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Old 9th November 2015, 09:19   #166
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto - Test Drive & Review

Tharian and myself approached Ebony Automobiles Pvt Ltd on Saturday, post lunch. Ebony isn't listed as a Abarth dealer though. We were excited to see the Abarth Punto (unregistered) standing outside. It was the test drive car. On closer inspection, we noticed the left rear tire was low on pressure. It also appeared as if the car had been running with low pressure for quite some time. On asking the two lady SA's at Ebony for a test drive, we were told the car had a flat and was running low on fuel. It would take an hour to address both issues. We were willing to wait but I had a feeling nothing was going to happen. They asked for an hour to fill fuel and to fix tire when they had a Shell gas station next to them and what appeared to be only one customer in the process of taking delivery of a Linea. This customer was inspecting his Linea in the dark confines of the basement parking.

What to do? One of the lady SA's offered to bring the car home, however, we did not want this as Bellary Road was a much better place to experience the car. We decided to check with them on Sunday. Called them up and the car is at the service centre and won't be available for a test drive.

I felt it quite pointless to go to the Domlur dealer, which is Fiat Abarth, as there is not scope to floor the car and you will be darting with a ton of traffic. Besides; the stretch of road is about a km before which you will have to throw in the anchors.

It was also sad to see the car parked on the road. It was coming in the way of traffic and could have taken a hit. Goes to show the apathy of the dealer towards a car as special as an Abarth. They don't even know what they are selling. Oh it is just another sticker job Punto.

On the brighter side, the long wait resulted in us spotting a orange Lamborghini Huracan (I think) heading towards the city. A super car in bumper to bumper traffic. All this horse power and no room to gallop! No wonder these things go up in flames.

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Old 9th November 2015, 12:58   #167
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto - Test Drive & Review

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Originally Posted by Annibaddh View Post
Great review mate.You know where this is going right... Sigh!
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandeepmohan View Post
Tharian and myself approached Ebony Automobiles Pvt Ltd on Saturday, post lunch.
My experience was quite different. I plan to visit my hometown Nagpur for Diwali and wanted to take another test drive, so registered for a TD online.
Got a call in an hour and the SA confirmed my date (6th Nov). He later called on 5th and confirmed if I would be coming. I couldn't, as I had to postpone the visit to Nagpur to 11th, so he said he will confirm on 11th, if the showroom's open then 11th works else on 15th Nov. Quite courteous and pro active.

PS: The Pune guys were also good.
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Old 9th November 2015, 13:21   #168
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Default Fiat Abarth Punto - Test Drive, Review, Dealer Experience

Team - Thanks for the detailed review. I am sharing my perspective.

Took a test drive of the Abarth Punto last Sunday, please read through my observations.

Driveability

Now this is a serious bit of kit, the car has quite a bit of grunt available on tap, i felt the bottom end a bit low, but did not feel its great concern, as i did experience the car in city traffic and also on the highway, not a show stopper at all.

From a performance hatchback standards, FIAT has created a benchmark of sorts from an Indian market perspective, gentle tap is all that is required for getting of, any more you will see the car loose traction and you get the feeling of holding on to the steering feel. (I actually did not think too much on the advertising, but it feel close enough for me)

Handling

What a sorted suspension, after getting used to i20 on a daily basis, this is so much better, though given the power the car has got, the car needs better rubber, feels horribly under patched, it very easy to lose traction with mildly enthusiastic tap on the throttle.

On the Inside

The seats hold you well and overall felt the driving position was comfortable.

Gear shifts, well did not feel sure slotting, but again - the motor makes you forgive the minor quirk, again not a show stopper.

Dealer experience

My test experience was managed well, Special mention to Sales advisor - Saleem (Contact reference SA - Saleem - Aadhya Motors - Next to Shell Petrol pump (Hebbal/Mekiri circle vicinity - Bangalore). From my initial call to confirmation of test drive 45 mins. Great show.


Requested if i could experience the car in real life scenarios, like City (Broad and narrow lanes), Highway and pot holed sections. My request was gladly obliged, the car shines in the open road, i would say a great car for distances. The sales advisor was very patient with all my questions.


In Summary - Please read through below.

