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Old 7th December 2010, 23:27   #1
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Default My White Fiat Grande Punto 1.3 MJD

Buying a car is a great experience, as I recently found out. I have given my story here. Sorry for such a long story. Please read it when you have some time.

Background
I had started looking for a hatchback since the beginning of 2010, as the santro was getting old and needed to be replaced. There was an i10 (1.2 sportz) already with us and hence, I wanted something which was a little more powerful and looked different too.

Cars that were considered:

Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 (Petrol)
I was a fan of the Punto's looks and after reading GTO's review I had made up my mind to strongly consider the 1.4 petrol version. Took a test drive at Concorde, Bangalore. Eventhough the car looked powerful on paper, I could not feel the power during the test drive. On top of that, the test drive vehicle was in bad shape. The SA kept reminding me that I cannot go for a long drive as he was not allowed beyond a certain no. of kms. I was very disappointed with all these and told him that I was not satisfied with the car and the sales experience. He promised to bring a different car for test drive the next day to my office, which he never did. I called him, but he never picked up. As I was not very much keen on the car, I just let it go.

Chevrolet Beat (Petrol)
I liked the futuristic styling of the car and was interested in trying it out when it was launched. Went for a test drive at Trident Chevrolet and was immediately impressed by the amount of attention it got on the roads. At one of the signals, one guy came up and asked whether there is a LPG version available. Performance was not very different from i10. I found the i10 to be a better performer. But, I liked the looks and wanted a car which was different from i10. So, made up my mind to book it. Then came the bad part, waiting period was a huge 2-3 months for the fully loaded model. Contacted some top people in Sundaram motors and was promised a car earlier than that. I was told to wait for confirmation before booking. Then, the same guy called me up and told me to look at other options as there were problems with the production and he might not be able to deliver his promise. So, out went the BEAT.

Hyundai i20 (Diesel)
Was passing through Trident Hyundai one evening and saw an i20 outside. I thought of taking a test drive of the petrol version, eventhough I had heard that it was not very powerful. Asked the SA for the details and enquired about a test drive. He asked me to wait as the test drive vehicle was out for another test drive. I saw another test drive i20 outside and asked him whether he can arrange that. He said it's a diesel. Having never driven a diesel, thought of having a try. He got the keys immediately and I took the car for a spin. I was so impressed by the power of the CRDI engine that I made up my mind that this would be the car that I buy. Having already owned 2 hyundai cars, had no doubts about their service and reliability. Enquired all the details and discounts and within a few days booked the ASTA variant. I knew that I was spending beyond my limits, but was too happy with the car to think about such things and the head could not overpower the heart. Unfortunately, I needed some money urgently and had to post-pone my purchase due to personal reasons. With a heavy heart, said goodbye to the i20, promising to come back another day...

To be continued...
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Old 8th December 2010, 22:29   #2
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Default Continued...

Maruti Suzuki Ritz (Diesel)
When I resumed my search for a new car after a few months, a lot of things had changed with respect to my preferences. I
wasn't looking for a petrol car anymore and I had started thinking about my budget seriously and fixed it at 6L. I
justified my need for a diesel car saying that I was going to drive a lot from now on (thanks to the Travelogues section of
Team-BHP!!). Was never interested in Maruti cars (no offense!!), but my budget made me think practically. Swift was a no as
it was too common on the roads and the waiting period was something that I felt was being bloated up by the manufacturer to
boost sales. Had driven my friend's Ritz VDI and was satisfied with the driving and comfort. Went and enquired about it at
CARS India in Chennai and was happy to see that it was within my budget. I had never liked the looks of the car and here I
was about to book one in white (I think it looks a tad better in this color!!). Heart was quiet and the head was making me
feel happy thinking about the money saved and the hassle free ownership experience of a maruti. Started looking at all the
Ritzs' on the road and was beginning to like the looks. It was kind of growing on me now. I couldn't book it soon as I did
not have time away from work. It had to wait...

Fiat Grande Punto 1.3 (Diesel)
They say that an idle mind is the devil's workshop and that got proved right in my case. One day, while passing through
Concorde motors in Chennai, a sudden thought struck me. I had test driven a Punto petrol sometime back, but now I was
looking for a diesel. Instead of buying a car which has a Fiat engine in a suzuki body, why not buy a car with the same
Fiat engine in a beautiful Fiat body? Immediately went for a test drive and was very much impressed with the handling and
the power of the car. Was not happy with the rubbery gear-shift and the deep clutch. The interiors were not something to
write home about either. The two things that made me seriously think about the Punto were the level of equipment offered at
that price and the suspension & handling of the car, which is simply superb. After the enquiries, found that I had to
stretch my budget a little to accomodate the Emotion variant. Some food for thought...

Ford Figo (Diesel)
I was not very much keen about Figo, eventhough it was and is still one of the best selling hatchbacks. Decided to check it
out before deciding and went and took a test drive at MPL ford, Chennai. The car was very good and I never felt it to be
different from a Petrol. I could very well see the point why it was selling in good numbers. It was comfortable to drive
and the top variant with all safety features was also in my reach. But, then came the sales experience. The SA was either
not so keen on selling the vehicle or he was not aware of the details of the vehicle. I asked him whether it has dual
tripmeters and the guy was like, what?? Told him I would give him a call and got out of there. First hand experience of how
a bad dealership can reduce sales of good product. Surprisingly, the SA at Concorde was much better than the MPL guy.
Now, came the difficult part. I had to choose one between the Ritz, Punto and Figo.

