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Old 18th September 2017, 19:16   #556
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto : Official Review

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Can anyone share details about this AVN / ICE setup?
a. How many speakers? How is the sound quality?
I own the 2015 Abarth Punto and I presume that the speaker set up in the latest Abarth Punto is the same as the previous model. There are 6 speakers in total (2 tweeters in the front doors + 4 mid range speakers). The vehicle has dummy tweeter provisions located in the rear doors. I have no idea why they decided not to incorporate tweeters in the provisions similar to what they did in the front. The mid range speakers in the front doors are larger (more than 4 inch but less than 6 inch speakers) where as the rear doors have smaller speakers (probably 4 inch). The sound quality is pretty basic (it is clear and crisp though) and it does distort if you go higher in terms of volume. If you are an audiophile you will be looking to upgrade the speakers/head unit.
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Old 3rd October 2017, 19:22   #557
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto : Official Review

Went to Kashyap to get some small things sorted in my Palio and couldn't resist clicking this pic.

Fiat Abarth Punto : Official Review-22089978_1725316844169260_8025928801863587976_n.jpg
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Old 24th October 2017, 18:29   #558
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto : Official Review

Are they still producing Punto Diesel? I thought production was stopped, or is that an older car in the showroom?
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Old 24th October 2017, 18:46   #559
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Are they still producing Punto Diesel? I thought production was stopped, or is that an older car in the showroom?
Yes! As far as I now FIAT has its entire lineup available (limited stocks), except the ABARTHS which have a waiting time. Had been to the Pune - SKY MOTO showroom recently. Very Sorry State. Unenthusiastic Sales team. Was offered a ABARTH test drive in an accidentally damaged car with engine checklight on, battered engine and not well kept cosmetically either. Love their Cars, Hate the Service.

PS: An Avventura Abarth 2016, available for sub 10 lakh. Would have bought the Car in a heartbeat if I lived in Bangalore.
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Old 11th November 2017, 08:14   #560
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This long post is a summary of my ownership experience with a 2015 Fiat Abarth Punto. For a detailed report kindly click here (Fiat Abarth Punto : Official Review)

First love:

I was smitten by the Fiat Grande Punto's looks ever since its launch in 2009, so when my parents had to replace our Zen (running with stage 1 mods), I took them straight to the Tata-Fiat showroom. Sadly though, that 1.4-litre petrol engine just didn’t do justice to this heavy hatch, so we settled for the Ritz.



A year later at one of the Team-BHP meets, I hitched a ride with raj_5004 who pushed his 90hp Punto on the Kasara Ghats and that drive made me a fan of this car's dynamics. It was then that I had decided that if ever the Punto came with the Linea’s 1.4L T-Jet petrol engine, I’d definitely buy it.

Fast-forward to 2015, while working at Team-BHP, news sprung up about the launch of the 145hp Abarth Punto. My excitement knew no bounds and when GTO asked me to review this car for Team-BHP, it was like a dream coming true. I was going to drive and live with this car for the next 3-4 days.



Big disappointment:

The minute I saw it in person, I just hated its loud, gaudy vinyls. Thankfully, they could be peeled off easily. Power was definitely impressive, but I distinctly remember that within the first 20 minutes, I parked this car on the side and asked BHPian Tushar to take the wheel as I was very uncomfortable. This was the only car whose ergonomics I absolutely HATED. Yes, eventually we hit the ghats and performance was simply outstanding for a Rs 10 lakh car. However, the next two days when I drove it around town, I was convinced that this car can't replace my family’s Grand i10. It was neither easy to drive for my mum or dad because of the heavy controls and poor visibility; nor did it have the features that we’re so used to in our hatch like parking sensors, folding mirrors, storage areas etc.

Need for a second car:

I got a new job and traveled by bus or cab on a daily basis for a good 8-10 months, but each day that I commuted, I knew I wasn’t living right. The Grand i10 did fine on weekends or nights (when I drove it) but the driving experience was too dull. And then my boss told me one simple thing “you’ll never need a car, you’ll only want one; and when you do don’t think, just buy it”. Yes, he’s a PROPER enthusiast. So my search began with no particular budget set, I wanted a daily drive for myself; it had to be a low mileage pre-owned car and it had to be fun to drive.

Cars considered:

2015 S-Cross 1.6 Alpha with 17xxx km and the dealer was asking for Rs 9.90L for it. If I wanted this, I’d have to sell the Grand i10 and split the purchase cost with my dad, after which this would be the primary family car, which would defeat the whole purpose of buying a car in the first place. Also, it was after all a rattly diesel! Came back to my senses, and struck it off the list.

