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From car hunt to booking Grande Punto 90 HP - 10,500+ kms review (pics included)

Discussion in 'Punto 1.3 MJD 90 HP' started by drarvindc, May 20, 2011.

  1. drarvindc


    My requirements for a car were :

    1. Safety (ABS + Air bags)
    2. Fuel Efficiency = Open for diesel / LPG also. Petrol was expensive.
    3. Should have resale value.
    4. Budget = around 4 lacs.

    Dec 2009

    While accompaning my collegue to Concorde Motors, Prabhadevi i saw the Punto in the showroom. It was love at first site and next day took wife to Concorde for test drive. I do not remember having such a good test drive / ride ever before.
    Thats it i said to the wife, we are going to purchase car before the financial year (march 31, 2010). Since, it would have costed me around 6.5 - 7 lacs, i thought of going wise and do a proper research before putting in so much money. My brother is member of Team-bhp and he suggested reading the reviews and stuff there. I read about all the cars out there and narrrowed down on few of the cars :

    1. Punto Diesel
    2. Ritz LDI Diesel
    3. Swift VDI Diesel
    4. Hyundai I 10

    We took test drive of Ritz at Sai service showroom, JM road, Pune. I hated the A pillar blocking the view and the rear of the car was a turn off. Swift Diesel was not available for test drive and the guy was more interested in pushing out Ritz then Swift and promised to call in for the Swift tet drive, It din happen Swift off the list too. Bad luck stuck again, I got transferred to Nagpur and this being my fifth transfer in 2 years, i resigned under protest. All plans for car scrapped. Joined up friend's company based out of thailand and Vietnam.

    Came April 2010 and now wanted to buy the car again. This time the list had the following :

    1. Punto Diesel.
    2. Hyundai I 20 Diesel
    3. Indica Vista Drivetech4 << Reason TV ad of that bald man all taken in by the car

    We took test drive again at Jaika Motors, Nagpur for Vista Drivetech4 and Punto Diesel. Vista Drivetech4 proved to have better seats and driver view and was cheaper by almost a lac. Hyundai I 20 was out of list based on team-bhp reviews and comparison plus i had seen I 30 in Vietnam and so going for I 20 made less sense.
    My brother at delhi also took test drives of Punto and Drivetech4 and was equally confused on which one to go for. Tata is more trusted name then Fiat but Indica's are more of taxi brand, plus my wife did not sound keen for Vista. So Grande Punto Multijet Emotion pack 75 hp was top contender followed by Vista drivetech4.

    Finance : Was saving money for buying house, so wanted to save off as much as i could on the car. Did not want to go for bank loan. Father committed for support upto 25% cash.

    Worst happens - Booked Wagon R Blue Eye :

    Was off to Pune in April end and my friend opened up Maruti car sales / service under Sai Service, Dapodi, Phugewadi. He brain washed me and convinced me for Wagon R Blue Eye. Checked the prices and features and guess what booked it with 40,000 cheque on the spot for the vxi ABS+Air bags. Reasons were simple, save money for house, maruti got resale value, blue eye looked good (saw only broucher, no car no test drive). Delivery promised in 2 weeks.

    Longest 2 weeks :

    Back in Nagpur, Punto sighting on the road increased and strangely our area in Nagpur got around 5 Punto's and one gets to see them almost daily on the road. My heart used to cry see those punto's drive by. Team-bhp was still a major read and Punto popularity was as usual high. Deep inside me & wife were not happy for the Wagon R Blue eye but had to settle down. Delivery was delayed and in the mean time i went abroad for 2 months.

    Wagon R Blue eye Vxi - Airbags & ABS never delivered.

    Asking for updates almost every alternate day, 2 weeks turned 2 months and when back to India and asked for the status of the Wagon- R. The executives at Sai Service, Dapodi asked me to let go on the airbags & ABS as its not required for indian roads and its pretty expensive and useless, whereas, the fact was that maruti had issues in getting them to work with the wagon R new model. Since, the car was supposed to be running on highways, i did not want to let go on the safety of my family. I was so pissed off at that moment, i blasted off everyone out there, including my friend for taking me on a ride, cancelled the booking and got back to Nagpur.

    Now what?

    Went to Jaika Motors, Nagpur again around 15th July 2010 for checking on the punto and vista. Me and wife again took test drive of vista drivetech4 and punto diesel. Final word for Punto and promised to come back again with cheque book for booking.

    Punto 90 Hp launched.

    Next day Punto 90 HP got launched, again in fix on what to do? 90 hp was expensive by around 40-50K over the regular punto. Stretched out on budget asked father for help. He offered to buy the car through CSD Canteen (father is Ex Air Force personnel), but the car would be in his name and registered in Haryana. I was saving around 90K with this option and was getting my hands on the latest punto 90 hp.

