Advantages Cheap, easy to run, very reliable
Disadvantages Awkward doors, slight lack of grip in tyres
THE PUNTOTo all car lovers out there I would like to draw your attention to this keen little runner. I realise after the countless series of ‘Topgear’ shown on the BBC that most of you will be more mesmerised by the likes of Ferrari 360’s and Lamborghini Gallardo’s. However for those with a more down to earth perspective, this is a great affordable car that will never fail to get you from A to B. I have the 1.2Litre petrol model. As standard this comes with driver and passenger airbag, central locking, electric front windows, power steering, adjustable steering wheel and an adjustable driver’s seat. I find this a very handy feature as you can move the seat forward or back, higher or lower it and you can even adjust the hardness of the driver’s seat. There is also radio equipment provided. Having bought mine 2nd hand it came with a CD player as well. The version I purchased is the 51plate model, which comes with a very nice sporty blue interior. I cannot complain! Along with the dual drive it offers a great ride. This attribute offers a ‘city drive’ mode which proves more than useful when dealing with tight parking scenarios. Give this button a click and the handling brings a new meaning to power-steering.
MODELSNow the engine size is optional for this adorable little car. It comes with a 1.1, 1.2, 1.4 turbo, or 1.6 petrol or there is a 1.7 diesel option if you want your pennies to stretch that bit further with fuel. Even still this reliable fiat will not burn a hole in your wallet regardless of your choice of engine as it is quite fuel efficient chugging out a healthy 31mpg with the 1.2. Anyway I will not bore you with the mindless garble of a petrolhead and leave it to you to seek out its specifications as necessary. I am sure you are more eager to hear about its pros and cons…
RELIABILITYWell, despite what you may have heard about Fiat, this car defines reliable. Its 8 years old now and not once has failed to start on me or broken down during my ownership. It has its tiny let downs here and there but nothing you can’t expect from any car these days. The handbrake cable does seem a little fragile having broken twice although this is a minor setback to the car’s performance. With about 55,000 miles on the clock I can pretty much claim this vehicle to be faultless. Even with the electrics, which undoubtedly seem to be the most common let down, I have never suffered any problems.
PERFORMANCENow do not let the size of this car deceive you. It may be small but it packs a punch. Its lightweight allows a good acceleration off the line, which comes in handy when overtaking. The City drive that I previously mentioned makes light work of sharp bends and car parks. The steering becomes so light you can literally use your fingers to navigate the wheel. Top speeds are more than adequate. If you’re heading on a long trip down the motorway, the Punto will roll along nicely at speeds of up to 90mph without a struggle. But, to be the bearer of bad news, not all the Punto’s qualities are good ones.
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