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Old 24th August 2009, 14:52   #1
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Default Me and my Fiat PUNTO in this beautiful world - 1.2 petrol variant!

Hey Guys

I took delivery of my medium grey Punto 1.2 petrol variant on August 8th and till date the car has run close to 1500 kms.In the mentioned period I took the car fom Chennai to Kumbakonam and back.

My dealership experience is mentioned in other thread.

PS.I love cars and I love to drive. But the below mentioned thread,please bear in mind is very basic with no technicalities thrown in.I have only tried to asess the car and the pros and cons and the way I feel it drives.
All views are mine in total and has no intentions of promoting/supporting the car in anyway.

Having read a lot about the car being underpowered with the 1.2 engine,I was a little wary on how the pick up would be and I had read somewhere even overtaking a auto might be tough!After driving the car in the city and on the highway here are my observations:
a.The car when compared to my other vehicles would seem a tad slow especially when I shift gears from first to second.The couple of seconds which it takes to rev up the engine is obvious.I would like to point out here that this comparision is because driving my ANHC in which the power translated once I change gears is instant.If I take out the ANHC or even a accent comparision then leaving out a couple of seconds lag the car once in a higher RPM is very smooth and feels very powerful.
b.There is a very visible change in the way the car handles now after driven for close to 1500 kms then it used to close to 300 kms.The pick seems to be more effortless now and the drive is more zippy.
c.The gears when changed from 2-3 is scatchy and sometimes I am unable to do so and I take the gear back to neutral and get it to go back to 2-3 again.
d.The plastics inside feel cheap to touch and feel brittle to touch.The lever I use to adjust my ORVM is broken and better quality could certainly be used.
e.The steering seems very refined and the drive impeccable.
f.The seats are not very comortable for long drives.
g.The headlight throw doesnt reach too far out and high beam would need to be on almost constantly to have better visibility.
h.I have felt there is gear play (the gear moving) when I change gears.Its not much but yes its there.

Being a Active model, It does not have music system,central locking in the car.
I plan to install a music system in the first week of september.Central locking with remote according to FIAT officials in Pune should not be put as they have had instances of the door opening up automatically and the warranty goes void.I enquired at a couple of places in chennai and Xenos said they have not yet installed remote lock in a Punto in chennai till date.Though they are confident of doing it.They put the charges at 4500/-

My trip from Chennai to Kumbakonam
-------------------------------------------------------
a.We decided to take the Punto on our visit to the Kumbakonam temple.The distance from Chennai to Kumbakonam is around 290 kms.

It was on the back of my head on how the car would perform and again on the underpowered stuff.

This trip provided almost all ingredients to make the car prove its mettle.

We started off around 7 pm and being a weekend the roads were choc-a-block till Tambaram.After stopping to have dinner.We started around 9 pm from Tambaram and surprisingly there was heavy traffic for almost 45 more mins.The car was able to weave in and out of slow moving lorries and buses moving around 60-70 kms.

Once the roads cleared up and traffic was sparse, I kept the car going at around 70-80 kms as I did not want to push it too much too soon.The drive was very smooth and the car was really good to handle.

The road ahead was not so smooth with lots of pot holes and craters,the car took it well and all this was absorbed very well.

Heavy rains,muddy roads--the car was rock steady in handling.

One more kind of important point is, when I overtook vehicles on the highway, I never felt insecure due to the power being less.Having read so much about it, the car was able to do its job in a great manner.

For around 200 kms of the journey, we were five adults in the car and the car performance was real good.It did not seem to slow down due to the additional weight.The space behind seemed adequate to sit for a couple of hours was the comment of the people sitting behind( these adults were in heights ranging from 5.3 to 5.6) though I am 5'11.

The car is currently giving around 10 kms/litre.This should improve going ahead.
On the highway I got close to 15 kms.

Drive in city
-----------------
My wife has taken over my car and I am using the Punto now from the last three weeks.I drive daily through high traffic for a total of around 30 kms.
The car is a pleasure driven in the city.Driving it in slow moving traffic has been good and I never felt any undue pressure.I mean its very comfortable driving the car in city traffic.
The turning radius of the car seems big and correct judgement is required especially when you plan to take a U-turn in a tight turning.
Reversing the car is not so easy as visibility is limited due to the read window height and shape.

