Day 2 – 2012 Fiat Linea Interior Review
Kaustubh Shinde, They say sooner or later your passion finds you. Sometime in late 2009, I started writing for IAB and ever since then it has been a roller coaster ride for me. An amazing experience that has taught me a lot, taken me to new places, driven some great cars and met some amazing people. When you don't find me on IAB (very rarely), you will find me either at a coffee shop or an eatery or at the nearest gadget store.Hope you enjoy IAB as much as we do!
Sure the Linea looks great from the outside. But you wouldn’t be looking at it when you are driving, would you? The Linea needs to be as gorgeous from the inside as it is from the outside. A lot of sedans in the segment lack an eye-pleasing interior. Early Fiats like the Palio, Sienna and Petra did not have very good interiors. So what does Fiat have to offer in the Linea.
Step into the 2012 Fiat Linea and at a first glance you will notice that it has a very well designed interiors. Unlike Fiat’s previous models and many other rivals, the Linea’s interior’s does feel like someone has taken the effort to make sure the owner of the car feels good when he is sitting in the car.
The Linea has a two-tone interiors which is a beautiful blend of black and light beige. The light colors make the Linea’s inside feel very airy. The three spoke steering wheel is leather wrapped and is one of those rare ‘perfectly proportioned’ ones which provide ample grip (just like the new Fiesta’s). It has steering mounted controls help you to change the song/channel or take a call on the fly.
The two stalks (indicator and wiper) are interchanged in their placement. Both the stalks reveal some interesting updates. The 2012 Linea comes with auto headlamps and rain sensing wipers in all variants.
In my opinion, the Linea has the second best dial cluster in its segment (I sort of like the Fiesta’s more). It is very beautiful to look at when you are driving because of its cool fonts and red needle (little joys of driving). Although, I would have loved it if it had a white backlight but we have to settle for a red one. A little display below the dials shows you all sorts of information such as average fuel economy, trip distance, average speed etc.
The center console introduces a dash of silver to the dual tone interior. It has an empty slot on the top which looks a bit weird. The fonts on the buttons are a bit difficult to ready in the day because of the white and light silver combo. The gearstick is also wrapped in leather to give you a good grip.
The Linea comes with automatic climate control for the top Dynamic and Emotion models. Fiat has worked on the air conditioning unit because they received a lot of complaints from the customers that the AC doesn’t cool enough. Happy to report that the air conditioning works just fine now.
The glove box is deep but the opening is obstructed by the Blue and Me system. The USB port is inside the glovebox so you can’t change USB sticks while on the move (Safety feature I suppose). The Linea also comes with a dead pedal to rest your foot on.
Coming to the rear, the legroom for the rear passenger is just enough; not ample like the Nissan Sunny but just enough. The headroom could be concern for the 6+ people because of the sloping roofline. The armrest can be opened to bring out the cup holders. It also has a rear sun blind in the dynamic and emotion variant. I don’t think any car in its segment has that feature.
The Linea also comes with a dedicated AC vent for the rear to cool the rear passengers. The seat belts are height adjustable.
The boot space is massive – 500 liters to be precise. It can swallow a full size human if it wants too.
Things that I don’t like about the interiors:
- Biggest grouse by far – it doesn’t have an AUX port.
- Unlike the norm where in order to get the high beam you have to push the indicator stalk down, in the Linea you have to pull it up. The problem is that the same action coincides with the blinker. So every time you want to overtake someone, inadvertently you engage high beam. This gets on your nerves after a point of time.
- The steering wheel cannot be adjusted for reach. Coupled with the weird driver seat adjustment settings means that it takes a lot of time to find the right position.
- The storage solutions in and around the driver’s area are appalling. Yes, there are cup holders next to the gearstick but no idea which sort of cups they can hold; not the normal ones for sure. There is no place to store water bottles as well.
- The power window settings are placed unusually forward. So many-a-times when you try to open the driver’s window, you actually open the window behind you.
- The A-Pillar is very pronounced and obstructs the view of oncoming traffic on turns.
- Overall the interiors materials feel good to touch and feel but there are some parts of the interiors where cost cutting is evident.
- The voice dialing on ‘BlueandMe’ still doesn’t work correctly
Overall, the Linea has very good interiors in its segment. They are very well designed and are very pleasing to the people seating inside. Apart from a few ergonomic niggles, the Fiat Linea definitely impresses us with its interiors.
Stay tuned for driving review.