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Old 18th August 2010, 14:22   #1
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Default My 2nd Love - Fiat Punto 1.2 Emotion - Initial Review

I have been putting off creating this thread for quite a while now, due to my own laziness as well as my work schedule. So here i go. It might be a bit long to read, so please excuse. Will upload the pics later today when i go home.


Back Story
You cannot really call me a car person. Although I'm interested in cars and drool whenever i see a BMW or an Audi, I never thought I would own a car myself, atleast as long as i was in India, especially as I come from a family where my father cycled to work till around 10 years ago and only got a bike for himself once we grew up and got our own jobs. Whenever someone asked me when i was buying myself a car, i would tell them "Not as long as i lived in India". The reason being that with the traffic chaos and the driving sense ( or lack of it ) of our people, I knew it would be a pain to own a car. That said, whenever i got drenched while travelling on my bike, or there was a lot of luggage to carry, I would feel that having a car would be better.

In this situation, the best thing for me would have been to buy a cheap car like the 800 or an Alto. But my philosophy was always that if you buy something, get it because you want it and like it, not just coz it is in your budget. So I told myself, I will try to first get rich and then buy an Audi or a BMW .
Then, things changed a bit. I completed 3 years in my office and it meant i could take a company leased car , which would normally be out of my budget, and also get a few benefits out of it. So, this started to be running at the back of my mind.

Now, although i wanted to get a car, there was nothing in the affordable range that was really attracting me. Since i could only afford a hatchback, i hadn't seen any hatchback that caught my fancy. I liked the Fiat Palio when it was first launched, but that is a very old car. I hadn't been up to date with the latest cars in India for the past few years, so my knowledge was limited to the cars i saw on the road. And among the cars i had seen, the only one i found even remotely attractive was the Skoda Fabia, but it was priced a bit steep. I liked the Swift a lot too, but it was too common and I have always prided myself for not following the herd. So , I was in a limbo, both thinking about a car and not wanting to own an ugly one or getting another car that everyone else had.

And then it happened. One day, in Feb or March this year, I was going to office as usual on my bike, and my eyes fell on the most beautiful hatchback i had ever seen. If there was anyone else with me at that time, they would told me to close my mouth as my jaws were probably touching the floor. I saw that it was a Fiat and nothing else. I was sold on that first look itself, but I thought it was probably out of my budget. I knew that for my budget, the best I could hope for was a Swift. With that i checked the fiat site and found out that the car was called "Punto". I then looked for the price. I got my second surprise then. Not only was the car awesome to look at, the price was within my reach and i could also get a car which was not what everyone else would have ( being a Fiat and all ) .

That was it, I told myself i needed a car. My subconcious mind slowly started making a clear cut case to myself that a car was an absolute necessity and that it was impossible to live without a car. I showed my wife the car and she was floored too. But then, I didn't want to give myself the impression that i bought the car on looks alone. I also wanted to give the other cars a fair chance of catching my attention. So I told my wife that we will take a look at some cars and see if we want to buy a car. So, although one part of my mind had decided on the Punto, the other part still was evaluating whether we need a car and if yes, what car would it be.

With that in mind, I first did a lot of research online on sites like Carwale and Cardekho about all the cars in my range. It is while doing this research that i came across a certain site called "Team BHP" and the rest as they say, is history .

Coming up, Evaluation of the competing cars, showroom visits and final decision.

Last edited by Newpunter : 18th August 2010 at 14:25.
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Old 18th August 2010, 14:35   #2
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Let me be the 1st one to congratulate you. Punto sure is hawwt hawwt hawwt.

Do give us your impression of the drivability of the 1.2 mill (both highway and city).
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Old 18th August 2010, 14:46   #3
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Finally your thread is up and running. Bring the review on, it is definitely making an interesting read.

Congrats on the Car and Lastly do post loads of pictures of the car.
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Old 18th August 2010, 15:29   #4
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Buying Experience and Evaluation of competing cars
So having told my wife that we would be checking out a few cars, we started by visiting the Prerana Motors Showroom in Agara to check out the Fiat Punto. By this time, I had finalised my budget ( which was actually my eligibilty in the Company Lease Scheme ). So I was looking for the 1.2 Emotion variant whose ex-showroom price of 4.84 La was bang in the range of my eligibility which was 4.85 La.

Prerana Motors was filled with dust during those days, due to the Agara Flyover work. There was a 1.2 Dynamic variant for display and the test drive vehicle had just gone for a test drive when we visited it. The staff were courteous although they didn't seem too interested. My first impressions that this was one hot car were confirmed. My wife too was sold on the looks. It ticked all the boxes that we were looking for. But we were not too convinced about the dealer ( not saying that they were bad. They were quite good, but they didn't go the final mile to close the deal ). So we took the quotes from them and left.
Next day, we visited KHT Motors in Whitefield. The showroom was quite spacious and the staff were very courteous, atleast during the first visit. The sales guy ( Dilip ) was quite knowledgeable and we spent a lot of time admiring the Punto, as well as the Linea which was parked beside. My wife to was satisfied with the attitude of these guys and we had decided that if we go for the Punto, this would be our dealer.

