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Old 19th July 2016, 10:41   #436
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Originally Posted by Aman S View Post
The website does mention discounts all across but not on the Abarth versions. I had a couple of queries:

Unofficial discounts available on Abarths across dealerships. Just bargain for a good price. If you want to buy the Abarth any time is best time unless you specially want the touch screen system. IMO the system won't add much value as personally I don't like them and you need to take eyes off the road to operate them.

I'll suggest you to try out the system in some demo car first and then decide.
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Old 29th July 2016, 13:31   #437
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto : Official Review

Any news on the matte silver finished Abarth Punto? They had plans to launch it in the first half of this year.

I am planning for a test drive of the new 125 Linea and Abarth Punto this weekend in Pune.
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Old 29th July 2016, 15:23   #438
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto : Official Review

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Any news on the matte silver finished Abarth Punto? They had plans to launch it in the first half of this year.

I am planning for a test drive of the new 125 Linea and Abarth Punto this weekend in Pune.
As far as I am aware of, this color will not see it to the production lines. As weird as it may seem to be.
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Old 29th July 2016, 16:10   #439
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto : Official Review

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As far as I am aware of, this color will not see it to the production lines. As weird as it may seem to be.
Again, one of the many strange things FIAT has been doing. Even the stickering on the matte gray was much more suttle and classy.

Is the touchscreen now standard on abarth too?
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Old 4th August 2016, 19:10   #440
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Default Punto Abarth - Test drive impressions & comparisons versus a Laura vRS and a Polo GT TDI

These are some of my initial driving impressions when I had the chance to taste the delightful Punto Abarth, back in Dec-2015. The short write-up was lost somewhere, till lately when a friend shared it with me again. The test drive car back then was of relatively low kms on the ODO. There would be comparisons drawn with respect to some of the enthusiasts choice from VW/Skoda stable, namely the Laura vRS, Polo 1.6TDI and Vento 1.2TSI which we use in the family. This is by no means an exhaustive comparo, but will highlight only the small differences in the driving experiences that I could garner from the short test drive of the Abarth.

Ergonomics: I didnt straight away feel any ergonomic issues as stated in many reviews. But neither did it feel exactly as I wanted. Will need a longer drive to confirm. Telescopic adjustment is sorely missed. I personally have a longer upper body for people of my height and felt the steering a bit too close to me. No point comparing seat comforts on a short drive, but it is definitely not in the range of vRS seats.

Brakes: The all wheel discs setup has really good braking performance. Much better than the Polo and Vento. Laura has terrific brakes too, but it is also shod with top of the line Yoko Advan Sport tyres. With better tyres, braking in Abarth is as good or might be better than in the vRS.

Steering: The hydraulic unit is heavy at parking speeds. But apart from that better in terms of feedback and directness. The heavyness at parking speeds slightly put us off. But finally it is a HPS and one would have to trade feedback for the added ease. The unit has always been better than the three mentioned above and continues to be. The wheel itself feels great to hold and among the best this side of 20lakhs. The vRS steering wheels are also great to hold, but they are slightly thicker for average Indian palm size.

Engine: Compared to the TSIs, as I understand, the engine in Abarth though turbo petrol is low on tech. It does away with direct injection also, unlike VW. Turbo lag is noticable compared to the TSIs. On paper TSIs produce peak torque from 1500rpm compared to the 2000rpm of Abarth. For ref 1.8TSI has 250Nm between 1500-4500rpm, 1.2TSI has 175Nm between 1500-4100rpm. Drivability thus is better in the TSIs. 1.8TSI has a redline of 6500rpm compared to 5500rpm of the 1.4Abarth. TSI felt to be more free revving too, with lesser inertia. That said Abarth picks up speed pretty quickly. The much sharper throttle response as well as the feel of overcoming turbolag really pushes you back, more than in the vRS. Much faster than Polo GT TDI and Vento TSI. Performance is in a different league. I drive a remapped 1.6TDI which should be around 125hp and around 300Nm, but the Abarth is much more explosive. The sharp throttle response in the Abarth makes it feel quicker than the vRS. But in real world, though with only 15 extra horses (160hp vs 145hp), vRS is quicker.

