A BIG Hello to all the Fiat Fans here. This is the first time ever I am trying to break loose my vocabulary to write anything. So please bear with me for a while, since I’m gonna tell you a story of the Hottest Hatch in the country; oh yes you guessed it right – The Fiat Punto MJD 2011. (The car is now @ 150,000 kms. The review was drafted while the car had 17,000 Kms on the ODO roughly. The lazy bones didnt help much to upload this one sooner. This review is based on the observations when the car was initially purchased. Things might have changed now. Will write about the current car condition & updates after the review & pictures. Hope you guys enjoy reading the story.) What you will love: · The striking design · Sniper like handling. The car goes exactly where you want it to. · The talkative Steering wheel · ‘THUD’ sound when you close the door · High speed stability · Little features like Follow me Home HL, & FE Stats on the MID, on the base variant · Tank like build quality · Magnificent engine · The Sturdy Engine Guard · Getting that tail out while cornering. Total control. What needs to be improved: · The overall build quality especially the rubber parts · Gear Ratios needs time to get used to · Ergonomics · Vanity Mirror on the passenger side Sun Visor at least · Interval Speed in the wipers (Badly miss this, since was used to it in the old car) · Full Wheel Plates Quality, never stays in place (Have upgraded to OEM alloys now) · Availability of some spare parts · Last but not the least – FIAT brand value THE STORY! Vital Information: We bought a Boss Nova White Punto Active MJD on 6 OCT 2011. By the time I am writing the review my baby has already clocked about 17,000 Kilometers on the ODO. The reason I am writing the review so late is because Punto can floor you with its looks at the very moment you see it, but you seriously need to spend some good quality time with her at different places / terrains to completely fall in love with her. And the moment you complete few thousands of Kilometers in it, you would find yourself so madly-deeply in love with the Italian beauty that you won’t even touch anything from the competitors stable. Literally, I tell you. O wait a second! Before the love-story of me & my love goes on, lets drool at the teaser picture. --- Double Post Merged, Aug 23, 2016 --- Falling in Love: JUN 19, 2009 was the date when the GP arrived to the dealers in Ahmedabad & was officially on display. Bunked the college & there I headed to the showroom to get a glitterati glimpse of THE beauty. There, she was, parked right in the centre screaming all the attention from the atmosphere around, like a Rockstar, yeah! I went closer. I just ogled, like the most did. It was in Electric Blue Color, & was glittering under the spot lights on the ceiling. After a while opened the door & got behind the wheel. And that was it! I badly wanted one, parked right into my garage. Owing to the engine specs I had known from before the launch, I didn’t even feel a need to go for a test drive. But I was a college boy then. A fine presentation was right out on the breakfast table the next morning to be tendered by my financer, which was swiftly given a back seat. But it was just the beginning of a love story. Fast forward to SEP 2011: The old workhorse i.e. the 2003 Indigo was bad in shape & needed a replacement. The local garage wala got a good deal for the same which was too mouthwatering to reject. And it was gone in an hour’s time. The old lady had served the family for long time & was a link to lots of memories. I had my eyes wet & saw it going till it finally disappeared. I was sad but at the same time I was glad as the hunt for the new car was about to begin. We were looking forward for a car which can comfortably sit 4 passengers & is fun to drive at the same time. Our monthly running stays anywhere between 1500 – 2000 kms so an oil burner it was to be for sure. I knew which one is it gonna be, but the family wanted to go the formal way. So the list of cars considered goes as under: Maruti Swift: There was a lot of heat in the market for the 2011 Swift at that time since it was newly launched. Buying a Swift is considered to be an investment in Gujarat as it gets a very good resale value. My Dad was all behind it due to the same reasons. But for me it was too common. I didn’t want my car to be a Swift o come on, every boy in the neighborhood drives the same. My views were considered & kicked the Swift hard on the back, out from the list. No, that’s not the reason why the Swift looks ugly to many from behind. LOL Tata Vista & Manza: TATA not again. We wanted a change frankly speaking though we had a good ownership experience with the Indigo & the new vehicles were fantastic in all areas. But, some other day TATA. Sorry. VW Polo: We were quite impressed with the elegant look & the overall build quality.So we went to the showroom to have a look at the three pot engine.” Umm, ok let’s drive & give it a try.” But the lifeless EPS, noway! Steering feedback was very much important to me. It must talk to ME. Bring on the hydraulic VW & I’ll come again. Ford Fiesta Classic: Always had longed to own one. A close friend owns one & I frequently get an opportunity to drive around. Fabulous engine & drivability made a perfect combo for a FTD & practicality since it had a boot. A very-very close contender. Almost would have bought it for the fabulous pricing & the awesome ride quality. I am still not sure of the exact reason I rejected the car. It’s like the Punto impressed with 51% & the classic lost by 1%, it scored 49%. Had I a chance to bring two vehicles Fiesta would be the one parked beside the Punto. Fiat Punto: The family was all no-no since a close relative had got a Punto in 2010 & sold off within a month’s time because of the stiff suspension set up, bad ergonomics & low FE. I knew