Review of "Fiat Grande Punto"

published 12/07/2006 | vixsta14
Member since : 30/11/-0001
Reviews : 33
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About me :
Super
Pro The Bodywork and standard features
Cons My Passenger Electric Window!
very helpful
Road Handling
Comfort
Features
Fuel consumption
Looks

"A Grande Design!!"

punto 1

punto 1

I have decided on a break from my normal Beauty product reviews. I have been considering writing a review on my Car for a while but the fact that I don't have a scrap of technical knowledge had put me off. Please do not be fooled into thinking this will be a Jeremy Clarksonesque review - It really won't be! Anyway I have decided to bite the bullet and fancied a challenge so prepare yourself for a girls guide to the Grande Punto!

So why a Punto then?
Several years ago I learned to drive and passed my test in a Punto. After passing my test and thinking I would be most comfortable driving a car I was already used to I decided to purchase a Punto. I also needed a reliable car which was fairly cheap to run and wanted a small model which had easily obtainable parts should the need arise.
My first was the first basic three door shape. I owned this for 12 months before moving on to my next which was a three door Mia. At the beginning of the new year I decided it was time for a change. After shopping around for over six weeks I had decided I was definitely going for a brand new Car and was torn between a Toyota Yaris and a Clio Campus. That was until I saw the TV adverts for the new shape Punto...

Having owned two Punto's before this and having no major problems I was more than happy to look at buying another.
The fact that the Grande Punto has won a Gold star for safety really swung it for me the. I was involved in a crash in my Punto Mia last October and the bodywork just crumpled instantly. So this time round I was looking for something safe and sturdy. I was very pleased to hear that the Grande Punto has achieved an excellent five-star score for crash protection in the Euro NCAP crash tests, This was also achieved by the new Renault Clio and the Modus which are the only other small cars so far that have done so well. It also comes with up to seven airbags and ABS brakes.

So Mid February I promptly took myself off to my local Fiat dealership. I explained to the salesman that I was looking at the Grande Punto. I took it for a test drive that afternoon and fell in love. Although I was impressed with the Bodywork of the Car it was the safety that won me over. It took me two attempts to open the Driver door before climbing in as it was so heavy. It didn't have that familiar tin box feel of previous Punto's during my test drive I felt really sale and secure. Throughout the drive the salesman rolled off all his spiel. He told me the new design was down to a bloke by the name of Guigiaro who was also responsible for the Maserati. He really shouldn't have bothered. The car could have been designed by a group of local primary school children for all I cared. As far as I was concerned the car had sold itself. I was really keen on the look and the shape of the car without knowing anymore.

The Grande Punto is named this because it's larger than the previous models it comes in three or five door hatchback form .
The Grande Punto is 4030mm long, 1687mm wide and 1490mm tall; its wheelbase is 2510mm, I was told the car has a far greater space than before.

I was quoted a price of 7,594 by the salesman and advised this was for the basic model. He also advised the Grande Punto is available in a number of other specifications which I have listed below:

1.2 Active 3-door £7,594
1.2 Active 5-door £8,194
1.4 Active Sport 3-door £8,495
1.3 16v MultiJet 75 Active 3-door £8,495
1.3 16v MultiJet 75 Active 5-door £9,095
1.2 Dynamic 3-door £8,495
1.2 Dynamic 5-door £9,095
1.4 Dynamic 3-door £8,795
1.4 Dynamic 5-door £9,395
1.3 16v MultiJet 90 Dynamic 3-door £10,195
1.3 16v MultiJet 90 Dynamic 5-door £10,795
1.9 MultiJet 120 Eleganza 5-door £12,295
1.9 MultiJet 130 Sporting 3-door £11,895


I was always told the smaller the engine size the cheaper to insure and quite keen to keep costs down and the model basic I went with the 1.2 3dr Active option. The Grande Punto comes with a two year warranty, I was told the third year is optional and 1 years AA assistance. I was really pleased with this and happy to proceed.

After signing on the dotted line I got to choose the colour. The salesman explained that the following colours came as standard, or I could choose a metallic shade at an additional cost of £325. The following shades are available as standard:

Black
Dark blue
Silver
Red

There are also nine metallic paint shades are on offer:
(I'm intrigued as to what inspired these names!)

Psychedelic Light Blue
Jungle Grey
Alternative Green
New Orleans Blue,
Ambient White
Caribbean Orange
Exotica Red
Stoner Blue

After looking at the colour swatches I decided on Jungle Grey. The Interior inside is a primarily black with silver detail on the dashboard. The Grande has Black seats with a polka dot design My order was confirmed and my lovely new car arrived on the 1st March 2006.

The basic Active 1.2 model has the following functions:

-Fiat Alarm system

The Fiat alarm system comes as standard and is operated by remote central locking. I think this is a fantastic feature and certainly gives me peace of mind when leaving my car in car parks or other areas where opportunists may strike.

-Electric front windows:

I have had problems with the Passenger side Electric window as it keeps coming off the inside the window. I have arranged to take the car back for the problem to be repaired and will update my review once this has been done.

-Remote central locking:

This is a great feature for locking the Car simply and quickly. The Car key features a remote for locking and unlocking the car and also unlocking the boot. A great extra when going back to my car with lots of shopping. The dashboard in the car also features a central locking device whereby all the doors to the car can be locked at one touch of a button. This is something I have come to use on a daily basis when driving alone. Especially since having a rather drunk 6 foot man jump in my car last year however this is another story...

