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Fiat Linea T-Jet review - Boost is the secret

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1. So what's new about the Linea?

The Fiat Linea is quite a looker and most buyers had it dead in their sights, but the earlier FIRE petrol and MultiJet engines left something to be desired for many, making them opt for alternatives. The 90 bhp engines couldn't really make the Linea go like a good Italian car should but this new engine can. That apart, Fiat has incorporated Linea customers' feedback to make some improvements all around.

3. Are the changes significant?

Pretty good, actually. The first thing that strikes you is the extra pep that it delivers, boosted by a nice fresh breath of turbocharger air that kicks in at 2000 rpm. It doesn't just stop there either. Hundred comes up in a scant 11.1 seconds (claimed), and even though we didn't performance test it, we think that's the kind of timing this T-Jet will do. Discs on all four wheels means that the braking is better, both in terms of feel and power. One thing that did not impress us was the gearbox, the slickness of which left much to be desired. The power is nicely spread across the rev-band, which improves driveability significantly. 60 kph to top speed - all in 5th gear - is what this T-Jet can do.

5. How does it match up to the competition?

Pricing will be announced early-October and we expect Fiat to price it aggressively. Say, approximately, Rs 10 lakh on-road?

7. Is the car worth it, then?

If you are looking for some genuine bang-for-the-buck in this segment, this is your car. It's loaded to the gills with features, has that big car feel, will have competitive pricing and the new motor really livens up the proceedings. Fiat loyalists will find it hard to turn this one down. For others looking for more value than the City, this option makes good sense.

(The writer was invited by Fiat to test-drive the Linea T-Jet near Mumbai)