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Old 7th July 2009, 00:58   #1
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Default First love is first love, The Punto Saga.

Hello folks, I have been keeping my posts minimal regarding my Punto experience for quite a few days till I had something substantial to provide rather than opening just another ownership thread. Let the lovely romantic saga begin...

Backdrop:

Punto came to the market one fine day, not as a storm, but for us it was one refreshing product. Fiat has always known how to win the hearts be it the Padmini, Uno, Palio, Linea and now, the Punto. I never even dreamnt that I would own this beauty till one day, my dad considered buying me a new car main reason being, I impressed him by scoring good grades in my semester. I quickly shot out the options to my dad, Swift, Getz, Vista, Ritz, and Punto. We preferred a diesel over petrol as my running is a little happy-go-lucky-anytime kind of style. I was dead against Vista and Ritz for their shape and ergonomics. Getz is going to be phased out soon and already it suffers a poor resale, so I chalked it out as resale is quite important for me, keeping in mind that I intend to use the car for just an year's time. Now left were the Swift and the Punto. Swift was too common and the small issues like rattles, etc. I was hell bent over the Punto (who wouldn't be?). So keeping my restraint budget in perspective, I had to choose between the Swift VDi and Punto MJD Active. Punto won hands down. The major points were scored thanks to the Tachometer and front power windows. Next was the build quality and breath taking Italian design and styling. So Punto it is.

The Beginning:

(21st June) Dad and I rushed to the showroom that very day and booked off a Punto without even having a TD. It must be the fastest booking ever. We walked in and out in less than 10 mins. Initially I chose Electric Blue. I went out on a holiday with parents over the next 5 days and I kept calling the showroom from wherever I was and kept changing my colour options. Blue to Black and Black to Medium Grey. Finally I settled on either black or Med Grey. The day I returned, I visited the stockyard to check out the colours and confirm. I was stunned by the red, it looked great! And there was only one active variant. So I went straight back to the showroom and changed my car to Red as for the other colours, I had to wait well over a month's time while the Red could be delivered asap. I paid the entire payment and happily went back home, being promised the delivery on the 1st of July.

The Hiccups:

As they say, every love story has its ups and downs. Well, here is the downside. Bad A.S.S. being one. As promised I call up the showroom to confirm the delivery on the 1st and they postpone it to the next day because of some RTA server failure. One day is ok I guess, I am disappointed for quite sometime but heck, a few more hours, and I hang on. The very next day, I ring up the concerned person asking him about the delivery and he asks me to come down at 2.30pm. All excited, I prepare myself. Later he calls me up and tells me that he can give the car at 5pm. The delay is caused by the RTA server problem again. I crib a little and give in. 4.30pm, am at their showroom. The next 3-4hours were absolute irritating and agonizing. When I reach there, all of the sudden the all-so-friendly sales associative and manager dont come to me, talk to me, or do anything! Its as if they dont know me. They kept me and my friend waiting for about 30mins on the pretext that the car is enroute and will be there in 10mins. We wait and I ask him to show the documents meanwhile. They again walk away and ignore. After a few high authoritative requests, I get the documents. To my surprise, my name was printed wrong in all the papers, the Temporary Registration certificate, Life tax, and all other documents. I pointed the error and immediately they refuse their mistake and push the blame on the RTA. They try to cook up some Cock and Bull story and try to bullshit me. I jog through my contact list and ring up a few bhpians (Aadix, suren, raveendra) for help. After a few calls later, I put my point across, they either change my name on the RC atleast or return my money. The heated argument grows big and now I begin to have fun. Finally after many hours of verbal assaults, they agree to take the responsibilty of assuring me that my name appears right on my RC card. Oh, and there were other bloopers too like, the car was mentioned everywhere as petrol when it was a diesel and the Insurance papers had the wrong cc. As I got the written assurance, I calmed down and waited for my car, now the time is around 7pm and still no signs of the vehicle. How can I inspect my car? I slowly begin to loose my calm. Finally before I erupted, the car is there and I start the checklist checks (Thanks Tbhp). All check. Sweet. She looked gorgeous standing there. They did not wash the car and it was as dirty as it was in the yard. The only way was the stupid teflon coat they offered for free which was absolute crap! I might as well get it done outside paying something extra for the work quality. I just wanted to get done with them and start Puntoing, so I just nodded my way into everything. I finally finish the pooja, etc and drive out. The experience at Concorde Motors, Hyderabad is pathetic and I would NEVER recommend anyone to go there. July 2nd, she is here. I refuse to put on the TR stickers and rather put them on the dashboard and the rear parcel tray. I might stick them onto a board and put them.

