Cartrade Comparison Test
One of the premium mid-size sedans, Volkswagen Vento, got a 2015 facelift which made it look sharper and smarter than before. Unlike Hyundai cars, Volkswagen has always given more weightage to subtle and understated lines which make it look sophisticated compared to its rivals. The grille has got wider and looks premium with chrome finished twin slats running along the width. The front bumper and the bonnet features revised crease lines to make it look bolder than before.
Also, the bumper gets revised outline with a chrome strip pasted on the lower section. It is a blink it and you will miss it change on the side coz the profile merely sports chrome strips along with new set of wheels to make it look distinct but doesn’t create an impression at all. To the rear, Volkswagen has added more chrome on the boot lid as well as on the rear bumper. The tail lights have been updated for the facelift and even the exhaust sports a steel finish.
The new Fiat Linea received an update in the form of a smarter front and rear, though the overall shape and dimensions were retained from the earlier version. Among the changes, the front bumper was revised with a grander feel and chrome embellishment along with a resurfaced front bumper.
The new changes on the Fiat Linea made it look more elegant than before making it loom unique for its segment. Even the headlights were updated with more effective reflectors for better illumination at night. The side was left intact as the strong shoulder line running along the silhouette did not demand any changes whatsoever. To the rear, there is a wide chrome strip neatly placed on the tail lid along with a brand new LINEA logo nicely embossed on the top of the lid.
The understated feel of the outside is carried over inside too with subtle lines on the dashboard and central console. The two-tone beige and black interiors lend a premium touch and so does the new flat bottom steering wheel which has been carried from the Polo facelift. The cluster has been updated too with a lucid and bright display of the multi information display. This compact screen displays the essentials of driving such as trip readings, distance to empty and gear shift indicator. The Vento now also has the Highline+ variant that has a touchscreen system with navigation as well. This is offered on a new variant that has been added to match the competition features.
The new Volkswagen Vento is not any more comfortable than the previous model as the seats are well cushioned but can be tiresome on long journeys. Even the headroom, leg room and knee room is not as generous as some of its rivals in the segment. It is clearly not the car to be on long distance commutes. While, almost everything inside the new Vento feels upmarket and premium, the dated non-touchscreen unit feels an odd fit.
The inside of the New Fiat Linea was completely revamped compared to the earlier version as the entire focus was shifted to premium occupant comfort. The instrumental cluster has lucid display of numbers along with the necessary piece of information regarding driving conditions and to the centre lies the infotainment which gets a piano black surround engulfing it. The AC vents above that too are finished in rich glossy layers of plastic and they have a utility zone above with a cover. The beige and black combination of front dashboard layout looks very plush.
In terms of comfort, the Fiat Linea doesn’t disappoint at all as it gets perforated leather seats finished in beige cream. They are definitely not easy to maintain but at the same time lend a cushy feel to the occupants robbing of any fatigue caused while driving on highways and city conditions. The deeper slotted cluster makes It a bit uneasy for the driver but then the overall comfort of the Linea is impressive. Not just that, it also gets modern elements like automatic headlights, automatic wipers etc but then loses on certain essentials such as park assist.
Engine:(4.5 / 5)
The new Volkswagen Vento comes in three types of engines. Firstly, it gets a 1.6-litre MPI engine that makes 103 bhp of power at 5250rpm and 153Nm at 3800 rpm. This motor comes with a five-speed manual transmission. For the enthusiasts, there is a1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine that makes 103 bhp of power at 5000 rpm and 175 Nm at between1500 rpm to 4100 rpm. This one comes with a seven-speed DSG transmission unit. It delivers a mileage of 18.19km/l.
The diesel motor has a displacement of 1498cc and produces similar power output at 103 bhp at 4400 rpm. This motor, however, offers a superb torque delivery at 250Nm between 1500 rpm to 2500 rpm. This motors comes as standard with a 5-speed manual transmission and delivers an efficiency of 20.64 km/l. In addition, it is also offered with a seven-speed DSG box with a mileage of 21.50 km/l.
