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My new blazing Punto EVO!!

Discussion in 'Punto 1.3 MJD' started by kishorekrs, Jun 9, 2015.

  1. kishorekrs

    kishorekrs Amatore

    Messages:
    128
    Bangalore
    Punto Evo 1.3
    Well first of all this is my first review in this forum. Kindly pardon me for any mistakes if you find any in this write up. The whole review is based solely on my personal opinion.

    To start off with… this is my second car. Prior to owning the Punto EVO I was a happy yet dejected customer of Volkswagen Polo 1.2 TDI. Without doubt it has delivered me tremendous amount of pleasure yet a considerable amount of pain too while I owned it. As everybody knows the VW group is yet to put a strong hold in India it was quite evident fact that the maintenance would be biggest headache with VW Polo. Nevertheless I went ahead and purchased one for me not a new one but from the used market though. I being an enthusiast wanted to go for a purely performance driven cars. Polo came in the way for me and I happen to purchase it for all obvious reasons. Apart from this I always had plan to own FIAT one day coz the brand itself had created a huge buzz back in 90’s when my dad owned one (Yes…we had iconic FIAT Premier Padmini) For whatever reasons I felt very sad when we sold our car for meager 25k!! :(

    With the departure of our FIAT there was always a dream to own one again as the impression it had left in us was pretty massive. Such was the reputation and the brand value it created in our mind way back then. Now coming back to my point, I used my Polo hardly for year and half. Though it was a short time I enjoyed every bit of it during ownership. Though I was happy with it I often used to find myself on a losing side because of the maintenance it demanded. I soon realized the mistake of owning this gem from second hand market and finally decided to sell it off!!

    As I said earlier my interest was more on practical & performance driven car. I wasn’t a fan of feature rich car which offered lot of gadgets & gizmos. As a car I wanted something which was more on safety, more on power and pocket friendly too. Perhaps that something in the form of true pleasure to drive in, fun filled and yet never compromising on the quality and maintenance. In my list there were hardly 3 cars. I considered only hatchback though. The VW Polo 1.5L TDI, FIAT Punto EVO and the Hyundai elite i20. I know in fact we all know that the market leader Maruti swift is a truly performance driven car but personally it didn’t strike me anything as the confidence level was sorely missing for me when I happened to drive my friend’s swift. I was cruising at 125 km/h mark in a highway. The way it responded beyond 120kmph was almost frightening to say the least!! For me it scored feebly on safety, built quality and space. I was little skeptical about owning VW Polo again as I had already owned one and didn’t want to make the same mistake as far as cost of ownership was concerned. Hence thought of giving it a slender chance and considered the other two instead. The elite i20 on the other hand though is brimming with features it sorely lacked on character for me. As I mentioned earlier I was concerned more towards drivability and the feel from riding. Since elite i20 is not known for either of this it was straight away cut out from the competition. The reason being reviews from most of the auto experts and a word of mouth from a friend of mine helped me in expelling it from the list. Now after omitting the one and putting the other one on hold I was left with FIAT Punto EVO. Though I had this ambition of owning FIAT one day I was little doubtful about it’s after sales service & hence considered it as a last option. The reason behind was after coming across quite a few negative reviews about FIAT’s after sales services. At this point I didn’t have any other option than to go with VW Polo (Coz it was tried & tested). Still I made up my mind to give a shot at Punto EVO once and thus went ahead for a test ride one day.

    As I had read about the Punto’s characteristic features (like handling and drivability) I was pretty much excited to put my hands on it. As I went in for a test ride the first thing which impressed me was its handling. As someone from NDTV car n bike show had rightly said about Punto’s handling it suddenly put a smile on my face as I made my way on a free empty stretch. The first impression came as surprise for me as the momentarily feel was like driving a sedan. I was greatly impressed with the Hydraulic power steering and the built quality of the outer shell. This one being a hatchback at one stage it seemingly drove and behaved like a SUV’ish to me. Maybe quite of few would take it as an exaggeration but its indeed true. The ground clearance at 185 mm and the suspension tuned exclusively for Indian roads won my heart. I was highly impressed by its handling especially on roads filled with potholes, craters and bumps. Hardly had I felt anything beneath me. This is true be it in rear seat or in front seated. Added to its great handling the top variant Emotion comes with 195/60 R15 tyres. This thing helps in dampening undulations easily.

    upload_2015-6-9_17-18-6.jpeg

    [Side profile with ground clearance at 185mm]

    upload_2015-6-9_17-18-32.jpeg

    [The marvelous diamond cut alloys wearing 195/60 R15 Goodyear Duraplus tyres]

