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A Grande Ownership report-the 2012 Punto Dynamic

Discussion in 'Punto 1.3 MJD' started by sidindica, Dec 1, 2012.

  1. Rachit Bhatnagar

    Rachit Bhatnagar Amatore

    Congrats sidindica,
    I think you got a great undisclosed deal;). This colors looks great in Punto. How much was the difference between Emotion & Dynamic variant. I think you spent a good amount on upgrades & must be close to Emotion range. I don't have idea of their price difference. Keep posting updates
  2. sidindica



    Is like a dicey pendulum.


    This is gonna be our first diesel car ever owned within our own family. Driving petrol all these years, change was inevitable.

    The daily usage increased, and so the running cost in the fuel fit for the vaahans for the sultan of Brunei. Petrol was becoming dearer, but no dear to me, and we thought-enough is enough.

    Time for a change. The decision was getting delayed by days after days, weeks after weeks and months after months and our korean workhorse was clocking miles after miles every passing week. Dad's 2011 pre owned city too was being driven, but somehow I don't feel comfortable in chucking big cars on the roads.

    There are basically three bahanas for considering the next hatch to run on iraq ka paani:
    1) Fuel efficiency
    2) Torque
    3) Cost of fuel

    Resale value always is like a fourth umpire. It may be certain, or uncertain, just like the game of cricket. After much dilly delaying, july 2012 was when we said, the new car will come and the wait will be worth it. Meanwhile I test drove each and every possible diesel hatch on sale countless times in the past one year to ease our purchase burden.


    The selection criteria was based on the following parameters:

    Build and safety
    Ability to withstand abuse
    Reliability and durability
    Optimum space and comfort
    optimal blend of city and highway driving
    Cruiser when driven sedately, mild bruiser when driven in a gusto manner
    Ride and handling
    fuel efficiency
    Tolerable service
    Average resale value, considering the average upkeep of say 6 years/ 1,50,000 odd km.

    Please note that service and resale counted on our last of our priorities. Why? Because of two reasons:
    a) The consumer isn't a moron, she's your wife. In this case, the car is my wife.
    b) Enjoy the car as a product per se, because appearances can always be deceptive. Jo dikhta hai, woh bikta hai, lekin wohi cheez kabhi kabar fikta hai.

    Based on the parameters, the hunt for our definitive diesel hatchback started.

    The contenders:

    Volkswagen Polo 1.2 TDI
    Ford Figo 1.4 TDCI
    Maruti Swift 1.3 DDIS
    Maruti Ritz 1.3 DDIS
    Tata Indica E-V2 CR4
    Tata Vista 1.3 QJD
    Fiat Grande Punto 75
    Hyundai I20 1.4 CRDi
    Skoda fabia 1.2 TDI
    Toyota Etios Liva GD
    To wait or not to wait for the chevrolet sail?
    Beat? Mehh...It's not a car, its a bullock cart.

    And so therein the test drives started. Like I said, may the best vehicle win.


    How did the comparisons go?
    And how did we eliminate one by one before arriving at our final decision?
    Find all about it in Chapter 4, Evaluation and Elimination, to be up in a few days.

    Till then, Ciao.
    2 people like this.
  3. redbull


    What is the air filter issue?
  4. pdydeva

    pdydeva Regolare

    Wow.. Sid is back.. If you are the same Sid who reviewed the 2012 Fiat Punto under the topic "Fiat Grande Punto 2012: First Drive" in the other forum, thanks a lot. Along with TFI you definitely have helped me in making my choice.

    Congrats on your new purchase.

    • Future Generali seems to be working at a dream land. My car's insurance policy quotes 75hp Emotion as 90hp Emotion pack (a model which is no more available). Got an endorsement saying that the 90hp Emotion pack has to be read as 75hp Emotion :A Still, I am not convinced about the premium calculation as the value of vehicle is way less than what I have paid for. I tried calling up Future Generali numbers a couple of times, and as expected no one picked up. Gotta take same approach of shooting emails:punch
    • How did you get these HSRP plates fixed? As there are no thread holes in the Punto's bumpers, I had to fix the HSRP plates with normal screws instead of the 'lock and break' type.
    • I am yet to receive my Freebies (pillows, tyvek car cover and neck rest) and the RSA manual. Wrote emails to the dealership, but no response. Called up the SA, then he acknowledged the mail. TATA must teach them first to reply mails.

