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Why I brought Grande Punto and Why Am happy

Discussion in 'Punto 1.3 MJD' started by Sat-Chit-ananda, Oct 22, 2010.

  1. Why I brought GP

    1) Build Quality
    2) Wanted to buy something European
    3) Wanted 5* rated crash tested chassis
    4) Wanted best engine in the class in my car
    5) Wanted Stylish looking car

    Build Quality/Interiors/Features

    While many reviews fret about use of predominantly black but three colored shades for Interiors, I simply liked it for the match it gives between seat color,dash board and upholstery.
    Next thing what I was worried is was about rattles which I was used to in Maruti’s and Hyundai’s, also I haven’t felt the feel of solidity ,what I feel in Fiat cars in most of the cars price range of sub 10lacks.
    Best in the class seats, seat belts are no more cutting/bruising the neck thanks to seat best pretensioner (height adjustable).
    Front and back wash/wipers(bosch wipers are simply the best),Love the climate control AC,with Full auto and semi auto functions, I used to get body pain in earlier car (Wagon R) due to AC chill but now I set it to comfortable 22-23 degrees, no more body pain.

    Windscreen(front and back) demister is the one of the best features offered in GP, during the rainy days, it clears the mist within few seconds.

    Music system is okay, for low bass, but if you wish to have lot of bass with high volume , you may need to change speakers, I love the Speed Volume feature, where in automatically volume is increased as the speed builds up!!.

    Blue and ME, I am still learning to use the advanced features, but it works for any phone with Blue-tooth for making and receiving calls,On speedo panel every thing from Range/mileage(avarage+Instant)/distance which is exciting.

    Follow-me feature with head lamps to turn off after set timing is very thoughtful, Upon checking the fuse box I found this car is have VVT feature too.

    One small but significant thing is ,whenever I used decide to take a turn and switch on the side indicators in matuti’s , it used to go off with slight reverse turn of the steering wheel( I used hold indicator lever pressed ,during some challenging turns in city), but in GP it’s lot better, only after completion of the turn the indicator switches off,some thing about power windows , all the 4 switches are auto down and driver side is auto up too, in maruti’s only diver’s window has auto down, in Indica Vista it has none!!

    Every door has three stages of opening, so even if you have parked car in cliff/angle door will not close on it’s own but stop at one of the three pre-defined positions, I haven’t seen this feature from even cars which are about double the price of GP.

    I don’t have to make any point here . it’s simply the best design, no outstretched wheel arches from the body ,simple body lines and one of best paint jobs is done Grande Punto.
    I always see many cars whose wheel arches scraped/scratched because arches are outside the body ex:-Switft/i20, and most of the people who have these issues are not first time car owners!!

    Few days back I saw an i10 rear ending a GP in fuel station at BTM layout in Bangalore, i10’s bumper/AC condenser and radiator were damaged but GP did not had any issue other than few scratches and misaligned bumper.

    Decision to Buy GP
    I tried Indica Vista and almost zeroed up on buying it(floored by the engine and big improvement from previous generation Indica) , I went to concorde, Mysore road branch, to book Vista Aura+.

    Until this point I had only driven GP, which had run for few hundred Kms, Obviously as some of the people made note of, I felt initial acceleration is poor in GP MJD, I had driven Vista for over 20kms in pedal to metal style of driving in Nice Road , Bangalore,My wife insisted that I try the same with GP too, reluctant to do the same, I tried few excuses but My wife was still insisting on test drive on par with Vista.

    Finally I couldn’t negate the home minister's pressure, took the test drive of ~40 kms in GP, this was democar which had clocked 8960kms already, initial approach upto Nice road in busy stretch did not excite me so much, although I was appreciative of solid car feeling, after paying toll fee of Rs18/- , I just drove the car has hard as possible, but to my surprise car could go past 100kms in ~15 seconds, and it reached a top speed of 165Kms with a distance of 1-1.5 kms, wow! What a pleasant race car like sound(I have used 3M engine oil additive which has reduced the engine sound ), I was literally floored by the GP’s driving dynamics, Superb handling , very little or no body roll, it was change of heart and mind for me, I decided to go for GP , No matter what people write/wrote in the Team BHP/or experts at Orverdrive, as I had to believe what I experienced not what some body wrote.
    Went back to concorde after one more round of testing in Nice road just to confirm that my senses weren’t lying to me, booked the GP Emotion pack(Bussanova White).

