Is it true that we loved the pre-facelift Punto so much that we cannot actually let it go? Well that is what it looks to me because believe it or not we were actually quite surprised to see that gorgeous little Red car which took the center stage at the Fiat’s stall of the Auto Expo 2016.
Will this be little odd that you will have to think atleast once before actually choosing between the pre-facelift Punto and the current facelift Punto Evo which is available for sale from the year 2014 onward. Now definitely the new facelift Punto looks good and it has got everything to actually impress the new owners, be it its attractive Italian styling or sweet looking interiors.
The pre-facelift car on the other hand has already gone for sale in the Indian market and is renamed as Fiat Punto Pure. So definitely there are few differences that we noticed in this car and also some new additions as well. However this will be the entry level hatchback offering from Fiat which actually will raise its selling quotient a boost as well.
DESIGN AND STYLE ;
Fiat Punto Pure is an adorable looking little car with a black colour engine grill flanked by a sweptback shaped cluster of high intensity headlamp and body color front bumper embedded with black colour air vents to dry the brakes quickly. The inclusion of black colour door handles, ORVMs which contrast beautifully with the vibrant body colour of the car gives it a distinct look. Additionally, Fiat Punto Pure features a tinted back windshield with wiper, body colour bumper, rear fog lamps, big LED tail lights, mounted head lamps, multi spoke steel wheels and body colour painted C and D pillars.
CABIN AND COMFORT ;
This is perhaps the best term I could use to describe the cabin. It is in essence the same one that was offered with the base model of the Grande Punto when it was launched around seven years ago. The whole dashboard has been trimmed out in black comprising of hard and grainy surfaces save for the steering wheel which has soft touch plastics.A saving grace for what is otherwise a drab affair is the instrument cluster which gets amber backlighting and has a comprehensive digital display. It has two trip meters and most importantly a DTE (distance-to-empty) option.The front seats are two-toned with some amount of side bolstering but they lack under thigh support due to the odd positioning of the seat base. However, there is sufficient headroom and legroom even for a ‘generously’ proportioned human like myself.
As compared to its rivals (read Hyundai i10 and Chevrolet Beat), the Punto has decent space at the rear but it still can’t seat three in comfort at the back. The floor though, is flat and the rear seat folds and tumbles over to reveal a vast boot space. The basicness of this car is visible in its feature list which is, like I said at the beginning of this section, quite sparse. You get air conditioning, height adjustment for the steering wheel and internally adjustable ORVMs. But, Fiat has left out central locking, a given feature for even the most basic cars these days.The car in our photos has also been fitted with the basic Fiat 1-DIN music system which is an optional extra. On the practicality front, there are four tiny door pockets, two slots on the centre console and two spaces on the dashboard.
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION ;
The Fiat Punto Pure misses out on the famed 1.4-litre petrol and the 90bhp diesel version. What we now have is the 1.3-litre MultiJet diesel mill tuned to produce 75bhp at 4,000rpm and a peak torque of 197Nm at 1,750rpm. Power for the petrol trim comes from the 1.2-litre FIRE unit tuned to churn out 67bhp at 6,000rpm and 96Nm of torque at 2,500rpm. The transmission is a five-speed manual gearbox only.The diesel engine starts with a typical clatter that mellows down as the car starts to move. The 197Nm of torque can be put to good use in the city and on the highway as well. This diesel Punto has a good mid-range once the turbo kicks in after the 1,800rpm mark. It achieves high speeds at lower revs and one can easily cruise at 100kmph with the needle of the tacho just above the 2,500rpm mark.On the other hand, the petrol is the quieter one, but lacks the punch that can be seen on the oil-burner. You will have to continuously floor the pedal and keep the revs built above 2,500rpm to get going. You will have to shift to a lower gear, while overtaking or climbing even a small incline. It is nevertheless more refined than the diesel variant.
RIDE AND HANDLING ;
This new hatchback has been engineered with better suspension system to the ride safe. The front axle is coupled with Independent Wheel McPherson Struts type of layout, with a stabilizer bar to control the body roll. The rear wheel of the car is mounted with Torsion Beam system. Additionally, both the axles have Helical Springs and Double Acting Telescopic Dampers. The Suspension system in the car is effective, which actively offers better ride quality by absorbing the harsh road dynamics. This Light steering wheel operates the turns and twists easily and makes the drive efficient. Braking system in the car defines efficiency. The front wheels gets disc breaks and the rear comes with drum breaks. It has a generous ground clearance of 185 mm, which helps it to deal with rugged Indian roads effectively.
SAFETY FEATURES ;
This is actually the basic hatchback offering from Fiat and thus it gets only ABS in terms of safety features that also available on the top end trim. The absence of airbags even on the top end trim is really disappointing keeping in mind the safety of the passengers inside.
The Punto Pure may not be an attractive option if you have the feature loaded Punto Evo available for sale. However, Fiat connoisseurs and loyalists may appreciate the aesthetic appeal of the car coupled with the performance and the overall feel of what the brand stands for. This may be an impressive bet for those looking for reasonable pricing and decent features without having to shell out more for the Punto Evo variant. To know more about Fiat Cars and models in India, visit here for more information.
Fiat Punto Pure 1.2l Fire Petrol Ex-showroom Price is 4,80,803/- and On Road Price is 5,28,226/- in New Delhi. Fiat Punto Pure 1.2l Fire Petrol comes in 3 colours, namely Bossa Nova White,Exotic Red,Hip Hop Black. Fiat Punto Pure 1.2l