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Old 28th September 2014, 13:00   #1
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Default A love affair: Fiat Punto Evo 1.3L MJD. EDIT - sold!

I remember it quite clearly. I was in 4th class when our neighbor who works in LIC bought a new car. I remember people saying "He could have bought a Maruti 800? Why a Premier Padmini"

Fast forward to 2014 and I heard similar opinions when I announced that I'm going for the Punto Evo.
Note that this ownership review covers only the Punto Evo 1.3 MJD Emotion.

Arguments against it:
  • Low resale value
  • poor service and small dealership network
  • abundant alternatives available in the hatchback category
What I liked:
  • Stellar build quality packed in an timeless design
  • Proven 1.3 MJD with improved gear ratios
  • 185mm GC combined with incomparable steering feedback and handling dynamics
  • It's an actual "facelift" over the Grande Punto unlike the insipid facelifts of the competition
  • The new interiors are a refreshing change
  • Blue&Me : yes, in this world of connectivity this needs mentioning
What I didn't like:
  • Although improved, the quality control at FIAT is still a bit questionable.
  • The interiors although good, do not bring it on par with the other premium hatches; does not carry all the bells and whistles of the competition
  • A rear parking camera, at least on the top-end would've been good
  • Slippery gears, but not a major deterrent
A love affair: Fiat Punto Evo 1.3L MJD. EDIT - sold!-tbhp1.jpg

Last edited by rav11stars : 4th November 2014 at 20:42.
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Old 2nd November 2014, 22:20   #2
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Default Re: ~ FIAT Punto Evo ~ The Beginning ~

Why Punto?
A question that I was asked and am asked even today "why Punto?". Well, here's how I made this decision.

My requirements/reasons:
  • I was so happy with my Karizma that I didn't see any reason to buy a car. But of late I began to wonder if there's an equivalent of the ZMA in a 4-wheeler. My enthusiasm for long rides coupled with the entry of a third member in our family prompted me to go for a 4 wheeler.
  • I specifically wanted a hatchback that's peppy, not a run-of-the-mill type, high on looks, light on wallet and most importantly reliable.
  • A budget of 7-8Lakhs.
  • I've only considered the Diesel as I wanted an engine that returns more km to the litre.
  • Good ground clearance as more often I like to take those tracks off the main road purely on instinct. So a good GC will help contain those uneven patches and potholes.
What I've considered:
  • Swift
  • Elite i20
  • Polo TDI
  • Figo
  • Punto Evo
Swift:
  • Excellent car to drive about and I'm already comfortable with it as we have a swift petrol in the family.
  • Rejected due to the dull and boring design. The build quality doesn't inspire confidence.
Elite i20:
  • Took a test drive of the Elite i20 CRDI Asta. The on-road price is at 9.25L. It's a bit pricey but it comes with all the bells and whistles in typical Hyundai style.
  • The drive was good and the riding and handling is far more improved than the outgoing model. The 16-inch alloys with the 170mm GC is adequate.
  • There's basically a storage space for everything you can think of in every nook and corner of the car.
  • My only grouse was that the steering feedback felt light. It didn't provide enough feedback.
  • There's nothing much you can point out against the i20. I've put it on hold until I completed the other test drives.
VW Polo TDI:
  • By far the best quality interiors with excellent fit and finish.
  • The 1.5l diesel is brilliant with excellent pickup and handling.
  • However I had to reject it due to the low GC and the engine noise seeping into the cabin. We had the windows rolled up, but still I felt the engine vibrations and noise.
  • It sort of felt that I had to bend down to get into the car and the rear bench is cramped. Rejected.
Ford Figo:
  • Good handling and feedback from the steering.
  • decent interiors and good build quality as well.
  • However the low GC and the not-so-good looks ruled it out.
Punto Evo:
  • I finally took a test drive of the Punto Evo. The 90hp model was still not available at the time of TD; So I had to make do with the 75hp Emotion.
  • As always we had five people seated and took her out for a spin. The NVH levels are very low and the initial noise soon turns into a nice humming as we accelerate. That intuitive feeling inside that tells you when you find something good
  • There's something in this steering, maybe that's called life; All those discussions with Fiat enthusiasts who talked about the riding and handling, excellent steering feedback made sense.
  • I intentionally took it through rough patches and hardly felt a thing. There's a very minimal body-roll when cornering, but that's not detrimental.
  • That thrill I experienced when cornering and the way I felt the weight of it. It's planted, so planted. It wouldn't budge even or hard cornering.
Dislikes:
  • Too much chrome. My first impression. The designers must've thought all Indians are chrome-obsessive. I would've preferred the international look of the Evo wherein only the rear tail-lamps and interiors are changed.
  • The rear ac vent was unnecessary. It somehow gave a feeling that it was introduced just because the competition had it. Instead Fiat could've provided a parking camera as a standard.
When the elite i20 had everything one can think of, it's difficult to ignore it. Starting from the customer satisfaction, service and to the attention they gave to the customer's needs Hyundai almost scored on all levels.
Punto Evo Emotion on-road is about 8.1L whereas Elite i20 Asta is 9.25L.

