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Old 26th October 2015, 16:09   #76
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto - Test Drive & Review

The black sure looks better than the white. Like many others, I also feel that just getting rid of the red around the fog lamps in itself would be a considerable improvement. In summary,

Do I like the exterior looks? - Not a lot but I can live with it. Then again, getting rid of the decals hopefully isn't a big job.

Do I like the interiors? - Again, I can live with it. That said, it is decent considering the competition.

Will I miss the gadgets? - Yes.

Will I buy one? - YES.

I am not a Fiat fanboy but my Dad drove a Punto MJD for close to 1 lakh kms before upgrading to a 2014 Linea T-Jet. Having driven my fair share of both, I cant seem to think of another car if I have to buy one.
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Old 26th October 2015, 16:09   #77
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Originally Posted by carwatcher View Post
So does that indirectly mean that Fiat wants its Mumbai customers to drive down to their Pune plant and take TD, book and take delivery of the car.
That's exactly what few of my office colleagues are doing this weekend, driving down to Pune just for the Test Drive at Jay Vijay Fiat. Alas Fiat is paying nothing for the fuel but is paying itself for the loss of customers from Mumbai.
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Old 26th October 2015, 16:09   #78
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto - Test Drive & Review

It had to happen, She Who Must be Obeyed, my brother and I are at an impasse. Our Swift is getting rather old and beaten up. It'll still last for some time but it does need to be changed. We aren't in a hurry to make a decision. Which is a good thing, a very good thing. Especially because they're hell bent on an automatic for the city. I have a destroyed left knee, so an automatic makes the most sense and I've retired my Laura TSI for fun drives, so I do have a FTD car but I'm still drooling over the Punto Abarth. I don't see us deciding any time soon!!!
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Old 26th October 2015, 17:00   #79
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Originally Posted by ghodlur View Post
That's exactly what few of my office colleagues are doing this weekend, driving down to Pune just for the Test Drive at Jay Vijay Fiat. Alas Fiat is paying nothing for the fuel but is paying itself for the loss of customers from Mumbai.
This is exactly what I was planning to do, drive down to Fiat Caffe in Pune to TD the Abarth. What a shame, but, guess we Mumbaikars deserve it, for you see so many Fiat cars (Punto/Linea) down South. Guess, Fiat is really being loyal to its customer base in India, the ones who stood with them through their bad times.

I don't know this delay is actually a good or a bad sign for me, as I know for sure that I will go in for the Abarth post the TD, specially after reading everyone's review on the forum post their TD's. And this would be by compromising on my other bigger dream of owning a Kwacker (14R).I am a biker at heart, but I wanted to own a Fiat car for long, right from the Palio days. My wife specially was surprised when I said that the 14R might have to wait a little longer as the Abarth might replace our Swift soon.

Just for fun, if I consider the cost per BHP, the Abarth Punto is more value for money than the 14R
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Old 26th October 2015, 19:10   #80
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto - Test Drive & Review

Fellow member Keynote & myself visited the Fiat Caffe in Domlur (KHT Motors). Test drive vehicle was out and after a wait of around 10 minutes, there she arrived in all her glory. Black & Red looks better in flesh than White (from the pics). But as pointed out by all, the fog lamp housing is garish & needs to be corrected right after purchase. The TD was only till the first U-turn. But got to experience the car in the first 4 gears.
Interiors feel well put together and liked the all black theme. Sport pedals with Abarth logo are standard as per the Sales person. Since I have never been inside a Punto ever (not even a TD or an acquaintances), I never felt the driving position awkward. All controls fell neatly to hand. The steering of course felt slightly closer to the chest & for my 6'0 frame the under thigh support was lacking. Otherwise the interiors seem well made. The dials are awesome though one size small and its a welcome addition to have the temperature gauge back in the car!!

The Drive:
Start the engine and the idle is very smooth and silent. Get it down the incline and slot into first and the car takes off pretty much sedately. Once clear of traffic, take it to 1900rpm and thats when it wakes up and boy does she really wake up!! The 2nd gear to 3rd gear transition is very strong and feels really punchy. The 3rd gear works almost like an auto box until it drops below 1600rpm where progress becomes slightly slow but does not bog you down. Gear shifts did not feel rubbery to us and slotted very well. Compared to my Fiesta classic gearbox, the one on the Punto was shorter throw and felt nice. The clutch travel is longer compared to say the Grand i10 and also feels heavy for a petrol hatch. But having got used to the heavy clutch of the Ford, this one felt right at home. Frontal visibility is good at the driving position that was set in the showroom. I did not change the seat height. I usually drive the Ford at the lowest seat height and the frontal visibility is the best i have ever experienced. Comparatively, the visibility in the Punto is less but not very bad either. You need a bit of a judgement and with that explosive engine, the car in front arrives very quickly and you have to be careful. The TD was with the auto AC on and 5 people on board. It never felt slow by any standards and it was as if there was no one else in the car apart from the driver and passenger in the front.

