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Old 12th December 2010, 16:49   #1
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Default My Exotica Red Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 aka "Ponti" arrives...

August is an important month for me. The month starts with my wife's birthday and end's with my son's and bang in the middle is the day on which both our country and I got their independence (Its the day I gave up my job and started out). For some time now, my wife had been asking me to get a second car into the household and I had decided to get it in this month. Budget was fixed at around 6L.

Since it was meant to be a surprise for my wife (and she was also supposed to drive it), I had to figure out a way to out a way to get her to do all the TD's without getting suspicious. I took the help of one of my friends (whose wife is also a good friend of my wife's) by saying that they want to buy a new car and his wife insisting that my wife tag along since she (my wife) has driven cars quite a bit but friends wife doesnt have any experience.

We initially took a test drive of the Figo, Vista, Polo and i20. I also wanted to test drive the Micra but somehow Nissan Worli was not interested in sending across the car to Navi Mumbai and Nissan Navi Mumbai was still not open. Among these wife liked Figo for the driving position but did not like the interiors. As she put it "It looks nice outside and feels good to drive but moment I am inside, it feels like I am back in the zen" (Friend has a Zen). More details are available in my "What Car" thread.

I was almost convinced that the Figo TDCI Titanium is the one to go for but was hesitant after wife's comments. At this point, I was not considering the Punto (I did not think it would fit into my budget). However after getting feedback from some of our team-bhp members (thanks Amartya, ACM, Adimicra, etc), decided to go ahead and atleast take a test drive. One look at the Red Punto and a short drive later, my wife declared to my friends wife that this was the car to go for. After the drive and a look at all the discounts that Fiat was offering, I was convinced that the next car will be the Punto. In fact, I even asked my 3 year old son (who had come along for all the test drives) which car he preferred among all the ones he saw and his unequivocal response was "Red Ponti".

As fate would have it, due to work at office and some outstation trips, all plans of getting the car in August went for a toss. Finally, I got time only around mid september and decided that the best period to book would be end September since there would be some good discounts due to Shraddh period and I would be able to ensure delivery on Dassera.

Was talking to Fortune Nerul initially but Wasan Chembur offered a much better deal and I decided to go and book with them. After a bit of talking, I was looking at an on road price of 6.4L along with usuals such as Mud Flaps, Sun Film, Interior Matting, etc. The deal was done on 29th September. I had mentioned to the Sales Guys at Wasan that I would like to do the PDI before car goes for registration and they were fine with it as long as I was ok with going to their yard in Kalyan.

So the car is booked and finances are arranged. All I have to do is wait for the delivery. Wasan was quite prompt and on the second day after booking, I had the VIN with me. Checked the VIN and it was a proper Sept 10 manufactured car. I was told it would take another 5-6 days for the car to reach their yard and I was quite ok with that. Car reached yard, was promptly informed by Wasan to come and do check. Took along my checklist and off I went. As it turned out, mine was the only Punto in the whole yard. Did a proper PDI, all was fine and so gave go ahead for registration.

Now point to note is that till this time, wife still knows nothing about this whole thing. She has no idea that I have booked a car or that delivery is to be done in a few days. I still had to work out how to make her come to the showroom without her finding out anything.

-- To be continued...
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Old 12th December 2010, 17:12   #2
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Default Re: My Exotica Red Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 aka "Ponti" arrives...

Congrats man. We don't find many 1.4 Punto's around. My parents have one and all i do is drive this beautiful car when i'm home. Its a little underrated to be honest. Waiting for the rest of the story.
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Old 12th December 2010, 18:20   #3
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Default Re: My Exotica Red Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 aka "Ponti" arrives...

Congrats buddy on the italian beauty.Waiting for the pics.
Drive safe
Regards
SHK
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Old 12th December 2010, 19:26   #4
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Default The Story Continued.....

The plan had to be formed. I informed Maulik(my SA) that delivery will be on Dassera. On Dassera, we have pooja in office. Due to this, wife would be expecting to be going out in any case and no problem of convincing my wife for that. Now, how to convince that we have to go to Chembur. Since I have plenty of friends, I decided to tell her that one of my Bengali friends has Puja at his place due to Durga Puja and has invited us. This took care of getting us to Chembur. The big question that was left now was how to make her come into the car showroom without arousing her suspicions. This is where Fiat decided to help me out. Since T-Jet was just launched, I told her that I want to see T-Jet and we will go to showroom in Chembur for that. Also, while she is there, she can get more idea of all features of Punto so that she can take more informed decision when we do buy the new car.