I took two days for the feelings to sink in and ruminated my experiences. The i20 was tempting and I was thinking of extending my budget as well to accommodate it. I then started searching with the strings "i20 accidents" "punto accidents". I began reading about NCAP safety standards etc and starting asking people if they have airbags in their cars, how fast they drive.

Colleagues who saw this were bewildered and confirmed that I've gone mad. Some considered it inauspicious to be searching for such things. Those who knew about me said I'll need some time to come to my senses and left me to it.
Some proudly said they hit 100kmph on highways and have "solid" control. So they don't require airbags. After rummaging around in the internet and reading a lot of articles, I found that the sheet metal thickness does play a part in the vehicle's safety. I read numerous threads here on tbhp that vouch for the safety of the Punto.

Finally the excellent driving and handling, superb build quality, low NVH levels, decent interiors made me go for the Punto. I was tempted to go for the 90hp Sport. You'd not believe but I didn't because it didn't get gunmetal alloys and I found the 75hp to be better tuned in the 2nd gear. Some sympathized with me because I'd be missing all those nice storage spaces, auto-folding ORVMs, sensors that tell me if my wheels are not straight

Jokes apart the more I drove the Punto, the more I thought about why some things are the way they are; they made sense.
I'm not sure how often the ignition on/off switch can go kaput, but by keeping it simple with a key, the customer service cost may not go high if something were to go wrong.
Having an auto-folding ORVM is good, but the Punto's ORVM sounded practical. Imagine some two-wheeler dashing into it. The ORVM would just fold backwards.

" Fiat design is about three things: style, practicality and fun.

Looking good is important, so each of our cars is made to turn heads. But that’s not all: we've packed them with innovative design twists that make your journeys easier, safer and a lot happier too. " [ From http://www.fiat.com/com/fiatpedia/design ]

The Tank with the Rock
A love affair: Fiat Punto Evo 1.3L MJD. EDIT - sold!-punto2.jpg

Last edited by rav11stars : 4th November 2014 at 21:02.
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Old 4th November 2014, 20:51   #3
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Default Re: ~ FIAT Punto Evo ~ A love affair ~

Dealership Experience:

We have three dealerships here in Pune, Skymoto and Pandit Auto. I visited Skymoto two days after the Evo was launched. They did not have a TD vehicle and I had to make do with the Grande Punto 75hp. The advisor said both shared the same engines and so it would not make a difference.

Had I taken his word for it I would be driving around in a Elite i20. The GP had around 15k on the odo and the drive was not pleasant. He promised me he'll call me up once the get the Evo test drive vehicle. I'm still waiting for the call

I waited for another 15 days while I test drove the Polo and i20. I called up Pandit Auto and had the TD arranged at my workplace. We had a road near our office which had some nice turns, a rough patch and an incline.

I paid up the initial booking amount of Rs.25,000/-. The colour : Exotica Red. No second thought on that. We tried bargaining for some discounts and finally got a 2000/- corporate discount. The dealer agreed to provide mudflaps, floor mats and a 3M body coat.

I opted for SBI loan and so the process took it's sweet time. I've specifically discussed the below points with my advisor.
  • I'm to be informed when the vehicle is available in the stockyard so I can perform a pre-registration PDI.
  • I'll be writing a ownership experience and so want to take pictures right from the stockyard till my delivery.
  • I want to be present during the 3M bodycoat as I want to take snaps and have the CF tape applied over the plastics exposed to the sun.
Finally the loan was approved after 10 days. All the while I was talking to them and constantly reminded to call me up once the car is in the stockyard. Colleagues and friends advised that FIAT has a stringent PDI and so I need not worry.

I wanted to drive the car to my hometown for Dussera and so wanted the delivery 4 days before Dussera. I called up and informed that I want everything ready on the day. I was called up two days later that my car was allotted and was sent for registration. I had no words. Reason : They just forgot.

To add to this confusion I had trouble obtaining a NOC from the police station. I was told in my face that the RTO will not process it because I'm an outsider and will outright reject it without an NOC. The Police, on the other hand do not want to hand out a NOC as they'll be held responsible if something were to happen. I ran from pillar to post with no luck and the charm of wanting to own a car wore off.

A stark contrast to this is my brother buying an Audi A4 at the same time in the US. He called me up on the 4th day and said his purchase is processed. How? They just checked up his SSN and found his profile to be credible. It has been only 1.5 years since he moved to the US.

Talk about an Indian having to prove his credibility in his own country!!

The dealer is just neutral and stepped aside saying those are the rules. I finally asked them to cancel the order as I'm no longer interested. I talked to their team-lead and he just said that if that's my decision, he can't help. I said I'll come in the evening and will submit an application to cancel the order and he confirmed that I'll be getting everything I paid.