    One thing what I noticed with GP’s gearing, if one wants accelerate GP quickly changing to 3rd gear with RPM above 1750 helps, otherwise 1st and 2nd gear is just for getting the car to move from standstill, but when i enter highway I try to maintain the RPM above 1750 and quick shift to 3rd gear, try to go real hard at pedal in 3rd gear just to match or even better the speeds of other vehicles in highway ,even in a ghat section GP moves in 3rd and 4th easily( Western Ghats Karnataka), so far I haven’t felt the need to ECU remap or Tuning box( although I am keeping myself up to date with those stuff)

    NCAP 5 star rating was also instrumental , I decided to buy a car for at least 6 years so, buying strong body/chassis becomes essential, also keeping the uncivilized driving that I have to got used to in Bangalore.
    http://www.euroncap.com/tests/fiat_GP_2005/238.aspx,I still wonder with such a dangerous driving environment in India in general, people still prefer cars not for its safety quotient.

    None of the cars I considered and TD were close to GP other than i20, I dropped i20 because of hard shock absorber/Over pricing and previous generation engine.

    Evan today GP 1.3 MJD is one of the top five engines in the world(it was #1 in year 2005), INTERNATIONAL ENGINE OF THE YEAR 2009.al the other engines listed, are not available in any car sold in India?
    This link gives details about MJD engines http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JTD_engine,(TDE engine I mean is to Turbo Diesel Engine Turbodiesel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) .

    So combination one of finest engine in its class , tough chassis, great handling, superb features, very good looks, made the tilt of favor towards GP, also this car is mature product in the Europe, this is third generation car hence the name Grande and the maturity shows in the small but very notable differences one comes across in GP.
    I looked what I am getting from GP vs other cars in segment, I felt GP to be value for money.

    I did not buy

    Suzuki Swift VDI: Wasn’t happy with instrument levels, no defogger, fragile build, look at some components sources like lousy JK tyres on 6 lacks+ car, hard to see quality parts in the car.
    Rattling is added package, arrives with in few months of purchase, I doubt the long term use of this car as drive train is always under stress due massive torque developing at 2000 RPM,I read write-up by one the 2lack run Swift owner and he had issue with his gear box every 35 to 40 K kms, no alloy wheels or climate control even in top end model

    Indica Vista Aura + : Good progress from Old Indica’s, but I saw lot complaints, about the shock absorbers and electrical issues, not so good features even on high-end Auta+(ABS+Airbags) like no alloy, very basic power windows,not a good AC for people at back,(GP has vents even below the front seats), but this car has potential to become better selling car than swift, no alloy wheels or climate control even in top end model

    Ford Figo: Did not even go to test drive as the Engine of a old generation TDE(Non-multijet) type , Vista TDI is even cheaper than Figo, Also very noisy, even on high-end variant there Is no power windows for people at back,I hate medieval 2 valve engine in the era of 4-5-6 valves, not covinced of it's topp speed as it longer time than punto reach 160 mark.
    And only few service centers for ford in Bangalore, no alloy wheels or climate control even in top end model, cost of Ford spares was another point to look at(My friend has spoiled his GP’s camber/Caster, yet when inquired the strut to be replaced costs on Rs1800, even cheaper than strut I replaced in my Wagon R Vxi (Airbag +ABS), Service person was telling me spares for Linea and GP are cheaper than Palio/Petra)

    VW Polo: Three pot motor(TDI) was major reason to reject this car(Non-multijet), also VW is not selling the same car sold in Europe here, it’s downgraded to meet Indian cost compulsions, Other than Fiat most other cars in the class are India specific models with compromise on the quality/safety, if you read the polo TD’s most of the people say it’s boring car as far as the interiors and drive is concerned, I also notice Over drive folks claiming Polo Diesel is not having any turbo lag, but some folks in Team BHP claim it has too much of Turbo lag!!,either one of them should be right.

    Hyundai I20 Magna: just for having old generation TDE(Non-multijet) engine and ABS this car boosted price tag of 7.5 lacks(no alloy wheels or climate control, airbags in magna), upon doing test drive for 10 kms , found car is having very stiff shock absorbers at the expense of comfort and even small pebble on the road is felt clearly, I could not handle small speed breakers above speed of 25 kms, lousy handling , just took a empty road did a snake like drive for few seconds even after I held steering straight, car was moving between different lanes for few moments, truly very vague handling.

