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Old 1st November 2009, 14:23   #1
MCR
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Smile Story of two Puntos : Third Free service update

I was getting tired of driving around in my 2 year old Santro Xing. The number of long drives had increased and also the comfort needs of the my sister and mother (they sit at the back). Undulations on the road would lead to an uncomfortable movement in the car, resulting in a stare from my father. I knew time had come for me to look for the latest offering.
My needs were simple :

1. Good back seat comfort and leg room.
2. Very good ride and handling.
3. Diesel.
4. Some comfort stuffs like power windows, luggage room lamp.

With the above must needs I started the hunt. The day was June 19, I read the news of Grande Punto release. This forced me to visit the showroom same day with my colleague and friend Halesha. I was more than impressed. But some professional commitments landed me in Germany for 2 months.
My free time in Germany was taken by TBHP and travel. I started collecting all the possible information on Punto. I would like to thank GTO, sidindica, aarenes, vinz, ms001, vignesh and others for putting up the excellent review threads.

I would call my parents once a day and ask them about the status of Santro sale. Pity the XL model has not many takers and the XO /XS models were the most sought after. Finally parents found a buyer for my XL and it was sold. Then saw an AD in the TOI online edition regarding the offers on Puto. Promptly called my father and asked him to book the car immediately. He was like astonished and asked me whether I had seen the car and taken the test dive. I told him I had seen the car and taken a test drive of the same in Germany. He initially refused, but relented considering the pressure I put on him. Finally on October 16 my father visited the showroom, booked the car and called me, I was crossing my fingers and my father told me that he did take a test drive and he was impressed with my selection. I was over the moon. All of a sudden I started to feel that the remaining days of the visit very long. I could not wait to get back to India and get my hands on my very own Punto.

Come yesterday I landed in India and straight away rushed to the dealership. I was greeted with a good news that the car had arrived and was at the stock yard. I asked for the VIN number and was promtly handed over a slip containing the VIN and engine number from the dealership.

Now waiting for SBI to clear my loan and get hold of my car.
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Old 21st November 2009, 14:07   #2
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Going a bit in flashback, I first saw thw punto in Italy during my stay there in 2007. On a long weekend myself and my colleague decided to goto Rome. We were at a place called Bari and Rome was around 400 kms from this place. As we were discussing, a German colleague proposed he would like to join us and we can drive to Rome in his Grande Punto. After some contemplation we accepted his offer. On the day of departure I could see his Hip Hop Black Punto. I fell for it there. Throughout the drive I was observing the performance of the car and it behaved marvellously. We could touh 170Km/h easily without much fuss. The german colleague offered me to drive and i accepted it immediately. Oh boy was the feeling I got as I started to drive it. The entire trip was fun and I could not stop admiring the GP. I cam back to India and since GP was not availble , I bought a Santro. June 17 bought back to me the fond memories of GP trip to Rome. I couls not stop myself, sold the Santro in September and booked the Punto during October.

SBI were quick and helpful, they cleared my loan in 3 days and on 18.11.2009, I got get my hands on my own Punto. Delivery was jiffy, thanks to URS kar. Specail thanks to Simmu kuttappa and Raju of URS kar for taking care of everything.

Till date have managed only 2 photos of the Italian beauty. More pics to follow.
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Story of two Puntos : Third Free service update-punto1.jpg  


Last edited by MCR : 21st November 2009 at 14:07. Reason: Typo
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Old 21st November 2009, 14:14   #3
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Congratulations MCR on realizing your dream. Nice color.

Was the Punto you drove more powerful than the Indian variant ?
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Old 21st November 2009, 14:21   #4
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MCR, congratulations on your italian beauty,Would like to hear more about the difference you found between the one you drove way back then and now the one you own.Add more pictures and your initial report as well.
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Old 21st November 2009, 14:38   #5
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Congratulations MCR and welcome to the club !!

Any particular reason why you went for the E and not the E pack ?

Do run in her well and enjoy the experience of the engine getting increasingly refined.

Needless to add the excellent ride quality, handling and top of the line features (Blue & Me, My Car etc)

Good luck
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Old 21st November 2009, 14:53   #6
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@sdp1975, thanks for the wishes. Yes, the punto I drove was a petrol variant. I think it was a 1.4L engine developing aroung 105PS.

@vijaythacker,Thanks. I will defenitely add more pics and my initial ownership report.

@amoghchaphalkar, Thanks. I went for E, since E+ was going too much out my budget and I was not interested in taking a heavy loan. yes I will run in her well.
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Old 21st November 2009, 19:08   #7
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Congrats MCR, great choice of Car & color!

Did you feel the driving experience of Indian G Punto same as Italian one?
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Old 21st November 2009, 20:31   #8
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Congratulations for the your new car, pls post a detailed review and more pics.
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Old 23rd November 2009, 11:30   #9
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Thanks for the wishes gopikb,finneyp,twinblades and .anshuman.