The Fun Begins:

Lots of treats, joy rides, and showing offs later, I now can talk about the pros and cons of the car. I have driven it on the highways, off roads, city and yeah almost all kinds of terrains I would experience wherever I go basically. Today I have finished 1000kms and here is a review in my point of view.

Pros:

1. Superb styling, Italian design, better left unsaid. Or better, ask the people who oogle at the car at signals, malls, and err...everywhere!
2. Superb paint quality, takes my breath away everytime I look at her.
3. Steering wheel is very sporty with the thumb inserts. Feels good to hold.
4. The ride quality is bliss! The potholes, bumps are now history. This thing just gobbles them up for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
5. The interiors are nice and I felt the rear legroom and space generous too.
6. The boot is spacious too and am happy that the rear doors also have a provision for component speakers and tweeters.
7. The instrument cluster is pleasant and looks great. The orange backlight goes easy and looks nice.
8. The suspension is nice, dint feel any body roll. Did a few zip zaps in GVK one cellar parking and it dint even steer out. The rear passengers loved the comfort levels.
9. The ac is chilling! I never put it beyond the first level so far, never got the necessity too either. In fact, I turned it warmer during the nights. Excellent ac. even the rear passengers were freezing.
10.The dead pedal is a boon for long highway drives, good they dint take it off.

Cons:

1. The clutch is too spongy. Am sure all of you must have read/heard about that quite a lot of times by now.
2. The interior plastics and finish is about average. On the exterior, the door handles have turned whitish. How could fiat use such plastic? I have to get them painted now.
3. The windscreen wipers leave a foggy kind of impression after wiping. Happens all the time. I turn on the demister and even try rubbing on the inside but it doesnt help. The wipers are the culprits for causing this foggy effect. It is very irritating to be frank.
4. Its too hard to find 98pcd alloys.
5. I felt the engine to be a tad bit noisy when standing outside. I feel a swift sounds quieter.

Now since the pros and way more than the cons, we have a winner.

A special shoutout to Aaditya (Aadix) for all the support, advise, masti, headaches, kicking, punching, driving around, calls, meetings, dinners, lunches, breakfasts, and all the help he provided me. Thanks a tonne bro! Wouldn't have been possible without you.

There will be many more travelogues, stories, incidents, modifications, etc in this little love story. Will post a few pics in sometime. Right now the car is bone stock. Not even floor mats are placed in. Will be putting in the new ICE and interior stuff over this weekend.

Stay glued.

Last edited by furioussphinx : 7th July 2009 at 01:05.
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Old 7th July 2009, 01:05   #2
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Whoa!!!

You did not even tell us. Anyway, congrats. Am coming tomorrow to thoroughly test the car.
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Old 7th July 2009, 01:08   #3
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Thumbs up Pictures please

[quote=furioussphinx;1373398]Hello folks, I have been keeping my posts minimal regarding my Punto experience for quite a few days till I had something substantial to provide rather than opening just another ownership thread. Let the lovely romantic saga begin... [/quotes]

Dude, please post pictures of your car, we are dying to see those pictures of your ride. Anyway, Congrats and you have made the right choice, cheers!

Last edited by khan_sultan : 7th July 2009 at 09:02. Reason: fixed quotes
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Old 7th July 2009, 01:12   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by furioussphinx View Post
1) The dead pedal is a boon for long highway drives, good they dint take it off.

2) The clutch is too spongy. Am sure all of you must have read/heard about that quite a lot of times by now.

3) The windscreen wipers leave a foggy kind of impression after wiping. Happens all the time. I turn on the demister and even try rubbing on the inside but it doesnt help. The wipers are the culprits for causing this foggy effect. It is very irritating to be frank.

