FGIAPL or Fiat Group Automobiles India Private Limited, a subsidiary of Fiat Group in Italy at its Bengaluru Fiat Caffe, launched the Fiat Punto Sport Limited Edition. The car maker hopes that this car with a powerful 1.3 L engine would offer a best driving experience to its owner. It is bestowed with some best in class features and it looks like the newbie from Fiat is an epitome of design from Italy. This car boasts of a distinct class with advanced features and stunning specifications. Punto is regarded to be the Uno’s worldwide successor. Grande Punto for Fiat India is said to wear similar responsibility, just like what Uno had did in the 1997. Linea could have the comeback car; however, the Punto is what being hoped as Fiat’s hopes for fetching the sales numbers back in the country. In short, it can be very well said that the Punto Sport is the break-it or make-it hatchback car. The Ranjangaon facility of Tata-Fiat bears almost 2,00,000 annual production capacity. The numbers are considered to be of paramount importance for Fiat India, while this clearly explains its competitive pricing. It is rather a new generation Punto, which has received recently global face lift. It shares platform with the Linea.
Will this new kid on the block be able to meet up the competition in Indian car segment? Our team at Ecardlr tries their hand at this brand new car to know how well this car can outperform the rest. Though this car ranks well in the looks and style aspects, its poise power mill would make it lag a bit as it needs to be a new bench mark in the car segment of India. This car is available in shades like red, white and black to help one choose his favorite shade. However, we cannot regret the fact that the Fiat Punto Sport would be a driver’s delight as it has impressive safety features, better riding and handling along with sporty interiors and exteriors. Let’s find more about its stylish looks, interiors, riddling quality, handling ability and on road performance.
With a bid to bring back Punto onto the radar of the hatchback buyer, Fiat has launched the Multi-jet diesel Punto sport, 90 bhp. The upgrades are somewhat purely cosmetic, of which the decals which run through the car length and the hatch. Also, there is a contrasting color on the side view mirrors, which are black on red car, while red on white and black car. Sport Punto also boasts in having chrome-tip exhaust that is sourced from Linea T-Jet.
The tiny Maserati front end rather is the vehicle’s highlight, while tear drop headlamps does look quite striking. It has flared wheel arches that are properly integrated, while it adds some muscle to the profile of the car. 195 patch wide tyre that is mounted on twelve spoke alloys and 15” wheels gives this variant a specific balanced stance. Alloys are much better than the OEM alloy wheels. Rear does have a tidy and neat look. This is because of C Pillar light arrangement. Fiat Punto Sport does wear overall proportionate design, while giving a smashing look in black or red body colors. It is a fact that the Italians do have a good taste on style and designing, something that needs to be acknowledged on seeing the car. In several ways, this vehicle has the appearance of Palio’s modern sibling. It can be said that the Punto is definitely a better bet that the Hyndai i20.
The build quality of the vehicle is solid, while the steel is made of high tensile grade. The car is given a sturdy feel and look than most of the brands that are present in this segment. It does enjoy a 5 star rating for safety in NCAP. The finish and exterior fit are wonderful, which also includes the paint job quality. The Indian version of the Punto has cut down its length to be within 4000,, of excise benefit range.
Doors shut / open in three different stages, which are typically European). On sealing, you can feel that there is absolutely no noise from the outside traffic. The wider tail gate does make loading very easy and high loading bay bit difficult. By hatchback standards, the boot space is quite respectable and the rear has 60:40 split-folding seats.
The new version of the car, Fiat Punto Sport has definitely seen several changes on the inside. This Sport version does get special decals place on the rear and sides with the color coded wing mirrors, chrome exhaust tip and chrome door handles. The interior upgrades present for this version tend to include red stitching done on the seats, leather gear knob, gear cover, extra chrome bits placed on the dash, aluminum pedals, branded door sills. Besides this, the vehicle also is known to come with ABS having EBD, dual stage airbags, integrated MP3/CD player along with Bluetooth and USB and automatic climatic control. Another useful inclusion in the car has been the power windows’ delay function that permits the operation for some time, even after ignition is switched off.
On stepping inside, there is enough space inside Fiat Punto Sport to accommodate four adults without much hassle and a 5th passenger can be thrown in occasionally, if such a requirement is needed. The Punto does have a cozy feeling on the inside. This is partly due to the presence of the dull grey and black interior tones. Moreover, it is also much spacious than that of the Swift, when it comes to big hatch standards. Also, rear legroom is quite adequate to fit the occupants. But there is more expectation when it comes to overall packaging and space utilization.
