Go Back   Team-BHP > BHP India > Team-BHP Reviews > Test-Drives & Initial Ownership Reports


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 14th November 2010, 11:24   #1
BHPian
 
sbkumar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 350
Thanked: 90 Times
Default The Story of how Punto bought me - GP Emotion 1.3 BNW

How Grande Punto bought me!

My search for the perfect car (?) started early this year. Be warned it's going to be a looooong read.

After extensive reading of T-BHP at work, every one in my team and near by teams came to know that I spend most of the time on T-BHP while pretending to work. Finally it came to such a state that I had to stop pretend doing work and simply continue reading T-BHP when someone came around!

I subscribed to all test drive reports, short term and long term ownership reports of all cars priced even remotely close to my budget.

My requirements

1. Fuel Efficiency: As of now I live close to my workplace and hence I really donít have a high daily usage. But what I really love to do is go for long trips as often as possible, and I have been doing it quite often these days. So I want a car that would give a decent return for my fuel bills. As for most Indians, this is one of the important requirements for me. I poured through all the spreadsheets with complex calculations done by fellow bhpians. Their ability to make people like me understand complex calculations on ROI is wonderful indeed and big thanks to all the guys there (sorry couldnít recollect the threads where I got them). As of now I use my friendís Fiesta 1.6 and sometimes we end up paying double for the petrol as the other car which accompanies us and in some cases the fuel expense tops all other expenses! So you can understand why I have put it at the top.

2. Highway Usability: In continuation of the above point, I want a car that I can take on highways with a relative sense of safety and comfort. I know that none of the cars give you 100% proof in case of an accident. It is really a question of what best I can afford. I want a car that feels stable at high speeds and donít give me a feeling that I am trapped in an out of control tin box on roads.

3. Ease of drive: I want a car with some decent amount of power. Now, I am that kind of a guy who will never go beyond 120 unless someone tampered with my speedo to make me believe I am doing 75 when I am doing 120. But I do want a car that will give me decent power when I need it even for short durations like passing some irritating driver ahead. It gives me some sort of confidence that it will respond when needed.

4. Space: I know I have to compromise heavily on this if I chose a hatch though I wanted some decent experience for the persons sitting in the backset and not giving them the impression that deep down I really hate them to have pushed them to the rear set.

5. Ride Comfort: Coming with a considerable Ford background (my first car is ford ikon) the only thing I feel they lack a little bit is that bit of polished ride. This is purely my personal opinion so donít jump on me if you donít agree.

With all these and umpteen other trivial requirements that I forgot over a period of time, I test drove all the cars in my budget, multiple times, sometimes back to back, sometimes with some days in between, sometimes in heavy traffic, sometimes in relatively traffic free conditions. The cars that I didnít take for a test drive were Swift, Ritz, Manza and Vista. I am not sure if others have gone through it, I came close to buying most of the cars I drove at some point or other in this whole period. Each car stayed at the top of my list for a period of time before I pushed it down for one reason or another.

Here is what my impressions were

I20 1.2 Ė When I first drove it, I probably was prejudiced by some of the reports on TBHP and found it little lacking in power. Since Fiesta 1.6 was the one I used regularly itís quite natural that it didnít feel powerful enough. The interiors gave a good feel though with adequate space. I liked the feather-light power steering very much until I had to take a steep curve at a good speed and found myself in doubt about the direction in which I am going! I think it is just a matter of time to understand that behavior and getting adapted to it. It has loads of features, no question on that. Overall a beautiful car with good features and gives a premium feel in that segment. No wonder its selling the numbers itís doing now. Probably the best city hatch in all respects. Finally gave up on it as I wanted a diesel.

Beat: Cool car. Easy to drive, but felt quite small for whatever reason (actually small). Responded quite well though and easily touched 100 in no time. I wasnít timing it but it felt quite responsive. Looked quite cool and had good features. The only thing was it felt like a small car and the backseat and boot space was not upto my satisfaction. They plainly said it would take at least 3 months to get the car. It sort of turned me off. Itís a good value for money car except the space. My requirement for some rear seat comfort pushed it out of my list.

Fabia 1.2: This was the period back in May/June when Skoda announced deep discounts. I had never had Fabia in mind but since the announcement, thought of giving it a try. Absolutely top notch in the segment in terms of space, features and comfort for both the driver and passengers. The only think that lacked was the power and with 4 people on board I floored the throttle and still it didnít move beyond 80 in the test stretch. It was the same stretch where I had taken Beat for a spin and kind of disappointed with that. Still it offered quite a lot as a compromise and it was firmly in contention. Then I read the experience of BHPians with Skoda. I know there are a lot of T-BHPians who own skoda and are satisified, but I didn't want to take a chance as I am the kind who give up pretty easily instead of fighting a prolonged battle like Harish is doing.