Likes

1. Solid Motor and Drivability
2. Suspension Set-up
3. Seats (hold you firm) - rear space - thats another story. I am 6.1
4. Overall build feels secure and firm.
5. Stopping power

Not so nice

1. Tyres probably need to be up sized, as the Apollo gives up early.
2. Gear shifting - this would have made the experience even sweeter, not a deal breaker - but given FIAT has premium priced it, i guess it should have been sorted.


Please let me know if you have specific questions.

Thanks for your time.
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Old 9th November 2015, 15:36   #169
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto - Test Drive & Review

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Originally Posted by driveanddrive View Post
My experience was quite different.

PS: The Pune guys were also good.
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Originally Posted by blurust View Post
Dear Annibaddh

Don't let this sour experience bog you down.
Good to hear that some experiences have been good. And anyway, will definitely TD the car. It deserves a minimum of that! Spent some time in Italy recently driving around the country. FIATs and Romeos are a love affair, much like the country itself. Wish this little thing is seen more often on the road standing its own.
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Old 10th November 2015, 10:07   #170
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto - Test Drive & Review

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Originally Posted by J.Ravi View Post
Fiat India is capable of doing such faux pas!
Fiat India has corrected their website now, which shows the same ex-showroom price in all the places.

Fiat Abarth Punto - Test Drive & Review-abarthpunto1.jpg

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Old 10th November 2015, 10:13   #171
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto - Test Drive & Review

I can agree with some of the posts on dealer apathy here.
The normal punto evo was displayed at seasons mall here in pune over the weekend. If I was fiat, I will fire the dealer who displayed the car. First it was all tacky with 'New Punto Evo' written with white all over the red car.
Second the interiors were un believably soiled and dirty. I could not imagine how some one can get such a bad example of a piece for displaying.
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Old 10th November 2015, 11:27   #172
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto - Test Drive & Review

Just got news from my dealer. He says the metal pedals are costing 25k! And I just can't believe it. It's ridiculously expensive for what it is. I was expecting them to be max' about 10k. I don't even know if 25k is a fair deal. Apart from that no news of the exhaust kit or other accessories as yet.
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Old 10th November 2015, 11:38   #173
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto - Test Drive & Review

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Originally Posted by firstguri View Post
Just got news from my dealer. He says the metal pedals are costing 25k! And I just can't believe it. It's ridiculously expensive for what it is. I was expecting them to be max' about 10k. I don't even know if 25k is a fair deal. Apart from that no news of the exhaust kit or other accessories as yet.
Rs. 25,000 is ridiculous. It is available for GBP 90 here. Even with shipping & customs, would surely cost less than that.
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Old 10th November 2015, 11:47   #174
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto - Test Drive & Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by firstguri View Post
Just got news from my dealer. He says the metal pedals are costing 25k! And I just can't believe it. It's ridiculously expensive for what it is. I was expecting them to be max' about 10k. I don't even know if 25k is a fair deal. Apart from that no news of the exhaust kit or other accessories as yet.
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Originally Posted by PatchyBoy View Post
Rs. 25,000 is ridiculous. It is available for GBP 90 here. Even with shipping & customs, would surely cost less than that.
25k for a set of aluminium pedals without the dead pedal is daylight robbery! If these pedals cost 25k, I won't be surprised if the charge 50k for the rumored exhaust.
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Old 10th November 2015, 14:27   #175
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto - Test Drive & Review

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Originally Posted by firstguri View Post
Just got news from my dealer. He says the metal pedals are costing 25k!
If you don't care about the Abarth logo on the pedal (your foot's going to be on it anyway), a set of aluminium pedals that includes the dead pedal, can be bought from a Fiat dealer for 9k. It's still pricey for what it is. This is a genuine Fiat accessory. This was back in December 2011, when I was taking delivery of my T Jet+.

