I reached home around 11:30 pm, my brother was waiting for me with his friends at the door. It took another hour for puja and praising about the vehicle before going to bed.
Now Ownership Starts
Next day 23/1/2012
I reached Oberoi cars for accessories installation at around 10:30 am. Seat cover installation started it took the whole day but they installed reverse parking sensors along with seat covers same day, it took so long because they tore OEM
seat covers to install the new ones. Though the finishing is not up to the mark, but still they look awesome on red Punto.
I made several visits to Oberoi cars for several issues to be resolved like hand brake color, gear nob color, driver seat adjust lever faulty, rear washer faulty, driver side & right rear door window winders faulty, battery, blue & me went kaput due to battery, but everything was taken care very well. When they were working on my car, on 23/1/2012 a golden beige manza hit it from behind in front of my eyes I shouted on the driver of manza, who was a worker in washing bay, later a sales advisor came and tried to wash his hands by saying that the scratches on my rear bumper was already there, by the time manza went away. I told him that I got this machine yesterday evening. After hearing this he was just speechless. Then I made call to Roy, told him about the matter, he took the matter in his hands and I was just looking my new ride going for paint work it was really hurting but imp. as well. It just spoiled my whole day. During all this mess I didn’t get proper time to stare at her which I did later, it was pleasing to look into her eyes, as if she was saying “what are you waiting for, let’s go for a ride”. I did the same and also tried searching for a long drive cause delhi is full of traffic, driving in peak hours is just irritating because of jams here & there. After a week I went to South Ex with my friend, I felt hot inside the car, so I just reduced the temp. in ACC display, but it was still warm. Next day I went to Oberoi cars they just checked and the result! There was no gas, so they checked the leakage and added gas. Finally ACC was fine, this whole process took 2 days to complete.
Recently I got the chance for a long trip to Kanpur (hometown) for cousin brother’s wedding. I was very much excited for this drive. We started 6 am in the morning. Trip meter was set to 0. Within 20 min. we were on NH2 Gurgao, I tried to maintain 80 kmph in the whole journey to know max. efficiency, it was first time on highway that my speedo was showing 2 digits. We took only one break after crossing Agra for breakfast. It was nearly 1 pm when we reached Kanpur and guess what half of the tank of diesel was still there, earlier my 1.4L indica xeta used to take 1.5tankful of petrol to travel the same. But it took a whole tank in town itself cause I used to keep the ACC on even while standing. In the town someone broke rear wiper and I had to fix it using fevikwik as there was not just any TASS nearby, though it is working fine. After attending the marriage we headed towards delhi, I again tried to maintain 80 kmph but this time my shouted at me saying “I am noticing you since the beginning that you are knowingly driving slow, why?” I answered that I am just trying to drive safe and check its max. efficiency and she replied “drive it in your normal manner”. I was just going to do the same meanwhile I saw a bolero driver trying to look into my car & smiling. That was the moment when I pushed the accelerator and guess what, speedo started rising rapidly, within few seconds I was hovering at 145 kmph and the bolero vanished. That was the first time, I felt what punto actually is, what high speed stability actually feels like, one more thing I felt, was DOWNFORCE due to dynamics, though not sure, but I felt that something was trying to push it downwards, my ride felt a little lower than normal.
After few minutes I slowed it down to 100 kmph cause I had already messed up with efficiency. After say 20 to 25 min. I saw same bolero trying to overtake me, I did the same thing again, since then I didn’t saw that bolero. Btw
I didn’t tell that when I facing issues with my machine I thought that rumors were true that FIAT mean “Fix It All Time”. But after having such a great ride I realized that, it can happen with any car, may be my luck was checking my patience. Now I have no major issues other than some squeezing from left rear portion of vehicle whenever it glides over uneven patches of road, fuel lid not getting locked some time, front large wiper spreading water on left side of wind screen. First service is due only few hundred kms away, I’ll make them fix these small issues. BTW
all of you must be wondering, why didn’t I pointed about GC. Earlier I used to worry whenever belly scraped but, I always knew that FIAT has already taken care of it, by appointing a heavy plate, which performs every time, now I don’t get much bothered. Whenever I travel with my friends and belly scrapes, they usually look at me in a way as if they are asking “what happened”. I always smile saying that this is FIAT, they won’t let anything happen to my baby, at least not easily.
• Second gear acceleration has improved a lot over time.
• I am getting used to long travel clutch.
• Blue & Me is a boon while on the run though it is unable to read messages (least bothered).
• Speed masking capability makes you feel excellent engineering working every time you drive fast.
• High speed stability makes you feel safe even at 145 kmph.
• Breaking is very good makes you feel everything is in control (I felt it on Kanpur trip several times).
• Handling, Suspension & steering feedback is already well known.
• FE Highway : 19 to 23.5 max. City : 13.5 to 15 max. Acceptable but not happy. Specially city FE.
for me is acceptable from Oberoi cars. Manpower in less but its ok.
• Smooth ride even on bad roads.
• Plastic quality is good and feels heavy gauge, solidly bound, no panel gaps at all.
• Black dashboard is better, I think.
• Though I am fine, but I wish Grey color should be removed and silver color center console should be replaced with glossy black or crome & glossy black combination.
• Steering wheel mounted controls are life saver, you don’t need to get distracted.
• ACC is powerful & hassle free, set the temp and forget.
• Cabin is silent though mild engine grunt can be heard above 2000 rpm. Btw
music is always on that is why I always miss that grunt.
• Gear ratio seems abnormal at first but soon you realize why FIAT calibrated them like this. After run in even 2nd gear feels much better. You can crawl as well as overtake in 2nd gear.
• 1st gear torque is very high, noticed it while my feet were away from pedals and punto was climbing on a very highly inclined parking pavement. All other gears are well known.
• You can roam around in city using only 2nd & 3rd gear, if you wish to.
• Punto behaves like jet if driven hard above 2200 rpm. You can feel the thrust.
• I am sure it can do 180 or may be 190 kmph. I’ll try it some time.
• Indicator stalk feels awkward at first but I find it very comfortable now. Its easy to use left hand for these usual stuff rather than straining right which is always busy in steering.
• You don’t need to rotate stalk for high or low beam just give a little pull, its done, very user friendly, now.
• Key entry is vertical which is good.
• VGT always give linear power delivery no sudden surge, if driven aggressively there is starting thrust.
• Front seats are comfortable, better thigh support could have been even better, never used rear seats so can’t comment.
• Eco Drive & Blue&me 5.6 is not getting installed. Not tried blue&me 5.5.
• Dead pedal always brushes with my sport shoes, with formals it is fine.
• Music system is not very good but sounds fine up to 21 max.
• My mom always complains about rear legroom.
• No alloy for spare wheel.
• One of the best OEM
• “A” pillar some time hinders the vision, but now I have become use to.
One and only major issue I have in my mind is that everyone is getting 18 to 20 kmpl in city while I am getting only 13.5 to 15kmpl only.
All in all I am happy with my ride in every respect even in FE (somewhat). I tried to express everything, if somehow I forgot something, I’ll update it after realizing.
Now It seems true that
“You don’t buy a FIAT you own it” &
“FIAT have souls”