Suspension setup: Noticably stiffer than the regular Punto. In the regular punto, the suspension was better in terms of comfort as well as stability than a Polo 1.6TDI or Vento 1.2TSI. Abarth has gone noticably stiffer and more focused. Stability is now leagues ahead of the Polo and Vento. Ride quality at low speed has taken a hit, but then that isn't what the car is intended for. Body control is among the best I have experienced in hatchbacks. I would say suspension on Abarth is even more focused than the ones in India spec Laura vRS.

Fit & Finish: From my friend's Punto (a 2010 1.3 Multijet Emotion variant), I see much better finish inside, both in terms of panels gaps and plastic quality. Rough edges are there, like on door pads, but you should be keen to notice them. I don't expect more in the price segment and personally won't be a deal breaker for me.

Transmission: Vento TSI uses a slick 7 speed DSG to ensure drivability and performance. The 5 speeds in the Polo 1.6TDI-->I have felt dont go along with the performance on tap. I have always felt they could do with a taller 5th gear at least, especially after driving euro-spec Polos which had lesser power but geared taller. 6-speed MT in vRS is pretty much ideal for the performance with 2nd gear for 100+ and 3rd for 140-145kmph. The Abarth though a 5 speed unit feels like the ratios are perfect for the power on tap. Drivability in 5th gear is better than vRS, which has a bigger torquier 1.8TSI engine. In my friend's punto, 2010 75bhp model, I always had trouble shifting to 5th. It was overall notchy to operate. But in the Abarth it has improved noticably. Sharp and precise shifts. Throw is not as heavy as the 5speed MT in polo 1.6TDI or 6speed MT in 1.8TSI. But the setup in Abarth I think would help in shifting quicker if needed. Clutch is lighter to use than the other cars here.

Overall: Abarth is thoroughly focused towards the enthusiast. I wouldn't consider VW GT twins as enthusiast focused. They just plonged more powerful engines without caring for anything else like braking, suspension etc. Same goes for the Laura vRS also. One has to note that except for slightly stiffened suspension, regular Laura 1.8TSI is mechanically identical. vRS just has lots more cosmetic upgrades (to be fair, some of them are functional too). But Fiat has taken the effort to bring out a unique proposition to the enthusiast and kudos to them. If there wasn't a vRS at home, I would have been blown away by the Abarth. I would happily recommend the car to anyone looking for a performance hatch and can commit to the same for sheer driving pleasure.

Last edited by avinash_clt : 4th August 2016 at 19:14. Reason: Spelling
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Old 4th August 2016, 19:47   #441
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Default Re: Punto Abarth - Test drive impressions & comparisons versus a Laura vRS and a Polo GT TDI

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Originally Posted by avinash_clt View Post

Overall: Abarth is thoroughly focused towards the enthusiast. I wouldn't consider VW GT twins as enthusiast focused. They just plonged more powerful engines without caring for anything else like braking, suspension etc.
Brilliant observation there avinash and I just love the way you have worded everything here buddy

I think FIAT have always been the manufacturers who have catered to the Performance needs of the 'Potential' customers. They were one of the first ones to offer the legendary GTX and get close to or break the 10s barrier in 0-100 timings.

The problem with FIAT seems to be that they only know how to START a revolution but are quite incapable when it comes to CONTINUING it !!

VAG group on the other hand did not stop at a failure in the 1.6 Petrol engine on the Polo and went ahead and experimented with with the 1.2 & 1.6(TDI).

But as you have rightly said, these folks never really bothered to engineer anything else around these high end technologies, to really justify the "RESPECT THE GT" tag!!

Last edited by Vik0728 : 4th August 2016 at 19:50.
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Old 4th August 2016, 20:23   #442
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Default Re: Punto Abarth - Test drive impressions & comparisons versus a Laura vRS and a Polo GT TDI

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Originally Posted by avinash_clt View Post
That said Abarth picks up speed pretty quickly. The much sharper throttle response as well as the feel of overcoming turbolag really pushes you back, more than in the vRS. Much faster than Polo GT TDI and Vento TSI. Performance is in a different league. I drive a remapped 1.6TDI which should be around 125hp and around 300Nm, but the Abarth is much more explosive. The sharp throttle response in the Abarth makes it feel quicker than the vRS
Interesting, because if you mean from a standing start, I felt that my remapped T-Jet was quicker than the abarth off the line. The T-jet has a more usable bottom end, and throttle response is certainly sharper (lag is less), so it ends up being an easier car to drive in the city. The only caveat is it has zero engine braking so you can't really modulate your speed in stop/go traffic without what I feel is excessive use of the brakes.

