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Fiat Punto Evo or Elite i20?

Discussion in 'Car Purchase Queries' started by PersianPrince, Aug 25, 2014.

  1. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

    Messages:
    2,449
    delhi ncr

    Boss I'd take automag reviews with a huge dosage of salt. Most of them are barely surviving and therefore the last thing they'll do is go against common prejudice in favour of the three herd-backed East Asian firms. They are also all too open to selling their ostensible 'influence' to the highest bidder. They can mask these biases and doctorings all too easily. In that respect they are typical of the commersialist Indian news media in general.

    My take on this topic: I've taken a test drive of the i20 elite. I feel it looks awkward for a hatchback. it has the new Hyundai family design language descended from the Santa Fe: more flat and boxy. That idiom works well on crossovers/pseudo-SUVs, not on hatches imo. I felt the i10 grand looks more coherent and resonant in design to the elite. Therefore: Punto Evo.

    Ride: still nowhere near as good as the Punto.
    Handling: better, but still far behind the Punto.
    Steering: Punto Evo, whose steering as in the new Linea has been recaliberated to be lighter at slow urban speeds and is gloriously feelsome and weighty on the highway. And it's still the simplest yet chunkiest and best-looking wheel around!
    Engine: I'd take the Punto's 1.4 fire over the elite's effete 1.2. The latter's good in traffic but hopeless on even slightly open roads. Though the real star petrol engine IMO in this price range is the tata revotron turbo with switchable maps in the terrific Zest. The i20 elite diesel engine's got plenty of turbo lag too, but the lightness of the i20 makes the car feel a bit more driveable in low gears. BUT: i sure felt the 90 hp mjd was a fair bit more potent in gear at higher, highway speeds and accelerations.

    Build: Punto Evo, obviously
    Quality: Punto Evo runs the celebrated i20's interiors quite close actually, especially when you consider its to me much groovier, funkier design. I felt the Punto Evo's paint and chrome quality, bumpers, head and tail lamp massemblies to also be of notable higher quality.
    Design: the i20 elite's a bit of copycat actually. The tail lamp's been mimicked from the Alfa Romeo Gulietta, while the black-on-beige with a plethora of buttons did not appeal to me, and looked like a rip-off of BMW interior design. The old Hyundai habit of copying western car makers has returned it seems!
    Equipment: version-for-version, bang-for-rupee, the Evo is actually better equipped if you consider ABS, Airbags, bigger tyres and the MID options list.
    Price and overall value: Punto.
    Overall styling aura: Punto Evo!!
    Warranty: Punto Evo
    Cost of spares and ASS labour: Punto Evo.

    Overall, i'd say the Punto Evo is THE car to buy in this segment. Only the Tata Zest can match its all-round qualities and values, its VFM imo.

    Especially if the local Fiat dealer's got a decent reputation. i.e., especially if you are in one of the bigger urban centres. And especially/obviously if you have more than slight highway, badroad, and hilly driving to do .
    5u3zEr0 and bharath like this.
  2. jayadev.m4u

    jayadev.m4u Amatore

    Messages:
    65
    Vijayawada
  3. nibedk

    nibedk Regolare

    Messages:
    291
    Hyderabad
    Grande Punto 1.3 90 HP
    Well I own a Punto Sports myself and do not agree to a lot of stuff here
    Let's give credit where its due. The engine of i20 is better in 0 -100 timings. In gear acceleration as well so better for i20. Even the older one has better in gear acceleration

    We all know the reason and that is the rubbish gearbox that Fiat has provided. The i20 has a slicker 6 speed gear box which has shorter gearing making it win all drags. And the additional 6th cog helps it breathe better @ higher speeds and cruise better. Want makes Punto better @ higher speeds is the class leading dynamics not the engine gearbox combo. The engines of both will be pretty evenly matched but its the Punto's gerabox which kills all the fun. I have extensively driven the older i20 and I think its only @ speeds above 120 where Punto starts to show its strengths. With new i20 having improved in most areas I think the high speed performance difference will be lesser than what it was earlier. As far is interiors are concerned looks are subjective and I too like the styling of Evo more that the Elite. But the quality, fit and finish of the Hyundai is ahead of Evo. I do take all such reviews with a pinch of salt. But if we enthusiasts start taking TFIs and TBHPs review with a pinch of salt then everyone has to go by what they feel personally. I was just trying to put forth points which I feel.would have helped the OP decide which car to buy. If you ask me now which car I would buy now given a choice I would still go for Punto as it fits my needs as a driver better than any other car. But at the same time I also want to point out the strengths of the other car. Any buyer would buy a car that fits his needs rather than what a enthusiast feels about a car.a

    Last gen i20 was also a 5 star ncap rated car. It was the only car in premium hatchback segment which came with all 4 discs , 6 air bags , 6 speed transmission and moon roof for the Asta optional variant if I am not wrong.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 5, 2014
    prabhjot and kedarbendre like this.
  4. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

    Messages:
    2,449
    delhi ncr
    I do not own a 90hp Punto though I've driven the Linea mjd a fair bit. (I own a t-jet, used to have a palio stile, family has a 1.4 fire linea and 75 hp Punto). And i've not driven the older i20 at all. But I test drove the elite in Gurgaon's combination of fast highways, urban congested roads and broken roads.

