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Fiat Grande Punto
Fiat Grande Punto News
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Fiat Grande Punto OverviewFiat stands for Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino (Italian Automobile Factory of Turin). Founded in 1899, Fiat is one of the biggest name in global automotive industry. It enjoys total control over twelve major motor brands which includes big players like Ferrari, Maserati, Chrysler and Jeep. However, Fiat’s success story in India has never been glorious since its inception in India. Their hatchback named Palio had a decent run in India but just decent and not impressive and so the revival of Fiat in India became the question of the hour.
And Fiat Punto is as best as the answer can ever get. The sheer beauty of it is miles ahead of its rivals. True Italian passion and artistic craftsmanship depicts every single part of the car. The front is beautifully sculpted with protruding nose and large tear drop headlamps. Large split grille with metal inserts and meaty Fiat badge gives Punto a striking face.
Side profile of Punto is well-proportioned with balanced body creases and bulges on every panels. 15” alloy wheels looks beefy with flared wheel arches. Blackened B-pillar and thick C-pillar makes the glass bay compact and sharp. Neat shoulder line and vertically arranged tail-lamps gives a very modern air to an otherwise classic design ethos.
Interiors of Punto features two-tone theme which blends smartly with other silver inserts in cabin and dark upholstery. Instrument panel is easy to read and provides ample information via MID (Multi Information Display). Quality of material used is not class leading but the fit and finish portrays solidity. High grade steel frame along with decent safety devices makes Punto an intelligent car to own.
Fiat offers 1.2L and 1.4L petrol engines with the Punto. But the real gem is the world-renowned 1.3L MultiJet diesel. Punto comes with two variants of 1.3L diesel, 76HP and 93HP. All the models comes with a five speed manual transmission. Refinement level is decent irrespective of the variants and car provides decent mid-range grunt for daily usage. The best bit of Punto is how dynamically well it is, with a rightly balanced chassis and precise steering system it inspires confidence on almost any tarmac.
With Punto, Fiat has created a very distinctive and appealing hatchback for India and in Indian automotive market, hatchbacks are the real soldiers for almost any OEM. Therefore, a successful hatchback means an apodictic success on Indian soil but with ever-so-increasing competition in the segment, it is easier said than done.
Fiat Grande Punto ExteriorIf looks can kill then Punto will surely be a serial killer. Even if you never had any feelings for any vehicle ever, you’ll still fancy the Punto in your dreams. Large clear headlamps with tear drop profile blends beautifully with the large split grille. Front hood is neat and compact and it slopes forward with minimist creases. Large bumper houses fog lights within silver finished casings and imparts a curvy side profile to the nose.
The side profile of Punto offers best viewing angle of the car. Each and every curve of the car is perfectly balanced. Blackened B-pillar and large front quarter glass imparts sporty character to the car. 15” alloy wheels are handsome and with beefy arches compliments the 195mm of superb ground clearance. Chrome plated door handles are only available on higher variants.
Large rear bumper along with fat bootlid gives Punto a wide-body stance. A single reversing light fits nicely into the bottom-end of the bumper. Build quality is throughout solid and panel gaps are marginal too. However, tiny rear window and thick C-pillars hinders the rear visibility of the car.
Fiat Punto comes in six palettes of color- oceanic blue, new pearl white, Tuscan wine, minimal grey, exotica red and hip-hop black.
Fiat Grande Punto InteriorThe cabin of Punto boosts solid build quality and logical dash layout. Dark dual-tone interior looks classy and imparts enough brightness to makes the cabin shady yet airy. Silver finished center console contrasts well with the black theme of the textures. Instrument panel is simple and is easy to read. Dials are large and with multi-info display offers ample information to the driver. All the controls are logically laid out but the quality of plastic used is not the segment leader. Further, the hard materials feels kinda cheap and tacky for the price of the car.
Equipment are generous with 12V power socket, follow-me-home headlamps, power steering, speed sensitive audio system and tilt steering being standard across the range. Higher variants have other perks like boot lamp, fabric inserts on door, red stitching on seats and steering wheel, 60:40 rear seat, desmodronic foldable key, power door mirrors, leather wrapped steering and gear knob, fog lamps, keyless entry, automatic climate control and Blue&Me connectivity with steering mounted controls.
Overall, the cabin space is generous for both front and rear passenger. Boot space is a respectable 280L with illumination, however the absence of split rear seat in base variant is a bit of a letdown.
Fiat Grande Punto Engine & TransmissionFiat offers Punto with four engine options. 1.2L and 1.4L FIRE petrol and two variants of 1.3L MultiJet diesel. The 1.2L SOHC mill produces 68PS at 6000rpm and 96NM of torque at 2500rpm. This eight valve unit offers decent city performance but considering Punto’s capable chassis and heavy frame, it is a bit sluggish. The 1.4L DOHC engine churns out a respectable 90PS of power at 6000rpm and 115Nm of max torque at 4500rpm. The drivability of 1.4 unit is good with decent power surge across the mid-range. Throttle response is nice and the engine produces a decent soundtrack at high speeds.
Fiat’s ultra-successful 1.3L MultiJet engine (2005 World Engine of the Year) comes with two power outputs in the Punto. One with 76PS of power at 4000rpm and 197Nm of max torque at just 1750rpm and another with 93PS of power at 4000rpm and 209Nm of impressive torque at a respectable 2000rpm of engine speed. The power delivery of both the options is linear and friendly with only some small amount of lag by the turbocharger. All the engines comes mated to a five-speed manual transmission which offers decent throws at low speeds but is kinda rubbery when compared to the rivals.