Nice crisp review
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Old 4th August 2016, 20:56   #443
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Default Re: Punto Abarth - Test drive impressions & comparisons versus a Laura vRS and a Polo GT TDI

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Interesting, because if you mean from a standing start, I felt that my remapped T-Jet was quicker than the abarth off the line. The T-jet has a more usable bottom end, and throttle response is certainly sharper (lag is less), so it ends up being an easier car to drive in the city. The only caveat is it has zero engine braking so you can't really modulate your speed in stop/go traffic without what I feel is excessive use of the brakes.

Nice crisp review
Nope I don't mean from standstill, talking about in gear and roll on performance itself. What I mean by sharper throttle response is -- the relation between throttle position and engine mapping. More like having a quick throttle on your bike. Vis--vis the Laura vRS, I felt this relation is more agressive in the Abarth, kind of what you play around with when you remap the car. So for similar throttle inputs in the same cars, the Abarth seems sprightly and leaping ahead. This combined with a greater torque shove (I would attribute it to overcoming the turbo lag and a non-linear torque curve) makes you feel that Abarth is fast and ready to pounce. Since we were driving around the same roads that we use to with our personal cars, and when I actually looked into the speedo, numbers weren't high as in the vRS. Hence the mention of vRS being overall faster if both are pushed.

I drove the T-jet way back in 2012 and never afterwards. Honestly can't recall how the car is compared to the Abarth.

Cheers
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Old 4th August 2016, 22:18   #444
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Default Re: Punto Abarth - Test drive impressions & comparisons versus a Laura vRS and a Polo GT TDI

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Originally Posted by avinash_clt View Post
Nope I don't mean from standstill, talking about in gear and roll on performance itself.
Hell yes, no question about that. The Abarth revved faster and further than my T-jet post 3000 rpm, and made a nicer sound.

And you may be right on how the remap works, because compared to the Linea 125s which I drove recently, mine just feels more 'eager', with less strain filtering through under hard acceleration.

Cheers.
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Old 5th August 2016, 01:07   #445
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Default Re: Punto Abarth - Test drive impressions & comparisons versus a Laura vRS and a Polo GT TDI

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The problem with FIAT seems to be that they only know how to START a revolution but are quite incapable when it comes to CONTINUING it !!
There's a simple way to settle all comparisons between a Polo TDi/TSi and the Abarth variants of Punto - there is no comparison and by this I don't mean that one is vastly superior than the other either. Its just that performance/sports/fun/hot hatches are defined very differently by each driver. In the end its awareness and experience that teaches a driver how different cars can be.

There are always two types of drivers - one being someone who imagines the hot hatch to be packed with torque or "pickup" as we like to put it, engine displacement and that's about it. I'd presume that we've all been through that phase where we imagine that the ultimate sporty car is all about the zooming ability, the slick gearshifts and sporty looks and how that car overtakes other cars in a drag.. we get all these ideas from Hollywood and of course countless articles and popular media which focusses purely on engine capacity, force per tonne, 0-100 etc. While I've been far from a reckless driver, thankfully, growing up this is how I've imagined sports cars to be. Had we gotten into such a car in that stage of our evolution, we'd hardly have focussed on the "feel" of driving.

Then as we gain experience we become discerning, we understand that those thumps and vibrations coming in from the steering are not poor refinement, but extremely high refinement in terms of feel, we analyse how the car grips the road in a bend, we know when to correct the steering by reading the chassis and also we know that sometimes restraint and planning is more important than squashing the throttle.

Neither views are wrong as is, its just that one is a process of evolution while the other is evolution reaching its ideal. VW in India today makes hatches that quell the need for an adrenaline rush, by planting great engines with adequate power, combining it with lighting fast auto-boxes or smooth manuals and giving a taste of how really affordable a pushed-back-to-the-seat experience can be. What it doesn't provide is the feel, that thrum of the road onto the steering (more of a mechanism fault here than VW's fault), the stopping ability, the instinctual oneness with the machine so to speak.