    I am not denying the improvements over the older i20. Am sure the carmags are not lying when they say it's much improved in the elite avatar. I just feel a lot of the Hyundai herd-backed PR machine has been at work during the Elite launch and reviews.

    The car is not a benchmark in any one area, least of all price, or ASS charges. While the Punto Evo, like the Polo and the Zest, is, along many parameters.

    I also feel the bashing of the mjd+gearbox on the Linea let alone the smaller lighter Punto is very overdone. The Hyundai 1.4's a little more torquey off standstill, and the gearbox is 'slicker' (never understood why slickness is a virtue in gearboxes and not notchiness or rubberiness) but I do feel the Punto and Linea in-gear are as good if not better. Maybe it is just a subjective sense born of the better road-holding etc.

    The short point: the Fiat's heavier, and needs a few extra gear shifts in the city, that's it, no great virtue or distinction to the Hyundai elite i felt, especially since it still drives and rides-steers-handles notably less assuredly than a Punto. Its turning circle is far worse than the Evo's 5m apparently, and the Punto's brakes and brakefeel are meaningfully better, as is the clutch smoothness and lightness.

    I just felt the i20 elite is at best a good handsome jack-of-all-trades, only the Punto Evo (like the new Polo and the Zest) are better at being all-rounders, and on many parameters, far better .

    What I cannot figure is the severe price premium this, like the other Hyundai-s in India commands, version-for-version, not to mention their extortionate spares and ASS labour rates. Despite de-contenting the Elite relative to the stupendous Euro equipment levels of the previous i20.

    Hyundai has luxury German car-maker levels of profit margins in India, whereas they are STILL a discount brand everywhere else in the world! Hyundai are apparently going to raise these already high prices for the Elite even further, very soon. Already.

    The Elite's a fine 'good-looking' city and good-road car, is roomy. But it is unremarkable, 'ordinary' even. And so I ascribe a lot of the positive buzz in its favour to PR and brand-communication/manipulation of pre-existing goodwill in favour of Hyundai. Heck, they pre-booked 5000 of them even before a single review was out, in print or on the web!
    5u3zEr0, Ravi, punto_emotion and 2 others like this.
  5. nibedk

    nibedk Regolare

    Messages:
    291
    Hyderabad
    Grande Punto 1.3 90 HP
    Let's call spade a spade. The MJDs application in Punto is the worst. Its better in Lines and I have confirmed this is FASS. I will be putting the experience in my ownership thread soon. Let's accept the facts as they are. The MJDs application in all other cars including Swift and Vista is better than Punto. Punto is gonna lose all drag races. I drive a 90 HP day in and day out and have understood the charecterstics of the engine well. Have a Petrol swift which we still have and extensively driven swift diesel. The Swift diesel is undoubtedly peppier even though lower in power and torque. It'd only because if the way its tuned. No doubt its lighter as well. But if Fiat is not able to do the SME then its a shame as the same car in Europe is Almost 3 secs quicker to 100 and is almost as quick as the new Polo 1.5. All of it can be attributed to the lousy gearbox. And if @prabhjot you are happier association ruberriness and notchiness to a gearbox and are happy about it then its your choice. But I as a person who loves Fiat cars wants Fiat yo give us the best. They have not given us the best gearboxes and I all stick to my observations hoping Fiat listens to us enthusiasts and improves on the pain points that we have for its cars in India soon. I own the Punto Sports version but didn,'t opt for the sports pack as I truly believe the Punto deserves the SPORT moniker not at least with the lousy drive train with a 15 sec 0 - 100 timing. I will wait till I remap my Punto before putting on the Sports sticker on my car.
  6. I have had the TD of the three compelling competitors in this segment today, i drove the VW Polo 1.5 TDI, its a surprisingly torquey engine, with superb fit and finish. The ride quality is close to a Fiat and makes you feel confident on the move. However what put me back from going for it is the whopping maintanence costs associated. Now coming to the hyundai i20 elite, its a hyundai and as always filled with all fancy features you could dream of but the look somehow did not appeal me, also the ride quality was no where close to the VW or Fiat. The suspension is too soft for potholed roads, but on the positive note the slick 6 speed gear box, does make the car feel pretty peppy. Ultimately i settled for the Punto, the new interiors are very appealing, ride quality remains superbly stable as always, the steering response has improved, compared to the old Punto( I own a Punto 1.3 MJD EPK as well). The fit and finish has also improved though not at par VW's. The engine is a bit sluggish, but the 90HP never makes you feel, you are lacking power. All this with a less expensive maintanence made the Punto my choice. And last but not the least once a Fiatian, always a Fiatian.

    My vote goes to the Fiat, but i will just say take a TD before you decide, it matters a lot.
    prabhjot likes this.
  7. BoseSuman

    BoseSuman Superiore

    Messages:
    760
    Midnapur (W.B) & Hyderabad (A.P) India.
    Linea 1.3
    Dear Friends, I saw lots of fight between good friends and bitter relation for this 0-100 figure only.

