I was planning to buy a new car before monsoon of 2010. Dad's Alto was too small for me. Since I expected some running between hometown and workplace (around 220kms apart), I preferred a diesel. I was keenly looking at Punto, i20, Ritz etc. Swift was too common so was not much interested in it. Saw the Ritz in flesh. It looked weird and was not spacious enough. Moreover, I was fed up with Maruti rattles. Liked i20 but pricing was too high. Our earlier vehicles were Ambassadors & Mahindra Jeeps & 800. I had no special opinion about FIAT. When Punto was launched went to Kulathunkal Motors. The gleaming car in the showroom was a sight to see. Looked around and inside the car,. Everything looked and felt 10 times stronger and better than Alto. Already I had all info regarding the car, courtesy tbhp. Requested a test-drive. While waiting for the TD car checked out other hatchbacks on the floor. Palio is so beautiful even now. But after seeing the Punto interiors Palio’s looked old. Vista had lots of space, but the oversized steering wheel, misaligned door lock etc confirmed my opinion of Indica. During TD found the 1st & 2nd gear to be very short. What surprised me was that I was able to adjust to Punto’s dimensions easily. The TD was initially on a good road and Punto was rock solid, quiet, comfy. But it was difficult to believe that Swift and Punto had same engine. I had heard a lot about Punto’s suspension. Decided to check it out. Took a road that was dug up for laying water pipes. The SA was surprised by the route change, but he gave a smile. The car went through some bad patch smoothly. Wow! So I increased the speed and went over more bad patches, the comfort level increased! I was floored. ::T The SA was still proudly smiling. If I had tried the same stunt on my Alto my gut would be hanging outside. Did a U-turn to get a feel of the turning radius. It was much greater than Alto, but was manageable. On the way back to showroom checked the rear-view mirror and ensured that no one was behind. Then I slammed the brakes. The car simply stopped. No screech, no direction change. However, felt the car took a lot of time to accelerate from 5th gear. Was disappointed. The peppiness was missing. :P Came back from the showroom and my wife was very happy with the car and its comfort. But I was slightly worried about the power part. That was when the talk of Punto Sport came up. The Punto Sport showcased in Autoshow was drool stuff. Since monsoon was still months away decided to wait for the powerful version. Meanwhile I communicated to some FIAT top guy regarding more information on Punto Sport. I requested him to launch a version with the powerful engine and to make the spoiler, sunroof etc optional so as to keep the cost down. I never expected a reply. But he replied and confirmed that they had same idea regarding Punto Sport. Nice! Now comes the twist. My dad wanted the car back for some upcoming trips. I had my bike so I gave the Alto back to parents. After some weeks a happy news, I was going to become a father! But I had no car to take my pregnant wife around. I had to get a new car ASAP. Started looking around and there was the new car Ford Figo! It ticked most of my requirements space, HPS, driver oriented, diesel, features, European build. Went to Ford showroom and liked the car, it had a lower stance but space was much better. felt-lined doors were a good touch. Took a test drive and found the car to be fine, but was little bumpier than Punto. The price was less and I could save some money also. Punto Emotion Pk was out of budget and no Punto Emotion was available readily. SA told it would take 20 days for a new one to arrive. Ford guys said I’ll get it in 7 days. That sealed it. Kairali Ford SA came and collected 10k advance. I decided to take a small loan from Ford Credit itself. Days passed and nothing happened. SA says something about Ford not billing the car etc. One week gone, no sign of car. Talked to SA, manager regional manager in cochin. Ford had a funny strategy to deliver cars to Kochi yard. Cars would be driven from Kochi to Trivandrum according to demand! :A New car in these guys hands. Not good. I was desperate for a car and they were delaying it. I was calling all the Ford guys I knew. Problem was that I wanted a Titanium with black interiors. Kairali Ford guys were saying not a single Titanium was being delivered. Fortunately got introduced to a top guy in Ford Chennai. He somehow got a car billed for me. I was on cloud 9. I would be the first Figo Titanium black interior owner in South Kerala. Days passed still nothing happened. Called up the SA and he was very down and frustrated with Ford. He was saying he was fed up with work pressure. His target was 10 bookings per day, had to go and get cars from Kochi, and listen to music from irate customers because of delay. I lost all hope when a dealer guy was unloading his woes to a customer. I called up manager and he said the car is ready for transit from factory. After couple of days I called up manager and he said he is on way to Kochi to fetch my car. I could not sleep that night. Next day morning called up the SA and he said no red titanium has come. So I called up the manager and he dropped a bomb. The car had arrived in Kochi but the topmost guy in Kochi gave it away to his preferred customer. I was furious. The manager was also down and he said he cannot do anything as there is no proof that car was for me. Ford does not provide VIN etc. So I said when I can expect my car. He said he had absolutely no idea and he does not want to cheat me by saying some date. Called up Ford customer care and a lady talked inTamil!! I hung up. The other guy in Chennai was not taking my call. That was all I could take. I cancelled the booking. I told I’ll get a Punto now. SA told me that Punto is a very