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Old 10th December 2013, 22:25   #46
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Default re: Fiat Grande Punto: 4 years, 80,000 kms and counting

Quote:
Originally Posted by lapis_lazuli View Post
Brilliantly penned review Sid. Over the last several months, we have met quite a few times at Oberoi sec 63: normal weekends, service camps, frustrated weekends, and each time, I have said to myself: what an immaculately maintained car! Not only this, several workshop personnel actually know you and your car really well: from a toned down "shorts waaley Saar", to "chhappan satra" to "laal wali nayi gaadi", to "siddharth ji"! In your presence, and, ahem, absence too! Your car is that famous.

Rightly observed, FIAT India, Oberoi, and service GM, Mr. Gopalan: as some of us have observed, have been quite helpful over the months. Consistently. I can only hope it continues, though I hear and read some not so encouraging reviews too.

Little OT: I personally feel, for some Fiat owners, Kashyap Motors/Sharmaji is the place to go while for others, it's Oberoi. For the rest, they don't care much: as long the car runs, they are good! But, the way Oberoi accomodates a car for the smallest of niggles, is really worth mentioning. The sector 63 workshop would have its own body shop in a couple of months, too.
Donno whether to speak here or not, I saw your mangled punto there. Felt pretty terrified to see your blue car in that state. I can vouch for the car's safety and I got to know this from Biraj on phone. Wanted to speak to you but probably could not. Is the car going to be rebuilt or will it go for CTL? I heard from Mr. Gulab that it will be rebuilt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by krreddy View Post
Really sorry for your loss Sid.

I would be isolated for weeks if not months after a loss like that.

I have the same car so happy motoring and i hope you have a thick skin cause the service is beyond terrible.
I donno what a thick skin means (lol), as long as I eat food and go to gym to build 6 packs..I may have, but I haven't. Or probably a coat of a cold cream may help...jokes apart, I know of terrible service at hyderabad. Donno how and where the service quality is consistent, but maybe in the coming months, it should improve. It has to.

Meanwhile, OT, let me admit, that the new design "multispoke alloy wheels" work like a charm in convincing people that this is a limited edition punto.

Fiat Grande Punto: 4 years, 80,000 kms and counting-img-420.jpg

(clicked by devilwearsprada)

Last edited by sidindica : 10th December 2013 at 22:40.
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Old 18th December 2013, 09:53   #47
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Default re: Fiat Grande Punto: 4 years, 80,000 kms and counting

The Himalayan journey

Fiat Grande Punto: 4 years, 80,000 kms and counting-img-219.jpg

The car just went for its 1100 km journey for work tour at Mandi, shimla, solan and karnal and then back to Delhi. Zero issues and the car performed flawlessly as usual. Traffic jam 10 kms before mandi forced me to take an alternate route via jamri and few village areas on a single lane highway. Roads remain good and bad at parts.
FE was around 19.2 kmpl cumulative for the whole trip.

Fiat Grande Punto: 4 years, 80,000 kms and counting-img-205.jpg
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Old 22nd December 2013, 16:31   #48
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Default re: Fiat Grande Punto: 4 years, 80,000 kms and counting

The story of the sixth sense


Fiat Grande Punto: 4 years, 80,000 kms and counting-1495951_706091486091806_204897600_o.jpg

Owning a Fiat is just like a love hate relationship, with surrogacy often throwing tantrums. But the good part is the company continues to remain transparent and supportive in warranty claims, sixth in this case. Nothing major, but day before, my car underwent wheel alignment and balancing at Driven, east of kailash. The person showed me a rubber bush of the suspension arm which had cracked. Before the new sound comes in and crops up, called up oberoi and the GM-service, and the told its nothing serious. I even e-mailed the pic to Mr. Gopalan, but sorry to say, I got no reply and thursday they remain closed. But, as part of preventive maintanance, took the car to kashyap that morning and got the arm replaced within warranty. All it took was just 30 minutes and I got the car back. ODO stands at 26,200 plus kms till now. As for my steering column, the noise has mysteriously vanished though oberoi had ordered the part recently. Once it comes, will see what to do for it.
Picture clicked this morning with nkapoor777's T-jet.
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Old 22nd December 2013, 17:08   #49
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Default re: Fiat Grande Punto: 4 years, 80,000 kms and counting

What a review !! Your punto looks stunning. Welcome back to the forum, we all have missed you.

