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Old 10th July 2010, 11:43   #31
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Very good and unbiased ownership review as said by many.

Recently I had visited VST Garage in Chennai to check out Grande Punto Emotion Pack. I have plans to buy in 2 to 3 months but the interest in me makes me to go to showrooms check the car now and then. I had a bad experience and this is what I wrote to the CEO. I am sure many such feedback should have gone by now but I thought let me add one more. Again I am not sure whether it would reach the CEO itself.

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Hello sir,

I am from Chennai and I have been interested in the Grande Punto Multijet and I am thinking of purchasing it in another 3 to 4 months. I have been trying to read every single review in the auto magazines and websites about the car and its ownership reviews.

I have visited 2 Tata dealerships in the city to just have a look at the car (wanted to take a detail test drive just before buying). Recently I went to VST Garage in Mount Road Chennai on a Sunday. I found a Silver Punto Emotion Pack in the showroom and went to check the car.

First thing I noticed that the glove box was having a lot of gap in the closed position (it was like it was not closing properly). I started getting the thought in mind that still Fiat cars have not got their fit finish quality right even in the new batch of cars from Jan 2010 (where reviews say it is better than the old ones, but still needs improvement).

Once I tried to open the glove box only I realized that the Glove Box lever has been broken and that was why it was having that big gap in the closed position. The sales person who was there also acknowledged that the lever was broken.

My point is that how can a car in display in the showroom be kept in such a condition. I can understand that many people may come to see the car and would have mishandled it. But is it not the duty of the showroom authorities to get it rectified immediately? What will a customer get in mind on seeing such a state in the car.

Either this should have been left deliberately without being rectified or such is the carelessness of the sales person and the showroom authorities of VST Garage Chennai.

Reason which makes me think "have been left deliberately" is that I have read in reviews that Tata showroom sales person does not focus on selling fiat cars and they try to convince people for the equivalent Tata cars. This can be one such attempt to have an impact in the mind of the customers that fiat fit-finish quality is still poor.

Frankly speaking after reading so much reviews about Punto the ONLY parameter that is making me think for an alternative is "After Sales Service" and the "Quality of the parts" (especially Plastics) used. Other than that I believe Punto is an excellent car and the same has been acknowledged by many.

But what is making Fiat not rectify this image even after very common comments from every single owner.

One of my friend keeps saying that if Fiat does not succeed this time and they decide to wrap up what would be your state when you own their car. Why is such a thought allowed to exist in the market? I am eagerly looking forward to a revival and I believe FIAT would be doing a better job if they stand and service alone instead of a joint venture. Please do focus on your part quality.

The very thought about Tata takes me to the bad quality of their products (may be they are improving recently but not yet up to mark) and their services. There is always a saying that Tata does not know how to maintain cars that they manufacture. The only negative thought about Grande Punto is about the same bad quality of parts and pathetic after sales service.

I believe Grande Punto should be a much better car if not for these nagging issues.

Eagerly looking forward for positive reviews on the Grande Punto 90bhp (multijet engine with VGT) which would drive me to own and drive the car.

Thanks for your time.

Regards,
Karthik
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Old 10th July 2010, 13:51   #32
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My comments are in bold.
Quote:
Originally Posted by karthikshan View Post
Reason which makes me think "have been left deliberately" is that I have read in reviews that Tata showroom sales person does not focus on selling fiat cars and they try to convince people for the equivalent Tata cars. This can be one such attempt to have an impact in the mind of the customers that fiat fit-finish quality is still poor.

When I went to see the GP with my family, the "show" car was parked next to a Manza. We were stunned by the sheer interior volume of the Manza for a minute, let me admit.



One of my friend keeps saying that if Fiat does not succeed this time and they decide to wrap up what would be your state when you own their car.
Well, I've decided to go for the Indica V2 over Palio 1.9D firstly because of this kind of talk(secondly, the price). But that was in 2004


Eagerly looking forward for positive reviews on the Grande Punto 90bhp (multijet engine with VGT) which would drive me to own and drive the car.