good car! Manager told me that I’ll get back the full refund. Went straight to Kulathunkal motors. There was more staff now and a cute Nano J Receptionist asked which car you interested in. I said I just want to buy a Punto.A Red Punto Emotion was already in transit. Since I had become wiser after the Ford fiasco asked them to give the VIN#. They gave the VIN#. Impressed! Gave the advance and went back home. Called up the Ford Credit guys and asked them to cancel the loan. Ford Credit: “Not possible sir, We already gave the funds to Kairali Ford.” Me: “Why would you do that? I never told you to transfer the funds”. Ford Credit: “Sir we wanted to close the transaction before Mar 31” Me: “That is your problem. Why would I take a loan for a car that Ford will not give me” Ford Credit: “Sir If you cancel the loan some charges will be there.” Me: ”I will not pay a penny for your foolishness. I have suffered enough trying to buy a Ford car. First they cheated me in allotment. Now Ford Credit wants to cheat me too? I will take this to court. I am fed up!” Ford Credit: ”Sir I will see what I can do.” I was so depressed and felt that I was being punished by god for sinning against Punto J Next day got a call from Ford Credit guy. Ford Credit: “Sir, we have some relation with Ford and can get a car faster for you.” Me: “No thanks. I am finished with Ford cars” Ford Credit: “Don’t say like that sir. Once you get the car you’ll forget all these.” Me: “Oh Yeah, If delivery is like this what will be the service part? Even the SA and manager of Ford are fed up. ” Ford Credit: “So are you looking for another car?” Me: “Of Course, I have booked a Punto” Ford Credit: “Then no issues, we can make a draft in Kulathunkal’s name” Me:”But you are Ford Credit, right??” Ford Credit:”We are actually Kotak Finance Sir. So no issues” Me: “Hallelujah! Then get on with it my friend.” Phew! I was relieved. Now everything will be alright. After couple of days got a call from Kulathunkal. The car has arrived. I requested to do a PDI. They were OK. So next day went there and saw my red cutie and did the PDI. The yard was fully packed so no moving around. Two issues noted in PDI. Tyres are pretty old for a Feb 2010 car. One plastic part where the rear seat belt comes out is hanging loose. Mentioned this to SA. Point 2 will be corrected as dealer PDI was not yet done. Regarding tyres we cannot do anything. It came from factory like that. But I mention that its already May and the tyre is manufactured sometime in Sep 09. That is not acceptable. Dealer says they cannot do anything. So I write a mail to FIAT. Next day sweet lady calls from dealer, “Sir we will deliver your car with fresher tyres” . Impressed. Asked SA about delivery date. They say they need a day after I pay full amount to fix some AC issue. Called up the “Kotak” guy. He replies “Sir, Ford has not given back the funds. We will issue the draft after we get that”. I tell them that its unfair of their part to do this as they are part of Ford. I call up Ford guys to speed up. Days pass. Call up Kotak again. Same response. I become sentimental and pour my heart out. I tell them “What fault have I done? All I wanted to buy is a car so that my pregnant wife could travel in comfort. Ford cheats me by allotting my car to someone else. I tried to give you business when I have pre-approved loans from other banks. Why are you all acting like these and torturing me. This is supposed to be a happy occasion. But I am so fed up and tired that I have no enthusiasm anymore” The Kotak guy understood me and said he will try all he could. Eventually, after the car sat 10 days in yard the draft was ready. Kotak waived off the initial charges because of the inconvenience caused to me. J Everything settled at dealer end. They started to work on the AC issue as directed by FIAT. Got the car next day. Tyres were Feb 2010 make . Some Funny/Scary Stuff: - After TD of Punto ran into a furious Palio customer. He was saying "Dont buy FIAT cars. These guys will s***w you afterwards" :shocked - When asking for freebies SA says “Punto is selling well. We are achieving our targets easily. So no freebies.” :shock: - When pushing for sun film SA says “We don't put films on FIATs. These cars need to show the interiors to outside world. So no sun films” :hit Positives: Looks - Though looks are subjective everyone loves Punto. Comfort - if you have any doubt drive cars back to back. I have drove my Alto afterwards and felt it to be crude. Safety – This is one tough car. Features – There are so many unadvertised features in this car. Tyres – Swift & Dzire people cannot digest this Brakes – Nice Horn – Nice, Hella make!! :up Engine guard – Thank you so much! Negatives Ground clearance – Emotion with 175/70R14 has the lowest. Frequent scraping. Rattles – No bottle holders Low beam throw is very low. Mishaps While doing an U-turn a iron rod sticking out of a concrete slab got entangled with a bar inside engine bay. Luckily no damage. Had to hack off the piece using a hack saw blade. This happened inside Technopark ! While waiting at a signal a KSRTC bus came from the back, tried to squeeze through left side nudging Punto. Result is a scratch on the rear left wheel arch and a small dent. The bus driver never knew a thing though :A Niggles Misaligned glovebox - TASS says they can do nothing Metallic rubbing side inside dash - disappeared automatically Noise from roof light. Rattle from rear - Sometimes Rattle from left front door - disappeared automatically Throttle Liftoff vibration at low speeds Humming sound from steering column when going over rough patches. Wiper blade already useless F.E - Between 12 to 26 kmpl. Average 16-18kmpl (After 4600 kms) Picture: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=470#p8372 Accessories Absolutely nothing other than FIAT mats.