Fiat Linea 2010 Petrol -Long Term Ownership Review
I own a Fiat Linea Dynamic 2010 model. Boy, this is one beautiful car. I think this is actually a two-part story to the car itself. The exterior looks were definitely head turning. They get you the presence wherever you go. The door close with a supreme thud and you can feel the outside world shut off completely. On the inside, however, it is a very different story. It has the least of the quality and looks. Parts keep falling off occasionally, thanks to the amazing Tata part supply then.
On the convenience and ergonomics standpoint, the car scores pretty low. It doesn't have an armrest on either the front or the rear. The cup holders are made for the short Italians and have no meaning in the Indian context. No cubby holes that are convenient. The steering rubs against an unsuspecting drivers feet. It is quite unnerving when you feel it the first time. The interior plastics are thoroughly below par.
The console is beautiful and lit in orange at night. It is thoroughly customizable and makes it a pleasure look at and read information from. It has all the modern OBD information that is necessary.
This model doesn't have a rear AC. I guess the AC is made for the polar regions or for northern Kashmir. It just doesn't work in the Indian summers. The rear occupants constantly nag you to check if the AC button is on, when the blower is running at full speed. The large glass area only adds to the agony. Side curtains would be a definite add-on, really.
It has a large boot that can swallow many bags at a time, no complaints there. But again the part quality is sub-par. For example, the hydraulic mechanism of the boot had issues in less than 5 years. The connecting rods did come off and had to reset. The spare tyre is full sized steel tyre.
Now coming the engine and performance, the car is one heavy waggon. Not sure if it was designed and engineered by an ex-army chief. This thoroughly hits performance big time with a puny 1.4L petrol inside, tuned for very sedate driving. Therefore the car wakes out of sombre on the first gear. The second gear is not inspiring either and asks you to keep the engine on boil. In the third gear, it starts to behave like the cars we are typically used to and will reach 60 when pushed. The fourth gear is also short.
Peak traffic driving is not pleasurable as you really can't move it with agility. Overtaking needs some really scientific planning. This really makes it a slouch in the segment.
All that said, add the driving dynamics into the mix, the car is very different. It has a decent ability to hit the top end and stay normally on the road. The suspension setup is beautiful and the car can mask speeds quite well. It can put several of the so-called good cars to shame in this department. I felt that the car has the best cornering ability in the c-segment. You just don't feel any body roll at all.
With all the pickup compromises, it still delivers only about 12 KMPL in the city and about 14 on the highway run. The max I could extract was 15 (when driven consistently under 90 KMPH). That's what a lot of steel can do to a car.
The service experience is nothing better than asylum. This car deserves a better service network to even hope of some revival in the numbers. Most tier two cities have not Fiat service centres. They make do with an authorised third party service centre, who rarely know what they are doing. This makes it really a troublesome ownership. The service costs are in the neighbourhood of 8k with synthetic oil with 15000 KM interval.
The resale thus takes a hit owing to all of this. My advice to used car buyers is a bargain for an amazing deal. You will get it. Maintain and keep it well, it will serve you well.
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