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Old 24th August 2009, 21:40   #1
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Smile FIAT Punto E+ Diesel - 6 weeks, 4000 kms update

It was a long wait to decide on a new car. Having a 2000 model Maruti Zen vxi which serves all the needs for a city car, especially in the congested roads of Cochin – I was looking for a car that can hold strong on a long journey.
My requirements for the new car were:
  1. Safety – ABS and Airbags both of which are must-have features.
  2. A click in the heart when I drive the car which pings “I love this!”.
  3. Build Quality, Interior Space, Escape from Rattles that I am facing in my zen. Should be a strong car comfortable for a long drive, with minimum drive tiredness.
  4. Decent Looks, Mileage. Diesel was preferred since I would drive nearly 1500 km/month and I have this intuition that Petrol prices will go sky high in another 3 years. (just my personal take)
  5. Good seating position.
Search started 1.5 years back. The cars that were into contention were Swift Vdi, DZire Zdi, Linea MJD E+, Innova V Diesel.


Swift Vdi:
Liked: Loved the peppy feel, confidence that it inspires in resale since it’s a Maruti.
Disliked: Lack of safety – No Airbags. ABS takes 6 months waiting time in Cochin. Cramped rear space and stingy boot space. Did not feel like a strong car, and I felt it was undertyred. I have rank bad experience with my Maruti service, and do not trust it a lot.


Dzire Zdi:
Liked: Same as Swift
Disliked: Looks, Booking time. Again, did not feel like a strong car.


Linea MJD E+:
Liked: Safety, Build quality, Looks, Interiors
Disliked: Quality of some plastics, Huge size, Turning radius, Seating position which I was not able to get a good one after many tries, Fiat after sales/service fear factor
I may have bought it, if not for the info that Punto would come in 6 months time.

Innova V:
Liked: Almost everything.
Disliked: Most important thing – Price (almost 12.5 lacs OTR), and with recession setting in did not want to put more money into the car.
Price was the one single deterrent factor.

Punto MJD E+:
Liked: Safety features, Drive, Looks, Build Quality, Other features like Alloys/ACC/B&M
Disliked: Quality of some plastics, Turning radius, Lack of storage spaces, Fiat after sales/service fear factor

The final call was between Linea, Punto and Innova. Due to price factor, decided on Punto.

Consulted with many people including muneemmk, nikkibike, drpullockaran, sunilrj of team-bhp – Thanks a lot guys, for your help. Actually not many people recommended a Fiat – not because of the car, but because of the after sales/service issues. How I wish that Fiat/Tata does some random checks at the dealers during service to ensure service quality, and just shoot those corrupt ones off. I was just wishing if it was a Maruti Punto or Hyundai Punto – and we would have long queues at dealerships. Although my head was telling not to go for it, my heart told that its just one life and lets go with the red beauty. Final decision was Punto MJD E+.

Between the two dealers in Cochin – RF Motors and Concorde, the decision was very simple. RF Motors was just one km from my home, but from the dealer interaction as well as feedback from other team-bhpians, understood that it would be a big risk to even take the car anywhere near RF for service. Concorde was pretty far, but the service manager Mr. Perumal seemed to be pretty knowledgeable. Checked with some more people, and all had pretty good feedback about Mr. Perumal and Concorde service. My cuz (diablomk in t-bhp) had taken a tata safari ex from concorde this month, and hence got acquainted to most of the sales/service people at Concorde. Dealings were friendly and professional. Placed the booking for 1000 Rs at Concorde for a Red E+ MJD. Took the PDI for one car that week, but I was not satisfied with the car. But made the full payment, and requested the sales man to book the car in next lot after doing the PDI. Fortunately the next car arrived in next 2-3 days and did the PDI. Sales person, Mr. Gopakumar was very helpful in getting all this arranged. The car suited the purpose and delivery was slated for 19th August. Got a corporate discount of 6K, Took external insurance from Reliance for Rs 13200. Got a promise from sales lead that I will get mat, mud flap, sun film as soon as they arrive with dealership. Anyone got mudflaps and floor mats for Punto yet?

Arrived at the dealership late afternoon with my wife on 19th Aug, and there the Punto stood right in front of the dealership – all shining and clean with a bold look in her face. The delivery process was ever so smooth, the pre-delivery briefing was done by Mr. Vinod who did a very good job clarifying my questions. (He even explained the thread for fuel lid in the boot space too). The team was very warm in their approach, and after I signed the papers with feedback – they handed over the papers, key and a box of sweets. Nice experience at the dealership during delivery. Keeping the fingers crossed on the service they will provide me. Headed straightaway to Global Tyres, Bypass for giving away the stock tyres for Michelin Primacy LC 195/60 R15. Filled in Nitrogen to get the ride smoother, as suggested by Sunilrj.

