Fiat Grande Punto 90HP Road Test Review


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Akash

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It is just only about an year ago when Grande Punto was released in the Indian car market, which surely raised many eyebrows of people who would have never even expected that a car maker like Fiat, which didn’t had any good reputation in past in India, can offer such a premium feature laden hatchback at an unbelievable and affordable price tag. Soon, Fiat Punto enthralled the hatchback segment with its stunning design and features giving sleep less nights to already established rivals like Maruti Swift. However, there came a class of an audience which wanted to extract more out from the Punto and as a result, to mark this car’s first anniversary in India, Fiat has released Punto with more powerful engine, But no! This is not a limited edition. Why not check out more yourself?
 
Thread Starter #2

Akash

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How it Looks Outside?

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Looks just like another regular Punto, The 90 BHP version does not have much difference because of which one can distinguish this powerful sibling, except for the 90 HP tag on the rear and a few chrome inserts around. Although, there is definitely something in the styling which could force you to look at it again and again, at first sight, it is the cute droplet design headlamps which grab the attention quickly, followed by the silver painted dual split grille and no wonder why some of our TAI members also prefer to call it “Maserati Punto” as well. :smile:

The flared out wheel arches adds the much required muscular looks of the car but thankfully there’s no overuse of physique or lines to spoil the beauty and shape. Now, coming to the rear end - Like told before, there is nothing much to distinguish except for the 90 HP tag but the car looks equally sporty as from the front and somehow, tail lamps remind us of old Ford Focus hatchback. Apart from the tail lamps, a couple of rectangular reflectors and reverse lamps find their place on each side of rear bumper.

All in all, There’s nothing majorly different on 90BHP version in terms of looks, and since this specific model is available only with Emotion variant, features like Alloy wheels etc. comes standard. Additionally, Fiat provides a personalization option through a special accessory pack which includes body decals, aluminum pedals, leather seats, door sills and more but saddening part is that we all expected this as standard and moreover, now you will have to shell out some extra bucks for it. Nonetheless, as they say “Exclusivity comes at a price”.

Punto Headlamps.JPG
 
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Akash

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How it Looks Inside?

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Peeping inside, the very first noticeable thing is the wide opening doors, which means you don’t have to struggle to get in and out of the Punto but alas, Interiors are same too like the regular version, only difference being red colored stitching work on the seats unlike normally which has white instead. Another worth stating point is that the interior quality levels have eventually improved than in comparison to the initially manufactured models.

The three spoke steering wheel mounted with music control buttons is good to look at and works perfectly when it comes to maneuvering in tight city traffic, Just behind it is the well-lit instrument cluster which proves to be quite informative by providing all the information about the car. Now the dashboard carries the real play by showcasing an integrated Blaupunkt music system which sounds nice and should be sufficient enough for a basic audiophile. Above the audio system are the air conditioner vents which chills the cabin in no time, although recently there have been some complains from buyers that they sometimes do not suffice in the extreme hottest weather conditions of our country, when compared with rivals.

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Akash

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How it Moves?

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Here comes the part for which we all were waiting quite curiously. The Punto is currently featured with three engine options, namely 1.2 Liter (Petrol), 1.4-Liter (Petrol), 1.3 Litre (Diesel) and now this new version comes with same 1296cc Multijet unit which is just fine-tuned to pump out a few more horse power.

The car cranks quietly but initial engine response misses the feel-so-good factor. At first, we felt no difference between the regular 75HP and this 90HP version. The response at lower RPMs is sluggish and you need to floor down the accelerator to remain ahead in the fast moving traffic Also, the city handling is not the real strength of Punto 90HP either but as you gradually head on to the highway, the new Punto begins to demonstrate its capabilities. After the 1500- 2000 RPM mark the power thrown out leaves you behind none and no doubt, why Fiat has labeled the 90HP Punto with tagline: “No wonder you’re behind me, I’m the most powerful diesel hatchback.”!
 
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Akash

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How it Performs?

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Sure, Punto 90HP is a way more refined than the regular sibling and also silent too. The gearshift though still needs to be worked upon to make it more soft and easy to throw. A good ground clearance of 171MM translates that Punto doesn’t loves to kiss potholes and breakers much. Also, the traditional McPherson Struts, Helical Springs, Double acting Telescopic dampers with Stabilizer bar at the front and Torsion beam, Helical Springs and Double Acting double dampers at the rear helps to soak most of the bumps.

The Front wheels are equipped with Disc brakes while opposed to the rear which have drums to minimize the speed, Fiat offers 195/60 R15 (same of Emotion PK) as shoes of Punto which are tubeless and never tend to lose the line even when encountering sharp curves.

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Akash

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How Safe is It?

