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Old 1st February 2011, 20:19   #1
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Default Grenzenlose Freiheit with my Grande Punto: 3400 KMS Update

Dear Fellow BHPians,

After a relly long wait, I finally brought home a Medium Grey Fiat Grande Punto MJD, Active Variant. Booked the car on 01 Dec 2010, Car got delivered on 16 Dec 2010. I have driven he car for a little over 1600 km till date.

Background:
I am a part of the Indian Automotive Industry. Been working in this domain as a software engineer for almost 7 years now. But have been a big fan of motor vehicles for many years, right from school days. After completing more than 100000 Kms on 2 wheels, I finally decided to buy a Car. As I am working with all the Indian OEMS and have a inside knowledge of their Cars, Decision making process was a tough one. It took almost 6 months for me to decide.

Decision making Process:

Budget:

Firstly, I wanted to draw a line on the Budget. The initial CAP was at 5L. Due to my long wait and decision process, some more Money got accumulated and the CAP was raised to 6L.

Petrol Vs Diesel:
This is what most first time car buyers think about really hard, atleast I did. After going through all those nice threads available on Team BHP,I was only more confused. My Monthly running was around 1000 KM, However, I thought that this would only increase once I discover the comfort of driving with family at my own time and pace, believe me, i was right. I already have a long list of places to cover, previously which I never thought i would be interested in visiting. So Decided on the Diesel. Further, Driving a Diesel Car in bumper to Bumper city traffic is very easy compared to driving a petrol (My personal Opinion).

Build Quality:
Much has already been said about the rock solid build quality of Punto. I would like to add that Interiors of 2010 Punto are much better than older models. The panel gaps are even. There is a kind of "I am safe in this car" feeling in Punto. Did not find this any other car except Skoda Fabia.

Test Drives:
I have taken test drives of all the cars in the segment and had finalized on 3 cars
1. Punto
2. Ritz
3. Figo.

All the above cars were fantastic and it was really tough to decide amongst them.

I felt that Interiors of Ritz are plasticky and not so good. Further, the rear styling was not to my taste.The Engine in Figo was a let down, though the in city drivability was terrific. My idea for buying a car was for highways. For short distances in city, I had wife's Wego. With this crieteria in mind, the choice became easy: Punto It was. Added to performance, the looks are killer material. even when i am driving my punto, i feel hard to take my eyes off puntos on road when ever i see them. Absolutely drool maal.

Booking Experience:
Showroom staff of all dealerships are equally pathetic. I feel this way because, i know more about their cars, than them. You could say this is due to my association with automotive industry all these years and also because of our excellent forum team BHP.
I Finally booked the car from Prerana Motors, Sarjapur Road on 01 Dec 2010. The car arrived in their stock yard on 07 Dec 2010, and to the showroom on 09 Dec 2010. I was planning to take the delivery on 10 Dec. I went to the showroom on the day before delivery to complete the PDI as per TBHP instructions, I was shocked to see my car. The bumper was scratched heavily on the Rear right side. This happened just minutes before my arrival when the driver was taking out a Manza which was also scheduled for delivery that day. I complained to the Service Manager Mr. Ashok and told him that i can't accept the delivery of a car with scratches.

He was quick in response and promised me that Bumper would be replaced free of cost. So i took the delivery of the car on 10 Dec for auspicious reasons and left the car again the service station for bumper replacement.
I was promised the delivery again in 12 Dec.

After waiting anxiously for 2 days, i called and the Showroom told me that Car isn't ready as the bumper is out of stock. They told me to check again next day. I called next day only to get the same response. This time, I was very upset and started to think if the all the opinion about the FIAT dealerships was not very much off target. I called up the Service Manager again and expressed by Dissatisfcation throughly. I told him that this delay is not acceptable and i wanted them to make it up for this delay by painting the Orvms and the door handles in body colour. Nothing was promised but a 'try' was assured.

Next day, I got a call from the dealership saying that my car was ready for pickup. I went to the showroom and was pleasently surprised to see that orvms and door handles were painted in body colour. The interior and exterior was vaccumed and car was sparkling clean. I thanked the Showroom, service manager and drove off to a nearby temple, did puja and headed home.Over all the Dealership experience was not so bad afterall.

The total price on the road came up to 5.9L.I was offered a corporate discount of 6K. The freebies included Door mats, Sunfilming, painting of orvms and door handles in body color, Perfume, Idol and car cover.

Accessories Added:
Before purchase of the car, I was all enthusiatic about what accessories i would be adding to my car, was checking all the threads for this purpose. But after driving the car, I am feeling so good. The car is a pleasure to drive, city or highway..I am not thinking about the accessories at all. However the following is being planned.
1. Central and remote locking (Q1 2011)..Now Done. Costed Rs 9900/-
2. Alloy wheels and better tyres (Q2 2011)
3. K&N filter (Much later).