2009 Ford Fiesta 1.6S 29xxx km Aquarius Blue, brought the final asking price from Rs 2.30L to Rs 1.10L. Too good right? I traveled 2 hours to see this one and the owner had informed me that there was some rust, which was fine but on reaching there, it was in a very sorry state. This rare beauty was a rust bucket, with cigarette stains and burn marks on the seats, flickering warning lights and a CNG kit wiring in the boot. Also, this was the second owner who hadn’t transferred the car to his name, nor did he ever insure this car. A huge disappointment! This experience did leave a bad taste in my mouth.

2010 Ford Fiesta 1.6S 32xxx km White, asking price was Rs 2.60L. It was frankmehta’s ex-car so I’d be the third owner. The owner was hell bent on the price which didn't seem quite worth it.

2013 Skoda Laura RS 75xxx km White, this was Akshay1234’s car. It was immaculately maintained but somehow I just couldn’t connect with the car. Probably it was the high mileage that stopped me from making the purchase.

Other cars considered were Mitsubishi Cedia, Fiat Linea T-Jet, Ford Fiesta 1.6, Skoda Octavia RS, Skoda Laura 1.8TSI and some others too but I didn’t find any example that I’d stop and say, this is it!

The purchase:

My search for the perfect car went on for a good 3-4 months until one day I chanced upon an ad on OLX for a 2015 Abarth Punto with 32xxx km. Now the thing is, my office has an Abarth Punto that I drove on several occasions and quite honestly, I began developing a soft-corner for it. Immediately, I called the advertiser and asked him why he was selling it. To my surprise, he shared his miserable experience with Fiat’s service support and the car, and swore that he’d never by an FCA product ever. In fact, since we had established a Gujju connect over the phone, he even suggested that I don’t buy this car. Of course I didn’t listen to him; test drove it, checked it thoroughly, agreed on a price and without any fuss brought home my first car – a Fiat Abarth Punto!

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I love the Abarth because…
  • It has a raw appeal which can’t be explained. Maybe it’s the manual + hydraulic steering + explosive engine + superb braking combination. It's just very engaging to drive and connects with the driver so well.
  • Torque! Put your foot down in any gear and as long as you’re above 2000 revs, it catapults this 1200 kg car ahead. The punchy performance is very addictive. Also, most of the times, a high percentage of the power is just in reserve, which gives a great amount of reassurance that with a mere tap on the throttle, most overtakes will be effortlessly possible.
  • Ride quality is pretty awesome. Despite being slightly stiffly sprung, it irons out bad roads very well and body movements are negligible, if any.
  • High speed stability is superb. The Abarth remains planted to the road at all speeds.
  • Steering feels great and is pretty communicative. It’s not razor sharp as I’d have liked but still better than most hatchbacks I’ve driven.
  • The solid feel of the car is very reassuring. Everything feels tough and built to last. The tank-like build quality is one of the pluses of this car.
  • I love how simple, yet stylish the dashboard design is. The seats have a lovely suade-like material and the roof-liner feels very premium.
  • Abarth logos on the key, steering, exteriors etc. keep reminding me that this is one special, very special car.
  • She’s a head-turner alright. When I had the stripes, it screamed for attention, but quite honestly, after removing them, I’ve noticed a lot more heads turning around to catch a second glance. It’s a well-known saying that once you park your car and don’t turn around for a second look, you’ve bought the wrong car. In my case, I don’t just turn around for a second, but a third or fifth or even seventh time to look. I’m in love!

Ownership Costs:
  • I bought a car that was just 1.5 years old for roughly 60% the cost of a brand new car and the best thing is that it’s in warranty till October 2018.
  • Extended warranty is still not available, the last time I checked.
  • It’s a petrol-guzzler alright. To be fair it’s a performance car, but I use it as my daily drive and over the 8,000 km that I’ve covered in 6 months, I’ve averaged 9.2-9.5 kpl only; best being 12.8 kpl and worst being 7.5 kpl. With a steady speed and light foot, it can go up to 16 kpl but this turbo engine performs quite poorly when at idle or in stop-go traffic. My usual average speed for every tankful is between 20-25 kph. Fuel costs till date have been roughly 10% of the purchase price of the car.
  • I recently renewed its insurance and opted for a Comprehensive policy by Future Generalli, and ended up paying Rs 17,500.

Faults:
  • The tail lamps tend to fog up and it’s a common problem with the Abarth Punto. Mine had an entire aquarium in there (minus the fish) by the end of the monsoon season. Got both replaced under warranty. Some Abarth owners mentioned that my replaced tail lamps are from the Punto Evo and not the Abarth. They’re LED alright, just that they don’t have the smoked effect. I didn’t notice that earlier, but I guess it’s cool.
  • Rear parcel tray rattles a bit and so do some other panels. This is the price to pay to drive a stiffly set-up car on our pathetic roads.
  • Some plastic bits like those to adjust the driver seat, parcel tray mountings, door handles are very poorly built and I’m not even sure if they’re going to break or are already broken.
  • The clips of some storage bits like the one above the center air-vents and that inside the glove box, are broken, so these don’t close properly. I was given a quote of Rs 8000 to change the entire panel above the central air-vents and Rs 2000+ for the compartment within the glovebox. I’ve left it as is for now.
  • There’s a strange grinding sound from the front left tire side, noticeable only while parking. I suspect it’s related to the tie rod. Will have to get it checked soon.
  • Another big fault (not with the car) is that all the service centres are in the suburbs, none in town.