What prevents you from posting your own review? Drive it and type in your own review man! We are looking forward to hear from you.

Last edited by sandeepmdas : 10th July 2010 at 13:55.
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Old 10th July 2010, 17:57   #33
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Great review - unbiased and informative. Glad to read a Fiat review which is giving an honest look to the shortcomings of the car too, among the many undeniable strengths.

Perhaps this question is unfair, but I'd like your take on this anyway - Which car offers you better ride quality and high speed stability - your Elantra or your Punto ? (Because, the Punto is reputed to match cars in the higher segment on this front)
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Old 10th July 2010, 18:06   #34
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Excellent review, Anshuman. I completely agree with all points...except the following 3, that too, in varying degrees:

Completely disagree - This may be a service centre specific thing, but the service levels I have encountered at Prerana Motors (Hosur Road, Bangalore) is nothing short of exceptional. And given the fact that we all had apprehensions, their support has been such a pleasure.

Partially disagree - I, personally, haven't been too troubled by the turning radius. Sure, I agree that it's not exactly fun doing a U with the Punto, but it's not so much of an irritant as the cons you have rightly listed.

Finally, the LHD configuration hasn't bothered me at all. That's thanks to my last car being the superb Matiz.

Other than the above points, I think this is one of the best, most unbiased reviews that anyone planning to buy a car in this segment should read up. As for me,
I just love the Punto. Period.
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Old 10th July 2010, 20:33   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by .anshuman View Post
[*]Rear suspension Thud: the rear wheels of the Punto get airborne whenever the car jumps speedbreakers or passes them at speed, when the car lands on the road it makes a loud THUD sound. This thing does not occur when the rear seats are occupied, the reasons behind this may be insufficient travel and stiff setup of the rear suspension. I have checked this in various Puntos, all the cars behave the same, meaning this is not a manufacturing defect and the dealer cannot do anything about it.

I have noticed this in my Vista too, since they share similar rear suspension setup, my previous car which was a zen used to just land smoothly if and when i went over a speed breaker at good speeds.
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Old 11th July 2010, 13:16   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rohan_iitr View Post
A very balanced and unbiased ownership report.

We need more people like you on this forum, who make it a point to mention the good as well as bad things about their car ownership experience.

Like you mentioned above, many members and guests on the forum purchase cars based on feedbacks from existing owners. It would be very unfair to give them a biased review.

Rohan
Thanks Rohan, I am glad you liked my ownership review.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rbp View Post
Nice review there buddy. I own a i20 and its turning radius is also big, I am not sure if it is as big as the Punto though.
Thanks rbp, I have driven i20 back to back with a Punto several times, the i20's a lot easier to take U-turns.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SafeDrive View Post
Nice review .anshuman. A year and 23000+ kilometers later, your car still looks new and in showroom condition. You must really love it.
Unfortunate to hear on the customer service. I gave up on them after the 118 NE.
Thanks Safedrive. Yes, I love my cars and i take care of them, the reason they take care of me too.


Quote:
Originally Posted by krreddy View Post
Our Punto had just crossed 20K and we are pleasantly surprised with the car as a whole.
Few of the pros and cons

Pros:
Cheap spare parts
Looks are subjective, but the hatch is quite a looker.
Brakes are really good.
Stable at even 160

Cons:
Average to below avg service.
Parts can take time to reach service center (in my case it never will).
Quality of interior plastics.
I agree with all the points you have listed out.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheel View Post
Don't really know how Fiat-Tata partnership is growing, what i know for a fact at my place is Tata has the worst A.S.S near our end(almost a radius of ~300kms)

I have really liked your ownership reports .anshuman, i had gone through the Elantra's thread too and came away impressed with the car and your ownership.