Next, we wanted to check out the competition, so we visited Advaith Hyundai to check the I10 ( I had decided that the I20 was out of my budget ). The I10 had very good interiors and the car was decent looking and had a lot of features. But then, it was too common on the roads and the looks are just ok. I wasn't sure i wanted to see myself in this car daily. The sales person was courteous but we had to wait a little while till someone attended us. My wife, who had already decided on the Punto, asked me that we should leave atleast 3 times, before the sales person turned up. I think this was due to the popularity of Hyundai that their sales persons were too busy, but maybe they should look into increasing their staff atleast for the weekends. That said, Advaith Hyundai had the best follow up after the visit and they even brought the I20 to my office for a test drive, although I said I had already decided on the Punto.

Next, we visited Pratham Motors to check the A-Star. I had already ruled out the Swift as mentioned earlier and I had never considered the Ritz coz i thought it was the most ugly car on the roads alongwith the new Wagon R. I liked the looks of the A- Star and it was very fuel efficient. So this was one car that could compete with the Punto to take my attention. The staff were courteous, but a bit business like. The sales guy seemed to be hurrying to get rid of me as soon as possible, so that he could move onto the next visitor ( there were many of them too ). Ultimately, although i had liked the A-Star, the reasons i rejected it were that it was too small , the rear was a bit ugly and the boot space.

So now after a few days of brain storming, we had decided to get the Punto ( as if we had really thought of getting another car ) . Now for the colour. I have always been a fan of Black. Everything I bought, right from my bike, to my TV, microwave, DVD player, mobile etc. were all black. But my wife wanted to get either the Medium grey or the Tuscan Wine colour. Luckily, we found a Black Punto on the road and after a little motivational talk, I could convince my wife that we should get a Black. So we went to KHT Motors and ordered a Hip Hop Black 1.2 Emotion. Since the colour was not available with them, I was told it would take atleast 15-20 days for the car to arrive. This was ok with me coz my formalities with the leasing company would also take some time.

Next up, Delivery of the Car and initial experience.
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Old 18th August 2010, 15:59   #5
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Congratulations and best wishes on becoming a proud owner of a precious car Fiat Punto, Newpunter.
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Old 18th August 2010, 16:05   #6
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Hmmm.... yet another FIAT love story!!

I am re-winding - to end of 90s.

A new launch.

Ad shows Tendulkar driving a car in a stadium!!

One look and that's it - that is the car I am going to buy!!!

It was the Palio.

The dream came true about 5 years later. Only thing, I wanted Purple Passion. Wife said Glacier White. Guess who won ?

How do guys fall for hook, line and sinker at the look of FIAT - may be we should check ourselves for Italian blood or genes in us

Hope you are having a Hip Hop Roaring time in the Punto!
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Old 18th August 2010, 16:09   #7
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Around the 30th of May, I got a call from the Lease company saying that the car had arrived and that the dealer had told them that they couldn't register it before I had inspected it ( I had informed them that I wanted to do a thorough PDI before registration. I had been a member of TBHP for only a couple of weeks by then and I was already learning ) . So I visited their yard immediately and checked the vehicle. I couldn't do a thorough inspection as the car had just landed and was parked in the sunshine and was all dirty. But I did check the basic things like the A/c, the mileage on the odo, scratches etc and gave them the all clear.

Now, I couldn't wait to get hold of my car. I was itching to drive it around. Then came the news that made me almost cry. My wife told me that we had no auspicious days till the 7th of June . Now, I am a firm Non-believer and don't really trust in Astrology or numerology or any other similar 'ologies', but my wife is very religious. Now, I was in a big dilemma. On the one hand, i felt like my Punto was calling me ( I could even see her in my dreams back then) and on the other hand, i had my first love's sentiments to take care of . I thought that I could sweet talk her and convince her to get it soon, like I had done many times in the past.

So, I started by saying that no one outside india really looks at auspicious times when getting their car. Then, I told her that i had bought my bike without looking at the time and it hasn't let me down so far in 6 years. Then I thought i need to give her some examples on the other side too. So I told her of all the accidents on the roads and how taking delivery on an auspicious day didn't stop those. I also talked about all the marriages that failed inspite of getting married at an auspicious time. I also told her that if we leave the car in the showroom for so many days, those guys would use it for test drives and other things. I was doing good. I thought I was going to win this pretty soon. But like all men, I had underestimated the power of women and how they can kill a good argument with a little sentiment. She said, "You always convince me with your arguments. You always make your own decision win and I always agree. So Please listen to me atleast this time." That's it. I had no argument against that. I gave up and decided to postpone the delivery. That one week was one of the hardest one weeks in my life.

