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Old 2nd August 2012, 10:26   #241
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Default Re: Upgrading from Swift. Which Hatch?

Sorry to hijack this thread, but I am in a similar kind of dilemma and did not want to create another thread for this.

We are buying a diesel hatch at home for city usage. Highway performance is not the main criterion since I will be using my T-Jet+ for highway runs, but I do not want floating cars with boat suspensions. Also, we had a Swift ZXi till recently, so the replacement car has to be better than / same as that segment. Budget limited to 8.5L and the car has to be topend trim. If I cannot afford a top end variant of model A, I will rather buy the top end variant of a cheaper model B, but no skimping on safety features.

Daily usage of this car will be 55-60kms so petrols are out of question already. The battle narrows down to 3 cars -

Swift ZDi (already booked in March with token amount of 10k)
Punto Emotion 75
Punto 90HP Sports

The exclusions -

Micra / pulse - styling is too feminine for my liking, underkitted safety specs
Fabia / Polo - 3 cylinder sluggish (with added tractor sound) engines
i20 CRDi - bad handling, dead steering, overpriced at 9+L for the Asta.
Beat D - cannot take on the highway even if it has to.

I already made a booking for the Swift ZDi way back in March, and the current fiasco at Manesar's factory has pushed my delivery date to god knows when. Hence the dilemma now. I had posted about this in the Grande Punto test drive thread, and thought this is the right thread to see answers since I am upgrading from a Swift to another city hatch. I would like answers on these observations -

- difference between Punto 90HP and Swift in the city - I have seen that the Punto 90's gearbox is not well tuned, especially the first and second gears. After hitting turbo range and upshifting from first, there is a lag in second gear. I want to know from existing owners how much of a hassle this is. I will using this car in choc-a-bloc traffic everyday.

- Ergonomics wise, the Punto seems almost same as the T-Jet, so I won't have any trouble adjusting to different driving positions. Then again, I was extremely happy with the Swift's ergonomics all these years so I don't have trouble with the Swift either.

- For city driving, the advantage with the Swift is the turning radius of 4.8m (v/s the 5.4m of Punto) and the light EPS steering which even my dad wouldn't complain about using.

- Boot space is not a concern. The car will mostly be driven by me (alone) to office and back in an empty car. For Highway runs I will be using the Linea so the hatchback's boot will hardly ever be opened, unless there is a tyre puncture

- Interior fit and finish wise, the Punto 90HP seems better put together than the Punto Emotion 75. How much of a difference is there between the Punto 75 and Punto 90 in the city? Is it worth putting the extra 40k over the Emotion 75, if the car is being used only for city runs? Both fall within a budget of 8.5L so budget is not a restriction here.

The prices of the 3 models after discount are

- Swift ZDi - 8.3L (no discount)
- Punto Emotion 75 - 8L
- Punto 90HP Sports - 8.5L


things I don't care about -

- FIAT service myths - I already own a T-Jet and do not foresee any problems with servicing. I am extremely satisfied with Prerana motors service and they are way better than Hyundai and Maruti here in my experience with all these brands.

- Resale value is not a concern. I firmly believe in enjoying the time I spend in the car and the experience it offers when I am driving, not how much return on investment I get when I sell it after 3-4 years. In any case, this car will be kept for minimum 6-7 years, maybe more.

should I consider cancelling the ZDi booking and shifting to the Punto 90HP sports, if this Manesar lockout continues for another month or so?

Last edited by KarthikK : 2nd August 2012 at 10:55.
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Old 2nd August 2012, 10:48   #242
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Default Re: Upgrading from Swift. Which Hatch?

I would prefer waiting for Swift ZDI. To be clear, i myself own a Fiat Linea 1.4 and am enjoying the car, 3 years old and its doing its job like a trusted workhorse so am not biased against FIAT.

I was in a similar dilemma like you as we were choosing a diesel hatchback, Linea and Punto share same interiors (just the color tones are different), same ergonomics, its just the same thing and that was the only reason i didnt consider Punto. If we own 2 cars, they should be different, dont know about you but being in Linea's cockpit for 3 years, i wanted something different for a change, even the service standards here are below average.

Its a different thing that we picked up a diesel Vento instead of any hatchback

Over a period of time, wont you get bored jumping from a Linea and sitting inside the Punto again and again, the interiors, driving feel, dynamics, handling all are same, FIAT isnt going anywhere from our country but still buying 2 cars from the same company like fiat doesnt look that safe to me, there is still uncertainty over there service centres, tie ups with tata etc.

Swift is a brilliant drivers car, handles well, does everything and much more a Punto can do and it would still be different so that when you are bored of swift, hop into Linea and vice versa. Its a Maruti and Swift is a good car.
See if you can wait out a bit - i think its well worth it.