My heartfelt condolences to you on the loss of your father.

75HP and 195 section tyres ? How does the car feel ? Does it not feel heavy ?

Last edited by Rehaan : 24th December 2013 at 12:49. Reason: Post edited. It's a standard template used for moving threads out. If mods wish to comment they do so in their own posts. Tx
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Old 22nd December 2013, 19:45   #50
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Default re: Fiat Grande Punto: 4 years, 80,000 kms and counting

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Originally Posted by F150 View Post

75HP and 195 section tyres ? How does the car feel ? Does it not feel heavy ?
Nope, the emotion variant in the same engine configuration comes with 195/60 r15 tyres. The same Upgrade was done by me, 14" 165 tyres were too inadequate plus they looked ugly in the original.
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Old 26th December 2013, 17:34   #51
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Default re: Fiat Grande Punto: 4 years, 80,000 kms and counting

Congrats Sidindica !

Your back with a bang, a typical of Sidindica detailed report

Sorry to hear about your father's news.

If I am not wrong earlier you had a White Punto in your family which was totaled and all the occupants had escaped safely.

Was that in your mind when it came to finalizing Punto ?
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Old 31st December 2013, 19:10   #52
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Default re: Fiat Grande Punto: 4 years, 80,000 kms and counting

The story of an unexpected guest.

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While my punto went to Oberoi Fiat for its sixth warranty claim (in a continual love affair) for steering column replacement (technically 5th but delayed) and repainting of 4 body panels (tailgate for a vandalised scratch; rear door due to hit caused by my sister; front bumper and bonnet-the latter for accumulated stone chip and falling debris marks accumulated at multiple outstation trips in the past 6 months); I had written a strong e-mail to Fiat expressing the poor QC and service standards and part management plus poor coordination between the dealer and manufacturer; I was given a loaner car by Oberoi Fiat after my discussions with Fiat India over the phone and lots of follow ups.

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Presenting the line of fire.
This Flamenco Red Linea, manufactured in August 2008, belongs to Fiat India and is one of the earliest production examples from Ranjangaon plant. Its the top end emotion pack trim and I think it was once a media car, the reason for so many kisses and bruises of Fire it has suffered over the past close to 5 and a half years. Its powered by BS-3 specification 1368 cc FIRE petrol engine with 89 hp@6000 rpm. The car had clocked down 1,06,000 plus kms and I had this car for 4 and a half days.

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Quick review of the Linea FIRE
I received the car in dirty, bruised and battered condition on Friday evening and the next morning I restored some of its dignity. Washed the car outside, waxed it, vacuumed it inside and cleaned the interior trim with a bucket of water mixed with vatika shampoo and a soft brush, then wiped it with microfibre cloth. Some sanity was then restored and the car came with approx 1000 rupees worth of petrol (@71/litre approx).
I was surprised by the condition of the car once I drove it. The engine and gearbox are in top notch working condition, and redlining this is pure fun. Has a nice growl, but outright acceleration is mediocre. What is good about this motor, is the user friendliness and torque spread. Like all fiats, the first two gears are short, and nothing to speak of. The engine picks up in second gear but feels jerky at half throttle. Shift it in third and the character changes dramatically. In gear acceleration and city driving is just too good. The car doesn't feel that under powered until shown an open highway. In fact, this car, if launched intelligently, can pick up at third gear from 5 kmph. 4th cog utilizes all the power and 5th is again in overdrive mode, tuned for FE.
FE varies drastically depending on driving style. Aggressive driving and constant high revving can return 7-9 kmpl and defensive cum neutral driving can return 14-16 (without AC, of course). Idle rev cut off is restricted to 6000 rpm, whereas if you just try to check the max rpm cut off while between the gears, its 6500.
The suspension is great and handling top notch (it has 160 mm GC only as this is actually a pre production car) but the condition of the car's underpinnings was very bad and felt that it would disintegrate due to negligence in maintenance. Give it a complete service and it will be good for another lakh kms.