Other points:
  • I’ve de-badged it completely and removed all those hideous decals from the bonnet, roof and boot. Even those tasteless bumper inserts have been blackened.
  • My car has 50% or darker tints all around (except the windscreen); got them as is. And before you ask, no, I’ve never been stopped at least in my 6 months of ownership.
  • The previous owner changed the tyres to 195/55 R16 (stock size) Bridgestone B290 from Apollo Alnac 4G. These are fairly quiet and offer decent enough grip. When pushing the car though, these give up pretty soon.
  • Headlamps have been upgraded to Phillips 100/90 with the relay kit. Planning to upgrade to LED bulbs, but still in two minds, as the current ones do the job quite well.
  • I’m warming up to the seating position really. It’s no longer an issue for me. Even if I give someone else the wheel, who completely changes the position, I can find my preferred driving position in less than a minute.
  • The gearbox is still the worst I’ve used on any car. It’s rubbery and vague.
  • The clutch and flywheel combined costs a whopping Rs 65000, I’m told. Luckily, the previous owner changed these not too long before I purchased it.
  • I’m in love with this non-touchscreen system because of its simplicity, over any of the stupid touch systems in modern cars. Bluetooth and voice commands work flawlessly.
  • Outside mirrors are just not tall enough. While parking especially, these feel too small. Visibility at the rear is very poor too.
Upgrades planned in 2018:
  • Stock dampers will go soon as I can’t stand the amount of body roll on this car any more. Lowering springs are on my wishlist too, but I don’t want to compromise on the practicality of driving this everywhere, by reducing the ground clearance.
  • Remap is on the cards. Looking to bump up the power to 160hp and 250Nm; gearbox max torque rating be damned!
  • Still in two minds for an exhaust. I don’t want to catch the attention of cops in South Bombay. May be a cold air intake?
  • 205/55 R16 tyres to put down all the added performance on the road better.
  • I’m planning to add a metallic round shift-knob like the Jeep Compass. That one feels fantastic. It’s low priority though.
  • The previous owner has installed Focal co-axial rear speakers but quite honestly, the sound balance from the speakers is crap. It’s rear-centric. I guess a better set of component speakers will improve the sound experience. This however, is least priority as of now.
Last words:

This is my first car and it’s even more special because it’s such an awesome driving machine. The Abarth Punto is far from being a perfect car, but drive it the way you’re supposed to and you just forget everything wrong with it. This was a decision made from my heart and not from the head, and it’s one that I don’t regret one bit.

P.S. I had promised that I'd share some professionally clicked awesome images of my car. Here you go...

Straight off a Need For Speed Underground game, eh?
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This one reeks pure evil. A devil when you want it to be one:
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After driving much expensive and faster cars throughout the day, it's the Abarth that I'd always want to take home with me:
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Adding a bit of color to life. Fiat just offered a choice of Black or White:
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Last edited by GTO : 11th November 2017 at 08:15. Reason: As requested :)
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Old 11th November 2017, 09:09   #561
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto : Official Review

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Originally Posted by S2!!! View Post
[i]This long post is a summary of my ownership experience with a 2015 Fiat Abarth Punto.
Congratulations! And what brilliant photography!

Just looks so much better without the 'factory overdone' center stripes! It is surely one of the better cars to drive, and certainly the best one that was produced within a small car budget. Congratulations once again!
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Old 11th November 2017, 17:05   #562
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Congratulations S2!!!
Boy-o-boy, Am I envious of You and how!

I have been looking to buy an Abarth, having driven almost every car in the 10L range; and nothing else comes close to the excitement on the Abarth. The dealer is least interested in selling the Abarth, with me waiting for a couple of months just to book it.

Hope to see You punch more and more out of the Abarth.
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Old 11th November 2017, 17:32   #563
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Congrats on the beaut!!! Like you said the punto is a car that just grows on you , I sold my remapped mjd just yesterday after 7 years of ownership and I’m missing it like Mad , on the lookout for an abarth now . Btw what caused the flywheel replacement on your car ?
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Old 11th November 2017, 21:33   #564
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Congrats S2. Brilliant photography.

Keep burning the tarmac and the rubber
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Old 11th November 2017, 22:09   #565
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Brilliant photography.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
And what brilliant photography!
Photography is done by my friend who is a professional. Still awaiting 2 of the best clicks from the shoot.