Final Decision
I was utterly confused for a few weeks and could not decide which one to buy. I was so confused that I thought of post-poning it to the next year to avoid the dilemma. But then, looking at the pace the Indian car market was growing, concluded that I will be even more confused next year. Ritz was a very practical car, but was still not sure of the looks. Figo was a breeze to drive within the city, but had doubts about its highway performance. Punto was a little less powerful than it should be, but the handling and comfort was amazing. Moreover, the performance can be enhanced in future by adding a Pete's box. And so, the decision was made. It would be a Bossa Nova White Fiat Grande Punto MJD-E.

My White Fiat Grande Punto 1.3 MJD-punto_1.jpg

My White Fiat Grande Punto 1.3 MJD-punto_2.jpg


Dealership experience, Initial impressions and of course, more pictures to follow...

Last edited by Technocrat : 10th December 2010 at 01:44. Reason: ONly 2 smilies per post allowed, please read the board rules carefully before proceeding, thanks
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Old 8th December 2010, 23:14   #3
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Default re: My White Chocolate : Fiat Grande Punto 1.3 MJD

congrats on the new acquisition . you sure will have a great driving experience with her
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Old 8th December 2010, 23:29   #4
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Default re: My White Chocolate : Fiat Grande Punto 1.3 MJD

Congrats on the new purchase. The car looks good. Drive safe.
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Old 8th December 2010, 23:44   #5
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Default re: My White Chocolate : Fiat Grande Punto 1.3 MJD

Congrats praz on the Punto. Nice to see yet another Punto thread.

Do follow all the rules for run-in period. Drive slow. Change the engine oil after 1k kms. Its worth it.

Thread title is incorrect. Correct title is "Fiat Grande Punto 1.3 - MJD"

Last edited by COUNSEL : 8th December 2010 at 23:46.
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Old 8th December 2010, 23:59   #6
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Default re: My White Chocolate : Fiat Grande Punto 1.3 MJD

Congartes for "A milky bar" white chocolate FIAT Punto
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Old 9th December 2010, 01:37   #7
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Thumbs up Congratulations!

Hearty congratulations Praz for owning Fiat GP 1.3 MJD.

I'm so happy to see that many people end up buying a Fiat even after considering almost all other cars in the same segment! I guess, Fiat is on the right path.

I second Counsel. If you resist yourself from flooring the pedal all the way down, during the initial 3-5k kms, you'll surely experience a significant change in performance and NVH levels.

Do you plan to go for a Petes tuning box?

Wish you many many happy miles with your car.
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Old 9th December 2010, 08:46   #8
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Default Re: My White Chocolate : Fiat Grande Punto 1.3 MJD

First of all, a big thanks to all you guys. It was our community that made my decision easier and possible.
Regarding the running-in, I have kept her below 2500rpm so far. On a few occasions went above that till 3000rpm, just for a few seconds, to give her a taste of what's in store for her in future. Did a couple of highway runs and it is good way to learn how to be patient .
I think Fiat should have some kind of fan club. Once a Fiatian, always a fiatian.
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Old 9th December 2010, 11:42   #9
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Default Re: My White Chocolate : Fiat Grande Punto 1.3 MJD

Welcome to the FIAT family. You gonna love that car for sure. I have it since Mar 2010 and loves every part of driving it.
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Old 9th December 2010, 12:07   #10
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Default Re: My White Chocolate : Fiat Grande Punto 1.3 MJD

You are now owning arguably the best premium hatch in india today!! Welcome to punto club. I also own a BNW Punto MJD Em. Pack and enjoying every minute of my drive. I suggest to change engine oil post 3000 kms. Wish you many happy miles and have a safe drive !!
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Old 9th December 2010, 12:28   #11
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Default Re: My White Chocolate : Fiat Grande Punto 1.3 MJD

Many congratulations on getting Punto. White looks classic on this car.
Drive safe.
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Old 9th December 2010, 14:51   #12
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Default Re: My White Chocolate : Fiat Grande Punto 1.3 MJD

praz, many congratulations on your new purchase and welcome to the Grande Punto club. We guys are unique breed from the rest seeing the punto / linea sales numbers last month. But being a small community is sometime good. I still see people turning their heads when I drive past. But the car wont disappoint you and I am sure your will enjoy many more happy miles with your car.

You were very correct in telling that "Once a FIATian, always a FIATian". The best part of FIAT cars is that it will never make you tired even after driving continuously for long distances. I have done multiple drives of 1500kms over two day weekends and still never felt tired. When I was thinking this to be a big achievement, our fellow TBHPian Ravi just returned from a 6200 km drive over 10 days in his Linea and he has driven the car for the entire stretch when there were three other members of his family who could drive as well. This is the passion that FIAT cars brings to its owners.
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Old 9th December 2010, 15:22   #13
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Default Re: My White Chocolate : Fiat Grande Punto 1.3 MJD

Congrats on the Punto. Another 50K stretch in the budget would have got you the emotion pack.

Enjoy many more happy miles with the BNW Punto.
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Old 9th December 2010, 15:45   #14
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Default Re: My White Chocolate : Fiat Grande Punto 1.3 MJD

Congrats PRAZ .Cute looking and gorgeous punto .Is yours an EMOTION ?
Get those Punto alloys .
Drive safe .
Regards
Sreehari
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Old 9th December 2010, 16:00   #15
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Default Re: My White Chocolate : Fiat Grande Punto 1.3 MJD

Congrats Praz! Good decision! You will definitely enjoy the drive and stability on the Highways with this car!
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