One hour gone and I get a call saying that their GM will talk to the RTO and this can be worked out. By the next evening it was confirmed that the car is registered. I wanted to take delivery and just drive about so I can get a feel before the long trip.

Delivery:

I was worried as I didn't do the pre-registration PDI. So I went through the pre-delivery thread here and prepared a list to be checked. I brought out my cheerful attitude, bought a pack of sweets and went over to the dealer with a friend for the delivery.

My car is parked, ready for delivery. I walked around and noticed a fine layer of dust. "Sir, it's due to the body coat, it catches dust".
I noticed that the mudflaps and doormats are not in place. There are no spare bulbs in the glovebox.
They hurriedly went back, checked and "Sir, today's a Sunday, the fitter is not there. We'll get them done when you come for the number".
I performed the other checks and found 100H on the odo. It sounded reasonable enough as the factory is around 50km. I purchased the roof rails as an accessory for 5700/-.

A love affair: Fiat Punto Evo 1.3L MJD. EDIT - sold!-img_4104.jpg

I took the delivery and went to a temple to perform a puja. All in all it was an experience with a difference. But there's one underlying point here. There are procedures everywhere and we all follow them. But when there's an exception we need help and it is in such times we look up for help.
Of what help is a dealer if he just shoves the rules in my face when all I need is help.

My overall feeling was " I'm buying the car, they're not selling me one".

Last edited by rav11stars : 9th December 2014 at 19:59.
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Old 4th November 2014, 22:16   #4
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Default Re: ~ FIAT Punto Evo ~ The Beginning ~

I got the RC number after two days. I got the accessories fitted and set off to my hometown. Yes, I've read the running-in threads by then and so ensured I followed the advice. I've set the speed limiter beep to 90kmph and ensured I'm always around the 2000rpm. The odo read 3100km by the time I came back to Pune.

Read on to find out how my "Life just became more interesting". The official thread (link below) covered everything. As this is an ownership experience I'll fill in with my experiences.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...lose-look.html (2014 Fiat Punto Evo : A Close Look)

Exteriors:
An imaginary conversation in FIAT's design studio:

Designer1 : We've been asked to design the next generation Punto Evo
Designer2 : what for?? We already have the Punto Evo
D1 : This one is for the Indian market. We need a facelift of the Grande Punto
D2 : What's wrong with the current Punto Evo? It has a classic look and the tail lamps are the best on any hatch.
D1 : But we still need to modify it specifically for the Indian market.
D2 : phew, ok. HOW do you intend to modify it "specifically" for the Indian market.
D1 : CHROME - lots of it.

The very first impression or the very first thing you observe in the Evo is the chrome. Chrome in all it's glory, glistening at the very hint of light.
But you've got to give it to the designers. I would say designing a facelift is far more difficult than a new car as you'd be aiming to create a better design that the existing one. Considering the number of insipid facelifts we're used to seeing every year and how we need a manual to point out the face-lifted portions, I would say the designers at FIAT have done a commendable job.

The good thing was they did a makeover without meddling with the classic frame of the Punto. I've got to admit, although the GP is a head-turner, I'm not in favour of the simplistic mesh-type grill. In the Evo it is replaced with a rounded inverted trapezoidal grill.
The more I observed the Punto, I'm realizing the feeling that even automobiles are a work of art. Here the grill is highlighted with a chrome garnish. If you notice the front fender, it has a nice crease that runs around the grill on three sides. Although subtle, this lends a nice depth to it.

A love affair: Fiat Punto Evo 1.3L MJD. EDIT - sold!-grill.jpg

The creases all around the car are such a nice touch, they add up to the beauty; wink and you'll miss. Notice the crease below the headlamp which continues onto the chrome slat in the grill. The chrome quality is good and adds up as an asset in the makeover.
The extruded chrome element for the fog-lamps are nice. They gel in well with the reflective coating in the lamp.

A love affair: Fiat Punto Evo 1.3L MJD. EDIT - sold!-grill2.jpg

The much-hyped reindeer headlamps. Look close and you'll appreciate the amount of detailing they underwent.

A love affair: Fiat Punto Evo 1.3L MJD. EDIT - sold!-hl.jpg

I searched and tried to understand how they coined the term "reindeer headlamps" for them. Finally looked at a reindeer and found some similarities. Do you see what I see?
The antlers. The swept-back finish and the fingers of the outershells of the headlamp resemble the antlers of the reindeer. Just a calculated guess.

Name:  Reindeer.jpg
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Image credit : © Eric Baccega / naturepl.com

I had to do two photo-shoots to realize that capturing "red" is sort of difficult. Finally got the snaps in RAW with WB set to shade and did some post-processing. The above pics which look sort of orange-ish are from the first shoot.

