Source:- BSM FTD Test - Honda Brio vs Maruti Suzuki Swift vs Fiat Punto 90 vs Skoda Fabia - Down the hatch Fiat Punto 90 You half expected it, didn’t you? Well, stereotypes can also be true sometimes, right? ‘Fiat makes driver’s cars’ is one of those, but the Punto 90 does prove it is true. Despite being the oldest hatchback around, this hatch can be called ageless in terms of its FTD abilities. Oh, and after all that, it looks so jaw-droppingly good too! SLALOM The Punto 90 is a no-drama car. It quietly went about demolishing the slalom run as if it had been born to do this every day. Sorry about it, but some clichés are also true, like the one that says ‘handling like it’s on rails’. No other hatchback sold in India does that. Rapid directional changes just don’t fluster it. The steering feedback is firm and offers terrific precision. What it means to you: That you have a hatchback that is dynamically sorted and obeys your commands. When you have to sift between slow moving traffic, this should be your weapon of choice. But a rider: you need to be at the right gear and in the right rpm range. BCAT Like with the phenomenal ability to shift weight between both sides without flustering you, the braking and collision avoidance is also accomplished smoothly. At the braking marker, you can just slam on the brakes and it sheds speeds rapidly. So rapidly that the obstacle does not even pretend to be one. What it means to you: Brakes provide good stopping power and pedal feedback is good too. Avoiding an obstacle is done effortlessly, as the steering allows you to manoeuvre precisely. CORNERING & ROUNDABOUT Taking the left-hander at more than normal speeds, the Punto surprises you with its precision again. You can simply track the front left wheel and position it where you want to. And it barely understeers, keeping to your intended trajectory well and true. On the roundabout, it maintains its line without wanting to break out, even if you increase speeds. What it means to you: This car is a terrific corner carver. Keep the engine on the boil and you can really straighten them all. The steering makes this package a winner. STRAIGHT-LINE PERFORMANCE Okay, it cannot all be perfect, can it? It is established that the Punto is a dynamically sorted car, with attributes that should ideally be seen in larger sedans. And that ensures it gets the trophy here and not the performance from the drivetrain. The specs may look good on paper, but it is the gearing that mars the package. The Swift diesel for instance can show Fiat how it is done, despite the lesser horsepower. But mid-range and usable power is not that bad. Here are the figures: 20 to 60 kph: 5.50 seconds, 40 to 80 kph: 6.83 seconds, 80 to 120 kph: 12.35 seconds. What it means to you: Provided you know how to flog the engine and make the best of the open highway given to you, the Punto 90 awards you with the requisite rush. Congrats, Fiat!