I have however ICE'd the car up with JBL GTX 333 head unit and JBL speakers all around. Did not go for the Amplifier / subwoofer as I am not too interested. Further, the engine sound is music to my ears anyday, i dont need additional music. This ICE setup was for passengers anyway and i am getting good reviews from every one who had a chance to listen from my ICE.

Special note on JBL GTX333:

Absolutely Fantastic Audio Quality. VFM product. It does not have a CD slot, but has an AUX-in, USB and SD card slot. seemed enough for me. Further, the JBL GTX333 comes in black colour with orange backlighting. It suited perfectly with Punto Active which was already having Black Interiors and Orange backlit instrument cluster.

Intial Driving Experience:
I had been to a driving school long back and had the licence, but i was only driving my dad's santro off and on. It was always 2 wheelers all these years. So i can say that I am more a self taught driver. I had a read a lot on TBHP about other members driving experiences and suggestions from senior members. I had never driven Diesels. Except for test drives of RitzD.
So Driving Punto MJD was in many ways exciting for me. It felt so different from a petrol car. Absolutely easy to drive in b2b city traffic. Loads of torque is available.The visibility was an issue but just for about 20 km or so, the got adjusted to slightly congested footwell and thick A pillar. eversince, enjoyed every KM i covered.

Special mention about the steering, like GTO pointed out, I feel its brilliant. Its more like a video game in other cars like i10, you never know what your wheels are doing but in Punto, its different. You have to drive Punto to understand what i am hinting at. The suspension is terrific. I dont care about the potholes in Bangalore roads, I just drive through, Punto takes care of the rest. None of the passengers ever complained. Most of my passengers doze off in just a couple of minutes, thanks to excellent suspension, comfy seats and POWERFUL AC.The ones who don't, are in awe of the cars handling abilities in corners.

The most important Question : Kitna Deti hai..?
and the simple answer: 18.6 KMPL in Bangalore city traffic with 90% AC ON, measured by the tankfull to tank full method.

Did not get time to take the car out onto highway. I am sure it would return 22+.

As i am in the run-in period, I have not taken the car to 'really' high speeds, but i checked once on NH7, with me and wife in the car, it could reach 130 kmph at roughly around 3000 RPM. Tried this only once as did not want to take the RPM to more than 2700 - 2800 many times. My usual cap on speed is at 110 kmph and this is easily achieved at around 2500 RPM. City roads dont give you chance for higher speeds..even in early morning..do they..? Once the turbo kicks in at around 1700 RPM, progress is swift and throughly enjoyable.

On the whole, I am extremely satisfied my Punto till now. I would recommend it to anyone who is on the lookout for a Safe, Stylish, comfortable but still VFM car.

By the way Grenzenlose Freiheit means Unlimited Freedom in German.
This is exactly what I am enjoying these days :-)

Enough said, now time for some pictures.
Attached Thumbnails
Grenzenlose Freiheit with my Grande Punto: 3400 KMS Update-dscn0845.jpg  

Grenzenlose Freiheit with my Grande Punto: 3400 KMS Update-dscn0867.jpg  

Grenzenlose Freiheit with my Grande Punto: 3400 KMS Update-dscn0868.jpg  

Grenzenlose Freiheit with my Grande Punto: 3400 KMS Update-dscn0876.jpg  

Grenzenlose Freiheit with my Grande Punto: 3400 KMS Update-dscn0877.jpg  

Grenzenlose Freiheit with my Grande Punto: 3400 KMS Update-dscn0902.jpg  

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Old 2nd February 2011, 02:23   #2
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Default re: Grenzenlose Freiheit with my Grande Punto: 3400 KMS Update

Excellent choice Vidyasagar.. Congratulations on the purchase!! The car looks stunning !!
Did they paint the door handles and mirrors for free?
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Old 2nd February 2011, 08:53   #3
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Default re: Grenzenlose Freiheit with my Grande Punto: 3400 KMS Update

Yes Sir, The showroom did it for free.

They also removed the scratches from existing bumper and repainted it in such a nice way, that even on very very close inspection in daylight, it was impossible to tell that a scratch existed there. Content with this rework, i did not press any further for a bumper replacement. Everyone was happy at the end.
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Old 2nd February 2011, 10:45   #4
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Default re: Grenzenlose Freiheit with my Grande Punto: 3400 KMS Update

Congrats on the Punto. The driving bug will catch you very soon, if its not caught you already. The car looks very good in this color with the black grill. Install the fog lamps, its a worthy accessories you can think about and upgrade the tires to 185/70 R14 spec tires.

