Italy, in the automotive world has always been known for producing some of the most gorgeous cars on the road today. Of course, the most famous known Italian car manufacturers are Lamborghini and Ferrari, but this article is about Ferrari’s parent company, Fiat. Fiat has its presence in almost all the countries in the world, and the cars they produce might not be as exotic as those of Lamborghini or Ferrari, but they definitely have gorgeous Italian design.
I’m writing about one of the most beautiful hatchbacks in the world. Yes, it is the Fiat Punto. Fiat launched the Punto in India way back in 2008 and it was positioned as a premium hatchback, in the early period, immediately after its launch it sold very well, but a few years down the line, sales started slowing down due to factors like tough competition.
The Punto was a really competent car, and the equipment and features onboard the Punto were pretty advanced for its time. It made a strong point in the engines department as well and it seemed as if the there was only one reason for sales to slow down, and it was because of the design factor. The Punto did look beautiful, but as time passed by, it started to look a little old in the face of newer competition like the Hyundai elite i20, and hence fiat decided it was time for an update to the Punto.
Fiat had already updated its flagship in India, the Linea and now it was the turn of the Punto and boy have they done a great job with it. Fiat launched the Punto Evo a few months ago and it looks like an Italian masterpiece. The Fiat Punto Evo in India is not the actual update that the Europeans received. While the Europeans get the full spec update including the mechanical bits, in India we get only the design update. This is unique to our market and in no other country can one get the Punto Evo, like we do in India. The designers have done a really commendable job with the Punto Evo and the fist look from the front will reveal its similarity to the Fiat Avventura concept which was displayed at the 2014 auto expo in Delhi, and one can’t help but think if the Punto Evo’s design is based on the Avventura (which is now on sale at fiat showrooms).
Apparently, the designers had a different design in mind for the Punto, but going by the overwhelming response to the Avventura at the auto expo, fiat decided to go with the design of the Avventura instead. The Punto Evo now gets redesigned headlamps, front bumper and hood. The hood has creases running all the way down to the badging at the front. The previous generation Punto was a very Italian looking car, but with the Punto Evo, the design has definitely become funkier and has lost a bit of the Italian flair found on the previous gen Punto. The headlamps are now more swept back and as a result of this, they look larger too.
The side profile of the car essentially has not changed, but there are newer more attractive alloy wheels on offer. Fiat is offering two styles of alloy wheels on the punto evo. One is an abarth style 15-incher diamond cut, and the other one is a 16-incher with a different design and a lighter shade. While the former is available on more than one variants, the latter is available only on the 90ps variant.
The rear end of the car looks as sexy as earlier with minimalistic and classy Italian styling, and this time it is more minimalistic with no drama at all. The overall design remains the same, but the variant badging has been done away with(only the Fiat logo in the centre remains) and the tail-lamps are now full LED, yes we do get the same tail lamps as on the international version.
The interior of the punto is evo is completely new compared to the older punto, but has been taken straight from the latest gen linea. All the variants get the classy black and beige interiors, except the 90 PS variant, which gets racy all black leather upholstery. The fiat punto evo comes with features like automatic Climate Control, and Fiat’s Blue and Me technology. The Punto evo also gets CD/ MP3, USB, Aux-In, Bluetooth and voice recognition to make life inside the car easier. There are a few soft touch materials here and there, and it is a pretty comfortable place to be in, if you’re not very tall as the leg and shoulder room is limited.
The ride and handling department is where the punto was always ahead of the other hatchbacks in its class. The punto handled better than any other front wheel drive hatchback in India and very comfortable as well, which is a pretty tough combination to achieve. This combination has led to the punto, often being called as the drivers hatchback, as it is pretty sensational to drive on the curves and in hilly road sections. The feel of the steering on the punto is on the heavier side and while it makes for great confidence and handling at high speeds, it also feels a little too heavy during rush hour city commutes when compared to its immediate rivals like the Volkswagen Polo and the Hyundai i20.
There have been no major mechanical changes to the punto and we still find the same engines under the hood of the punto evo, as we did under the hood of the last gen punto. The petrol variant is powered by a 67 BHP, 4-cylinder, 1.2 liter engine and the diesel variant is powered by the most used car engine in india, the infamous Fiat 1.3 liter multi jet engine. In the punto evo, the 1.3 liter multijet is available in 2 states of tune – 75 PS and 90 PS!
These engines meet do their job very well and do not leave the driver wanting for more power, except on the 75 PS diesel. The turbo lag is very evident on this engine and can sometimes be annoying. Another complaint about this drivetrain is that, the gearbox does feel a little slushy.
The only change that Fiat has managed to make to the engine is, improving the diesel’s fuel efficiency by 5%. The Punto Evo now delivers around 21.2Km/l, whereas the predecessor delivered only 20Km/l.
The range starts at Rs 4.71 lakh for the base 1.2-litre petrol variant, and goes up to Rs 7.42 lakh for the range-topping 90hp diesel (both prices ex-showroom, Mumbai).
Prices of Fiat Punto Evo (Ex-showroom, Mumbai):
- 1.2 Active – Rs 4.71 lakh
- 1.2 Dynamic – Rs 5.28
- 1.4 Emotion – Rs 6.86 lakh
- 1.3 Active – Rs 5.44 lakh
- 1.3 Dynamic – 6.40 lakh
- 1.3 Emotion – 7.04 lakh
- 1.3 Sport – Rs 7.42 lakh
One of the best hatchbacks in the country with the ride and handling dynamics. The refresh makes it even mxxore of a looker now.
Car Courtesy: HANUMAN CARS, KULOOR, MANGALORE
Suprem Poojary: +91 – 9379919486
To read more on Fiat Punto, Click here
Also see – Fiat Punto Evo launched @ Rs. 4.55 lakh
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