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My Diesel Weasel - Exotica Red Punto EVO - 1.3MJD Emotion

Discussion in 'Punto 1.3 MJD' started by Anand Shankar, Aug 20, 2015.

  1. Anand Shankar

    Anand Shankar Amatore

    Punto Evo 1.3
    This is probably the first time I am attempting to write up something this long, please forgive me for the looong post, and half hearted pics.


    Flash Back - I was more of a biker than a cager, What bike I rode mattered more than what car I drove.

    2014, I got married, which kind of put an end to most of my biking life. Also, post marriage my lovely Sword Silver CBR250R was gathering dust in my garage. So finally decided to sell it off.

    The Etios became my primary Drive along with my Wife's Yamaha Ray Z.


    Having spent many trouble free years and about 40000 odd kms with a Petrol Liva V, I realized the need for a better car to fill the void that my bike left. People discriminate the Etios twins a lot, they are actually quite underrated. The cars have solid mechanical, its interiors are functional and well put together, bullet proof reliability, excellent ergonomics. Add to that, the ugly lil hatch has excellent road manners and handles pretty well with almost nil body roll, breeze to drive in city.

    Obviously, There are few minor negatives, steering lacks character at highway speeds, engine gets loud and buzzy post 120kmph, Styling is bland, center console which is actually practical, but is a visual turn off. no MID, no fancy features like in Hyundai. No Aftermarket upgrades.Sound insulation ? whats that ? Toyota no cares for no insulation :p Petrol engine lacked Low End torque, but my single most serious complaints were, the car is tinny! It feels like you are sitting in a car made of recycled paper, it feels so light! And absolutely zilch aspirational value, I still look back while I walk away after I park, but I have never walked away fully satisfied. Made up my mind to upgrade, and this time heart over mind, no compromise, I will buy the car I like.

    And its shopping time!


    Cars Considered:

    1. Swift ZXI - was the top contender, Zippy, mod friendly simple to maintain and a MASS is always a stone throw away. But the rear space was nil if the driver seat was pushed all the way back. and the boot was a joke. The build again was flimsy and rattles were the norm as with most MSIL cars.

    2. Elite i20 Asta - Lovved the car, every bit of it is premium. The 1.2L unit unlike what the review says is not sluggish, its perfectly drive-able and butter smooth. Well, you cant drag race with it, and we aren't gonna do that either. Steering was more or less like the Liva, typical light EPS.

    3. Jazz V - Acres of space, the car is 10mm shorter than the Punto, I cant imagine how Honda managed to package so Much of space into it. Very Practical, bit too pricey & doesn't feel as premium as the i20. Honda sales never bothered to follow up.

    4. Ecosport 1.5D - close to 12L for a pimped up hatch is way too much, another lac and I can get home a much more accomplished & rugged Safari or Scorpio.

    5. Safari/Scorpio - this was our first choice before we set out looking for hatches. Unfortunately, my parking space is a tight fit even for a big hatch. And dont wanna buy a new car and park it on the street.

    6. Ertiga - Extreme practicality, flimsiest of the lot. I leaned lightly on the hatch door of the test car, and it caved in!

    7. Zest / Bolt - Both are excellent cars, the Zest XT Diesel Auto is excellent VFM, was high on our list. If only Tata sales was a lil more responsive! Multiple inquiries, Zero response! Could have overlooked that, but I have lived with Indicas before, wanted some ego boosting options hence dropped Tata.

    8. Many used cars - including Fluidic Vernas, Elantras, Cruze, etc etc.


    9. Punto - Fiats have been at the back of my mind since the Palio days, always wanted to buy a good GTX, or at least a 1.6 Sport. fished around, found a ravaged GTX, did not want to touch it. Later found a 1.6 Stile in better condition but the owner was hiding obvious accidents and he was running 3 different profile tires in his car! That explains the level of maintenance. Dropped Palio plans and randomly called up Fiat Caffe. First thing, the person tells me are the discounts. On road prices felt real good for a top end Diesel hatch. Problem : Wifey wasn't really liking the pics of the EVO. Plus a lot of negativity propagated by Swift owning relatives. I request for a test drive, car comes home, when seen in flesh she likes the car, turns around, changes opinion and now she wants the EVO, in fact its she who made me finalize on the EVO. So, it was decided 27th of July, we went ahead and booked the Exotica Red Evo Emotion 1.3 MJD

    Test Drive : Shifting from the LIVA, the ergonomics dint fall into place for me, but there was more power on tap. The thuds from the door and the heavy build was a great leap ahead of the Liva. And interiors though not top notch like the i20, still was miles ahead of the Liva. Wife drove it around, she is new to driving and dint stall the car. That went on good.

