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Mamma Mia - White Stallion rides home - BNW Grande Punto MJD emotion.

Discussion in 'Punto 1.3 MJD' started by ghodlur, Jul 9, 2013.

  1. ghodlur

    ghodlur Esperto

    Let me start first by thanking this wonderful forum and all the members who have contributed in making the forum the first stop for any thing related to Fiat. Thanks a ton to mods for accepting my membership and TFIians who have posted their ownership reviews which in a big way influenced my decision making process. Till recently I was a stalker on the forum and used to visit frequently to get a first hand feel of the Fiat owners

    I am not good at words at all, hence would limit myself to my views. Wherever I have strayed I have the TFIians to correct me, Right?

    Background of purchase
    April 28th was the day when something magical happened, I had handed over my beast my faithful Ford Fiesta to my Brother in law. Little did I know that things were taking a turn from there. My Brother in law who used to eye the Fiesta for quite some time now and ride the beast whenever I visited Pune requested me to sell the car. Before I could say anything, my wife had already promised her brother the car was his. Later she reasoned with me saying the car would still be in the family and whenever in Pune I could drive it (with my BIL nodding from the back). Hmmm. They say “Saari duniya ek taraf, joru ka bhai ek taraf” (All the world to one side, Wife’s brother to one”). This set the brain over functioning as to what would my next drive be. Had to be something which could match the Fiesta’s experience. Should I buy a new or an used car? Do I want to buy a sedan again? Would it have to be Petrol or diesel? Should I upgrade or a downgrade? How much should be my budget? What will my friends n relatives say if I downgrade, do I have the face to face them? Ohhhh. The sweet ache of decision making. All said and done, sat down and listed the cars which I am going to test drive. Wife made it very clear that whatever car I should decide, the colour has to be white & with top notch safety features (atleast ABS if not airbags). Period. After a lot of deliberations, I decided I would stick to a hatchback and a diesel one, considering that my running will have actually increased to 1500 kms+ thanks to the (compulsory) 2 trips per week to JNPT from Thane (office had bought a warehouse there and I was to co-ordinate the set up) apart from the daily Thane-Powai runs and the trip to Pune once a month. A Sedan wasn’t considered coz it didn’t serve the purpose based on Fiesta experience, plus the parking woes of a sedan in my building & in the city spaces. One thought crossed my mind as to should I risk taking the car to JNPT? The driver inside me assured that there would be no problems

    The contenders based on requirements
    1) Toyota LivaGD-SP
    2) Hyundai i20 CrdiAsta/Sportz
    3) Fiat Grande Punto Emotion 1.3 MJD
    4) Ford Figo titanium
    5) Sail UVA - LT
    Not in contention: Swift, Vista, Ritz, Polo. The first three had the same engine, why not then go for the original engine manufacturer? The fourth one dropped due to noisy 3 pot engine. No offence to the owners though.

    Having zeroed on the contenders, I browsed through websites for a hardly driven used car to save on the additional expenses of buying a new car. The first car I TD was a Fiat Punto with 20K kms on odo, 2011 emotion pack and well maintained. Was surprised with the performance of the car, the car glided round the twists and turns, good ride quality and great to handle – all the Fiesta feeling. The diesel clatter was rarely audible which was a big plus. The rear space felt a little less but comforted self that the car is perfect for a family of 3 with occasionally my parents riding with me. The car was being offered for a princely sum which I was debating.

    Next car to TD was a Ford Figo with 16K kms on odo, 2011 titanium. However the diesel clatter at the idle and during revving put me off. I remembered the new car which my building friend had purchased and I had to drive it home since my friend was relatively new to driving. I hadn’t experienced any diesel noise inside the cabin then, don’t know what changed in Figo thereafter. Again the price quoted was astronomical.

    Third car to TD was Hyundai i20 – it was a Magna without ABS. TD it just to feel the engine performance. The engine was quite smooth although it didn’t handle the way the Punto did and neither was any diesel noise in the cabin. There were hardly any low run i20’s in the used car market and the one’s which were there already had done 65K kms or more.

    Meanwhile I was thinking why not take the TD of new cars and then compare the used with new car performance. Hence TD the Toyota Liva, the car made for the masses quite evident from the plastic quality, compromising on many essential features . Again the diesel clatter inside the cabin put me off although I could not feel a huge turbo lag which was still present. The car handled well but scraped a few bumps during the TD. The interiors was not something great to write about. Plus the centre console was not to my liking. There was no great discounts offered too.

    Next to drive was the Sail UVA LT ABS, the car was a breeze to drive, not much turbo lag present. The car handles sweetly too. The top end variant was feature rich. The dealer staff were also enthusiastic in arranging the TD car. But again no enthusiasm when offering discounts.

    Hyundai i20 – didn’t think about that since the price was way over my budget.

