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I’m afraid I have absolutely zero technical knowledge when it comes to cars, so I’m going to review this on the things I do understand about cars. For example, how it drives, how it looks, how reliable it is and it’s in car gadgets. If you require a review about the inner workings of this car, you best check someone else’s review. Before getting this car I had a Fiat Punto ELX 90 1.6. As I loved this car I went for a Fiat again. This time the Fiat Grande Punto 1.4.
It’s quite small with smooth lines making it look modern and sleek. The inside looks impressive. Lit up buttons throughout the entire front of the car make this model look exciting and I looked forward to trying them out. The car is 159 inches long, 66.4 inches wide and 59 inches high. It has a luxurious feel when you sit in it and for a fairly small car it has quite a lot of leg room. There is an arm rest between the front two seats that seems like a clever idea for about 5 minutes until you start to drive and realise you would never want this down as it would obstruct your elbow room.
As a fairly short female myself, I do enjoy the seat height adjusting features. The seat can be moved inwards and upwards by considerable amounts. I have quite little legs, but can easily reach the peddles when I have adjusted the seat. Equally when the seat is raised I can see well over the dashboard. The corner of the window screen on the driver’s side has quite a considerable blind patch though which is purely down to poor design.
When I first drove round the block I accidently tested the new seat belts when I pressed my foot down on the brakes. They were extremely sensitive to the touch and much more so than I was used to. Just a light tap on the brakes and the car came to a complete stop. This only took me a few hours to get used to and once I had I much preferred these brakes.
I quite quickly noticed that the car made you feel the bumps in the road a lot more than my previous car. When you’re driving you do not notice this too badly, but as a passenger it can get quite annoying.
Next big test in my new car was a longer drive with some motorway driving included. So I set off and enjoyed the excellent sound of the CD player. All was going well until I got to the first round about. As a small gap appeared for me to join the roundabout I put my foot down on the gas expecting to fly forward as I had with my previous car. Unfortunately the 1.4 engine struggled and the acceleration was not what I expected. The car coming towards me had to put their brakes on and I understandably got beeped. I realise this car is only a 1.4, but I do think it is particularly sluggish. Leave plenty of time to pull away from stationery. Also because of this slow acceleration I found myself stalling the car several times in the first few weeks of driving this.
Inside the car there are quite a few gadgets and functions. Here are some of the helpful functions. You can warm or cool the car to your own preference quite quickly. You can also defrost or de-steam the windows in just a few minutes. Another feature of this model is the rear parking sensor. This is extremely helpful whilst parking. The sensor will beep at you as you approach a rear object. The beeping will become continuous as you get closer to the object. I’m not the best parker ever and I’m not sure I could do without this feature now. It also has Bluetooth connectivity, meaning you can put your MP3/IPod in and it plays your songs.
A rather strange feature is the City drive. This makes the steering lighter to help in tight parking spaces, but as this car has power steering anyway, I don’t find this at all useful.
The doors will automatically lock after a few minutes of driving which makes me feel quite safe. It is not very noisy when this happens and once it has done this a couple of times you will not even notice it.
OK a few more details regarding this car. There are five doors and the boot is average size. I can fit my Labrador quite comfortably in the boot or alternatively several shopping bags. The seats are comfortable and the side mirrors can be adjusted from the driver’s seat.
In summary I much preferred my old Fiat Punto because of its bigger engine size, but the Grande is not bad for the price. I rate this car 7 out of 10.