Another thing which had happened in meantime was that I decided not to get the standard sunfilm which Wasan was offering and go for 3M itself. As it turned out, Wasan did not have the 3M range which I wanted. So, I decided to go for reverse parking sensors instead and got those installed in lieu of the sunfilm by paying some extra amount. I have got the autocop version which has a display mounted onto the IRVM. It is quite accurate and useful.

To minimise amount of time, I have to spend in showroom on Dassera, I decided to go to the showroom on 16th itself and finish off all formalities (basic PDI, some documentations, pending payments, etc) which can be finished off that day. As it happens, top brass of Fiat India was visiting Wasan on that day and I was able to interact with them on quality issues, etc. They seemed quite aware of T-BHP.

Finally, the day of delivery (17th October) arrived. I rang up Maulik and confirmed timing with him and also told him to act like there is no car delivery or anything like that. We reached the showroom at 11:30. I could see car was ready for delivery. There was also a huge rush for deliveries since there were more than 40 deliveries scheduled on that day. Anyways, Maulik acted perfectly and he took my wife for Punto demonstration. He showed her everything and then asked her what color was her favorite in Punto. When she said Red, he said that they have a Red Punto in stock and we can go and take test drive. While opening the Punto and giving her keys he purposely said "Here are keys to your Punto" and my wife looked suspiciously at me and immediately he added "For Test Drive". By this time my wife was getting suspicious. We called up a friend using Blue & Me and he is asking my wife.. "How is the car?" to which she replied that she liked it very much and friend says "Then buy immediately" (Of course said friend knew I was getting delivery that day!) Wife was thoroughly confused by this time. Now, we go back inside for some tea/coffee and wife starts discussing with me that we should buy the car now only and things like that. I said, better check with Maulik about delivery timelines etc and Maulik conveniently says that if all payment is done immediately, they can deliver Red Punto immediately. On hearing this, wife is really confused and wondering what is going on. I was wondering how to break the news to her when the Accessories guy comes over and happily says "Sir, all the accessories for your car are fitted and Reverse Parking Sensors are working perfectly" and wife finds out that car is indeed ours. So, ends my surprise for my wife. Son who was sleeping till now also wakes up, sees Red Punto and exclaims "Ponti" and off he goes to explore his "Ponti". (Yes.. he considers it his own and asks me why I take his "Ponti" to office without asking him)

Finally, all pending formalities (Puja, Document handover, etc) are completed, mats are put in place, sweets collected, mandatory photo taken and gift given to SA and we are off. Wife is still not very sure if we have bought the car until we finally take off from the dealership and visit to nearest temple. The drive back home is an awesome feeling!
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Old 12th December 2010, 19:31   #5
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Default The Short Term Review

Almost two months have now gone by and I have now put 1300 km on the odo. First 1000 km, I tried as much as possible to keep the revs under 2500 (very very difficult in 2nd gear) and now I have started revving her a bit.

Following are my observations:

With about 50% highway (I call driving on Palm Beach Road Highway driving) and 50% city use with 100% AC usage, I am currently getting a FE of about 11 on cut-off to cut-off. However, I have also noticed that the FE doesnt change too much even with AC off.

Likes :
- The looks... oh the looks...
- The drive. There is never a moment when you feel out of control. I have managed to take turns without feeling anything at even 60-70 kmph
- The way the windshield water jets are placed and work.
- The small little intelligient things built in. Wipers are on and you reverse. Rear wiper starts automatically, the after wipe once you use the windsheild wipers and other small things like that.
- Blue & me (Dont need to keep wondering where I left my bluetooth any longer)
- Build is like a tank.

Dislikes :
- The plastics on the outside ( especially the one below the wipers. Just 2 months and it is already starting to look old.)
- An absolute absense of storage space on the inside. Come on Fiat, where the heck do you expect me to put even a bottle of water or even my sunglasses case?
- The headlights. The throw does not see long enough (atleast for me). Need to get an upgrade. Heard good things about the Philips Power Extreme. Need to have these done.
- The gear shift is a bit notchy as compared to the one I was used to in the City which is butter smooth.
- The random error messages that get thrown up sometimes. (For eg. Friend left car in gear and I tried to start it. The error that comes up is Airbag failure. I almost had an heart attack since this was the third day after I got the car)

What I miss from the other cars I TD'd:
- Auto folding ORVM's (Really need them because of tight parking spaces and even tighter driving spaces sometimes and its a pain to open the pax side ORVM by leaning over.
- Remote Opening of boot from key. Have to physically go and unlock if luggage has to be put in.
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Old 12th December 2010, 19:36   #6
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Default Congratulations!