    Ford Figo – The Ford showroom didn’t have any test cars and neither did they show any interest in providing me even after being an ex-Ford owner. They offered me a display car for TD which I refused. Later a strong mail to Ford and I was called again to TD the Figo. The same feeling as the used car which I drove, nothing new. Was familiar with the interiors as it is somewhat same as Fiesta Classic

    I had almost left the Punto when it came to new car from the list knowing them to be too pricey. A test drive @ 7pm in the evening at the Fiat dealer (only one in the whole of Mumbai) and me and my wife were kind of sold out on the car. The car ticked every requirement and was the right choice for the Fiesta replacement. But the moolah was the question – Can I afford it? The Sales guy (nice chap) suggested me to even look at 2012 cars which were being offered for a hefty discounts. On the paper there was about a 90K discount being offered for 2012 cars and this interested me. What started as a sweet beginning of a relationship was slowly to be turned into sour – I couldn’t have imagined that.
    Giridhar, Prashant Teki and Ravi like this.
  2. ghodlur

    ghodlur Esperto

    Decision & Buying experience:
    It was decision time. After weighing every pros and cons I had decided to go with the Punto and possibly the 2012 manufactured ones since the 2013 ones were in the league of i20 pricing. It was Emotion variant and the colour was White as wanted by other half. (my son meanwhile had enjoyed the various TD’s and was oblivious of the trauma his father was going through, he was happy sitting in different cars for sure). Enquired with Balaji Motors Thane and they confirmed that a Dec 2012 manufactured car in White was available. The final pricing was coming to Rs 7.6L on road and following would free – Extended warranty, Insurance (without zero dep) with Gift cheque and dealer discount being thrown in. The negotiation part was the most harrowing one and will need a separate thread for discussions, not going to get into the details here. Arranged the finances (old car sale+ own sources) and paid the cheque outright on 9th June 2013. The dealer promised the delivery by 14th June. Asked the Sales Advisor for the VIN no of the car and asked fellow BHPian Wildon for the decoding. Was aghast to know that I was offered a July manufactured car. A couple of calls to the SA and the dealer MD and I landed at the dealer’s door step determined to cancel the booking. The SA showed me the list of cars available and none of them before August manufactured. He even showed me a few bookings made for Punto Diesel of March 2012 manufactured allotment. The MD of Balaji Motors however requested me to take the TD of the car which was already in the stockyard & could be brought down to the showroom & compare it with a 2013 car also. He assured me that in regards to the performance both the car would be same. Also the service offered would be the same as being offered to 2013 manufactured cars as the warranty applicable on the 2012 car would be for 5 years (incl the extended warranty) starting from the date of car delivery. Hesitatingly I drove both the cars and frankly didn’t find any difference in the engine performance. Overnight thought about the situation, made a few phone calls to friends who had contacts in Fiat who eased my apprehensions and with fingers crossed agreed to buy the July manufactured cars. I must say the MD patiently listened to my earlier ranting and explained a few details about Fiat manufacturing facts. Gave a go ahead for registration

    PDI and Delivery:

    I had already driven the booked Punto and actually did a semi PDI on the day I drove. I was promised the delivery of 14th June but decided to take the delivery on 18th June (Courtsey wife). Armed with T-BHP PDI checklist reached the showroom on 18th June. Completed the documentation formalities, saw the car decked in the usual ribbons. Ran through the exhaustive checklist (lasted for 1.5 hrs), wifey getting impatient looking at the sky. The customary bouquet, sweets, snaps, thank you’s, handshakes all done, took the keys and drove to the nearest bunk. The car came with 62 kms on the odo thanks to my previous drive too. Topped up the tank and with a big smile on the face reached home.

    Paid Future Generali an additional 4K for the zero dep add on along with the free Insurance policy (yet to take the NCB letter from my Fiesta). Went to the 3M outlet in Thane (thanks to Parrys for answering some queries) and bought the 3M Nomad mats (thanks KarthikK for the suggestion). Chose the black coloured mats. Mr Sheshadri also helped in having a look at the anti rust coating and confirmed that there was no need for any additional coating as of now, the coating provided by Fiat would withstand for the next couple of years atleast

    What I liked about the car
    • Stylish looking (already few heads turned at the housing complex with envious looks
    • Superb handling and ride quality
    • Strong build quality
    • Fantastic suspensions
    • Meaty steering wheel which responds to the commands effectively
    • Confidence inspiring brakes
    • Great ground clearance
    • Feature rich Emotion variant with Blue N Me. Was blown over by the set up (since I am first time user
    • 60:40 rear split seats
    What I disliked
    • Interior plastic quality is not to the mark
    • Glaring panel gaps in some places
    • Stock Apollo tyres, could have been Goodyear
    • No illumination at the rear bench and insufficient in the boot
    • Rear bench a squeeze fit for three
    • Seat adjustment levers not ergonomically placed
    • Small door pockets, insufficient to hold a litre bottle
    Other imp sore/plus points
    1. The one touch up & down windows option for driver side is a real boon
    2. There is a limitation to the electrically operated OVRMs
    3. The IVRM is fit for purpose, could have been big bigger
    4. The fuel filing latch/lid does not snug fit
    5. The fuel latch opening handle & boot opening handle plastic quality inside is really doubtful
    6. The Glove box opening clashes with the front passenger knees if rear space was to be increased
    7. The AC is chilling. The directional blowers help a lot
    8. The MID is great advantage to have, lot of features.
    9. USB slot is difficult for easy access (in the absence of any illumination