Quote:
Just looks so much better without the 'factory overdone' center stripes
A lot of people told me that I removed the Abarth's essence by stripping off the vinyls, but these same people changed their opinion when they saw the car in person. So yes, it looks a lot better and a lot more subtle now, in my opinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocky_Balboa View Post
I have been looking to buy an Abarth, having driven almost every car in the 10L range; and nothing else comes close to the excitement on the Abarth. The dealer is least interested in selling the Abarth, with me waiting for a couple of months just to book it.
Don't even think of getting a brand new one. IMO it's a depreciation disaster so unless you get a really mouth-watering deal look for pre-owned examples. You'll find some good ones in the used car market. Only thing is, you need to be patient and search online portals diligently.

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Originally Posted by howler View Post
Congrats on the beaut!!! Like you said the punto is a car that just grows on you , I sold my remapped mjd just yesterday after 7 years of ownership and I’m missing it like Mad , on the lookout for an abarth now . Btw what caused the flywheel replacement on your car ?
Haha this one has grown and how!

About the flywheel replacement bit, I'm not sure what the issue was. The previous owner changed it at 26 or 28k kms.

Last edited by S2!!! : 11th November 2017 at 22:16.
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Old 13th November 2017, 00:49   #566
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Congrats S2! Your beast looks stunning and I envy you for this possession. Thanks for sharing those killer pictures. Keep munching miles!
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Old 18th November 2017, 09:01   #567
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These are some of the best pictures of the Abarth Punto S2, Quite Neat and Need for Speed ish.
It was almost like a mini review. Hope you traverse a gazillion miles in this performance hatch.
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Old 20th November 2017, 09:33   #568
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Abarth is certainly a lovely machine to be in and it shines well on open highways. The only issue that Fiat need to address is the gearbox; they certainly can offer the Jeep petrol gearbox because the engine in Jeep is same with a different state of tune and may be a little bit of change in tuning / engine map so that the turbo starts spooling up at 1500+ rpm for a better in-city experience.

The T-jet motor (in Abarth) is very reliable, though you may need to be little disciplined with the turbo because of higher operational temperature at which turbo operates in petrol motors compared to diesel which operate at a relatively lower temperature. 30- 45 seconds of idle before moving on in the morning and before switching off the engine when you call it a day should keep it healthy; ensure engine oil quality and be disciplined in oil change should keep the turbo running without any fuss. I hope it has not been abused by the previous owner.

The T-jet in my extended family (Linea - Dynamic) is close to 1.5 Lac on ODO and there is not even a hint of drop in performance; it is still the stock and satisfies the driver every time during highway run !

Cheers !

Last edited by i74js : 20th November 2017 at 09:40.
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Old 20th November 2017, 11:48   #569
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Heartiest congratulations S2, this car just tugs at my heart strings and how!
If the Abarth had come to India when i picked up my Punto, i sure as hell would have been an Abarth owner. My Punto is now 8 with 120k on the odo, and she still drives like a beauty!

And those jaw dropping pics sure look straight out of NFS Underground!

Wish you many happy motoring miles ahead.
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Old 20th November 2017, 12:32   #570
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Quote:
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This is my first car and it’s even more special because it’s such an awesome driving machine.....This was a decision made from my heart and not from the head, and it’s one that I don’t regret one bit.
Saumil, please accept heartiest congrats from my side too. You've chosen absolute awesomme car as your first car. Like the First cut is the deepest, this car will cherish you for a very longer time. Though we might be stupid sometimes, heartfelt decisions will be very happiest in our life. Iam pretty sure Abarth should've already earned so much of joy to you and I wish it will be continued for a very long time.


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The only issue that Fiat need to address is the gearbox; they certainly can offer the Jeep petrol gearbox because the engine in Jeep is same with a different state of tune and may be a little bit of change in tuning / engine map so that the turbo starts spooling up at 1500+ rpm for a better in-city experience.

I briefly drove my friend's old Tjet. Comparatively, the gear shifts are far better in my UC Abarth/Punto Abarth. It seems, Fiat have tweaked a little to have smoother gear shifts now. BTW, Jeep offers pretty different petrol engine, its called MultiAir which is essentially a Tjet engine block but with different technology. Sure, Jeep gearbox may fit in Abarth/Tjets, but it could be expensive for obvious reasons.


Quote:
Originally Posted by i74js View Post
The T-jet in my extended family (Linea - Dynamic) is close to 1.5 Lac on ODO and there is not even a hint of drop in performance; it is still the stock and satisfies the driver every time during highway run !
Holy molly... 1.5 lakhs in Tjet. That's awesome my friend. Congratulations.

Last edited by Wildy : 20th November 2017 at 12:49.
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