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My Fiat Grande Punto 1.3 MJD Emotion ( Tuscan Wine )

Discussion in 'Punto 1.3 MJD' started by SKSy_Biker, Jan 31, 2011.

  1. SKSy_Biker


    If its not obvious enough from my ID, I'm more of a bike person and to me automobiles are closer to heart than head. So when it comes to choosing a car for my family use the influence of heart was clearly visible to all in my family. Here is a short version of how I got my first car.

    Flashback few years and ever since my first long rides on my motorcycle I was being advised by close relatives and friends to get a car. To them it was the obvious choice. More space, comfort and as some put it status that comes along with owning a car makes it a straightforward decision. I knew I had to get one some day, but I made sure that I could put it forward as much as I could. Fast forward to mid 2010, I knew that the time was close, my father was retiring and we would be living together in Bangalore. The car we had was already sold a few months back as it was quite old there always was the company provided

    Tata Indigo till my father's retirement. But I had started picking up brochures from various showrooms and enquiring about various vehicles.

    The vague requirement was something like this, a car comfortable for the family and something that we could keep for 7-8 years. Well what about the segment of cars or the budget you ask? It was wide open, I looked at cars from Hyundai i10 to Volkswagen Vento to even the Xylo and Scorpio. Not just new cars, I visited a few Pre-owned cars showrooms and looked at cars that would be around 7 Lakhs and provide VFM ownership experience for say 4-5 years at the least.

    So with the exception of couple of cars I was looking at diesel mainly. Not that my daily run would be high, but i believed the longer duration of ownership will bring sense to the whole equation. Now that the prices of petrol are skyrocketing, I can still afford to smile a bit.

    Without going to too much details I will summarize my views on the cars in a single line or two:
    (Disclaimer: These are my personal views only and negative comments on it will be blindly ignored)


    i10: Too small inside for my choice, didn't feel like a car we could use for too long.

    i20: Good styling and features, nice interiors too. Higher priced diesel and not so special handling sent this out of the list.

    Verna: The new model was just launched that made it look really ugly. And I knew there was always the next version coming in 2011. Out it went!


    Manza: Big inside, unbeatable space for a sedan, but bland rears and overall looks. And after seeing the Indigo at use, i couldn't see it serving us for too long.

    Vista: Similar like Manza without the boot if I may say so.

    Safari: Did not consider it for too long and just spent 10-15 minutes inside the car at the showroom. Looks big on the outside, but that's it, doesn't make a style or lifestyle statement for me. So it was tata to the Tatas


    Punto: Hmm interesting.. I loved the new Fiat cars from the time before they were launched. I won't say much, a lot to come anyway.

    Linea: This was my first love with Fiat when it was launched couple of years back. Stunning looks but with a not so great engine till the T-Jet. Still was dropped later considering present needs and finance.


    Polo: With all the good things about the build quality kept aside. It still felt small inside (with the center bump adding trouble for the 3rd passenger. No
    go for me.

    Vento: I was all gaga over the diesel engine when it was launched, but the excruciatingly long waiting period and the average looks kept me away from this one.

    Never seriously considered any car here I guess. I did not want the Swift or the Ritz. I did TD the SX4, but was not too happy with it.

    None considered.

    The Jazz and the City went through my mind for a few days, but I was not too impressed by them anyway. Honda lovers please excuse

    Ford Figo: This was the only car which was considered from this camp, but the lack of response from dealers and missing simple expectation of all 4 power windows got it out of the final round.

    Nissan Micra: Though having decent reviews, the sole dealer in Bangalore and unproven nature of the vehicle crossed it out of the list.


    Xylo: Well, gotta give it to Mahindra, this was the most comfortable of the whole group when it came to rear space and seating comfort. Sadly the looks were unpalatable for our use.

    Scorpio: Though a hot favorite of my better half, this went out early from the list due to high price for 4x4 version which I wanted, and with budget being capped at 12L it was not possible to get one. Not to mention one thing, sitting inside made me wonder " Where did all the space go???".

    Skoda Fabia:

    Keeping the service horror stories on forums aside this was one car which was on the list due to its good build and interiors. The engine did not impress me and neither did the price.

    Toyota Etios:
    Good engine and great interior space. But horrible plastics and build was non Toyota standards.