Drove the car for 300 Kms during the weekend. Handling, Build Quality and steering feedback is awesome. In the terrible Cochin roads, she was just eating up the potholes and asking for more. Found the car to be very sturdy and unshaken by the quality of tarmac. The blue and me feature is awesome! I am trying to talk to the 'lady' and work on the voice commands now. Taking lessons one by one on the features. Instant mileage has now become a challenge while driving the car, and is improving my driving habits a lot. Currently I am getting 16 kmpl with most of the ride taken in city roads with AC on. I am taking the run-in very carefully and trying to ensure that I do not exceed 2000 rpm till 5K kms. I had some trouble in getting adjusted to the 1st and 2nd gears which are short, but from 3rd gear on it’s a dream. I could take the car in 3rd gear at very slow speed without any issue. I am 5’10” and for my position there is more than adequate room available in the rear.

Need to add a light/medium sun film, need to add Karlsson or some good leather for seat. Is anyone aware if Karlsson has a dealer at Cochin? What might be the best place to do seats at Cochin?


In Aug 2006, my friend Dhanush (He applied t-bhp membership twice but was rejected telling that his explanation was not good enough. For a person with immense experience with bikes and cars like him, I found that surprising! Mods, hope we are not looking at poets? ) and myself bought two Red Thunderbirds, one at Bangalore and one at Cochin. By June 2007 we had complete couple of South India trips in bike, and headed to Himalayas where we drove nearly 3000kms in 15 days in our bulls. Moded the bikes with K&Ns, free flows, larger tyres etc. Come Aug 2009, my friend Dhanush and myself have bought two Red E+ MJD Puntos, one at Bangalore and one at Cochin. Will we head to the mountains next June?
Attached Thumbnails
FIAT Punto E+ Diesel - 6 weeks, 4000 kms update-img_0001.jpg  

FIAT Punto E+ Diesel - 6 weeks, 4000 kms update-img_0008.jpg  

FIAT Punto E+ Diesel - 6 weeks, 4000 kms update-img_0020.jpg  

FIAT Punto E+ Diesel - 6 weeks, 4000 kms update-img_0023.jpg  

FIAT Punto E+ Diesel - 6 weeks, 4000 kms update-img_0026.jpg  

FIAT Punto E+ Diesel - 6 weeks, 4000 kms update-img_0053.jpg  

FIAT Punto E+ Diesel - 6 weeks, 4000 kms update-img_0057.jpg  

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Old 24th August 2009, 21:54   #2
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Let me be the first one to say congrats
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Old 24th August 2009, 21:56   #3
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Congrats!
Officialy now you are a Punter here
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Old 24th August 2009, 22:00   #4
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Heartiest congratulations on this lovely car! I still have a coupla months to go before i get her home .. in all likelihood, the beginning of next yr. Till then, I'll keep a track of all Punto threads - do keep us all updated. Enjoy the car!
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Old 24th August 2009, 23:19   #5
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Hmmmm thats a great car. Congrats and drive safe and enjoy the beauty.
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Old 25th August 2009, 00:19   #6
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Congrats! Red looks great on her. I personally think Red and White look best on the Punto. Yet to see a Black. Either on the road or on TBHP.
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Old 25th August 2009, 00:26   #7
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@KuttapanAbhi,sir congrats for your new Punto.Looks smashing in red.
However in the second pic,the steering wheel surround looks very flimsy,cheap plastic.How is the build quality?
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Old 25th August 2009, 03:47   #8
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Hey Kuttappan, Congrats on your purchase! Punto is taking TBHP by storm!
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Old 25th August 2009, 08:35   #9
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Red punto looks hot....and nice pictures

Congrats my friend
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Old 25th August 2009, 09:28   #10
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Its a Punto thunderstorm on tbhp !!! Thats a killer colour you have man...congrats and happy motoring !!
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Old 25th August 2009, 10:43   #11
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Congratz! How much did you pay for the tyre swap?
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Old 25th August 2009, 11:02   #12
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Wow, another Red Punto on board!

Congrats, Have fun!
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Old 25th August 2009, 11:21   #13
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Congratulations Buddy!!! The car looks too hot to handle . Njoy the ride.
Cheers!!!
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Old 25th August 2009, 11:26   #14
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Congrats KuttapanAbhi, it sure is raining Punto's in the forum.
The FE you are getting also seems to be very good with AC.
Keep us posted as you clock those miles. Have Fun.
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Old 25th August 2009, 13:03   #15
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@kuttapanabhi

The Punto definitely looks hot in RED! Congrats!
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