Fiat Punto Evo vs VW Polo 2014 Road Test Comparison Review

We pit new Punto Evo against VW Polo in this road test comparison review.

Fiat Punto Evo vs VW Polo 2014 Road Test Compariso

Recently Fiat and VW have launched heavily revised versions of their respective premium hatchbacks in Indian automobile market. While Fiat has taken the wraps off new Punto Evo VW walks in with new 2014 Polo that along with some cosmetic upgrades now features a brand new diesel engine. We at ECARDLR drove both these cars in our respective road test reviews and found these propositions pretty impressive in their own right. Both Fiat and VW passed ourroad test exam with flying color and this is exactly what prepared the ground for thiscomparison featuring these two overseas auto giants pitted against each other. From the knowledge derived from years of experience,we at ECARDLR are well versed with fact that comparison tests can throw altogether different perspective especially from something that is usually revealed by road test of a vehicle. This means both Punto Evo and VW Polo can surprise us by reveal some hidden aspects of their character in a bid to win this comparison test. Now what are these unidentified virtues and are they really capable to affect the outcome; we find in this road test comparison review featuring Italian flair against Teutonic brilliance. 
We are in a bit of quandary while deciding on which of these immortal beauties looks more attractive in flesh? Both Punto Evo and VW Polo boast of styling that is probably best in the segment. Surely we can differ in selection of adjectives while describing the creativity of designers at Fiat and VW; there can be no argument against the timeless nature of the designs of both these vehicles. These are the profiles which probably don’t become old with passage of time and will look elegant even after say a period of two decades.
                                                                Fiat Punto Evo: Gorgeously styled 
Low-slung nose, large grill, swept-back headlamps and a bit muscular chin defines frontage of new Punto Evo. A very proportioned and balanced side view of Evo is a treat for eyes and addition of new 15” alloy wheels gives this Italian beauty quite a robust stance. Rear styling of Evo is characterized by new LED tail lamps and chrome garnished reflectors housed in redesigned rear bumper. Bonnet power bulge and strong shoulder line very subtly lends an air of character to the overall design of this 5-door Italian chariot.
                                                                                     VW POLO Sleek beauty 
VW Polo, on other hand, has got more muscular chin with integrated fog lamps on beefed up new front bumper. New bezel headlamps now have separate elements for high and low beam though on skin these are hardly perceptible. Like Punto Evo, Polo too has got spot-on proportions and looks cunningly balanced in its demeanour. String character lines running across the length of Polo, when looked in profile, is capable to win this Teutonic beauty a number of beauty awards. Rear of new Polo has an added pinch of utility as bumper comes with embedded rear sensors that are a nifty touch especially considering Polo’s thick C-pillars and small rear windscreen. 
On outer design and style, there is tie between Fiat and VW as both the cars boasts of the benchmark styling with very balanced and proportioned demeanour. At the end of day, the choice between these two on styling front boils down to particular taste of individual customer. A person looking for flair in designing will opt for Evo while Polo will hook the customer searching for idea of elegance in the cars. 
                                           PUNTO EVO: *****                   VW POLO: *****
While Fiat has made giant strides in terms of quality of cabin and interiors through Punto Evo, VW has bettered its already best-in-class cabin quality and finishing aspect in new Polo. Punto Evo now features updated interiors courtesy of its elder sister Linea. Fiat has done a copy and paste job as it took the interiors of Linea and grafted onto new Evo. End result of this exercise has turned out surprisingly well for Evo as this Fiat now feels very up market in its feels and pretensions. Two-tone dashboard, black piano-finished centre console and new fabric seats come together to whip up the overall feel of Evo cabin.
                                                                Fiat Punto Evo: Linea owed cabin
Inside the Polo cabin however there is no such large-scaled alteration as VW has only made change in the finishing scheme of centre console. Unlike the older Polo, new Polo comes with silver coloured centre console that houses music system and AC controls. Steering wheel is new and feels meatier than before to both hold and operate. Operability and ergonomics are class-leading though we would like to see some added dose of flair to the Spartan arrangement of the whole cabin.
                                                                     VW POLO Benchmark fit and finish
On fronts of space and room, both Fiat and VW fall behind their rivals as the space in either of these cars is just about average. Starting from front seats, Evo here scores higher than Polo as this Fiat comes with well supported and bolstered front seats; especially side bolstering is excellent on Punto Evo. Polo too comes with large well-supported squab but in comparison to Evo feels a bit pale.
                                                                      VW POLO: Lump at centre
Move to the back and neither of these vehicles impresses with any sort of space; be it legroom, knee room or head room. New Polo though comes with additional 13 mm of wheelbase though the improvement is too small to create any recognizable difference in comfort of occupants. Further the Polo rear bench has an awkward lump in middle that is sure to hamper the seating comfort of passengers. Overall the feel of Polo cabin is much more desirable and though Fiat has raised the bar with Evo, there are still rough edges that haunt the cabin of Punto Evo. 
