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Old 9th December 2010, 22:23   #16
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Default Dealership Experience and Initial Impressions

Dealership Experience
I bought the car from Concorde Motors in Chennai. The experience was not bad, in fact some parts of it were very good. Here are my observations :
  • During my numerous visits to the dealership, one thing I noticed was that the AC was either switched off or not working properly. This might not be very important if not for a city like Chennai where the ACs have to work overtime.
  • The SA who sold me the car, Mr. Raman, was a nice chap and knew exactly what he was selling. He was never trying to overdo it.
  • All the other SAs in the Fiat division were courteous and helpful. I think they have been trained specifically to improve the customer experience which was a sore point with respect to TATA.
  • Even the TATA SAs were pleasant to talk to and they never tried to put their products above FIAT.
  • Had a chance to compare a Vista and a Punto side-by-side and was surprised at the amount of similarities between the two. But, at the same time felt happy to note the build quality and equipment differences.
  • One not so good thing that I noted was the way in which the cars (to be delivered) were kept at the dealership. They were all dirty and some of them had broken plastics.
  • I was pleasantly surprised at the attitude of the SA. He told me to call him for any issue minor/major and he will get it rectified for me. He asked me to contact him directly before going to FIAT as it seems that FIAT was very closely monitoring the whole thing. He also mentioned that FIAT had become more serious about customer service after the recent rankings in JD power (FIAT was ranked 2nd in India).
  • The SA was prompt in handing over all the documents on time and also made sure that I got all the discounts that were applicable on the day of invoicing (got 5k more than the initial discount).
So, all in all it was a good experience, which I hope, continues all through the ownership of the car.

Initial Impressions
Remember, I had driven a Punto at the beginning of the year and had not had a nice experience. Hence, my expectations were also low. My impressions of this Italian beauty:
  • The looks of the car are something, which most people would agree to be one of the best in the Indian market.
  • The interiors need some improvement, and some parts just feel downright cheap.
  • I found the seats to be a little hard and the power window switches felt flimsy.
  • The glovebox wasn't deep enough and felt like it would come off in my hand (which it did after sometime).
  • Rubber beadings were coming off in most of the vehicles in the showroom.
  • Lack of storage space for bottles and cups.
The above points that I have mentioned, are before I had even started the car. I had used Hyundai as a benchmark for comparison as I had already have an i10. I was prepared for these things as I had already read about them in the numerous ownership threads and experiences of our fellow members. Now, comes the best part. I switched on the engine and slotted the gear and all the points above did not matter much. Some impressions of the drive:
  • NVH levels could have been better. I have compared this to a SWIFT DZIRE ZDI, which I had sat in a few times.
  • When I felt the turbolag for the first time, I felt like getting down and pushing the vehicle. Guess we take some things for granted in a petrol car. I have gotten used to it now.
  • Handling on the highway is top notch. Have done a couple of highway trips (slow and steady of course) and have noticed that I am much more relaxed while driving a Punto than an i10.
  • I was able to take some curves at decent speeds, which I could only dream of in my i10.
  • The suspension and ride quality was something which was appreciated a lot by my parents and myself. I don't even feel most of the potholes. But, be advised, I was driving an i10 before this which has stiff suspension.
  • And then the usual things which are disliked by many : Rubbery gear shift and Deep clutch. My brother liked the gear shift though.
  • I saved the best part for the last : Multi Information Display (MID). I am always a big fan of car information displays and after looking at the amount of info this MID shows, I knew that this would be one of the strong points for considering the car. It gives you all the info that you need and the button on the headlight stalk to toggle the info is a thoughtful design. One thing I missed though is the maximum speed ever reached by the vehicle. This could be shown for each trip (A & B).
  • The inside RVM is not so good. During one of the trips I could see my co-driver's head in the RVM.
  • I have scraped the front bumper a lot of times in some inclines and bad roads. I don't know whether it is me or is it faced by other Punto owners as well.
  • An armrest is really needed for this car. FIAT, please provide the linea armrest in Punto as well, or atleast sell it as an accessory.
  • The wiper blades are pathetic. I was driving in heavy rains on the highway and I could hear a scratching noise everytime the wipers (front + rear) went over the windshield. I even noticed some rubber stuck to the windshield after getting home. One of the wipers does not have a metal frame. Is this true with all Puntos? Have to get them changed soon as they keep scratching the windhield.
  • I have not checked the mileage as I am not very keen about it. But, I am sure that it must be good as I covered close to 600 kms on a full tank with almost 1/4 tank left. This included 20% city driving (heavy traffic) + 70% Highway traffic (at 90-100 kmph) + 10% hill climbing (with some bad patches).
  • The interior lights can be set to switch on when you unlock the car switch off when you remove the key from ignition.
  • The window lock switch at the driver's side will lock only the co-driver's power window.
  • Horn is pretty powerful and grabs people's attention immediately (much needed while driving in India).
  • AC is very powerful.
The list of things goes on and on as I explore more about the car. I promise to keep you guys updated. For now, have a look at some of the pictures of the car. I will take some more pics during the weekend and will post them whenever possible.