Finally, the day arrived. I had already called the Sales guys to arrange for delivery on the 7th of June. The guy whom i had dealt with ( Dilip ) was not feeling well, so he arranged for some one else to make the delivery. I bought a few gifts and some chocolates and we took off for KHT motors in the morning. It was raining lightly and the weather was quite pleasant. The guys at the showroom told us to wait while they brought the car. After a few anxious minutes of waiting, I finally saw the car taking the turn on the road. Till this day, even after seeing so many Puntos on the road, I have to say that, this is one amazing looking car. You never get bored of this car. You can keep admiring it all day long and still not get bored. So finally, the car had arrived at the showroom. We now did a thorough PDI of the car. Then we found that the seatbelt hook ( the place where the seatbelt is plugged into ) on the driver's seat was removed/ not fixed. I pointed this out and they started trying to fix it. About 2 hours later, they still hadn't been able to fix it. So they told us that they had to take it to the service center and get it fixed. So we had some more waiting to do at the showroom. The driver took it to the service center but it took another 2 hours or so before I finally laid my hands on my car. By then, i had completed all the documentation formalities.

I drove home with my car finally. It was a great feeling to sit in a car that i could call my own ( although technically, it isn't mine even today ) .

Then, in the afternoon, I took the car again onto ORR to check it out. Then came my first shock for buying a Fiat.
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Old 18th August 2010, 16:11   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vrprabhu View Post
How do guys fall for hook, line and sinker at the look of FIAT - may be we should check ourselves for Italian blood or genes in us
Like someone else said in another thread, FIAT cars do Emotional Atyachaar on us. Once we take a look at those cars, they keep calling us like Sauron's ring. This doesn't stop till we get our hands on it and say , "My Preccccioussss" .
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Old 18th August 2010, 16:19   #9
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Hey,

Congrats on your Punto. Not many 1.2 on the forum. Good to see those too for a change. Punto is one car you cannot get bored of.

Really looking forward to reading detailed drive and initial ownership experience report.

please explain "Then came my first shock for buying a Fiat."

Hope alls well.

All the best. Drive safe!
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Old 18th August 2010, 16:20   #10
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Newpunter, you are far too gone......

Sauron Ring - who is running rings on whom? Car on the owner or the owner on the car? And what about the 1st love? Does she figure inside the ring? Hope you took the home ministers' permission before writing this

My experience says FIAT is adept at giving shocks. These are quite OK - much better than heart attacks which some others give, in fact!!

BTW, I like your signature - does your boss know about this?

Last edited by vrprabhu : 18th August 2010 at 16:22.
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Old 18th August 2010, 16:21   #11
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Thanks Urban Nomad, Nkrishna, Ravi and vrprabhu. Sorry, I hadn't start this thread earlier, but one of the reason for the delay was that i wanted to put a few miles on my car before I started this thread.
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Old 18th August 2010, 16:26   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newpunter View Post
Then, in the afternoon, I took the car again onto ORR to check it out. Then came my first shock for buying a Fiat.
That last statement doesn't look good. Please tell us what went wrong? I hope it isn't aanything serious.
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Old 18th August 2010, 16:38   #13
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Continuing from where i left off earlier :

I took the car out in the evening on the ORR. Bear in mind that i hadn't driven a lot of cars before and my only experience of driving cars was the Maruti 800 and Swift that i had driven at driving school and an Indica that my father bought recently. So, I had my wife's cousin beside me and I had reached Bellandur junction and as usual, there was a lot of traffic on the road. Now, I stalled the car just near the point where the road was closed for the flyover work and the place was enough for only one vehicle to pass. I flicked the key to start the engine and it wouldn't budge. I tried again. Nothing happened, the key wouldn't even move into ignition position. The traffic behind me started queuing and people started honking. I was getting desperate. A traffic constable came to me and started shouting at me telling me that i should go practise when there was no traffic and not disrupt traffic like this. I got into the passenger seat and told my wife's cousin to start it. As this was happening, the constable kept shouting at us and my cousin was trying to respond to him. I told to ignore him and try starting the car. Finally, it started and we got off. I was too scared to sit in the driver's seat for the remainder of the journey. I thought I had to call the service center and get the car checked.

Then i checked T-BHP and found out that this was a feature with FIAT and that i had to turn the key back completely before trying to restart the car. Phew. After that initial hiccup, the car hasn't given me any problems whatsoever and i have been enjoying it for the past 2 and half months. I expect it to give it for my first servicing next month.

Next up... What I like and what I dont like about the car.
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Old 18th August 2010, 16:40   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vrprabhu View Post
BTW, I like your signature - does your boss know about this?
Yeah, I'm sure they know it. That's why they pretend to pay me .

Quote:
Originally Posted by scuderiamania View Post
That last statement doesn't look good. Please tell us what went wrong? I hope it isn't aanything serious.
Nothing serious. Just something i didn't know. I wanted to create a little suspense and that's why i ended my post in that manner. Sorry for that .
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Old 18th August 2010, 16:57   #15
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Well better late than never. Good to see the report. Now pics please.
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