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Old 20th June 2009, 22:24   #91
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Nice review

I am wondering whether the poor fit and finish in the interior department is thanks to some tips from FIAT's business partner ? maybe they were told that its better to compromise on that department and offer a killer pricing which is ( at the end of the day ) what the Indian masses want !

Hows the turning radius/manouvereablity in the city ?
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Old 20th June 2009, 22:37   #92
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Absolutely Brilliant Review Rush. You covered almost all the points. One question from my side:-
If you were in the market for a petrol premium hatchback , which would you choose among the 3 :- i20 , Jazz, Punto ( 1.2,1.4)?
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Old 20th June 2009, 22:41   #93
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Originally Posted by Nikhilb2008 View Post
Bridgestones OEM on the Fiat? Highly unlikely.
My Petra came with Bridgestones, my Uno came with MRF's. The Punto I TD's had Bridestones whereas the one GTO TD'd had Goodyears. No hard and fast rule when it comes to tyres.

Originally Posted by Dry Ice View Post
I was just wondering how many cars are actually running on FIAT's engines in India?
Swift, Ritz, Indica Vista, Palio, Linea, Punto!!
Did I miss any?
Fiat 500 & Swift Dzire.

Last edited by pedrolourenco : 20th June 2009 at 22:42. Reason: Forgot the Dzire
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Old 20th June 2009, 22:52   #94
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Default Rear Woes

Good review. The only major drawback about GP mentioned in this thread is the rear leg room.

In my Tiida hatchback, the rear seat can be moved forward and backward, in addition to being reclining, just like the front seats. Thus the rear leg room can be increased when the boot space requirement is minimum. The rear seat also has 60:40 split and center arm rest.

Fiat should consider providing this feature in GP in future updates. Then the GP would be a complete modern "big" hatch.

I have scanned in literature regarding this feature from the Tiida's owners' manual.
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Fiat Grande Punto : Test Drive & Review-seat2.jpg  

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Old 20th June 2009, 22:52   #95
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@GTO - Pls post photos of GP fully loaded, especially the back seat, with 3 on it or just 2 with the front seats pushed fully back... also photos of the black GP from different angles, just to drool on
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Old 20th June 2009, 22:54   #96
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Originally Posted by pedrolourenco View Post
My Petra came with Bridgestones, my Uno came with MRF's. The Punto I TD's had Bridestones whereas the one GTO TD'd had Goodyears. No hard and fast rule when it comes to tyres.
Actually there is a hard and fast rule. It depends on which tyre company fiat has taken a contract with.

The lower spec variant Emotion without the pack has 175/70-14 which must be having the bridgestone B250.

The Emotion pack is 195/60-15 so goodyear GT3.

The base active and dynamic is 165/80-14 but bridgestone does not have a tyre in that size.
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Old 20th June 2009, 23:11   #97
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Is there a noticeable difference in the front overhang?
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Fiat Grande Punto : Test Drive & Review-fiat_grande_punto_exterior_dsc02701.jpg  

Fiat Grande Punto : Test Drive & Review-fiatgrandepunto.jpg  

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Last edited by Sivasankar : 20th June 2009 at 23:28.
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Old 20th June 2009, 23:14   #98
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A professionally written review GTO.

I had earlier test driven Linea. Well I found the interior material quality disappointing (poor to say the least). I was also put off by long throw gear lever and long clutch.
Interior ergonomics were also not proper. The bottom of centre console protruded too much for my liking and the instruments had a poor finish.

On the other hand exteriors were very well designed and finished. Paint and chrome quality was very good. So after admiring the car from outside when we sat in the car, the interiors were a let down as it did not jell with the high quality exterior.

The suspension and ride quality was impeccable as befitting a German or Italian car but engines were short of power.

After reading your review, I think most of the above is true for Punto also, which is sad. FIAT should have provided better quality interiors, better packaging and ergonomics to match the beautiful exterior. I dont think the price difference due to this would have been more than 20,000.

I think there is still a vacant slot for a perfect high quality hatch which the Punto could have filled. Jazz is out priced but will still sell due to Honda name, Fabia has been let down by pathetic service, costly spares and poor engines, some thing is amiss in i20 also and Swift is cramped and flimsly built.

