I would like to post my viewpoints as an owner of a 2012 punto done 17,800 kms in little less than an year.
As I would like to admit me being a fan of Fiats and Fords on an equal scale, (they make great drivers cars though having unpremium feeling interiors and less refinement), the issues that you have raised are agreed upon, yes, its true.
BUT, please remember that car companies in India are always working in uncertain economic conditions, tossed up between government policies, on ensuring that the car is priced competitively and VFM
package is offered. cars sold in India are based on two categories:
-Either you pay a price for exterior and interior aesthetics and premium feel but compromise on engineering and suspension and underbody prowess;
-Or you pay a price for engineering and safety but compromise on aesthetics and interiors.
A car is something which, for many is a one time investment and compromises have to be made in one form to gain something else. Also, please remember that TD cars have often been in bad shape so, problems like these are to be expected. BUT, the points you have mentioned aren't that deal breakers considering
-the price after discounts is sold at
-the safety and driveability it offers plus the equipment it offers
-the india specific GC it has
-the engineering it has
-the warranty and service costs it has
-the accidental repair costs it has
-Also I say, the availability of parts it can now have, which, atleast here n Delhi, has improved a lot.
Considering many factors, comparing with i10 or brio for gearshifts is not justified IMO
. These cars are segment down and are purely city commuters, drive both on the highway and poor roads and corners and drive any high segment car (punto/ polo) etc and you will know what I mean.
If you like the GP, buy it, if not, there are 100s of cars available in the price bracket, maybe I can suggest you to have a look at the swift dzire ZDI, if the ecosport wait periods is bothering you a lot. But before that, do take a test drive from another dealer or any known person who has a well maintained post 2012 punto and you wont be disappointed. If you are hell bent on a compact SUV, there are good discounts going on the quanto also.
Request to mods: I think this thread can be moved to "what car" section?