the cons, but the car was much beyond that. The capabilities of the car were like no other car in the segment. Again, the car was unique. It turns heads, it’s not the one every car buyer with the same budget owned. Had a HARD time convincing the family to go ahead with the purchase, but you know ‘where there is a will, there is a way’. I was completely biased. Ford Figo was not considered because if it was to be a Ford, it was a Classic. Skoda Fabia & Hyundai i-20 were again not considered. It never clicked in any of our’s minds. I don’t know why. May be the Fabia looked odd to us & Hyundai i-20 was the same as Swift, toooo common. And the critic inside me is always behind the Koreans. So, no Hyundai (no offense meant to Hyundai owners). A decision was made in 2 days. Punto it is! The Dealer: The dealer was fixed Aspi Cars since the owner is a good friend of ours. Again, only because the dealer was known it had an influence in convincing the family to get a Punto. As expected we got some VIP treatments in getting the Punto home & I am really not sure how does it feel like to deal with a SR at a TATA Showroom. Unlike the Gujarati tradition, I am not fond of negotiating much for anything. I paid what I was asked to, they also run a business just as we do. We got a free Insurance that’s all I know. All I need is a good service & I am happy. Variant Selection: Emotion Pack was quite overpriced we thought & we would be buying 1 more car a year later & we can invest the difference amount in a bigger vehicle. Again I am not fond of the gizmos we get in the top-end, my car must have a good engine, a direct steering wheel which can talk & a good Air conditioner to keep the family comfortable. A car is meant to drive, I would rather opt to save the additional cost we pay for the bells & whistles in a car & build an entertainment room at home. I was cool with the Active variant since it had a Tachometer & front Power windows, unlike most of the competitor’s base variants. It also had MID which showed real-time fuel consumption & FE with Average Speed. How good is it to see all this in the base variant. The trigger was pulled in a while & we booked a BNW Punto MJD Active, which was not in stock & was supposed to arrive in 10 days from the booking day. And by god, that was the toughest phase while buying the car. The wait begins. Bringing the Baby Home: The PDI was done the previous day. The car had just 13 kms on the ODO, & the VIN number said it was born on someday in September. It looked fresh from the oven. After going through a week of almost sleepless nights & anxiety, the D day finally arrives. The time of delivery was fixed at 2 pm & I had never waited so much for the clock to strike 2. Reached the showroom @ 1355 sharp (BTW I am always late, no matter how important a business meeting is, 'Naughty' are you paying attention here ) with younger sister & I couldn’t see anything but a piece of metal ‘crafted for a true fan’ waiting to be taken away by its master at the delivery bay, gleaming in its full glory under the sunshine. Some paper formalities were done in a jiffy & I was handed over the keys with a chocolate box by the representative. They took a picture for themselves but I was too excited to remember to take one for myself. I was just raring to glide inside the cabin & start a long term relationship with the Italian love. It didn’t take too long & my dream was fulfilled. Drove the car home for some basic ‘Mummy-made’ pooja & boy, every eye in the neighbourhood was on my car. “Kai gadi che?, Ketli average ape che?, Vajandar(heavy) gadi lage che?, Swift aj levay, Fiat kem lidhi?” are some questions which I got to face for the first time that day & it’s become a routine now. So with the home formalities complete, where to head next in a Punto ACTIVE. No temples sorry, but the tyre shop, oh yes! Upgraded the tyres to Michelin 185/70 R14 which got the cars character changed completely. My dad has routine dealings with the tyre dealer so I hadn’t to pay anything at that moment, & tell you what, we still haven’t got the invoice till date, so I am sorry I have no idea how much will my stock tyres fetch. I was on cloud-9 that day. THE DESIGN! The Outside story: The exterior of the Punto consists of some really clean lines mated with some delicious curves. The car is designed by a famous Italian car designer Giorgetto Giugiaro, who also has his name associated in designing some of the world famous cars by Lamborghini & Alfa Romeo. So that says it all. Let’s take a look at what the designer himself has to say about the car design. Giorgetto Giugiaro - "Safety is an essential factor of the car as object and the new regulations in force today tell us what we need to do during development of a design - explained Giorgetto Giugiaro. The public is not aware of these standards but they dictate certain decisions about the exterior look. The principles of the 'pedestrian impact' regulations that require a certain distance to be maintained between the lighting and the angle of incidence dictated the front lines of the Grande Punto, particularly those of the elongated lights, which are ultimately highly distinctive and led someone to describe the 'face' of the Grande Punto as that of a 'Maserati in miniature'. A solution that therefore arose out of knowledge and observation of these regulations and obviously also out of experience". Source: www.italdesign.it Every little particle on the Punto is a state of art. Starting from the clear headlamps upto rear bumper, the oval ORVM’s & the wiper blades. You can’t just stop admiring the design & there are numerous occasions where I am found out in the porch just drooling the beauty for hours. You can’t just get your eyes off it. The huge wheel walls give a fabulous stance to the car & make it stand out. Enough of talking, let’s have a look at some pictures.