In 2009 Fiat launched the Grande Punto. However it was in 2012 that they launched updated Punto with new features. First launched in 2009, the Punto has basically looked the same and for once we think it should look the same! The Maserati like nose is the most appealing part of the design and the rear also looks good with muscular styling. The big wheel arches and the 15 inch alloys do their part in sprucing up the looks as well.
The 2012 model features a new Oceanic blue paint-job and we think it looks great. However take a closer look and you will see a small change, the 2012 Punto now has enhanced ground clearance (Punto 1.2- 195 mm and Punto 1.4 and 1.3 D - 185 mm). For those who want an even more sporty look the 90 hp Sport model with its decals and contrasting side-view mirrors add a nice touch.
Step inside and you will see a stylish cabin. What has changed in the 2012 model is that Fiat have provided new grey interiors, fabric seats, carpeted flooring and door trims. A dual tone dashboard now adorns the entire range. When it comes to features the Punto scores high in this regard, the Punto has equipment like steering mounted audio controls, Blue&me and follow me home headlamps. When it comes to space, the Punto has adequate legroom but headroom is in short supply thanks to its coupe like design. The 90 hp Sport also has red contrast stiching on the inside too.
The 1.2 petrol has 68 PS and performance is adequate at best. The diesel is a lot better and we say its the pick of the range. The 76 PS multijet diesel motor provides good performance and there is enough torque (197 Nm @ 1750 rpm). Whether you are out in the city or on the highway peformance is strong and this is the engine that we would reccomend. The 90 PS petrol which is the most powerful engine that you can buy with a Punto and as expected it is a delight for any enthusiast. It's fast and complements the car perfectly. The new variant is the 90 hp diesel engine. Punto delivers 15.2 km/l for the 1.2 P and 20.3 km/l (ARAI) for the diesel, the petrol 1.2 loses some of the fuel-efficiency as you have to down-shift a lot to extract the performance.
The steering feedback is brilliant and exactly just what you would want from a steering- not very light nor very heavy. In the city it is light and along with a light clutch, driving in heavy traffic and parking is a breeze. The turning circle of the Punto is 5 M which means you will not have nay problems negotiating those tight U-turns!
When it comes to ride, the Punto features an independent wheel suspension with McPherson Struts at the front and Torsion Beam, Helical springs at the rear. All that means that the way the Punto glides over potholes which shames even the more expensive cars! The ride of the Punto is easily the best in its segment.
The Fiat Punto starts at 4.9 lakhs to Rs 7.3 lakhs ex-showroom which makes it a sporty hatch. For a detailed analysis read below.