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Old 25th November 2015, 11:23   #16
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto : Official Review

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Originally Posted by IshaanIan View Post
Personally feel like the car is priced way too high for a product at the end of its life-cycle. All one is getting is the motor and hydraulic steering.
Way too high? 145 BHP Turbo Charged Petrol, 16 inch wheels, all round disc brakes, the solid build and excellent ride and handling than the already great handling Punto due to exclusive struts for the Abarth, and of course the little bit of premium the Abarth branding commands is well worth the premium as per me!

A 75HP Baleno D costs 9.7 lakhs on road, the Abarth costs 11.2x lakhs on road, just to give an idea. The 12 lakh figure quoted in the review maybe applicable to places like Bangalore which has ridiculously high road taxes.

Quote:
The mostly uncomfortable and as a result less confidence inspiring ergonomics, gearbox and shift quality, silly cheap apollos, lack of ESP and slightly gaudy styling (still love the first gen Punto with that beautiful cheese-grate grille) all come together to really make one ask why spend so much is it just for the Abarth logos?
Like already explained above, you still think you pay the price just for the logos?

And when was the last time someone saw the brand of tyres the car came with as a deal breaker? You don't like the Apollos, swap it right after delivery instead of crying foul.

Quote:
The car will definitely have its fans but I don't think it will be as appreciated by the rest of the automotive community as the Palio S10 or GTX was and according to me that is a pity considering it wears the Abarth badge.
Am part of many communities which has the S10/GTX, and we seem to disagree with you, we think that the Abarth is a worthy successor in terms of reliability, safety and comfort and of course power!
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Old 25th November 2015, 11:30   #17
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto : Official Review

Great review as usual! Now, waiting for a drag/comparo review of the GT TSI and the Punto Abarth. Hope someone does it soon!
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Old 25th November 2015, 11:31   #18
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto : Official Review

Finally! What a treat on a holiday! Thank you Team-BHP for making life so awesome for us. I, personally, was waiting for this review since a long time. Well worth it: because this review has again raised the bar high. Wonderfully captured the essence of this baby Abarth and mind-blowing amount of details.

Thank you Fiat for bringing something like this for the Indian enthusiast on a budget. Hope that other manufacturers follow suite.

I am one of the few people who like the graphics on this car and if it were mine, I wouldn't care to remove them. The interiors should've been a lot better though. And 16k odd bucks for the Abarth branded sporty pedals, that's simply too much IMO.

The MT should have been improved. That would have made the car an even better bet for the enthusiasts. I would still prefer this to the GT TSI's DSG, because no matter how bad it is, it is still an MT.

I, for one, don't think it's overpriced. Agreed, some aspects of the car simply don't do justice to the price tag. But what you do get is a good looking hatch which has a 145BHP heart, a superb steering and build quality that can be compared to vaults, not to forget the wonderful handling and dynamics. This one is surely a worthy successor to the erstwhile Palio 1.6. Way to go, Fiat!

Now, eagerly awaiting an ownership review.

Keep revvin'
Neel

P.S.: Time to convince Dad for a TD

Last edited by petrolhead_neel : 25th November 2015 at 11:47.
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Old 25th November 2015, 11:39   #19
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto : Official Review

Superb worship, S2!!! ( I don't want to call it review).
It was eagerly waited, though after the review by nkrishnap the suspense was less.
Frankly, there are no surprises about performance - the numbers indicated what expect and this worship is a confirmation of that.
Once again, I hope FIAT would do something about decals. It is ok to drive to college but not ideal for work.
GTO mentions "in the hands of a skilled driver"- perhaps there should be a caution in the official literature that this is meant for experienced drivers, like the way it is written for performance bikes!!
I feel this will do far better than Palio 1.6 in terms of sales.
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Old 25th November 2015, 11:47   #20
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto : Official Review

Top notch review of an absolute beast, rated 5 stars.

Lame gearbox & messed up ergonomics aside, the Abarth packs the most potent venom under the hood.
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Old 25th November 2015, 11:52   #21
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto : Official Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by petrolhead_neel View Post
I am one of the few people who like the graphics on this car and if it were mine, I wouldn't care to remove them. The interiors should've been a lot better though. And 16k odd bucks for the Abarth branded sporty pedals, that's simply too much IMO. The MT should have been improved. That would have made the car an even better bet for the enthusiasts.
Quite agree to what you summed up Neel. Blazing hot hatch. I had the opportunity to see the car in the flesh and it looks stunning. There seems to be a matte grey colour which will get launched early Q1 next year and am looking forward to that. I'd love a comparo between the Polo TSI and the baby Abarth.
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Old 25th November 2015, 11:56   #22
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto : Official Review

Finally, the official review is out - I think this is the only car which have got two full fledged reviews and where the un-official review is more exhaustive than the official one.

Fiat gets my applause for bringing this beauty, and though it lacks some of the features when compared to competition, I don't think it will be a deal breaker for an enthusiast. I am sure this will not set the sales chart on fire, and will remain only as a enthusiasts weapon of choice.

