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Old 26th November 2015, 07:34   #61
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto : Official Review

Ergonomics are relative and personal, means can vary from person to person.

It would be better to check the driving position & other tit bits [related to it] before hand if going to commit. I personally didn't have many issues in whatever time/kms I spend with Fiat/s.
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Old 26th November 2015, 08:25   #62
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto : Official Review

Superb Review S2 !!! Abarth Punto looks great in white with those Red stripes.
Surely, the Scorpion logo on the roof is one of the specials about this hot hatch.

Incidentally, a few years ago I planned to get a White Swift and do some mods. (Red Body Stripes were a part of the plan)

Is it just me or anyone else who finds the speedometer markings little difficult to comprehend (70/90/110/130 instead of the usual 60/80/100/120)
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Old 26th November 2015, 09:02   #63
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto : Official Review

Ladies and gentlemen , Boys and girls - Whip out your chequebooks and head over to your accountant -- the beast has arrived and how !

What a wonderfully written review. So detailed and covers each and every aspect imaginable.

Drool worthy pics Have seen one in black and IMHO it looks even better in Black.

-AbhinavR
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Old 26th November 2015, 09:06   #64
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto : Official Review

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Originally Posted by sriramr9 View Post
2. Ingress will be a slight challenge for elders even in front as the dashboard is protruding. one has to pull the front seat back for easier ingress
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Originally Posted by PatchyBoy View Post
You will need to take the car for extended drives to really know.
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Originally Posted by anand.shankar View Post
there is no major issues with the Fiats position apart from the initial shock.
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Originally Posted by Sheel View Post
Ergonomics are relative and personal, means can vary from person to person.
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Originally Posted by swiftnfurious View Post
Well, I have driven a Punto & Linea for around 100 kms in a shot and have always ended up with shoulder pain. I guess it could be the position of the steering.
So, although there are areas of concern, I didn't read any reason so far (apart from the shoulder pain that swiftandfurious experienced) that could support the claim that the Punto's ergonomics are messed up.

In my Ecoposrt, the PW switches are placed too far, the gear lever is too far and deep, the hand brake lever is in the wrong side etc, but haven't seen anybody saying that its ergonomics are messed up.

When I read at many a thread that the Punto's ergonomics are messed up, I expected to see much more than what has been said here.

I fel that it is safe to assume that this is just a case of people repeating what they have read elsewhere.

Last edited by civic-sense : 26th November 2015 at 09:08.
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Old 26th November 2015, 09:08   #65
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto : Official Review

Superb review. I don't think there can be another perfect unbiased official review.

FIAT sales numbers are horrible considering the fact that their cars are running in our country for ages now. People just don't accept FIAT cars no matter how good they are. I'm telling this from my experience, many may agree and many disagree. I felt FIAT after sales is as good as many big brands out there, mainly because they are soft about the warranty replacements and I'm 100% certain it wouldn't be same with Maruti/Hyundai/VW.

So here to distinguish it from the normal products, to improve their sales numbers, to have a new start the word "Abarth" is much needed. And it's not just Abarath Logo, Indian Punto Abarth runs the exact same engine one of it's international siblings. But to get the full Abarth package we need to shed more money and here FIAT have played it sensible. Keeping aside the ergonomics and equipment part Punto Abarth is one perfect package. They should have added more features for that price, cruise control, better infotainment unit, electric OVRM are the main ones and yes the pedals also should have been part of the deal. Maybe FIAT will equip them later, GT twins never came at the start with all these things either.

FIAT also do have their own version of DSG but practically we can't expect them to be on Abarth Punto due to the price factor. Well end of the day no car is perfect, so it's our choice
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Old 26th November 2015, 09:32   #66
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto : Official Review

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Originally Posted by mayank0782 View Post
Is it just me or anyone else who finds the speedometer markings little difficult to comprehend (70/90/110/130 instead of the usual 60/80/100/120)
You'll definitely not be alone for sure.
Anything that is different from the rest will always get this kind of feedback.
And there are many such things in this car

1. The indicator stalk on the right - Although its not the only car, majority of the people in India are used to the opposite
2. Power window switch placement - its a bit more forward compared to all others and so its a problem; especially for people who drive with their seats far from the steering wheel
3. The ignition key hole - Key is inserted towards the bonnet side instead of towards the passenger side in others
4. speedometer markings - 70/90/110 instead of the 60/80/100 in all other

When I sit in a Polo,
1. I find the headlamp on/off knob oddly placed on the dashboard
2. I find the reverse gear difficult to shift to since it is placed 'before' the 1st gear

But all Polo owners will feel nothing 'odd' about it

All these will be a problem if you drive the car for some hours or just for a couple of days; human mind takes some time to adjust to something new when it is accustomed to something else.
People using the same car for longer periods will not complain
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Old 26th November 2015, 10:38   #67
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto : Official Review

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Originally Posted by hemanth.anand View Post

Anything that is different from the rest will always get this kind of feedback.

1. The indicator stalk on the right - Although its not the only car, majority of the people in India are used to the opposite
Bingo Hemanth, you said it bro !! See being on the right side in India is so normal and we are so accustomed to, that you actually even typed it that way, though your were thinking otherwise.
What you really meant was that the Indicator stalk is on the left but on he Indian version, it must have been on right, which the VW & FIAT conveniently ignored.

