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Old 27th February 2012, 10:10   #1
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Default How I booked Swift & bought a.... Punto Dynamic 2012 MultiJet

There I was sitting smugly after having booked Swift ZDI on 2nd December, perfectly fine waiting till May to get delivery of the all rounder of all time in India (imho). Only to be rocked by excise hike in diesel cars, coupled with increase in RC charges and hike in insurance premiums as well. Swift ZDI, already @ close to 7 lacs after two hikes by Maruti since its' launch, now threatened to reach 8.5 lacs if I waited till May. And then a reality check given by the dealer: Please do not expect the ZDI variant before July!!!!

Wow! What good is a car if you can't, well, have it. So started another round of brainstorming (read thrashing around Team-BHP forums *grins*) and test drives.

Ford Figo
Have always loved the way the car looks, it's more like a sedan without a boot than a tall boy crossover. The car acquitted itself very smartly with an engaging ride and handling. As the review mentioned, the engine indeed is unlike diesel mills, very tractable. The noise is indeed on the higher side but once you cross 30kph it subdues down. This being one of the few cars to offer HPS, the feedback from the steering was tremendous. Lovely.

Still, one thing bugged me. Sitting inside the Figo one doesn't get the premium feel after spending close to 6 lacs. The interiors are very utilitarian and lack of rear head restraints & power windows a glaring miss, at least for ZXI/Titanium variants. Since my parents would mostly sit in the backseat, I knew rolling up/down the windows would be troublesome for them (the lever is very rigid in its' movement and one has to use certain force to roll the windows). The head restraints are okayish for a 5'2" person, but above that and your neck would fall back if you try to relax on them. Not agreeable in any situation.

Skoda Fabia
Recently a friend of mine took delivery of a Fabia TDI CR in December after getting tired of waiting for his Swift VDI. Mind you, he waited for 2 months and was told the waiting period was still the same when he booked: 6 months.
Anyway, the Skoda is exact opposite of Figo in terms of premium feel. You literally feel sitting in a 10 lac+ car. The beige scheme does exhibit airiness in the cabin but would surely be difficult to maintain. Steering was not in the same league as a Figo but the drive itself was enjoyable. Could not push the engine beyond 2K RPM, so do not know how it feels once crossing 80kph. Fabia would surely be in league of Vista 's cabin space, lot of room at the backseat. However, the person sitting in middle of rear bench would not enjoy the least bit with the seat hump and high transmission tunnel.

Indica Vista
Didn't want Vista for the sole reason: the center console. It's a big no no. Even if the car was named Swift and was from Maruti, I still wouldn't buy it. I know it's the roomiest in B2 segment, but I, one who would be driving all the time should like it in the first place. I didn't. End of story.

Hyundai i20
Have extensively driven the 1.2 version, and hate the way it goes over our prestigious potholes (you can't deny they are one of the reasons Indian roads are famous world over, other being our wonderfully chaotic traffic *smiles*). The long clutch travel also spoilt the drive for me, especially in traffic conditions. I should know, having suffered in the aftermath of the 1st India GP in Noida, stuck in traffic for 4 hours. I am 5'5", which meant I had to stretch my leg way beyond my groin would allow to make sure the clutch was fully pressed. The interiors on the other hand are definitely noteworthy, one feels the quality of plastics used, knobs, doors.

More importantly, I have yet to drive a diesel i20. For a very basic reason. No TDs being offered by any of the Hyundai dealerships in Chandigarh. And the idiots are very proud to say why they don't offer it: No need sir, i20 is already selling in huge demand, we do not need a diesel TD car. I have tried 3-4 times and have received the same response on each occasion. How could I buy a car without driving it? Even if any of my friends/relatives had it, I could check what the fuss was all about the powerful 1.4 motor. But no TD. Apparently, Hyundai are cocky about this and have allowed the dealers to get away with this. Adios from me.

Nissan Micra
Since I would be regularly driving the car on highways, I know the handling offered by the cute Nissan wouldn't suffice. Cute I say, infact it's too feminine for my taste. So no point wasting further time on this.

VW Polo
Didn't drive this after checking the Fabia. If I was getting a car from VW/Skoda stable, it would have been Fabia only. Period.

Grande Punto 2012
To be honest, I've always had a soft spot for the Punto since it was launched back in mid-2009. So it was unavoidable that I would go for its' TD, ignoring the so feared TATA experience. I thought it off just as a TD, nothing else. I mean, in the words of J. 'Orang-utan' Clarkson, "What could possibly go wrong?" (read: to change my mind)

A lot.

