The mid-size sedans are ever popular is India. The cars offer their owners - status symbol, luxury and performance that hatchbacks seldom match. With more manufacturers present in India than there were in past years, a larger choice of cars, hence, that is available to choose from is also dizzying. Sales in this segment of the market get more or less evenly distributed among all major manufacturers and there is hardly anyone that can stand out glaringly in terms of sales.
We compare the specifications of the two mid-size sedans – Fiat Linea and Skoda Rapid and find out which one is the better car.
The specification comparison sheet has been prepared by comparing Skoda Rapid Elegance Plus TDI manual with the Fiat Linea Emotion Advanced Multijet Diesel and Skoda Rapid Elegance Plus MPI manual with the Fiat Linea Emotion T Jet Petrol.
Skoda Rapid exteriors Vs Fiat Linea exteriors
Skoda has always provided the Indian market with cars that have understated styling. A quality that’s common among all cars that India has seen from the manufacturer is that they all look - elegant. All of this is true in case of Rapid as well. The face of the car looks taut and the proportions of every element are just right. What you would notice immediately about the car is that it a combination of the VW Vento and the Skoda Fabia which is no longer into production.
The nose of the car has been borrowed from the Fabia and the common design elements include – bonnet, headlamps, foglamps and grille. The sides and back of the car are very Vento like with very subtle differences. The lower variants (Active and Ambition) of the car come equipped with 15-inch steel wheel whereas the higher variant - Elegance gets 15-inch alloy wheels.
The Fiat on the other hand is known world over for their radically designed and successful small cars. The Linea is a thoroughly engineered car. The new Linea exudes style and indeed a great looker, no matter whichever angle you look at it from. The changes to the old Linea have been minimal but it does make the car look visibly smart. The front grille now has two slats and there is a bigger and newly designed bumper with larger air dams that direct air towards the engine.
On the side, there are electrical ORVM and clutch style door handles. The beefed wheel arches that gradually merge into the waistline make the car look muscular. The rear end of the car has a large boot lid, chrome linings, and houses clear lens type, twin pod tail lamps. There are 16 inch alloy wheels which go very well with the European looks of the car. The ground clearance of the new car has been increased too, and is now 185mm.
Skoda Rapid interiors Vs Fiat Linea interiors
The Skoda Rapid uses a 3 color scheme for interiors, it makes use of black, beige and brown. There’s nothing exciting in terms of design. However, the fit and finish of the switches, plastics etc. are top-notch. You get features like – climate control, multi-function steering wheel, rear air-con vents, cup holders, front and rear centre arm-rest, electrically adjustable rear view mirrors, etc. The instrument cluster displays all the essential information like travelling time, distance travelled, average speed, immediate consumption, average consumption, travel distance before refuelling, service interval, outside temperature, clock etc. There’s 2 DIN audio system with USB, Bluetooth, Aux-in and SD card support. The boot of the car is sufficiently large at 460 liters and can swallow big bags of luggage.The new Linea uses high quality of plastics and upholstery. The new interiors are the same as we have seen on the Punto Evo. Dash board is well designed and the controls are nicely arranged. The three spoke power steering also has controls for audio and telephony. Some of the details that the instrument cluster offers to the driver are - average and instant fuel consumption, date and time, and distance to empty. There’s “My Car” feature that lets you customize features. You can choose to switch On/Off airbags, control beep and buzzer volume, speed limit, lets you decide if the doors should close automatically or not etc. The Microsoft’s “Blue&Me” also let you connect phone to car’s system and allows you to give voice-activated commands, receive and make phone calls, change music tracks, and have your messages read out too. There are sufficient storage spaces too - two cup holders, a glove box, and door pockets. The boot space is generous too at 500 litres and can carry lot of luggage.
Skoda Rapid engine Vs Fiat Linea engine
The Skoda has been very thoughtful here and has tried to offer the prospective buyer - every possible choice. There are two engine choices – 1.6 MPI Petrol and 1.5 TDI Diesel. Both the engines are available with automatic as well as manual gearbox.
The 1.6 MPI Petrol engine manages to produce a maximum power of 103.6bhp at 5250rpm and peak torque of 153Nm at 3800rpm. The 1.5 TDI Diesel engine on the other hand produces the same power 103.6bhp at lower rpm 4400rpm and peak torque that the engine produces is 250Nm between 1500-2500rpm. The manual gearbox in both the engine options uses a 5-speed transmission. The automatic gearbox used with the engines is different; the diesel engine use a 7 speed automatic and petrol engine uses a 6 speed automatic.
Fiat offers Linea with three engine options - two tunes of 1.4-litre FIRE petrol power mill and a 1.3-litre Multijet diesel power mill. The higher power petrol version of the car, powered by a 1.4-litre (1368cc) FIRE petrol engine delivers 112.4bhp of peak power at 5000rpm and peak torque of 207Nm at 2200rpm. The lower power petrol engine delivers 88.8bhp at 6000rpm and peak torque of 115Nm at 4500rpm. The diesel variant of the car is powered by a 1.3 litre (1248cc) multijet engine and delivers 91.7bhp at 4000rpm and peak torque of 209Nm at 2000rpm. All three engines are coupled with a 5-speed manual transmission and there’s no option of automatic.
Skoda Rapid mileage Vs Fiat Linea mileage
The Skoda Rapid with the 1.6-litre petrol engine and five speed gearbox should be able to deliver 15kmpl on highways and 12kmpl in the city. The 1.5-litre engine with manual gearbox should be able to deliver 21.14kmpl on highways and 17.9kmpl in the city.
The Linea diesel, equipped with 1.3 litre diesel engine offers an efficiency of 17.2kmpl in the city and 20.4kmpl on highways. The lower spec 1.4 liter petrol engine should be able to deliver 11.2kmpl in the city and 14.9kmpl on highways. The more powerful petrol motor on the other hand delivers 11.3kmpl in the city and 15.7kmpl on highways.
Skoda Rapid safety features Vs Fiat Linea safety features
The Linea uses disc brakes on front as well as rear wheels. The Rapid on the other hand uses disc brakes on front wheels and drum brakes at rear. ABS (Anti-lock Braking System), airbags, park assistant feature, engine immobilizer, central locking, child safety locks are to found on both the cars.
Both the cars are reasonably well equipped and there is not grossly wrong with the level of safety equipment that these cars have to offer. The prominent Brake Assist feature, however, is only to be found on Skoda Rapid.
The competition does not get any close than this; Skoda has carved a niche for itself and has achieved a unique fan following of their own. The cars offered by the manufacturer distinctly stand out in respect to the build quality. The Skoda Rapid is no different and is a reliable car that feels like built to last. With the Rapid you get better ride quality, cabin space and reliable service backup. You should go for Fiat Linea if you want to drive the car yourself since it is essentially a driver’s car, is equipped with a remarkably great engine and has better driving dynamics.