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Back after year end rejuvenation
I got the car today evening after the steering column replacement, bodyshop work and few rattles being resolved from the seats. Stands at close to 27,000 kms today when these images were clicked. I shifted the "Punto" logo (new one purchased) to right (like it came in the euro punto) from left (like it comes in Indian punto). Placed the logo myself after looking at a wallpaper and some calculation of measurements.

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What Oberoi Fiat is good at:
  • Accepting their mistakes and ensuring that they are resolved; esp when Mr. Gopalan intervenes.
  • Problem identification has improved.
  • Supporting warranty claims putting customers first, even if it means fighting with Fiat India.
What they need to improve at:
  • Delivering promised commitments and ensuring better intra personal coordination.
  • Dedicated bodyshop for Fiat cars and ensuring top notch work.

What Fiat has been supportive at:
  • Taking my e-mails seriously and coordinating with the dealer to ensure that problem is solved.
  • Ensuring transparent warranty claims.
What Fiat needs to improve at:
  • Supporting the dealer in every way possible WRT warranty claims and parts procurement. The dealer does make efforts but the support gap from Fiat still exists.
  • Strict QC at assembly line. 6 warranty claims in 15 months is not something worthy to talk about.

OT: The story of Microsoft's surrogate child

Fiat Grande Punto: 4 years, 80,000 kms and counting-20131231_192504.jpg

While of late the smartphone bug had bit me hard, I went ahead and bought the nokia lumia 920 in Jan this year. More than my car, its this 35k phone that has seen more visits to service centres and has proven to be unreliable. The first piece kept on hanging regularly and had 20 plus visits, it was replaced by Nokia in september after I wrote a mail to their customer care head and wrote a negative remark on their international Fb page.
The swapped piece recently had its display conked off and after a week of multiple visits to NASA (Nokia Authorised Service Agency), the motherboard and display screen as replaced and software updated. This is the first phone from Nokia that has been troublesome to this extent. My previous Lumia 800 gave zero issues.
But, for sheer camera quality, this is easily one of the best phones I've ever owned. All images in this post have been clicked by this only.

Last edited by sidindica : 31st December 2013 at 19:36.
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Old 4th January 2014, 22:00   #53
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The story of 3M-man, machine and maintenance

Fiat Grande Punto: 4 years, 80,000 kms and counting-wp_20140104_006.jpg

When a car goes through the terrain torture of Indian roads and poor jobs of messing up by the FASS bodyshops at small small things, The situation is plain apathetic. While the paint job done at Oberoi Fiat was good lots of areas were messed up with the rubbing stains. Gave them an earful but still you got to learn to live with it.
When it comes to professional detailing, the market here in north is yet to mature and of late, there is an increase in the number of stores that have opened over the past many months.
Say, like retro rraps, steam and shine, auto expertz, connought car care and many more. The so called perennial favourite 3M took its own sweet time to open in Delhi, and located at kailash colony under the metro station. Now, i inspected my car today morning up and close and was litrelly shocked at its state up close. While from far off the shine is evident, in the past 6 months, lots of hidden scratches, tar marks, swirl marks and other marks were accumulated in the car's body. Now, people often recommend on not to get detailing done on freshly painted panels as this needs to be allowed to dry. Still, I thought, lets take a chance and see what happens.