Congratulations my friend on the Fiat GP 1.4.

You've mentioned that this is going to be your second car. So, let me ask - which is your other car?

For your information, T-BHP does not allow booking experiences in the 'Test Drives & Initial Ownership' section! So, I recommend you to keep us updated before the moderators come in and lock this thread!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by aniketvu View Post
Now point to note is that till this time, wife still knows nothing about this whole thing. She has no idea that I have booked a car or that delivery is to be done in a few days. I still had to work out how to make her come to the showroom without her finding out anything.
How on earth did you manage to book a car and do a proper PDI without your wife's knowledge? Hats off to you Sir.

...and I bet that your wife will be find herself very happy driving this Italian hatch!

Quote:
In fact, I even asked my 3 year old son (who had come along for all the test drives) which car he preferred among all the ones he saw and his unequivocal response was "Red Ponti".
That explains it all! Your son must be FIATian for sure!

PS: I'm looking forward for the next update with lots of pictures.

Last edited by Klub Class : 12th December 2010 at 19:38. Reason: Spelling errors!
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Old 12th December 2010, 20:06   #7
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Default Re: My Exotica Red Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 aka "Ponti" arrives...

Congrats on the new car and your description of the buying experience was like watching a lovely romantic movie

Enjoy your honeymoon
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Old 12th December 2010, 20:39   #8
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Default Re: My Exotica Red Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 aka "Ponti" arrives...

Nice booking story there sir. I can guess how your wife would have felt on coming to know that the car is yours. Please post some pics and the driving the experience so far
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Old 12th December 2010, 20:54   #9
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Default Re: My Exotica Red Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 aka "Ponti" arrives...

Congratulations for your Punto, It is threads like these that make me 100% sure about getting a punto.. Forget the polo's, fabia's and what not.. punto FTW .. Man even I would say.. The whole story sounds quite romantic

Congratulations to your wife for a husband like you and of course for the car..
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Old 13th December 2010, 07:20   #10
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Default Re: The Short Term Review

Congratulations on the new car and a story well told. Enjoyed reading it. Just one question, what does your wife think about the clutch travel in the Punto?
Your observations about the Punto's weakness's are absolutely on the money too.
Quote:
Originally Posted by aniketvu View Post
Dislikes :
- The plastics on the outside ( especially the one below the wipers. Just 2 months and it is already starting to look old.)
Definitely of shoddy quality. Especially if parked under a scorching sun, it tends to look shabby. Depending on the time or effort you are willing to put into it, certain plastic polishes make it look nicer and it'll hold up for longer. However, it a reasonably cheap plastic part, and it isn't very conspicuous.
Quote:
Originally Posted by aniketvu View Post
- An absolute absense of storage space on the inside. Come on Fiat, where the heck do you expect me to put even a bottle of water or even my sunglasses case?
The interiors aren't very utilitarian, a few more cubbyholes (a dedicated sunshade holder too) would be quite welcome.
Quote:
Originally Posted by aniketvu View Post
- The headlights. The throw does not see long enough (atleast for me). Need to get an upgrade. Heard good things about the Philips Power Extreme. Need to have these done.
The low beam specially seemed a little inadequate to me too, its spread is fine but the reach is definitely not.
Quote:
Originally Posted by aniketvu View Post
- The gear shift is a bit notchy as compared to the one I was used to in the City which is butter smooth.
The Fabia and Polo among the hatchbacks have the slickest gearbox's around. However, the gearbox too needs some more time to wear in. It'll never be butter smooth, but it's quite precise.
Quote:
Originally Posted by aniketvu View Post
- The random error messages that get thrown up sometimes. (For eg. Friend left car in gear and I tried to start it. The error that comes up is Airbag failure. I almost had an heart attack since this was the third day after I got the car)
That's a new one!
Quote:
Originally Posted by aniketvu View Post
- Auto folding ORVM's (Really need them because of tight parking spaces and even tighter driving spaces sometimes and its a pain to open the pax side ORVM by leaning over.
I am usually torn between the convenience of auto folding mirrors and the fact that they cost a tidy packet to replace. But it definitely makes life easier while driving through tight spaces.
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Old 13th December 2010, 14:08   #11
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Default Re: The Short Term Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Klub Class View Post
Congratulations my friend on the Fiat GP 1.4.

