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|26th December 2009, 18:02||#1|
Join Date: Jan 2009
Possibly the cheapest Grande Punto on TBHP? 1.4 EmoPack
Background: I was looking at a decently priced, cost effective way of commuting to my workplace in Gurgaon for the next 6-8 months. With a daily commute of about 70kms, my choice of fuel is either gas (petrol) or CNG and have no interest in looking around for a diesel.
Initial discussions revolved around a Santro but the car felt a bit underpowered. Next up on my shortlist were a couple of used cars - a 1.3 OHC, a couple of Ikon Flairs and even a used Merc C-class (2 gens old) but every single lacked the all round appeal and cost effective value that I was looking for since I'll have to part with the car next autumn without taking on a huge hit in running costs or depreciation. Eventually, with time running out, I got back to looking at hatchbacks and during a cursory search for a GP, I found a fully loaded 1.4 EmoPack up for sale with a paltry 4000kms on the clock. After a pretty long test drive, I took the car to the local Fiat service center in my area to get a thorough inspection report which surprisingly, was free of cost. The seller wanted 4.9L for the car but I eventually got it down to 4.6L, including a valid insurance certificate for the next 8 months. The car has absolutely no mechanical or structural defects and the paint's in good condition. Of course, there's always some issue with any used car, so the the niggling bits are the multitude of tiny swirls in the paint (when will people ever learn to use a good wax and polish?) and the fact that some douchebag seems to have keyed the left rear door of the car leaving a scratch that's about 1/2" thick on the door.
Here are my intial impressions:
1. Instantaneous fuel mileage - I like to extract the most amount of power in the least amount of fuel, so this helps me greatly.
2. Meaty steering wheel - Although this is a given in all the cars I've owned, I was a little surprised at how many cars that I test drove had fiddly wheels.
3. The front end looks gorgeous - My cousin in Delhi has a Maserati GranTurismo and the GP almost looks like a mini GT when parked alongside.
4. The suspension's pretty good - considering the pathetic state of the roads in our country, this is something that needs to included on every prospective buyer's list of things to check.
5. Airbags, ABS and EBD: Never bought a car without them and don't think I'm going to break that rule anytime in the future.
Ideally, I'd love to proclaim this car as perfect but sadly, there are a few negatives:
1. The seats aren't too comfortable. Maybe it's because of my taller frame but I couldn't see myself driving this all day long.
2. Gear changes aren't snick snick - Perhaps I'm too used to the slick shifting action in my other cars but I think the car could probably do with a short shifter.
3. Single reverse light - I've had more than a couple of people ask me if the reverse light on the right edge of the rear bumper had conked off.
4. The rear end looks a bit bland.
5. Acceleration in 2nd gear is a bit sluggish. The car almost jumps out in first gear and needs to kept at over 3500rpm to continue the surge ahead.
6. This is the first time I've bought a car that's not painted in either blue or white and I must admit, I still haven't warmed up to it.
7. The plastics on the dash aren't luxury league by any shot but I think I'm just nitpicking here.
Mods & accessories to be installed next week:
1. HID Xenons (4300K) - trying to source Philips ballast for cheap
2. Roof spoiler
3. After market alloys - sure the current ones look nice but they're a bit too ordinary for my tastes. I plan on getting a set of thin wired ones, something like an OZ Superleggera but slightly less understated.
4. Michelin rubber - I put the car through a few high speed corners and it seems that the current set of Goodyear GT3s aren't grippy enough.
5. Short shifter
6. Arm rest - My elbow keeps hunting for one every few minutes. Bad elbow!
7. 3M tint - I don't like people peering into other's cars.
8. Underbody rust coat
Overall, I'd rate the car a pretty good 8/10. The car should serve me well until the middle of next year. I just hope the depreciation keeps at sane levels.
I haven't had the chance to wax it yet and will upload shiny, new snaps once that's done.
Last edited by khan75 : 26th December 2009 at 18:20.
|26th December 2009, 18:11||#2|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Austin, TX
Thanked: 612 Times
wow! A Punto E+ for just 4.6L!!! You got one really good deal buddy! Sure there's nothing wrong with the car? cuz who'd want to sell a Punto so early!
