This is my first TD review and it is not an official TAI
Car – FIAT Linea T-JET+
Dealer – Oberoi Automobiles
Place – Noida
It was a short TD of about 8-10 kilometers. Dealership Experience
– Got free from my college at 11:30 am on the 30th of October. Called Oberoi motors to enquire about the TD of Linea T-JET. The receptionist was polite and readily transferred my call to one of the FIAT sales persons. He sounded genuinely excited and was ready to bring the car to my home (Sweet!) but I told him that I am on my way to the showroom only so no need to bring the car over.
Reached the dealership around noon. It’s a huge double storey building and is only about 2 months old. The receptionist took down my contact details and showed me the way to the FIAT Area. As expected there were different display areas for FIAT and TATA as well as different sales teams. Was attended promptly by the SE and he offered me tea, coffee etc. before anything else (Didn’t quite expect this)!
He asked me if it was ok with me to wait for a few minutes as he was on a call with another customer. Was served with the coffee in about 5-7 minutes and in the next 5 minutes the SE was ready for the TD. The SE had decent knowledge about the car though not more than me.
(For those who don't know, i worked for FIAT as a SE for about 4 months and Linea was launched while I was working).
The demo car was a Sum Beam Beige T-Jet+ and the color looked great. However, I find Tucson Wine the best on Linea followed by black. I wish FIAT launched the Cool Jazz Blue Linea in India (showcased at the auto expo).
ENTER – FIAT LINEA T-JET Exteriors
– Enough has already been said about the stunning, ageless looks and design of this car. Which ever color, one can’t take his eyes off this Italian Beauty (Absolutely Drool Material)! The new 16” alloys look staggering to say the least. The car has an improved GC of 170mm, 5mm more than the rest of the petrol Linea line up; thanks to the bigger alloys and 205/55 tyres. Try lifting the bonnet and you’ll realize why the car weighs almost 1.3 tonnes! The ‘tank like built’ makes you feel safe at any speed. The Europeans cars are way ahead in the built quality as compared to Japanese and Koreans. Interiors
– Step inside and it feels like a different Linea all together thanks to the soft touch dashboard and the exquisite leather seats. The interiors seem to put together in a much better manner as compared to the previous models. Though I never had any problems with the plastic quality of the Linea/Punto, it was the fit and finish at some places that was a let down. However, most of it has been taken care of but it can still be improved further IMHO. Having said that, hats off to FIAT for taking the customer feedback seriously.
The use of chrome instead of silver (like in other Lineas), give the interiors an up market feel. The leather seats are large and offer great under thigh and back support.
The interiors of Linea are better than the city but the fit and finish of Vento is a notch above the rest of the cars in this segment. The plastics have a ‘built to last a lifetime’ feel. Though I like the central console of the city, it’s the dials that are a turn off. Neither do they look sporty as the ones in Jazz nor classy like the Linea. Kind of ‘Honda Unicornish’. What I don’t like about the interiors are; the shallow cup holders and not even a single bottle holder!
Off Topic : Checked out a brand new punto emotion at the dealership and the plastics and fit-finish felt better than 2009 punot/linea. Test Drive
- Turn on the ignition and you can immediately feel the high refinement levels. You may feel you have turned deaf as you really have to strain your ears to listen to the engine sound at idling.
Till now things are more or less like the 1.4 NA Linea and almost everything brings a smile on your face but as soon as you slot in the first gear; you know things are different. This car is a serious powerhouse and the smile just grows bigger!
Slot in the 2nd gear and you can feel the turbo rush. Turbo in a petrol engine! You are literally pushed back (my friend sitting at the back also commented on the same)! Felt like Nirvana! Pure Adrenaline and it just continues to get better as you move ahead further and faster.
Though it wasn’t proper testing but I’m sure this car can clock 0-100 in 10.xx seconds thanks to the peak power of 113bhp @ 5000rpm and a class leading peak torque of 207nm @ a mere 2200rpm. On a traffic filled Noida lane, I reached 120 in no time.
You drive this car once and trust me you just want to continue driving it! The engine makes itself audible after 3000rpm but the engine note is so sweet, you’d rather want to switch off your music system and listen to it!
Note that the peak power is achieved at 5k rpm, hence, it is not required to rev this car beyond that.
The ARAI mileage figures are 14.6 Km/L as compared to 13.8 Km/L of the 1.4 NA Linea. I believe it should give anything between 10-11 and even 12 if you drive it sedately (if you can, that is).
A special mention of the special music system. For ardent music lovers like me, it plain sucks! For people like my mom and dad who just prefer to listen to some music while driving, it can do a decent job. Speaker upgrade is highly recommended.
Though it has been discussed many times across various threads in the forum, I believe it still requires a mention here. The blend of ride and handling is the best in the segment (atleast as compared to the cars I have driven. SX4, City, Fiesta, Verna). Period! Vento might be a competitor but I have my doubts.
Same holds true for the Hydraulic Power Steering. It is the best steering to hold (in the segment) and looks great too (only the city steering comes close). And believe me, these looks are not deceptive! It is precise; full of feedback ad makes you feel connected to the road all the time. Metaphorically speaking, the steering makes you feel like you and the car are one entity and you’re entering into a relationship with the road.
This car is an addiction, honestly! And when I say I’m addicted to it, even alcohol does not have the power to make me an addict. But, I surrender to the FIAT LINEA T-JET! (Give us the PUNTO T-JET Please FIAT).
Last but not the least, you get the power alright but at the same time you get the built, suspension to withstand that power. Add to this, the wider 205/55 R16 tyres only make things better.
But the real surprise/boon/gift is the all four disc brakes. The car deserves them with so much power under the hood and FIAT has given it just what it deserves. Note that Linea T-JET is the only car with all four disc brakes.
Really Kudos to FIAT for this. Final Ratings
Dealer Experience – 4/5
Exterior Looks – 5/5 (purely subjective)
Exterior Built – 4.5/5
Interiors (built, design, quality, fit-finish) – 3.5/5 (half mark less for lack of bottle/glass holder)
Interior Space & Comfort – 3.5/5 (3 for space as i expect more legroom from 2603mm wheelbase and 4 for super comfy seats)
Engine Performance and Gearbox – 4/5 (4.5 for performance and 3.5 for gear box. Would prefer a slicker gear box)
Ride, Handling and Suspension – 4.5/5
Steering feel, feedback – 5/5
Features – 5/5 (actually deserves more here) VFM
Factor – 5/5
Total – 44/50 Likes
• Long list of Features
• Addictive Engine
• Ride and Handling
• Steering Feel and Feedback
• Superb Brakes
• Solid Built Dislikes
• For a 2603mm wheelbase, the leg room is less
• No bottle holders
• Interior fit and finish could be better (only a couple of places)
• Gearbox should be slicker Final Verdict
– FIAT really has left no loop holes with the T-Jet. If you are looking for a petrol sedan under 10L, buy it eyes closed.
Don’t worry about the service anymore. With 175 points of sales across 130 cities, FIAT has the 4th largest network in India after Maruti, Hyundai and TATA which would reach 200 by the end of 2010.
There is about a 45k price difference between the T-JET and T-JET+ for which you get leather seats, bigger tyres, better GC and all 5 alloys. Yes! You read it right, the spare wheel is an alloy too! IMHO, the price difference is worth it.
If I get a good enough job after my MBA, I am buying this!
Hope you people enjoyed reading it. Apologies for the long post and low quality pics (the best e71 could do). The above views are entirely personal and are not intended to offend anybody. As I mentioned in the beginning, this is my first ever review. Comments/criticism/compliments are most welcome.
Thanks a lot.