I took the help of a 6-foot friend to simulate an aerial shot for the first one

A love affair: Fiat Punto Evo 1.3L MJD. EDIT - sold!-alldropen.jpg

The cute mini-maserati look gives way to a sterner face with swept-back "reindeer headlamps" and a prominent bulge on the bonnet that add up to the seriousness.
A love affair: Fiat Punto Evo 1.3L MJD. EDIT - sold!-new_st11.jpg

The wheel arches along with the crease between the doors lend more character to the side. I liked the chrome handles as they broke the monotonic flow of the body colour.

A love affair: Fiat Punto Evo 1.3L MJD. EDIT - sold!-new_st12.jpg

The side profile is largely unchanged. Notice the huge gap in the wheel wells. This is the emotion variant and so gets 15inch Apollo acelere. The sport version gets the 16 inch tyres.

A love affair: Fiat Punto Evo 1.3L MJD. EDIT - sold!-new_st13.jpg

The black outline around the tail-lamps serve to highlight them from the body colour.

A love affair: Fiat Punto Evo 1.3L MJD. EDIT - sold!-new_st14.jpg

Chrome finishing on the rear. The small rear window with the thick C pillars can be worrying if parking without assistance.

A love affair: Fiat Punto Evo 1.3L MJD. EDIT - sold!-new_st15.jpg

I've got to admit; The roof rails are a nice accessory as they've elevated the look of the otherwise plain roof.

A love affair: Fiat Punto Evo 1.3L MJD. EDIT - sold!-new_st16.jpg

The side profile once again. The outside temperature sensor is placed below the left hand side ORVM. The 1.3MJD Dynamic gets a 185mm ground clearance.

A love affair: Fiat Punto Evo 1.3L MJD. EDIT - sold!-new_st17.jpg

The Stance : Hopefully this will still turn heads for all the right reasons.

A love affair: Fiat Punto Evo 1.3L MJD. EDIT - sold!-new_st18.jpg

Chrome lift-up type door handle. A pull type body colored handle would've made it more sleek and premium.

A love affair: Fiat Punto Evo 1.3L MJD. EDIT - sold!-doorhandle.jpg

The redesigned Punto badge. The "P" in GP which resembled the enthusiast in a driving position is gone. If you, like me are wondering as to what the "red dot" signifies.

"The Punto Evo's dot is red for the high performance 135bhp petrol, and black for other engine types. It's a neat touch that encapsulates the attention to detail, thought and engineering know-how that has gone into producing the new Fiat Punto Evo."

A 2010 article explains it; reading it is sort of sad because even after 4 years, all they managed to bring to India are "Evo" and tail-lamps.

http://www.fiatpress.co.uk/press/article/1183

A love affair: Fiat Punto Evo 1.3L MJD. EDIT - sold!-rearbadge.jpg

The rear bumper is also restyled and it also gets chrome around the fog lamp and reverse lamp. Someone looking at it the first time can mistake them for dual-exhausts.
Such a miserly way of accommodating the fog lamp, reverse lamp and reflectors, all in the same design!

I've read that this bumper is not as strong as the GP's. I too felt the same and I mentioned it at the service center. The explanation was that because it is not hard, it does not crack on impact.

It didn't take long to verify it. The other day I was going to the railway station and had just braked when I heard the familiar "thud" from behind. The guy on the bike gestured that nothing happened and it's all OK. As there's very little I can do even if it's not okay, I moved on, parked the car and examined. Didn't find anything

A love affair: Fiat Punto Evo 1.3L MJD. EDIT - sold!-rearbumper.jpg

Finally the gorgeous tail-lamps every auto magazine review is talking about. It's the very "latest" (pun intended).
A facelift to the GP was launced in Europe in 2010. It was called the Punto Evo and it came with "MultiAir technology" for Petrol and MultijetII for diesel which reduces fuel consumption. It had same the tail-lamps that we're having on the Punto Evo launched now in 2014.

Check out http://wheelosphere.org/2010-fiat-pu...ages-surfaces/

"Recently we seen Fiat Grande Punto Launch in India, we are happy that Fiat has done justice to Indian customers but now we fee Fiat could have brought this Punto Evo 2010 to India"

For reasons best known only to them the Punto Evo took 4 long years to come to India. The wait could have been justified if it came with more advancements like the Multi-JetII and more engine options. All they've managed is extra chrome.

check out http://www.autoblog.com/2010/01/26/f...ws-looks-good/

As we're talking about the 1.3MJD 75hp, let's see what the tech was four years back.

"MultiJet II is also available as a 75bhp unit and, like the higher power version, is Euro 5-compatible, comes with Start&Stop and features a Diesel Particulate Filter. These engines also employ second generation turbochargers (with variable vane geometry in the more powerful version) which, along with the MultiJet II injection system, ensure the best possible turbo function at any engine operating level. The big advantage they have over the outgoing Euro 4 engines is that torque delivery at low revs can be up to 25 per cent greater."

MultijetII adaptive cornering lamps, auto engine stop/start, Rain sensor, ESP with hill-hold; Four years on and these are available as standard with the competition now. Not with Fiat.