    After going through few of the websites I have read that old Grande Punto owners were unhappy with the gear ratios which are in fact tuned to weird ratios. Well I personally felt the EVO is set tuned perfectly for this 1.3L mill. This I could say confidently coz of my experience with Polo before & occasionally with the swift too. Polo was a 1.2L 3 pot engine. It was sometimes poor on pickup especially when I was driving it on inclinations. Coming from Slick gear box I felt Punto EVO’s rubbery gear box is much of a disappointment for me. For a car like this a slick gearbox would have won the game for Punto. As polo & swift boasts slick gear boxes the feel over there is top notch while shifting them. Over here rubbery shifting still does the job but with some compromise though. IMO the gear ratios are well set.

    upload_2015-6-9_17-19-6.jpeg

    [Fiat Punto EVO gear lever]

    The clutch having a long ply was welcome for me as I was quite used to it with my previous car. One thing came as a surprise for me was light weight clutch. I rather expected Punto EVO to have heavier one but it turned out to be a lighter one. It definitely helps in driving with comfort yet not to me liking. I still prefer a heavier one. Coming back to gear ratios I personally felt the second gear is rightly tuned for the city driving. It takes care of stop n go & bumper to bumper traffic without requiring much to engage to first gear. It also easily takes on potholes and bumpy roads with ease in second gear. As the rest of the gear syncs with its power to weight ratios its true prowess is shown on highway with its cruising ability at fourth and fifth gears. To overtake just a mere tap on fourth gear it graciously pulls over. I indeed felt instead of riding it in a city it should be driven more on highways as it gives a tremendous feel for driving. No wonder why some people call it a highway scorcher. Such is the body dynamics & drivability which is ever confidence inspiring.

    Now after dealing with the technical aspects my next take was on space management. I was too concerned over here coz I had this bad cramped seat in my Polo before. Every elderly passenger used to give me a fleeting comment about its lesser space it offered. Fortunately the Punto EVO on the other hand offered a better space equation which easily made 3 adults to sit behind without compromising on space. I mean those 3 adults were with average height of 5.7”. The ingress and regress were pretty comfortable too due to its high stance. Even the seats offered better thigh support for people of all different heights.

    upload_2015-6-9_17-19-37.jpeg

    [EVO Rear seat]

    After all this happy points that I considered this particular thing disappointed me a bit i.e. fit and finish. Also at some place the quality of the parts used in the car is not up to the mark. Ironically my doubt turned out to be true regarding the quality of parts as they are not up to the mark. The door locking levers, the panel gaps specially between horn pad and the steering wheel, the height adjusting lever and quite a few…Yet I personally felt not to give much preference to these as I felt I was addicted to the quality that Polo offered to me one time. As we all know it is a benchmark for quality in this segment.

    upload_2015-6-9_17-20-2.jpeg

    [Notice the gap between horn pad and the steering]

    upload_2015-6-9_17-20-44.jpeg

    [Door opening lever feels flimsy to hold and operate]

    upload_2015-6-9_17-21-4.jpeg

    [View of rear bumper joint. A sloppy job by FIAT]

    Nevertheless about poor fit and finish I quickly went through the features list which Punto EVO Emotion variant was to offer us. It offered almost all the features which are evidently available in the market out there. ACC, Dual Airbags, ABS with EBD, FPS (Fire prevention system), height adjustable seat belts, MID with loads of features (Distance to empty, Trip A & B, Avg consumption for both, Time travelled, Instant mileage, Service reminder etc), Voice recognition, SMS read out, Speed sensing volume, smart wipers and the list goes on. So finally after having a brief driving experience I came happy with positive note about Punto EVO.

    upload_2015-6-9_17-21-41.jpeg

    [Sleek audio system with aux and USB down below]

    upload_2015-6-9_17-22-36.jpeg

    upload_2015-6-9_17-22-55.jpeg

    [Nice and elegant dashboard goes well with overall design]

    upload_2015-6-9_17-23-19.jpeg

    [Plus point...Rear ac vent]

    Finally it was time to take a final decision & I apparently happen to stuck between new VW Polo & Punto EVO. Though at one point of time it was all pre decided with Punto EVO I still wanted to rethink between them. As the characteristic handling & drivability was good in both the Punto EVO lacked the distinction of fit and finish & quality parts. On the other hand the impression created by the German during the tenure of my ownership was simply unmatchable in this regard. Though the VW Polo scored well in almost all the departments the one word ‘maintenance’ alone plagued me shoddily if I have to own VW Polo again. Finally I made up my mind and with lots of positive hope & by ignoring few niggles and yes with an ambition to own FIAT again I made a deal & bought home a FIAT Punto EVO Emotion 75HP Pearl white model. The car is definitely a head turner though many old Punto owners disagree with this. Ask any old Punto owners, they surely miss this EVO’s stunning rear lights!! ;-)

    upload_2015-6-9_17-24-6.png upload_2015-6-9_17-24-17.png

    This one may not win 0-100 kmph races but it undeniably has great character to offer. The built like a tank, the drivability, the HPS, the well tuned suspension all this surely puts a smile on us. To believe the above said points I highly recommend driving it to believe it!!

