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Fiat Grande Punto Review: New Fiat Grande Punto - More Power!

New Fiat Grande Punto - More Power!

By Shiva Shankar; 24th July, 2011
Introduction

It's been a while since its launch now, and the Fiat Grande Punto has surely had lot of people talking. After the Linea, the Grande Punto is another car by Fiat that breaks with its earlier Indian image of dull, angular cars. Now that the company has come out with two more powerful engines, a 90 BHP diesel and a 1.4 L petrol engine, it’s time to take a look at the car again. We took the Fiat Grande Punto for a spin to see what it’s about.

Fiat Grande Punto

The bright shining red Fiat Grande Punto definitely looked striking at the first glance, eye-catching in fact, with sleek and quite attractive curves. It made me wonder whether the Punto has got the thing which will make people change their brand preference. After all, Indian customers have a very dusty memory of Fiat and its experience. What would it take Fiat to woo customers into its display who are already heading in herds towards Chevrolet, Ford, Maruti and Hyundai showrooms? 

Exterior

The new Fiat Grande Punto is modern day artistry with aerodynamic design and sleek looks which are good enough to make people turn and notice your car. It is available in seven striking colours to choose from. Trendily named colours such as Tuscan Wine and Fox Trot Azure complement shades of minimal grey, medium grey, white, exotica red and hip hop black which are also available to choose from.

Fiat Grande Punto

The rear is quite attractive, especially when compared to e.g. a Tata Indica standing next to the Grande Punto. The car carries a bold stance which may not be as pronounced as the Chevy Beat but is more subtle and sleek of nature. The front grille and the entire front look inspired from the Linea, but the sides definitely carry the looks of a sleek small car.

All three variants of Fiat Grande Punto have steel wheels with full wheel cover and alloy wheels are available only in the Emotion Pack. 

Interior

Leg Space and roomy interiors are what struck me when I entered the Punto. As I am quite tall, it is one of the key things I pay attention too and I always need a lot of leg space whether I am driving or sitting at the back. The Fiat Grande Punto surely puts a smile on my face when it comes to interior space. The design too is attractive enough.

Fiat Grande Punto

The car has enough pockets in all the right places. Good enough to keep lots of stuff including mobiles, coke cans, etc. The dual glove box in the front is quite spacious and offers more space for storage in front. It reminded me of Toyota Corolla Altis which has quite similar dual-opening glove box. Skoda Fabia is the only model that can compete with this feature as while it offers a single glove box, it has inside cooling.

However, the overall interiors are done in single tone which look quite boring. A combination of a more contrasting dual tone would surely look much better. There is a mild blue tone present in the car which is carried on to the audio controls and the front dash as well. Audio menu, Ac controls, gear knob, steering, etc. have a quite simplistic and old-fashioned look.

Fiat Grande Punto

The Intelligent key is something to reckon with. The combination lock changes every time the car is locked. Light controls are on the right with buttons that look something similar to Skoda Fabia. There is enough boot space of up to 280L which can be extended up to 60:40 ratio by folding the rear seats which are collapsible. 

Performance

Fiat Grande Punto is available with 1.2L petrol, 1.4L petrol and 1.3L diesel options.

The 1.3 Multijet diesel engine of Fiat Punto delivers 93 PS of maximum power with 209Nm of maximum torque which makes it the most powerful diesel hatchback in India. It delivers a mileage of 20 kmpl. There is also an older 1.3L diesel engine available which gives 75PS of power. It is an impressive feat that Fiat has increased the engine’s power, while improving the mileage as well.

Fiat Grande Punto

On the other hand, Fiat Grande Punto 1.2L has ARAI certified fuel efficiency of 15.2 kmpl while 1.4L petrol model has ARAI certificate of 13.8 kmpl.

A new technology called as the MultiAir technology has been incorporated in its engine and will be seen in all the Fiat engines. The car has also received 5-star rating in Euro NCAP safety features.  

We took the new 90BHP diesel Grande Punto for a spin. This version of the Fiat Grand Punto is a newcomer in the range, and it has definitely got a power boost versus the earlier models. The increase in power can be felt especially when the car picks up at top speed on the highway. The smoothness of the turns and its capability to stay on the road gives maximum driving pleasure.