The way I see it, FIAT must have only added a Telescopic steering adjustment on Abarth EVO and everything else would have just fallen in place.



In any case, lets skip the unending argument/cribbing/blame game here Hemanth and lets start discussing about your decision on this True Blue Hot Hatch.

We have enough views & reviews on the ABARTH EVO now. Lets get some Ownership reports people

Last edited by Vik0728 : 26th November 2015 at 10:42.
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Old 26th November 2015, 11:26   #68
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto : Official Review

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Originally Posted by Vik0728 View Post
Bingo Hemanth, you said it bro !! See being on the right side in India is so normal and we are so accustomed to, that you actually even typed it that way, though your were thinking otherwise.
You caught me there!

Quote:
In any case, lets skip the unending argument/cribbing/blame game here Hemanth and lets start discussing about your decision on this True Blue Hot Hatch.
You and your posts...as if the car itself was not enough to tempt me!!!

I'm a slow-poke when it comes to buying something and a car is such a big decision to make.
I don't mind even If I'm not the first person, I'll make the decision once I'm done with all my calculations.
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Old 26th November 2015, 11:33   #69
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto : Official Review

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Originally Posted by civic-sense View Post
I have heard this being repeated many times by many people in many threads. But I haven't seen anybody elaborate on it. Can somebody tell me what is wrong with the ergonomics? Does the driver have to sit too low, too high, too close or too far? Are the controls out of reach? Do one get neck/back/thigh/ankle aches while driving?

Somebody please reply. This car is on top of my next purchase list. As a man nursing several muscle aches, I have to be careful choosing my next car.
Over the few days I spent with the car, I have documented each and every observation that I felt wasn't normal or usual. (I've experienced cars from the Maruti, Hyundai, VW & Honda stable, where everything is logically positioned and easy to reach.) Let me summarize what the bad ergonomics in the Punto are all about:

Steering - The tilt range is very narrow, thus limiting the adjustment angle. Raise it and I couldn't see the IC dials; lower it and it wasn't low enough.

Seats - Yes, they do have height adjustment but because of the limited steering range, you need to sit a little further from the steering to ensure that your not too close to the wheel. (For reference, I'm 5.10 ft). When you do that, the pedals will be a bit of a stretch; long clutch travel only makes matters worse. So I was forced to sit a little closer to the steering than I'd have liked.

Pedals - As mentioned, the C pedal has a long travel. The footwell is narrow and the dead pedal is raised too high for comfort.

Stalks - While I won't complain of them being on the wrong side (VW, Ford and other cars have it too, so why nitpick?), but I will say that they're a bit of a stretch. I had to consciously stretch out my fingers to reach the stalks. Also, it doesn't have lane changing indicator (three flashes)!

Door Pad - The door armrest is at a distance from the front seats, so >90% of the time, the front passengers will not use them.

Switches - Power window switches are a stretch. Let's say you reach a toll booth and stretch your arm to put down the window, you will inevitably reach the rear power window switch on the driver's door. Bend a little ahead (from your shoulder) and you'll reach out to the driver's window switch. The switches are hard to operate too. Bend a little more (from your back) to reach the ORVM controls. Even the door handles are a stretch.

Gear lever - Shift quality is poor and the gearbox requires effort to slot into gears. Plus the longer throws aren't comfortable either.

Passenger footwell - The front passenger will NOT be able to rest his left leg straight because of the prominent footwell protrusion. The left foot will be slightly towards the right, thus the seating position will be slightly twisted, causing fatigue and eventually back ache.

As much as I loved driving the car, I just couldn't ignore these even after living with the car for a few days. Sure, over time, I did get used to it and learnt how to work my way around these but that doesn't mean that these flaws don't exist.

Also, I dreaded handing over the keys to anyone else. Yes, it was partly because I was in love with this car, but the real reason was that I would have to once again try numerous permutations and combinations to find a decent seating position.
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Old 26th November 2015, 11:39   #70
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto : Official Review

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Originally Posted by S2!!! View Post
What you won't:
Merely 155 mm of ground clearance. We have our concerns
Be rest assured, after driving it for over 300+ kms, all sorts of roads it does not scrape anywhere. The stiff suspension takes care of it.

My house parking place has a steep hump kind of thing, thanks to BBMP, every other car scrapes, the Linea and Punto (185mm ones, not the pre 2012 ones) and the Abarth even with 155mm does not scrape while entering the parking slot. It will certainly scrape if you are trying to cross a compound wall

On the ergonomics, just did a 2,000 kms trip in less than 48 hours (more time driving than resting), it is certainly not as bad as it is made out to be.

A nice review apart from a few negatives in the first post which is blown out of proportion.

PS: It wont sell half as good, because its a FIAT
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Old 26th November 2015, 11:49   #71
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto : Official Review

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I don't mind even If I'm not the first person, I'll make the decision once I'm done with all my calculations.
Something here doesn't smell right for me bro!!