Overall, came back very impressed with the TD and if not for a year old Ford Fiesta 1.6, I would have bought this car with my eyes closed!! Hats off to FIAT for getting a car for enthusiasts to India at a Price point which is relatively accessible to most enthusiasts.

Member Keynote is due for an upgrade from his 3 year old Jazz and I am really trying hard to coax him to purchase the Abarth Punto. He is sold for now and we can expect an Abarth Punto in team-bhp pretty soon (if not the first at least one among the lot).
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Old 26th October 2015, 19:37   #81
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto - Test Drive & Review

It's heartening to note the mainly positive vibes the Abarth is generating on this thread, and all because of one small test drive. I hope more people see the moral in this story.
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Old 26th October 2015, 19:42   #82
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Originally Posted by keroo1099 View Post
It's heartening to note the mainly positive vibes the Abarth is generating on this thread, and all because of one small test drive. I hope more people see the moral in this story.
+1 to that. It is also heartening to see that the naysayers seem to have vanished. As they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating
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Old 26th October 2015, 20:10   #83
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Though it was a very short TD, it was definitely a pleasant experience to get inside her* ( Now that Abhinav has already referenced * there she arrived in all her glory). To begin with, the TD car was Hip-Hop black instead of the usual White that we have come across so far in the thread. The sales guy told us in advance that the TD would be a very short one today and he can arrange a longer TD on the weekend if interested.

Coming to the drive, the car felt really planted even at moderate speeds that we were able to achieve during the short distance. Gear throw felt longer compared to my Jazz 1.2, but did not feel rubbery. As many other members and owners of Fiat cars have pointed out, it may get better once you pile on some kms with the car. Clutch was a bit harder compared to the light clutch action in my Jazz. All round disc brakes definitely bring the much needed confidence to haul the vehicle to a stop when you notice the fast approaching rear end of the car in front!! In cabin insulation is very good and keeps out the road noise/wind noise. All black interior looks nice including the well bolstered seats in the front. Though its fabric, its very grippy and don't let you slide around in the seat during the drive. For my 5'9 frame the seat felt adequate and under thigh support felt reasonably good.

Overall, I am totally in love with the car and get it at the very next opportunity that presents itself! That said, its a very powerful car and being a responsible citizen/bhpian, I hope the people who buy the car use it sensibly on public roads and as pointed out by some one earlier, don't turn into hooligans on the road!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by abhinav.s View Post
The Drive: Start the engine and the idle is very smooth and silent. Get it down the incline and slot into first and the car takes off pretty much sedately. Once clear of traffic, take it to 1900rpm and thats when it wakes up and boy does she really wake up!! The 2nd gear to 3rd gear transition is very strong and feels really punchy. The 3rd gear works almost like an auto box until it drops below 1600rpm where progress becomes slightly slow but does not bog you down. Gear shifts did not feel rubbery to us and slotted very well. Compared to my Fiesta classic gearbox, the one on the Punto was shorter throw and felt nice. The clutch travel is longer compared to say the Grand i10 and also feels heavy for a petrol hatch. But having got used to the heavy clutch of the Ford, this one felt right at home. Frontal visibility is good at the driving position that was set in the showroom. I did not change the seat height. I usually drive the Ford at the lowest seat height and the frontal visibility is the best i have ever experienced. Comparatively, the visibility in the Punto is less but not very bad either. You need a bit of a judgement and with that explosive engine, the car in front arrives very quickly and you have to be careful. The TD was with the auto AC on and 5 people on board. It never felt slow by any standards and it was as if there was no one else in the car apart from the driver and passenger in the front.
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Old 26th October 2015, 22:03   #84
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto - Test Drive & Review

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Originally Posted by KiloAlpha View Post
My gripes:
1. Lack of variable intermittent wipers.
Linea and Punto do have intermittent wipers. But compared to others they don't have manual setting. The gap between wipes is dependent on the car's speed as in the higher the speed, shorter the gap.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghodlur View Post

A few queries:
1) Which tyres would be an ideal replacement for the Apollo Alnacs to optimize the ride quality?
2) Have the B&M being upgraded to resolve the earlier identified issues of inability to change the tracks or select tracks.
3) What is the major difference between the ventilated and sold disc brakes?
1) I have spent considerable time researching on this. Most performance tyres start from upwards of 200 width. So the choice is pretty limited unless you upgrade. In 195 section the best I could find was Continental Contimax MC5. Goodyear recently launched Assurance Tripplemax. But from what I could find about it was that it basically excels in wet baking. Otherwise its pretty decent too and should match MC5 on other parameters. MC5 pattern looks cooler though.

2) Abarth Punto doesn't have Blue& me. It's Uconnect based. From what I've heard about it, is that for changing tracks you'll have to go back to your device. But I don't have confirmed reports.

3) Ventilated discs have ribs and air passageways between two discs to disperse the heat. Solid discs have just one disc. Stopping power is the same but there is less fade in ventilated discs due to dispersion of heat.
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Old 27th October 2015, 08:39   #85
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto - Test Drive & Review

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On inquiring if the Linea will get the firmware update to enable bluetooth streaming the SA said that there were no updates as of now.
Blue N Me by Microsoft, which you get on a Linea and Punto, and FCA's UConnect are two different in car entertainment, communication systems. The firmware upgrades are independent to each system.