    Sales/Showroom Experience:

    Our Sales rep from KHT was really helpful and co-operative. He had good levels of technical know-how about the cars and the auto industry in general. He arranged for multiple test drives and facilitated the finance process as well. On the 3rd of August I got a call from him that the car was already in their stockyard and I could have a PDI done the same day. Fast forward, we reach the stockyard, the car is right there in the front row, covered in dust and dirt. Was a bit skeptical at first, the ODO showed H 10, so this was fresh. After extensive walk around inspections found a 2 mm scratch on the door. It was deep and the metal was visible, and the cladding under the hood had a small rat bite. Was about to reject the car, but he assured he will fix it with a clause that I can still reject it if dissatisfied. They swapped the doors and replaced the cladding.and after a wash and polish boy it was gleaming. Actually, thats how the car should have been presented for the PDI. Anyways, we finalized the car and payed the Margin money and mobilized the bank to disburse the loan. Car was to be delivered in 2 days, after the accessories are installed. I opted for the spoilers and door sill plates. I was getting the body cover, mats and molded mud flaps free.

    Accessories -

    Spoiler - 4.5K + 2K(painting)
    Door Sill - 850
    Body Cover - Free (FCA OEM)
    Mats - Free (Cheapest quality ever, need to fling them out soon)
    Mudflaps - Free (FCA OEM)

    Pricing -

    On Road - 8,98,664
    Cash discount - 25000
    Exchange bonus - 25000
    Dealer discount - 17000
    Corp Discount - 2000

    Total discount - 77000

    Final ONP - 8,21,664

    And this is what I got for spending those 8 big ones:


    First impressions:


    Looks : Am not even gonna try to write anything, we all know its drool worthy.

    Delivery (Rain Plays spoilsport)

    Engine : Yea, the gear ratios are a lil skewed, could have been better, I find myself trying hard to find the right gears in the city traffic. But on open roads the 3rd and the 4th gear really help catch up. The Thrust after 2000 RPM is enjoyable. As you near 3000RPM the engine gets noisy and a bit harsh, not sure if its because its too new. I feel the car is at its best at 110kmph, beyond which it gets slightly noisy.

    Noise Insulation : pretty good, cuts out most of external traffic noise, which good but you need to watch out for vehicles close to you, they cant be heard mostly.

    Audio : Ok for a stock unit, I am not an audiophile, as long as the music is clear and distortion free I am good. That said, it play HQ audio files really well and its quite loud too, I have never increased the volume over 5 Units


    Ergonomics & storage : ok, major issues here. No storage space at all!!! not for your bottles, nor your phone, or wallet, even snacks! Coming from a car that had 5 bottle holders space for storing at least four 5in mobiles and a glove box that's big as an attic, cooled as well, this is disappointing. Fiat, for many buyers this alone could be a deal breaker! Its not like there isn't space, they could have easily scooped out the front door pockets to accommodate 1L bottles. Unforgivable Fiat! unforgivable. Rear seat space is OK-OK, better than Swift, no where close to i20 or Liva, Not even comparing Jazz here.

    The steering sticks out a bit more than it should, its a minor thing though. The foot-well is another area of despair, and I'm 6.3 and have 10.5 size shoes, few times I slammed the dead pedal instead of the clutch, was scary. this could be an issue when wearing wide shoes. I am getting used to this now, also the brake pedal is placed a tad high, strain on the ankle in city traffic.

    There has been a lot of debate on the placement of the stalks in forums, personally I find this placement odd, and not suited for RHS driving. I find myself fumbling while you need to downshift and flash at the same time, happens often, also when you take a turn, you mostly have to downshift, operating the blinkers at such situations needs some planning!

    No Storage :

    Drivability : the torque makes sure that bumper to bumper traffic is dispatched with just the clutch, which is pleasantly light to use. Not so with the steering, at crawling speeds the steering needs to be.. well... steered hard. But as speed increases the pleasure of using it increases proportionally. Though I haven't been able to really push the car over 90kmph yet, I have a 700 km round trip coming up, hoping for a sizzling drive.

