Fiat India was going through a rough patch due to the underperforming Palio. To Fiat, the Linea was nothing less than a saviour, a new model that promised to brighten Fiat's image here in India.
The state of the economic conditions has left the Linea in a helpless state. It has managed to do only a portion of the rebuilding process. As things are getting back to normal, the scope for further improvement widens, and the Linea has a tough task to do.
At this crucial time, we thought it was best occasion to study the Linea and see whether it can deliver the goods. For someone who isn't willing to buy the Honda or the Ford, will the Linea offer the relief?
We were given keys to a diesel model, which has the 1.3-liter Multijet engine that is common on everyday cars to find out.
Not many cars make us smile, but at first glimpse, a broad smile appeared on our faces. The Linea's rounded exteriors is like an Italian mermaid gliding around gracefully. A big chrome grill with the Fiat's red logo, gorgeous head lamps neatly complete the front end's overall shape.
The side profile of the Linea is very chic and sweet, a wheel arch and the steep waistline give the car a very broad look. Door handles in chrome are an eye catching addition. The streamlined rear with a unique pair of tail lamps put this car among the stylish cars in Indian today.
The front quarter glass is a cheeky design element, and it functions very well in the crowded places by giving you that extra visibility.
There is no leather option on the Linea but you can't hear any one complaining. The fabric seats are very comfortable. The steering has all the buttons planted on it, therby you don't have to look anywhere else for them while driving.
Unique features is the blue and me from Microsoft of which we would speak about in detail in the next report. The emotion pack that we have got has the climate control and A.C vents for the rear is a practical addition.
The windshield wipers rise slowly and then come back down in a fast action, they are effective in clearing up water and other obstructions.
It is early in the game to talk about anything else on the Linea. We are getting comfortable with the car, finding out what is right and what has to go. We'll give a detailed report in the next few days, so check back often for updates.