Less than a week earlier, Fiat India launched the Linea facelift in our car market. (CLICK HERE for our Fiat Linea facelift India launch report). With the introduction of the new Fiat Linea facelift, the fast ageing Italian beauty, which has been on sale in the country since some time now, gets a dose of freshness that should enable the model to soldier on for the rest of its life. The new Fiat Linea facelift brings along not just a set of visual updates but also a longer features list and revised engine options.
While carmakers launching facelifts of their existing models, all in a bid to give the sales performance a shot in the arm, isn’t anything unheard of, Fiat India has formulated a slightly different strategy to capture more market share. While it has brought the updated 2014 Linea facelift to our country, it continues to sell the pre-facelift model, which got a price-cut, shorter features list and the Classic moniker sometime last year.
So, how different are these two models from each other? Does it make sense to sell same generations of a car alongside each other? Here, we have answers to all such questions you might have.
Fiat India is not just selling the pre-facelift and the facelift models alongside each other, it has also managed to price them so cleverly that they target a totally different set of audience! While the Linea Classic, with the claim of being the longest car in its price bracket, is targeted at the entry level C sedan buyers, the new Linea facelift has been priced slightly higher than the ‘pre-Classic’ Linea and finds itself positioned at the high-end C segment market. This way, Fiat has not just managed to eat into the sales of entry level D segment models, but has also come up with a worthy rival to smaller, sub 4m sedans like the Honda Amaze and the Maruti Swift Dzire. Clever, ain’t it?
Fiat Linea facelift comes with an entirely different front grille, a new set of fog lamps and a new set of bumpers. The new 2014 Linea also gets a new trunk-lid, which is home to the license plate. On the inside too, the car is considerably different from the Linea Classic. While the latter gets ‘budget-end’ upholstery and an all-black treatment for its interior panels, the Linea facelift gets a new two tone dashboard and a longer list of features. The new Fiat Linea facelift also gets two new colours for its exteriors- Sunbeam Gold and Brilliant Magnesium Grey
The two Lineas not just differ in terms of appearance and pricing, they also have a different set of engine options! While the petrol variant of the Linea facelift gets the turbocharged 1.4 litre T-Jet petrol engine, the unleaded-sipping variant of the Linea Classic is powered by a normally aspirated 1.4 litre FIRE petrol engine. This less powerful engine is available only with the entry level Active trim level of the new Linea. Also, while the diesel variants of both the cars are powered by 1.3 litre Multijet diesel engines, the Linea facelift’s motor benefits from a Variable Geometry Turbo and hence, more power on being compared to a the Fixed Geometry Turbo equipped oil burner of Linea Classic.
None of the cars are available with automatic transmission options.
As we’ve been saying, the new Fiat Linea Classic is essentially a stripped down variant of the pre-facelift Linea that used to be on sale earlier. On the other hand, the new 2014 Linea facelift boasts of many more features than the car ever had during its pre-facelift model’s tenure. Here is a list of major features of the 2014 Linea facelift, containing most of the features that are missing on the Linea Classic-
- Chrome exhaust tip
- Central locking with remote
- Dual-tone dashboard
- Automatic headlamps
- Rear AC
- Programmable follow-me-home headlamps
- Dual-stage front airbags
- 15-inch alloy wheels with 195/60 section tyres
- Automatic climate control
- Leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear knob
- Steering-mounted audio controls
- Reverse parking sensors
- Blue & Me
- Leather upholstery
- Chrome accents on exterior
- Cruise control
- 16-inch alloy wheels shod with 205/55 section tubeless tyres (for flagship variant)