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Test Drive & Review: FIAT Grande Punto-90 HP

Discussion in 'Punto 1.3 MJD 90 HP' started by sharma_sanjeevin, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. sharma_sanjeevin

    sharma_sanjeevin Regolare

    Messages:
    279
    Mumbai
    Tested Model: Fiat Grande Punto 1.3 Multijet VGT-90 HP-EP

    The Test Drive experience:
    I received call from the Fortune Nerul Showroom, on the line was Mr. Yogesh Parmar, he asked me to Test Drive the car and fixed up the appointment. I reached the Showroom @ 2:30 pm, and Mr. Yogesh was ready with the Car. We started off from the Showroom, with in the meantime Yogesh explained me the features of the car Blue & Me and other Stuff, he seemed to be quite knowledgeable & friendly and answered all my queries promptly and was having a good attitude towards the customer.

    I would like to thank Yogesh for his eagerness & attitude towards the customer to show & explain the cars features in detail, i think FIAT India needs some more guys at the dealer level, FIAT are you listening.

    All in all the Test drive experience was very good, and i can sense the seriousness in the attitude of the Sales staff towards the Customer. So at last times are changing for FIAT India. Wish them Best of luck & a request bring on the FIAT Linea T-Jet ASAP :)

    So lets go on to the main aspect, the Review of the Car.

    Looks: Exteriors
    Designed by the "Car Designer of the Century" Giorgetto Giugaro, Oohh lala..this Italian beauty compells you to go weak on your knees, the beautiful Mini Maserati like front with superbly Tear Drop shaped headlamps greets the onlooker when the car is viewed from the front, as you go on looking the subtle lines can take away your breath. The Grande Punto wears an overall proportionate design and looked Elegant in the New Fox Trot Azure Color.

    The rear of the car lends a mascular look to the car with a broad bumper & the unique tail lamps which are on the top end of the C Pillar gives the car a fresh look that is not yet seen on any other Hatchback in India till date.

    Overall Exterior design, it is Timeless, it looks so fresh even after 5 years of its launch way back in the year 2005.

    Looks: Interiors
    As you Step In, you are greeted with the Interiors that you have already seen on the bigger cousin Linea, the difference here is that the Linea’s Interiors are a Combination of Black & Beige, here in Punto it is a Combination of Black & Dark Grey, also the Center Console in the Linea has White Dials here they are Black & Grey. I was surprised, that the Test Drive Car had Black & Grey Dials as available in the current FGT EP Version, it is contradictory to the pictures posted on other Forum where the Center Console Dials were the same as Linea. Plastic Quality of some interior parts not upto the mark, some of the pictures are attached indicating the Quality of Fit & Finish near the Steering Column & the Glove Box.

    The only differentiation from the Current FGT Version is the RED Thread Stiching on the Seats for the Logo of Punto.

    As far as the ergonomics are concerned, the driver’s seat has height adjustment, so finding your driving position is only a couple of settings away. The center console is subtly
    angled toward the driver. On the flip side, the footwell feels somewhat cramped and the dead pedal integration is awkward. This definitely takes getting used to and those with a large shoe size will keep rubbing their left foot against the partition.

    Interior Space is adequate, but not in the leagues of the Indica Vista but it is fairly large cabin in comparison to the Swift. Here one thing i noticed that Driver Seat fully pushed back & there is very little space left for the rear passenger, i think the Seat Rails are taken from Linea as which has a increased wheelbase and that plays a spoil sport in case of the back seat space, i felt the seat rail has a long slider, but that is compensated by a very comfy & supportive backseat.

    Boot Space is quite adequate @280 Litres & you have the facility of 60:40 Split, only grouse is that somewhat the suspension Towers intrude & eats some of the luggage space. All the bells & whistles are there in Top End Variant Like, Automatic Climate Control, Integrated MP3 Player, Steering Mounted Controls, BlueNMe & the List goes on and on, i will not go in detail here you can have a look at the brochure for that :)

    Performance: Engine: The Heart of the Matter
    Under the Hood is the "India’s National Engine" we can call it, it is the same engine which does duty in the Swift DDis, Swift Dzire, Indica Vista Quadrajet, FIAT Palio Multijet is called for the Duty in the Grande Punto 90 HP BUT there is a Twist in the tale, the Engine here is taken from the Bigger Cousin Linea which Churns out 93 PS @ 4000 RPM & Max Torque of 209 nm @ 2000 RPM, here i am bit confused :confused , why FIAT has tuned the Engine to Generate the Peak Torque @ 2000 RPM, wherein the FGT Version generates the Peak Torque of 197 NM @ 1750 RPM Only.

    OK, lets move on, Crank the Engine and you can instantly notice the Quietness of the Engine as compared to the FGT Version, the NVH are well controlled, and the engine feels refined at idle, i was surprised with the LOW NVH even when the TD car was only having 213 KM on the Odo. Cool..!!

    Slot the car in the First Gear and it starts moving smoothly, the second gear is a bit tall as compared to the short 1 & 2 gears of the FGT Version, you can manage 30-80 KMPH in the Second Gear, the engine is very much driveable in the 3rd gear you can pick up from the speeds of 20-30 in the same gear, i say good for the B2B city driving & FE. The Engine comes into its own @ 2000 RPM where you can feel the wave of Torque & Variable Geometry Turbo working, the power delivery is linear. In lower RPM's there is a bit of Turbo lag which can be felt & i think it is the character of the Multijet Engine. Regarding the Quality of the Gear Shifts, slotting the gears was accurate & effortless but it does not matches the Shift quality of a Swift. Gearbox feels a bit rubbery. But does its duty well.