    Highway manners : took it for a short trip to Narasapura CCD, since it was during the night, dint really push it much. Was doing about 90kmph, boy oh boy, the heavy and planted body, well weighted springs, and the hydraulic steering is a combo for ecstasy.

    Interiors : Looks nice and plush, not very upmarket but doesn't look cheap from any angle. Some hard bits on the door look ugly. the door of the storage in the center console has a mind of its own, opens when it feels like. The switch gear is solid and good much better than the pathetic ones on the Swift, though I felt the Liva had softer feel to it.


    ACC control switches could have been better, they look like some factory instrumentation. Steering wheel is nice to hold, the steering buttons are a bit hard to press, but that makes sure you don't hit them accidentally like in Zest/Swift, but the ones in the i20, i feel are the best, you can operate them without even looking at them. Seats are good and provide good lateral support, average under-thigh support, good range of movement for the front seats.
    Seating Position : I find the seating positions quite odd.
    You really need to work with the steering/seat height and travel to get a proper spot. This might partially be due to the fact I am 6.3, I have this problem in most of the other cars too.But finding the sweet spot seems more difficult in the Fiat.

    Love the ambient lighting


    Cheap and ill fitting Sun Visors!


    Spring loaded grab handles are nice, could have made the retraction a bit retarded


    Found this part a bit shakey


    Not the greatest of rearward visibility, OVRMS have a big blind spot as well. Its good to buy those small convex corner mirrors.

    Economy : City : 13-14kmpl with a/c Highway : 18.8kmpl with 80% a/c at 90-100kmph speeds (@47Rs/L of Diesel these are great numbers)

    After a highway stint (moderate traffic & 100% A/C)



    Issues :

    1. The boot door takes a lot of effort to close, also there is something loose inside it, every time I open the boot door, some small item rolls inside it. Need to Check

    2. The spoiler was not painted properly, there is a small rough surface in the edge, FASS has assured to re paint it during service.

    3. The Front right window makes a click noise while rolling down. Needs checking.

    4. The front windows roll down about 99% there is about 2 MM of glass I can see protruding, need to verify if this is normal.

    5. couple of times the reverse gear engaged with a loud 'thud' donno if its normal.

    6. while engaging the clutch in 1st gear, at times there is a tiny metallic click noise

    7. The center storage console doesn't open most of the times.

    -ves : (Already most are listed above, but to summarize)

    1. No Storage
    2. Rear seat leg room
    3. Poor Stock headlight bulbs
    4. 1-2nd gearing
    5. Small quality misses
    6. For a heavy car, the 90HP should have been the default engine.
    7. Beige is gonna get dirty (no where as bad as the beige king Ertiga)
    8. Broken Center Console


    1. No matter how careful and paranoid I was, I couldn't avoid the first dent. A, broken branch was on the road and a truck went over it sending out a small wooden missile. It hit the drivers door, huge noise, but dent itself was small about 1mm wide and 0.5in long. No paint loss, its at the bottom of the door so not visible unless I point it out. Sad, but well it had to happen.

    Care Care Products :


    What I bought:

    1. Meguiars Ultimate Pre Polish
    2. Meguiars Tech Wax 2.0
    3. Meguiars Tire Polish
    4. ArmorAll Polishing cloth
    5. ArmorAll Washing microfiber sponge

    Things I already had:

    1. Formula 1 Carnuba Wax
    2. Formula 1 Wash & Wax shampoo
    3. tons of microfiber cloth

    First impressions, Meguiars polish feels over hyped and terribly over priced. But I will put up a proper review in a while after observing its effect and durability. I havn't got an opportunity to click pics after the polish, it has been raining almost every day since I bought the car! :facepalm:

    Current ODO Reading :


    Last Economy # : 14.9kmpl (Mostly in Bengaluru Peak traffic and 100% A/C)

    If you have reached till here, I really appreciate your patience & thanks a ton for spending few minutes of your life reading this silly attempt of compiling a review! My respect for those who pen down official reviews has just doubled!

    Signing off!
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2015
    Pradeepms, PradeepM, Iyu and 16 others like this.
  2. Deepak

    Deepak Superiore

    Punto Evo 1.3 90 HP
    @Anand Shankar : Welcome to the Fiat family buddy. A great write up :)
    And yes, you are right about Bikes. "I was more of a biker than a cager". Four wheels move the body, Two Wheels move the soul!
    But im sure this particular car gonna keep you more happy than your CBR did. Red color looks gorgeous as always. Engine will become smoother more you drive. What about the Extended Warranty. Have you got it from the dealer. Heard Fiat has discontinued it?
    Pradeepms and kishorekrs like this.
  3. Anand Shankar

    Anand Shankar Amatore

    Punto Evo 1.3
    True buddy, I am not even missing my bike anymore!