Ford Figo 1.4: Here comes the car I was waiting for more than any thing else. It offered a lot of features with very good rear and boot space and a proven TDCI engine. Took a test drive of both the petrol and diesel versions. I know fuel efficiency is not a strong point for Ford and so I wasnít having high hopes on 1.2 anyway in this aspect. 1.4 TDCI was the one I was looking for. Felt really good with the experience. It had everything I was looking for, well almost everything. Besides I am a ford fan anyway and I liked both my Ikon and my Friendís Fiesta for the driving experience they gave. But, with so many options around customers are really spoilt for choice. Itís not every day/week/month/year that I can buy a new car. So I thought of testing all of them available and then making a decision. Again being an existing Ford customer I know what to expect from them in terms of service, which is not too much really.

GP 1.4
I have driven my friendís Linea 1.4 and though it didnít feel responsive enough (again the 1.6 effect), it surprised me with the ride comfort thoroughly. So took this for a test drive on a Saturday evening on the hosur road/dairy circle where I couldnít even move to 4th gear for the whole trip. Realized an important lesson on choosing the time and place for a test drive. Over all it was not a pleasant experience. After seeing Figo, though GP looked really well built, it lost out on rear seat space and with FE figures reported on TBHP which was not quite confidence inspiring. Out of my list due to the FE requirements.

Polo 1.2

I was thoroughly impressed by the fit and finish. It was almost the same as Fabia only with a slightly contemporary design and less space. Every piece inside was engineered to perfection. I personally think it is slightly overpriced for what it gives and diesel is way out of my budget. It looked beautiful from the outside as well as in. Something like i20 only with a little more solid and sturdy build. Probably my budget pushed it out of my list more than anything else. If I had bought a petrol it probably would have been an i20 or Polo.


GP 1.2

Fiat introduced 1.2 FIRE and I was quite interested in that as soon I came to know about it. So took couple of test drives with KHT Whitefield. They had one nice SE named Viraj (not working there anymore) who was quite patient with me arranging for multiple test drives. He was only one who offered to bring the car to my home without me asking for it (among all the cars/dealers I test drove). It never felt underpowered until I started to push it really hard. Quite a nimble car for lower speed city drive, but when I got a clean stretch while doing the test drive and tried to push it hard it felt the same as Fabia. Not able to really push with full load on. Again I was looking for some kind of safety features and even emotion 1.2 did not have ABS. So I dropped it out of my list. Another thing that went against this was the FE figures reported by fellow BHPians. With numbers hovering around 9/10/11 it was not encouraging at all.


GP 1.3
After reading numerous positive reviews here, thought of giving it a try. Did my first TD with Prerana, ORR. Couldnít decide much as ORR was again fully crowded on the day. Then again Viraj offered to bring the car home and we took it for a short test drive in my locality. With heavy start stop traffic and my first drive on diesel, it was a forgettable experience. Since I did this immediately after Figo 1.4, it pushed the scales heavily in favor of Figo. I took it out of my list almost. Then after a month and multiple reviews about the build quality and safety features I wanted to give another try. Meanwhile I didnít like the front radiator placing in Figo. Met with a small accident on Fiesta and had to spend 30k for hitting a dog. So it was playing at the back of my mind. So again he brought car home on a Sunday and took it for a really long drive upto E-city and back. This was the only test drive where I was able to test the behavior of the car under all circumstances. It was perfect and this time I made up mind for 1.3, well almost.

With my budget Figo gave everything I can ask for. Still my heart won over my mind. I remember GTO's review which said exactly the same - Punto is something you buy with your heart rather than head.

Now comes the funny part. It has become October by this time and I was desperate to book my ride soon. One fine day, went straight to KHT as they had offered me the best TD experience among all the guys and wanted to buy it from them as a token of appreciation. But their response was not very encouraging to say the least. The SE present wasnít even ready to discuss any kind of discounts/accessories and was giving me the impression that they had much more important things to do than dealing with me. They had a BS3 punto with them offered some decent discounts for that. But when I tried to get a response from them again with further queries they really didnít seem like interested in selling the car. There was absolute chaos at their dealerships when I went there and felt like I am not going anywhere. I was wondering if someone cursed us to go invisible to the eyes of people at KHT! In frustration, visited Prerana and got the invoice and other required details for loan processing. I didnít have to wait as long as I did in KHT but it was not very professional too. Not very satisfied, called up Concorde to get the quotation. They didnít even return my calls until two weeks and by the time I had finished my business with Prerana. Whatís more irritating is that I keep getting calls from Concorde these days regularly about my past request for details on Punto and that too from a different Sales exec every time. Then on one fine Sunday went to Prerana to do the booking and the SE I was working with was busy with some issues on a delivery that day. He knew that I am there for booking, but he couldnít find time to talk to me. I understand it was important for him to talk to the other customer when they have some problems in delivery but no one at the dealership bothered to even to talk to us. It seems like we are waiting for a favor from them. So we came back without booking the car. Now, I can understand (not agree with) that they ignore customers once you had done the booking. But ignoring someone who has come to do the booking was quite baffling to me. I even told them that I was trying hard to buy a car and they were trying hard not to sell one to me!