Well, it's the damn drive. It gives you that feeling of being in a luxurious saloon, insulating you from everything outside and under the car. You do not feel if it's a good road or uneven surface you are driving on, it just smothers whatever is underneath those tyres. The steering feels jaw droppingly amazing to manoeuvre. I had't driven a pre-2012 version of Punto, so to me the car with improved bits felt just perfect. Quality of plastics in the Emotion TD car was acceptable, given it's competition with Swift/Figo (I was not considering i20/Polo/Fabia any more). To me, the interiors felt roomier than Swift, although this may be due to all black interiors of Swift exaggerating its' lack of space. The plastics used also felt well put together and an overall plush feeling that is not present in Swift. I know many will say Swift 's new interiors are better but they are still not the best in B2 segment.

1st and 2nd gears are short, but the driveability seemed fine from 3rd onwards. Turbo makes its' presence known in 3rd, after 1700rpm. Either I am not too familiar with what turbo lag is, or it was just fine for me. NVH was much better than in Figo, I would say comparable to Swift.

Since HIND motors is no longer assocaited with TATA/Fiat in Chandigarh, only option is Joshi Autozone. Joshi deals with multiple brands: Hyundai, TATA/Fiat, Mercedes in North region. I took a tour of their service center and found it satisfactory. Also got a copy of price list for important spares in Punto:

Air filter: Rs. 850/-
Fuel filter: Rs. 1900/-
Oil filter: Rs. 450/-
Front bumper: Rs. 2400/-
Rear bumper: Rs. 1800/-
Front windshield: Rs. 3500/-
Door handles: Rs. 372/-

From what I believe these are not that high when compared to Swift and seem reasonable. Although I do not have the exact prices for Swift spares.

Decision making
So now it was decision time. I had initially fixed my budget around 5.5 lacs. Within this, Figo TDCi ZXI was coming for 5.65 lacs and Punto Active @ exactly 5.50 lacs (was being offered corporate+ other discount of 9k). After having driven all 3 cars back to back: it was clear that Swift offered a better tuned engine with absolutely slick gearshifts, which are a joy in themselves each time you change one. But the Punto offered the same engine, albeit with a different state of tune but with an incomparable ride quality and to me, a much better interior. The Figo for me fell in between. It's interiors is actually much more spartan and lacks the ooze that both Punto/Swift offer. Somehow, the Punto made more sense to me. It offered a great ride (this was important to me since I would often need to travel on not so smooth roads), better interior space (again, debatable for some but this is what seemed apparent to me), a much much bigger boot than Swift and that vault like cabin feeling. Sidindica 's review came up on 26th, which just reinforced my decision, Punto 2012 simply is a better car than Swift with the service fear being the only dodgy aspect.

I was smitten. Absolutely *smiles*.

So it was going to be a Punto only for me now. Having checked the service options at Joshi and a couple of users review over there who seemed satisfied so far with the service/spares. Since I had only checked out Active so far, I took a look at Dynamic edition (which is simply last years renamed Emotion variant). With a difference of Rs. 65000/-, it offered ABS (I need this considering often highway drives I would be undertaking), dual tone interiors, electric side mirror operation, all 4 power windows, adjustable rear headrests, 60:40 split seats & body colored door handles/mirrors. Joshi were offering this variant at 6.14 lacs, which was inclusive of default Future Generali insurance (without B2B coverage though) and logisitics, both if which were negated due to discount offered. Dynamic now made more sense to me. Some would say at this price I could have got Polo comfortline or i20 Magna, but neither offered ABS, electric mirrors. Moroever, I simply didn't want i20 due to long clutch travel associated with it and the confidence shattering steering.

Joshi had a new lot of cars coming on 24th Feb, so made a final analysis and booked Punto Dynamic 2012 MultiJet on 25th with 10k amount. Went to their yard same day to do a PDI, they had around 5 Dynamic variants. All of them were shod with shoddy JK Tornadoes'. A point to note, plastic fit and finish was good on all of them. So finalised a chassis and did a thorough PDI and asked the SE to hold it for me, which they promptly did. As per VIN # ending with BLZ, car was of Feb make. Delivery was set for 29th Feb and began bank loan paperwork from SBOP. I was going for 45% cash and 55% loan amount method. SBOP offered reducing ROI of 11.5% and processing fees of Rs. 1750/-. Took an off from work for 29th and completed all the bank formalities, which took some time. Finally, delivery was taken late at 8pm. Gave a small gift to the SE and a box of sweets for staff and drove off extremely carefully. Topped off at an HP pump near my house. A cool 45 lts @ 1800/-!!! This is why we buy diesel cars in India . Attaching a few pics, however I am no Dabboo Ratnani so these are seriously lacking in aesthetics. Apologies for the same.