Last edited by coolboy007 : 2nd August 2012 at 10:50.
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Old 2nd August 2012, 10:53   #243
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Default Re: Upgrading from Swift. Which Hatch?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KarthikK View Post
- difference between Punto 90HP and Swift in the city - I have seen that the Punto 90's gearbox is not well tuned, especially the first and second gears. After hitting turbo range and upshifting from first, there is a lag in second gear. I want to know from existing owners how much of a hassle this is. I will using this car in choc-a-bloc traffic everyday.
Suggestion : Punto90HP.

Adding to our discussion from the Punto thread, I would suggest you on the main sore point viz. a viz. Punto90HP and Swift ZDI.

I agree to this and thats the only reason i bought the RD box and its has solved my problem . I can drive lazilly at 1500 RPM (idling for Punto is around 1000 RPM) on the third gear at speed of 30 KM/H without the fuss and post 1800 RPM the turbo pulls like a bull.

RD box is necessary to improve the drivability for the Punto (mode P1) and for outrageous spool and pickup ( mode P2), I would like to invite you to Pune and take my car for a day and enjoy it and then take the decision.

Also, one more main thing i observed in the Punto is strength in the chasis , steering mechanicals i.e. - steering column, toe, link rod they are strong and you dont tend to lose your allignment and balancing that easily, also the car doesnt sound as if it is under pain when driven over a bad road or something that is not smooth - and you being a JET owner know this , however not the case with the ZDI .

Also, Punto looks timeless. Siwft has decent front however from back it looks like a TOAD, if you observe the number plate area design with respect to the whole body.

Last edited by scofield : 2nd August 2012 at 10:59.
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Old 2nd August 2012, 11:17   #244
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Default Re: Upgrading from Swift. Which Hatch?

@Karthikk.

After getting used to the Tjet (FIAT driving dynamics), you would find the Punto just as good. With the MJD 90HP you will find it easy on the pocket.

Also the since you have excellent rapport with the Prerana motors guys, the A.S.S should not be an issue to you.

Will soon PM you for some help
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Old 2nd August 2012, 12:22   #245
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Default Re: Upgrading from Swift. Which Hatch?

coolboy has pointed out a very reasonable factor. At the same time, it depends upon person to person as to how important are the dashboard design to him/her. I really liked the Swift dashbord and would prefer it over Fiat but as my Second car only (first being Fiat). WRT driving dynamics, handling, etc. there are really only 2-3 choices Punto, Swift and Polo/Fabia. I have No idea about Ritz.
But if one notices, this time the trouble at MSIL seems to last for sometime and if KarthikK really can't afford to wait he has to go for Punto else I would suggest him Swift or who knows Fiat launches another car during the waiting period of Swift.
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Old 2nd August 2012, 12:25   #246
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Default Re: Upgrading from Swift. Which Hatch?

I'd based my recommendation on the Punto thread thinking you need a highway car.

I'd like to add a few points:

1.Since you already own a Swift and have a car till the new one is available, waiting time won't be too much of a bother right ? Do contact the dealership and get an idea how much more the delay would be due to the lock-out.

2.From what i've read on raj's ownership review of the Punto 90, its not so very responsive initially. According to him Polo TDi has better initial response, but Punto gets better once the revs climb. Not a great thing for city driving.

3.AFAIK, the turning radius has been reduced to 5m from 5.4, so Swift or Punto won't make much of a difference.

4. Are you open to considering the new i20 crdi ? Our official review speaks very high of it.

In conclusion, i'd say if the wait for the swift is extended by a few days or a month, get the Zdi, else consider the Punto 90 but go in for a tuning box or a remap for a much better experience
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Old 2nd August 2012, 13:32   #247
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Default Re: Upgrading from Swift. Which Hatch?

Thanks all for your suggestions. After your points, I got a couple of doubts cleared, especially Scofield and shashank.nk's posts. One thing is for sure after reading your posts - whichever hatchback I get, I will get a RD dieseltronic pro tuning box to bump up power and driveability.

Some more clarifications from my side -

- At present we have just the Linea at home. I am using the bike to commute to office (55kms per day) since it is too expensive to run a petrol car everyday for 23-24 days a month. I will end up spending ~10k on fuel, which is almost like a new car EMI, plus diesel running costs !! Incredible ain't it, how costly Petrol is here? Also, my parents can claim depreciation and IT benefits for our family business for the new car purchase.

- I am looking at decent driveability, decent ergonomics and power. Being an enthusiast, any extra bhps are welcome. Hence the temptation to look at Punto 90HP + tuning box.