In frustration went straight to Hyundai (Trident, Indiranagar) and did a test drive of i20 CRDI. I must say that the way they handle you was quite professional. It was so different from the others I visited. Straight away arranged for a TD of CRDI. Interiors were the same as 1.2 but it had enormous power. Never felt any sort of lag and was mighty impressed. Now gave a thought about the budget and the price for even the Era variant which is the bare bones version is high (7 L OTR Bangalore). I felt bad that I could not get one from these guys. And so started thinking about GP again and finally the SE at Prerana called and said he would come home to do the booking. Finally someone from Fiat was interested in selling the car.

One more thing happened in the mean time - lost a close friend to an accident and this made me think hard about a car with better safety features. If I were in any other state, I would have opted for E-Pack, but it was a little too expensive for me in BLR.

So on Oct 12, made the booking after ten months of extensive reading! Rs 6.95 OTR with all discounts. Applied for a loan with Corp Bank and got it ten days later. Took the delivery of Bosso Nova White Emotion 1.3 on 31st Oct. They knew about TBHP so no problems with Pre-registration inspection and PDI.

Got busy with Diwali trip and office work (yes i do have to work) and hence posting it now. Finally a big thanks to all T-BHPians ( some of the names I can remember are joethomas,gemithomas,brix,revy for their ownership reports on Figo, polomon, admicra, .anshuman, sidindica,shantyrocks, Hrishiz,furioussphinx and of course GTO for the test drive reports of the three cars that I was considering for a long time - Figo, Polo and Punto, and numerous others who had posted their feedback) who share their honest and sincere feedback every day and I hope I can do the same to others looking for the same.


My first impressions:

As everyone had said before the interiors are simply not quite a match for the exteriors, even in a brand new car. I only hope it ages gracefully. It deserves a better interior but then how much more would that push the price is a big question.

The gear shift is not as good as most other cars I have driven. Not a big thing for me as I knew this before I bought it. Maneuvering in start stop and crowded traffic is not its forte.

Iím still getting used to the dimensions of the car. I donít get the kind of road view I get in some other cars I have driven (Fiesta/Ikon/I20/Esteem). Hope will get used to this soon.

Now the good things, really I knew them all in advance and that's why I bought it.

I can't really stop staring at her if she is anywhere in my line of sight.

The steering feels so good and gives real confidence especially at higher speeds.

Average mileage shows around 11 kmpl which is quite good for the conditions I had driven so far - very short distances + busy roads.

Comfortable ride under most circumstances, able to mask the roads quite well.

It's only 300KM so far and I already feel comfortable with it. As people have written already, both the car and I are just getting used to each other. With every day I think my comfort factor with her is increasing and probably will reach a day when I will forget what I felt when we were new to each other.

Keeping my revs to around 2K rpm max. Sometimes I just feel like pushing her all the way to pull ahead of the traffic at the lights but so far able to resist the temptation.

Mods planned:

ICE Ė the speakers are pathetic to say the least, planning for a future upgrade. Donít want to disturb the HU set up.

Alloys/Tyre upgrade: Since I exhausted my budget to get the emotion variant not planning on one now.

Seat Covers: Got G-Sport covers done by Torque, Indirangar. Interesting experience, will write about it in another post.
sbkumar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th November 2010, 11:45   #2
BHPian
 
sbkumar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 350
Thanked: 90 Times
Default

Posting some pics - I'm not really good at them.. (probably that is obvious after seeing the pics)

The Story of how Punto bought me - GP Emotion 1.3 BNW-punto1-003.jpg

The Story of how Punto bought me - GP Emotion 1.3 BNW-punto1-006.jpg

The Story of how Punto bought me - GP Emotion 1.3 BNW-punto1-005.jpg

The Story of how Punto bought me - GP Emotion 1.3 BNW-punto1-004.jpg

The Story of how Punto bought me - GP Emotion 1.3 BNW-punto1-001.jpg
sbkumar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th November 2010, 12:02   #3
BANNED
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Greater Bangalore
Posts: 421
Thanked: 31 Times
Default

Congrats Kumar!. Nice to see yet another Punto thread.