I know the ergonomics are a personal preference, so take the next para as strictly my personal case:

I have never felt the driving position is weird - may be the fact that I was coming from an Ambassador helped my case. My MIL(aged close to 60), who is have done some 8+hrs single stop drive with me, in both front passenger seat and in rear seat have never complained about exhaustion - in fact, she said it was much better than doing the same trip by Volvo and she felt she was still fresh after the drive.


Quote:
Originally Posted by IshaanIan View Post
The mostly uncomfortable and as a result less confidence inspiring ergonomics, gearbox and shift quality
Again - this is strictly my personal take (and I am not questioning your comment or your freedom to make the comment ):

Quote:
Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
I shuttle between smiling indulgently, laughing ironically or simply banging my head to a bloody pulp
Couldn't have put it better than Doc, though he used in an entirely different thread, for an entirely different reason.

--Anoop

Last edited by theexperthand : 25th November 2015 at 12:05.
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Old 25th November 2015, 11:59   #23
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto : Official Review

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Originally Posted by DRIV3R View Post
Like already explained above, you still think you pay the price just for the logos?

And when was the last time someone saw the brand of tyres the car came with as a deal breaker? You don't like the Apollos, swap it right after delivery instead of crying foul.
I already mentioned it is mostly just the engine that one pays for, and while it makes 145 bhp, it is a forced induction motor at the end of the day so the quite obviously impressive figures apart, motor does not feel very special otherwise. Things like improved struts, ecu tune etc. are changes one can expect from the company itself without it having to introduce the Abarth name (Fiesta 1.6S was never marketed as a cosworth car now was it ).

Considering the premium and inclusion of the Abarth performance focused brand, the Apollo tyres definitely seem like an attempt by a pure-performance oriented brand, to short-change its customers. I am sorry if you felt offended by my post, I fully expect the car to have its share of fans but I am not as convinced by it as I feel I might have been considering it is an Abarth. I have made my stance pretty clear and there is nothing that I have missed out. According to me, the aim here should not have been to convince die-hard Fiat fans of its worthiness as a successor to the Palio S10 and GTX twins; that should have been an easy enough task, it being a modern turbo charged car anyway, BUT if you are going to stick Scorpions all over the place, you got to do a better job of convincing folks like me. A better gearbox, sporty tyres and not asking customers to pay 16k for pedals which should just have come stock, would have gone a long way to help me redact my statements. Right now the Abarth logos seem to be there only for the Fiat brand to justify its price.

Last edited by GTO : 26th November 2015 at 11:41. Reason: Removing the unwanted bits to keep the discussion clean and civil. Thanks!
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Old 25th November 2015, 12:01   #24
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto : Official Review

Wow! A wonderful review of a wonderful machine.

To me though, the rubbery gear shifts, weird driving position, unreliable A.S.S, mediocre fuel economy and underbody getting scraped on every speed bump takes a little interest away from that awesome 1.4L turbocharged heart with solid build, great looking wheels, all round disc brakes and exclusivity.

Nonetheless, the most sensibly priced hot hatch today is the Abarth punto. I don't think the GT twins can ever be as good to drive or as agile as the Punto Abarth be. Having driven a GT 1.6 TDI for thousands of kms, I am yearning for the Abarth test drive! Great review!

Last edited by PrasannaDhana : 25th November 2015 at 12:03. Reason: typo
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Old 25th November 2015, 12:04   #25
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto : Official Review

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Originally Posted by landcruiser123 View Post

Ford and Maruti are category 1 as far as I'm concerned. Both have the car and the engine ready. The Figo and Baleno deserve the 1.0 Ecoboost and Boosterjet respectively.
Baleno can afford to get the engine as it's a 'premium' nexa product.
And ford better not repeat the mistake it made with the older Figo.
Figo with 1.0 Ecoboost would be a hoot to drive. That said Ford have Figo TDCi which is a fast car with people reporting 0-100 figures under 10 second.

When it comes fast hatch, Abarth Punto is the king, no doubts. However if I was in the market for powerful,fun to drive hatch, I would put my money on Polo GT TSI/TDI or Figo TDCi, simply because they are much more practical even though they are a little less fun to drive.
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Old 25th November 2015, 12:08   #26
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto : Official Review

Impressive review S2!!!,

I have rated it 5*

Just a thought - when I bought a City in 2006, my friends had asked me why I was buying a car capable of 180 kmph considering that I can never hope to cross 100 kmph on most roads in India!

I used to tell them that when I drive the car at 90 kmph, I am more confident simply because (at the back of the mind) I know that there is 'more' as and when I need/want it.

Another comparison is with instruments: If I want to measure using a 30 cm scale, then I should measure from 1/4th or 1/3rd to under 3/4th or 2/3rd of full scale. There are too many problems in the extremes!