For composing this ownership report, I've been rummaging around on the Internet to know more about the Evo; the more I read, the more I felt that the term "Globalization" is a very fancy word that can only be used.

When you've got to beat the competition, there's only one way. Show them who's the best. Look what Hyundai did with the i20. It didn't sit back and relax because it's a success. It created a new form with new design elements. Result : 56000 bookings.

Back to the report : The brilliantly crafted tail-lamp. If only we had a DRL on those gorgeous head-lamps; like the ones we see on Audis.

A love affair: Fiat Punto Evo 1.3L MJD. EDIT - sold!-tail_lamp1.jpg

Tail-lamps in twilight

A love affair: Fiat Punto Evo 1.3L MJD. EDIT - sold!-tail_lamp2.jpg

want more chrome yes, there's more on order. The 90hp variant does not come with a chrome exhaust. So I wanted to check out how it looks with that chrome tipped exhaust.

A love affair: Fiat Punto Evo 1.3L MJD. EDIT - sold!-chrome.jpg

Last edited by Aditya : 17th December 2014 at 12:32.
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Old 11th December 2014, 21:48   #5
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Default Re: ~ FIAT Punto Evo ~ A love affair ~

INTERIORS

One reason that made me go for the Evo over the the GP: It's interiors. I sometimes look at the beige colour on the dash, the seats and the inserts on the doors with a sense of regret. Maybe I should have gone for the 90hp for the all-black interiors. With all my laziness I'll be having a tough time maintaining the light coloured fabric.

The dashboard is a dual-tone with the beige colour material being of soft touch. It feels premium. I've purposely held off the seat covers to see how cope up with a casual use.
A love affair: Fiat Punto Evo 1.3L MJD. EDIT - sold!-int1.jpg

As you can see the seats have taken a liking to smudges For a change I've taken the snaps in the dark with the cabin light providing the lighting.

The dashboard is a straight lift from the Linea and is pretty decent; Nothing flashy. The centre console starts with a goggle holder (which I use to store toll receipts), central AC vents, infotainment system and the automatic climate control.
Notice the huge space for the driver on the right hand side. It's sort of crampy in the swift with the door almost on you whereas here there's more elbow room.
A love affair: Fiat Punto Evo 1.3L MJD. EDIT - sold!-intlight.jpg

The steering wheel and gear knob comes wrapped with genuine leather. The steering wheel has a firm grip and the eight steering-mounted controls fit in nicely. They're not of the soft touch type; they require a little effort and lend out a tik-tik sound. But once you get to using them, you need not take your eyes off the road.
A love affair: Fiat Punto Evo 1.3L MJD. EDIT - sold!-dash1.jpg

The left side houses the mute and voice command buttons along with the volume increase and decrease buttons. The right side has the up and down arrow buttons for next track and previous track respectively. The "SRC-OK" button can be used to cycle between sources in the infotainment system. It cycles FM-AM-MW-AUX-Blue&ME. The OK button is for confirming voice commands or actions shown in the MID.

The telephone and "MAIN" button is for receiving/rejecting calls and accessing the Menu. One click to accept a call and long press to reject it. The Main button can be used to access the menu to configure your mobile with Blue&Me, browse through the folders on the USB etc.
A love affair: Fiat Punto Evo 1.3L MJD. EDIT - sold!-steeringcontrols.jpg

Here's the MID with the lights off
A love affair: Fiat Punto Evo 1.3L MJD. EDIT - sold!-dial1.jpg

and on. It's a neat little LCD which shows info. Here it's showing the AcB which is "average consumption for trip B". This info can be cycled with the press of a button on the washer stalk.
A love affair: Fiat Punto Evo 1.3L MJD. EDIT - sold!-dial2.jpg

The left side of the dash which houses the two AC vents. All of the vents have direction changers with on-off dials.
A love affair: Fiat Punto Evo 1.3L MJD. EDIT - sold!-dash2.jpg

A new perspective: the parcel-tray view. The Emotion comes with seat-belt height adjusters. Thanks to the light coloured roof, the cabin feels airy and sort of roomy.
A love affair: Fiat Punto Evo 1.3L MJD. EDIT - sold!-parceltrayview.jpg

The cockpit is awesome when driving in the dark.
A love affair: Fiat Punto Evo 1.3L MJD. EDIT - sold!-intdark.jpg

I've included this snap to show how the glare off the dashboard can be irritating at times; particularly in the afternoon. This can be attributed to the sloping wide windscreen of the Punto. The sloping of the windscreen also had an advantage that the sun didn't hit the front seats for most of the day.
A love affair: Fiat Punto Evo 1.3L MJD. EDIT - sold!-dashbrdbrightlight.jpg

The doors also get the soft fabric inserts and yeah, they're already dirty Just thinking aloud : if I can get them also wrapped when I get the seat-covers done. But will they be fitted as perfectly as factory-fitted again?
A love affair: Fiat Punto Evo 1.3L MJD. EDIT - sold!-frdrivdoor.jpg

Now we'd rather not talk about the storage spaces in the Punto. While Hyundai's list of storage spaces can get as long as the wife's shopping bill, the Punto's will fit onto a price tag.