Here's an Automobile Engineer's review of the GP:

1. Looks: If looks could kill, GP would have taken the maximum casualties. distinctively different than any car on the road, the GP is a head turner and grabs attention. People recognize the difference in look and search for the name of the car. The "FIAT" badging is meaty and looks awesome.
2. Exterior: Amazing paint job. The sheen on the paint is excellent. GP looks good in all the colors available. The ORVM's are excellent and add character to the waistline of the car. The wheel arches and the door contours also do their job in beautifying the car. The door handles are easy to operate. The rear of the car is also well shaped and the bull horn tail lamps, visible in the eye line of the motorists behind.
3.Interior: The space available is decent. Good legroom both at the front and the back. Ergonomics are spot on and all the seats offer sufficient lumbar and under thigh support. The placement of pedals is quiet congested and the "dead' pedal rubs your foot while applying clutch. Luckily no such issues with accelerator pedal and brake pedal though. The storage space is quiet limited and one cannot store 1L water bottles any where in the car. However there is enough storage space for small things. The steering is meaty and easy to hold and fits the palm easily. Same with gear knob. The Music system offered is Blaupunkt. This quality of music may not sound extra ordinary but enough for average music listeners. Dash board plastics range from average to above average on some cars. Its simple luck to get an above average dash board. Boot space is decent and can store a decent sized suitcase. The boot lamp adds to the convenience.
4. Power train: Tried and tested 1.3L motor with Bosch Common rail system. The engine develops good amount of lower end grunt is much more linear in its power output. No sudden bursts of power like steroid injections.
5. Suspension: The best suspension on a car priced less than 10 lakhs. No thuds or jinks. Handles decent sized potholes without much noise. Only a faraway thud can be heard.
6. On the drive: Precise steering results in excellent handling. The tuning of the suspension, the tuning of the engine, the gear ratios and the overall character of the car makes for a comfortable highway cruiser. No hurried and jumpy feeling in this car which is common in its competitor. The road noise is completely insulated. The engine is not noisy and cannot be heard in the cabin with AC and windows up. The car is an amazing performer and one cannot feel the road speed. Only when the speed reminder goes off does one know the actual speed. The tire noise is well within the limits and the highway drone is absent. One always gets the confidence to push the car more.
7. Fuell Efficiency: cannot comment. Yet to measure the figures. I am not a FE buff.
8. Gadgets: Excellent on board diagnostics and instrument cluster. The features like real time mileage indicator and warning messages and warning buzzers. Theater effect lamps, immobilizer with rolling code, follow-me home head lamps, foldable key all adds to the wow value.
9.Brakes: Excellent. ABS calibration is spot-on and kicks in effectively.
10. Improvements that would help: The quality of dash board plastics. Storage space for water bottles. Improvement in the placement of the "dead" pedal and clutch pedal. Shielding of the steering joints from rubbing the foot when clutch is completely pressed. Cooled glove box. Front seat armrest. Rear seat armrest with can holder.

More pictures this weekend.

Last edited by MCR : 23rd November 2009 at 11:33.
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Old 23rd November 2009, 12:01   #10
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Congrats MCR. URS cars dealers are fantastic. My relation with them goes to 1999 when we bought Matiz from them in Mysore. Now they have become tata/fiat dealers.
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Old 23rd November 2009, 14:08   #11
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Congrats on the choice. Love the color as well. Are you planning for any upgrades. Let the first be the tire upgrade.
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Old 23rd November 2009, 14:14   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MCR View Post
My needs were simple :

1. Good back seat comfort and leg room.
2. Very good ride and handling.
3. Diesel.
4. Some comfort stuffs like power windows, luggage room lamp.
Congrats MCR on your new ride. Keeping in view your requirements, the Punto fits the bill perfectly!
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Old 23rd November 2009, 15:22   #13
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those are some good detailed observation.Would like to hear the difference in ride,quality offered and overall expereince of your punto u brought now and the one you had driven few years back.
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Old 23rd November 2009, 16:00   #14
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@MCR
Congrats!.
Enjoy and drive safely.

What are the chances of availability of accessories for GP viz. body kit etc. (Something like GP Abarth Essesse) in Germany?
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Old 24th November 2009, 11:12   #15
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Thanks Shishir_bn,Ramsagar,longhorn and Dhar's for the wishes. I am not planning any madifications or upgrades now. Lot of accessories are available in Germany for the GP. Will have to check for the same when I am there beginning of next year.

The ride quality of Indian Punto is very similar to the European one. However the road noise is much lesser in the European version. The quality of plastics on dash board of European Punto is miles ahead and also missing in the Indian Punto is the "P" symbol on the co-drivers dash area. The AC is much better on the Indian Punto. The features such as on-board diagnostics, real time mileage indicator, foldable key are common.

Last edited by MCR : 24th November 2009 at 11:17. Reason: Added sentence
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