My White Fiat Grande Punto 1.3 MJD-punto_3.jpg

My White Fiat Grande Punto 1.3 MJD-punto_4.jpg

My White Fiat Grande Punto 1.3 MJD-punto_5.jpg

My White Fiat Grande Punto 1.3 MJD-punto_6.jpg

My White Fiat Grande Punto 1.3 MJD-punto_7.jpg

My White Fiat Grande Punto 1.3 MJD-punto_8.jpg

My White Fiat Grande Punto 1.3 MJD-punto_9.jpg
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Old 11th December 2010, 17:48   #17
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Default ICE Upgrade and Seat Covers

ICE Upgrade
Upgraded the stock music system to a Pioneer DEH4970 HU and a pair of Hertz Hi-energy ovals. The sound quality is good, but the front speakers (stock) do not seem to have any sound coming out of them. The rear ovals seem to overshadow the front speakers. The installation was done at Car Radio Warehouse in Chennai. I think the guy goofed up the installation. The music doesn't stop even after pulling the key out of the ignition. I went to him again to get it rectified and he told me that he is not getting any power from the wire coming from the ignition. He said that I should not have any problem with the current setup and I can get it rectified by FIAT during first service. I am not sure of this and am planning to get it checked with Evo, Bangalore. Anyhow, the sound quality has improved a lot and am happy that the new HU has USB + SD + AUX apart from the CD.

Seat Covers
Got the seat covers done from Mehra Bros in Chennai. Met Robin who was very good at suggesting the colors that would go well with the car and also the pattern. He listened to me patiently as to what was my preference and where all I needed extra Padding. The shop is diagonally opposite to Ehrlich Labs in Royapettah. The shop does not look like much with a couple of broken sofas and foam and rexin material lying around. Also, only one car can be worked on at a moment. The best thing was that he was able to get the job done in a day and stuck to the deadline as promised. The final fit and finish are awesome. The car looks very sporty in the Red & black seat covers. The comfort has also improved a lot as the original seats were pretty hard. I would definitely recommend Robin. He also has some contacts and can get you good deals in car accessories. I did not try this as I did not have time. Please have a look at the pictures to get an idea about the finishing of the seat covers.
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Old 11th December 2010, 22:36   #18
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Default Re: My White Chocolate : Fiat Grande Punto 1.3 MJD

Congratulation Praz on your new buy, Punto is looking stunning and sexy in white color.
Soon update us with the dealership experience, add-ons and on-road price.
Something is missing in your car, Yeah Team-BHP stickers. Please get them stuck soon

Happy motoring and safe driving
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Old 12th December 2010, 15:31   #19
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Default Re: My White Chocolate : Fiat Grande Punto 1.3 MJD

Quote:
Originally Posted by camchennai View Post
Congratulation Praz on your new buy, Punto is looking stunning and sexy in white color.
Soon update us with the dealership experience, add-ons and on-road price.
Something is missing in your car, Yeah Team-BHP stickers. Please get them stuck soon

Happy motoring and safe driving
Thanks a lot, camchennai. I have given the dealership experience in my earlier posts. The on-road price came to 6.54L after discounts + free insurance. The dealer gave floor mats, mudflaps, 3M sunfilm and car cover for free. I have added a music system and seat covers from my side.

Yeah, Team-BHP stickers are missing. I don't have a credit card and I need to find someone to help me buy these from the Store. I will try to get them soon.
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Old 21st December 2010, 10:49   #20
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Default Electrical wiring issue and a visit to EVO

After changing the stock HU in my car, I saw that the HU does not switch off when I switch off the engine. Took it to the installer and he checked everything and told me that he is not able to get power in the wire coming from the ignition. He suggested that I take it to FIAT and get it rectified from them. Somehow, I was not satisfied with his answer and thought of seeking second opinion. So, this weekend I took it to EVO, Bangalore and had it checked. EVO confirmed the same thing and asked me to check with FIAT guys. Also confirmed that no wires have been cut and so no issue with warranty. So, the next step would be to take the car to FIAT during my next visit to Chennai, which is the coming weekend.