You've mentioned that this is going to be your second car. So, let me ask - which is your other car?
The other car in the family is the NHC

Quote:

How on earth did you manage to book a car and do a proper PDI without your wife's knowledge? Hats off to you Sir.
Even she was quite amazed.. This is the first time in 5 years of marriage that I have been able to keep something secret and surprise her!

Quote:

...and I bet that your wife will be find herself very happy driving this Italian hatch!
For her, it was love at first sight!


Quote:
Originally Posted by fiat_tarun View Post
Congrats man.
Quote:
Originally Posted by shk 8896 View Post
Congrats buddy
Quote:
Originally Posted by thesilentone View Post
Congrats on the new car
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soccerfan View Post
Nice booking story there sir
Quote:
Originally Posted by psbali View Post
Congratulations for your Punto,
Thanks a ton Guys!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amartya View Post
Congratulations on the new car and a story well told. Enjoyed reading it. Just one question, what does your wife think about the clutch travel in the Punto?
Well, she used to drive a Petra before marriage and I think the long clutch travel was present there also. She manages by pulling the seat forward a bit. Doesnt seem to be having any problems right now.

A few photos. Havent yet found the time to do a proper photo session:

At the stock yard waiting for PDI

My Exotica Red Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 aka "Ponti" arrives...-img00007201010081204.jpg

Son putting forward his claim towards "Ponti"

My Exotica Red Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 aka "Ponti" arrives...-p1040156.jpg

Just after Puja was done and boot getting checked for mats.

My Exotica Red Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 aka "Ponti" arrives...-p1040164.jpg
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Old 13th December 2010, 14:13   #12
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Default Re: My Exotica Red Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 aka "Ponti" arrives...

Congrats on the red hot hatch. The suspense to your wife was very well executed until the accessories guy broke the suspense.

Do post the pictures of the car. Do enjoy many more happy miles with the Punto.
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Old 13th December 2010, 14:57   #13
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Default Re: My Exotica Red Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 aka "Ponti" arrives...

Congrats and welcome to rare breed of Punto 1.4 .
I would suggest you to use good polish/protectant to keep the plastics away from fading.
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Old 13th December 2010, 15:22   #14
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Default Re: My Exotica Red Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 aka "Ponti" arrives...

Congrats and that was a very nice story there. Too bad the accessories guy spoiled the surprise
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Old 29th December 2010, 19:06   #15
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Default 2100 km update

Went for a weekend trip to Mahabaleshwar and my odo now reads 2100 km. Following are some of my observations:

1. The fifth gear post 2000 RPM is a complete power on demand uptil about 4000 rpm post which it becomes a bit difficult to extract more power. I reached a maximum of about 160 kmph on the highway without exerting myself too much.

2. The peak fuel efficiency is between 80-90 kmph but when you have a car which doesnt let you feel the speed, it becomes very difficult to stay in that range. I was rarely below 120 kmph on the expressway. However, on NH4 where there was a continuous flow of traffic and you cannot exceed 70-80 kmph, you can get a very good fuel efficiency. Across the 600 km journey, I got an average of about 13kmpl with almost 200 km of city/ghat driving involved and another 200 km was with a heavy foot. The AC was used for almost 80% of the journey.

3. I experienced two problems which vsk2009 also seems to be experiencing which is basically that the Fuel Injection light comes on suddenly and there is a sudden loss of power and other being the engine temperature gauge suddenly shooting up and then coming back to normal in a second or two. Have to get both of these checked from the service center when I go for first servicing in the next 2 weeks. Both problems occurred once in the whole journey.

4. Driving this car doesnt seem to tire you too much. I was nice and happy and relaxed all through.

I also saw a car belonging to another TBHP'ian in Mahabaleshwar. It was a KA registered i20 parked near Raj Bhavan. I was in a hurry and could not meet immediately and when I went back after 10 mins, he had left.

Attached are some pictures of the car during the journey
Attached Thumbnails
My Exotica Red Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 aka "Ponti" arrives...-p1040742.jpg  

My Exotica Red Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 aka "Ponti" arrives...-p1040744.jpg  

My Exotica Red Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 aka "Ponti" arrives...-p1040745.jpg  

My Exotica Red Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 aka "Ponti" arrives...-p1040747.jpg  

My Exotica Red Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 aka "Ponti" arrives...-p1040748.jpg  

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