    Let's think one practical fact:- we are measuring 0-100 on those car are not sports car they are passenger car, they made based on certain parameter & load carrying capacities. Please don't fight for the time 0-100 for passenger cars, mearly 4-5-6 seconds more doesn't make any sense while you are using this cars in congested, Bumper To Bumper traffic.

    See, BMW-M/AUDI-TT/Merc-AMG/Aston ( those are actual sports car) will feel shameful with this comparison as they are also 5-6-7 seconds to reach 0-100 figures. If we only compare fast car based on 0-100 always, there may be never ending argument. Someday You will see Linea or Ciaz with 1.3 is beating BMW M5 based on this competition and people will think why I pay 60-70-80 L more to enjoy fast car while I am getting within 10L.
    BTW:- This 1.3 will fail very soon as engine reliability will be hampered based on this competition ;).
  8. nibedk

    nibedk Regolare

    Messages:
    291
    Hyderabad
    Grande Punto 1.3 90 HP
    Well that's what I wanted to convey. The Punto 90 HP does not deserve the Sports badging. Well actually none of the Fiat cars in India do except the T-Jet till the Abarths are launched. Till then all Fiats are dynamically brilliant , well engineered but which deserve better drive trains that the extremely sorted out chassis beg for. These cars can handle the more powerful engines without any changes to the chassis ,braking or suspension changes. This is the least a automotive faint like Fiat should provide to the enthusiasts like us who swear by Fiat cars. As a Fiat fan we deserve better.
    5u3zEr0 and prabhjot like this.
  9. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

    Messages:
    2,449
    delhi ncr
    You are right.

    All i am saying is that it really is not AS BAD as many people keep saying: a few extra gear shifts in traffic (when was the last time you did a 0 to 100 in traffic? ;-) ), keep the engine revving, that's all. BUT you get fantastic in-gear highway and open-road times! A small displacement engine on a heavy car that still is fuel efficient by the standards of the Indian market HAS to trade-off outright low-end torque for a better higher gear/higher speed/more efficient performance.

    You sound like you need to re-map your Punto ASAP! ;-)

    But that is to your taste, and am sure your re-mapped Punto will be a blast. Just that this mass market values fuel efficiency FAR above outright peppiness.

    If 0 to 100 etc interests a prospective fiat buyer, I, as an joyful owner of the new Linea T-Jet, will INSIST they don't miss this uniquely great car! ;-) Or: wait for the Abarth Punto T-jet, if you're ok with all the 'racy' finery.

    Fiat, like VW, is offering different engines-gearboxes at different price points, for different budgets, to cater to different priorities.

    Problem is: most of us want a Fiat to look like a maserati, be fast as a ferrari, handle like a BMW, ride like a Merc, be safe and solid as a Volvo, and reliable as a toyota.....all for the price of a Tata!! ;-)
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2014
  10. nibedk

    nibedk Regolare

    Messages:
    291
    Hyderabad
    Grande Punto 1.3 90 HP
    @prabhjot and @BoseSuman well I guess you are missing my point. The 0-100 timings that I mentioned was to highlight the application of MJD in Fiat Cars. With so many other cars using the same MJD with lower power and torque ratings have been able to tune it better so that turbo lag isn't felt as bad as in Punto.
    I would not have bought a Punto in the first place had this been a deal breaker for me. 0-100 timings do not matter to me at all. I feel that the privilege or power to be able to drive should be used reponsibily.Unlike India in most of wetern countries one has to prove to be a good driver to be able to get a license. When ever I drive I make sure that nobody on the road, right from a pedestrian to a four wheeler is troubled due to my driving. I would be the last person doing a 0-100 drag on a jucntion. I bought the car well aware of all its strengths and weaknesses including the infamaous FASS. But no other MJD car is as dead below 1.5 K RPMs as Punto. I was shocked when my car started rolling backwards on an inclined road with traffic behind me. It took me some time to realise that the car is not pulling up and I had to use handbrake as well as half clutch technique to pull up the car. That was just the first week when I had bought my car. Took to FASS for a check up thinking something is wrong. Figured out that thats the behavior of all Puntos. With more kms on the odo the engine seems to be opening up better. I have learnt to keep the engine on boil and things seems to be getting better with more kms on the odo. But from standstill Punto is not just able to pull up with even with one person on board. Read it few days back in either TFI or TBHP when one of the member faced the same issue once or twice in ghats . He didn't have his tuning box connected and Punto in the stock form had issues. He too had to use hand brake to get out of the situation.
    My grouse here is that Fiat has to tune the engine to make it more drivable at lower RPMS or ditch the lousy gearbox. Just check the 0-100 timings of European Puntos. Its 11.xx secs. What is stopping Fiat from doing the same if a Maruti or a Tata can do it??
    Its like Sehwag scoring a breathtaking century using Sachin's bat and Sachin labouring to slow century with his own bat.

    I would still buy a Fiat product till it fits my needs as a driver. But there are things which I want Fiat to improve on as fiat lover.
    prabhjot likes this.

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