Do you see the gap between the plastic cladding and the door insert? you're supposed to fit in a 500ml water bottle in there! Don't ask me why 500ml.

The driver's side get's the windows' controls. Front one-touch up and down. Rear windows go only about 75%. To keep those friends in check who roll down windows even when you switch on the AC there's a rear-window control disable switch. It has a faint yellow light when switched on. Beside these are the electric controls for the ORVMs.
A love affair: Fiat Punto Evo 1.3L MJD. EDIT - sold!-frdrivdoor2.jpg

The front left door. See that small ribbed tray. It also counts as a storage compartment. wonder what we can store in there!
A love affair: Fiat Punto Evo 1.3L MJD. EDIT - sold!-frleftdoor.jpg

and the glove compartment. Spare bulbs, a pack of tissues and a small ganesha are all I managed. I tried to fit in three audio cds too, but all I could manage were the team-bhp stickers.
A love affair: Fiat Punto Evo 1.3L MJD. EDIT - sold!-glovebox.jpg

The fabric used for the interior is of excellent quality. You've got to believe me when I tell you; shut the doors and you're in a different world. The Punto has the best noise insulation I've seen on any car.
A love affair: Fiat Punto Evo 1.3L MJD. EDIT - sold!-fabric.jpg


Yay, yet another storage. I'm using it to store diesel and toll receipts. The panel above that can be used to set the head-lights beam, toggle the front and rear fog lamps. The menu can be accessed on the MID using the set button. It's from here that we can set the speed limit, change the units, toggle the trip meters A and B etc.
A love affair: Fiat Punto Evo 1.3L MJD. EDIT - sold!-storage.jpg

AC and Infotainment

The AC is not a chiller, but sufficient enough. I do not like it getting too cool and then me fiddling with the controls and stuff. So am happy with it. I'd say this is also partly due to the excellent interior insulation. We parked the car out in the open one afternoon and to our surprise, it's only mildly warm. Our Dzire would've been an oven in the same situation.

The music system is more than decent and performs a commendable job. I like driving with soft music at a nice low volume and so am happy with it. The Blue&ME deserves a special mention here. It responds to commands nicely, reads messages and even changes to the next track with a command.

So what's all the thrill without any incident; Here's one for this show.

As mentioned earlier I spent two weekends trying to get some nice shots. On the second weekend I, along with a couple of friends went into the ghats in search of a location. We found a spot, took the snaps and prepared for the return. The spot is on a slight elevation and my friends wanted me to back up and tread the way back onto the road. I argued saying we can get off as the Punto had 185mm of GC and can handle it. Unfortunately I've only looked at the right hand side; the left hand side had more depth. I slowly inched forward and then heard a grating sound.

What happens when you overestimate the 185mm GC of your hatch

we end up with one wheel in the air!!
A love affair: Fiat Punto Evo 1.3L MJD. EDIT - sold!-gc2.jpg

Immediately stopped, got out to inspect the damage. On first look I thought I've seriously damaged the underbody.
A love affair: Fiat Punto Evo 1.3L MJD. EDIT - sold!-gc1.jpg

My friends came up with this plan. Place stones so I can reverse back again. But then it'll grate against the rock again. As we've already half-way down, I got back in swung the steering completely to the right and inched forward. The left rear wheel gained height and was able to prevent more grating. I was worried that the rear bumper will hit the rock, but it didn't.
A love affair: Fiat Punto Evo 1.3L MJD. EDIT - sold!-gc4.jpg

Damage. I'm not sure what else I've damaged, but I can see that I managed to scrape off the rubber coating.
A love affair: Fiat Punto Evo 1.3L MJD. EDIT - sold!-gc3.jpg

Last edited by Aditya : 17th December 2014 at 12:36.
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Old 16th December 2014, 23:46   #6
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Default Re: ~ FIAT Punto Evo ~ A love affair ~

Driving and First service update @ 3960

I've not yet mastered the nitty-gritty of engines; so not competent enough to babble about the tech and stuff. But I can comment from an "aam admi" point of view and so I combined the driving experience and first service update.

I did a 3000km trip after taking delivery of the car. I made sure the speed limit is 80kmph and revs are below 2k. First impressions : I just don't seem to get tired. I drove from Pune to Hyderabad and those who know the road condition know very well when I say I didn't get tired.

In contrast weariness used to creep in when driving in the Dzire. Probably the nice lumbar support in the Punto helped.

Driving in the city is not as difficult as projected. I had to switch gears a bit more often but that's not a deal-breaker. I just needed to fall in rhythm with the car's way of working. Then I'd just let it slowly glide in the 2nd gear. I do not feel the turbo lag in my daily commute. So maybe FIAT engineers must have done some tuning on that front. Of special mention is the nicely tuned suspension. Thanks to the beefy 195 tyres it almost sailed over small potholes.