What I would like to know is if the connector, pin interfaces are the same so one can hot swap it. We all know where the Blue N Me box sits. Off course, you will need to pay for the new U Connect box which I am sure will be super expensive that you much rather put that money on a quality 2 din head unit.

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I am scouting for a FTD Sedan and i had zeroed in on the Linea Tjet until the Abarth Punto made the situation complex.
Not that I want to market a different brand, you must take the Vento TSI for a spin.
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Old 27th October 2015, 11:36   #86
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Not that I want to market a different brand, you must take the Vento TSI for a spin.
I am really not confident with VAG's customer handling skills and i say this because quiet a few of friends had to suffer for putting their faith on the German behemoth.

Inspite of that i would have definitely tried out the Vento TSI had they given it the 1.4 direct injection turbo unit.They are running the same engine in the vento cup cars.

A 1.2 for a sedan simply fails to entice me.

It might add in the spice for the Polo GT TSI, but putting it in a full size sedan with the additional kerb weight simply makes it an adequate ride.

On top of that we have the mechatronics issues and they are not even offering an extended warranty for the GB which they have been forced to offer across the globe.

I really dont like the way VAG treats us Indian customers' , as if we were roaming around in bullock carts and they were our guardian angels and brought in technologies which is beyond our comprehension.

For any issues related to the engine,injectors,fuel rails chances are the first thing they will tell you is that its a fuel quality issue.
One my friend's brand new GT TSI ended up with a cracked brake disc during the first few months of ownership and they ended up blaming his style of driving and denied him a replacement under warranty.

Again i am not trying demean anyone's choice or advice here, just stating my experiences and reasoning behind my shortlist of FTD sedan.

Thanks to everyone for their suggestions and advice and please keep them coming.
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Old 27th October 2015, 12:14   #87
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto - Test Drive & Review

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Thanks again Kedar sir, for accompanying me on this one .
You are most welcome. It was refreshing to see someone who does his research, and knows what he wants.
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Old 27th October 2015, 12:52   #88
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto - Test Drive & Review

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Originally Posted by ghodlur View Post
Nkrishnap, Crazy_driver.

Hats off to your guys for such a detailed review and those fantastic pics. Surprising that the official review was not from any mods but from Fiat owners.
Thank you. However - this was not an official team-bhp review. Hopefully, that is in the pipeline. Moderators can confirm.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThomasZach View Post
Do I like the exterior looks? - Not a lot but I can live with it. Then again, getting rid of the decals hopefully isn't a big job.
It should be easy. The sticker quality didn't feel too great, and looked like it was on top of the clearcoat.

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Originally Posted by Argan365 View Post
FIAT: Kudos for a job well done and take it a step further by offering the same in the Linea as well. Now that would be asking for too much eh ?

I wonder if a 6th gear would have been most optimal to handle the loads of power/torque on offer.
There are rumours that the Linea might also get the "Powered by Abarth" treatment with the 140hp tune as in the Avventura.

6th gear would have been better. That said - the Abarth Punto does not beg for a 6th gear as the 1.3 MJD does!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GKMahajan View Post
Just a curiosity - any estimates on the maintenance schedule and the costs involved in that?
It should be the same schedule as the regular TJet. 1 year or 15k kms. Average charges per service should be in the range of around 6k - 8k. TJet owners can chip in with their experiences.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnnny View Post
Any idea what would be the top speed expected from this hot hatch?
Double ton on the speedo is quite achievable, provided you have the roads. Such speeds on public roads might be a strict no.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pk_del View Post
Opened the door and suddenly felt that the doors are lighter than my GP, before I could say anything my wife echoed my thoughts and said "Iske darwaze hamari Punto se halke hai"
Felt that during the test drive of the Evo last year. However, as per the spec sheet, the car actually gained weight.
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Old 27th October 2015, 14:31   #89
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Default Re: Fiat Abarth Punto - Test Drive & Review

Visited Speed Fiat chandigarh today to check out the Abarth Punto. Unfortunately they did not have the car, not even for display and they told me it will take another 10 days for the car to come.
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Old 27th October 2015, 14:58   #90
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Visited Speed Fiat chandigarh today to check out the Abarth Punto. Unfortunately they did not have the car, not even for display and they told me it will take another 10 days for the car to come.
Both Speed Fiat in Chandigarh and Wheels Fiat in Mohali don't have the car. I've booked my car through Wheels Fiat. They don't even know when exactly they'll get the car or which dealer has been finalised by Fiat in the region and neither do they have any idea about the accessories! I've been pushing my wife to get after them and she in turn has turned the heat on the dealer. In fact Wheels Fiat initially told my wife that they'll only be able to deliver the car by December end. Then my wife told them that a couple of deliveries have already happened in Cochin. After that they said that they'll arrange the car from Delhi or somewhere by November end. So don't have high hopes from both of them for now.
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