The downside of this logic is that the low speed and/or low rpm level may be a problem!

In the case of the City, I did not face this problem at all - over 9+ years of usage! So, I am assuming that the Abarth Punto too is a car worth buying!

Personally (purely personally hum!) I would have loved a good AT on this.
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Old 25th November 2015, 12:33   #27
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto : Official Review

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Originally Posted by S2!!! View Post
Other Points:

Fiat is head-quartered in Mumbai. Despite that, and Mumbai being India's financial capital, there is merely one Fiat dealer here and its location is in the far suburbs. No brand presence in South Mumbai. This is of great inconvenience to present and potential Fiat owners.
Excellent Review as usual!

One Correction - There are NO dealers in Mumbai as of now. Esskay Motors shut down in August and there was a press release (EssKay Fiat shuts shop in Mumbai) from FCA asking public not to deal with them. Balaji in Navi Mumbai is also not on the list of authorised dealers.

Although Torrid Motors is still listed as a dealer in Mumbai on FIAT website, Torrid Motors has recently put up its showroom on the block. Their service center is intact for now. SMS to the management on their plans for dealership have gone unanswered. Majority of the sales staff have quit. They claim that they are looking for alternate space and that will take some time. FCA told me that customers from Mumbai are currently being catered through an 'alternative channel'. I suspect this must be through Pune dealers.

There is also a rumour that Bhaskara FIAT who are the dealers for Ahmedabad are in talks with FCA to start their showroom.

Therefore, I have given up hopes of seeing or even test driving an Abarth Punto in Mumbai in the foreseeable future. If I do see one, I will immediately know that the person is perseverent and a die hard fan. So anyone driving a Abarth Punto in Mumbai, look out for a white Linea T-Jet chasing you. Don't be scared - I'll only want to know your identity, congratulate you and ask you for a test drive!

Last edited by thedragula : 25th November 2015 at 12:40. Reason: spelling errors
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Old 25th November 2015, 12:44   #28
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto : Official Review

Thanks S2 for this super review. Well, as tempting as it is, it's still far away from doing good numbers. I've been trying to get a test drive of the Abarth Punto & Avventura, but Fiat has failed to deliver. No call backs from any if their outlets in Mumbai is truly disappointing. Even conversations on Twitter have failed. Hot hatch, great price, all agreed. But score in the after sales & then I'll consider getting one. And that's where they're truly in the dumps right now.

It's also appalling to see the terrible ergonomics of the car. It was a great chance to fix a few. The leather covering the steering wheel portion near the console is hideous! I was seriously considering the Avvy but thinking twice now.

It's those times in life when you really love something, but pity it at the same time.
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Old 25th November 2015, 12:44   #29
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto : Official Review

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Originally Posted by theexperthand View Post
I have never felt the driving position is weird - may be the fact that I was coming from an Ambassador helped my case. My MIL(aged close to 60), who is have done some 8+hrs single stop drive with me, in both front passenger seat and in rear seat have never complained about exhaustion - in fact, she said it was much better than doing the same trip by Volvo and she felt she was still fresh after the drive.
Most of my limited driving experience prior to buying my Fiat Punto in 2011 was in a Palio and I too never found the driving position to be awkward when I got the car. Maybe I just got used to it quickly. Maybe I found the perfect position easily. Maybe the whole Fiat and funny ergonomics is an urban legend (tongue in cheek)! I dont think the Fiat ergonomics are messed up for everyone, there are many like you and me who find it suiting us just fine. And there are many who dont. All I can suggest to people is try it before dismissing it instead of going by popular notion.


Among the different cars that I have driven over the last few years (including Hyundais, Marutis, Hondas, Chevys, Tatas) I find the driving position the most comfortable in the Punto. Funnily enough, its been over a month with the Jazz and I still havent found the right setting for a comfortable drive like I have with the Punto.
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Old 25th November 2015, 13:21   #30
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto : Official Review

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Originally Posted by theexperthand View Post
I have never felt the driving position is weird - may be the fact that I was coming from an Ambassador helped my case. My MIL(aged close to 60), who is have done some 8+hrs single stop drive with me, in both front passenger seat and in rear seat have never complained about exhaustion - in fact, she said it was much better than doing the same trip by Volvo and she felt she was still fresh after the drive.
Quote:
Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
Among the different cars that I have driven over the last few years (including Hyundais, Marutis, Hondas, Chevys, Tatas) I find the driving position the most comfortable in the Punto. Funnily enough, its been over a month with the Jazz and I still havent found the right setting for a comfortable drive like I have with the Punto.
I have never driven a Fiat Punto or Linea so cannot comment from personal experience. But I do see many people commenting that the ergonomics are not right. And others saying it is the most comfortable.

I personally think whether you find the ergonomics of this car suitable or not may depend on your own body proportions. May be it becomes ergonomically difficult if you have the body proportions of a classical Greek statue? And comfortable if you have a longer upper body compared to lower body?
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