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Since the 90HP version is available only with Emotion variant, there’s not much to get concerned about comfort and safety features, the car has a couple of dual stage airbags and to ensure an efficient braking, it is outfitted with an Antilock Braking System (ABS) with EBD (Electronic Brake Force Distribution), which works well on wet road conditions. Thanks to the monsoons that we could test it well. Also, there’s a fire prevention system as standard and the usual Immobilizer with rolling code (to prevent theft). Apart from these, Height adjustable front seat belts and 3 point ELR seat belts with Pretensioners and Load limiters add to the safety of passengers and your beloved ride. Still need we say more?

What we Like in Punto 90HP?

  • Additional Power
  • Great Highway Cruiser
  • Head turning Design
  • Practical Features
What we Dis-Like in Punto 90HP?

  • Sluggish Response at Lower RPMs
  • Little Refined Gearshift would be welcome
  • Not too quick as it appears on papers
  • Looks like ordinary Punto
 
Thread Starter #7

Akash

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The Automotive India Star Ratings

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  • Design & Quality -
    (5/5)
  • Comfort Levels -
    (4/5)
  • Performance -
    (4/5)
  • Ride Quality -
    (4/5)
  • Handling -
    (4/5)
  • Fuel Efficiency-
    (3.5/5)
  • Safety -
    (4/5)
  • Value for Money -
    (4/5)

Price:

  • Rs.6,79,000 (Ex. Showroom, Delhi)
Colors Available:

  • Fox Trot Azure
  • Tuscan Wine
  • Exotica Red
  • Medium Grey
  • Bossa Nova White
Engine:

  • Type: 1248cc Multijet Diesel
  • Max Power: 93PS @ 4000rpm
  • Max Torque: 209Nm @ 2000rpm
  • No. of Cylinders: 4
  • No. Of Valves: 16
  • Camshaft: DOHC
Transmission:

  • 5+1 Speed Manual
  • 5 Front, 1 Reverse
Suspension:

  • Front: Independent Wheel Suspension with McPherson Struts, Helical Springs, Double acting Telescopic Dampers with Stabilizer Bar.
  • Rear: Torsion Beam, Helical Springs, Double acting Telescopic Dampers.
Brakes:

  • Front: Rear
  • Discs: Drums
Wheels/Tires:

  • Alloys/195/60 R15 Tubeless.
Dimensions:

  • Length - 3987mm
  • Width - 1687mm
  • Height - 1495mm
  • Wheelbase- 2510mm
  • Ground Clearance -171mm
  • Boot Space - 280litres
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 45L
The Final Word:
The new Punto with an additional surge of power is indeed news to rejoice for those who were not very pleased with the performance but flattered over its looks. On the other hand, pricing of Punto has pushed northwards taking it to pricey Honda Jazz or even its own sibling Fiat Linea Sedan category but the performance and fantastic features which Punto promises to offer can not make us think of another reason for not opting it over.

However, the only disappointment we are left with is that Fiat could have offered the so called “special accessories pack” as standard, instead of optional which would have made it the sportiest and mouth watering deal around but nevertheless, if you have the budget, and plan to get the hatchback which can serve the purpose of both, city as well as highway drives, giving you the comfort, safety and performance, Fiat Punto 90HP is for you.
 
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Akash

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Pictures Speak

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Punto Front.JPG

Punto Rear.JPG

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Punto Interiors.JPG

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Report Credits
:
Road Test & Photography: Akash
Text & Format: 350Z

(2010, (C) The Automotive India.All rights reserved. The above review or pictures can not be reproduced in any form without the written permission of our authorities.)
 
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Brilliant work Akash and 350Z.
One of the best/honest review on 90HP Punto.

I am not sure how you rate, but FE of Punto is one of the best in Diesel hatchback category. Even ARAI figure is 20KMPL. And most owners, with previous engine (ARAI - 19.1KMPL) are getting one of the best FE.

Adeed 5-start to this report. Good job.
 

350Z

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I am not sure how you rate, but FE of Punto is one of the best in Diesel hatchback category. Even ARAI figure is 20KMPL. And most owners, with previous engine (ARAI - 19.1KMPL) are getting one of the best FE.
The over all fuel efficiency of Punto is quite good and acceptable but in comparison to other diesel competitors, it’s still not on the top. Also, because the same diesel motor is now tuned to produce a few BHPs more, there is likely going to be a marginal drop in FE over regular model and there’s generally a sacrifice either in FE or performance. For more, click here.

Drive Safe,
350Z
 
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Also, because the same diesel motor is now tuned to produce a few BHPs more, there is likely going to be a marginal drop in FE over regular model and there’s generally a sacrifice either in FE or performance.
Its not just re-tuning same engine, but there is more to it. Earlier was FGT (Fixed Geometry Turbo) and new engine is with VGT (Variable Geometry Turbo), so there is technological advancement been made to it for more power and FE.
 
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