    What is the Air Filter issue? I do feel loss of power at times while climbing the steep ramp at my office and the car won't climb any further. Is there a problem with stock air filter?
  5. sidindica




    One fine life is ruined when I often:

    1) Drink kaala paani
    2) Drink a matti ka paani which tastes surprisingly ghastly
    3) Drink another pataal ka paani which tastes as if the second rule of salt is breached by tasting so bitterly sweet.
    4) Drink a pure safed paani which tastes full of energy
    5) Drink an invisible paani and keep wondering about unlimited supplies from your body's unlimited demand. Only paseena, sadly no haseena by your side.


    I belong to the old school of thought. Have modern forms, yet traditional values. It works, trust me, it really works.

    But going the newton way often reaps benefits. Call it every action has an equal and opposite reaction, or call it the newton's third law.

    Those ghastly grizzly souls inside me must be thinking why I am aghast staring at cars at each and every showroom I went countless times during weekends wasting countless hours in evaluating the countesses of countless souls trying to sell me countless deals.

    Whatever be the perception of my contestents before choosing my final dating partner, one thing has to be clear. It has to be it. Meaning, this is it.


    Presenting miss automobilia de la carte:

    The contestents:

    1: Chevrolet Beat 1.0 TCDi

    The first day I saw this video game in reality, I stared at this aghast. This is someTHING, different from the ordinary. It looks like nothing else, it feels like nothing else, it handles like nothing else, it has comfort unlike anything else, it has space like nothing else, it rides like nothing else, but, the best of all, it GOES like nothing else. This thing is so feeble, it died don the minute I turned on the AC. 1000 cc, 57 bhp 3 pot chopped version of the multijet. GM, are you kidding? 25.44 kmpl is OK, but for god's sake, why on earth should I spend 6L plus on an LT-O which is all show and no go?
    This is oversmartness shown by smartech, which is not so smart. The interiors are gizmoetic, but I ain't that poetic, the insides are claustrophobic and worst of all, the seats are not made of curl on matresses. These are cements in fabric disguise!!!!!! The car looks futuristic, but its like a phenomenon of all show and no go. I need to venture out on the highway, and this thing would take me many light years to make me reach my destination. Full marks to the outlandish lighting and when it gets customised, man, does this video game on wheels have street presence. Great Job chevrolet, but for me, its a big MEHH.
    I wanted to buy a car, not a 6 lakh rupee slowcoach. Full marks to the 3 pot refinement, but not my cup of tea.
    Sadly, for me, this car was LIKE NOTHING ELSE.

    Status: Eliminated.

    2. Maruti Suzuki Ritz 1.3 DDIS

    Joy inside. A million reasons to live the moment. Tall enough for me to get in and out, by just walking in. Poor Man's Honda CR-V like insides with high SUV like driving position and gear knob. Practical inside. I started the engine, and the clatter was present. It looks sinfully sexy from the front, that lozenge like head lights and the huge audi-like grille swell. Pure nirvana. Turbo lag is evident. This thing takes ages to get kicked when pressed the throttle. Turbo spools to life...think am I a teetotaller? This thing has shockingly decent ride for a maruti, I am terrified to see the suspension competitiveness. Moreover, I am shockingly surprised to see how efficient this tall tower is. My brownie soul gives it a few more points for its all round neutrality. Wish neutrila gave me a year's supply of free nuggets after the test drives.
    And then I start to see the dark side of eating nuggets. My mind is mushroomified when I see getting heads turn for all the wrong reasons. The "souls" who designed this car should understand that cars are not about just washing machines meant to take you from point A to B. When I went on multiple dating sessions, girls were turning heads for all the wrong reasons. I was wondering.....who's this ghastly soul at the driver's seat driving a car with a factory dent at the rear? The "rear" factor also defines the bottom. A fat bottom.....man, this is just downright sexiness personified. This is a sexy looking ugly duckling. Poor soul who was not paid well at the time of designing took a revenge at the studio-let me take a kickback at the art of designing a "car". And the impractical small tacho, the average interior parts, the infamous squeaks..rattles...the pleasures of owning a peace of mind maruti service backup suzuki all came grinding down my heels.
    Mind you, its a car that is underrated, yet it sells. Why? Because the market likes to sell. Why? because the dealer wants to sell. Why? because i do not want to buy it.
    End of the story. 6,36,000 for a ZDI? MSIL, are you joking?