    upload_2015-6-9_17-24-36.png

    [Classy dials looks even cooler when lights are turned on]

    upload_2015-6-9_17-24-51.png

    As I conclude this review in my opinion since I have driven both the cars the VW Polo and Fiat Punto EVO, to me both offers tremendous happiness and a sense of thrill. They definitely exude great level of pleasure too. I often come across people asking me the difference between Polo and Punto EVO. I try to explain them by giving example like below or maybe I would like to contest them like this…!! ;-)

    upload_2015-6-9_17-25-15.png

    upload_2015-6-9_17-25-28.png

    Hold on!! Am aint comparing them…They are miles ahead. Still just for the sake of understanding as the picture speaks, though the premium cars offers superior powers still their DNA speaks a lot as polo strikes resemblance with audi’s luxurious characteristics on the other side Punto EVO relics very much as pure enthusiasts/drivers delight like mighty BMW’s does!! ;)

    Well finally getting one I hope FIAT delivers me a happy service throughout my ownership stint. I am quiet unaware which FIAT service centres in Bangalore offers top notch service. Those of you who have already experienced it kindly advice back on the same.

    Happy motoring…
    Ravi Varma, kirenh, bharath and 16 others like this.
  2. Arjunbhargava

    Arjunbhargava Amatore

    Messages:
    85
    New Delhi
    Sarojini Nagar
    Punto Evo 1.3
    Hey mate congrats for your new machine...cheers !!! I have a question though you own an emotion variant are these alloys stock ??
  3. kishorekrs

    kishorekrs Amatore

    Messages:
    128
    Bangalore
    Punto Evo 1.3
    Thanks buddy..yes they are stock ones
    --- Double Post Merged, Jun 9, 2015 ---
    There's actually two types of stocks available. One for 75hp n the other one for 90hp!! 75hp is diamond cut alloy & the 90hp is a normal one with rather poor design
  4. Murphy_Fiat

    Murphy_Fiat Superiore

    Messages:
    648
    Trivandrum
    Trivandrum
    Linea T-Jet
    Congrats @kishorekrs , looking forward to more happy memories and detailed reports over the period of ownership with the beautiful Evo. :)
  5. kishor123

    kishor123 Timido

    Messages:
    11
    belgaum
    belgaum
    Punto Evo 1.3
    Hello Kishorekrs,
    Firstly, I would like to congratulate for your new car.
    White looks ultimate :)
    your mid shows just 5.5kmpl:wideyed: ??
    Even i brought a new punto evo 1.3 (TW), i got 17.5kmpl.
  6. Arjunbhargava

    Arjunbhargava Amatore

    Messages:
    85
    New Delhi
    Sarojini Nagar
    Punto Evo 1.3
    @kishorekrs I am just back from Fiat showroom cum service center these wheels were not present in Cars .. But yes they had 90Hp with 16inch alloys and emotion with 15 inch had the same old alloy with gunmetal color...Is this stock in old Punto Evo as well I mean to say 2014 models.And can you ask your fiat service about the price of these ?
    As today they quoted 7430 per piece for 15 inch and 9440 for 16inch wheel..
  7. kishorekrs

    kishorekrs Amatore

    Messages:
    128
    Bangalore
    Punto Evo 1.3
    Thanks folks...yeah I was worried when I saw the AcA. But its slowly increasing now. Currently its showing 11.2 kmpl. How about you buddy? Did the AcA show 17.5 on very first day of purchase?
    --- Double Post Merged, Jun 9, 2015 ---
    Yes the pricing over here remains the same buddy also 2014 make comes with the older design i mean one with gunmetal color.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2015
  8. Anoop M Scaria

    Anoop M Scaria Novizio

    Messages:
    44
    Bangalore
    Bangalore
    Punto Evo 1.3
    @@kishorekrs. Congrats buddy. A Very good choice I would say from my experience.I have driven both Polo &Punto.

    Also about service centre's I have serviced my evo in Aadya motors, Nagwara.Pretty happy overall with their dealings.I heared Vecto motors near electronic city is also good. Depending on your location you can choose.

    and regard to mileage do not worry it has clocked just H86 kms. It is definitely going to go up . I am getting an average of 15kms with 70% city driving with 100% ac.
    kishorekrs likes this.
  9. kishor123

    kishor123 Timido

    Messages:
    11
    belgaum
    belgaum
    Punto Evo 1.3
    @kishorekrs, yes my first day running was around 44kms and mid (AcA) showed 17.5, at belgaum the traffic will be alot less compared to bangalore that might be the reason.
  10. VIJENDRA SINGH

    VIJENDRA SINGH Amatore

    Messages:
    173
    DIBIYAPUR
    Linea T-Jet
    Congratulations for the ride. Nice write up buddy!
    kishorekrs likes this.

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