Final price: Rs. 6,14,744/- (including insurance but excluding RC. charges)
Also opted for 2 years extended warranty for 5k, so the car and mechanicals are covered upto 4 years or 150k KMs, whicever earlier. So with this, Rs. 6,19,744/-.

A word on Joshi Autozone
I actually had a very pleasant dealing with their staff, in particular with SE Jatinder who offered me 2 TDs without any limitations, also managed to squeeze in a TD of Safari . That is for another time...

Changes done
  • Since delivery was taken late, only got to swap the tyres in the morning. Opted for MRF Z-LO 185/70 R14 88T, paid a difference of Rs. 5500/- for 4 tyre swap with JK 's.
  • Got 3M 70% sunfilm applied on side/rear windows and Garware IceCool Fronty for front. Could not afford 3M for front windshield at the moment.

Planning for seat covers 2-3 months down the line. Also asked the tyre dealer to inform me whenever Punto OEM alloys are in stock with him, will upgrade to Primary LCs at that time. For the time being, Z-LO will do. They are neat actually, offering splendid grip and low noise. Though yet to test on them on a long drive, this much difference was apparent after switching over from OEM JK 's.

I have taken a leap of faith, only time will tell how well this goes with Fiat. Hope they soon launch their own branded sales/service center to remedy the current state of affairs with perception in Indian consumers. But for now, I am just enjoying the absolute motoring comfort this side of 10 lacs.

Phew!! This took me around a week to compile!
Attached Thumbnails
How I booked Swift & bought a.... Punto Dynamic 2012 MultiJet-snc00124.jpg  

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How I booked Swift & bought a.... Punto Dynamic 2012 MultiJet-snc00129.jpg  

How I booked Swift & bought a.... Punto Dynamic 2012 MultiJet-snc00130.jpg  

How I booked Swift & bought a.... Punto Dynamic 2012 MultiJet-pix460.jpg  

How I booked Swift & bought a.... Punto Dynamic 2012 MultiJet-pix462.jpg  

How I booked Swift & bought a.... Punto Dynamic 2012 MultiJet-snc00163.jpg  

How I booked Swift & bought a.... Punto Dynamic 2012 MultiJet-snc00164.jpg  

How I booked Swift & bought a.... Punto Dynamic 2012 MultiJet-snc00165.jpg  

How I booked Swift & bought a.... Punto Dynamic 2012 MultiJet-snc00169.jpg  

How I booked Swift & bought a.... Punto Dynamic 2012 MultiJet-snc00166.jpg  


Last edited by suhaas307 : 4th March 2012 at 17:07. Reason: Smiliey usage restricted to TWO per post. *winks*
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Old 4th March 2012, 16:56   #2
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Default re: How I booked Swift & bought a.... Punto Dynamic 2012 MultiJet

Note From Team-BHP Support-Team: Thread moved from Assembly Line to Test-Drives & Initial Ownership Reviews section. Thank you for your valuable contribution.
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Old 4th March 2012, 17:47   #3
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Default re: How I booked Swift & bought a.... Punto Dynamic 2012 MultiJet

Let me be the first to congratulate you on purchase of this Italian beauty. It is a good choice,and Fiat cars are a pleasure to drive. It is a nice solid car. They are serious about improving their service image, and you shouldn't be experiencing any problem.
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Old 4th March 2012, 17:55   #4
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Default re: How I booked Swift & bought a.... Punto Dynamic 2012 MultiJet

Congratulation Prem. You took a good decision. How much was the cancellation charge for swift? You will see some more people following you
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Old 4th March 2012, 19:55   #5
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Default re: How I booked Swift & bought a.... Punto Dynamic 2012 MultiJet

Excellent choice. This is a car you will want to keep driving and driving, like there should be no end. A colleague has a Grande Punto Active 1.2. I drive this car once in a while. The drive is so satisfying that I can live with the lack of power that this car suffers from. No small car and some big sedans give you the same feeling. It feels safe too even though there are no active safety bits to reassure you of the same. Few cars give you this feeling.
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Old 4th March 2012, 20:34   #6
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Default re: How I booked Swift & bought a.... Punto Dynamic 2012 MultiJet

Congrats ! The Punto is a fantastic vehicle, let down by Fiat's dealer network. I just booked a Figo , the Punto was and is my first choice though, only settling for the Figo since my dad was a bit uncomfortable with the visibility out of the Punto.

That said, I do wish Fiat offered gutsier engines , the 1.2 only exists due to the government duty structure. A couple of 1.6 litre petrol T-jet/diesel MJD motors with 115-120bhp would make these sweet hot-hatches.
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Old 5th March 2012, 01:35   #7
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Default re: How I booked Swift & bought a.... Punto Dynamic 2012 MultiJet

Congrats for your priced pocession, I have been using GP for the past 2 years (done 45k km)and I am perfectly happy with this. Wishing you too miles of happiness
Thanks to team-bhp for helping me to opt this car.