    Status: Eliminated.

    3. Volkswagen Polo

    Ladies and gentlemen, beware. This is not just a car. This is polo. The mint with the whole. To let the refreshment through. This, this thing has this cute understated characteristically minimalist lines. No curves, pure sensible lines. This is sexiness at its conservative best. And flashy in flash red, deeply flashy in deep black. This is world car of the year 2010, ladies and gentlemen. The shut lines, the quality, the finish, it reeks of class. And the new refresh model looks complete with those euro style kajal edition black headlights and new alloys. Buy one, customsise it with GTI grille, GTI LED DRL equipped headlamps and you have a killer machine roaming the Delhi streets painting the town red. The minimalist interiors are functional too.
    But, whats with the fact that the motor powering this torque monster was designed by a "soul" that too this phrase a bit too seriously? I was surprisingly shocked when I saw the gorgeous autobahn german engineered burner was powered by the engine of a tractor. A machine thats a real torque monster. It starts with a loud clatter, becomes more clattery and becomes the clattriest when revved loud. This appliance has too much turbo lag, and is possibly the worst car ever driven in the city. It requires too much effort to get it to going, the accelerator and clutch pedal vibrate like a begger's desperate stomach and worse of all, the cramped rear. Absolutely no legroom, whatever be the seat position.
    Now comes the best part: The cost of servicing: Absolutely cheap. The dealer mentality: Absolutely cheap. The standards of after sales service: absolutely cheap. And the single reason? Nothing comes free. These "souls" even charge for a bloody dhulai and safai thingy. And give lame excuses citing the so called VW policies. First service at 15,000. Till then, the whole car would live its eternity biting the dust and grime of Indian conditions, things would begin to fall apart, and worse, the placement of oil sump and exposed sensors=recipe of disaster.
    People are buying this in hordes, and I have only one phrase to describe: May God give your souls a true rest in peace.
    Sorry, it does not come with 10 autos as part of the included price. At 7,78,000 for the highline, I will soon start to roam around in red light areas with a katora begging to give money to give it some "decent parvarrish".

    Status: Eliminated.

    4. Skoda Fabia

    With all my time and efforts going waste in describing the polo game, I have ran out of breath driving the 1.2 TDI 3 pot of this old, dated cousin of polo. I will describe this car in one sentence:
    More spacely curvacious cousin of polo with roots of a maternal grandfather having faced decades of "saas-bahu" wars. This car simply amazes with its close to segment best interior space, comfort, fit and finish, body rigidity, ride and handling. But its dated, old and the skoda horror service stories only add to the infamous icing on the cake. No comments.

    Status: Eliminated.