Why 3M this time and not retro rraps?
The store belongs to my close friend's client, and based on his recommendation, wanted to give them a chance. When it comes to overall quality, I have seen pics of almost all the stores on their respective facebook pages and found them to be pretty similar in quality. Besides, the debate of using 3M products vs using Meguirs products was evident, ultimtely, what depends is how much the human-machine harmonical interface works in
delivering quality. Also, the final word that matters is of the customer, not the shiny pics that are shown in FB.

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Initial drawbacks of 3M as noted
-Located in main road, parking can be an issue
-foam wash is done outside, don't know if other stores do it inside
-charges are very high compared to other stores. Say, an average of 1.5k extra for exterior plus engine and 3-3.5k extra for a total package of exterior plus interior plus engine. Its the brand that they are are charging extra for.
-Usage of 3M products; and not meguairs though they stock meguairs. The competing stores use meguairs.

I have heard mixed reactions from people about 3M. Many are happy, many are not, many had terrible experiance. BUT, I still had to try, for this, money was secondary concern, quality was first. Also, this would help me to compare the services done by retro. Besides, if I had to travel to retro, I would have to travel 45 kms from my house compared to just 12-13 kms for this, so convenience was another factor.

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I gave the car today at 10:30 am for a complete exterior plus engine treatment (interior is clean, so not required) and got the car back at 2:30 pm. Did not see much of the WIP as I went back home for lunch, but if you compare the job done in 15 month old car done 27k kms that has seen the brunt and abuse of harsh North Indian terrain, its a great job done. I found the gloss level to be better than what was offered by retro, but only once it settles up completely (summer vs winter weather factor), only will be able to comment. The work done is upto their standards, but their prices need to be very competitive. I will wait for feedback from others also before we put this on team bhp directory in recommended status.

The detailing was done by doing foam wash, clay wiping, light dry sanding on places where it was required, not on freshly painted panels as they told, and coats of paint protection plus engine degreasing at the engine compartment. Costed 4790+12.36% tax but I paid INR 5000 in total.

After 3M detailing
-Swirl marks have almost vanished, deep swirls which just form like 4-5% that too inside, remain. That even the best of the detailer cannot eliminate.
-the gloss is much better now. Looks much better than what it did last year
-The whole car now has uniform matchness WRT colour.

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Now, how long does it last? Depends on the maintenance and care taken aftermath. For the comparison, the pics of retro's work are there on page 1. Will await feedback from you all.

More images:

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Last edited by sidindica : 4th January 2014 at 22:26.
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Old 15th January 2014, 11:37   #54
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Time to call her "war-aunty"

Fiat Grande Punto: 4 years, 80,000 kms and counting-1538889_515841911865490_2059340429_n.jpg

Her love for tantrums continues. Just like a typical saas bahu war. Where, noises erupt after tu tu mein mein.
Perhaps, it was some time to absorb some shock, for this time? Maybe once, maybe forever?
Pat pat..khat khat...minor muted noise was coming from somewhere at rear LHS. Seats were tight, toolkit was tight, subwoofer was taken out, yet she was adiyal. Went to kashyap Fiat, and they tested the car and traced it to the left side rear shock absorber. The piece looked perfectly fine, but the parts and warranty guy said that somewhere, there is some minor looseness. Too much technical to bear and understand, they immediately got a new shocker and replaced it. The noise went off by 80%, but still not fully. Perhaps, the rattling parcel tray to blame?

All of us remember that DTH services have free to air channels, and paid channels to watch the wars between aunties that are frustrated. But, there is a third type of channel-the seat underframe channel on where the seat slides and goes up and down, just like the bollywood masala. My driver's seat channel, had this khat khat noise with the seat fully back as some bearing had developed a play for the same. Not a deal breaker, but I hate noisy things. So, the seat base frame needs replacement. This dollar underwear costs 7 grand, but, since the car is under warranty, that makes for another warranty claim. Part ordered by kashyap, to be installed in a few days time.