Fiat gives a little more of the feel, or emotional connect with the machine. Here emotion is our senses aligning with the machine by subtle ways of communication.. how each part of the car reacts to our inputs and how it can make up for driver errors by gripping that much harder or braking faster, or not losing composure when hitting a caved-in portion of the road. However these fantastic mechanical refinements are inserted into a cabin which may not be the best in terms of road-visibility, steering wheel position and also the cog-chooser isn't the most satisfying one as would be expected in such a car.

Thus my view that there can be no comparison, both give the respective drivers something unique, their own flavour so to speak. Being in a segment where restricting the price to around Rs.10 lakh is quite hard and will result in products that can never be a complete package. Personally the "new" technologies/concepts like electric power steering, platform sharing, emission norms, fuel efficiency etc have removed a lifetime supply of fun from every car segment possible. I support better economy and clean emissions as much as the most passionate tree-hugger but when applying this concept to even the smallest of cars & engines.. that's when fun went extinct.
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Old 12th August 2016, 10:02   #446
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Question Re: Fiat Abarth Punto : Official Review

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Originally Posted by blackwasp View Post
Unofficial discounts available on Abarths across dealerships. Just bargain for a good price. If you want to buy the Abarth any time is best time unless you specially want the touch screen system.
I've been deciding between the Abarth Punto and the Polo GT Tsi for about a week now. Having driven both cars I can say the Punto feels faster, and its obviously more engaging to drive. My heart says Abarth but practicality says Polo GT because it has better resale value and its priced 1.5 lakhs lesser.

When I took a testdrive of the Abarth the testdrive guy told me that a newer version of the car is out now, with a touchscreen system, better speakers and apparently some tweaks on the gearbox. I was confused initially as there I didnt read about any official update from fiat about this. As Independence day is around the corner, Fiat posted an ad saying that the Abarth is to get free insurance and 30k worth benefits. When I called Butta motors in Hyderabad, they told me that the car with touchscreen and navigation costs around 12L on road and the car without costs around 11L. Another call to AV motors Hyderabad confirmed the same deal.

My question is, did the guy from the testdrive tell me some nonsense about the gearbox tweaks? Now that the price of the Abarth is almost as much as the Polo GT, I am leaning towards the Abarth. I frankly don't care for touchscreen and navigation, my main concern is driving pleasure.
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Old 12th August 2016, 21:17   #447
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My question is, did the guy from the testdrive tell me some nonsense about the gearbox tweaks? Now that the price of the Abarth is almost as much as the Polo GT, I am leaning towards the Abarth. I frankly don't care for touchscreen and navigation, my main concern is driving pleasure.

I doubt if the newer version of Abarth has a better gearbox. Frankly, the current gearbox through the same old 5 speed one, feels different in Abarth - this was confirmed by many friends who had/have older puntos and lineas.


If you are getting car without touchscreen for 11 Lakhs, it's a good deal. Frankly that's the price I got mine for (2015 make). Once driving I'll doubt you'll find the touchscreen any useful - you'll be more enjoying the drive than the touchscreen.
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Old 16th August 2016, 16:27   #448
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Default Quick Test Drive

I was in Pune on Friday for the test drive of Abarth Punto at Sky Moto, Wakad.

On the Test Drive -
It wasn't a long test drive, around 10 kms. This is probably the best hatch that I have driven. The power delivery is fantastic, no turbo-lag, you just floor the pedal and power delivery is almost instantaneous.

The handling is the best in hatchbacks that I have driven. I didn't experience the torque steer in the first gear, maybe I didn't floor the A pedal in 1st gear enough as I was wary of the same. The steering is the best that I have used, simply brilliant.

It took me a few seconds to get a comfortable driving position, not sure what the fuss is all about. Maybe it also depends on the driver's built, I am 5'6".

I can't recall much about the C pedal, but then that is a good thing, it means that the C pedal never gave any issues or interfered in my drive, just like a good wicketkeeper, you notice him only when he makes mistakes behind the stumps. The all 4 disc brakes were top notch.