All is still not lost yet. Let the current Punto carry on as a VFM package. FIAT can still grab that perfect hatch slot by providing more powerful engines, better packaging, ergonomics and better interiors. Rest of stuff is already there in the car. FIAT bosses should also understand that the Indian market is now maturing at rapid pace and there are plenty of customers who appreciate a high quality and powerful car and are willing to pay for the same.

Best of luck to Linea and Punto.

Last edited by akj53 : 20th June 2009 at 23:16. Reason: spelling correction
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Old 20th June 2009, 23:18   #99
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nice review GTO.your reviews seem to get better.( is this the third one that a manufacturer paid for all traveling expenses etc for the review.? waiting for plenty more to come!)

btw i would suggest that a thread be created in team-BHP reviews which contains all the links to the reviews you have done so far so that it would be easy for a person to make a decision about the cars he has considered.

moreover once a hype about a car dies out you have to go really back in the pages to read a review. Case in point is the ritz review which is not in the first few pages(ok some times it was in the first page) but anyways say after 6 months it will be difficult for a person who wants to make a car choice between say ritz and punto to search through the entire forum for that review.
hope this request is not too much to ask right.?

Last edited by amulu10 : 20th June 2009 at 23:20.
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Old 20th June 2009, 23:22   #100
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One things that irks me and puts me off completely is blanket statements like Tata Service is BAD. Sure they are not the best but its not bad. Even on our forum, I havent come across many cases where a disgruntled Tata customer has written an email and he/she hasnt been responded to. They have the best warranty replacements in the country (who would replace the whole front seat just because one of the springs inside was making a slight squeaky noise!)
Talking about my recent experience with ABS motors, as soon as the job card was opened on the Siebel CRM and promptly got an sms saying the same. The guys at Tata can see it and can also see what rating have you given them for the service. After the service was complete and the job card was closed, i got another sms saying that my car was ready to be picked up!
The following up was good too with 3 calls during the week ahead asking if I was satisfied with the service.The worst attitute I have seen is with Honda and their snobish dealers.

Last edited by extreme_torque : 20th June 2009 at 23:24.
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Old 20th June 2009, 23:31   #101
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GTO, thanks much for your efforts and yet another unbiased great review.

( Those are my first words here on TBHP and am excited ! First cry of a new born ? )

Back to main topic :

Two days before launch date :- heard a Punto made it to the showroom hear and tried to get a sneak peek and lurked around the yard with a Safari sales representative, but was in vain !

Day of launch :- Was planning to go to showroom right after work. But I managed to hit my head on a door and had to go to hospital to get a stitch. From there I went directly to showroom and was greeted by a Blue mini-Maserati. It was a stunner !
Imposing front drill and the tear drop headlamps is what catches the eye. I was not planning to buy a Punto and this is the first time am going to a showroom to see a vehicle on its launch date. But the spirit shown by TBHP-ians on the other Punto thread where the page count went to 50 odd from 20 got me pumped up, to go from hospital to showroom, instead of going home !

Sales rep. was wondering what is this guy doing with a white bandage on head. Loved the tank like build and the huge tyres on emotion pack and the 12 spoke alloys looked pretty nice. Came back home and told my cousin he is going to buy this once he see this ride. Like most of us, he was waiting to see how this will be priced and it perfectly was in his budget. But now the drive factor..

Very next day that sales rep. called telling TD vehicle is ready and we can go for a spin. ( maybe going there with a bandage made him feel am going to book one straight away ). Since I wanted to go with cousin, it was scheduled for Saturday.
Made arrangements with the rep. to bring it home to see how it fits in our garage and thanks to him, he agreed for that

Today :- At sharp 9.30, black beauty was here. A 1.3 MJD emotion pack. Cousin took the first chance while I enjoyed the vast leg room in front seat.

Skipping elaborating the drive, since we do have a far far better review from GTO
Jotting down some points.