    Father got the formalities cleared, Tayal Motors, Faridabad helped with the procedure and we went to Ambala Cantt. to make the CSD payment. Delivery promised in 10 days.
  2. drarvindc


    PDI - Issues and all the shoutings

    22 Aug 2010 - Delivery day.

    My brother has good knowledge and experience on cars and so we told the executives at Tayal Motors that we would be doing a through PDI before accepting the car, so no prior paperwork before that. IT took them by surprise, they never got such requests before.

    The car was unwashed when presented for PDI, brother shouted and sent it back for washing. Come again and it still had dirty (mud mostly) interiors. Brother went in and shook the manager who came running and pulled up the executive. Car sent for washing again. Looked better this time.

    Brother took the lead and we started on the PDI It took us around 3 hours to completely check the car and other than few minor issues the car was good and Jun 2010 manufactured (VIN checked).

    We used the combination of the following three resources for coming up with our own PDI list.




    Issues found after PDI :

    1. Rust on the front disk brakes (though the vehicle was manufactured just 2 months back).
    2. Rubber tubing in the front doors loose and hanging out.
    3. Dirty interiors (had to get car washed two times).
    4. Flap hanging out below the right side glove box.
    5. Rubber tubing around the windshield loose on the left side with around 7-10 inches of gap.
    6. Black Plastic liner on the bonnet (posterior end) had a wide gap due to broken pins (2-3 broken).

    other than 1, all were promised to be taken care of asap. Since, we read a lot or review on the quality of the plastic / rubber used by fiat india, we did not mind to the issues as long as they are being fixed.

    All paper work done by the dealer, my brother asked father to hold on to signing the delivery unless all is fixed up. After an hour the car is presented again, better cleaned all the issues fixed except the Black plastic liner on the bonnet. Reason given was that its like that only from factory and need not be fixed. Me and brother went around and checked other punto's showed the executive how it should be and asked him to fix it, he said yes and vanished. An hour passed again and it was lunch time. we waited for the lunch hour to finish off.

    Came the mechanic from the workshop and said the same thing, neednot fix, its like that only. My father lost temper and called in for manager and gave him his Jat shouting and swearing infront of everyone and asked for cancellation of booking and refund of booking amount. The pay order from the CSD canteen was still not handed over to the dealer.

    Wow, one should have seen the atmosphere then, everyone ran to sort out the issues. The mechanic who refused to fix it came running again, pleaded sorry and blamed Fiat for making such bad quality car and stuff... he got thew spare locking pins from other Punto, but they wont fit. Eventually he got the locking pins from a Tata Safari and they locked in perfect.

    Papers signed, got the gate pass and refused the sweets from the Tayal Motors, as it wasn't a pleasant experience. Paid the security guy token as he was kind enough to stay with us all the way.

    She's Home




    Last edited by a moderator: May 20, 2011
  3. drarvindc


    10 months and 10,500+ kms - My review

    Plus points

    1. Hassle free driving. Not a single annoying experience or troubled driving.
    2. Decent service support (had my share of bad experiences but still guys are good and understanding)
    3. Still a head turner - my wife & me get lot of queries from the other people at work.
    4. Best driving experience - Everyone loves to drive it, even the valet parking guy at one of the famous restaurent here was all praising the car.
    5. I feel safe and confident about the car while driving.
    6. Worth every penny and no regrets for buying a Fiat, when everyone wanted me to go for something more established.
    7. Got to be careful about the speed though, even when you are around 80-90 kmph it may at times feel like 40-50 kmph, it cruises man.

    Negative side :

    1. Doesn't come with swimming pool.








    Last edited: May 20, 2011
  4. drarvindc


    Scratches & Dents -

    1. Got few scratches on the rear bumper but only one of them is accounted for, rest all are bought upon by other negligent guys while the car was parked around. at one place a small piece of plastic is missing and i just cant figure out how one could manage to get that kind of damage done with no scratches around.

    2. Got Scratches on the door edges with paint loss due to negligence of service station guys while washing (Jaika Motors, Nagpur - they got a cramped up washing area). They bang open the door and it hit the washing pipes nearby. I saw it happen infront of me and i literally cried inside and gave the washing guys the swearing they never must have heard. Never leave the car alone - thats the only solution i guess.


  5. drarvindc


    Random Pics

    Following are the random pictures of the Punto. The dial images are the latest ones( last week), shows the poor FE and kms clocked.

















  6. Ravi

    Ravi Staff Member Janitor

    Grande Punto 1.3
    Very well written review. Nice pictures as well.

    Please do continue to update the thread.
  7. drarvindc


    Thanks Ravi,

    Yes, i shall keep the thread updated. We used the combination of the following three resources for coming up with our own PDI list.




    @Mods the above links can be added to the Post #2 and this one deleted. I was not aware that i wont be able to update the posts later on.


  8. Ravi

    Ravi Staff Member Janitor

    Grande Punto 1.3
  9. clash81

    clash81 Regolare

    Congrats on your car. All the pics looks great!!
  10. fiatlover

    fiatlover Esperto

    Grande Punto 1.4
    Well written review and nice pictures too!
    Happy motoring!

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