- Usage pattern will be something like this - the new diesel hatch (whichever it is) will be used by me for office runs daily, and on weekends by my dad (if ever). Weekend city rounds, weekend highway runs, outstation trips will all be handled by the resident highway rocket - the T-Jet+. My parents run our business from home and don't need to commute anywhere, so I will be the primary user of both cars. In fact the only user. My dad might occasionally go out, only to meet clients, etc which is also quite rare. On those days, he will use whichever car I am not using that day

- I can wait for 2 more months if need be. I am in no urgency for this hatch, but the sooner it comes, easier my life will be on the office commute. Problem is due to this Manesar lockout, no Maruti dealers are even guaranteeing any date. That's understandable since they themselves don't know when it will reopen. How long should I wait? That is the question. Even if they restart production now and if I get my Swift in the first batch of dispatches, that's still a good two months away.

- Owning a Swift ZXi in the past, the spare parts availability and service costs were a dream with Maruti. That was part of the reason for opting for a ZDi in March. Afte experiencing Fiat costs now with the T-Jet+, Punto won't be too expensive either. At least not much different from the Swift's. Uncommon spares might be an issue though, like some of you pointed out.

- coolboy007 made a good point about getting bored with the same interiors if I get a Punto and Linea. That's definitely a point to consider, but it may not be a deal breaker for me. Having the same seating position might be a good thing also, because I can switch to either and drive without much adjusting. Also, an offbeat point - the Swift will have the wiper and indicator knobs on opposite sides of the stalk positions in the Jet. Not that it matters.

Could anyone comment on the in-city driveability difference between the Punto 75 and the Punto 90? I took test drives of both and couldn't find considerable difference at city speeds. Obviously my TD lasted only for a couple of kms, so current owners will be able to give me more extensive views

@carwatcher - Ritz I found it had quite a bit of body roll, owing to tallboy design. Extremely bad looks also with that famous backside *lol*, and it doesn't have a ZDi variant. This is definitely ruled out.

Last edited by KarthikK : 2nd August 2012 at 13:47.
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Old 2nd August 2012, 22:14   #248
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Default Re: Upgrading from Swift. Which Hatch?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KarthikK View Post

- At present we have just the Linea at home.

- I am looking at decent driveability, decent ergonomics and power. Being an enthusiast, any extra bhps are welcome. Hence the temptation to look at Punto 90HP + tuning box.
By above points mentioned, you need a Powerful Hatch, but since you already own a Fiat Linea, why again Punto with same interiors?

In the last post you have mentioned that you need to drive only in city and for Highways you use Linea. Hence igen i20 suits you best. We know the earlier gen i20 had steering rattles & A/c issue, which is has been rectified in igen i20. It has very soft suspension and good for city rides, but not so good for highways as it may give you gliding effect with no handling. The Electronic power steering is good for city ride. Since your budget is Rs.8.5L, you can opt for Sportz model which has additional goodies than punto like Rain sensing wipers, Electrochromic rear view mirror with rear view camera display, All wheels Disc Brakes and upmarket interiors. Also same 90bhp with great mileage of 16+ kmpl in city(as reported by bhpians in igen i20 thread).
I suggest to go for a test ride for igen i20 and then take a call.
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Old 2nd August 2012, 23:00   #249
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Default Re: Upgrading from Swift. Which Hatch?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KarthikK View Post
Swift ZDi (already booked in March with token amount of 10k)
Punto Emotion 75
Punto 90HP Sports
I'll suggest you to try Ertiga. Definitely it is an upgrade from Swift, and easy-to-use in city conditions.
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Old 2nd August 2012, 23:31   #250
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Default Re: Upgrading from Swift. Which Hatch?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KarthikK View Post
Could anyone comment on the in-city driveability difference between the Punto 75 and the Punto 90? I took test drives of both and couldn't find considerable difference at city speeds. Obviously my TD lasted only for a couple of kms, so current owners will be able to give me more extensive views

@carwatcher - Ritz I found it had quite a bit of body roll, owing to tallboy design. Extremely bad looks also with that famous backside *lol*, and it doesn't have a ZDi variant. This is definitely ruled out.
KarthikK, here's my take..

I had the chance of using a friend's Punto 75bhp diesel around our city for about 3 days.

The following pros outweighed the cons:

1. The best steering in-class. Swaying in and out of traffic was a breeze.

2. That was the first diesel I drove around for the longest beside the TD spree I went on about a year ago and finally settled for the fabia 1.6. The sheer low-end grunt of the diesel had me sold to it within the first few minutes, especially around the silk board junction at 10.30am on a weekday. The comparison was evidently in favour of the punto. Since you mention that the car is solely for in-city use, the 75bhp is more than sufficient. The plus side is, if you ever feel you need more power, PETE it up and you are ready to fly !