-Follow me home headlights:

I was told about the headlights by the salesman which are designed for night time driving. The sales man explained that this feature was great for young girls driving alone at night. After switching the engine off and locking the door, the cars headlights remain on for an extra 10 seconds to give anyone near by the impression that there is still someone in the car.

-Height-adjustable drivers seat:

As I am only 5'2 an adjustable seat is a fantastic extra for me, without it I would be unable to see fully over the dashboard and would probably be in need of a booster seat!


-Height and reach adjustable steering wheel:

As again being on the small side I was really pleased to fine that the steering wheel can not only be moved up and down it can also be brought forward too! I can help but this that the car was designed with a view to marketing it to women drivers!


-CD player radio with 4 speakers and steering wheel controls:

I was quite pleasantly surprised to learn that the new Punto comes with a CD player as standard. It is a CD player of a simple design so it is very easy to use and also can be controlled by either the CD player its self or via the steering wheel which has volume control, Radio Channel and CD track changer as well as a mute button built in. A fantastic idea and saves shifting my concentration from the road when wanting to change the radio station.

-Full size spare wheel:

This is listed as a feature however I do think (I may be wrong) That this should be included by law in every car.

-City Button:

This is a fantastic invention often referred to by my Boyfriend as: "The Girly button" The Grande Punto comes with power assisted steering however the City button on the dashboard makes the steering extra light and makes any kind of difficult manoeuvre or travelling down tight city streets a breeze.

I have owned my Fiat Grande Punto now for just over 4 months and am so far enjoying the whole Punto Experience.
This car feels more solid than some previous Fiats - its doors close more with a clunk and it would seem Fiat have eradicated any tinny feel that previous Punto's have had. I am also pleased with the high level of features the car contains and certainly wasn't expecting a CD player as standard. However the one think the Grande doesn't offer is Air conditioning this is quite a shame considering the car offers so much.
The interior design is really well thought out offering more an organised feel I also really like the polka dot interior seats however I am sure these will be more to female tastes than males . The boot space is also larger than the old Punto, I have noticed I am able to store more shopping bags than with the previous model!

So far the only disadvantage of my Grande has to be the Electric windows or to be more specific the passenger side window.
Within the last month the Window has been slowing when being moved up or down last week the window came out of the bracket and a week on I am still waiting for the dealership to take my car in to be fixed. (I have had to wait a week as I am in need of a courtesy car in my Punto's absence.) This repair is covered under warranty and I will be taking my Car into the garage tomorrow and will update my review accordingly.
It is probably worth mentioning that I know of two other Grande owners who have had no problems so far so I don't think this is a batch manufacturing fault.

**Update**
My Car has been back to the Garage where I purchased it from. The window has been fixed. (It was in need of a new runner) as well as this the Garage also had an independent Engineer out from Fiat to test the Electrics. It was determined that there was also slight fault with one of the Earthing wires and this was proptly rectified. Reg Vardy had my Car for a week whilst Carrying out tests. It has now been two weeks since having my Car back and all is fine, Consequently I did ask the Reg Vardy if anyone else had been back to them with the same problem and I am told they haven't so it looks as if this fault was not a batch problem.

Overall I would definitely recommend a Punto Grande to anyone looking for a basic cheap reliable car. I think the Grande is excellent value for money and is one of the cheaper cars in the small car market. It offers excellent standard features and makes a perfect run around. I also find I can fill the tank up for around £30. The Grande drives really smoothly and has a virtually silent engine. As I said earlier I feel the Grande is being marketed more towards women drivers than men but that said it also has a very sporty look to it that may attract men and women alike. As I said at the beginning I do not possess a scrap of technical knowledge where Cars are concerned but I would say that for anyone on a budget in need of small car the Grande definitely gets my recommendation.


Thanks for reading

Victoria

x x x x x


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Comments on this review

  • kellybenfield published 18/09/2007
    great review, gave opinion as well as fact without getting all technical and boring, i was on the fence about this car, bu i am going straight to the dealership tonight now, cheers xxx
  • rob19791 published 28/06/2007
    This is without a doubt a good review. I find that it is a tad mis-leading though. When the Grande Punto came out (06) the were massive batches of the cars with dangerous faults. This included steering racks, and metal Knee protectors. The first batch of the cars was/is only classed as a 4* NCAP due to the missing knee plates. I would advise any one thinking of buying one of these cars to visit a website called fiatforum.com. This is an owners website, read the grande punto reviews from people...lots of people who own these cars and see how reliable they are. You will be suprised at how many people have bought these cars to find out that they are lemons. Like i say....good review, but you seen to be one of the lucky ones to date.
  • gaunts published 01/03/2007
    fantastic review. i owe you an E cause Ive used them all up....excellent information and well written review. easy to read with a clear layout. gaunty
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Product Information : Fiat Grande Punto

Manufacturer's product description

Hatchback - Petrol

Product Details

Body Type: Hatchback

Fuel Type: Petrol

Country of Origin: Italy

Range: Fiat Grande Punto

Manufacturer: Fiat

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Listed on Ciao since: 12/07/2006