While at EVO, had a chance to speak to Satya's father and got to know a lot of things about ICE. Could not speak to Satya as he was not available that day. Also, made up my mind to put in a good pair of front components and get a steering grip stitched from OVION. Don't have time till beginning of next year. Will get it done in the first week of jan as a new year gift to the car
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Old 21st December 2010, 11:01   #21
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Default Re: ICE Upgrade and Seat Covers

Quote:
Originally Posted by praz View Post
ICE Upgrade
Upgraded the stock music system to a Pioneer DEH4970 HU and a pair of Hertz Hi-energy ovals. The sound quality is good, but the front speakers (stock) do not seem to have any sound coming out of them. The rear ovals seem to overshadow the front speakers. The installation was done at Car Radio Warehouse in Chennai. I think the guy goofed up the installation. The music doesn't stop even after pulling the key out of the ignition. I went to him again to get it rectified and he told me that he is not getting any power from the wire coming from the ignition. He said that I should not have any problem with the current setup and I can get it rectified by FIAT during first service. I am not sure of this and am planning to get it checked with Evo, Bangalore. Anyhow, the sound quality has improved a lot and am happy that the new HU has USB + SD + AUX apart from the CD.

Seat Covers
Got the seat covers done from Mehra Bros in Chennai. Met Robin who was very good at suggesting the colors that would go well with the car and also the pattern. He listened to me patiently as to what was my preference and where all I needed extra Padding. The shop is diagonally opposite to Ehrlich Labs in Royapettah. The shop does not look like much with a couple of broken sofas and foam and rexin material lying around. Also, only one car can be worked on at a moment. The best thing was that he was able to get the job done in a day and stuck to the deadline as promised. The final fit and finish are awesome. The car looks very sporty in the Red & black seat covers. The comfort has also improved a lot as the original seats were pretty hard. I would definitely recommend Robin. He also has some contacts and can get you good deals in car accessories. I did not try this as I did not have time. Please have a look at the pictures to get an idea about the finishing of the seat covers.
Hi Praz, the seat covers really suit your car, what material are they and how much did you pay for the same.
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Old 21st December 2010, 11:44   #22
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Default Re: ICE Upgrade and Seat Covers

Quote:
Originally Posted by ms001 View Post
Hi Praz, the seat covers really suit your car, what material are they and how much did you pay for the same.
Thanks ms001. The material is art leather or PU. I got it done for around 6.5k from Chennai. Incidentally, the guy from whom I got it done had called me yesterday and asked for my feedback. This is the second time he has called and asked me whether I find them comfortable. He asked me to visit his shop in case I need any minor tweaks. Now, that is some good customer service . I am quite happy with him and would definitely recommend him.
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Old 21st December 2010, 20:48   #23
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Default Re: My White Fiat Grande Punto 1.3 MJD

Ah nice seat covers and congrats for the new car. Now coming to the seat covers. I am from Madras and looking for seat covers for my GP MJD. Hitherto worried over local shops placing their hands on my seats and their arrangement. Since it is a emotion it comes up height adjustment stuff. So did they remove all the seats for fittng the covers. And the cost of the seat covers?
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Old 22nd December 2010, 08:33   #24
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Default Re: My White Fiat Grande Punto 1.3 MJD

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubbertramps View Post
Ah nice seat covers and congrats for the new car. Now coming to the seat covers. I am from Madras and looking for seat covers for my GP MJD. Hitherto worried over local shops placing their hands on my seats and their arrangement. Since it is a emotion it comes up height adjustment stuff. So did they remove all the seats for fittng the covers. And the cost of the seat covers?
The seatcovers cost around 6.5k. They remove all the seats to put the seat covers on. It is quite a sight to see the car without any seats. Even I have an Emotion and I have not faced any problem with the height adjustment after putting the seat covers. They even take inputs from you regarding the padding i.e. which part of the seat you feel, needs more padding. The shop is nothing much to look at, but the job is done nicely.
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Old 27th December 2010, 12:05   #25
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Default Update : 2000+ kms done

Completed 2000 kms this weekend. I was able to touch 150 kmph on the chn-blr highway. Did not go beyond this as I did not want to strain the engine too much during run-in. But, there is still some more juice left in this baby and I think it might very well go beyond 155 kmph, although not advisable on Indian roads.

Yesterday evening, I did my usual check before taking the car to the highway (return trip to blr), and I found the engine coolant to be below the min mark. There were no leaks and I was surprised by this as the car was just around a month old. I checked thouroughly as to what could be the reason and I found the air take pipe hanging loose. I connected it back to the engine. I don't know how that could have happened. Also, does it make a lot of difference. I mean, the pipe is just to make sure that the colder air is supplied to the engine, but if it is not connected properly, will the coolant be used more than the usual amount?