Enjoy many more happy miles with the car.
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Old 2nd February 2011, 11:11   #5
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Default re: Grenzenlose Freiheit with my Grande Punto: 3400 KMS Update

Finally, I see your report and a comprehensive at that
Congratulations.
You want to test the high speeds after the runin period??
I have an idea-Why not swap our cars? I'll complete the kms for you and then you can test your top speed. How's this for an offer

BTW mine has clocked 6800kms as of today. I feel I'll be completing 20k-25k kms this year If everything goes as per my plans.
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Old 2nd February 2011, 15:05   #6
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Default re: Grenzenlose Freiheit with my Grande Punto: 3400 KMS Update

Congrats on the purchase. The car looks great. I know it is a long wait till run-in is over, but trust me, it is worth it. As others have suggested, go for the fog lamps. I found them useful during foggy early morning drives in Bangalore. Also, get your B pillars blackened, it adds some more style to an already stylish looking car.
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Old 2nd February 2011, 15:17   #7
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Default re: Grenzenlose Freiheit with my Grande Punto: 3400 KMS Update

Congrats Vidyasagar ,on the italian beauty.Looks great in every colour.But remove that truck's like mud flaps.They spoil the aesthetics of the car.Get some great looking alloys.If possible the Fiat OE alloys or lensos.
Drive her safe
Regards
Sreehari
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Old 2nd February 2011, 15:29   #8
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Default re: Grenzenlose Freiheit with my Grande Punto: 3400 KMS Update

That L sign. Is it a regular sticker or that Electric insulation tape? If latter remove is asap and go to a car/bike sticker cutting shop and get one L shaped Sticker made for you. That insulation tapes leaves behind tough to remove residues on the windscreen.
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Old 2nd February 2011, 17:36   #9
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Default re: Grenzenlose Freiheit with my Grande Punto: 3400 KMS Update

Thanks everyone for your wishes. Ya, the travel bug has caught me, but i am just not able to take out time for that LONG trip.

That Annoying L sticker is for my wife who is learning to drive (She has the driving licence though). Point noted. will remove it ASAP.
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Old 2nd February 2011, 21:47   #10
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Default re: Grenzenlose Freiheit with my Grande Punto: 3400 KMS Update

Hey Vidyasagar,

Congratulations on your purchase. It must have been annoying to find the bumper scratched but on the bright side PRerana motors got the mirrors painted for free. Alls well that ends well !

Could you provide the details of the JBL speakers that you added ? Good choice with the HU, its a very sensible buy.
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Old 9th February 2011, 12:29   #11
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Default re: Grenzenlose Freiheit with my Grande Punto: 3400 KMS Update

Hi Vidyasagar,
Nice to see your positive feedback about the new Machine.

After finishing your first service,kindly make a comment about your experience in the service center.
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Old 10th February 2011, 19:59   #12
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Default re: Grenzenlose Freiheit with my Grande Punto: 3400 KMS Update

Thanks everyone for the wishes.

I was busy with work and travel in the last weeks, so was not able to update the thread.

The following is the speaker details:
Front: JBL GTS S265
Rear: JBL GTS S396

odo update: Odo stands at 2200 Km now, after a short trip to sravanabelagola last weekend.

The car is slowly but surely showing signs of smoothening. The pickup is improving.

I have a trip to tirupati coming up this weekend. will keep you updated on the highway performance after i return.

Keep driving safe.
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Old 22nd February 2011, 11:36   #13
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Default re: Grenzenlose Freiheit with my Grande Punto: 3400 KMS Update

Dear All,

3000 km done, I am planning to get the First service done this week. (So that i have the car with me for the weekend). Any pointers to things to be kept in mind during first service would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 22nd February 2011, 20:34   #14
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Default re: Grenzenlose Freiheit with my Grande Punto: 3400 KMS Update

Quote:
Originally Posted by vidyasagar View Post
Dear All,

3000 km done, I am planning to get the First service done this week. (So that i have the car with me for the weekend). Any pointers to things to be kept in mind during first service would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
Hey I'm late to wish - Hearty congratulations on the Punto. Nice colour really. Not too many in this one are on Pune roads at least.

As for the service - I believe you'll have oil change as well. Do check the bill and see if they have charged for the correct amount of oil. The 1.3 MJD takes an odd amount (3.7L i think, but forgot). If they have charged for a full liter ahead, ask for the surplus, or get that removed from the bill.

Do tell them NOT to add any additives for "engine cleanup". I've seen that done on some of my friends' Swift DDiS. There is a specific mention in the service book (at least for my Vista QJD) that NO additives / cleansing agents are to be added for 1.3 MJD.
Write your car's number on the inside of the wheel caps with marker if you are not ok with them being swapped with someone else's. Also do the same on the spare wheel.
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Old 22nd February 2011, 21:19   #15
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Default re: Grenzenlose Freiheit with my Grande Punto: 3400 KMS Update

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reinhard View Post
As for the service - I believe you'll have oil change as well. Do check the bill and see if they have charged for the correct amount of oil. The 1.3 MJD takes an odd amount (3.7L i think, but forgot). If they have charged for a full liter ahead, ask for the surplus, or get that removed from the bill.
@Reinhard, No oil change for the 3k service for the Punto.

@Vidyasagar, As we spoke, this 3k service is just a checkup for your car and a waterwash.

So just make a list of all the niggles/problems as and when it strikes to your mind just to make sure you don't forget when you go there Nothing more
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