In a nutshell, kashyap gave excellent service this time and also, had elmininated a few niggles like loose RHS rear door stopper, loose handbrake, loose passenger seat sliding lever.
This takes my total warranty claims to 9, in the past 16 months of ownership. No matter, I have now nicknamed my car as "war-aunty".
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Old 22nd February 2014, 15:00   #55
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The mind niggling googling story of a thirty thousand leagues under the sea

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So, she stands like a little mermaid, often well behaved, often irritating to the core. The warrantantrums continue, and so does poor dealer support. The usual running continues, and she finished thirty thousand rounds of a kilometre yesterday. Noting much to report, except few more warranty claims have been added to the long list. While the seat frame was replaced at kashyap, I saw some scratches in the inner side next to the sill plate. They have agreed to correct it, only after I had discussed with the manufacturer as a whole. The seat cushion was improperly fitted, now taken care of. Rest small issues were (finally) rectified, so no rattle or squeak as of now.
One fine day, or rather the next day, the wiper control stalk broke apart at just as I was about to pull the same to release the washer to clean the windscreen. Everyone was baffled, and I did suspect some sabotage, so another visit, and problem was corrected with a new combination switch as a goodwill from the manufacturer.
Thought all was well, until one fine day at Chandigarh, the khrrr sound was coming from the shocker mount. Bearing went kaput, and again, the bad omen meant another warranty claim at Speed Fiat. Got the car back in an hours time, along with the usual checks, and from that day, did a couple of thousand kms with no tantrums thankfully.

So, here is a long list of the warranty claims (part replacements) that my war-aunty took:
  • 2X combination switch
  • 2X horn pad
  • front driver seat frame
  • LHS front door stopper
  • RHS front door stopper
  • rear parcel tray
  • LHS front shocker mount
  • LHS suspension arm
  • LHS RR shocker
  • steering column
  • brake discs and brake pads

Fiat Grande Punto: 4 years, 80,000 kms and counting-1655723_743249319042689_92650266_o.jpg

Living with her in the past 17 months continues to be a relationship with ups and downs. Until Fiat is serious about its QC and dealer handling....
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Old 6th April 2014, 19:57   #56
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Mountains calling, again

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She has an appetite for twists, turns, curves and hairpin bends. And the state of Himachal Pradesh presents the perfect challenge to enjoy her handling. Body roll is felt, but well within controllable limits, but the lovely steering feel makes it fun to dart around hills.

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Took the car to a 5 day work-cum-holiday trip to himachal covering:

Solan:

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Followed by Shimla. Some shots taken at mall road while going for a walk cum breakfast.

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Old 6th April 2014, 20:03   #57
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The next morning, perhaps, the best stretch of road, from Shimla to mandi. This road defines pure driving nirvana.

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And finally to dharamshala.

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And she covered 1,675 kms with a combined FE of 16.9 kmpl.

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And this is how she looks, as of today, a l'il shy of 33k, before its next service is done at 35k. Got the filters (AC and air) and brakes cleaned from Oberoi in the meantime.
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Old 1st May 2014, 17:48   #58
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Update at 4th service and 34,000 kms

Fiat Grande Punto: 4 years, 80,000 kms and counting-dsc04085.jpg

So, the summers are on, and with the engine experiencing some performance drop and the car withstanding lot of abuse, it was time to get it serviced. The 2 years fluid changing service will be done in september, and since diesel filter was replaced at 26k kms, it looks good for 14,000 kms as per the advise taken by the service center and other friends in whatsapp.
But, this time, I had decided to go for a change in the engine oil brand and type, warranty issues be damned. The reason lies behind driving of a remapped swift belonging to my friend. It runs on fully synthetic 5W40 oil from liqui moly, a very less known brand here but one of the best brands in the world. Also, to ensure that the service happens smoothly and only genuine parts are used, I had purchased the AC filter, air filter and oil filter OTC from Fiat service station and then went to ottozone, a workshop run by fucon industries at sector 11, noida.
I got all the filters installed and engine oil changed to 5W40 fully synthetic from liqui moly. Also, a close friend, had advised me to check oil levels at 3-4k kms since the viscosity of the oil is very thin and it has a propensity to consume in the initial kms. Since the shop is a pan india distributor, they charged 500 INR/litre and we filled 3.5 litres for 1750 only.No labour was charged and oil filter (411), diesel filter (199) and air filter (422) made it cheap to service. After a week got the brakes cleaned and brake bleeding was performed at Oberoi Fiat and brake fluid topped to ensure that the brakes work perfectly fine. Costed a total of Rs. 900. Alignment and balancing, at 35k kms will be done from driven.