The TSI petrol motor is purely for the enthusiasts who like the rush of power at smaller dashes inside a city. It is extremely well spirited and it at ease no matter in city or on highways. The diesel motor displays similar confidence and the 250 Nm of torque acts as an aiding tool on highways. Just push the throttle a bit and the motor churns out great deal of performance to take on city commute as well as highway traffic.
Powering the new Fiat Linea are two impressive units. Firstly, the petrol variants make use of a 1.4-litre T-Jet motor that makes 112 bhp at 5000 rpm and 207 Nm of torque at 2200 rpm. Officially, Fiat claims that the new Linea petrol delivers 15.7 km/l. Secondly, the popular 1.3-litre multijet diesel, which also happens to power most of the offerings starting from a regular hatch to premium mid size sedans, makes 91bhp of power at 4000 rpm and 209Nm at 2000 rpm. This one delivers an official mileage of 20.4 km/l. Both these engines occupy a five-speed manual transmission.
Clearly, the power output of Fiat Linea is not the best in the segment because it rivals the likes of Hyundai Verna and Honda City, both of which sit very high with impressive numbers. However, to Fiat’s benefit, the Linea has been tuned to offer greater driving pleasure. The motor feels refined and the transmission too offers smooth quality of shift, the two quintessential for good driving. The T-Jet petrol motor behaves very contrary to the diesel as it revs freely and gives enough confidence to be belted to extreme limits on highways. In fact, the motor is so good that a further tuned version powers the Abarth Punto Evo.
Ride and Handling:
If there is any car which sets a benchmark for ride and handling, it has to be the Volkswagen Vento as it displays its prowess with great confidence. The new Vento too carries forward that same tradition. The steering response is extremely precise and on high speeds, it pays great dividends. The suspension setup too is impressive as it effortlessly soaks up the difference in surfaces. Helping that positive feel is the seven-speed DSG box which has a smooth shift quality and is unarguably the best in the segment.
This is a dimension where Fiat cars have always been very strong and the new Linea too endorses the same with great confidence. Yes, we did mention of the motor not churning impressive numbers but the quick agility of the Linea with its direct steering input makes it a brilliant performer on both city and highway driving. The suspension setup which makes use of an independent unit on the front wheel along with a torsion beam for the rear make it take rough sections and undulations with a superb capability. The Linea sits on a taller ground clearance of 190mm but the same doesn’t act as an hurdle while handling the vehicle around corners.
Unlike typical large dimensioned cars which are severely discomforting on high speeds and sudden manoeuvres, the Linea behaves like a thorough breed offered with a well set confident ride and handling package. Further aiding the confidence feel, the Linea also occupies great set of front and rear brakes which have enough bite to bring the car to a standstill from extreme speeds.
Value for Money:
The updates done on the Volkswagen Vento definitely make it look smarter than its rivals and also, the drive factor too, is a benchmark setting trait but the only place where the new Volkswagen Vento lags behind terribly is the presence of modern features as seen on the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz, Honda City and even the Hyundai Verna. But, if you wish to own a premium sedan with a strong built quality, the Volkswagen Vento is definitely the choice. The prices of Volkswagen Vento range from Rs 7.85 lakhs to Rs 10.62 lakhs for the petrol and Rs 9.10 lakhs to Rs 11.87 lakhs for the diesel.
The new design of the outside along with modern additions makes the Fiat Linea an impressive offering. Inside, the interiors have been updated to make it feel as strong a contender as its rivals. The ride and handling too scores impressively but overall the Linea doesn’t feel as new as the competition as other manufacturers have switched to a new platform while the Linea is still a refurbished offering on the earlier platform. The price of new Fiat Linea for the petrol variants lay between Rs 7 lakhs to Rs 9.77 lakhs while that of diesel variants are between Rs 8.67 lakhs to Rs 9.99 lakhs. All these prices are ex-showroom.
The Vento has an edge over the Linea when it comes to features and powertrain options. Both are good driver’s cars and spacious too. But the Vento feels a lot more premium and is the clear winner in this segment.