Put a nice set of rims and a roof spoiler to build the meanest Punto in town!
I wonder how it feels to drive a Cayman S in USA, a RS6 in UAE and then a GP in India!
|26th December 2009, 18:42||#4|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Aug 2007
Thanked: 1,219 Times
Woww..!! You're so lucky my friend..!! Congratulations on your new acquisition.Welcome to the Grande Punto Club :-)
Seems that it's raining a lots of Punto's here in T-BHP.Meanwhile please do upload loads of pictures brother.
Happy and safe motoring,Drive her safe :-)
|26th December 2009, 23:49||#7|
Distinguished - BHPian
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Purnea (Bihar)
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|27th December 2009, 00:12||#8|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Dec 2007
Thanked: 3,326 Times
Congrats on your new babe. Like others me to curious to know the reason behind SALE
|27th December 2009, 00:30||#9|
Join Date: Nov 2008
Thanked: 13 Times
maybe its giving less mileage? god knows!!
anyways congratulations!! atleast you got it at a very good price i must say
cant wait to see the new alloys and the spoiler!, i think fiat should import kits like stickers and esse esse kinda trims and alloys and stuff. i am sure people will be happy to pay for it!!
Last edited by Caramelo : 27th December 2009 at 00:32.
|27th December 2009, 01:09||#10|
Join Date: Jan 2009
The owner supposedly bought it for his son who had come back from the US but the guy's well endowed in the lard department, so the car was a bit too snug for him. They've purchased a Corolla now.
Although I'd love to bling my Punto, you've got to remember that such add-ons command very little in resale values. I'm going to get the essential mods first (HIDs, short shifter, tint) and think about spicing it up (white racing stripes etc) later, depending on whether my client needs me after Q2 '10.
All four cars that I own are quite different and can't really be compared with each other. While the RS6 is a straight line bomber and beats supercars, the Cayman S is the perfect car for a blast in the mountains, and the 335 coupe is probably the best cruising machine ever made, yet all three would be pointless in India and the fuel bills would probably give me a panic attack as well. Of course, the GP couldn't hold a candle against these machines on their native grounds (grossly underpowered etc.) but out here in India, it is a better car than the other 3 and does the job in an impeccable manner.
Mileage over 50kms in the city (light to medium traffic): 13.3
Highest recorded on the instant kpl readout: 24.2
**Another addition to the list of negatives:
The music system is pretty ordinary, for the genres that I listen to (electro/tech/prog house and trance). Country rock sounded pretty good, as did a couple of Bollywood numbers. Overall, I'd probably rate it 6/10. A better pair of speakers is on the cards.
And one to the positives:
The bluetooth pairing system is ultra efficient and does the job quickly, unlike some of the systems in other cars.
Last edited by khan75 : 27th December 2009 at 01:23.
|27th December 2009, 15:52||#12|
Join Date: Jul 2009
Thanked: 33 Times
That's one heck of a cool bargain Khan. With Zigwheels adjudging Punto as the premium hatchback of 2009, she has got a little lore going for her. Agree with your views on ICE. Change of front speakers assisted with an amp should do the trick.
|27th December 2009, 15:57||#13|
Join Date: Feb 2009
Thanked: 10 Times
khan, superb deal and nice car as well.One of the best looking shade on GP.Also with one's personal reasons sometimes a short time owned vehicles gets the maximum depreciation and buyer gets one heck of deal.Keep updating on your ownership and do post some more pictures.
|27th December 2009, 16:11||#14|
Distinguished - BHPian
Join Date: Jul 2006
Thanked: 6,656 Times
Khan, congrats! It looks gorgeous.
However, I would advise you to retain the stock rims. Mainly because getting good quality alloys in 98 PCD is nearly impossible. Whatever is available is made in China which I would avoid.
Of course, do get some better rubber! Get the Conti CPC2s. Michelins dont have anything remotely sporty in that size and given your requirements, Conti or Yoko might be better.
|27th December 2009, 16:19||#15|
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: New Delhi
Thanked: 67 Times
This car on road is around 6 lakh and you saved cool 1.4 lakh, must say best deal you have got. Congratulation and enjoy your beauty.
What is the FE as of now ?
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