Whats the benefit I found?
  • Mark my words, this oil works wonders. The unwanted clattery sound is almost gone for good.
  • The throttle response is better and engine runs more freely.
  • The smoothness and NVH level has improved a lot compared to the selenia semi synthetic.
  • FE, due to hot weather, remained constant at 14-17 kmpl, will need to drive more to gauge.
  • The low end jerks that were present in city driving have lessened.

Whats the drawback:
  • warranty on engine parts will be void if non recommended oil is used.

How is the car performing?
  • Just like new. Much faster, better and more open. Thankfully, no unwanted issues or unscheduled warranty claims and with the upswing in the after sales quality, I can wholeheartedly recommend this car to anyone looking for a competently priced, value oriented, all round diesel hatch.

Fiat Grande Punto: 4 years, 80,000 kms and counting-dsc04097.jpg

The car also underwent a detailing session at kleanz, sector 11 Noida after I saw their discounted rates on face book. They have mixed reactions, but I am happy with the work done in my car overall for 2.7K.

Today morning decided to give another shot at clicking it.

Fiat Grande Punto: 4 years, 80,000 kms and counting-dsc04076.jpg

Fiat Grande Punto: 4 years, 80,000 kms and counting-dsc04080.jpg

Fiat Grande Punto: 4 years, 80,000 kms and counting-dsc04078.jpg

Fiat Grande Punto: 4 years, 80,000 kms and counting-dsc04098.jpg

Fiat Grande Punto: 4 years, 80,000 kms and counting-dsc04100.jpg

Fiat Grande Punto: 4 years, 80,000 kms and counting-dsc04104.jpg

Fiat Grande Punto: 4 years, 80,000 kms and counting-dsc04106.jpg

Fiat Grande Punto: 4 years, 80,000 kms and counting-dsc04108.jpg

Fiat Grande Punto: 4 years, 80,000 kms and counting-dsc04110.jpg

Fiat Grande Punto: 4 years, 80,000 kms and counting-dsc04116.jpg

Fiat Grande Punto: 4 years, 80,000 kms and counting-dsc04117.jpg

Fiat Grande Punto: 4 years, 80,000 kms and counting-dsc04118.jpg

Fiat Grande Punto: 4 years, 80,000 kms and counting-dsc04122.jpg

Fiat Grande Punto: 4 years, 80,000 kms and counting-dsc04124.jpg

Fiat Grande Punto: 4 years, 80,000 kms and counting-dsc04129.jpg

Fiat Grande Punto: 4 years, 80,000 kms and counting-dsc04131.jpg

Remains a timeless, eye catching design, even after a decade.
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Old 1st May 2014, 21:03   #59
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Fantastic Sid, You maintain your car with utmost precision and attention to details. The car is as new and beautiful as ever. Thanks for giving information of the detailing center in Noida. Will definitely check this outlet. The charges of the detailing are pretty reasonable considering the outstanding end-result.

As I always tell you, May god bless this car with a long life and may it always retain it's shine.

Great car!!

AD

Last edited by ad3952n : 1st May 2014 at 21:06. Reason: edit info.
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Old 25th May 2014, 22:57   #60
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Your review made me book the Punto. Hats off to your sheer zeal in writing reviews that are immensely helpful to potential buyers.

You have maintained the car immaculately.

Cheers!
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