The dual toned Fiat Punto Sport dashboard which is similar to Fiat Linea, does give out a wonderful appeal. The excellent instrument console and chrome ringed dials can be good for those who are bored with what was present with the previous versions. The steering wheel is meaty and has contours on which the driver can rest his thumbs. It is undoubtedly the very best steering wheel for this price segment. It is tilt and adjustable in all the variants of the car. Even the driver’s seat does have height adjustment. Hence finding the perfect driving position and to have a comfortable drive is easy on the Punto. Centre console is angled subtly towards the driver. The ergonomics have been designed for those with long arms, which means people with long arms can easily reach out to the front power control windows and ORVM adjustments. Air conditioner vents have the same old feeling and similar to Palio and does a fantastic job for keeping the occupants cool, even during the hot summer, when there is no sun film present.
The steering of Fiat Punto Sport is considered to be perfectly weighed, while being the best amongst the hydraulic units that are available. Steering is quite firm at 0 kph with parking maneuvers. It is medium light when driven within the city and does weight excellently well at speed. There is a slight body roll that can be felt, however, not enough for making a huge difference.
HEART OF THE MATTER
The Fiat Punto Sport does come with 1.3 Litre of Fiat’s 90 bhp Multi-jet diesel motor. Punto, mechanically is said to remain very much the same. Engine characteristics have been retained and the only change that is noticed in it is ground clearance that has been raised by about 14 mm – 185 mm. in turn, this has affected the dynamics of Punto that can be termed to be that that good like before. The vehicle costs more than Rs. 15,000 than that of the usual Punto 90 HP, however, it’s not too much. According to our opinion, the cosmetic upgrade made is still left to be desired and also bit too late. This car has a fuel efficiency of 13.8 kmpl in highways and 10.4 kmpl on city roads, thanks to its petrol mill. The 1.4 petrol mill boasts of a 13.5 kmpl on highway and 9.7 kmpl on city roads. The 1.3 diesel engine arrives with 17.1 kmpl on highway and 13.6 kmpl on city roads.
The Fiat Punto is known to have three engine options. However, it is the 1.3 diesel variant that is mostly popular. Fiat has been expecting this engine for accounting about 65% to 70% of the sales. First and second ratios are quite short, while the gear changes present within city is minimal and urban drivability satisfactory. The performance can be termed as average, partly because of the huge 1190 kerb diesel Punto’s weight. The revv band is around 2000 and 4100 RPMS. It does enjoy fuel efficiency with 19.2 kpl being the ARAI certification.
The gearshift quality of Fiat Punto Sport is rubbery and long and the clutch light. Suspension is typical European and also exceedingly matures in behavior. In low speed, one can feel its firmness. With the climbing of the speedometer, the quality of ride does shine. On the highway, Punto can smother even the worst roads, without actually breaking into a small sweat. One can feel confident and also stop slowing the car down to avoid rough patches. The behavior of Punto is like that of a big car and when simply placed, no other hatch is match for it. Similar to the Linea, the Punto loves corners along with chassis exuding pose very proudly.
There can be some complaints when driven within the city with wide turning radius of about 5.4 meters. Most of the u-turns present in the capital city are 3 point exercises. Although the pedal feel is spongy, braking capability in EBD+ABS variant is confidence inspiring and fantastic. For enjoying the Punto, one should have experience for its brilliant dynamics.
The tyres are 195/60/15 and is pretty much one wide stock tyre present in the hatchback segment. It helps the car to leech on the road during sharp turns or on hair pin bends making it very safe for the occupants as the grip reduces the chances of the Fiat Punto Sport from rolling over.
If you are looking for a car from reputed firm with best looks and performance, under 8 or 9 lakhs then Fiat Punto Sport is the ideal machine for you. What you are sure to like about Punto Sport is its stunning design that would mesmerize and compel you to give it a try. It can be easily termed to the one of the most stylish and preferred hatchback car that can be seen on the roads these days. It has a wonderful and solid build quality and excellent diesel fuel efficiency. The ride quality is superb and mature. It enjoys outstanding great speed dynamics and has set a new benchmark among the existing hatchbacks. It has a perfectly calibrated, weighted power steering and does deserve special mention in this area. It also enjoys five star safety features, with airbags and ABS present, also in the diesel variant. However we feel that Fiat Punto Sport could have got better engines that are more powerful and fuel efficient. The ex-showroom Delhi price of the Fiat Punto Sport is Rs. 7.36 Lakh. With best riding and handling ability, this car is all set to make its owner beam with pride!