounted antenna, and rear defogger, tachometer and in-dash music system with USB & Aux-in.
V (with safety pack) A top end variant in Toyota Etios includes side skirt, steering mounted audio controls, leather wrapped steering wheel and chrome-accented shift knob. Similar to the above variant, it comes with some additional safety features that include SRS Airbags, ABS (Antilock Brake System) with EBD (Electronic Brake Distribution) and Driver Seatbelt Warning. Hence, the name is G Safety. It comes in petrol and diesel variants.
The 1.3-litre multijet engine with 90bhp is the ideal pick amongst the three engines on offer. This engine is one of the most of reliable and even the power delivery is decent, even though the T-Jet can blow your mind with its performance.
Diesel 1.3-litre: The 1248cc turbo-charged diesel mill is capable of spinning a peak 91bhp at 4000rpm for a maximum of 209Nm of torque produced at 2000rpm. Identical in specifications to the 75bhp unit, the only feature that makes this particular variant stand apart is the variable geometry turbo, which when incorporated in this engine, raises the power levels straight away by 16bhp. Besides, when this low rpm turbo boost synchronizes with the reduced turbo-lag of this model, an immense thrust results, which makes highway driving a true pleasure.
Other than power, the engine also scores high when it comes to the NVH levels. Mated to this power-packed and efficient engine, is a 5-speed manual transmission gearbox, which does not feel very slick and is a bit on the notchy side, but the gear-knob is quite easy to hold and facilitates positive shifts contributing effectively to a better drivability.
Petrol 1.4-litre T-Jet: The 1.4-litre T-Jet was the first vehicle in this segment to get a petrol turbo engine and this engine produces 113bhp of power 207Nm of torque. This is the most powerful, when you consider peak torque. The turbo lag isn’t very prominent, however this engine has sufficient power in it for normal city driving. Downshift and you get the rush from the turbo that will get a big grin on your face. The T-Jet comes mated to a five-speed manual transmission and this is one of the most powerful petrol engines in its segment.
The petrol engine of the Etios is amazing, thanks to the power to weight ratio. It is one of the quickest sedans in the C segment and even efficient. There is always enough power to drive through city lanes, and downshifting might not be required.
1.5-litre petrol: The petrol engine of the Etios is a 1496cc mill that churns out 89bhp@5600rpm and a maximum torque of 132Nm@3000rpm. The engine isn’t a stonker of a performer, but there the power to weight ratio of 90bhp/tonne changes the entire game. The Etios weighs 930kg, which is hatchback territory. The engine is perky and power is always available at the tap of your right foot. One usually doesn’t require a downshift to overtake.
This motor happily revs upto 6000rpm, but it tends to get a bit noisy when it crosses the 3500rpm mark. The torque spread is good and the power delivery is linear like any other efficient petrol engine. The 5-speed manual transmission comes mated to the petrol engine. The gear lever is small and the shifts are precise.
1.4-litre diesel: The 1.4-litre engine that powers the Etios is the same that also does duty on the Corolla Altis. In the Etios, this engine has been detuned to generate maximum power of 68bhp and 170Nm of maximum torque. The Corolla Altis it gets a variable geometric turbocharger in the Etios it gets a conventional fixed geometric turbo. With the same engine block, there is bit of diesel clatter during cold starts but this is muted once the engine warms up. The throttle is fairly responsive and the engine has good mid-range and is drivable around the city. The engine is drivable as the power delivery is linear. It is on the open road you feel that the engine lacks that extra punch.
The engine is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. Gearshifts are positive and slick. As per ARAI test cycle, Toyota claims the Etios diesel to have a fuel economy of 23.59kmpl.
The ride and handling of the Linea is one of the best in its class. The ride is well composed and even the handling is definitely one of the best in its class. The alacrity of the chassis is fantastic and it is indeed well balanced.
Ride and handling have always been the forte of the rides coming from the Fiat Linea is no different. The suspension system is the very key to the smooth, supple and composed ride that Linea so proudly boasts of. But although this suspension system is very efficient at absorbing jolts and jerks, it won't stop an exceptionally bumpy road from making its presence felt inside the cabin.
Where handling is concerned, there is no beating the Linea. Whether it is a simple straight path or a sharp hairpin bend, this hatchback won't let the driver lose control in any situation. The steering wheel too has been weighted properly to instigate complete confidence in the driver. Also, the fact that its improved ride height improves the ground clearance as well.
The ride of the Etios is fairly composed and most of the road shocks are absorbed by the suspension. The handling on the Etios is good enough even driven within city speed limits.
The suspension set-up is soft and it ensures better ride and fairly decent handling characteristics. The Etios smoothly glides over potholes with a muted thud and most of the road shocks are ironed-out by the transmission. The ride is smooth, but some road noise does intrude the cabin.
The Etios’s handling is decent, when within city speed limits. The sedan can zip through busy streets but things get difficult as you make it to twisty roads. The steering wheel of the Toyota Etios is light and feels slack around the corner as the car gathers speed.