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My 90 hp punto - Its BNW!

Discussion in 'Punto 1.3 MJD 90 HP' started by raj_90hp, Jan 16, 2011.

  1. raj_90hp



    I fly to kerela for a cousin's wedding. Even though I am a thousand kms away, I still cant stop dreaming about my Pintu in my driveway. I desperately want to reach home & drive my Pintu.


    I reach mumbai at 9 pm. I go to bed thinking about the next day, the D-day! But I am not able to sleep. I am still dreaming!


    This was the day I was waiting for what felt like centuries... I reached the showroom at 4 pm & say my Pintu parked right at the gate. I finished the formalities inside, the fellows explained me some basic functionality, we did the puja & I sank in the driver's seat & zoomed off... well, not exactly! I was driving at a pace where even a snail could easily smoke me! The diesel tank was empty & the car was to be re-fueled. the range shown was 0!!!

    On the way to the bunk, I dint see a bump on the road & at the last moment, i just closed the eyes & let the car go. I heard two really loud thuds but i dint really feel anything inside the cabin. But the thuds really upset me. Thats when i thought about the extra air these dealers fill in the tyres. Along with the diesel, I checked the tyre pressure & I was right. It was way over inflated.

    All set, I reached home. A few friends (Aditya & Arun) came over & we went to Saifee tyres to install the alloys but disappointingly, the alloys would not fit. there was error in the packaging. I was a bit sad but at the same time happy to drive my car all the way back home.

    Reached home & fiddled with the "My car" settings. Its very easy to use. Also, I was apprehensive whether my Android X10i would pair with the Blue&Me. It worked like a charm! I was jumping with joy...

    This was a great day for me...

    Piling up kms on the car was really easy! In 20 days, the odo showed 1000 kms & it was time to rejoice!

    As soon as it clocked 1000, I downshifted & revved her all the way to 4000 rpm, did not get the space to rev her more than that, planning to do that this sunday!

    1000 kms impressions:

    1) The car is NOT short on power. It pulls strongly after 1700 rpm. It's just that the instant "push in the back" feel is absent. Instead you get a linear & smooth pull which masks the speed well. Yes, the turbo lag is present.

    2) Fit & finish is not as bad as projected.

    3) After upgrading the music system, the Blue&Me calls are ear deafening loud, need a solution to that.

    4) The car is a stunner, every morning I look at it & appreciate it's beauty.

    5) Ride & handling... blah blah blah..!

    6) The grunt from the engine when you rev it is awesome!

    7) It would have been nice if FIAT had incorporated an easier USB player.

    8) Under thigh support in front seats could have been better.

    9) The AC is a chiller, freezes the cabin in no time.

    10) Everything in this car is heavy & has a solid feel to it.

    13th April 2011 -

    Gave my car for it's first service yesterday morning to Firat A.S.S. - Fortune motors, Powai. Other issues were-

    1) LHS plastic panel on C pillar had come loose & was rattling
    2) Scratch on front bumper which had to be fixed

    Got a message within 3 hours that my car has been serviced... Impressive! Got a call from the SA that the other issues have been sorted out too & I can collect the car in the evening but due to my tight schedule, I could collect the car today afternoon only.

    The front bumper has been painted well & there are no signs of any damage. A new panel has been fitted on the C pillar under warranty & there are no visible gaps as of now. A thorough drive is yet to be done to see whether there is any other noise.

    That said, the A.S.S dint make an issue of the aftermarket ICE installation which includes wiring, boot LED lighting, heavier MDF parcel tray & all the other mods, which is good.

    All in all, a good experience since I was expecting the worst from TATA-FIAT A.S.S.

    Service cost = Rs. 80/- (labour)

    Painting cost = Rs. 3242/-

    Many told me that the performance would improve drastically after the first service. Nothing like that happened! Its still the same old "slow" punto!

    Meanwhile, for these 2 days, I took my scorpio to work. Ohhhh... I missed my mHawk's brutal power & addictive surge of torque all these days! After driving the Punto for all these while, suddenly the scorpio feels blistering quick!

    Now I understand why many say the scorpio handles like a boat! after driving sedans & well mannered hatches like the punto, the scorpio does feel unstable. It does roll quite a bit & cannot handle corners like the punto.

    But boy, I still maintain that driving an SUV in the city is so much fun! nobody cuts before you & you get that "respect" from other road users. also, small ruts, potholes & rumble strips which shakes the punto are shrugged off by the scorpio as if they dint exist!