    5. Maruti Swift.

    This is not just another car.
    Its an iconic story of young India's success.
    Its an iconic story of common man's excitement. Its an iconic story of CBU beating waiting periods. Its an iconic story of how one car can turn around an automobile world. Its a case study in itself. BUT, maybe someone here and there doesn't know whats the meaning of the word "icon".
    I had iconic expectations and mind you, this was the car I test drive goddamn how many times. I drove this again, and again and again just to understand one point-whats so iconic in this car? To me, its just a normal car. To take me from point A to point B. but with an added bonus of a more refined and silent multijet, more efficient, more linear power delivery and bigger feeling overall compared to its predecessor. Perception of so called "maruti service=peace of mind" was proving to kill my peace until.....
    ...One fine day. On a long TD, I see a buffalo veering here and there. I stop the zdi. It won't stop early. I press the pedal hard, it skids. GODDAMN a car with ABS is skidding. A car with such horrendous brakes....its a bloody potential safety hazard. I then start to do more research and drive more samples. Its the same old story. This is not cost cutting. Its cutting corners. Worse, it only has a lightweight compact 2 channel ABS, not 4 channel which dissipates brake force more effectively. Consumer complaints begin to pour in at an alarming rate, even the service centers are clueless about the whole issue, and no nothing about it. So much for the peace of mind factor.
    And then come the gruesome hideous anecdotes. Reduced boot space and still no legroom despite a 30 percent increase in length and wheelbase. This is packaging at its worst. MSIL, learn something from Toyota and Honda, and more so, from Tata on how to do interior packaging. And at 7.4 odd lakhs for ZDI, its just plain poor VFM in the market.
    Just for a good stereo and service factor, I said hi tauba and walked away. I can live with a good car-below average service rather than a below average car with good service or a bad car with a bad service. Let the nation swiftly swoon and pick this in hordes, but for me, my life is precious and so is the value quotient and the swift simply failed to impress big time, especially since its identical practical cousin is 80K cheaper.

    Status: Eliminated.

    6. Nissan micra/Renault Pulse

    All of a sudden, I have, what in front of me, is a real definition of clonical affair. Perhaps, an affair to remember? One looks feminine, and another pretends to look like a masculine with a true french beard added. They look unlike anything else on the road, and thats a good thing. Maybe once in a lifetime I wanted to be seen driving cars which look outlandish, esp in flashy torchlights flashed on arrival at Lakme fashion week every year. That oranges..greens...reds...shades made me swell.
    Lets look at those hearts. They are powered by a simple old school SOHC 8V engines with huge 1461 displacement but having-say it with cheese-"only
    65 bhp. But don't let the figures fool you. I remain a huge fan of this legendery K9K motor which is renowed for its torque, driveability, fuel efficiency and longeavity. These cars are absolute user friendly to drive in the city and I still rank them as the best diesel hatches in terms of city driveability and user friendliness. Quality build and well finished inside and out, they almost made me to consider the, as my strongest contenders. They are stupidly fast, handle like a go kart and ride Ok-ish so, but when then came the shock of my life.
    Cars, meant to go fast, should also be designed to stop without any fuss. And, it was the brakes which was the single biggest deal breaker. I can live with whatever service quality offered (no problems for me) but I need a car that not only goes fast, but also stops without any fuss. And thats where the role of ABS, as an active safety measure, comes in.
    A 7 lakh rupee hatch without ABS is a big no no for me, and the pulsating clonical love affair with my micra sadly came to an abrupt end.
    Give it an ABS and I can strongly consider it as my second car.

    Status: Eliminated.

    7. Tata Indica E-V2 CR4

    Only one line. No ABS option plus No rear wiper option plus grizzly sounding motor=Elimination.

    8. Toyota Etios Liva

    I have seen many classes. Nursery. KG. 1-12. A.B.C.D...but this something called a Q class sounded really amusingly surprise of a shock when I saw this appliance in person first. This looks so Quoringly Boring class. Boring here, there and everywhere. Just plain vanilla boring. The electrified blue looks super boring. And the lava red looks even superior boring. But, I still decided to take a dekko. And then my nightmares started.
    This thing costs a whopping 7 lakhs. And it DOES NOT have a tacho. It has ABS, optional airbags BUT NO rear wiper. It has a cheesy and a ghastly interior ambience. Just as if I am back to the era of the 1970s. Retro cool? No, I ain't a retro fool.
    Too much negativities aside, I took multiple drives for two reasons. a) Its a toyota; and b) Its neutral and practical.
    This car has shocking amount of head, legroom, width and boot space inside. The car feels like a poor man's lounge on wheels. And more shockingly so, the 1.4 D-4D, 8V SOHC 68 hp engine is shockingly cool on driveability, just as close to micra and pulse. And, even after much abuse, the legendery toyota quality is evident. No squeaks, no rattles and this thing feels like it can go on and on with proper care. And beleive it or not, it has a sump guard underneath.
    But, there is this wow factor it lacks. Had it been priced about sava laakh sasta, it would have been in consideration, but come on, toyota, you could have done much better in this department. There is nothing wow in the liva, its just a sensible hatch meant to take you from point A to B with the promise of fuss free reliability and service, but life is more than being sensible. The TRD sportivo was also actually very cool, but still "unkool".