Anyhow, I bought shell engine coolant and mixed some distilled water and topped up the coolant. I guess that should be fine till first service, which is not far away.
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Old 27th December 2010, 23:07   #26
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Default Re: My White Fiat Grande Punto 1.3 MJD

Congrats praz for the Punto. It looks great in those snaps. The upholstery gels well with the overall car stance. However, more interior pics would be welcome.
What is the FE you are clocking with the Fiat?
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Old 28th December 2010, 10:32   #27
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Default Re: My White Fiat Grande Punto 1.3 MJD

Quote:
Originally Posted by Utopian View Post
Congrats praz for the Punto. It looks great in those snaps. The upholstery gels well with the overall car stance. However, more interior pics would be welcome.
What is the FE you are clocking with the Fiat?
Thanks a lot Utopian. Interior pics are pending from my side. I will try to click them over the weekend. Been busy driving the car around. I have never checked the FE in any of my cars. The MID showed 18.6 kmpl after my last long drive. I think it is somewhere in the range of 16-17 kmpl, which is good for a new car. I don't think my FE will be great as I am not a sedate driver. I like to floor the pedal a lot, which I have been resisting myself from doing before the first service.
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Old 28th December 2010, 12:03   #28
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Default Re: Dealership Experience and Initial Impressions

Heartiest Congrats Praz on this beautiful prized possession. Wish you many happy miles ahead with your Italian baby

I too got mine in FTA color recently and I guess it's time my ownership thread went online.

Quote:
Originally Posted by praz View Post
  • I have scraped the front bumper a lot of times in some inclines and bad roads. I don't know whether it is me or is it faced by other Punto owners as well.
Are you sure you scraped the front bumper because it could be the engine guard and it getting scraped is quite common?

Quote:
Originally Posted by praz View Post
  • The wiper blades are pathetic. I was driving in heavy rains on the highway and I could hear a scratching noise everytime the wipers (front + rear) went over the windshield. I even noticed some rubber stuck to the windshield after getting home. One of the wipers does not have a metal frame. Is this true with all Puntos? Have to get them changed soon as they keep scratching the windhield.
I found the wiper blades a lot better and both the wipers do have metal frame. Please do get these checked and possibly replaced.

Quote:
Originally Posted by praz View Post
  • The window lock switch at the driver's side will lock only the co-driver's power window.
Well mine locks the rear power windows as well. Not sure if this could be because of the difference in variant as mine is 90 HP (doesn't sound convincing to me).
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Old 28th December 2010, 12:38   #29
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Default Re: Dealership Experience and Initial Impressions

Quote:
Originally Posted by sheetumanu View Post
Heartiest Congrats Praz on this beautiful prized possession. Wish you many happy miles ahead with your Italian baby

I too got mine in FTA color recently and I guess it's time my ownership thread went online.
Congrats on your FTA 90HP. I had a TD of the 90HP variant, liked the pickup of the car, but had to let it go due to my budget. I like the name of this color : Fox Trot Azure. Reminds of some fighter jet callsign

Quote:
Are you sure you scraped the front bumper because it could be the engine guard and it getting scraped is quite common?
Yes, I am sure its the bumper as I have seen the scratches and felt them too. I am not so sure about the scratches to the engine guard. I will have to check them later.

Quote:
I found the wiper blades a lot better and both the wipers do have metal frame. Please do get these checked and possibly replaced.
Will have to check these out during the first service. I will be surely going in for a replacement of the stupid wiper blades. I found mine to be ineffective during heavy rains , which is dangerous.

Quote:
Well mine locks the rear power windows as well. Not sure if this could be because of the difference in variant as mine is 90 HP (doesn't sound convincing to me).
That's news for me. I had asked the SA regarding this as it was not the same with my i10 (all power windows except driver's would get locked). He told me that this is how it is in the Punto. Will check this again during service.
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Old 28th December 2010, 17:47   #30
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Default Re: Dealership Experience and Initial Impressions

Quote:
Originally Posted by praz View Post
Congrats on your FTA 90HP. I had a TD of the 90HP variant, liked the pickup of the car, but had to let it go due to my budget. I like the name of this color : Fox Trot Azure. Reminds of some fighter jet callsign
Thanks bro, appreciate it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by praz View Post
That's news for me. I had asked the SA regarding this as it was not the same with my i10 (all power windows except driver's would get locked). He told me that this is how it is in the Punto. Will check this again during service.
Please do coz I am sure of this fact.
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