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Road Test: Fiat Punto

Overheat

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The Punto has long been a popular choice, with over six million sold since it replaced the Uno in 1993. Its cheeky, curvy styling has caught the attention of young, middle-aged and older buyers alike, and though it has always been competitively priced and has sold in huge numbers to rental fleets and soforth, it has never looked common, cheap or nasty. Like its arch-rival the Renault Clio, it has a certain flair and chic to its design which gives it a little more class than many other mainstream superminis.

This Punto has been co-developed with Opel/Vauxhall's Corsa - a project pre-dating the breakdown of the GM-Fiat alliance - but Fiat claims that there is no more than 30percent communality of components, with the two cars sharing only their floorpan, suspension and steering components and systems such as heating and ventilation. These items have been further fine-tuned by Fiat, and the Punto should have a character distinctive from its GM twin, which also goes on sale next year.

Fiat is calling this new-generation range "Grande Punto" - no translation needed, surely - to push home the fact that it has increased substantially in size, and also to distinguish it from the earlier models, though these will remain in production for a while alongside the Grande versions, marketed as budget entry-level options with a minimal level of equipment. Grande Punto, on the other hand, is to come with a wide range of trim, fit and finish choices, an extensive options list and all the mod cons expected in even runarounds and shopping cars these days.

Engines on offer from launch are 65bhp 1.2 8-valve and 77bhp 1.4 8-valve petrol units, and no less than four Euro IV-compliant diesels: 120 bhp and 130 bhp versions of the 1.9 Multijet diesel engine, and 75bhp and 90bhp versions of the new 1.3-litre Multijet 16-valve unit. A warmed-up Sporting version - probably with a turbocharged version of the 1.4-litre petrol engine - is to follow next year, and a proper hot-hatch Abarth model a little later. The Abarth is expected to come with both petrol and diesel engines, and a power output of up to 220bhp.

Final specification levels and pricing for the UK will be released nearer to the on-sale date; right-hand drive versions will not be available until early 2006. However, the 11,000-euro starting price in Italy suggests that the Grande Punto is going to be affordable and good value for money.

read more here: http://www.channel4.com/4car/road-tests/F/fiat/punto05-/punto05-.html

watch the video here: http://www.channel4.com/4car/video/test-drives/index.html


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I would KILL for a red Abarth version :drool:
 
that's not to bad!

i kinda like it
 
Nelis said:
I really like that fiat. .. Wow I like a fiat, never thought I would say that.
The headlamps remind me a bit of maseratti

I tought "Aston Martin" when I saw the headlamps, but you?re right. Or maybe I prefer associating a car I like with an Aston :lol:
 
I was really surprised by how good the new Punto looks, after things like the ?ber boring Stilo :puke:
I think they have managed to put some Italian passion into it. It should even handle quite well. :thumbsup: to fiat for a change.
 
I like the styling... Now if only they made tehm reliable I might consider buying one. The prices at elast are competitive in here.
 
Nothing to complain about - the Punto looks well, should be even more spacier than the already spacious model it replaces, sensible choice of engines and versions, priced attractively, the only thing I still cannot imagine is finally buying one of them.
 
raspberri said:
I am planning to buy a simple 1.4 version but cannot be sure about its reliability. Do you guys think that i am doing a big mistake?

All the reviews I have read have mentioned how much better-built the new one is compared to it's predecessor.

I'd say yes, the reliability will have improved greatly over the old one.

And besides, I don't care if it breaks down once or twice if it looks that good.
 
I really like the new punto, it's a pity there's no decent sized petrol engine yet though.
 
The rear looks really good. I'm not so sure about the front but one thing is certain. This one seems to have a much better interior than the Punto II.
 
I think that's a very cool looking car. Fiat is breaking back into the passenger car market in Australia with this little machine in June this year. Can't wait to see what the Aussie mags think of it.
 
the headlights remind me of the Maserati gransport, in other words it looks great
 
teeb said:
raspberri said:
I am planning to buy a simple 1.4 version but cannot be sure about its reliability. Do you guys think that i am doing a big mistake?

All the reviews I have read have mentioned how much better-built the new one is compared to it's predecessor.

I'd say yes, the reliability will have improved greatly over the old one.

And besides, I don't care if it breaks down once or twice if it looks that good.

That quite makes sense - the more often your car breaks down, the more often you'll have the pleasure of looking at it for a longer time ;)
 
mautzel said:
That quite makes sense - the more often your car breaks down, the more often you'll have the pleasure of looking at it for a longer time ;)

That's why Alfa owners love their cars so much ;)
 
I currently own a 2000 Fiat Punto JTD and i love it. I'd love to get my hands in the 130hp jtd Grande punto.
 
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