    Of course, giving my pintu its credit - at high speeds, the punto feels much more calm, composed & relaxed. it's stability, handling & ride quality is unmatched. if only it had the performance to match.

    And yes, OE punto tyres - GOODYEAR GT3 ARE THE CRAPPIEST TYRES IN THE WORLD! they are so damn noisy that at high speeds, all i hear is tyre roar. the engine itself purrs in comparison.

    2nd May 2011 -

    An idiot in a verna rear ended my pintu today...

    My car was stationary on the flyover near the SION hospital. Those who wish to take the next flyover need to keep the right lane. I did the same & being peak hour traffic, the right lane was not moving. I saw a black verna cutting into our lane behind my car quite rashly. our lane just moved for some seconds & came to a halt again. as soon i stopped, after 4-5 seconds, i heard a loud thud with a big jerk. Luckily I had not pulled the handbrake & my car moved forward with the impact, absorbing some of the impact. I saw in my IRVM & the verna has a broken bumper & damaged bonnet.

    Fearing the worst, I got out of my car, just to see a misaligned bumper & hanging light of the rear number plates. They clicked back into place. No scars on the bumper but I need to get it aligned at the F.A.S.S. tomorrow.

    5600 kms update:

    + FE has been more or less steady at 14 kmpl & even 15.5 kmpl in the last filling.
    + Ride quality & build quality... blah blah blah !!!
    + Steering feel is awesome, perfectly weighted & precise turning.
    + Handling corners at high speeds is cakewalk for the punto, she does not lose the line even with rough surfaces.
    + View from both the ORVMs is great.
    + From 3rd gear onwards, performance is good. She has enough torque to pull cleanly without any sudden jerk or boost.
    + AC chills like anything, in no time.
    + Front seats are very very comfortable.

    - Slight rattling from dashboard & rear parcel tray. I bought a FIAT because I thought its sturdier than a Maruti. Anyways, I have done some ICEing on the car, so it may be the culprit. I have to get it checked.
    - Acceleration in first two gears in pathetic. Whats the use of buying 90 hp?
    - Legroom in the rear seat is very very tight.

    I work in VW, so I drive the VW polo extensively. Comparo between Polo 1.2 diesel highline & Punto 90 hp:

    * Punto is cheaper by a huge margin.
    * Punto has got more power & torque.
    * Polo feels more responsive in initial gears but the performance dies down as revs climb. Its the opposite in punto.
    * Polo is noisier & has more vibrations.
    * Ride quality of polo is harsh, especially at slow speeds. Punto feels more planted at high speeds.
    * Both cars are built strong & feels sturdy. Infact the punto feels heavier but interior fit & finish & build quality is leagues ahead in the polo.
    * Punto has got many features which polo does not have, like auto AC, USB port, Blue & Me, etc. which is missing in the polo.
    * VW brand is 100 times superior to FIAT.
    * Resale value of VW is also much better than FIAT.
    * A.S.S. of both are equally pathetic!
  2. gurjinder

    gurjinder Staff Member Janitor

    Nice review buddy.

    The brand image would be more appropriate a word to use here . Yes, the brand image of VW is a lot superior in peoples minds than that of FIAT.


    1 person likes this.
  3. Tony

    Tony Esperto

    Kalamboli, Navi Mumbai
    Grande Punto 1.2
    Raj by reading through your post i feel you are a rough and tough guy and Punto will handle all of it with a big smile. What say :)
    Do post the pictures of the 90 HP
  4. drarvindc


    Hi Raj,

    Very well written review and in agreement with you on most of the above mentioned points. Not sure about the chilling effect of AC, anyways, hope to get it sorted while going for second servicing next month.
  5. raj_90hp


    I meant the brand as a whole - it's image & status.

    Why do you feel so buddy? Pics attached.

    since the day I have bought the car, I have had no issues with the AC or it's cooling.

    Other subtle mods planned:

    1) Roots Windtone 90 horn
    2) Painting roof in glossy black
    3) Painting brake calipers red

    I have already upgraded the ICE. Link here.




    DSC00976 low.jpg

    DSC00981 copy.jpg


    DSC01003 copy.jpg

    Wall copy.jpg

    2 people like this.
  6. nkrishnap

    nkrishnap Staff Member Janitor

    Linea 1.3
    Smoked headlamps, abarth stickers and the arbart decals are the things that this Punto needs.