During the run-in period drive the Punto in low rpms. Also please change the engine oil after around 1000kms.
EARTHed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th November 2010, 12:37   #4
BHPian
 
sbkumar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 350
Thanked: 90 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by EARTHed View Post
Congrats Kumar!. Nice to see yet another Punto thread.

During the run-in period drive the Punto in low rpms. Also please change the engine oil after around 1000kms.
Thanks EARTHed for your wishes and advice. Sure, will keep it under the limit. Being used to free revving petrols, It is a different experience to drive patiently. Yes, I do intend to change oil at 1K mark.
sbkumar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th November 2010, 12:54   #5
BHPian
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Pune
Posts: 628
Thanked: 132 Times
Default

Congrats on your new acquisition kumar. She definitely looks great in white. hope you have many miles of safe driving
Palio_2005 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th November 2010, 13:47   #6
BHPian
 
gopikb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 422
Thanked: 117 Times
Default

sbkumar, Welcome to the Grande Punto club. It is raining Puntos in Bangalore. I get to see a lot of them whenever I go out. Drive safe and clock many happy miles with your new acquisition
gopikb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th November 2010, 20:32   #7
BHPian
 
sbkumar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 350
Thanked: 90 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Palio_2005 View Post
Congrats on your new acquisition kumar. She definitely looks great in white. hope you have many miles of safe driving
Quote:
Originally Posted by gopikb View Post
sbkumar, Welcome to the Grande Punto club. It is raining Puntos in Bangalore. I get to see a lot of them whenever I go out. Drive safe and clock many happy miles with your new acquisition
Thanks Palio_2005 and gopikb!
Off late I see a lot of BNW punto than any other color! Not sure if it's because I got one too.
sbkumar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th November 2010, 22:26   #8
Distinguished - BHPian
 
nkrishnap's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 3,490
Thanked: 4,103 Times
Default

Congrats on the Punto. The BNW is fast moving color. By the way what happened with the first picture.

Do enjoy many more happy miles with the Punto.
nkrishnap is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th November 2010, 23:36   #9
Senior - BHPian
 
Amartya's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Evanston
Posts: 1,699
Thanked: 376 Times
Default

Congratulations and the whole experience made for a good read.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sbkumar View Post
I am not sure if others have gone through it, I came close to buying most of the cars I drove at some point or other in this whole period. Each car stayed at the top of my list for a period of time before I pushed it down for one reason or another.
Absolutely, I think this happens to many people, simply because no one makes a really bad car anymore.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sbkumar View Post
In frustration went straight to Hyundai (Trident, Indiranagar) and did a test drive of i20 CRDI. I must say that the way they handle you was quite professional. It was so different from the others I visited.
Hyundai, in general, has been able to get the sales experience just right. This is one of the biggest reasons for their success in India. This is also the reason why Fiat is still languishing despite having really desirable products.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sbkumar View Post
So on Oct 12, made the booking after ten months of extensive reading!
Researching well before buying any product usually results in the right choice. While those ten months must have been stressful, I'm sure when you drive past other cars everyday, you wouldn't think "What if I'd bought that car?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by sbkumar View Post
My first impressions:
As everyone had said before the interiors are simply not quite a match for the exteriors, even in a brand new car. I only hope it ages gracefully. It deserves a better interior but then how much more would that push the price is a big question.
Correct again. A quick clarification, how's the fit (not plastic quality) of the plastic panels?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sbkumar View Post
The gear shift is not as good as most other cars I have driven. Not a big thing for me as I knew this before I bought it. Maneuvering in start stop and crowded traffic is not its forte.
The Polo and the Fabia, have (in my opinion), the best gearboxes in their segment. However, the gearshift quality improves after the car's run in.
Amartya is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th November 2010, 07:14   #10
BHPian
 
vsk2009's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Goa
Posts: 156
Thanked: 22 Times
Default

[/quote]
A quick clarification, how's the fit (not plastic quality) of the plastic panels?
[/quote]
Fit is a major issue than plastic quality. Plastic quality is acceptable.
I have observed panel gaps in my one month old Punto. But I was mentally prepared for that before buying.
vsk2009 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th November 2010, 07:17   #11
Senior - BHPian
 
prince_pervez's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Redwood shores, CA, USA
Posts: 4,205
Thanked: 30 Times
Default

Congrats @sbkumar on your new purchase. Drive safe!
prince_pervez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th November 2010, 11:40   #12
Senior - BHPian
 
neoonwheels's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Pune
Posts: 1,651
Thanked: 598 Times
Default

Congrats and welcome to FIAT family
neoonwheels is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th November 2010, 11:48   #13
BHPian
 
sbkumar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 350
Thanked: 90 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by nkrishnap View Post
Congrats on the Punto. The BNW is fast moving color. By the way what happened with the first picture.