4) Its too hard to find 98pcd alloys.
1) Did you find that the space between dead pedal and Clutch is too less ? I have heard that the space is less and fouls the free movement of left foot.

2) It is reported that the clutch is too long. Is it so ? Does this affect city driving when a lot of shifting has to be done.

3) Mostly the OEM rubber parts are not good. Wipers are one of them. We had similar issues with Baleno. Go for Bosch wiper blades. They have a very wide range and are quite good. Replace them as its matter of safety ( from experience ).

4) Weird PCD, isn't it ? But is that the current set up is not good enough ?
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Old 7th July 2009, 01:13   #5
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Congrats Sagar..Finally u found your brand new car after spening months of pain staking effort to find a used car.Good decision.
Punto will be my next hatch too.
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Old 7th July 2009, 01:15   #6
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congrats man 1000kms already! whats the FE
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Old 7th July 2009, 01:30   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ravi@64bhp View Post
Whoa!!!

You did not even tell us. Anyway, congrats. Am coming tomorrow to thoroughly test the car.
Surprise! Surprise! I wanted it to be a shocker!

Quote:
Originally Posted by aaggoswami View Post
1) Did you find that the space between dead pedal and Clutch is too less ? I have heard that the space is less and fouls the free movement of left foot.

2) It is reported that the clutch is too long. Is it so ? Does this affect city driving when a lot of shifting has to be done.

3) Mostly the OEM rubber parts are not good. Wipers are one of them. We had similar issues with Baleno. Go for Bosch wiper blades. They have a very wide range and are quite good. Replace them as its matter of safety ( from experience ).

4) Weird PCD, isn't it ? But is that the current set up is not good enough ?
1. No, I feel it apt. No issues at all for me. I wear converse sneakers all the time and sandals at times. Never had an issue. In the city or the highway.
2. Yes, the clutch is spongy. In the sense, it takes its sweet time to retract back unlike the others which are snappy. I kind of got used to it. Mine is pedal to metal driving style. So as you get used to it, it doesn't pose as a problem as such.
3. I was infact thinking about changing to Bosch. I have a pair on my zen and can abide by them in the heaviest downpour! Just want to confirm with other Punto owners before I go take the plunge. And besides, got to see if the Punto's size is available in Bosch too.
4. The stock crappy JK tires are 160 cross section ones. Since my dad isnt in town, I could not switch to better rubber. So it will be stock for 2-3months and will change to 185/195 GIIIs or XM1s.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hillram View Post
Congrats Sagar..Finally u found your brand new car after spening months of pain staking effort to find a used car.Good decision.
Punto will be my next hatch too.
Thanks for all the help in the hunt mate. So am in the Fiat club at the end of the day!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ms001 View Post
congrats man 1000kms already! whats the FE
Today on the highway, it gave 16.1kmpl. Usually in the city, I am getting 14-15kmpl. This includes some heavy foot driving too. Am not too happy and find the meter fishy. Lets see what it says after the first service.
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Old 7th July 2009, 01:51   #8
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congrats, its on my list too how about a photo shoot?

Last edited by guyonblackybx : 7th July 2009 at 01:56.
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Old 7th July 2009, 01:58   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guyonblackybx View Post
congrats, its on my list too how about a photo shoot?
Its was done today. Here are a few shots. Will put up the rest tomorrow.
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Old 7th July 2009, 02:06   #10
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excellent pics dude

great color on a great car !

Congrats :-)
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Old 7th July 2009, 02:13   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by furioussphinx View Post
Its was done today. Here are a few shots. Will put up the rest tomorrow.
Perfect! love the work done. waiting 4 more.
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Old 7th July 2009, 02:15   #12
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Congratulations Mate!! wishing you many miles of happy motoring
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Old 7th July 2009, 03:11   #13
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wow surprising congratulations cool pics man. can we get some side profile pics and interior pics too. as its the base model. how are the interior compared to say swift.

what mods are u gonna do for lil punto alloys and ice are obvious
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Old 7th July 2009, 03:54   #14
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Congrats,
and Certainly Finest Punto Pics I've seen till now.

Keep them coming, and don't forget the Interior pics.
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Old 7th July 2009, 07:33   #15
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congrats.
Those are some breathtaking photos.
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