    By the way, the car looks stunning.
  7. raj_90hp


    Thanks a lot buddy, I am not going for smoked headlights or taillights. I am planning to paint the roof in glossy black though. What is your opinion on this?
  8. raj_90hp


    Touched the 5 digit mark!



    How do i explain the 10,000 kms or 8 months spent with my Pintu?

    I remember the day when I first bought her home...
    I remember her first scratch on the front bumper...
    I remember the her first accident (rear ended by a verna)...
    I remember my first long trip in my Pintu to my friend's farmhouse...
    I remember the worst (10.5 kmpl) & the best (23.5 kmpl) fuel consumption her MID displayed...

    What do I remember about my Innova? Well... Nothing! The innova is a reliable workhorse, does its duty well without any hiccups or any troubles. But then thats about it. Its a boringly reliable 'car'. Anybody here believes that a car has a soul too? Well, I do and the Innova lacks that. The Punto begs for your attention, your care & forces you to pamper her! I have never bought car care products for my Innova & have spent thousands for the Punto. Even taken her to car spas twice. That just explains everything.

    I have never enjoyed revving a diesel before. I have never enjoyed driving in the slow lane before. I have never enjoyed early morning drives with windows down before Pintu came in my life. Heck, I never used to wake up early to go on early morning drives!

    Normally, people bombard me with the following questions -

    * Why did you buy a FIAT?
    - Because it makes excellent cars, something which fuel efficiency or A.S.S. obsessed people would never understand. There is more to a car than that!

    * Never seen many Puntos on the road, its a FLOP car...
    - I dont buy cars which others like/prefer. I buy cars for myself.

    * Are you mad to plonk 7.5 lakhs on a FIAT? How much would you get when you sell it?
    - Why should I think about selling the car when buying it? Should I not be enjoying the car rather? And this car is so good that I would never want to sell it, so...

    I really like a fellow member's signature - the only people having problems with a FIAT is someone not owning one! It is true. My Pintu has never given me any issues till now. The only area where it has disappointed me is that my Pintu has some small squeaks & rattles, not something I expected in a sturdy car like this.

    No offense to anyone, but I am somehow not comfortable with cars like the Marutis & Hyundais. They are too lightly built & fragile for my comfort. The Punto feels like a tank in comparison and it is... right from the bumpers to the body panels, everything is built heavy & tough.

    People who have sat in my car have always appreciated the looks, the comfort, the ride & the features. Its only after you sit in a Punto, you feel how value for money it is. But if you are someone who looks at the insignia/logo first & then the car, the Punto is not for you...

    How is my Pintu behaving? Absolutely fine. As said above, apart from some rattles (which can be because I have done aftermarket ICE installs), there has been no problems at all. Infact, even the A.S.S. is fine. I have not had major issues, touch wood, so I cant comment on parts availability.

    What about performance? Well, to be honest, it could have been better. Its not that the engine lacks grunt as such but the gearing is pathetic.

    How about space? More than enough in the front seats, cramped in the rear.

    Features? All that you could ask for in this segment. Yes, it lacks electronically foldable mirrors. Blue&Me is a blessing in disguise. There are many features only known to a Punto owner which is not mentioned in any brochure or ad...

    The BEST part about owing a Punto is its steering feel, ride quality & looks. I love the Italian babe. The only external mods I have done on my car is aftermarket alloys & a black roof. And I like it that way. I am not in a mood to mess up it's clean lines. Subtle & classy - thats Punto.

    People complain about fit & finish & quality of cabin. Well, I have no issues with the quality of the cabin. But fit & finish can be better.

    Would I recommend this car to anyone? Well, it depends. Usually I dont. the majority will like the hyundais & marutis. they are more efficient & enjoy better resale value. but if its a self driven car & the guy is actually enthusiastic about driving, only then I suggest him to check out the Punto. Once I drove a i20 after driving my Pintu (back to back), I realized how well engineered the Punto is, its a shame that it was not accepted by the masses. no offence to i20 owners, its just my personal opinion.

    Another reason is FIAT's failure to aggressively market & promote its own products. heck they dont even have their own showrooms or service centres in India.

    Am I a happy owner? Hell yes! I got whatever I wanted in my car except good performance! I have not written such a long post for any other car before!

    P.S.: I am NOT a FIAT fan, I just love my Pintu...
  9. Arkin

    Arkin Amatore

  10. raj_90hp


    Sure, here are the pics -






    4 people like this.

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