The gear box was where I struggled a wee bit as I had to fiddle around trying to find the right position to slot it in. But I believe when you start using it daily one will get used to it. The sales person mentioned that it happens with new FIAT cars and the gear box settles down well after sometime, I don't take that argument as it was a 2015 vehicle that I test drove.

As rightly said by most people here, the vehicle masks speeds very well. Suspension is slightly stiff but for a sport hatchback it is just right.

Another downer for me was a lack of storage areas in the cabin, just one cup holder in the front and another small place below the handbrake to keep you mobile/wallet.
Boot is decent enough but with there is some suspension intrusion.

The car is well built, but I found some irregular panels in the display vehicle, although nothing severe.

I was informed that the 2016 vesrion comes with the tocuhscreen infotainment system.

Bottom line, this vehicle is on the top of my list for the next purchase. Hopefully the expected Mumbai dealership opens during the festive season or atleast by year end.

About the dealership -

I had called up a day in advance to inform them about my test drive the next day and I specifically told them that I needed both the Abarth Punto as well as the Linea 125S for test drive. The person who attended the phone assured me that both will be available. On reaching there Friday morning I learnt that the Linea 125s is in the workshop and will be available only by afternoon!!
I told them that it doesn't make any sense for me to stay there till afternoon just for a test drive of one vehicle and also I had to be back in Mumbai for some work. I also requested them that if possible why don't they take me to the workshop (around 10kms) and if the work is complete then I can have test drive. The manager said "Sir its impossible". I wanted to retort "Guys, you are impossible!!"
They didn't even have a display vehicle of the 125s.
I was finally told that they have a customer's vehicle that has come in for delivery and I can test drive it for a couple of kms!! I rejected it. Anyways I said atleast I'll have a look at it, as I also wanted to check how the new infotainment system is and had got my memory stick along with me. The customer vehicle was the new brown shade and it looked better than the 2 other grey shades which were standing besides it. Something was wrong with the rear left door of that car as it didn't close with a 'thud' and had some rattling inside. Also there were minor scratches on the boot.
I reluctantly just took her a few metres forward and then came back in reverse to check on the ergonomics.

The manager then had the audacity to ask me how was the test drive of the Linea!!

I also found the sales person not very competent - when asked about spare wheel he mentioned that its an alloy, when I wanted to checkout the Linea 125s he showed me the multijet, I had to tell him that 125s is the TJet. There were a few such instances.


Current Prices and discounts -

On the Linea 125s there is a direct 80K discount (20K cash, 10k exchange, 10k loyalty and 40k bonus cash). For the Abarth Punto its just 12K for the 2016 model. So on road price including 1% TCS for Linea 125S Emotion variant in Pimpri-Chinchwad after discounts comes to around 11,10,400 and Abarth Punto 2016 will be around 12,02,000. These prices also include 7K as Logistics charges for Linea and 10K for Abarth Punto.

The RTO charges for the Abarth Punto is 10K more than the Linea although ex showroom is almost 5k less for the Punto.


PS - If and when I buy, I would want to do away with the graphics on bonnet and boot, is it a fairly simple job that can be done at the dealership/3M or any other detailer?
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Old 5th September 2016, 10:23   #449
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PS - If and when I buy, I would want to do away with the graphics on bonnet and boot, is it a fairly simple job that can be done at the dealership/3M or any other detailer?
I got the stripes removed from a local sticker shop. It took him a solid 2 hours to remove everything. I've posted a few pictures on this thread sometime back, you can have a look!
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Old 30th September 2016, 10:12   #450
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If and when I buy, I would want to do away with the graphics on bonnet and boot, is it a fairly simple job that can be done at the dealership/3M or any other detailer?
I would recommend that you do this at 3M. I recently placed an order for a Black Abarth a few weeks ago, it should be arriving on Sunday. I scheduled my appointment in such a way that I remove the decals and have the paint treatment done in the same session. Besides after paying 10.67L for a car, I'd rather have some skilled hands on it!

P.S If any of you guys are still interested to pick up an Abarth, just be aware the 2015 stock is dwindling. You can still get a 2016 version but obviously the price is elevated ( I got an early 2016).
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