    - - - Merged Post - - -

    Initial feel of the car

    Being a petrolhead earlier I was used to the quick accelerations at the signals, after turning to a diesel head I am getting used to the driving requirements of a diesel car. Initially it was pain to wait for a minute or so to allow the turbo idling at the start/stop of the car, but now I keep myself engaged for the period. The car slowly but surely is growing on me. The car amazes me on the highway with the planted performance but irritates me in the B2B traffic. The gear stick seems a bit stiff, I hope it loosens after the first service. The dead pedal sort of thing provided is at a lower level than the clutch pedal. I felt that all the 3 pedals in Punto were slightly higher than in my earlier Fiesta. Till date I have been driving sedately till the run in period. What a season to test the Punto’s suspension than monsoon. The car does glide over the smaller potholes and over some monstrous speed breakers. Till date have driven around 200+ kms in actual 3 days of driving to office, the fuel efficiency as seen in the MID is 15.5 kmpl thumbs%20up.gif .

    I had a bad experience with the ribbons which had come with the car during delivery, there was colouration on the bonnet when I removed the ribbons Shockked.gif . Fortunately Fiat arranged for detailing of the bonnet where there were colour marks. Suggest new car owners to remove the ribbons after the delivery euphoria dies down.



    Last edited: Jul 9, 2013
  3. ghodlur

    ghodlur Esperto

    Some more pics attached


















    Prashant Teki, Raaz, sdp1975 and 6 others like this.
  4. ghodlur

    ghodlur Esperto

    With a 600kms on the odo, the car is a breeze to drive on the Eastern express highway and in the city roads. Still getting used to the stiff gear stick, would this soften over a period of time? Had an isseu with the front driver side mud flap which got twisted and was rubbing against the wheel. took it to Balaji Motors, Thane and found that one of the screws to hold the mudflap in place was missing. Ditto for the other front mudflap too. Got the screws installed and no more rubbing sound with the wheels.

    The Stock seats although are comforatble are prone to dirt and stains. Thinking of installing seat covers, what should my options be? Any Thane TFIan who can help me to locate good stores for seat covers.
  5. Ravi

    Ravi Staff Member Janitor

    Grande Punto 1.3
    Nice review Girish.

    Apollo supposed to be better than Goodyear.
    Very important, keep it idling.
  6. Nadeem Ahmed VR 46

    Nadeem Ahmed VR 46 Esperto

    Fantasic review and story of ur Fiat Girish..Nice pics too..
  7. sandipan_r15

    sandipan_r15 Superiore

    Grande Punto 1.3
    "Small door pockets, insufficient to hold a litre bottle"-----You or any PUNTO/LINEA owner can place a 1 litre bottle in the front door map pocket. Just buy 1 lit bottle(with rectangular cross section) made by 'PEARLPET' & these can easily be placed in the front door map pocket but in a horizontal position. I always carry 2 litres(1+1) in any long drive in this way. Just Securely tight the cap of the bottle.
    1 person likes this.
  8. ghodlur

    ghodlur Esperto

    Thanks for the suggestion, I already checked it. The square bottle fits in but becomes difficult to easily retrieve. The space is ideal for an half litre bottle IMO.
  9. ghodlur

    ghodlur Esperto

    The first refuel was done today and the Stallion ran for 668 kms for the initial fill of 40 lts giving a healthy average of 16+kmpl which is good. Hope this figure increases in the coming days as the engine gets free more. The gear shift still feels sticky after 3 weeks with the downshifting from 3rd to 2nd gear is a pain with extra effort required. Hope this too loosens up.

    A long drive planned this week (hopefully the weather co-operates).;)
  10. Nadeem Ahmed VR 46

    Nadeem Ahmed VR 46 Esperto

    Girish ur Stallion gave u amazing range of 668 kms for 40 litres of fuel and also 16+kmpl avg is gud considering ur car is new..this figure will improve as the engine gets more free and performance also improves..ya my Punto's gearshift also still feel hard and sticky while upshifting and downshifting gears..its pain to engage and requires little extra effort but it will become smooth and loosens up as u clock more kms on your ODO..No matter what weather will be Punto just takes every weather with ease:up..

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