This thread so ably points out that despite the GP being so able is marred because of Fiat India.
Thank You Sheel, I am very glad you liked my ownership reviews, expect even better and honest reviews in future.

There is no doubt about the fact that Fiat India has done a poor job of localisation with Punto, With quality of parts used in interiors this European car feels worse than the made for third world countries Palio, which was introduced here in 2002.
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Old 11th July 2010, 13:37   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MCR View Post
Excellent ownership report .anshuman. You have summarized all the pro's and con's very well. I think I also have a similar view after driving 10,000 kms in my MJD emotion. The car simply impresses me every time I see it. Its a gem to drive on highways. It remains composed and has a very good poise. In the city, you can just slot it into third gear and the rest is taken care by the torque of the engine. Simply a mesmerising performer. I am loving it.
Thanks MCR, Punto with Polo quality fit and finish with a Euro gearbox would have been a 10/10 car.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ritedhawan View Post
If there ever were hatchbacks that looked good in color red, then one would be Grande Punto and the other VW Polo. In the looks department, Fiat Grande Punto scores all points. But, after reading your review, i could percieve that your experience with this car after a year, is somewhere between good and satisfactory. The dismal job done by ASC, and less than satisfactory interiors may be the cause for that.

By far the best car you have is that gem : white Hyundai Elantra. Which you've maintained in a commendable manner. Few months ago, on my way back from Chandigarh, on NH-1, i believe i saw a white Hyundai elantra with HR number plate, perhaps it was your car. Dont ever sell that gem of an Elantra you have.
Thank You Ritedhawan, Even i find both Polo and Punto look best in Red. Sadly the i20 does not come in proper Red color.

Elantra has served me extremely well, meeting all requirements. The ownership experience has been the best amongst all the cars i have owned ever. Sadly every car has to go, i may sell it soon.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DCEite View Post
This is by far the most *well balanced* review coming from an owner, on Team-BHP.

Kudos to you, for highlighting both the negatives and positives without even a hint of bias.

Punto is a nice car with robust build and exceptional ride quality, let down only by poor after sales and iffy fit and finish. Wish FIAT takes a note of this on a priority basis.
Thanks you DCEite, I am glad you like my ownership report.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Satya79 View Post
Great and succinct review, .anshuman.
This will be a genuine help to anyone considering a new purchase. No ownership bias and too the point. Thank you!
Fiat seems to have mastered the art of Love-Hate relationships: love their cars, but really hate the way they care and support them.
I had a Palio (sold this year in Jan) which i used for nearly 100K kms, enjoyed every bit of the drive, but really feared going for the routine services...finally became too painful to own.

Tata Fiat seem to have gotten off to a good re-start, just hope that they don't go downhill from here again.
Thanks Satya, With the excellent cars(Linea and Punto) Fiat India has gotten off to a good re-start, they need to be cautious this time as this might be their last chance.
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Old 12th July 2010, 13:15   #38
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Originally Posted by .anshuman View Post
I do travel a lot on all kind of roads from Expressways to National highways to State highways to Link roads and No roads at all, />
Hi! Anshuman,Nice Review.I am planning to change my Indica Turbo shortly with a Punto. As I also drive a lot (2500kms/month) under very simillar driving conditions, I need your views on following which are necessary for me.1. Ground Clearance of Punto.2. Headlights upgrade with 100/90 or best alternative w/o warantee issues.3. Best Tyres for Punto EP.As I am already a Tata customer I am not worried about the A.S.S.Thanks, Kiran
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Old 12th July 2010, 17:49   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J.Ravi View Post
.anshuman,

Well-written long-term ownership review.

The ride, handling and high-speed stability qualities, which we all like, are due to huge turning circle [long wheel-base] that we dislike!
I dont agree. My Innova has a longer wheel-base and still the turning radius is 5.4, same as my Punto.
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Old 12th July 2010, 21:46   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karthikshan View Post
Very good and unbiased ownership review as said by many.

