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Old 13th April 2011, 11:21   #1
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Default Punto MJD 75 E+ vs Polo 1.6 Highline

Ok guys,

I have posted in almost every possible premium hatch's threads. Went a bit underground while I was busy planning and arranging finances.

Now all is set and I am raring to go and get myself one of the following beauties. The final contenders vying for my cheque are:

Fiat Grande Punto MJD 75BHP Emotion Pack - Rs. 7,65,000 (On-road price after discounts, including 4 year warranty and roadside assistance)

Accessories (still negotiating): mud flaps + sun film + floor mats + car perfume + idol (as offered currently)

Volkswagen Polo 1.6 Highline - Rs. 7,65,000 (Voila! This on-road price is after a corporate discount, which is the only kind on offer)

Accessories (still negotiating): No freebies on offer

A quick background now. I currently drive a 5-year old Swift VXi (the old G-series engine).
Absolutely, absolutely amazing car! I have absolutely nothing to complain about. I was away in Pune for a year and the car was just lying here at my Bangalore home. I came back only to find only a dead battery as a problem. A recharge and she has been fine ever since! touch wood!

But time has passed, and my loyalties waver. As much as I am averse to selling a well-maintained, pitiably low mileage Swift, I want to try something new and hopefully build a long and lasting relationship with my new love.

Requirements:
1. Very low mileage driver - Max about 10000 km every year

2. Limited highway driving till now, but want to make amends on that. So need a sure-footed hatch out on India's best and worst stretches of tarmac.

3. Comfort - very important factor for me. I just about seemed to fit in the Polo. I am about 5'11". This could be a make or break.

4. Reliability - The Swift didnt need a single unscheduled visit to the service station.

5. Service - Maruti *** has been top-class. No complaints whatsoever.

We have owned an Indica in the past, and got it serviced from Prerana. They were ok at best. I hope lots has improved since then (Punto owners, request your quick insight here on Prerana ***. I want to avoid concorde as its relatively far from my place).

And what I hear about VW service is its expensive. 7k or so at every service (that too within warranty!) My dealer experience at VW Palace Cross has been very pleasant till now, and they are assuring a max 2-3 month wait on the Polo 1.6 and are in fact hinting that its possible even earlier. Downtown had a couple of 1.6s in stock, just not my desired color). Once again, I request VW polo owners to give me feedback on their service experience in Bangalore.

So there you have it folks! Life is young, and a family of my own is still some time away. But I am not inclined to plan much farther ahead.

I have debated, deliberated, and am utterly torn between these 2 beautiful machines. Now I seek your help to make this decision just that little bit easier. The clock is ticking, and I am booking this Friday!

Cheers all!
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Old 13th April 2011, 11:48   #2
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Default Re: Punto MJD 75 E+ vs Polo 1.6 Highline

Since you are going to drive less, the Polo 1.6 would be the one for you. MJD's are better suited for mile-crunchers.

How important is the backseat for you? Punto fairs better in that area.
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Old 13th April 2011, 12:01   #3
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Default Re: Punto MJD 75 E+ vs Polo 1.6 Highline

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRIV3R View Post
Since you are going to drive less, the Polo 1.6 would be the one for you. MJD's are better suited for mile-crunchers.

How important is the backseat for you? Punto fairs better in that area.
Thanks DRIV3R,

The back seat is quite important, because I ferry my granny from time to time in it. Not to mention, when my friends/relatives drop in.

I looked at the Punto MJD because it costs the same as the Polo 1.6. Is the 1.4 petrol a good choice? It costs about Rs. 7,05,000/-.

Cheers!
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Old 13th April 2011, 12:19   #4
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Default Re: Punto MJD 75 E+ vs Polo 1.6 Highline

If you drive more than 1000 kms in a month, PUNTO E+ is car the car for you. The car is quite good actually. The sound insulation is good too. The POLO on the other hand is a VW and the quality is superb. But the 1.6 engine isn't a scorcher after all. The car's steering is pretty light and is not at all responsive like the fiat. And ya now a days diesels have more resale value than of petrol vehicles.
Cheers,
Naparajito
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Old 13th April 2011, 12:35   #5
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Default Re: Punto MJD 75 E+ vs Polo 1.6 Highline

Considering your running, do take a look at the 1.4 Punto Epack as well. It has a very good engine. It is almost as sporty as the 1.6 Polo, if you are willing to push it and will give you decent 12kmpl mileage with all the features at 60,000 less.

Also, when you are looking at the highway and comfort on bad stretches the Punto is a very good car.

Also may not be too important for you, but you can start enjoying a new Punto in a lot less than 1 month, while you will have to wait 2-3 month for a new Polo.
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Old 13th April 2011, 12:39   #6
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Default Re: Punto MJD 75 E+ vs Polo 1.6 Highline

If you are not set on these cars, look at the Figo as well. You would be pleasantly surprised, and would have enough left in your budget to customize the car to your desire.

