Fiat Grande Punto Review
Fiat India Automobiles Limited (FIAL) is coming out with the new version of its latest Punto. The Fiat Grande Punto is the best selling car from the Fiat range in the Indian market and Fiat is looking to further increase sales and capture a greater market share in the small care segment. Competing with the likes of the Hyundai i20, Maruti Swift, Hyundai Getz and Chevrolet Aveo UV-A in the B segment, the Punto is the most powerful diesel hatchback in its class with 90 horsepower.
The Fiat Grande Punto is an excellent car offering a wonderful driving dynamics, ride, braking, handling and fuel economy. With prices expected to be between 4 lakhs and 7 lakhs the Grande Punto is a very competent and competitive vehicle for those looking to own a small car.
Fiat is launching two new variants of its Punto the 1.2 Dynamic and 1.2 Emotion and being an Italian model prides itself on being one of the best styled cars in its segment as well.
Performance – Fiat Grande Punto in India
The Fiat Grande Punto is being released in India as a joint venture between Fiat and Indian car manufacturer Tata Motors. The Punto has received rave reviews globally since its introduction in 2005 and has won accolades like “car of the year 2008” in Brazil. Safety features in the Punto are also at a premium and it enjoys a 5 star rating from the Euro NCAP tests.
The Fiat Grande Punto is going to be introduced to the Indian market with three types of engines – a 1.2 liter petrol, 1.4 liter FIRE petrol and 1.3 liter multi-jet turbo diesel. Being smaller than 4 meters it fits into India’s category of a small car and benefits from a number of reductions in excise duties.
The Fiat Grande Punto will be available with both petrol and diesel powered engines. There are two types of petrol power engines, one which is a 1.2 liter and the other a 1.4 liter engine. The petrol version of the Grande Punto comes in a choice of 5 trims, with the 1.2 liter model available as 1.2 Active, 1.2 Dynamic and 1.2 Emotion. The 1.2 liter, FIRE petrol engine produces 68 horsepower and 96 Nm torque and is one of the most fuel efficient engines on Indian roads today.
The 1.4 liter engine is available in Emotion and Emotion Pack trims and is also powered by the FIRE petrol engine which produces a max output of 90 horsepower and 115 Nm torque.
As opposed to the petrol versions of the Grande Punto, the diesel models come with different versions of Fiat’s 1.3 liter multi-jet diesel engine. This engine further improves the fuel efficiency of the Grande Punto allowing it to do 14 kmpl in the city and 19 kmpl of the highway. The engine also uses a variable geometry turbocharger to improve the performance. The 1.3 liter, Multi-jet VGT diesel engine puts out a max power of 93 horsepower and 209 Nm of torque and is more powerful than the base version of the 1.3 liter which puts out only 76 horsepower and 197 Nm of torque. The diesel engine models also come with various trim options of Active, Dynamic and Emotion.
Just because the Grande Punto is powered by what looks like a small engine it does not mean that the car is sluggish. The Punto has a decent acceleration the 1.2 liter FIRE petrol engine powers the car from 0-100 kph in about 14.5 seconds while reaching a top speed of 155 kmph. The 1.4 liter petrol engine with that added power helps get the Punto from 0-100 kph in 10.9 seconds and helps it achieve a top speed of 178 kmph.
The 1.3 liter diesel version with Multi-jet VGT also provides good acceleration allowing the vehicle to reach the 100kmph mark in only 13.6 seconds while giving it a top speed of 165 kmph.
The Fiat Grande Punto is available to international markets with the option of two body styles, the three-door hatch and a five-door hatch, but buyers in the Indian market will have to make do with only one version the five-door model.
The interiors and exteriors of the car are very striking and are bound to take people by surprise as they incorporate some unique design features. The Italian design heritage comes through the updated look with its fluid lines, steep hood and curved roofline. The front fascia is further accentuated by the grille which adds to the vehicles aggressive look and the smooth, vertically sloped headlights give the car an almost curvy look.
The sharply sloping front windshield, that leads from the roofline and joins with the hood also give the car a hunched down, low slung almost crouched look like it is about to spring up and jet off. The rear of the Punto is also freshly designed with the c-pillar smoothly integrating with the lift back that incorporates the long taillights and also has a slight lip spoiler to aid with down force.
The Grande Punto is fitted with 15 inch wheels that come in both steel and alloy variants. The base models of Punto, the Active and Dynamic come with the steel wheels but the top line Emotion pack has the ultra sporty and sleek alloy rims. Tires provided are tubeless, puncture resistant, all weather R14’s or R15’s.
Interiors of the Grande Punto are also designed neatly and have typical Italian influences. The front cabin is not cluttered with unnecessary buttons and knobs and the red speedometer and tachometer display gives the car a cool, chic, trendy look that would no doubt attract younger buyers. The controls on the dashboard are ergonomically placed for maximum driver comfort and the steering wheel also has the audio and climate controls embedded in it.
Other styling features of the Punto that make it exciting are the leather wrapped steering and gear knob, steering wheel one touch controls, adjustable driver’s seat and Bluetooth connectivity. The Grande Punto is the first car in its segment to offer hands free Bluetooth connectivity.
The Grande Punto has a very open and spacious cabin and allows both the front and rear passengers ample headroom and legroom. The rear sets are 60:40 foldable split seats and ensure additional space if required although the boot is pretty spacious as is.
The Punto is also loaded with a powerful audio system that supports MP3, inbuilt USB port, auxiliary port and has six-speakers. The climate controlled air conditioning is also powerful and enhances the comfort levels in the Grande Punto.
Fiat Grande Punto Price and Recommendations
The Fiat Grande Punto is one of the best options presently available in the Indian small car segment. It provides maximum safety incorporating safety features like Dual front airbags, anti-lock brakes, electronic brake force distribution (EBD), fire prevention system (FPS) to automatically shut off fuel supply in case of a collision, Fiat Code System (FCS) with immobilizer to prevent theft, Crash Severity Algorithm (CSA) which calculates the severity of impact and deploys airbags accordingly and Early Crash Sensor (ECS) that makes the airbags deploy early and prevents passengers from hitting the dash and steering in case of a heavy impact.
It has all the necessary requirement to make it a very comfortable car, while offering the best power in its class. The fuel efficiency of the 1.3 turbo diesel is also impeccable and combines economy with great looks. The Grande Punto will be available in six exciting colors – Minimal Grey, Electric Blue, Exotica Red, Boss Nova White, Medium Grey and Hip Hop Black.
Fiat has had a history of being appreciated for its quality and the Grande Punto continues in the same vein. The impressive interiors are also satisfying and fit in well with the overall feel of the car. The Fiat Grande Punto is a very strong contender in this competitive segment and the safety and performance upgrades should continue to make it one of Fiat’s best selling cars in India.
2011 Fiat Grande Punto India Specifications and Price
Vehicle Category: Hatchback
Engines (petrol): 1.2 L, 4-cyl, FIRE, 68 HP, 96 Nm torque
Engine (petrol): 1.4 L, 4-cyl, FIRE, 90 HP, 115 Nm torque
Engines (diesel): 1.3 L, 4-cyl, Multi-jet, turbocharged, 93 HP, 209Nm torque
Drive train: Front engine, 5 passenger, 5-door hatch, FWD
Transmissions (standard): 5-speed manual
0-100 kph: 11.5 sec (est.)
Mileage city/hwy: 12/ 16.2 kmpl
Fiat Grande Punto Price: Rs.4 – 7 lakhs(est.)