Likes :

Too many to write.
Most points already covered by all seniors in both Punto threads

Dislikes :
  • Took a U-turn on a 4 way highway and beauty needs some space to do this maneuver. Maybe the key-hole technique, mentioned by Safari owners in this forum, has to used on normal roads to take a U-turn.
  • Had the driver seat pulled back and reclined ( to very acceptable levels ) and A and B pillars was clearly giving some blind spots, while making the above U-turn
  • Once boot was opened, it was not closing/locking and saw that remote boot open knob was not going down willingly !
  • Turbo lag. I did not push the vehicle too much, but around 3000 - 3500 rpm it was making pretty good engine noise inside cabin and shifted gears. Am not sure if it was the 'long' clutch, it lost some serious acceleration and had to go through a slight delay in acceleration before turbo kicked in again.
  • Dead pedal do not like big footwear
  • Driver seat height adjuster level
  • We got a "T" shaped cramped driveway inside compound where we reverse the car. Reversing the black beauty was not easy like how we did in our old Santro and maybe, was even harder than ( or similar to ) our current Fiesta. Maybe this should be driven around like a sedan
  • Not peppy
  • Cramped footwell and rear seats
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Other points:

Someone else mentioned that the fuel gauge takes 5 - 7 minutes to show the correct reading, right after a tank fill. I haven't verified this statement.
Yellow light indicating low fuel was on when it was brought to our place. And soon she made a 'beep' sound notifying she is dehydrated and fuel needle was pointing to "E". Got a chance to fill her up from a nearby pump. ( of course paid by dealer ! )
While driving to showroom, even when her tank was full, needle was still at E(mpty). Representative said, vehicle has to be re-started ( like a Windows machine? ) to show correct status. Am not sure, but I believe even after a restart later, it showed same "E". So may be it takes 5-7 minutes. ( or the needle was faulty ? )

Final verdict, as GTO said, more like a heart's buy. Should be fun to drive on long highways than to take it to city. If it is a heart's buy I need, I still think of proceeding with my Safari dreams. and not comparing hatch to a SUV
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Old 20th June 2009, 23:32   #102
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Fantastic review GTO! Almost all my doubts have been cleared, particularly the highway manners.

I took a short TD myself today at Concorde Motors, Mysore Road, Bangalore. It was 1.4 P Emotion+variant. The drive was short as there wasn't much fuel left in the car.
my observations:
  • Punto is a stunner, I couldn't stop smiling when i looked at her
  • 1.4 P sounds nice, it has a nice growl
  • The dead pedal positioning is a bit awkward (as mentioned by GTO), it was hard to keep the foot on the dead pedal without brushing my shoe against the clutch pedal
  • Clutch travels a long way. This was new to me as i haven't driven a fiat so far. Slotting gears was also a bit of problem because of this. I hope this will be OK after I get used to it.
  • The car gave a well planted feel at around 80 kmph (couldn't go faster because of traffic). Braking was good and confidence inspiring.
  • The front seat was comfortable and it was easy to find ideal position. but the position of gear stick was a bit odd.
  • With the front seats fully pushed back, there was just enough space left for my knees (i am 5'6"), but i wouldn't be comfortable in that position for long, but good news is that i won't be driving with the front seats adjusted that way, they travel a long way back, so the rear space looks OK to me.

I actually wanted to see electric blue, but they didn't have that with them. I will have to try with other showrooms. Delivery time is around 4 weeks.

I will take a few more TDs and then decide when (not if) i am going get this beauty.

It looked like the people at Concorde weren't keen on selling anything, be it Fiat/Tata. I hope everyday isn't the same there.
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Old 20th June 2009, 23:36   #103
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Originally Posted by Sivasankar View Post
Is there a noticeable difference in the front overhang?
May be its there. As per the rules, a car to enjoy tax concessions, its length must be less than 4 mtrs. i.e. 4000mm. So the car, specially the front overhang must have been trimmed ( also this is good for our road conditions ).

Any car with less than 4 mtrs. length, less 1.2L petrol motor and less than 1.5L diesel motor will be eligible for tax concessions.
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Old 20th June 2009, 23:37   #104
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GTO sir

Absolutely mind blowing review!
I wish I could write as well as you can


If I plan to buy a next hatch it as to be RED PUNTO MJD + Petes. Period.
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Old 20th June 2009, 23:48   #105
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Very well-written review. a big thank you for that!

I have 2 questions-

1)You were not impressed with the gear-shift.how would you compare it with the Palio 1.6?also was the rubbery shift quality too much of a bother?

2)is the pcd of the grande punto 100 or 98(as in other Fiats?)

@Sivasankar-right from the time i saw the car i had got a feeling that something was odd in the front when compared to photos of the car in other parts of the world
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