How much more expensive is the 90HP Punto?
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Old 13th April 2011, 13:35   #7
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Default Re: Punto MJD 75 E+ vs Polo 1.6 Highline

Quote:
Originally Posted by Naparajito View Post
If you drive more than 1000 kms in a month, PUNTO E+ is car the car for you. The car is quite good actually. The sound insulation is good too. The POLO on the other hand is a VW and the quality is superb. But the 1.6 engine isn't a scorcher after all. The car's steering is pretty light and is not at all responsive like the fiat. And ya now a days diesels have more resale value than of petrol vehicles.
Cheers,
Naparajito
Thanks Naparajito,
My running will certainly be less or just about 1000km. But I am wary of the petrol-diesel resale value factor, which is why I am tilting in favour of the Punto 1.3MJD E+.

Quote:
Originally Posted by julupani View Post
Considering your running, do take a look at the 1.4 Punto Epack as well. It has a very good engine. It is almost as sporty as the 1.6 Polo, if you are willing to push it and will give you decent 12kmpl mileage with all the features at 60,000 less.

Also, when you are looking at the highway and comfort on bad stretches the Punto is a very good car.

Also may not be too important for you, but you can start enjoying a new Punto in a lot less than 1 month, while you will have to wait 2-3 month for a new Polo.
Thanks julupani,
I am known for my lack of patience , but am willing to hold on in case the car justifies the wait. Yes, the Punto 1.4 Ep is definitely on my mind, if not anything else, but for the very very attractive price tag. Is the 1.4 Punto's fuel efficiency consistent with say, the Polo 1.6?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lamborghini View Post
If you are not set on these cars, look at the Figo as well. You would be pleasantly surprised, and would have enough left in your budget to customize the car to your desire.

How much more expensive is the 90HP Punto?
Thanks lamborghini,
The 90HP Punto costs about another 35k. That nearly takes it to about Rs. 7.9-8.0lacs, which is simply way over my budget.

The Figo, yes, is a very exciting car, but my mind is now completely warped by the German and Italian babies, which is why I think I will choose between either of them only.

Thinking about the Punto twins in particular, with some quick math, this is what I have in terms of fuel costs between them.

Assumptions: Yearly running of 10000 KM.

PUNTO 1.4 PETROL
Average Petrol Price: Rs. 66/-
Avg. Punto 1.4 P FE: 11 KMPL
Annual Fuel expenditure: (10000/11)*66 = Rs. 60,000/-
Average Annual Service Cost = ?? (Request Punto 1.4 Petrol owners to help here)

PUNTO 1.3 MJD
Average Diesel Price: Rs. 46/-
Avg. Punto 1.3 MJD FE: 15 KMPL
Annual Fuel Expenditure: (10000/15)*46 = Rs. 30,666/-
Average Annual Service Cost = ?? (Request Punto 1.3 MJD owners to help here)

Assuming that the service costs of both variants is quite similar, the premium of the diesel seems like it can be recovered in 2-2.5 years. That is about half of the total time I'd probably keep the car. In fact, I'm positive that I'll probably take even longer to recover the money, depending on my running.

But what about the resale factor? Do I stand to lose MORE than Rs. 60000/- in 5 years time between the two Punto variants?
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Old 13th April 2011, 13:42   #8
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Default Re: Punto MJD 75 E+ vs Polo 1.6 Highline

so you answered it yourself, the punto it is then? also the volkswagen service network has to prove itself yet!
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Old 13th April 2011, 13:47   #9
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Default Re: Punto MJD 75 E+ vs Polo 1.6 Highline

Quote:
Originally Posted by rider60 View Post
so you answered it yourself, the punto it is then? also the volkswagen service network has to prove itself yet!
Seems like I am inching towards the Punto for sure now. I guess the big question that remains is the Petrol vs Diesel factor based on:

1. My running
2. Cost of maintenance (Service + commonly replaced spares + consumables)
3. Resale Value
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Old 13th April 2011, 14:12   #10
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Default Re: Punto MJD 75 E+ vs Polo 1.6 Highline

About the Punto 1.4 mileage, you will get 12-13kmpl in the city, if you stick within 3500rpm. But if you drive a bit spiritedly, and your gear changes come over 4000rpm then the mileage figure will drop to 10-11kmpl. Highway mileage with continuous AC and cruising at a comfortable 100kmph gives about 17kmpl, again considering you are not too furious with your overtaking taking her beyond 4000rpm. If you like to drive hard on the highway, you should get about 15kmpl.

In the initial first few months the mileage will be a bit low, but it settles down at around the values i mentioned.

The Punto 1.4 has a bit less regular maintainance costs than the 1.3MJD. This I am basing on the service costs mentioned by the many owners here on T-bhp. This is largely due to the fact that the basic parts which will get replaced at each service are costlier for the diesel than the petrol. But again considering your running you will have only 1 regular service every year. Even assuming an extra service visit a year the difference in maintainance costs between diesel and petrol will be at best a few grand a year.