Last edited by sandeepmohan : 10th November 2015 at 14:30.
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Old 11th November 2015, 08:07   #176
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto - Test Drive & Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by firstguri View Post
Just got news from my dealer. He says the metal pedals are costing 25k! And I just can't believe it. It's ridiculously expensive for what it is. I was expecting them to be max' about 10k. I don't even know if 25k is a fair deal. Apart from that no news of the exhaust kit or other accessories as yet.
25K for the pedals, that sounds crazy. Looks to me like they are not sure about the pricing, I don't think FIAT will price it such high. Maybe 25k for pedals + exhaust kit

But the most disappointing fact is this should be included by default for a machine of price tag 9.95 lakhs ex-showroom. I still feel Abarth Punto is priced on the higher side comparing to the price of Linea T-jet. Well that will not stop me from buying one though
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Old 12th November 2015, 15:23   #177
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto - Test Drive & Review

Just some teaser pics. Will come up with more details in a seperate thread over the weekend!

The venue was Kari Motor Speedway, Coimbatore
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L-R Mr. Anvar (MD, CAI Industries) with V.R.Naren_Kumar, most successful Indian in the rally arena!
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We were blessed to witness the 'vintage' Naren in action.

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Fiat Abarth Punto - Test Drive & Review-img20151109wa0023.jpg

Oh yeah! The rear tyres can infact smoke on a FWD

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The Alnac 4g's after over 40 laps!

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Rear Right:
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Last edited by h14 : 12th November 2015 at 15:28.
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Old 12th November 2015, 15:57   #178
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto - Test Drive & Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by h14 View Post

Just some teaser pics. Will come up with more details in a seperate thread over the weekend!
Woah h14 that teaser sure does look drool worthy buddy. Can't wait for the weekend report now!!

I am sure you must have had all the fun behind the wheels of the fastest mainstream hatch ever in India today. Please do add various performance stats/numbers while compiling your report.

That group photo is really FI(AT)NOMINAL !!

No matter how good a driver is, a track ready car can only do justice on a track tarmac

Last edited by Vik0728 : 12th November 2015 at 15:59.
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Old 12th November 2015, 18:18   #179
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto - Test Drive & Review

There is a theory related to pricing of Fiat Performance Cars (FPC). The cars are meant for potential customer who are out with a budget of approx. 20 lakhs. If one has a budget of 20 lakhs means they are not expecting a FE of anything more than 7 to 12 kmpl.
Now will a potential buyer with 20 lakhs ever buy a Fiat? No.

So what happens next? People with a sub 10 lakhs budget drives a FPC. Apple-oranges comparison is done with commuter car such as HC, Verna etc. since they fall into same price bracket. The 10 lakh budget buyer falls prey to the build quality and bells-whistles of Fiat and end up buying one of them. But remember a sub-10 lakhs buyer is seriously concerned with FE, which is a major point of discontent among those buyers in a few month period. They express this frustration disguised as poor after sales, poor resale etc. This is a real case I have seen with two T-Jet owners I know personally.

So, if you have to stretch your budget for a FPC, I would advice not to do so. FPC is NOT a regular commuter. Have this car only if you think you can maintain a sub 20 lakhs car. No the spares are not expensive and neither is the service, but its the mentality which will matter.
I have a Reva E2O at home and I literally squeeze max mileage from every bit of electron it eats from my AH plug. But with T-Jet, I hardly check the MID.
Whenever I meet fellow Fiat'an, FE is not at all a topic of discussion except if it is a cause of serious issue. FE is an yawning topic which every Fiat'an wants to end as soon as possible.
Fiat Performance Car is targeted for a segment higher customer with pricing of a segment lower cars.
And yeah, Polo TSI is not a competition to this vehicle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KarthikK View Post
I wouldn't call it an explosive missile or any such adjective, it doesn't feel all that explosive compared to the old Linea T-Jet. .
These are the kindest words for every T-Jet owner . These are truly divine words.

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Btw something really funny happened on my way back home, as i started to roll in my Alto K10, the acceleration seemed so slow and the engine sounded so strained that my instincts started to tell me that may be the dashboard warning for the hand brake is not working and i actually checked if i had released the hand brake fully!
Yeah it happens. My Jeans suddenly became tighter after seeing 50% discount on Diesel Jeans.

Last edited by Speed Pujari : 12th November 2015 at 18:48.
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Old 12th November 2015, 20:46   #180
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto - Test Drive & Review

Wow. That looks like quite a ride. Waiting to hear the story. BTW how did you organize such an event !
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