    Extended warranty discontinued ?? o_O I was told by the SA that I can extend anytime within 3 years. I am meeting him tomo to pay some due amount, I will upgrade immediately to avoid such a scene later! I will update you tomorrow on what they say.
    Turbothinghy and Deepak like this.
  4. Deepak

    Deepak Superiore

    Punto Evo 1.3 90 HP
    Anand Shankar likes this.
  5. Anand Shankar

    Anand Shankar Amatore

    Punto Evo 1.3
    Deepak, just spoke to FIAT customer care, there is no extended warranty!! Damn, now thats irritating. Let me still talk to the SA tomorrow.
  6. ghodlur

    ghodlur Esperto

    @Anand Shankar

    Heartiest Congratulations on the Punto. The colour looks scorching on the car. No wonder you needed those detailing proudcts in the arsenal to keep the Red looking more glossy. I for one will be more interested in the detailing area since I do have all those three basic Formula 1 products for my novice detailing.

    I assume you booked the 75HP Evo. Happy mile crunching and drive safely.
    Anand Shankar likes this.
  7. Anand Shankar

    Anand Shankar Amatore

    Punto Evo 1.3
    Thank you, yes its a 75HP Evo. The Formula1 does a decent job, provided you are absolutely sure they are original. Formula1 probably has the highest # of counterfeits in the market. In case you are looking at Meguiers, I would suggest, you buy the 3M branded wax first and check the output, or even the Meg 26 liquid wax. I did not find the Nxt 2.0 justifying its exorbitant price. Once the rains subside, will give it another round of detailing and check.
    ghodlur likes this.
  8. Turbothinghy

    Turbothinghy Esperto

    Punto Evo 1.3 90 HP
    @Anand Shankar : Congrats bro on your Ferrari red Punto :p

    It also took me sometime to get used to the Punto ergonomics and I am of average height (5 feet 9 inches). But, once you get your perfect position, then you are set for rest of your journey with your beloved Punto.

    Also, regarding the gearing, you will get used to it in sometime. I read that you sampled a lot of cars while selecting your car, did you try Punto 90 HP?

    The front windows should roll down 100%, get it checked at FASS.

    Regarding the boot door, I hope you dont put a lot of effort in closing it. I mean, just because the weight of the door, you just need to leave the door from the top, and it should get closed on its own, without any effort.

    Have a great ownership and keep posting :D
    Anand Shankar likes this.
  9. Anand Shankar

    Anand Shankar Amatore

    Punto Evo 1.3
    I did not TD the 90HP :( I have no sensible reason why I dint try it, I regret a lil. But then, there was a 60K price difference and almost 20K of missing discount on the 90HP, plus I hated the alloy design so another 20K for replacing that! I know it was a one time investment and the 90HP would have suited more as my usage is 80% on the highways. But I started off with a budget of 6L already pushed it to over 8L did not want to add another Lac to it.

    Front window : waiting for the 5K checkup, to get FASS to inspect it.

    Boot Door : I am infact putting a lot of effort to close it, I actually have to slam it shut. I guess its something to do with the alignment of the locks. Need to get that checked too.
    --- Double Post Merged, Aug 24, 2015 ---

    Managed 19.0 kmpl on a Airport run on Sunday, mild traffic, 100% a/c at 90-110kmph.

    The stock headlights seem too weak for all night drives, I guess it will be worse on 2Lane roads. Have you folks upgraded the bulbs ? Is 100/90 a safe option on the EVO ? I was thinking, Phillips Ralleye or Extreme Vision or Osram Nightbreakers. If any of you are using any of the above or a better alternative, please suggest.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2015
  10. Turbothinghy

    Turbothinghy Esperto

    Punto Evo 1.3 90 HP
    Well Bro 60k can be a deal breaker and even i was in a similar dilemma but in my case the difference was only 30k which made my decision easier. The alloys don't look as striking as the 75 emotion, but it's not that bad as well. I have heard people say that they look like wheel caps, but I somehow have started to like them, maybe it grows on you.
    Anand Shankar likes this.

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