Last edited by cosmopolitan : 5th March 2012 at 01:37.
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Old 5th March 2012, 07:40   #8
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Default re: How I booked Swift & bought a.... Punto Dynamic 2012 MultiJet

Thanks everyone!

Quote:
Originally Posted by devil_klm View Post
Congratulation Prem. You took a good decision. How much was the cancellation charge for swift? You will see some more people following you
Indeed, with the way backlog is for all Swift variants, it doesn't make sense to wait for 8-9 months only to learn the car you booked is now expensive by 50k. There has got to be some limit to this madness.

Cancellation charge is Rs. 250/- over here.
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Old 5th March 2012, 09:31   #9
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Default re: How I booked Swift & bought a.... Punto Dynamic 2012 MultiJet

Congrats & Happy Motoring with the Fiat. More than 6 months waiting is just too much for a car, good you didnt wait for the Zdi.
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Old 5th March 2012, 09:55   #10
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Default re: How I booked Swift & bought a.... Punto Dynamic 2012 MultiJet

Quote:
Originally Posted by PremjitS View Post
inclusive of default Future Generali insurance (without B2B coverage though)
Congrats on your new buy! Punto in white looks amazingly huge!

Though a bit off-topic, but might be of some help...

Not sure what B2B (business 2 business, right?) but I have had an experience with Future Generali on three occasions since Diwali last year and the claim was settled directly with zero hassles. (It was my friend's Punto for which he had to claim the insurance and I was the one helping him out with the entire thing). The overall satisfaction level with Future's was good. (I am speaking of Pune region)
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Old 5th March 2012, 10:55   #11
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Default re: How I booked Swift & bought a.... Punto Dynamic 2012 MultiJet

Congrats Premjit on your Punto. Swift with price hikes and waiting time is killing a lot of its fans. Liked the way you shortlisted the Punto. Need more pics dude.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PremjitS View Post
Could not push the engine beyond 2K RPM, so do not know how it feels once crossing 80kph.
Why couldn't you push the engine beyond 2k RPM?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PremjitS View Post
I have taken a leap of faith, only time will tell how well this goes with Fiat.
May you enjoy this beauty for many many trouble free years.
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Old 5th March 2012, 11:13   #12
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Default re: How I booked Swift & bought a.... Punto Dynamic 2012 MultiJet

Quote:
Originally Posted by ObsessedByFIAT View Post
Not sure what B2B (business 2 business, right?) but I have had an experience with Future Generali...
^I think he means Bumper to Bumper or zero depreciation type of coverage.
@Premjit: Congratulations. A very good price for a diesel premium hatchback. I am sure the low road tax adds more reason to the smiles.
Drive safe!
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Old 5th March 2012, 11:32   #13
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Default re: How I booked Swift & bought a.... Punto Dynamic 2012 MultiJet

The leap of faith is really worth it. I'm sure you would have a smile every time youa re in the drivers seat and when you park your car and turn around while walking away. And i can assure you that this is the only car that would give you this satisfied smile.

My humble request to you is PLEASE DO NOT take the car to the a.s.s for the minor niggles you might face during the ownership. Most of them would settle down on their own. My experience is that the a.s.s almost consistently manage to screw up something or the other while trying to solve such niggles.
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Old 5th March 2012, 11:56   #14
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Default re: How I booked Swift & bought a.... Punto Dynamic 2012 MultiJet

Somehow when I read the title - "How i booked Swift & bought a ...", I thought in my mind - 99% it must be a Punto!

Somehow, many owners are going for a Punto after booking a Swift. Even I do agree that the car is better than the Swift only marred by its A.S.S.

In Mumbai though, I am getting good service with exceptional customer support.
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Old 5th March 2012, 12:00   #15
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Default Re: How I booked Swift & bought a....

Quote:
Originally Posted by PremjitS View Post
I have taken a leap of faith, only time will tell how well this goes with Fiat.
Congratulations!

I have also taken the same choice - Cancelled a swift ZDi we booked back in September 2011- and booked a Punto 90 HP last month end (In white itself). Waiting for the car to arrive. I used the exact same words (leap of faith) when a friend questioned my purchase decision.

I'm not sure how FIAT will recover - but one thing is for sure - this car (and the brand) will have amazing support online from its fans!

Z-LO's are a good choice. Why change them again when upgrading to alloys? FIAT OEM alloys are very expensive if you plan to purchase them aftermarket. There are better and cheaper options available IMO (You may need to search a bit to get the right PCD options though).
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