ExperToq: Is the New Fiat Linea the most value-for-money mid-size sedan?

The New Linea is better value for money, with many new features – and the price tag is very competitive. For more features, good price – the New Linea is asking some tough questions from the Honda City, Hyundai Verna and the Volkswagen Vento. So where does it really stand?

It’s a tough one – and that’s why on April 24th, we called in our experts on ExperToq and asked what they thought.

Palash Sharma, a CarToq member (with Enthusiast rating), started off the chat with a bunch of reasons why Linea scores.

“It is the most potent vehicle in its class. The diesel lacks punch though! T-jet is an absolute gem. I know many would argue that Linea (diesel) has this much power this much torque, but honestly, there is no replacement for displacement. And bigger-engined cars take the cake when it comes to performance! Even though the 1.3 has enough juice past 2000 rpm, due to slightly unpolished gearing ratios, the Linea lags behind.”

He is clear that the petrol is a winner. “But overall, the petrol makes a lot more sense now, considering that it is priced very competitively! It gives the best of both worlds, driving pleasure and comfort and, yes, the third world ‘Beauty’! I would buy it for its sheer size and the beautiful body work.”

Chonda, another member with Enthusiast rating and a Fiat Punto owner, felt let down on one count. “I personally felt the outgoing Linea (now the classic) looked better, not sure if the looks of Linea would grow over time on me.”

His assessment vis-à-vis competition: ““If you are looking for a petrol, I feel the only competition is City. Still, Linea is more value for money. For diesel, I believe, Honda City (with noisy Amaze engine and thin, small wheels) does not warrant a look, while Hyundai Verna is good in terms of power, it is let down by the ride and handling. Volkswagen Vento and Skoda Rapid make a compelling case in diesels as they present good power with good handling, but lack features.”

On the Linea driving, Chonda says: “Linea would be good on the highway, but if you plan to do majority of the driving in the city, then you might not like performance in the 1st and 2nd gears. The build quality is excellent.”

There is one point he made which was reassuring, given Fiat’s track-record on this one. “I quite like the fact that Fiat provides the best warranty and the authorized service centre has been quite efficient for me.”

Everyone was waiting what Shreyans Jain had to say. Highly respected in the CarToq community, with a Car Pundit rating, Shreyans has bought a Honda City recently. ““That the Linea is a damn good car being sold at a great price is undoubted. Whether it makes the best case for you is the thing to decide. I am of average height and do find the Linea’s driving position a bit too stretched out.”

He also was impressed by Fiat’s proposition on maintenance. “Warranty coverage is best in class, but it does not ring my bell. 150,000km is a very long distance, so the fine print of the coverage needs to be looked into.”

His reasons where others score? Performance, for one. This many not be a big deal for people used to driving small, lag-heavy turbo-diesels but after so many years of the instant-go Scorpio, I find driving such cars a pain in urban conditions.”

Shreyans also points to resale value factor. “Granted, the Honda City costs a lakh extra. But a casual check with local brokers will confirm that it will give you back about that much extra over the Linea if you sell it after 4 years.”

Amit, who has driven over 2.5 lakh kilometres on cars across the country, and is rated as a Senior Expert, is a big Linea fan. “It is a no brainer that Linea is a significantly better overall package than Vento, City and Verna! Lowest service costs on a per km basis & cheapest spares in class are important factors after longest warranty terms of 5 yrs / 1,50,000km.”

His analysis also included features comparison with competition. “Ground clearance is highest in class and a proper sump guard is provided, which is simply not available with other sedans. Hydraulic steering is also available only on the Linea in this segment.”

He adds: “Linea gets non-intrusive hydraulic hinges for the boot-lid allowing owners to use the entire boot space while all others have intrusive boot-lid hinges. Alloys and tyres combination for Linea (205/55 R16 6.5J) is superior to anything else that competition gets as original fitment.”

He had a few critical points as well. “The only negatives of Linea are it not being a sprightly vehicle in the first gear or two and poor brand image of Fiat. For just about anything else that can be objectively considered except the gearbox and brand image, Linea is superior without a doubt. Coming to the T-Jet, it simply tramples over the competition in an honest comparison.”

Vikrant Mahajan, rated Buff in the community, talked about a safety-related incident. “My friend’s car when it met with an accident was running at 120-130 kph and did somersaults. The car body served as a cocoon and brought my friend out of it with just minor bruises. So my pick will be Linea any day over the Vento.”

And finally, we heard this from a Linea owner within the group. Rohit Anand, a CarToq member with Boss rating, says: “I have been using a Linea for about 2 years now and the way it handles and drives is phenomenal. Especially on highways there is good mid-range and top-end torque that you really don’t feel it’s a 1.3 litre inside. With cruise control and super highway mileage of 22+ kmpl it should be the ideal choice for people who love to drive.”

In summary, the experts were overall impressed with the Linea proposition (with some reservations about the engine performance.)

To read the full discussion, click here: Is the New Fiat Linea the most value-for-money mid-size sedan?