Except for the longish turning radius I don't have much qualms about the riding and handling. I used to wonder why so much praise is heaped upon the Punto's riding and handling. It's only after I test drove other cars I realized. The feedback from the steering is pure bliss. It's sure and confident.

Comfort I found the seats to be very accommodating and comfortable. The underthigh support is good; Note that I'm 5 7". The rear bench is also not too crampy a la the Polo. There's a rear ac vent as well, which I didn't find to be too much of a value addition. If the same ac unit was cool enough earlier then why do we need another rear ac vent.

I need to specially mention about the 60:40 split seat. I wanted to look how easy it is to fold the seats. Either I'm not adept at such stuff or the setup is not good, I had to fiddle with it for some time before folding the single seat. I didn't find it to be easy enough to push it back into place. Well, the 285litre boot space is sufficient enough. While returning back from home, my Mom loaded it up with two trolley suitcases, 3 desi bags and 2 laptop bags. We made sure no luggage made it into the cabin.

First Service update:

So with all these nice feelings I was enjoying my rides. We planned on going into the ghats in search of a nice location for the ownership snaps. We took a detour in Tamhini ghat; the road leads all the way to Amby valley.
We stopped at a nice location, took some snaps and started back. I was climbing back onto the road when it stalled in gear;my mistake. I stopped and started it again, put it in first gear and moved on.
I felt a little sluggishness but dismissed it.

Question: As is the practice with turbo diesels should I have waited for about 20 seconds after starting it?

As we moved on we came upon a small incline, maybe about 30degrees. It just would not climb it. I switched to first gear and then the warning light came on with the message "Low engine compression. Switch off the engine."
A love affair: Fiat Punto Evo 1.3L MJD. EDIT - sold!-incline1.jpg

I stopped the engine, rested for about 15min and started it back. It's back to normal and didn't face any issues again.

Now after a month, we're on a trip again for the second photo-shoot to Pabe ghat. We were three guys on board and were comfortably driving up the ghat when all of a sudden I felt a sudden loss of power. The ghat is steep and so thought it's due to that. I switched from 2nd to 1st and moved on. An i10 behind me was honking like hell. So I let him pass and moved on in 1st gear. After the next turn, I stopped for about 10min, started it and it's fine again.
I wonder what could be the reason? The second issue happened after the first service.

Niggles, even if they're small eat me out. So I started reading and found that multijets with turbo have these issues. Some mentioned it could be due to a leak in the tube near the turbo etc. Can a new car possibly have such issues?

Car service felt like an event to look forward to as I always heard from people around me that service is a big thing. Manufacturers take service very seriously with follow-up calls to see the customer is satisfied and stuff.

The advisor said an oil change is not required; they'd recommend top-up. I said team-bhp recommends complete oil change The only complaint I had was that the car was very slightly pulling to the left when steering is let off on a plain road. I had other work, so couldn't stay on to see what was done.

In the evening when I went, I was told that the alignment is only checked and the car was not driven to see if it's pulling. I insisted that they check it. The alignment was checked and it's found to be all right. The left front and rear tyres are interchanged. We went for a test ride and I could see only a marginal improvement. He requested that I ride for some more days and check.

Here's the alignment report. Although I shook my head after seeing all green on the panel, after coming home and looking at the report, I think the right caster is not within the threshold values. Do you find anything else amiss?

A love affair: Fiat Punto Evo 1.3L MJD. EDIT - sold!-alignment_report.jpg
Only two days back, I've been reading regarding this on another forum where a number of customers complained about this left pull. There's now information that FIAT has released new alignment values for the Punto Evo. I'll check that info.

I don't really remember why I've put "A love affair" in the subject but it's really turning into a love affair. The car and me are going on well. But it's her parents who're not treating us well. If things remain this way, I may end up buying those "nazar suraksha kavach" and other stuff and you may see me on TV.

Here's a parting shot.
A love affair: Fiat Punto Evo 1.3L MJD. EDIT - sold!-partingshot.jpg

Acknowledgements : If it's not for @KarthikK I would've abandoned this thread midway. Every time I felt that urge, I remembered how exhaustive his thread was and carried on with mine. These forums are sort of virtual gatherings to share stuff in real-time. If someone finds my inputs to be useful, this thread would've served it's purpose.

Last edited by Aditya : 17th December 2014 at 12:38. Reason: more inputs
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Old 17th December 2014, 12:40   #7
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Default re: A love affair: Fiat Punto Evo 1.3L MJD. EDIT - sold!

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 17th December 2014, 12:53   #8
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Default re: A love affair: Fiat Punto Evo 1.3L MJD. EDIT - sold!