Do enjoy many more happy miles with the Punto.
Thanks Krishna. I really don't know what happened. I guess it's because I took the snap on a bright sunny day when the car is parked in the sun and the backdrop was kind of dark due to the shade of the trees and the camera went crazy processing that image.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amartya View Post
Congratulations and the whole experience made for a good read.
Thanks Amartya.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amartya View Post
Absolutely, I think this happens to many people, simply because no one makes a really bad car anymore.
This is very true and also no one makes the perfect car either. It's really question on what the buyer is giving importance to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amartya View Post
Hyundai, in general, has been able to get the sales experience just right. This is one of the biggest reasons for their success in India. This is also the reason why Fiat is still languishing despite having really desirable products.
When I went to Hyundai showroom and saw what they did, the first thing I thought was, if the employees are motivated enough and if they have a process on how to handle it, then it is not really a big deal to get this done. Isn't it?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Amartya View Post
Correct again. A quick clarification, how's the fit (not plastic quality) of the plastic panels?
I have not seen any major issue so far. The seat belt height adjuster had a problem in movement which I noted in pre-registration check and they rectified it.

After I fitted my car seats the rubber beading on the rear left door went out of position. I noted it when the door wouldn't lock cleanly and i got the double blink. It was kind of disappointing to see that it came off so easily.
I saw the exact same thing on the TD car, so I can't really blame them for not warning me !

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amartya View Post
The Polo and the Fabia, have (in my opinion), the best gearboxes in their segment. However, the gearshift quality improves after the car's run in.
Absolutely true. It was a joy to work with those when I did the test drive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vsk2009 View Post
Fit is a major issue than plastic quality. Plastic quality is acceptable.
I have observed panel gaps in my one month old Punto. But I was mentally prepared for that before buying.
Touch wood, nothing so far or may be I am in the honeymoon period and will start noticing them once I cross this phase!


Quote:
Originally Posted by prince_pervez View Post
Congrats @sbkumar on your new purchase. Drive safe!
Thanks a lot Prince!

Quote:
Originally Posted by neoonwheels View Post
Congrats and welcome to FIAT family
Thanks a lot Neo! It is a good family to be a part of :-)

Last edited by sbkumar : 15th November 2010 at 11:52.
sbkumar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th November 2010, 13:06   #14
BHPian
 
sbkumar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 350
Thanked: 90 Times
Default

Some more pictures after the seat covers were put on..

The Story of how Punto bought me - GP Emotion 1.3 BNW-punto11-008.jpg

The Story of how Punto bought me - GP Emotion 1.3 BNW-punto11-009.jpg

The Story of how Punto bought me - GP Emotion 1.3 BNW-punto11-010.jpg

The Story of how Punto bought me - GP Emotion 1.3 BNW-punto11-011.jpg

The Story of how Punto bought me - GP Emotion 1.3 BNW-punto11-012.jpg

The Story of how Punto bought me - GP Emotion 1.3 BNW-punto11-013.jpg

The Story of how Punto bought me - GP Emotion 1.3 BNW-punto11-015.jpg

The Story of how Punto bought me - GP Emotion 1.3 BNW-punto11-017.jpg

The Story of how Punto bought me - GP Emotion 1.3 BNW-punto11-019.jpg

The Story of how Punto bought me - GP Emotion 1.3 BNW-punto11-024.jpg
sbkumar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th November 2010, 13:57   #15
BHPian
 
Newpunter's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 655
Thanked: 63 Times
Default

Nice seat covers and congrats. Your thread title is very apt. You don't buy a Punto, it buys you .
Newpunter is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Petrolhead turns dieselhead - BNW Fiat Grande Punto MJD Emotion comes home ghodlur Test-Drives & Initial Ownership Reports 135 22nd November 2017 11:39
The "White Knight" comes home - BNW Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion Sommos Long-Term Ownership Reviews 83 20th August 2016 12:23
Tu sei una stella...la mia stella - BNW Grande Punto MJD Emotion eagle_bush Test-Drives & Initial Ownership Reports 69 15th June 2013 10:09
Punto MJD Emotion Regular v/s Emotion Pack psmith Hatchbacks 15 20th October 2009 09:33


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 00:34.

Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks