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Old 7th October 2018, 23:35   #1
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Default Owning a Fiat Abarth Punto - A car with character. EDIT : 15,000 km completed!

An ownership report of a 2018 Abarth Punto 1.4L T-Jet

Owning a Fiat Abarth Punto - A car with character. EDIT : 15,000 km completed!-img_20180519_152633.jpg

SUMMARY
For those of you who want to cut to the chase, here's the rundown:
The story: How a nouveau enthusiast in mid-forties ended up buying a car that is probably seeing its last production runs.
Car in question: Abarth Punto 1.4L T-Jet Petrol
Manufacture Date: April 2018
Purchase date: 26 May 2018
Purchased at: Urs Kar Service Center (P) Ltd., Mysuru
Usage scenario: Daily commute (solo or with one passenger) of 30 km, mixed highway – city roads. Second car in the family.

WHAT I LIKE ABOUT THE CAR
  1. Affordable power on tap - great bang per buck proposition
  2. Confidence inspiring braking provided by all-round disc brakes and backed by ABS
  3. Hydraulic steering that comes alive in your hands
  4. Chassis and suspension that are not overwhelmed by the powerful motor
  5. Old school solidity in build
  6. Inspired design (red decals aside) that even a decade later continues to turn heads
  7. Exclusivity of owning a genuinely special car that is probably as rare as a Ferrari in India!

WHAT WOULD HAVE MADE IT BETTER
  1. A smoother shift from 2nd to 1st gear
  2. Less rakish angle for ABC pedals and better thigh support in the front seats
  3. Brighter headlamps
  4. An authorized service center in my city

RECOMMENDED FOR
Those looking for an involving, old-schoolish, fun to drive hatchback that has got its mechanicals right

NOT FOR
Those looking for fuel-efficient, feature rich cars with fuss free ownership.


THE REST OF THE REVIEW

Background - buying decision, booking and delivery

The car - a brief review (Part 1)
  • Lineage
  • Engine
  • Drivetrain
  • Steering
  • Suspension
  • Brakes
  • Safety features
  • Interiors, ergonomics and conveniences
The car - a brief review (Part 2)
  • Exteriors
  • Bringing it all together – the driving experience
Early ownership experience

First Service (5000 KM)

Last edited by cogWheel : 9th December 2018 at 23:32.
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Old 8th October 2018, 06:54   #2
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THE BACKGROUND
We bought an Abarth Punto earlier in May this year.
This wasn't as simple as it sounds. We had tried last year in 2017 and failed. We tried again this year and succeeded in buying one.

Need for a(nother) car
A Manza QJet EXL purchased in 2013 has been serving our needs capably. Since I am the lone driver in our family of five and my wife and I work in the same place, a second car was not a requirement. However, by 2017, my wife needed rides in the evening to a couple of places in the city for her medical practice. As she does not drive, I ended up spending quite a lot of time chauffeuring and waiting around. While I did not mind the driving, the waiting around was wasteful. It was then that we decided to look for a second car and a part-time driver for her evening hospital visits. The idea was to buy a hatchback, new or used, within a budget of 8 lakhs on the road, that I could use for my daily 30 km commute, while my wife could use the Manza.

Search for a(nother) car - Round 1
So, in the early part of 2017, we looked at quite a few hatchback options including the Tiago, Figo, Grand i10 and the Liva.
At this stage, the requirements were rather straight forward:
  1. Hatchback
  2. Petrol (use case of 30km/day - could make a case for either gasoline or diesel, but we already had an oil burner)
  3. Safety - minimum two airbags + ABS
  4. Within 8L OTR

I test drove several cars during the period. The Brio was alright to drive but felt drab and dated. The Liva was uninspiring except for its certified safety. The Tiago appeared to be promising. Seemed to be a rounded package and value for money too. The petrol motor though seemed to be just adequate. The Grand i10 AT felt sluggish, steering too light for my taste and at that time did not come with dual front airbags. I have driven the First generation Figo Petrol for a bit and found the newer Figo watered down in terms of build quality, steering feedback and handling. The petrol engine which has been carried over was always inadequate. Did not look at the diesel option seriously then. I was scanning the used car market too, mainly on OLX, and came across a Brio and a Fiesta 1.6 that got me interested but the asking prices were unrealistic.

The warm hatch wish is born
There's a Volkswagon dealership close to where we live, and one day in June 2017, we just dropped in to take a look at the Polo GT TSi. We knew well enough that it was outside our planned budget, but I just wanted to drive it after having read about it on TBHP. We had a test drive, and both of us were mighty impressed. I had always admired its understated looks and solidity. The responsive engine and the effortless driving experience provided by the quick shifting DSG was refreshing. That test drive rekindled my interest in fun-to-drive cars. The cars that I had owned and driven extensively earlier (60K km in an Indica Xeta 1.4L and the 50K in the Manza QJet) were essentially commuter cars whose choice was dictated by family needs and a search for value. Though I started driving relatively late in life (early-thirties), I had quickly realized that I enjoy driving and was developing an appreciation for the finer things in cars. So, the Polo TSi was a tempting proposition. What kept us from stretching the budget and making a choice were two things – one, the DSG failure worries that were discussed on TBHP and the fact that we had still not found a driver and hence could put off the buying decision for some time.

The Abarth idea pops up
In mid-July 2017, I came across a post on T-BHP which claimed that the Abarth Punto was back in production after a gap of nearly a year and that a batch of cars was available for sale.
https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/india...o-resumes.html (Scoop! Production of Abarth Punto resumes)
I remembered having seen a couple of threads about the Abarth Punto on T-BHP and dug them up and poured through them. The time I first read nkrishnap's ownership thread and S2!!!'s official review in 2015, fast hatches were not really on my mind. While I loved the Grand Punto's looks, I had felt that the Evo was a step down from the exteriors point of view and that the decals on the Evo Abarth version to be a bit too garish. But in the context of our search for a second car and my new-found interest in fun-to-drive petrol cars, the Abarth Punto captured my attention.

Attempt One at Acquiring an Abarth.
A couple of days later, we went to Hanuman Cars Ltd., the lone Fiat dealership in town (Mangaluru). The place was deserted, with a Punto MJD and a Linea Classic on display. The lone Sales Advisor appeared to be surprised to see us and even more surprised when we asked for the Abarth Punto. There was no demo or test-drive car and the lone car that they had in the showroom since 2015/2016 had been sold to a customer from Bangalore a couple of months earlier. He offered a test drive in an Urban Cross MJD, a brochure, and a price list. I wasn't too surprised or disappointed by all this because I had expected this from the struggling Fiat dealership. We did go back a couple of days later, and took a short test drive of the Urban Cross. I spoke to the Sales Manager who said they would accept booking for the Abarth Punto and deliver in four to six weeks. To cut a long story short, over a couple of phone calls, e-mails and an additional visit, we negotiated for a discount of 60K over the OTR price and paid an advance of 50K to booked a Pearl White Abarth Punto on 2nd August 2017.
https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/what-...ml#post4251816 (The "I Booked my Car" Thread)

About 10 days later, we were visiting Mysore for a family social event and took the opportunity to drop in at Urs Kars, the FCA dealership at Mysore. This was around the time when the Jeep Compass was just launched, and the dealership was bustling with people waiting for a test drive of the Compass. To their credit, the staff at Urs Kars were friendly and attended to us quickly. The Assistant Sales Manager to whom I spoke there had no hesitation in offering a test drive even after I told him that I had already booked the car at Mangaluru. I drove the car for a few kilometers on the ring road and came back with a wide grin on my face which was hard to wipe off for the rest of the day. My wife was happy too and we both felt smug about the decision we had taken even before the test drive.

Then began the wait. Four weeks and then six weeks came and went, but there was no sign of the car. The Sales Manager at the Mangaluru dealership told us that the first batch of 2017 cars produced in July was sold out and that the next production run was scheduled for the 2nd week of September. But then he started becoming elusive, and the delivery date got pushed to 15th of October 2017. When there was no news about the car from the dealership, I contacted the Customer Relations Manager of FCA with the help of a fellow BHPian. He mailed back saying that the production run was most likely to be in November. By this time patience was wearing thin, especially of my wife. We had found a diver for the Manza which she was using now, and I had become car-less. I had to depend on Uber / OLX which was rather unreliable in Mangaluru or request for lifts from friends and colleagues. Finally, in early November, we canceled the booking. It took another six weeks for us to get a refund of the advance amount from a dealership which was on the verge of shutting down. The Sales Manager, who himself was about to lose his job, did try his best to help us and generally was responsive. Kudos to him for not dumping us outright. The dealership, by the way, shut down before the end of the year 2017.

A rear-wheel drive hatchback interlude
I could not muster enough courage to buy the Polo GT with its DSG gamble, and after having driven the GT and the Abarth, it was very difficult to think about the other hatches. I decided to buy an inexpensive used hatch as a stop-gap arrangement for a year or two until finding the right fun-to-drive petrol car. This lead to the purchase of an 18-month-old Nano XTA at about 60% of its current new-car price. The Nano XTA became my daily commute, was delightfully convenient to drive and very practical. But of course, it was on the other end of the spectrum of hot-hatchness! That's a different story, for some other day.

The search for a "propah" hatchback resumes
My car-life was quite alright except for occasional protests from my wife about the lack of safety in the Nano. We have generally been safety conscious. Our Manza has dual front airbags and ABS. Our son, right from his second car ride has always been in a child car seat. My daily commute includes an 8 km stretch of highway which is generally crowded and therefore more like a two-lane city road. But with some changes in my work pattern, I was making frequent return trips in the Nano at late hours. There were a few occasions road-bullying which Nano drivers would be familiar with and general sense of vulnerability at times. This set us thinking about finding a replacing it with a "proper" safer hatch earlier than what we initially planned to. The budget was in the 8 to 10 Lakh OTR range. While I would, of course, be happy with a driver-oriented car, the brief from the wife was to save as much as we can on this. I was trying to "sell" the idea of a used Linea T-Jet or a Fiesta (2014 or later) or even a First Generation Figo TDI. She was not convinced about the used car approach.

A relook at the hatchback options - Round 2
From the VFM perspective, we looked at the Tiago AMT (XZA) which was now available. Nothing wrong with it, except that it seemed even less responsive with the AMT. The Ignis did not seem value for money to me. I felt the Tiago in either manual or AMT guise was a more attractive package than the Ignis counterparts. When we went to see the Tiago, we saw the Nexon. While we both liked it, we agreed that we would not buy a cross-over / mini-SUV now. Such a car would be a replacement for the Manza when the time came. Hence, we did not pursue that.

The Polo GT TSi that we almost bought
I continued to pitch my "fun-to-drive" plea to my wife. I knew that though she does not drive herself, she does enjoy quick, agile cars. I was right, she had not forgotten the Polo GT TSi ride from last year. Besides, she was appreciative of its safety and build quality. So we were veering towards the Polo again. We revisited the VW dealership one day in April 2018. The test-drive car was not available on that day. They asked us to come back again on another day. Curiously, no one bothered to take our contact details. After a few days, I called the dealership and fixed an appointment for a test drive. When we arrived at the dealership, the SA apologized and said that the car was taken out for another test drive and would not be available that day. I was given the price list. As expected, there were no offers or any hint at discounts. Again, no one took our contact details. I called a couple of days later and was asked to come on a Sunday morning, which suited us well. So we finally got our second test drive, and we were more or less sure that we would go ahead with it. The SA who accompanied us on the test drive asked us to come back on a weekday to discuss the booking process with the other SA whom we had earlier met. Next day, I called the SA and asked him for a final quote excluding the Insurance premium. He said that he needs to discuss that with his Sales manager and that he would revert the next day.

During the same week, the Ford Freestyle was launched and we visited the dealership. The Sales Advisor was quite knowledgeable about the car, was polite, and non-intrusive. He called back the next day, which was a holiday and offered a longish test drive. I found the new Dragon 1.2L engine quite peppy and the overall car well balanced in terms of ride quality and handling. The SA also talked about substantial offers for the Figo Sport Edition. However, they did not have test-drive cars for it. I did take a test drive of the 1.5TDI Figo and quite liked the torquey engine. I think I would have liked the sport edition with the stiffer suspension.

So by the middle of April 2018, we were on the verge of making a choice between the Polo GT TSi and the Figo 1.5TDI Sport. I had found threads on T-BHP reporting easy under-warranty replacement of the DSG mechatronic unit, sometimes even after warranty. Emboldened by this, I was more or less ready to cut a cheque towards advance for the Polo. Frankly, one, just one follow-up call from VW during that week would have got them a booking.

Amusingly enough, the call never came.

Despite the apparent disinterest by the dealer, we had more or less made up our minds about going for the Polo.

The Abarth pops up... again
On 28th April 2018, just a day before I was planning to visit the VW dealership to book the car, my brother sent me a link to a news article in AutoWorld about the Abarth being back in production. So the next day, instead of visiting the VW dealership, I called the erstwhile Sales Manager of Hanuman Cars. He reported that there was currently no FCA dealership in Mangalore, neither was there a chance of one coming up in the short term and advised me to contact dealers in Mysuru or Bengaluru. I spoke to the Assistant Sales Manager at Urs Kar, Mysuru who remembered my earlier test drive and promptly confirmed the availability of both black and white Abarth Puntos at the Ranjangaon plant. Thus, the Abarth was back in contention.

For me this was probably the last opportunity to buy a petrol motor with decent performance and the other driver oriented characteristics. I think we are in the last decade or so of the dominance of the Internal Combustion Engine. Towards the end of its era, the ICE Motor Car is likely to stagnate in terms of new technology development and move towards providing greater efficiency and value at the cost of raw performance. For someone whose affordability is in the range of one to one-and-half million rupees rupees in India, the chances of a true hot hatch coming into the market in the near future is remote. With this in mind, we decided to try one more time to buy the elusive Abarth. Not to forget, the absence of a follow-up call from the VolksFolk helped.

Attempt Two at Acquiring an Abarth
Over the next week, I obtained the price list, negotiated on the price and finally got a quotation offering a 50K discount on the initially quoted OTR. So on 4th May 2018, we transferred an amount of 50K as advance and booked a Pearl White Abarth Punto for the second time in 9 months. The Sales Advisor (actually, Assistant Sales Manager) was responsive and responsible. Though I was doing everything on the phone, it was not a stressful experience.

Pre-delivery experience: Delivery was promised in four weeks. Within two weeks, got a message from the SA that the car was on its way from the factory. I requested for pictures of the car on its arrival at the stockyard. I did get four pictures of the car in the evening the car was unloaded at Mysuru. We were offered assistance in financing for the car through a Private Sector bank at Mysuru. We, however, decided to avail an Overdraft Account linked loan for part of the cost (less than 50% of OTR) from the State Bank of India branch where my wife as an account.
I had to forgo a pre-payment inspection as it was not practical for me to travel in advance for that to Mysuru. We transferred funds to the Dealership account and cleared the bank for releasing the rest. The car was invoiced and was scheduled for temporary registration at the Mysuru RTO. We made arrangements to reach Mysuru on the day after the temporary registration appointment. I had ordered installation of a rear view camera, an official Fiat Accessory (the Linea's camera) as the only accessory.

Delivery
My wife, eight-year-old son and I reached the dealership at around 10 AM on the 26th of May 2018. The Assistant Sales Manager with whom I had interacted so far, was not available on that day as he had been deputed for some training related to the Jeep Compass. A different Sales Advisor had been assigned to us. Within about 15 minutes of arriving, the paperwork was readied for us. The SA walked us through the invoice, the sales receipts, owner's manual, warranties, etc. By now the car was brought up from the service area. We were given a walk around and a quick demo of features. I had taken a Pre-delivery checklist which I had prepared based on the Team-BHP checklist. I put it to good use and completed my inspection efficiently. There was nothing amiss in the car. I requested for the plastic covers on the seats and sun-visors to be removed. We went back in and signed the papers. One issue which was a bit of concern for me was that the temporary registration document and hence the temporary registration number was not yet available. I was assured that the receipt of the temporary registration fees along with the sale invoice would suffice and that the TR document would be available within a couple of days. With the paper work completed, The key was formally handed over to us by the Sales Manager who turned out to be from Mangaluru. Just as we were about to drive away, the Sales Manager reminded his staff to stick "Registered" stickers on the front windshield and rear glass. Also, Bright red "Abarth" stickers were pasted on the registration board areas. With that, we drove out of the Dealership at around 12.30PM, straight into the Shell outlet a couple of hundred meters down the road. Filled up the tank with Shell Power and headed to our hotel for shooting a few first pics.

Ex-showroom price: Rs. 9,33,190
Road Tax: 1,49,682
Insurance: Rs. 21,000
Accessories - Rear View camera: Rs. 7,000
Overall delivery experience: Excellent. The sales team was prompt, efficient and communicative. The knowledge level of the car was also good.

(Continued in next post...)

Last edited by cogWheel : 9th December 2018 at 22:50.
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Old 22nd October 2018, 23:32   #3
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A BRIEF REVIEW (PART 1)

Lineage

The car is an Abarth badged Punto Evo made by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles at its Ranjangaon plant. The Punto Evo introduced to the Indian market in 2014, is the successor of the Grade Punto, an European favorite that entered the Indian market in 2009. Abarth, which became a subsidiary of the erstwhile Fiat in 1971, started off as an independent Italian racing car maker in 1949. Known for its racing tunes and sporty kits, Abarth has a worldwide fan following of its own.
The Abarth Punto was introduced in India in late 2015. It has remained a low selling niche product with infrequent production runs. It may have sold about 200 copies so far.

The Abarth Punto is a worthy descendant of the the Palio which was possibly the first warm / hot hatch that was sold in India.

Owning a Fiat Abarth Punto - A car with character. EDIT : 15,000 km completed!-aplineage2.png
(All images from public domain. Credits to respective creators / owners)

The other two cars bearing the Abarth badge / components in India have been the Abarth Fiat 595 Competizione and the Urban Cross Avventura (Powered by Abarth). These have sold in even lesser numbers.

The usual practice is to begin the review with the exteriors, but the what is a car if not for its engine? So breaking tradition, allow me to start with the motor and it’s accessories under the hood.

Engine

The engine sits under a stylish engine cover with an Abarth Scorpion and T-Jet badge. The engine bay is neatly laid out with space being optimally used. In addition to the usual brake oil and coolant reservoirs, the bay houses a steering fluid reservoir which sets this apart from the typical hatches in the market today. More about this later. The battery is a 50 AH Fiat branded Exide power cell.


The engine bay - the heart of the matter

Owning a Fiat Abarth Punto - A car with character. EDIT : 15,000 km completed!-enginebay1.jpg

The Abarth branding on the engine cover

Owning a Fiat Abarth Punto - A car with character. EDIT : 15,000 km completed!-img_20181011_173018.jpg

The engine is a derivative of the Fully Integrated Robotised Engine (FIRE) which has its origin in a gas burner developed by Fiat in 1985. This particular variant is a four-cylinder, in-line, 1368 cc, 16 valves (16V), DOHC, variable valve timing (VVT) sequential multi-point injection (SMPI) petrol engine with a V38 turbocharger. It makes 145PS (143 bhp) of power at 5500 RPM and 212 NM torque between 2000-4000 RPM. Most of these numbers and abbreviations do not really differentiate it much except for three features:
  1. 1.4L is the largest displacement in the segment. Like they say, there’s no replacement for displacement. This ensures decent power in the lower RPMs. For sure the power delivery in the sub-2000 RPM range pales in comparison to what is available that above the mark, but it is better than what standard 1.2L mills in the other cars of the segment offer.
  2. The turbocharger which begins to spool up past the 2000 RPM is what adds the addictive power surge to the car. Once the turbo kicks in, the power climbs almost linearly well past the 5000 RPM mark.
  3. The engine map – the intentions are clear with the tuning - power and torque over efficiency.

It is this combination of higher displacement, turbocharging and performance oriented tuning that makes this motor a bit of a brute. The turbocharger adds so much life to this engine that it makes it feel relatively limp in the lower rev ranges giving rise to the turbo lag effect.

While the Abarth gets a larger turbocharger, different camshafts and a changed exhaust manifold compared to the Linea T-Jet, it shares the same small intercooler which could be a limiting factor for sustained performance, particularly at higher ambient temperatures. The exhaust is standard fare and sounds ordinary. In fact, it is incongruously muted for the otherwise sporty engine.
The engine has considerable potential for post-market mods. Engine remaps, bigger intercoolers, larger turbos and free-flow exhaust systems have been used by Indian owners to increase power and torque outputs by up to 75%! (See this pot here (Fiat Abarth Punto : Official Review))

The turbo that breathes extra life into the motor

Owning a Fiat Abarth Punto - A car with character. EDIT : 15,000 km completed!-img_20181011_173158.jpg

The dampening mat on the hood helps quiten the engine noise. Trust the Italians to add a dash of style to this too.

Owning a Fiat Abarth Punto - A car with character. EDIT : 15,000 km completed!-img_20181011_174555.jpg



Drivetrain

The five-speed manual gearbox does its job of transferring all the power to the wheel but clearly could have been better. Shifts are precise but notchy. They were particularly gruff when new, but have improved substantially over a couple of thousand kilometers. All shifts are acceptably smooth now except the downshift to first gear which continues to be a little iffy. The gear knob is solid, leather covered and feels good in your hand. I find the throw lengths to be comfortable but then, I am used to Tata gearboxes which may not be much of a benchmark. The Maruthis and Fords I have driven have slicker gearboxes for sure, but then, I am glad that this car comes with a stick shift even if it isn’t perfect.
The first and second gears are short. Unless you learn to keep the revs right, the drive can get a little jerky. The third is reasonable and can take you all the way to 90 kmph. The fourth is long and with the rev-happy engine, is sufficient to break away on highways. The fifth rarely if at all comes into play in city commutes or sub-urban highway stretches. You need a free expressway to really stretch the car in its top gear.

The gear shifts definitely get better with use
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Chassis

The chassis of this car is a crucial element of what makes it a genuinely sporty car. The Abarth Punto like all other Puntos is based on the Small Common Components and Systems platform (SCCS) platform which was developed jointly with Opel (now General Motors) way back in 2005. This chassis and its derivatives have been shared by cars under the Fiat, Alfa RomeoOpel, Citroen and Puegeot brands. The chassis is stiffer than what is offered in most mass produced cars and provides the basis for the confidence inspiring handling of the car. As mentioned earlier, there are instances of post-market tuned Abarths belting out more than 350NM of torque and 240BHP of power, and the chassis appears to be adequate even under such conditions.

Suspension

On paper, it is standard fare. McPherson struts with coil springs and telescopic dampers at the front; coil springs and telescopic dampers with a torsion beam supported semi-independent set-up at the rear. What Fiat has done is lower the stance to 155mm ground clearance, used stiffer springs and used an anti-sway bar at the front to stiffen the ride and control the body roll during cornering. The Punto chassis is known to be capable one and with this suspension adjustments, matches the capability of the engine pretty well. This makes the car a capable corner carver allowing you to carry speeds into curves with greater confidence. What is impressive is that despite these handling oriented tweaks, the ride comfort isn’t compromised too much. While potholes and ruts feel a little harsh at low speeds, partly due to the larger 16 inch rims, the ride becomes increasing smooth at higher speeds. The balance between handling and ride comfort is managed very well for a car with sporty aspirations. Even with a ground clearance that is the lowest in the segment, the car rarely is in trouble with respect to underbelly scraping. With a little care in driving over broken roads, one could get away with the kind of stuff that other hatchbacks of the segment can deal with. The stance would look sharper if the car rode lower, but it would make it impractical for the kind of roads that most of us drive on most of the time.


The steering

Now, this is something special. The hydraulically assisted steering which sounds old-fashioned in these days of electric and electronic power steering provides a nicely weighed assistance without feeling disconnected. The centering is just right, feels a tad heavy at slow speeds but is reassuringly steady at speeds and responds accurately to inputs. The feedback is exquisite and makes the car feel alive in your hands. If you don’t care much for the light single-finger-flickable-toy-steering feel, then it can’t get better than this for the money you pay. The steering wheel itself is sized right, fills your palms well and has well-designed thumb grips at the 10 and 2-o'clock positions. The leather wrapping and the Abarth badge at the center make it one of the better-looking steering wheels you will lay your eyes on. However, a hard to describe oddity in its positioning and lack of reach adjustment may make it difficult to find the best seating position for some. The turning radius at 5 meters puts it more in the league of sedans than compact hatchbacks!

Owning a Fiat Abarth Punto - A car with character. EDIT : 15,000 km completed!-img_8625.jpg


Brakes
The usability of the “hotness” of this hatch owes as much to its excellent braking abilities as it does to its power availability. With disc brakes on all four wheels, stopping power is confidence inspiring. The braking is smooth and progressive with little if any nose dive. The brakes do their job with no drama. ABS with electronic brake distribution (EBD) adds another essential layer of confidence in this car.

Other safety features

Two airbags for the front seats, height adjustable (front) seat belts with pre-tensioners and load limiters, a loud continuous seat belt warning, speed warning that can be set at increments of 5 kmph, door-specific door-open indicator, rear wiper and child lock are the other safety-related features of the car. Like all Puntos, it feels solidly built.
What is missing is traction control and stability control for a car that is capable of dangerously high speeds. So also, iso-fix mounts for the rear seats. It must be remembered that the European Punto received “Zero” stars at Euro NCAP recently. This is not so much a reflection of its structural strength as it is of its lack of advanced electronic safety features that Euro NCAP has come to expect in recent times.
The headlamps are a bit of a letdown. Both in terms of brightness and throw, the set-up is inadequate.

Owning a Fiat Abarth Punto - A car with character. EDIT : 15,000 km completed!-img_8623.jpg


Interiors, ergonomics and conveniences

The all-black interiors have an understated look. The plastic quality is acceptable. The dashboard has nicely curved surfaces. The horizontal sliver of amber ambient lighting parallel to the top of the glovebox on the passenger side adds to the elegance at night. The air-conditioning vents – two circular side vents and the pair of trapezoidal central vents above the infotainment system look smart and provide adequate throw. A single central rear vent with vertical and horizontal flow adjustments attempts to cover the back of the cabin. The 5 inch single-din touch-screen based infotainment system on the center console looks a little dated. The unit has built in GPS navigation (Map My India); FM/AM radio; SD card and Auxillary audio input playback; Bluetooth with hands-free telephony and music streaming. The six door mounted speakers (front – two + two tweeters, back -two) provide a average listening experience. I am no audiophile, but I think the music that I listen to sounds better in my six year old Manza. Steering mounted controls are available for volume control, track change and call receive / terminate. The climate control interface below the ICE head unit has handy knobs and large LED labeled buttons.

A not so sensitive touchscreen. The unit supports plug-n-play for reversing camera.

Owning a Fiat Abarth Punto - A car with character. EDIT : 15,000 km completed!-img_8644.jpg

The plastics are hard but have a nice textured look. The interiors are, thank fully black in this car with sporty aspirations. Circular side AC vents with flow and direction control are functional and add to the retro look.

Owning a Fiat Abarth Punto - A car with character. EDIT : 15,000 km completed!-img_20181010_175257.jpg

Lone USB charger. Storage bin under the hand-brake lever is barely sufficient for a wallet. Another bin in front of the shifter for small knick-knacks.

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Double highlight stiches on seats and shifter boot

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The key hole is angled forwards. Though at first glance this looks unusual, the angling actually makes ergonomic sense - it allows you to insert and turn the key with the wrist in a more natural angle.

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The instrument cluster with the yellow, red and amber lighting theme has a retro, sporty feel to it. The circular speedometer with a red needle that is marked in odd multiples of ten up to 230 kmph (!) adds a touch of idiosyncrasy. The tachometer on the right has a prominent redline from 5.5K to 7K. Dedicated analog dials display fuel level and coolant temperatures.

Owning a Fiat Abarth Punto - A car with character. EDIT : 15,000 km completed!-img_20180629_binnacles.jpg

The multi-information display (MID) at the center with its amber colored, seventies-digital-clock-style like display has a surprising amount of functionality including the following:
1. Date, Day, Time
2. Range (distance to empty)
3. Trip A – distance, travel time, average speed, mileage
4. Trip B – distance, travel time, average speed, mileage
5. Instantaneous mileage
6. Door specific door open indicator
7. Speed limit exceeded warning
8. Service due reminder

Power window controls along with external rear view mirror adjustments are mounted on the driver side door pad. Front windows get one touch down with driver side window gets one-touch up function too. Safety lock for the power windows is provided for.

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The front seats offer reasonable comfort. The fabric seats are a notch less firm than the leather seats of our Manza, but firm enough to be supportive for long drives. Side bolstering is good. The seat fabric itself has a netted texture which I find attractive. The suede-like sections are dust magnets. The red and yellow stitching reminds you of the Abarth connection. While the lower back support is adequate, the thighs feel uncared for, especially due to the knee-up position that a person of my height (5’10”) has to deal with. With the seat at its lowest position and pushed about three-fourths of the way back, I have found a comfortable position to drive. The pedals have a rakish angle which necessitates a greater extension at the ankles. If the steering had reach adjustment, I would have liked to push my seat a little further back. Better thigh support and lower pedal position would have made for a more comfortable drive. This would, of course, vary from person to person based on body structure.

Front seats are well contoured and have adjustable head rests

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The stitching highlights in the Abarth colors adds a nice touch. While the netted fabric looks and feels great, the suede-like material attracts dust.

Owning a Fiat Abarth Punto - A car with character. EDIT : 15,000 km completed!-img_8675.jpg

The rear seats are alright for two adults, the third one would feel a little cramped. Leg space is limited for those taller than 5’8”. My knees brush the back of the driver seat if I sit behind (which I have never done other than to test this!). My eight-year-old son is comfortable with his booster seat. The seats can fold down to enlarge the boot space. No split though.

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There is very little space for anything in the door pockets for anything other than a sun-glass case and a microfiber cloth! The storage bin below the handbrake lever is barely sufficient for my wallet, even my 5.5-inch mobile phone doesn’t fit in there. An oddly shaped, uncovered space on top of the central AC vents provides a resting space for my phone. A small cubby hole in front of the gear shifter can hold some small stuff. A smaller cubby hole with a swing-down lid can be found on the lower part of the dash near the driver's right knee. I use this to store an OBD scanner and a coiled USB charging cable.

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The air conditioning is capable for cooling the cabin in reasonable time. Climate control is fuss free, allows manual over-riding of specific parameters like fan speed and re-circulation mode. The blower is little noisy, but once temperatures come down, at slower speeds it is not all that intrusive.

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Last edited by cogWheel : 9th December 2018 at 23:38.
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Old 22nd October 2018, 23:37   #4
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BRIEF REVIEW (PART 2)

Exteriors

Owning a Fiat Abarth Punto - A car with character. EDIT : 15,000 km completed!-img_8720_profile2.jpg

The visual appeal of a car is subjective. Every design has its admirers and its detractors. Simple, minimalist designs tend to appeal to some and I am one of them. The Abarth Punto has the same body shell as the Punto Evo which has been sold in India from 2014. This, in turn, is an evolution of Grande Punto which has been on Indian roads since 2009 and on European roads since 2005. Designed by the Italian, Giorgetto Giugiaro, who has also worked on Alfa Romeos and Maseratis, the Punto design elements have a timeless charm to them. The ovaloid side profile, stubby nose, short overhangs, clean simple lines with bumpers and lights tightly integrated into the body adds to the elegance of the looks.

Owning a Fiat Abarth Punto - A car with character. EDIT : 15,000 km completed!-img_8596_frontal.jpg

Owning a Fiat Abarth Punto - A car with character. EDIT : 15,000 km completed!-img_8589_frontq1.jpg

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Owning a Fiat Abarth Punto - A car with character. EDIT : 15,000 km completed!-img_8616_topq.jpg

The Abarth version of the Punto in India takes this understated design and adds bright red central racing stripes starting from the bonnet, over the roof and down the hatch lid as well as go-faster side stripes. Red wing mirror covers and fog lamp housings add up to an almost garish appearance. The Abarth badges with the famous scorpion and red-and-yellow racing colors set it apart from the other Fiats. With a large red vinyl scorpion on the roof, it looks like the car is screaming for attention. Ironically, this loud appearance may actually make it likely to be dismissed as a pretender until it pulls away from you silently, with deceptive ease. To be honest, the stickering did not appeal much to my taste and I had planned to get rid of the racing stripes and blacken the fog lamp surrounds. But my son and, surprisingly, my wife have convinced me to retain them. Over the months, I have grown used to it and have more or less decided to maintain the stock look.

Owning a Fiat Abarth Punto - A car with character. EDIT : 15,000 km completed!-img_8601_gofaster.jpg

Owning a Fiat Abarth Punto - A car with character. EDIT : 15,000 km completed!-img_8605_frontlogo.jpg

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Owning a Fiat Abarth Punto - A car with character. EDIT : 15,000 km completed!-img_8617_topclose.jpg

The body panels feel solid, gaps are on the wider side but generally consistent, paint quality is above average. The doors are heave, open in two stages and close with a satisfying thud. The headlamps extend a little laterally, have basic functionality. Nothing fancy like projectors, LEDs or DRLs here. The tail lamps are stacked vertically, in a style that is currently not in vogue. They are however bright and cheerful with LED bulbs. The rear fog lamps sit low over the bumper with a black stripe running between them.

Owning a Fiat Abarth Punto - A car with character. EDIT : 15,000 km completed!-img_8602_backq.jpg

The visual highlight of the car has to be the stunning spider claw alloy wheels.

Owning a Fiat Abarth Punto - A car with character. EDIT : 15,000 km completed!-img_20181209_wheel1.jpg

The 16-inch rims in gunmetal gray and silver with the red scorpion badge at the center add character to the car. The stock tyres are 195/55 Apollo Alnacs which offer an adequate mix grip and comfort. They are a bit noisy and their grip is insufficient to prevent wheel spin under hard acceleration in lower gears. The spare wheel is a 15-inch steel space saver.
The boot space is sufficient for a couple of mid-sized strolley bags or the monthly grocery shopping bags. Folding down the rear seats almost doubles the boot space.

Bringing it all together – the driving experience

Having grown used to the 90BHP multijet diesel engine in our Manza, it took me some time to unlearn the low-rev, quick up-shift style. Shifting up after 3000 RPM helps you enjoy this car better. If you are flooring the gas pedal in the first two gears, you can’t afford to loosen your grip on the steering, else you can be caught off guard by the torque steer. Power delivery is smooth beyond the 2000 RPM mark and does not wane noticeably until the redline. Most of my driving in the city suburbs and it isn't often that I get a chance to open up the throttle, but when I do, it is exhilarating. The steering transmits all undulations and irregularities of the road surface – not in a jarring manner but in a subtle, sensitive way that adds significantly to the driving pleasure.

The steering is on the heavier side, almost as heavy as in my Manza. The suspension is stiff enough to carry good speeds into corners. The stiffness also reduces chances of bottoming out on speed breakers. But, the low ground clearance needs to be kept in mind while driving on bad roads. I have had a couple of mild scrapes under the front bumper while climbing in and out of deep ruts and road shoulders. The engine guard is sturdy and comes in handy under such rare circumstances.

The gear shifts were hard and vague in the beginning. They eased out considerably by about 3000 kms. It doesn’t bother me anymore, other than the shift to first from second which still can hold up once in a while. A slick shifter would have made the driving experience flawless. The clutch is light but with a long travel. The “biting” range, on the other hand, is short and takes a little getting used to. The dead pedal is a little narrow and I never use it.

I have found and can easily re-discover a reasonably comfortable driving position in the car. But, the seating for me is a little less comfortable than in the Manza. Better thigh support and less steep A-B-C pedals would have helped. Visibility straight ahead is good. A-pillars are restrictive, need to bob your head a little to avoid blind spots in the front corners. OVRMs are adequate.

Overtaking on the highway is a breeze. It can leave unsuspecting drivers startled by the rapidity with which it can pull away. The superb steering, brilliant brakes and the suspension that behaves better and better at higher speeds add to the confidence and joy of driving in highways. The car can carry speeds into curves and change lanes quickly without losing composure. However, it is in roads with twists and tight curves that the car really comes into its element. The power, manual shifts, hefty alive steering and stiff chassis all come together to deliver a delightful driving experience.

Within the city, the lack of room for opening up the engine can be frustrating at times. The turbo lag at lower RPMs can impede driveability. The clutch being a little long (though smooth and light) adds to crawling woes.

There is no denying that this car is fun to drive. At about 14.5BHP per lakh of rupees, this car, arguably, offers the most fun per lakh. It has all the ingredients of a hot hatch – a rev-happy engine that’s powerful enough to produce torque steer, a manual transmission, a steering that keeps you connected to the car and the road, a suspension and chassis that keeps the car planted and pointed as intended and dependable braking power. One may contend that at 145 BHP, it is a “warm” rather than a “hot” hatch. Maybe. But it’s the best under 20 Lakhs and more than adequate for the kind of driving conditions in India. For a hitherto non-enthusiast like me, it is a revelation, an affordable access to automotive bliss. It is a car with a raw feeling, slightly flawed in terms of an imperfect gearbox and a tensed seating position. It is a car that keeps you engaged and alive, never really letting you slip into a monotony. Therein lies it's charm.


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Is it good?
As an enthusiast’s car – Yes. Emphatically.
The stock car itself is a load of fun. For someone like me, who hasn’t been “born a petrol-head’’ it’s almost more than I can handle. For the more adventurous (and monied), the possibilities of adding a larger intercooler, after-market exhaust, engine remap, lowered suspension, modified air intake, maybe even a limited slip differential etc., make it a good project car.



As a solo / duet daily commuter – Maybe.
I use it as one. Thirty kilometers round trip each day. Half the time alone, and the other half of the time with my better half. Drivability in city / suburban traffic is not an issue once you get used to it. Quick getaways from traffic lights can be fun too. But be prepared to visit the gas station frequently. Single digit mileage is the norm for city drives. Taking U-turns need to be planned a little given the longish turning radius.

As the sole family car – Probably not.
Limited space at the back, less than practical interiors, higher running costs, lack of a “plush” ride, availability of more comfortable (eg. i20) / safer (eg. Figo) / efficient (Eg. Swift) / convenient (eg. Jazz) options in the hatchback segment make it a difficult choice for the non-enthusiast looking for a rounded family car.

Last edited by cogWheel : 9th December 2018 at 23:40.
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Old 23rd October 2018, 21:47   #5
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EARLY OWNERSHIP

We drove the car form Mysuru to Managluru, a distance of about 270 Kms the day after we took delivery of it. I had set the speed buzzer to 60 kmph. It was not an easy drive as I had to try hard to drive it sedately. I also stalled the car a few times over the first couple of weeks. Using it on a daily basis helped me get to know the car pretty quickly.

I have faced many a disbelieving look, snide smiles and curious queries about my choice. It isn't often that a middle-aged, grey-haired, be-spectacled Professor is found driving a car with a giant red scorpion plastered over the roof. Explaining what and why an Abarth is not easy. Becomes all the more complicated when you say it’s a Fiat. And that it’s a petrol car. And that you had to buy it from another city. And that there's no service center in the city. It has been an experience in itself.

The engine has perceptibly opened up over the last 5000 KM. It revs more easily now. I also feel the power delivery is more linear now. The initial torque steer seems to be a little muted now. It is possible that I have got used to the power to some extent now and have learned to handle it a little better.

We had a chance of driving to Mysuru as we had to take the car there for its first mandatory service. The drive through the newly resurfaced Shiradi ghats which was at the time only open to light vehicles was an excellent opportunity to put the car through its paces. The Abarth really shines in these conditions. The brilliant steering and handling in the twisties leaves you wanting for more. This has been one of the most exciting drives for me so far.

The one niggle I have had is a sticky driver’s door lock. The lock would open easily from inside, but would sometimes be difficult to open from outside. I got the door pad opened and the lock mechanism greased at a FNG. This seems to have fixed it. One day, I found that the small triangular black plastic panel below the stalk of the driver side wing mirror had dropped off. I called the Sales Advisor at the Mysuru dealership and the spare part was couriered to me within a week.

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The white car picks up tar spots easily. The road on my daily commute was being asphalted for several days, and I picked up a large number of tar spots along the running board and rear bumper behind the wheels. The lack of mud flaps aggravates the problem. I got the car washed and degreased at a local detailing service. A couple of months later, a bunch of tar spots has reappeared.

I have seen how cars can influence others on the road. I have noticed that the sight of the red-liveried car prompts some of the other drivers into a race mode. I have seen aggressive attempts at overtaking and speeding even when I was driving sedately. This is often triggered after being overtaken. Conversely, compared to my experience with the Nano, pedestrians are less likely to “walk into” the road when being approached. Similarly, bikers hesitate to streak across the road.

I have also experienced how a machine can shape one’s own behavior. In the first couple of months, I have seen myself, almost sub-consciously, being drawn into a race or two on the road. The power on tap is tempting. It is easy to overtake and pull away from another car, for no particular reason, just because you can. Now, that was uncharacteristic of me. I have been a sedate, defensive driver all the while. So it was a sort of an unmasking of a more impatient side of me. But over the subsequent few months, I have become more conscious of this and my driving has become smoother and less impulsive. I drive spiritedly when conditions allow and focus on enjoying the driving rather than trying go faster than another car. I particularly let small cars and bikers who are trying a little too hard to catch up or overtake as they seem to be willing risk a lot on these road races.

Owning a Fiat Abarth Punto - A car with character. EDIT : 15,000 km completed!-img_8635_profiletree.jpg

Last edited by cogWheel : 9th December 2018 at 22:47.
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Old 9th December 2018, 20:42   #6
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FIRST SERVICE (5000 KM)

The first service for the Abarth Punto is an “inspection service” at 5000 KM or 6 months, whichever is earlier. My car completed reached the 5K mark in 5 months. I booked an appointment for service on 29 Sept 2018 a to say the let Urs Kar Service, Mysuru. The experience was a little underwhelming.

The inspection service involves a routine check-up, engine oil top-up, if required, wheel alignment and a wash. I had requested for a Wurth underbody coating and installation of mud flaps as additional services. I also asked for 1 L of engine oil for emergency top-up as the nearest service station for me is 260 km to my city.
  • It took eight hours for the service. I requested to be allowed into the workshop during the service. I was allowed for the first couple of hours during which engine oil top up and wheel alignment was done. I was later asked to wait in the customer lounge. The wait went on till 6.00 PM in the evening.
  • When the car was finally announced to be ready, I found that a part of the side stripe decal on the left bumper corner had been peeled off. The mud flaps hadn’t been installed. The car was hardly washed.
  • There was an attempt to claim that decal had peeled off prior to service. The SA then accepted that it “may” have happened during the wash. Naturally, replacement decals were not available in stock. I was promised that they would be sourced and sent to me, under warranty. It has been three weeks now, and they are yet to arrive.
  • The flaps were reported to be out of stock
  • The additional oil that I had requested had been forgotten
  • It took another 45 minutes to get the oil and complete the billing.
  • The next day, as we were driving back to Mangaluru, I discovered that the microSD card that I use for music was missing.
  • I heard a few rattles from the back and discovered that the rear seat which had probably been folded for cleaning, had not been locked back in place. The seat had probably jiggled around and was out of alignment with its hinges. It took some effort to lock it back in its place.

All in all, I had this frustrating feeling that the car came back worse after the service. Except probably for the oil top-up. One liter of the recommended Selenia Petronas Selenia K 5W-40 was topped up.

The service bill, including oil and wheel alignment, was Rs. 1,031. The Wurth underbody coating and lubrication were charged at Rs. 3233.

To sum up, the service team at Mysuru FASS were inefficient and not very confidence inspiring.
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Old 10th December 2018, 00:33   #7
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Thread moved from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 10th December 2018, 10:35   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cogWheel View Post
THE BACKGROUND
We bought an Abarth Punto earlier in May this year.
This wasn't as simple as it sounds. We had tried last year in 2017 and failed. We tried again this year and succeeded in buying one.
I was eagerly waiting for your ownership thread! I remember the discussion we had over PM when you are considering the Abarth! Must say reading your report makes me happy that you are one of the few souls to get this car!

Quote:
The Abarth idea pops up
In mid-July 2017, I came across a post on T-BHP which claimed that the Abarth Punto was back in production after a gap of nearly a year and that a batch of cars was available for sale.
But in the context of our search for a second car and my new-found interest in fun-to-drive petrol cars, the Abarth Punto captured my attention.
What a car... This is perhaps the last of the FTD cars minus the electronic nannies and old school tech.

Quote:
Attempt One at Acquiring an Abarth.
I spoke to the Sales Manager who said they would accept booking for the Abarth Punto and deliver in four to six weeks. To cut a long story short, over a couple of phone calls, e-mails and an additional visit, we negotiated for a discount of 60K over the OTR price and paid an advance of 50K to booked a Pearl White Abarth Punto on 2nd August 2017.
https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/what-...ml#post4251816 (The "I Booked my Car" Thread)
Tell me about it.. Fiat being Fiat, there is no uncertainty on what will come up next. I was lucky to get my hands on the car as it was with the dealer.

Quote:
The Abarth pops up... again
For me this was probably the last opportunity to buy a petrol motor with decent performance and the other driver oriented characteristics. I think we are in the last decade or so of the dominance of the Internal Combustion Engine.
As they say, Italians know a thing or two about the design, and the Abarth has charmed its way to your garage. I also think that you were really patient as well. It's not easy to cancel the booking and book the same car again after some time.

Quote:
Attempt Two at Acquiring an Abarth
Over the next week, I obtained the price list, negotiated on the price and finally got a quotation offering a 50K discount on the initially quoted OTR. So on 4th May 2018, we transferred an amount of 50K as advance and booked a Pearl White Abarth Punto for the second time in 9 months. The Sales Advisor (actually, Assistant Sales Manager) was responsive and responsible. Though I was doing everything on the phone, it was not a stressful experience.
As they say, alls well that ends well. Good to see you finally acquiring the Abarth. Wishing you years of reliability and lakhs of 'fun' kilometre on the car.

Here is a milestone pic from yesterday on my car. I hoped to cross 50k kms, but ended up just 5 km short!
Owning a Fiat Abarth Punto - A car with character. EDIT : 15,000 km completed!-img_5411.jpg
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Old 10th December 2018, 10:38   #9
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Wonderful write-up. I happen to own a Punto Evo 90BHP Dynamic
. It also has a touchscreen like the one in your Abarth. I wanted to know if it also has a plug and play output for a reverse camera.
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Old 10th December 2018, 12:01   #10
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Congratulations!

IMO the only hatchback below 15 lakhs to deserve the title "hot hatch".

I have extensively driven the VW GT twins, they were just lukewarm. The 1.6 tdi was better than the even more ordinary 1.2 Tsi.

My experience with Abarth happened in BHPian NITNINJA's Abarth. What supposed to be a 10km drive happened to become a 150 km drive on NH45. I thoroughly enjoyed the torque steer in the second gear I can't say anything more than that or I will be banned lol.

I loved the car. I did not find ergonomics bad nor the headlamps insufficient.

Let's forget power, the car is a friggin leech on road. I did corners at unmentionable speeds and it stuck like glue onto the lane. And the brakes !!! Amazing amazing package if you don't mind spending on fuel.

I just witnessed the fuel indicator needle drop very fast as we were ripping the car on the highway. Blame might also be on me, for I drive an ultra fuel efficient Ciaz diesel.

It is a great car, have fun! It's very very hard to get this car out of control or make mistakes while driving. It is like my rc390. It makes you hone your skills. It is cheap but at the same time can hold its own against much much more expensive machines (atleast until 120 kmph).

Last edited by PrasannaDhana : 10th December 2018 at 12:03.
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Old 10th December 2018, 12:41   #11
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First of all congratulations on acquiring a cracker of a car! Abarth Punto was my "date" on last year's valentine's day and i had her for a whole day thanks to a friend of mine. I still cannot forget the smile it managed to put on my face every time i floored the gas pedal. I had a couple of airport runs on that day and the car felt right at home on the bangalore highways.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cogWheel View Post
THE BACKGROUND
Attempt One at Acquiring an Abarth.
A couple of days later, we went to Hanuman Cars Ltd., the lone Fiat dealership in town (Mangaluru). The place was deserted, with a Punto MJD and a Linea Classic on display. The lone Sales Advisor appeared to be surprised to see us and even more surprised when we asked for the Abarth Punto. There was no demo or test-drive car and the lone car that they had in the showroom since 2015/2016 had been sold to a customer from Bangalore a couple of months earlier. He offered a test drive in an Urban Cross MJD, a brochure, and a price list. I wasn't too surprised or disappointed by all this because I had expected this from the struggling Fiat dealership. [/i]
I have visited this particular showroom many times for servicing the older gen Punto. They are least bothered, very careless with the cars and plain scam artists. Instead of replacing a leaking strut they suggested an entire suspension replacement and quoted a labour bill north of 8k. Take care while leaving your prized possession in their hands in case you plan on getting some work done there.

Cheers!
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Old 10th December 2018, 12:43   #12
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Is the door damped from factory or am I being mislead?
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Old 10th December 2018, 14:45   #13
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Congratulations! I have the car you almost bought (Polo GT TSI, bought pre-worshipped), and you have the car I really really wanted to buy but didn't (Abarth Punto). It was all the complaints about the notchy gearbox and iffy ergonomics that I couldn't muster the courage to ignore, and then it went out of production. Also, what is with the MID? I am usually a big fan of all things retro, but that MID!

Having read your review, I must confess that I feel a pang of regret. Well, c'est la vie.

Off-topic:
  1. Just like you, I learnt driving very late in life - I got my DL at 32. My first car was the Polo 1.2 Petrol.
  2. I couldn't help but smile when I read your section on "how a machine can shape one’s own behavior". I went through a similar cycle when I moved from the 1.2 to the TSI. It was harder for me in some ways, because I am a pretty aggressive driver by nature. The 1.2 was never fast or quick enough, but the TSI really fed my aggressiveness (and I don't mean it in a good way). It took me a month to come to my senses.
  3. You fool yourself when you say you weren't "born a petrol-head". You wouldn't have thought about the GT TSI or the Abarth if you weren't one. And while the car may seem "more than you can handle", I won't be surprised to hear in 6 months that you went ahead and got some performance mods. May I suggest a non-resonated exhaust? Why do I think so? Here's my story: After 3-4 months of fighting with myself, I went ahead and got a Stage 1 remap. More than happy with it, and already thinking about Stage 2...
  4. I really love your writing style!

Enjoy the car, and do keep this thread updated.
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Old 10th December 2018, 15:48   #14
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Default re: Owning a Fiat Abarth Punto - A car with character. EDIT : 15,000 km completed!

Congrats cogWheel! That is one hell of a machine you got there, unbeatable as a package for any enthusiast.

Once you are out of warranty, try the Motul 8100 X Cess engine oil, it just takes up the smoothness of the engine to next level.




Quote:
Originally Posted by pavi View Post
Attachment 1826621

Is the door damped from factory or am I being mislead?
Yes, that is an acoustic damping sheet provided from the factory by Fiat on the inner panel for all doors.
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Old 10th December 2018, 16:06   #15
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Default re: Owning a Fiat Abarth Punto - A car with character. EDIT : 15,000 km completed!

Congratulations! It's a lovely car.

This car will most likely be an icon in the years to come. We don't usually get a lot of fun to drive cars. It's a shame that it doesn't sell in good numbers. I would definitely like to have this or either of the JTP twins in my garage some day.
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