    Status: Eliminated.

    9. Ford figo

    This was one car I still remain a huge fan of. No, there is nothing great about it, its just a great all rounder at a very competitive price. It drives well, is user friendly, spacious and comfortable and best of all, has huge price to utility quotient. Worth a consideration.

    10. Tata Indica Vista

    Another shockingly competitive but highly underrated car. It does have its share of debatable pros and cons and niggles, but look at the value quotient and she will impress with its wide repertoire of talents. Proven multijet, acres of space and comfort, esp the rear bench, loaded with equipment at a competitive price and above all, very fine balance of driveability, ride and handling. Worth a consideration.

    11. Fiat Punto

    Yet another amazingly competitive but shockingly underrated diesel hatch. Oh-so-cool personality, chart busting design, ride and handling. Poor back bench space and mediocre performance and interiors, staringly aghast brand perception but just look at the value quotient. It's a hatch that promises and delivers from what its limited clientele asks to. Still, worth a consideration.


    Three cars, one battle. Its the survival of the fittest. What went into the second round of iffs and butts?
    And how did the punto win this family appeal comparo?
    Were there any tense moments?
    Were there any twist in the tales?


    Find out all about it in Chapter 5, titled "the finalist", to be up in a few days time.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2012
    9 people like this.
  6. punto_emotion

    punto_emotion Esperto

    Grande Punto 1.3
    Wow! One of the detailed reviews I have read! Fantastic review & Congrats Sid for your fantastic beauty! Happy mile crunching :steering
  7. gvikram7969

    gvikram7969 Timido

    MH 42
    Great and congrats! You have changed the rim size from 14" to 15" linea, but do you have to change the setting of the odometer and speedometer in the ECU? Has the GC increased by 1"? Pl. let me know so that I can do the same to increase the GC. Thanks and take care
  8. PatchyBoy

    PatchyBoy Esperto

    Brilliant review Sid. Wish more potential buyers do such homework, or atleast read this review and then decide. :clap Waiting for the rest of the story.

    Sorry to burst the bubble, but the GC would have actually reduced. The OE 165/80 R14 would have had a rolling radius of 309.8 mm against the rolling radius of 307.5 mm of the upsized 195/60 R15. In other words, the GC would have reduced by 2.3 mm. The speedo error would be negligible. When doing 70 mph (112 kmph) the indicated speed would be 69.48 mph (111.16 kmph).

    Last edited: Dec 8, 2012
    2 people like this.
  9. sidindica



    img (84).JPG

    So here you go,

    You live only one life. You live only once. You feel mesmerized.
    To stand atop the podium.
    To feel on top of the world.
    To be known.
    To be recognized.
    To be admired.
    You don't need to anyone famous.
    A sense of intellogic is enough.

    img (85).JPG

    The third finalist: Tata Indica Vista

    I always had soft corner for this hatch. I get to drive still many times, and I still remain surprised at the wide repertoire of talents this thing has. Space and width enough to put a smile as wide as Russia to your face, good refinement, driveability and ride. And after discounts, on road at 5.9L, it was a deal worth a steal. But, for me, I also had to look at finer things and that's where it went short.
    This car has sedan class headroom and legroom, true to its tagline. But boot is shockingly small. I need to carry loads of luggage often and this thing cannot even take 2 full sized suitcases. Smart interior but not so smart boot space. The audio system is amazing, loaded and with upgrade, can perform very well. But, audio is not everything. It should also be appealing in terms of the drive. And thats where it surprised me. This thing drives shockingly well, only limited by the narrow tyres and inconsistent steering feel. Tyre upsize was on plan, but steering cannot be corrected. This hatch for the price is tremendous value, but the overall "feel good factor" was lacking. I can live with the minor niggles, and the reliability of the later vistas is much, much better. But what my mom really hated was one single factor that made it out of contention.
    And dollops of it.
    My mom hates bling. And the VX has chrome, here, there and everywhere. Top to bottom, from bra to panty, its chromified at every corner possible. I still prefer the simplistic looks of he older vista and would have loved to reconsider. But....