Recently I had visited VST Garage in Chennai to check out Grande Punto Emotion Pack. I have plans to buy in 2 to 3 months but the interest in me makes me to go to showrooms check the car now and then. I had a bad experience and this is what I wrote to the CEO. I am sure many such feedback should have gone by now but I thought let me add one more. Again I am not sure whether it would reach the CEO itself.

Feedback to CEO through the website
Thanks Karthikshan, Did you send the attached letter to Fiat India? If Yes, What was their response?


Quote:
Originally Posted by R17 View Post
Great review - unbiased and informative. Glad to read a Fiat review which is giving an honest look to the shortcomings of the car too, among the many undeniable strengths.

Perhaps this question is unfair, but I'd like your take on this anyway - Which car offers you better ride quality and high speed stability - your Elantra or your Punto ? (Because, the Punto is reputed to match cars in the higher segment on this front)
Thanks R17, It would be unfair to compare Punto directly to Elantra(Which was positioned segments above the Punto), Punto has more absorbent ride, it soaks roads better but the Elantra has a much more composed and level ride(Can be due to more sophisticated multilink suspension layout). Elantra again scores better on high speed stablity, Punto also feels very stable at high speeds.

With Low gearing and high NVH the Punto at speeds above hundred feels very stressed and seems like running out of breath. What a waste of great chassis and Suspension.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Flintstone View Post
Excellent review, Anshuman. I completely agree with all points...except the following 3, that too, in varying degrees:

Completely disagree - This may be a service centre specific thing, but the service levels I have encountered at Prerana Motors (Hosur Road, Bangalore) is nothing short of exceptional. And given the fact that we all had apprehensions, their support has been such a pleasure.

Partially disagree - I, personally, haven't been too troubled by the turning radius. Sure, I agree that it's not exactly fun doing a U with the Punto, but it's not so much of an irritant as the cons you have rightly listed.

Finally, the LHD configuration hasn't bothered me at all. That's thanks to my last car being the superb Matiz.

Other than the above points, I think this is one of the best, most unbiased reviews that anyone planning to buy a car in this segment should read up. As for me,
I just love the Punto. Period.
Thanks Flintstone, Yes i agree the service support depends on the local service center but all the service centers i have encountered are sub-standard. I cannot drive 50+kms to the other side of the city just to get minor issues attended.

How comfortable one is with big circle depends on his driving skills and getting used to it. If you compare the Punto's turning circle to any other hatchback back to back you will be shocked to know the extra effort you have to put in every day when the other car does it in far easier way.

Again the LHD configuration is also about getting used to it. You had a Matiz earlier and you must be used to it by now, may be if you drive a car with RHD configuration you may find it weird. All my cars have RHD configuration and Punto has LHD, everybody who drive Punto after some days gap always hits the wiper stalk when he wants to use the indicator stalk.


Quote:
Originally Posted by gurudutt View Post
I have noticed this in my Vista too, since they share similar rear suspension setup, my previous car which was a zen used to just land smoothly if and when i went over a speed breaker at good speeds.
Most hatchbacks these days share similar suspension setup, i believe this issue is due to lack of insufficient suspension travel(Expansion) or stiffly tuned anti roll bar.
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Old 12th July 2010, 22:10   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiren View Post
Hi! Anshuman,Nice Review.I am planning to change my Indica Turbo shortly with a Punto. As I also drive a lot (2500kms/month) under very simillar driving conditions, I need your views on following which are necessary for me.1. Ground Clearance of Punto.2. Headlights upgrade with 100/90 or best alternative w/o warantee issues.3. Best Tyres for Punto EP.As I am already a Tata customer I am not worried about the A.S.S.Thanks, Kiran
1.Punto has very good ground clearance, the only issue is long front overhang, Fiat has taken care of the problem by installing very strong engine guard metal plate which absorbs all the impact.