    Even though I had kind of made up my mind, we had kept the options open so that we don't decide without giving a fair look at few cars. So the final three cars considered were:
    1. Fiat Grange Punto
    2. Skoda Fabia
    3. Ford Figo

    Even on calling the dealers I could get myself only first two of the list for TD.

    First car I drove was Skoda Fabia TDI, the engine was slightly more noisier than the Punto I drove later. The space and interiors were comparable if not
    better than the Punto and the finish was great. The engine performance was average at best. I drove the petrol 100hp version too which definitely was faster but not too exciting.

    Punto was the next car I drove that day, I went straight for the Diesel Emotion pack TD car. I felt straight at home in this car starting from the driving position to the clutch, brake and throttle response on a crowded Sarjapur road test drive. I was convinced enough so I left the showroom with a proforma invoice and a promise to come back again soon for the car.

    I was back the next day to the showroom with a cheque for booking the Punto. I took another TD of the car, but just before that I requested a TD of the T-jet which was standing outside. The experience of the T-jet was just WoW! Lovely acceleration and handling, but in my mind I could not justify the extra 3-4 lakhs at this moment. I'd rather spend that on a faster bike

    Here are the final details of the booking:

    Make : Fiat
    Model : Punto
    Variant : Emotion
    Fuel : Diesel
    Color : Tuscan Wine
    Booking Date : 28/12/2010
    Dealer & City : Prerana Motors, Sarjapur Road, Bangalore
    Freebies : The usual mats, mud flap and 3M tints, Door sill plates, FIAT car cover and neck pillows along with the usual Ganesha idol and perfume. RSA and

    Extended Warranty

    So after booking it naturally comes the seemingly eons of wait for the car keys to be in my hands. I got the VIN of the car couple of days later and though it was about 2 months old, I felt it was reasonable considering the extra freebies I had bargained for. Once the car was at the showroom I went for the now customary PDI (I had forewarned the SP about the PDI list that I would be getting!). Not that this made a lot of difference since the things that I can observed and complained about remained as it is till the car was delivered. The car loan processing was through Canara Bank and this probably delayed the whole process by two weeks.

    Finally with the loan sanctioned on 17th of January, the delivery of the bike..(damn I actually typed bike again)err car was scheduled for 21st January. Some of the bothering issues which I had pointed out were sorted and a couple of hours later I was driving back home with my better half in the car.


    Its been 10 days and about 400kms with the car and I think I can give a brief of my ownership and driving experience.

    The two main upgrades done so far are for the ICE and sear covers.

    I got the seat covers done from Marvin Leathers bangalore and they have done a fabulous job of fitting the seat covers and all. The details of the same shall be adding in a separate post along with the pictures.

    The ICE was a sore point in the Punto and I had decided to upgrade it even before I got my hands on it. Even with loads of research on various forums I could not put a finger on the combination of components I wanted. Finally it all went for a toss when I went to the shop and got what was installed.

    The setup details:

    Front: Infinity Reference series 6030 6.5" Components
    Rear: Infinity Reference series 5032 Coaxials
    Sub: JBL 12" 1215 with non-ported box
    Amplifier: Blaupunkt Velocity 475

    Total cost with wiring and labour: 20K++
    Place : Sachin's Autoshop Koramangala

    To this I have added the existing Garmin GPS that I had which has an inbuilt bluetooth and FM based MP3 player too. So this kinda takes care of the features that I would miss by not going in for emotion pack version.

    So far I'm loving the ownership experience. Its hard to keep the revs under control and not to go too fast. I've been getting a below average 12-13kmpl on the daily drive to my office. I'm not too surprised as the traffic is pretty much crawling at 1st gear in more than 50% of the journey. Here are the key positives and negatives for me:


    Ride comfort (both front and rear seats)
    Braking and handling on any kind of roads
    Comfort of a solidly built car

    Turbo lag below 1.8k rpm
    Not so great finish of interiors

    The real test of the car for me will be this weekend when I take it out for a 300kms+ drive. You all can expect more pictures and some more posts here after that.

    That's it for now folks :car
  2. Ravi

    Ravi Staff Member Janitor

    Grande Punto 1.3
    Nice reports, but pictures are missing.
  3. nav75

    nav75 Amatore

    Very nicely written, i10, i20 & T-Jet we have same comments about them. Good you didn't test drove Ritz (I did). ;-)

    Shit, I should have also written such a detailed report about buying my Punto. :)

    PS: Waiting eagerly for your trip pics.

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