The Italian Beauty The Fiat Linea T Jet 2013
Fiat brought to India, the really affordable sub 10 Lakh turbocharged petrol car, the Linea T-Jet in October 2010. The recent offering from Ford the EcoSport has turbocharged petrol in one of the variant. Linea is a very sophisticated sedan, the Italian styling even though it’s a bit old makes it stands out. The 2013 Linea has some remarkable add-on features than the older one including an auto headlamp and a rain sensing wiper.
The new Linea T-Jet if you go by the shape is the same old Linea. The design even though some six years old still looks good. It is a rare to see a company keeping the design rather unchanged. The earlier Linea was notorious for its low ground clearance, but Fiat has got that part rectified. All the variants of Linea including the T-Jet gets increased ground clearance. 190 mm and 16-inch wheels in Emotion trim and 185 mm and 15-inch wheels in the Dynamic and Active variants. The design with the sloping roof, a very elegant headlamp and taillights, its coupe like looks and muscular wheel arches make this car a rear beauty on the roads. There is rather good amount of chrome used. The Emotion and Emotion Pack of Fiat Linea consists of chrome door handles, body colour rear view mirrors, silver painted radiator grille and chrome body side moulding. Alloy wheels with multiple spokes give it more appeal. The rear side of the Fiat Linea gets the same sporty design job as the front one. It has got large tail lamps cluster, single chrome tipped exhaust system and a compact antenna. For the T-Jet there is rear spoiler and it shows that it is a sports car. There is nothing much to differentiate a normal Linea and T-Jet and I hope Fiat will make up for that pretty soon.
The interiors of Linea are quite commendable and it will give its competitors a run for their money. Step inside and the first thing you will appreciate is the feel of the cabin. The dual tone black and beige interiors are appealing while the white leather upholstery offers an airy looks. The interior are so well finished that it can compete with car above its class. The dashboard design is very much driver oriented, the interior of the Fiat Linea comes with two-tone wrapped dashboard that houses the instrument panel, centre AC vents, audio system and a glove box at front row.
The leather wrapped steering wheel of the car comes with three spokes, mounted audio controls and Blue&Me controls that make it multi-functional. The seats of the car are dressed with eye-soothing and neat covers; the driver seat is height adjustable: front armrest is with glove box and 3 level adjustable. Other interior features include painted finish inside door handles, sunglass holder, front seat back pockets, vanity mirrors, rear roof light, collapsible rear sun curtain, etc
The rear seats on the Fiat Linea T-Jet are extremely comfortable all around with good back support. Rear passengers will appreciate the decent legroom which although far from class leading, offers decent amount of knee room. The Linea has got a big boot space of 500 Litres. Safety options of Fiat Linea includes Dual front Airbags with two stage deployment, ABS along with EBD, ESP help providing more support while driving, this car allows stable traction control with the help of brakes and engine control. Another safety provision include inertia switch FPS (Fire Protection System). FPS system prevents the car from flow of fuel in engine at the time of emergencies. Apart from that, the Fiat Linea has been equipped with front disc brakes and rear drum brakes, engine immobiliser with rolling code, 3 safety headrests, Double Crank Prevention system, Programmable speed limit indicator, Programmable follow me headlights, Digital door open indicator with exact door open indicator, etc.
The new Fiat Linea T Jet comes powered by a 1.4 litres, 16-valve, 1368cc, turbo-charged petrol engine that is also Euro V and BS IV compliant. The C plus segment Linea T Jet is available in two variants i.e. Fiat Linea T Jet and Fiat Linea T Jet Plus. This new petrol engine produce a maximum power of 114 PS at 5,000 rpm and belts out highest torque of 207 Nm at 2200 rpm. The new variant has the same gearbox as the existing Fiat Linea. This time, the new vehicles takes on 11.14 seconds to cross 0-100 kmph that is much better than the older one; the top speed of the car is also improved that is around 186 kmph. Other important changes in the new Fiat Linea T Jet are rear disc brakes and fatter and larger tyres, it’s now 205/55 R 16 which is far better than existing 195/65 R 15. The ground clearance of the Fiat Linea T Jet becomes higher i.e. 170mm as compared to existing 161mm. There are some exterior and interior changes as well that surely enhance the overall appearance. The newly added Fiat Linea T Jet is powered by a 1.4 litre, 1368cc, DOHC, 16 valves, turbocharged petrol engine that develops higher power of 114 Ps at 5000 rpm and better torque of 207 Nm at 2200 rpm. The engine is mated with a five speed manual transmission. This new power train delivers higher fuel efficiency than the basic petrol variants.
The Linea T-Jet has a slight turbo lag below 1500 RPM because once the turbo spools in full form and flow, it gives you a gentle push in your seat at around 2000 RPM and the Linea T-Jet takes off. It even wheel spins in second gear, such is the amount of torque on tap. Mid-range is the strongest part of this engine and you will find yourself up shifting at around 5500 RPM, even though the redline comes in at around 6500 RPM. The Linea T-Jet doesn’t rev that quickly at higher revs and starts to run out of steam at around 5500 RPM and its best to keep the T-Jet motor in the peak of its power band which is 2200 – 5000 RPM. You can amble along in third gear at speeds as low as 20 km/hr while at the same time you can smack the throttle to zip quickly to 140 km/hr, all in one GEAR!
The gear ratio setting could have been better as it would make the Linea T-Jet much quicker to 100 km/hr. In first gear, the Linea T-Jet will do around 49 km/hr, while second shows 94 km/hr. You need to up shift to third to do the 0-100 km/hr sprint, which takes around 11.5 seconds. This isn’t particularly quick but the Linea T-Jet is whole lot of fun and puts more smiles on your face than cars which are faster. It is quick to reach 150 km/hr and the sound from the engine is intoxicating, mildly throaty with a hiss from the turbo clearly audible. It does get coarse past 5000 RPM though. Top speed is 186 km/hr and mileage has improved from 14.6 km/l to 15.7 km/l (ARAI).
The Linea T-jet is dream car when it comes to handling; it inspires a lot of confidence when doing high speed cornering. The Ride quality is excellent. The hydraulic power steering offers good feedback for the drive. The only gripe is the large turning radius which although reduced from 5.55-metres to 5.4-metres still makes it difficult to manoeuvre through tight spots. Braking performance is splendid and the all round disc brakes work well to stop the T-Jet firmly in its tracks. NVH levels are good although wind noise is on the higher side at high speeds.
Fiat claims every second Linea sold is powered by a petrol engine and most of those petrol powered cars sold are powered by the T-Jet motor. The Linea T-Jet is not only the most frugal petrol Fiat in India but the most fun too. The 2013 Fiat Linea T-Jet is a bit more practical with more variants available and more features on offer. The Linea T-Jet Active is priced at 8.99 lakhs while the Dynamic variant is priced at Rs. 9.97 lakh and Emotion variant costs Rs. 10.44 lakhs and at this price point, no sedan that comes close to offering the levels of equipment, performance and fun as the Linea.