My conclusion
----------------------
My buying the 1.2 variant was because my wife just needs to travel like around 10 kms a day and out of those 10 around 3 kms is just going out of the building and driving to the point where a u-turn can be taken as the road in front of my building has a divider.We decided we need not spend 5.45 lakhs on the Hyundai i-20 (our first choice).We had decided to get a music system and remote lock installed.
The onroad price for the car came to 4.52 lakhs.Mud flaps and floor mats were complimentary.The floor mats were there in the car but was told the mud flaps are not available for now.
After having driven the car, I feel the car is a good VFM.Leaving out the 1.2 engine, which according to me did not seem too big an issue as I have mentioned above why,I would say test drive the car and you should love it.Yes the car seems a little slow intially but considering the kind of traffic we face in the city, people who are looking for a economical buy along with a good drive and a eye catching car should go in for the Punto 1.2!

I have attached couple of pics, shall try to take some real good pics and put them up by weekend.

I shall upload interior pics in a day or two.

Thanks to all of you for taking out time to read the thread!
Attached Thumbnails
Me and my Fiat PUNTO in this beautiful world - 1.2 petrol variant!-carfive.jpg  

Me and my Fiat PUNTO in this beautiful world - 1.2 petrol variant!-carnewfour.jpg  

Me and my Fiat PUNTO in this beautiful world - 1.2 petrol variant!-carnewone.jpg  

Me and my Fiat PUNTO in this beautiful world - 1.2 petrol variant!-carnewsix.jpg  

Me and my Fiat PUNTO in this beautiful world - 1.2 petrol variant!-carthree.jpg  

Me and my Fiat PUNTO in this beautiful world - 1.2 petrol variant!-cartwo.jpg  


Last edited by Dippy : 11th September 2009 at 14:37. Reason: Edited Font tags
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Old 24th August 2009, 15:12   #2
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Dear Rajinibm, very good and balanced review. Car in midium grey looks very beautyful.
Citi FE looks little less, is it because bumper to bumper traffic ?
I also will take test drive now soon, if liked, will go for it before Diwali.
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Old 24th August 2009, 15:21   #3
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Congrats again
car is looking good in Medium Grey color.
As i said earlier,if i have a money i'll book a Petrol 1.4 Dynamic Medium Grey atonce.
Plan to earn more and save for this beauty.
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Old 24th August 2009, 17:09   #4
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This is probably the first Punto 1.2 I've seen here! Congrats!
I've read elsewhere that the initial pick up of the 1.2 is great coz the torque peaks earlier than the 1.4. How responsive is it in traffic?
And how fast have you driven on the highway? Is it stressful above 100-120kph? Overall its a great buy at 4.5 lakhs
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Old 24th August 2009, 17:13   #5
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That's a very nice and balanced review, good to know that the 1.2 is not too underpowered for the Punto, we have a Vista with the same 1.2 heart, and we too feel it's not underpowered. Keep us posted as you clock those miles.
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Old 24th August 2009, 17:30   #6
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congrats on the car , great review.
for central locking try MINDA one the members here has installed it in his Punto and it is working without any problems.
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Old 24th August 2009, 21:11   #7
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Congrats on your acquisition. It seems 1.2 is more of bang for the buck. Drive Safe.
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Old 25th August 2009, 11:52   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shivashara View Post
Dear Rajinibm, very good and balanced review. Car in midium grey looks very beautyful.
Citi FE looks little less, is it because bumper to bumper traffic ?
I also will take test drive now soon, if liked, will go for it before Diwali.
Expect the FE to go up by the first service.Guess 13-14 would be decent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aks_karthik View Post
Congrats again
car is looking good in Medium Grey color.
As i said earlier,if i have a money i'll book a Petrol 1.4 Dynamic Medium Grey atonce.
Plan to earn more and save for this beauty.
Thanks again! Money worth spent!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cayman360 View Post
This is probably the first Punto 1.2 I've seen here! Congrats!
I've read elsewhere that the initial pick up of the 1.2 is great coz the torque peaks earlier than the 1.4. How responsive is it in traffic?
And how fast have you driven on the highway? Is it stressful above 100-120kph? Overall its a great buy at 4.5 lakhs
The drive is real good and the car responds great in bumper to bumper traffic.On the highway I touched a maximum of 80-85 kms.Didnt want to push her too much.But even at 80 the drive was smooth.Would update once i touch 100+

Quote:
Originally Posted by ms001 View Post
congrats on the car , great review.
for central locking try MINDA one the members here has installed it in his Punto and it is working without any problems.
Thanks! Would try them!Installing sun films today.Going in for 3M sides and rear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NutsNBolts View Post
Congrats on your acquisition. It seems 1.2 is more of bang for the buck. Drive Safe.
Thanks!True!Seems worth every rupee!
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Old 25th August 2009, 13:43   #9
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Congrats! It looks like you have a winner on your hands. Is the car able to pull from speeds of 20-25 in third gear or do you have to downshift to second?

PS: If I were you, I would rip out that TAFE sticker at the back asap.
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Old 26th August 2009, 10:39   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilead View Post
Congrats! It looks like you have a winner on your hands. Is the car able to pull from speeds of 20-25 in third gear or do you have to downshift to second?