    Chassis panel gauge is no where near Punto,eben the c-piller can be pressed with thumb with little pressure,I was LOL at seeing ignition kind of switch to switch off passenger airbag,Punto has done it electronically.
    i 20 can get all the features of Punto with some price but how it can improve handling ? it's basic design flaw also handing and suspension are not too good in Hyundai 's other offerings, they still need learn it other than just initiator decoration.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 5, 2012
    5 people like this.
  2. PaddleShifter

    PaddleShifter Staff Member Janitor

    Grande Punto 1.3
    Re: Why I brought Grande Punto

    Excellent review. Enjoyed reading it. How about adding cream to the cake by posting some pics. :clap

    Hey, I'm not sure about those non-multijet specs in other engines you have talked of.
    But, surely I was put off by the back seat space of Polo, more than anything else.

    What's this VVT feature?
    I think some undiscovered feature.

    Many features have been discovered recently. e.g. Rear AC vents, front wipers can change their wipe frequency depending upon the vehicle speed(my favourite feature) ::V
  3. vIjAy_kHaSa

    vIjAy_kHaSa Esperto

    Re: Why I brought Grande Punto

    Congrats on your new Punto. It's a great car. Post some pictures of Italian beauty.
    It's true GP is not underpowered drive this car above 2000 rpm and see how this baby moves on the road it's addicting. What it lacks is outright acceleration below 2000 rpm
    But all the cars you have mentioned have CRDi technology the same tech the FIAT calls Multijet. Anyway Fiat was the inventor of CRDi.
    Multijet doesn't have VVT. VVT is only for Petrol cars. 75 HP GP have FGT while 90HP GP have VGT
  4. anrad73

    anrad73 Amatore

    Thane, India
    Re: Why I brought Grande Punto

    Hi Sachit,

    Excellent review and welcome to the Punto Club.

    I am also a proud owner of the 1.3MJD 90HP GP ( Tuscan Wine ) and I bought it , thanks to TFI. :up Otherwise , I was actually sold on i20 ASTA Diesel and had never thought of the Punto.

    @ Paddleshifter :

    I am sorry that I have not been able to post my ownership thread after taking delivery of the vehicle on Dasshera. Will upload over the next week with Photos.
  5. Re: Why I brought Grande Punto

    I don't know ,if you open the fuse box there VVT fuse !!, I inquired this with Tata-Fiat folks a service adviser told me that it is VVT, not sure whether it's there or not,why it has to be there for only petrol cars?

    Multijet is essentially CRDI-version 2, you may ask me how?

    here is extract from one of the sites but I had come across even better explanation than this ,but I am not able remember the site.

    Fiat Grande Punto 1.3 Multijet : FIAT T ... ahoo! Carshttp://uk.cars.yahoo.com/car-reviews/car-and-driving/fiat-grande-punto-1.3-multijet-1005052.html

    In traditional diesel engines, fuel is fed to the injectors by a mechanical pump, the injection pressure rising with the rpm of the engine. This has repercussions on how efficiently the fuel is burnt, leading to noise, poor emissions and so-so fuel economy. A common-rail engine, however, maintains a constant injection pressure regardless of the weight of the driver's right boot, and these Multijet engines use injectors that divide the main injection into a series of smaller shots, the idea being to reduce emissions and noise while at the same time increasing performance. So much for the engineering. Many customers will never pop the bonnet and will instead be sold by the sleek good looks of this car

    This was the basis for my point about generation 1 or 2 kind of engine, as of now 1.3 MJD engines have 4 smaller shots , FIAT is devolping ans engine which is going to have 8 smaller shots of fuel injection.

  6. arulvr

    arulvr Amatore

    Re: Why I brought Grande Punto

    Welcome to the club - Satchit. Nice to read through your post which has the mix of passion and spot on technical specs..We'll see you around in Blr !! Have many more happy miles ahead !
  7. amogh

    amogh Staff Member Janitor

    Grande Punto 1.3
    Re: Why I brought Grande Punto

    Awesome review !!

    This is one is straight from a calculated mind than from the heart. And that's what makes it a good review.

    Thanks Sat !!

    Now for some pics ? ;)
  8. Re: Why I brought Grande Punto

    Change in wiping frequency wow!!, how to get it activated?

    P.S:Some one guide me on how to post pictures please..

  9. vIjAy_kHaSa

    vIjAy_kHaSa Esperto

    Re: Why I brought Grande Punto

    Fiat MJD-I have 5 injections while MJD-II have 8 injection.
    Diesel engine do have VVT. If it's there than Fiat is dumb not to advertise it. Maruti and Hyundai advertise VVT on fenders very proudly.

    For activating speed sensitive wipers put the wipers in intermittent mode and the wiper will change speed according to vehicle speed.
  10. amogh

    amogh Staff Member Janitor

    Grande Punto 1.3

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