    The Multjitet VGT engine makes the Grande Punto THE best highway cruiser hatchback available till date in india, i went uptil 120 KMPH on the Palm Beach Road, and i must say that reaching that speed was a breeze, and there is no Boomy Noise from the Engine after 2500 RPM like in the FGT Cousin. This is Engine has a Very Good Mid Range & Top End, so the folks asking for a decent performance especially in the Mid range & Top End will not be disappointed ::T

    It took the car 14 (13.9) seconds from 0-100 KMPH, this i monitored from the stopwatch of my Cell Phone.

    Ride & Handling:
    At low speeds, you can feel the firmness of the suspension. As the car gathers momentum, the ride quality truly is truly outstanding. On the highway, the Punto should handle the bad roads without any strain on it sweet face. You feel confident and stop slowing down for rough patches. Behaviour is big car like and other words, no other hatchback till date can match, this car loves corners with the chassis exuding its poise.

    The steering is perfectly weighted & amongst the best Power Steering units. During the test drive going downhill was the point where the stability / handling characteristics of this car came to its own, there is only one word in my mind which can describe the handling characteristics of this car that is "OUTSTANDING" the composure of the car was EXEMPLARY . When i threw it around the corners. It will not be an exaggeration if here i say that this car THE Benchmark in the Ride Handling department. Punto’s handling is the best of all Hatchbacks that are currently available in India.

    Summing it Up:

    +Ves::

    - FINALLY we can say the Grande Punto has the Engine which does justice (Somewhat) to the Brilliant Chassis.
    - Stunning design, easily THE most stylish hatchback in India.
    - 15,000 km service interval, 50 month warranty and roadside assistance
    - Solid build quality & Superb Paint Finish (Exterior).
    - Excellent Fuel Efficiency from the Multijet (20 Kmpl) as certified by the ARAI for the car this heavy.
    - OUTSTANDING Ride & Handling dynamics. It is a new benchmark in its segment.
    - Perfectly calibrated & weighted power steering. Just Loved the Contours of the Steering they lend a sporty feeling to the overall fantastic car
    - 60:40 Split Seats for added Luggage space.
    - Broad 15 Inch tyres.
    - With all Bells & Whistles the VGT Multijet 90 HP Emotion+ vairant is a VFM.

    -Ves:

    - Interior Plastic Quality has improved but the Fit & Finish is not upto the mark, to say it is not in the leagues of the i20.
    - Rear seat space is not in the leagues of say Indica Vista.
    - turbo lag below 2000 RPM.
    - Slightly rubbery feel to the Gear Box.
    - Big Turning radius, can be a pain in taking U turns.
    - Suspension Towers eat up some of the luggage Space.

    All in all this car is an outstanding piece of Automotive Engineering, and this should please the folks who wanted more power & the ones who are crazy for the FE also from the Grande Punto, to some extent.

    Disclaimer: 1. The review is purely based on what i have experienced during my test drive, so please excuse me if there are any mistakes.
    2. The Pics were taken in a Hurry, as it started to rain Heavily, and we had to run for a cover :)
  2. gautamkhadse

    gautamkhadse Regolare

    Messages:
    338
    Pune
    who .. nice review ... i saw and read the review on tbhp they'd put the pics too .. i absolutely hated teh stickers .. they're not even symmetric and look crappy .. very checp .. i
  3. sharma_sanjeevin

    sharma_sanjeevin Regolare

    Messages:
    279
    Mumbai
  4. Ravi

    Ravi Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    6,001
    Bangalore
    Grande Punto 1.3
    Brilliant review!!! :up
    The Punto in this new colour is just excellent.

    I hope you have more pictures for us??
  5. VahanPujari

    VahanPujari Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    2,303
    Mumbai
    Hey Sanjeev. Nice & detailed review. Sorry, could not join today.

    Nice to see you doing 0-100 yourself. 13.9 seconds is not a bad timing at all.
  6. sharma_sanjeevin

    sharma_sanjeevin Regolare

    Messages:
    279
    Mumbai
    Thanks Ravi, YES..!! more pictures coming :) my connection is Slow, that is why it is taking time.
  7. sharma_sanjeevin

    sharma_sanjeevin Regolare

    Messages:
    279
    Mumbai
    Thanks Amit Bhai, No problems, i knew you were busy with the Family :) that is the most important Job Man..!! ::V

    Yup, 13.9 seconds is a pretty good improvement from the FGT Version, the VGT Engine has got a very good Mid & Top end performance, lets see what are the other people's reaction towards the performance. I liked the pep of the Engine after 2000 RPM ::T
  8. sharma_sanjeevin

    sharma_sanjeevin Regolare

    Messages:
    279
    Mumbai
    Time for the Pics to do the talking

    Time for the Pics to do the talking..!!

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  9. sharma_sanjeevin

    sharma_sanjeevin Regolare

    Messages:
    279
    Mumbai
    Thanks buddy..!!, There were no stickers on the TD vehicle except the ones stating it to be a Test Drive Vehicle.

    I also hated those RED tacky stickers which they had shown on the Display Vehicle at the Auto Expo.
  10. sharma_sanjeevin

    sharma_sanjeevin Regolare

    Messages:
    279
    Mumbai

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