PS: If I were you, I would rip out that TAFE sticker at the back asap.
Thanks!The car is able to pull up in third gear, no need to downshift to second.The only thing I have noticed is if you brake suddenly and then once you again accelerate from say second to third gear at that time the car kind of does not respond immediately,so you need to go back to second gear and use the cluth and accel in mid way to get the revs back.Happens sometimes.

Am planning to install 3M sunfilm for side and rear - SP 50 - from a authorised dealer, quoted at 3k.Is the price ok to go ahead with?
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Old 26th August 2009, 11:34   #11
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Congrats on the car. I read your (highly detailed) review with keen interest, as I have not driven the 1.2 Punto.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajinibm View Post
[SIZE=2]a.The car when compared to my other vehicles
Aha, you've been spoilt by a Honda Vtec!

Quote:
The plastics inside feel cheap to touch and feel brittle to touch.The lever I use to adjust my ORVM is broken and better quality could certainly be used.
Agreed & exactly what I highlit in my review.

Quote:
e.The steering seems very refined and the drive impeccable.
Quote:
Heavy rains,muddy roads--the car was rock steady in handling.
Punto is unmatched in steering feel, ride & handling.

Quote:
f.The seats are not very comortable for long drives.
Why not? I drove Puntos for 600+ kms and didn't encounter any issues.

Thanks for sharing a report of your 1.2, which will surely be of immense help to others considering this car. Drive safe!
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Old 26th August 2009, 11:48   #12
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Quote:
Central locking with remote according to FIAT officials in Pune should not be put as they have had instances of the door opening up automatically and the warranty goes void.I enquired at a couple of places in chennai and Xenos said they have not yet installed remote lock in a Punto in chennai till date.
Same has been communicated to me wrto my Palio- remote central locking is not being advised because the doors might open automatically. furioussphinx from Hyderabad has a Remote Central Locking system installed, you might want to check up with him. Again, the car looks very good, and wish you many happy miles with her.
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Old 26th August 2009, 12:25   #13
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Congrats on the punto. This is one of the best looking hatches around.Any idea of having alloys, it would do the looks dept. a world of good.
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Old 26th August 2009, 13:12   #14
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congrats rajinibm on your new punto, the car looks good in that colour,

i guess history repeats itself.. all so called expert automobile enthusiasts were saying that PALIO STILE 1.1 is underpowered but none of the owners said that.. it seems same thing is true for PUNTO 1.2 as well.... keep us posted on how your car drives once you cross 5K kms....its a FIAT, it only gets better with time...

also tell us how it pulls with AC on...
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Old 26th August 2009, 14:44   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Congrats on the car. I read your (highly detailed) review with keen interest, as I have not driven the 1.2 Punto.

Thanks a lot GTO!

Aha, you've been spoilt by a Honda Vtec!

Yes!Thats a different drive altogether.Thinking about it the drive is quite refined but what sets the Punto apart is there is something in the way it drives.I mean its exciting maybe because the drive and handling is not was really expected and its superceded it kind of!
Quote:
Originally Posted by anurag_p80 View Post
Same has been communicated to me wrto my Palio- remote central locking is not being advised because the doors might open automatically. furioussphinx from Hyderabad has a Remote Central Locking system installed, you might want to check up with him. Again, the car looks very good, and wish you many happy miles with her.
I shall check up on the same.Thanks for our warm wishes!

Quote:
Originally Posted by pusako View Post
Congrats on the punto. This is one of the best looking hatches around.Any idea of having alloys, it would do the looks dept. a world of good.
Absolutely true!The looks are awesome!Remembered -- once we took the car to the beach and parked it and sat like 4-5 feet away from it and the car was looking so stunning in the evening time.I was just sitting and admiring the car and my wife was like ' you seem to have gone nuts!'

Quote:
Originally Posted by sanjaymugur View Post
congrats rajinibm on your new punto, the car looks good in that colour,

Thanks sanjay!Yea the colour was not even in our mind.We looked initially at Red, then at white and then at silver and finally settled for this colour.Happy we took this colour.

i guess history repeats itself.. all so called expert automobile enthusiasts were saying that PALIO STILE 1.1 is underpowered but none of the owners said that.. it seems same thing is true for PUNTO 1.2 as well.... keep us posted on how your car drives once you cross 5K kms....its a FIAT, it only gets better with time...

also tell us how it pulls with AC on...
The car with AC on -- I drive with the AC on in '2' as it cools the car effectively.I dont see any difference in power discharge if the AC is on.During my trip to Kumbakonam,the AC was on in full blast but the car performed just good.
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