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Old 22nd June 2009, 08:47   #16
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Rishi, though your review stands out, I still feel that you should avoid Punto and Linea. I can understand the expectations from a man who has 100 horses under hood . May be Punto makes sense for 1st time buyer or at least upgrading from lower the band. Let me tell you, you would never get sheer driving pleasure as you get in GTX anywhere under 6.5L.
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Old 22nd June 2009, 09:27   #17
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I had tested Linea in March and my observations were almost the same, which I reproduce below.

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

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

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

After reading your review, I think most of the above is true for Punto also, which is sad. FIAT should have provided better quality interiors, better packaging and ergonomics to match the beautiful exterior. I dont think the price difference due to this would have been more than 10-20,000.

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

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

FIAT's reply to Rishi was rude and not business like. They must learn to appreciate customer feedback even if it does not fit in their business plan.
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