The cons:

1. Shoddy interior. The plastics are cheap, and although the doors close with the classic european "thud", the thud does rattle a lot of the plastics on the interior. *pun* intended! Improved quality on the interior would have had me going for the Punto a year ago. I've been admiring the car ever since it was launched and the day I decided to buy a car - FIAT is where I headed first. Only to be disappointed by the interiors. The Fabia wins hands-down on that quotient.

2. Rubbery and long-throw gearbox. The first and second gears are not as smooth as I'd like it to be. Can be annoying until one gets used to it. My friend who owns the car didn't find anything wrong with it though UNTIL I offered him a test drive in my car!

Lastly, since you already own a FIAT, I'm sure you could benefit from some loyalty discounts. PLUS, experiences at the service center wouldn't take you by surprise.
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Old 2nd August 2012, 23:45   #251
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Default Re: Upgrading from Swift. Which Hatch?

KarthikK
Recently brought Punto 90 HP Sports, am just loving every moment with her, she is just awesome, and if you have t jet already then am sure the exceptions must be high for the ride and handling dept, and Punto is spot on. I can say following are the positives of the Punto over other Hatch backs and yes now the turning radius is comparable to other Hatches its 5.0 Mts now.And am sure ater buing Punto, it will be hard to resist to take her on highway too,

1> Still Looks the Beast and you get additional goodies with Sports version.
2> Very Silent Cabin.
3> Light Clutch boon for traffic.
4> Best in class Breaks.
5> Perfectly weighted steering.
6> Amazing high speed stability.
7> Bigger wheels.
8> Even turbo lag is not much.
9> Seats are awesome.

Disadvantage.
1> No bottle holders as door pockets are really small same as Linea.
2> Initial Pickup as swift feels faster.

I cant find much disadvantages, those who have extensively driven other hatches can tell you the short comings in Punto.

And after driving T jet i doubt you will like the i20, just had a small ride in new Verna and i was shocked to see the front Seats, so small and no lower back support not acceptable for a such a premium car.
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Old 3rd August 2012, 10:57   #252
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Default Re: Upgrading from Swift. Which Hatch?

Any reason you are not looking at the Liva GD SP or the Figo Titanium? I have also been looking for a diesel hatch and both these should be within your budget
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Old 3rd August 2012, 17:18   #253
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Default Re: Upgrading from Swift. Which Hatch?

Toyota Etios Liva D - checked it and ruled out. I know I am going to be flamed for this *lol*, but here are my enthusiast-like views

- extremely under-equipped. Why don't they have a Liva V.D? Why only a G.D? Fear of cannibalization of Etios sedan V.D? I still don't understand why they do this.

- the GD SP comes with Airbags and ABS, but seriously what else does it have? When all the other car makers out there are providing every possible feature under the sun for 8L, I find no reason why Toyota should sell a bare-bones Liva G.D for 7+L rupees. It is horrifyingly overpriced in my opinion. An Alto K10 has better interiors at half the price.

- Stone age interiors. Monolithic seats without adjustable head restraints, seats that are made out of some flimsy material, and the central placement of the dashboard console itself put me off. The oversized, oval shape speedometer looks like the analog weighing scale in my doctor's clinic. No tacho, no rear defogger, no fog lamps, no alloy wheels, no audio system, no twin wipers, no rear wiper. Many more "no"s. Comparing the kit list with the Punto sports / Swift ZDi is out of question.

- Its a Toyota! can it be sporty? "Sporty Toyota" is an oxymoron, isn't it? At least here in India (no offense meant to toyota owners, but just saying for the sake of saying). It is entirely my subjective opinion, others might disagree, but I don't believe in putting down 7L of hard earned cash for this car. It just doesn't deserve that much according to me.

Figo is too too boxy for my liking. I didn't like the exterior design one bit. And quite frankly, I felt the interiors were a little cramped for my height. I am 6"1. It is spot on in the handling department and steering feedback though. Nice car, but my ergonomics are important, considering I might be spending ~4 hours everyday in traffic jams inside this car.

The Swift fits me perfectly, the Punto is amazingly spacious in the front with seats pushed back. Fabia feels like another (higher) segment altogether in interior quality. Pity that the Fabia has that wretched 3 cylinder mill which just doesn't do justice to its capabilities.

I will check out the i20 tomorrow, but I know for sure that the fickle minded dynamics of that car will make me run away after experiencing the likes of Swift and T-Jet.