Many congratulations rav11stars !! stunning in red and a very nicely detailed review indeed , enjoyed reading it.
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Old 17th December 2014, 13:11   #9
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Default re: A love affair: Fiat Punto Evo 1.3L MJD. EDIT - sold!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rav11stars View Post

Fast forward to 2014 and I heard similar opinions when I announced that I'm going for the Punto Evo.
Congrats on your latest acquisition rav11stars and it's a Stonker !!

I was amused at few of your initial snaps and wondering if Fiat had silently released an orange color on the EVO , until I read the reason provided by you.

I loved the Grande Punto design and was never a big fan of the EVO, primarily because of the overdose of chrome. Recently, I saw a Black Punto EVO in flesh and I admit that I was pleasantly surprised. It really looked brilliant.

Please correct me if I am wrong but I think Fiat must have focused more on Ergonomics and Performance for Punto, if not anything else.

Wish you many more happy and safe mile-crunching.

Last edited by Vik0728 : 17th December 2014 at 13:13.
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Old 17th December 2014, 13:19   #10
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Default re: A love affair: Fiat Punto Evo 1.3L MJD. EDIT - sold!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vik0728 View Post
Congrats on your latest acquisition rav11stars and it's a Stonker !!

I was amused at few of your initial snaps and wondering if Fiat had silently released an orange color on the EVO , until I read the reason provided by you.

I loved the Grande Punto design and was never a big fan of the EVO, primarily because of the overdose of chrome. Recently, I saw a Black Punto EVO in flesh and I admit that I was pleasantly surprised. It really looked brilliant.

Please correct me if I am wrong but I think Fiat must have focused more on Ergonomics and Performance for Punto, if not anything else.

Wish you many more happy and safe mile-crunching.
Thanks a lot bro. The chrome takes some time to settle in and it grows on us as time passes. I've TD'ed the GP too and felt the Evo to be more comfortable. No matter how the roads are, I do not feel tired even after a very long drive.
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Old 17th December 2014, 15:23   #11
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Default re: A love affair: Fiat Punto Evo 1.3L MJD. EDIT - sold!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rav11stars View Post
Thanks a lot bro. The chrome takes some time to settle in and it grows on us as time passes. I've TD'ed the GP too and felt the Evo to be more comfortable. No matter how the roads are, I do not feel tired even after a very long drive.
Indeed, an excellent car!

In my case, Pandit was simply an "excellent" dealer. Understood our requirements, and yet- ended giving us a TD for the Linea T-Jet.

A testimony-http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-drives-initial-ownership-reports/148583-2014-fiat-linea-facelift-test-drive-review-32.html#post3602152

Suffice to say, a friend bought a Punto 90, to replace his Palio.

6 months. 15k kilometers. Hardly and money gone in service. Still dentless (Euro cars seem to be simply immune to small dents, as demonstrated by you), and scratchless.

The end result- Cheap. Quick. Stylish. And is yet easy to service. Current Fiats are indeed a very tempting package, what with the improved dealers, et al. Except for- The Power!

Lets see, if we buy the Punto 90 soon. Tempted, yet not so tempted.

Or perhaps, the T-Jet. Damn the very high running, and the petrol prices.
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Old 17th December 2014, 15:27   #12
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Default re: A love affair: Fiat Punto Evo 1.3L MJD. EDIT - sold!

Congratulations on the car rav11stars. What an honest review of the car!

I don't see Zest in the list of probables. Any reasons for omitting out the Zest?
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Old 17th December 2014, 15:43   #13
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Default re: A love affair: Fiat Punto Evo 1.3L MJD. EDIT - sold!

Congrats rav11stars, Your Punto looks gorgeous and as you said the design is timeless. Its nice to see you have explored different terrains with your Punto. I enjoyed reading your detailed review. Wish you safe and happy miles on your Punto.
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Old 17th December 2014, 15:46   #14
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Default Re: ~ FIAT Punto Evo ~ A love affair ~

Many Congratulations rav11stars. Very well narrated review with equally good pictures.
I guess yours is the first Punto Evo ownership report here on T-BHP, thanks for sharing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rav11stars View Post
We were three guys on board and were comfortably driving up the ghat when all of a sudden I felt a sudden loss of power.
In steep inclines it's important to be in right gear & power band, if you fall below, quick downshifting maintaining the momentum is required.

I also used to face similar situations but gradually have learnt the art of handling turbo diesels.

Wishing you many happy miles ahead.
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Old 17th December 2014, 15:47   #15
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Default re: A love affair: Fiat Punto Evo 1.3L MJD. EDIT - sold!

Congrats rav11stars for your latest acquisition! You have really gotten a tank
I must say Punto in red looks absolute smashing. As mentioned earlier, by looking at some of your snaps I was wondering when did Fiat introduced new color I am glad to know that you didn't felt any turbo lag but I would like to know how did Punto fare when it comes to overtaking also what is the average you are getting now.

Anyways congrats once again, I wish you a happy and safe motoring.

Last edited by DragonHawk : 17th December 2014 at 15:55.
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