2.I do not recommend upgrading to 90/100w halogens for 2 reasons. One they fade the headlight faster because of the twice the heat they generate, second high wattage bulbs may damage the holder, wiring and the combination switch which are designed for half that load. A lot of people might say they have been using the setup without any side effects but i don't find it worth extra risk. I upgraded to 90/100 lamps on my 96' Zen and i had t replace the combination switch twice, i even had a upgraded relay installed.

If budget is not a problem, i suggest you to get a Philips HID upgrade kit installed. It just consumes 35watts and yet gives much brighter light, it looks good too.

3. Punto EP comes with 195 section Goodyear GT3 tires, which are not great tires but have more than enough grip for the kind of performance Punto has. I am not a tire expert but i have had very good experience with Yokohama tires, i recommend 205 section Yokohama db. For expert assistance post a query in tires section.

Before Finalising the Punto also testdrive both i20 CRDi and Polo TDi. The i20 comes with an excellent engine gearbox combo and the Polo has brilliant fit and finish. I rate all three cars- Punto, Polo and i20 CRDi equally good, each car comes with a set of compromises, Pick your choice of compromises.
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Old 12th July 2010, 22:48   #42
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Originally Posted by .anshuman View Post

If budget is not a problem, i suggest you to get a Philips HID upgrade kit installed. It just consumes 35watts and yet gives much brighter light, it looks good too.
How much would the Philips HID cost ?


Quote:
Originally Posted by .anshuman View Post

I rate all three cars- Punto, Polo and i20 CRDi equally good, each car comes with a set of compromises, Pick your choice of compromises.
So very true, there is no such thing as a 'perfect hatch' out there waiting to be bought. During my analysis I too realized that each car has its merits and demerits and one would need to figure out what one expects as a mandatory set from a car and what demerits once can live with. By the way, with this you just stole the concluding statement from my initial ownership thread that I was looking to start soon.

- B4W
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Old 12th July 2010, 22:58   #43
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Originally Posted by better4worse View Post
How much would the Philips HID cost ?




So very true, there is no such thing as a 'perfect hatch' out there waiting to be bought. During my analysis I too realized that each car has its merits and demerits and one would need to figure out what one expects as a mandatory set from a car and what demerits once can live with. By the way, with this you just stole the concluding statement from my initial ownership thread that I was looking to start soon.

- B4W
As far as i remember i bought Philips HID H4 6000k kit for around Rs.9k with Bill and Warranty last year, the prices must have reduced by now. Believe me Philips HID kit performs extremely well, My dad who did not find the kit worth the price when he first saw it but now after using it for a year he likes the extra illumination it provides on highways.

Sadly, No car available here can be termed as perfect hatchback. There is a good news for anyone looking for a petrol hot hatch, VW has started accepting bookings for Polo 1.6.

Polo with the 1.6 Diesel would be such a great car but again they have to ensure the success the upcoming Vento. Polo lacks features just because VW has to reserve some of the features like Climate control and powerful engine for the Vento.

Last edited by .anshuman : 12th July 2010 at 22:59.
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Old 13th July 2010, 12:38   #44
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I get a lot of PMs from fellow members regarding clarification on Oil filter and Fuel Filter prices. A lot of dealerships inflate the bill by changing the whole filter assembly instead of just the cartridge, which is required to be replaced at every service.

Kind Attention Punto owners
Some Punto owners were charged Rs.1750 for fuel filter assembly for part no.599116318, I paid Rs.765.33 for fuel filter part no.59116319. Similarly i paid Rs.302.22 for Oil filter DSL part no.59063972, some members have been charged more than this. Please check the part number and price when you pay for the Oil change service.
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Old 13th July 2010, 12:43   #45
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Thanks .anshuman for your reply.I fully agree there is no perfect Hatch. I have shortlisted either a Punto or a Vista with ABS. Polo is out of my budget & i20(hyundai) undecided. Rearding Lights will definitely look at HIDs.
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