Wait, there's more - Something tells me that this 'Slow Motion' of your's may have more to do with another hot hatch in the horizon with a German branding.


Quote:
Originally Posted by S2!!! View Post
Also, I dreaded handing over the keys to anyone else. Yes, it was partly because I was in love with this car, but the real reason was that I would have to once again try numerous permutations and combinations to find a decent seating position.
Bingo S2!!!, that's the takeaway from the 'FIAT ERGONOMICS QUALMS' if one has to understand.

In fact, when me and a close family member decided to swap our drives (90HP Punto & my GT), I had to struggle a lot to get to a driving position that I preferred on his Punto while he nestled in quite easily in my GT. I am quite finicky about my comfort, ORVM position, IRVM position, etc.

The shocker was that after I had adjusted the seating on his 90HP to my liking, he 'apparently' struggled for over 2 days to get back to his driving position again

Last edited by Vik0728 : 26th November 2015 at 11:52.
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Old 26th November 2015, 12:02   #72
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto : Official Review

Has anyone test driven the Abarth Punto in Chennai?

When I checked with RDC FIAT, they claim the car isn't registered so they cannot bring the car to customer place. That's no big deal, I can go to the showroom. But even if I go to the showroom I can drive it only around the showroom for 2Kms. Disappointed.
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Old 26th November 2015, 12:12   #73
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto : Official Review

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Originally Posted by Sheel View Post
Ergonomics are relative and personal, means can vary from person to person.
See, that's the thing. Sure it suits some people, and I'm happy for them. The problem is, it doesn't suit everyone...like it's competitors do. Search on the Team-BHP forums and you'll find owners complaining after years of owning the car, including....

Quote:
Originally Posted by sdp1975 View Post
Agree with the awkward seating, and the gearshift. I still struggle to find a good seating position after 6+ years of ownership.
A Hyundai / Honda / Toyota have driving positions that will suit 9 out of 10 people, if not 10 / 10.

I've driven Puntos & Lineas for a cumulative 1,000+ kms - still, when I sat in the Abarth, after 2 hours of driving, I'm still trying to find my 'perfect' driving position. Sigh.

Give me an i20 or any other premium hatchback and I'm at home within 2 minutes of adjusting. This comes from someone who drives 50 different cars a year.

Quote:
Why is the engine imported ? AFAIK, the T-jet on the Linea was imported initially, then manufactured locally .
Perhaps, this particular tune is being imported. We confirmed with Fiat and the Abarth motor is fully imported.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRIV3R View Post
The 12 lakh figure quoted in the review maybe applicable to places like Bangalore which has ridiculously high road taxes.
Nope, even in a place like Bombay where taxes are reasonable, it's nearly 12 lakhs on the road.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thedragula View Post
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.
Thanks! Corrected in the review. This well & truly sucks, in Fiat's home city no less.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chandrda View Post
I don't think by then anyone else will offer a hatchback which will beat Abarth
Cars as special as this aren't launched everyday. I hope that whoever is looking for a 10 lakh performance car buys it now.

I bought the 1st-gen City Vtec for its engine alone and still remember it fondly. I remember it more fondly than I do the Civic. It was an i-n-s-a-n-e engine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SKavuri View Post
I feel this will do far better than Palio 1.6 in terms of sales.
Fat chance of that happening. When the Palio was launched, there was a certain euphoria around it. Believe it or not, in a market that was 1/4th the size of today, the Palio used to sell 3,000+ units a month. Then Fiat botched it up (as always).

Quote:
Originally Posted by varadha_r View Post
Sadly though, as a self taught student of economics, I know fiat's perceived utility curve and the stereotypical indian buyer's utility curve (of what they expect in their cars) have very little overlap.
That is one awesome post, thanks! I hope to see you post more often. 40 posts in 10 years - come on!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rsm97 View Post
One acquaintance who drives Punto said once that his gearbox turned smoother after 20K km drive. Or possibly he became accustomed to it.
It's the same with any car. Things get smoother as they're worn in and owners also get used to the controls.
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Old 26th November 2015, 12:16   #74
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto : Official Review

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Something here doesn't smell right for me bro!!

Wait, there's more - Something tells me that this 'Slow Motion' of your's may have more to do with another hot hatch in the horizon with a German branding.
I don't know what you smell, but in the end, I want to smell burnt rubber

You are right-I've got all my options open (how much ever less they may be)
I believe in 'Let noble thoughts come from all sides'. Similarly let good cars come from any brand, I'll only look at the product.
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Old 26th November 2015, 12:33   #75
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto : Official Review

Ground Clearance should never be seen as a stand-alone number.

Whether a car scrapes an undulation or not will depend on other parameters (related to car, not the undulation ) also, like wheelbase and suspension setup.

For example, if the car has a combination of good GC number but a very long wheelbase and very soft suspension, the chances of scraping the bottom is more. But cars with same GC and shorter wheelbase and stiffer suspension may do better.

As Abarth Punto has a stiffer than usual suspension, it may not be scraping the bottom as often as on earlier i20s and Figos with 10 mm more GC and much softer suspension.

Also, I believe it largely depends on the driver - careful drivers still manage fewer scrapes and thuds.
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