I agree with Memphes.D on the build quality of the Punto 75. I just happened to check out the interiors of the 75 and 90 back to back. The Punto 75 seems to have a bad quality of interior fit and finish (the paint seemed to have chipped off the inside door handles and handbrake levers, etc). While the 90 is better than this, neither of them have the upmarket feel of the T-Jet interiors (I shouldn't be comparing with the T-Jet anyway), but I would place the Punto 90 over the Swift ZDi in terms of interior fit and finish, and plastic quality. For 40k premium over the Punto 75, I guess the Punto 90 is going to eject its younger sibling from the battle from today. With the 90HP, I get
- sporty chrome footpedals
- chrome exhaust (I don't like this anyway)
- stickering job (planning to strip it off if I opt for this - I prefer the plain look)
- chrome accents on the inside door knobs, handbrake, gear lever, etc - welcome addition
- better quality interior fit
- leather stitching. Not that it matters, I might get aftermarket leather seats later if required.
- 18bhp power bump and 19Nm torque bump with the VGT
- capability to become a ~110bhp hot hatch with a RD tuning box

Battle now narrows down to Swift ZDi and Punto 90 HP Sports

Last edited by KarthikK : 3rd August 2012 at 17:43.
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Old 6th August 2012, 13:56   #254
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Default Re: Upgrading from Swift. Which Hatch?

Had a chance to do an extensive test drive of the Punto 90HP and Swift again. As expected, I am getting more and more tempted to shift to the 90HP sports.

I was doing a tentative negotiation with the Prerana motors folks and this is what the final deal looks like :

Punto 90HP Sports - on road price 9L
Insurance - free (worth 27k)
RSA + Extended warranty - free (worth 7k)
Corporate bonus - 12k
Negotiating to get Loyalty bonus instead of Exchange bonus - 20k
total gains = 66k
final price = 8.34L
Delivery time = 15 days after booking the car

Swift ZDi - on road price 8.31L
Discounts - no discounts whatsoever
Final price = 8.32L (they are charging for mud flaps and carpets)
Delivery time = unknown. May range from 10 days to 1 year. According to the dealership here, no one knows when Maruti will restart production at Manesar. They are supposedly going to fire all the errant employees, hire new ones, train them and then start the production. Not sure how much time this will take, plus I have my doubts on the output quality of these new trainees. How reliably built will these cars be if they are made kaccha by some new joinees learning stuff for the first time?


Advantages of Punto 90HP over Swift :

- better build quality, more like a tank
- Punto's 93PS v/s Swift's 75PS
- near perfect handling and ride quality balance
- near perfect steering feedback
- close to nil body roll
- stock tyres are 195/60R15 v/s Swift's 185/65R15
- brakes feel much better in the 90HP Sports than the ZDi
- noise insulation is supreme in the Punto. NVH levels are almost nil.
- diesel rocket once past turbo boost range in the 2nd gear and upwards
- interior fit and finish quality is better in the Punto 90HP sports than the ZDi
- some more goodies at same price - sporty chrome foot pedals, racing decals (I don't really want them anyway), chrome exhaust, red stitching on seats and gear lever, leather wrapped steering, gear lever and handbrake
- some more features at same price - follow-me-home headlamps, blah blah.
- bluetooth connectivity (not that I use it much anyway)

Advantages of Swift over Punto 90HP Sports :

- lighter steering (EPS), easier to flick around in the city
- slightly better ergonomics? Or do I feel so because I had a Swift?
- cost of maintenance. Spares will definitely be cheaper and spares availability will not be an issue, even with the rarely replaced spare parts.
- slightly better driveability in first and second gears.

Aside from these, I believe the Punto 90HP Sports beats the Swift ZDi black and blue in all other aspects. With a tuning box, the Punto 90HP will become an amazing ~120bhp monster hatch.

At the moment, the Punto 90HP Sports looks like a better option than the Swift ZDi, considering the unknown timeline of delivery, thanks to the Manesar fiasco. I still have my booking for the ZDi, and will wait till this month end to see if there is any progress on the Manesar front, and then take a call.

Last edited by KarthikK : 6th August 2012 at 14:03.
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Old 7th August 2012, 01:18   #255
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Default Re: Upgrading from Swift. Which Hatch?

Pretty much how i felt after back to back TD's of the car. I liked the Swift more, but Punto 90 impressed me with its drivabilty! Heck, i could take the car over a speed bump, with 4 adults on board, and all this on an incline in 2nd gear!

If you're waiting till the month end i'd suggest waiting a little more and trying to buy during dasara/diwali time. Last year, they had very good discounts going on from Sept-end till the 2012 model was launched, almost close to 60k.
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