    Status: Eliminated.

    The second finalist: Ford Figo

    At the time we were finalizing the car, the facelifted figo was not launched. And the moment I drove the facelifted figo, I madly fell in love with it. It drove so well, was more refined and more driveable and for the negligible price increase, it still provides tremendous value.
    Now, coming back to the old figo.
    My colour choice had to be red or squeeze. No problems with that. Every time I drive this, this is one hatch that never fails to make me smile. Steering, so precisely tuned. Suspension. So majestically tuned for handling. Chiller of an AC. This still remains THE best handling diesel hatch with direct steering feel and minimal body roll. For 6.3L, the titanium is absolutely cracking VFM. Has amazing space all around, a big boot, and utility laden interiors are easy to maintain and best of all, servicing is very cheap, plus the 1,4 TDCI is known for driveability. But, so close, yet so far.
    I can live with the simplistic looks and utility, but the low GC and below average rear seat comfort made it out of contention. And, the placement of he radiator and bumper design didn't help either. Service-again, I can live with it despite whatever people say. Simply, because, when you drive a Ford, you get one thing always standard. A big smile. And the best part-all those 68 horses of the 1.4 SOHC 8V TDCI are utilized at its utmost best.
    As a second car for me, yes. But, maybe at a later stage.

    Status: Eliminated.

    The first finalist: Fiat Punto

    This was one car which has a love it or hate it image. But, this is also the same car which struggles to sell in a market where talented cars (say like the jazz) are duds. This hatch struggles to find buyers. This hatch suffers from a poor baggage, the prime reason it never got off to a start as was expected. The older models suffered from quality and niggles, yet those who had it or have it, love it. Then, why did I pick this?
    This car is the perfect optimal blend of all talents blended into one. It may not be the fastest, but has a wide driveable torque spread. It may not have the best legroom, but adjustments accordingly can be made for no compromise on the boot space. It may not have the best build precision, but the quality of sheetmetal and engineering depth more than made up for it. Shame on the sub par interior plastics and poorly designed storage spaces, but when you drive this car, forget all the negatives it has. Lack of sound insulation thereof still, the 2012 model is very, very improved over the 2009-11 ones. Chiller of an AC, the high GC, retuned first and second gears, better finished inside and out, driveability on city and highway, fuel efficiency and the oh so evergreen simple minimalist design, at a time when cars are getting blingier, uglier and ghastlier, this made for a refreshing change. Prehistoric era radio, shame on you fiat...why? Ill fitted ignition console remains an eyesore. Why? Ok, compromises have been made. But the solid thunk of the doors, the suspension, the steering system, the grip....but I will never forgive the increased body roll compared to figo....and the warranty and roadside assistance package. Those factors cannot be ignored. All this, at a price of a swift VDI after discounts (actual price is 7.15 IIRC). It has ABS and RR wiper too, my prime requirements. Time to pick this up after multiple test drives, despite the dicey future that always swings like a pendulum.....but

    img (86).JPG

    ....there was a big twist about to come.
    Have I ignored something?
    Was I making the right decision?
    Did I leave anything for granted?

    img (89).JPG

    Find out all about the twist, in chapter 6, to be up soon.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
    6 people like this.
  10. zenwalker

    zenwalker Esperto

    Definitely one good review story i am loving all the time. Very precise, very legit, very talented writing. Amazing sir. :clap

    Waiting for the next part.

    Seriously i am having ball reading above statement :evilsmile:lol

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