OT: It feels a bit odd looking at the prices, considering we bought our 1.4E-pack with all the accesories as you have mentioned, at a whole 1 lakh less. The prices have shot up and Karnataka govt is very greedy, causing the massive price difference.
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Old 13th April 2011, 14:55   #11
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Default Re: Punto MJD 75 E+ vs Polo 1.6 Highline

Your list of requirements clearly points toward the Polo 1.6. After all, you only drive 800 kms a month on an average. Plus, the Punto 75 BHP is slow, especially by current standards. You'll feel it's a step down after the Swift. The Polo 1.6 - on the other hand - does a 0 - 100 in 11.xx seconds...substantially quicker than the Punto. The VW has excellent ride and handling, though the Punto does maintain an edge there (especially with that delicious hydraulic steering wheel). The VW's interior quality is amongst the best of hatchbacks, while the Punto's is the worst of that segment.

Even in the city, the Polo - with it's lighter steering, no turbo-lag and better ergonomics - is easier to drive than the Punto (heavy controls, messed up ergonomically). Resale : Neither will be a champ. Not the Polo, and certainly not the Punto (which is a market dud).
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Old 13th April 2011, 15:04   #12
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Default Re: Punto MJD 75 E+ vs Polo 1.6 Highline

I never understood the ergonomics of punto's driving seat. I never could get a comfortable seating position in the Punto. Since your drive would be 10000 a year then Polo 1.6 would fit the bills than a MJD
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Old 13th April 2011, 15:13   #13
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Default Re: Punto MJD 75 E+ vs Polo 1.6 Highline

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyrotek View Post
Thanks DRIV3R,

The back seat is quite important, because I ferry my granny from time to time in it. Not to mention, when my friends/relatives drop in.

I looked at the Punto MJD because it costs the same as the Polo 1.6. Is the 1.4 petrol a good choice? It costs about Rs. 7,05,000/-.

Cheers!
The 1.4 is a good choice, but when it is between the 1.6 Polo and the 1.4 Punto, I would pick the former. Polo's rear seat is a bit cramped when compared to the Punto, do check it out. But as long as it is shared only by 2, it's not an issue as such.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rider60 View Post
so you answered it yourself, the punto it is then? also the volkswagen service network has to prove itself yet!
FIAT has proved nothing either. Save for the arrogant VW attitude though.
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Old 13th April 2011, 15:19   #14
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Default Re: Punto MJD 75 E+ vs Polo 1.6 Highline

I too feel your list of requirements point more in the direction of the polo.
The only reason to go fo the punto would be the better interior space on offer.
Both are great lookers, but the punto is slightly ahead in the looks department.
This really is a tough choice.
From a personal viewpoint i would go with the polo.
Also do watch out for logo theft, it seems the polo logo and hatch release and integrated so its mighty expensive to replace, around 7k i am told.
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Old 13th April 2011, 16:04   #15
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Default Re: Punto MJD 75 E+ vs Polo 1.6 Highline

Pyrotek, let me tell you my experience so far with the Punto 75BHP MJD. The car may feel sluggish initially when you migrate from a petrol to diesel car. However, as you crunch more miles, it becomes amazingly smooth and you wont feel the sluggishness. The steering feel, tank like build and the rock steady feel even when driving at speeds in excess of 100kmph is some thing that all Punto owners enjoy.

The service at least for me has not been bad which is reported as a concern in the forum. In my 18 months of ownership, I had to visit the workshop only thrice

1st visit after three months of ownership - First service - Total service cost = 0
2nd visit - After being rear ended by an accent, bumper was dislocated and reverse lamp broken. Bumper was pushed back inside at no cost. Reverse lamp was replaced at Rs.800.
3rd visit - 2nd free service. Total service cost = Rs.2700

Overall, very happy with the car till date. Completed 19000 kms in 18 months. Get a bangalore city mileage of 15kms/l without a/c and with a/c it drops to 12km/l. My driving route is bad through Mysore road which explains the poor mileage by Diesel standards. I manage only a average speed of 14~18kms per hour in peak hour traffic for a 20km ride to office everyday. Highways is where we enjoy the mileage. With sedate driving at 70~90kms / hour, you can hit mileage in excess of 22km/l. With 100~110km/h you can still get 20km/l. From thereon, the mileage starts dropping down as you push the throttle for even higher speeds.

My wife and kids traveled on a NHC with my cousin last week and the first thing they commented was that the same road with lot of potholes never felt so when driving in our car. But the NHC was transferring even the small pot holes to the seat and they were gettng tossed over. The suspension and the way Punto dismisses the potholes is really good.

This is just my experience. I have never tried driving the Polo and hence cant compare it with Punto. But I do like Polo's looks as well and drool over it whenever I pass one. I keep looking at my Punto so often that Punto's looks has now become similar to what you feel about your wife's looks after some years of marriage lol!!!! (Hopefully my wife will never read this post)
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