Fuel efficiency of 1.2L FIRE and 1.4L FIRE petrol engine is decent at 15.7kmpl and 14.6kmpl respectively. The diesel variants offers almost identical fuel economy figure of 20.3kmpl for 76PS and 20.5kmpl for 90HP variant.
Refinement levels are mediocre with poor NVH insulations. Both petrol and diesel variants offers respectable performances under varying load and speed conditions and thus makes the Punto a livable product for both city dwellers and highway users.
Fiat Grande Punto Performance and HandlingUpfront the steering system of Punto is one of the best hydraulic unit in its class. The road feel and directional precision of the system is spot-on and it inspires zesty confidence on switchback roads. Further, independent front suspension with McPherson struts and double acting telescopic dampers makes the steering system much more direct and agile.
Punto offers brilliant dynamics with its well-proportioned packaging and wide 195/60 (top variant) tyre contact patches. Suspension setup is slightly firm which is not bad considering India’s road network but it somehow eats up the driving pleasure that say Maruti Suzuki Swift offers. Punto is a great mile-muncher as its wide-body stance offers dynamic stability at high speeds and the engines have powerful mid-range. Rear bench offers decent support but is not exactly cozy.
Overall ride quality is good on even rough surfaces and car feels well-planted at high speeds. The biggest design flaw is the limited rear visibility courtesy of thick C-pillar. And this can be a real issue in tight parking spots. Fiat Punto therefore is a very capable car that offers passable ride quality on almost any tarmac and engages the driver cheerfully in the mechanical driving pleasure which otherwise is largely missing in Indian market.
What do we think about Fiat Grande Punto?Fiat Punto is the best looking hatchback on sale in India and with decent diesel variant it is a worthy option over its dated rivals.
Punto offers a striking design in its class which is equally stunning in on the dynamic front. Each and every design attribute looks like a work-of-art straight out of Italian design houses. The muscles and lines are all well-proportioned in the Fiat Punto which makes it a sight to behold in almost any color.
Cabin do feel dated and on a budget side but it is nicely screwed together with some clever textures and color themes. Features list is respectable too, however the Blue&Me connectivity which offers the driver to receive phone calls and listen to the SMS should be standard across the range. The best bit though is the safety in the Punto. Immobilizer with rolling code (code changes with every use) and fire prevention system is standard across the range. And the higher variant comes with 3-point ELR (Emergency Locking Retractor) seat belts, ABS with EBD, automatic door lock, dual stage airbags with early crash sensors, passenger airbag deactivation and height adjustable seat belts. Further, the high grade steel in space frame provide additional stiffness and safety to the body.
Fiat Punto comes in Active, Dynamic and Emotion models. Pricing starts at 5.03 Lakhs for the 1.2L FIRE petrol with 1.4L variant priced at 6.81 Lakhs. The 1.3L MultiJet diesel cashes in at 5.73 Lakhs further going north to 7 Lakhs for Emotion variant. The range topping 90HP variant is priced at 7.38Lakhs for the Emotion variant and 7.60Lakhs for the Punto Sport. The Sport variant comes with cosmetic upgrades only like roof spoiler, branded door sills and floor mats, sport pedals with aluminum inserts, contrast wing mirrors and black painted roof.
Fiat Punto is a visually stunning car with generously equipped interiors and trusted powertrains. There is a sense of timeless classical essence to it and on top of that it offers a safe and dynamically capable chassis. Fiat’s only glitch is their inconsistent service network but they are working hard on it. Largely though, if you are looking for a fun-to-drive car go for Maruti Suzuki Swift, for practicality and goodies try Hyundai i20, for ownership value and build quality look no further than VW Polo and for practical but visual dreadfulness buy Toyota Etios Liva. However, if you want every aforementioned quality except dreadfulness in a single package then Fiat Punto is your white knight in every sense of the word.
Fiat Grande Punto CompetitorsMaruti Suzuki Swift is the undisputed champion in the premium hatchback segment of India. It is a complete package of performance, value and efficiency. The fit and finish too is very good in the Swift. When stacked against the Fiat Punto, the native Swift lacks only on the styling front and cramped cabin space. Powering Swift is the same 1.3L MultiJet diesel but Maruti has tuned it for efficiency and rev-happy characteristic. Further, the low kerb weight of Swift imparts spirited performance with a punchy DDiS engine. So, Swift is a fun-to-drive car with great value and solid reliability but if you want a slice of beauty and practicality, Fiat Punto is a smart option.
VW Polo is also a dynamically capable car which offers great German build quality and clean styling ethos. Engine options too are good in terms of both performance and efficiency. However, just like the Swift, Polo offers limited cabin space. Further, VW service network is still in the building phase and the pricing of Polo is not that pocket friendly as well. And when compared to Punto its styling is not that distinctive.
Hyundai i20 is another great offering in this segment which comes with Hyundai’s typical perks of efficient powertrain, styling and loaded cabin. But just like any other Hyundai, it’s not exactly a driver’s car. And the CRDi mill is now old when compared to the other market options. Hyundai i20 along with Toyota Etios Liva offers a practical and VFM package but they both lacks the styling and dynamic quotient that the Punto is all about.
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