Fiat Grande Punto

The car handled well and we were able to easily accelerate and brake as we made our way through the busy traffic to the highway.

The large disc brakes of the Grande Punto at its front wheel make it easier to stop the car quickly. The models have front tyres with ventilated disc brakes while at the rear there are drum brakes. A ground clearance of 173mm gives good driveability on the Indian roads.

 

Tech specs
Technical Specifications
 Make Fiat
 Model Grande Punto
Variant 1.2 Fire Petrol 1.4 Fire Petrol 1.3Multijet Diesel
Engine Capacity (cc) 1172 1368 1248
Power (PS) 68 90 76
Torque (NM) 96 115 197
Valves 8 16 16
Transmission 5/M 5/M 5/M
Mileage 15.2 13.8 17
Dimensions (mm)
Height 1495 1495 1495
Width 1687 1687 1687
Length 3987 3987 3987
Ground clearance 173 173 171
Wheelbase 2510 2510 2510
Boot capacity (l) 280 280 280
Fuel Tank capacity (l) 45 45 45
Features
Features Active Dynamic Emotion Emotion Pack
Power Steering Yes Yes Yes Yes
Power windows Front Yes Yes Yes
Central locking No Yes Yes Yes
A/C Yes Yes Yes Yes
Fog Lamps No Yes Yes Yes
Rearwind shield washer No No Yes Yes
Defogger No No Yes Yes
ABS with EBD No No Yes Yes
Programmed service remainder Yes Yes Yes Yes
Body coloured OVRM No No Yes Yes
Dual tone dashboard No No Yes Yes
Driver seat height adjust No No Yes Yes
Desmondronic Foldable key No No Yes Yes
Remote Keyless entry No No Yes Yes
Integrated music player No No Yes Yes
Dual airbag No No No Yes
Leather wrapped steering wheel No No No Yes
Steering mounted controls No No No Yes
Blue&me No No No Yes
Ex showroom Price Bangalore
1.2 Fire Petrol 435961 467123 498002 N/A
1.4 Fire Petrol N/A N/A 549161 608708
1.3 Multijet 520267 554211 598433 655000
1.3 Multijet 90HP N/A N/A N/A 688549
Competition
Specifications
Fiat
Punto 90 BHP
Fiat
Punto
Maruti Suzuki
Ritz
Maruti Suzuki
Swift
Tata Indica
Vista drivetech4
Hyundai
i20
Variant Emotion pack Emotion pack Vdi ABS Vdi Aura + Asta Option
Engine Capacity 1248 1248 1248 1248 1248 1396
Power in PS 93 76 75 75 75 90
Torque in NM 209 197 180 180 180 219
Gears 5/M 5/M 5/M 5/M 5/M 5/M
Power Steering Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Power windows Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Central locking Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
A/C Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Music system Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Fog Lamps Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Rear wind shield washer Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Defogger Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
ABS Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Air bag Yes Yes No No Yes Yes
Average fuel efficiency 19 19 19 19 19 19
Indicative Exshowroom Price Bangalore 6.88 6.55 5.32 5.43 5.51 7.01
Conclusion

The Fiat Grande Punto is a good buy considering the power and comforts of the car. A large wheelbase gives good driveability and maximum driving pleasure. Fuel economy is quite competitive versus the others in the segment and the exterior is very attractive. However, the model does lack style cues in the interiors. Indeed, you may be disappointed if you have been expecting something striking and a completely novel experience inside. There is nothing trendy or modern in the interiors.

After-sales service for Fiat is also something to consider, taking into account that Fiat does not have its own dealerships but sales and services are offered by Tata Motors. You may find a different counter for Fiat at the dealerships but finding a dedicated service staff or an independent service shop for Fiat at the same dealership is perhaps a bit tough. However, recent news suggests that Fiat is aware of this issue and they have started introducing dedicated teams within the dealerships to tend to the Fiat customers.

It is commendable that Fiat has introduced a higher powered version of the Punto. It will certainly be a boosting factor for the people who had thought that Punto is underpowered. Now, to some extent there is a completeness of the model with good combination of power and style.