Yes, it’s really cliched, but all good things have got to come to an end. After three months of daily driving and living with it, I’ve had to wave goodbye to our Fiat Linea 125S. Being a heavy, fuel guzzler, there was never any rush to grab the keys among fellow testers but now that it’s left our fleet, it will be missed.
With its decently spacious cabin, absorbent ride and brilliant straight-line performance, the Linea 125S proved that one needn’t spend big to have a fast and practical family sedan. Whether simply running errands or blasting down the expressway during the frequent Mumbai-Pune trips, the 125S never failed to raise a smile. Yet there was more to this Fiat than a spacious cabin and punchy engine.
All in all, the Linea clocked nearly 5,000km (4,863km to be precise) since it arrived in March – a fair mileage for what’s basically a performance-oriented, turbo petrol vehicle. Predictably, it didn’t miss a beat throughout the whole stint; however, the 125S isn’t without its flaws. More on that later.
The Linea’s ‘big car’ feel doesn’t simply extend to its relatively large dimensions. As I found out driving it over Bombay roads nearly every day, the Linea is extremely refined (with just a hint of tyre noise) and its ride quality, too, is remarkably composed. And while the narrow opening for the boot somewhat hurt practicality, the 500-litre capacity meant there was always enough room to accommodate luggage for the whole family.
Over the 4,800-plus kilometres that I did, most of which within the city, the Linea averaged a mere 9.5kmpl. Combine that with its 45-litre fuel tank and you are looking at a realistic driving range of 427km between fill-ups which is right about decent when you consider the driving thrills on offer. As for reliability, I’ve had no issues to report. Nothing broke or fell off throughout my time with the Linea and that’s despite the frequent presence of a hyperactive Labrador in it. In fact, the only time I lifted the hood was to refill the washer fluid and that’s about it.
Sadly, my time with the Linea 125S is up. It’s proven to be seriously fast, comfortable and a little offbeat family sedan. The seats, too, are accommodating and the big 500-litre boot adds plenty to the car’s practicality. It’s just a shame that the rear headroom is a bit tight (thanks to the sloping roofline), the cabin isn’t ergonomically laid out (read about it in our previous report here) and the touchscreen infotainment is slow to respond and feels ancient (compared to the units in rival models).
Variant – 125S
Odometer reading – 8810
Positives of the report – Straight-line performance, Absorbent ride
Negatives of the report – Lack of storage spaces, Unresponsive touchscreen system
Fuel Efficiency – 9.5kmpl
Pictures by Kapil Angane