                                                   PUNTO EVO: *****                                   VW POLO: *****
VW has given the shot in the arm of new Polo by equipping it with bigger 1.5-litre diesel engine that now produces 90 PS of power and 230 Nm of torque. Compared to older unit that was capable of 75 PS and 180 Nm, this new unit has really infused a fresh lease of life to Polo. Each and every bit of performance whether belonging to in-city or out on highway has taken a quantum jump and this is something that is sure to strike a chord with prospective customers looking for powerful diesel hatch. And then there is 5-speed manual transmission that is absolutely delightful to use. Short, crispy and snappy gear changes will plaster a big smile on your face; there can’t be two ways about it. In fact had VW launched the Polo with this diesel heart it would have garnered much more market share by now. Still its better late than never as Polo has finally got heart that is capable to do justice to its taut chassis and suspension.
                                                                        VW POLO: Grunt and Punch
Things however are not as rosy on Fiat front. Punto Evo carries forward the same power plant from its predecessor and despite of being aware about its poor drivability and lack of performance, Fiat has done nothing to sort out these contentious matters. 1.3-litre multi-jet diesel engine that produces 76 PS on Evo along with 197 Nm of torque lacks the grunt required to smoothly sail in the city’s traffic.
                                                                      Punto Evo: Tamed and paled 
Further even out on highway with engine revving in mid-range, the Evo fails to cultivate any seeds of enthusiasm in owner as the heavy kerb-weight to the tune of 1190 kg makes the life difficult for this Italian hatchback. The rubbery and notchy gear-shift further adds to woes of driver.  Fiat should have done something to address this underperformance aspect of Punto but unfortunately that didn’t happen. The only thing that has changed in Fiat is claimed efficiency that has gone up compared to certified numbers of older Punto.
                                            PUNTO EVO: *****                                   VW POLO: *****
Bogged down in interiors and power-train department, Punto Evo bounced back in this bout. With ultimate balance of ride and handling, Punto Evo retains the benchmark legacy set by its predecessor. No matter what kind of road one is driving Evo on, it rides with impeccable stability and flatness; something that is typical of large saloon. Evo glides over roads and irrespective of whack; it retains its composure throughout the drive. 
Even the sharp cornering manoeuvres fail to deter the calmness of Punto Evo. Throw around the twisty road or make sudden round about, Punto Evo proves a game for all these. After feeling such a beauty of Punto Evo we start feeling even more badly about its lack of power. Had it been come with solid performance oriented heart, Fiat would have found it in altogether different league.
                                                   Punto Evo: Benchmark-leveldynamic abilities
VW Polo too comes across as a competent dynamic package though it lacks the slow-speed composure as displayed by Fiat in this road test comparison. This German beauty finds itself in a spot as its slow-speed ride is a bit jittery as a bit stiff suspension setting acts as a spoil-sport.
                                                               VW Polo: Jittery slow-speed ride
Having said that things improve quickly once Polo gains the momentum and then afterwards it matches with the bright proceedings shown by Punto Evo. Further on handling front too, Polo stiff suspension and taut chassis keep a strict vigil on any threatening movement of creeping body roll.
                                         PUNTO EVO: *****                                   VW POLO: *****
Diesel range of both these vehicles starts above the Rs 5 lakh range and Punto Evo gains important lead on value for money aspect with its lower prices than VW Polo. Punto Evo diesel retails between Rs 5.27 – 7.20 lakh while VW Polo comes with higher price point spreading between Rs 6.27 – 7.99 lakh. There is good one lakh rupee difference in the base variants of Punto Evo and Polo diesel and even on top-trim Polo is Rs 80,000 dearer than Punto. Add to this sweet pricing the new exterior and quality interiors and Punto Evo feels like a perfect deal on paper. But then start scratching further down the skin and cracks begins to surface on this Fiat. Under the garb of new interiors there are still some rough edges that Fiat hasn’t addressed in this new version though the most disappointing feature in Evo is the lack of power and grunt that everyone was expecting to get sorted out in this new version. And this is exactly where VW steps in and make the most of the opportunity. New Polo powered by bigger 1.5-litre diesel engine shines in the proceedings and undoubtedly makes new Polo a more capable vehicle than its predecessor. There is no lagging whatsoever and the performance of new Polo is heartening. Further the top notch quality and stitching of interiors make Polo interiors a more soothing and upmarket place to be in. So it may cost you a bit extra money but then each extra penny spent on this VW is well worth its price. Take our word for granted. 
                                           PUNTO EVO: *****                                   VW POLO: *****

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