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Fiat Punto Evo

Rs. 4.86 - Rs. 7.42 lakhs
Ex-showroom Price (Mumbai)
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Ever since its launch in the year 2009, the Fiat Punto hasn’t seen a major facelift, but this time around the company has worked so much on its design. Since design is quite a subjective matter, one may or may not like the new design, the company has claimed to have designed the car taking customers' feedback. The front-end of the car seems to have taken its inspiration from the Avventura Crossover Concept, which was showcased at the 2014 Delhi Auto Expo. The car features a large grille with chrome outline, new sweeping headlights, redesigned bumpers, fog lamps with chrome surrounding, boomerang shaped kink with some flair, revised bonnet with two flowing lines and other styling elements. The Sport version gets smoky headlights, while the regular variants get chrome highlights inside the lights. The top-end variant (Sport) is assembled with the 16-inches alloy wheels, while the entry-level and higher trims are offered with wheel caps and 15-inches alloy wheels, respectively.

The interior of the PuntoEvo is rich and impressive. Material quality is superb. The dashboard design is borrowed from the new Linea. The instrument cluster with twin pods and centre console with piano black inserts are revised too. All variants, except the Sport, get a dual tone black and beige interior. The all-black interior of the Sport variant looks quite sporty. Fit and finish is certainly better than before. Steering wheel remains unchanged, but the differently positioned audio controls mark a distinction. Seats feel comfortable with ample legroom, but under-thigh support isn't up-to the mark. The Punto facelift comes loaded with a plenty of comfort and entertainment features such as audio system, Bluetooth connectivity, fully automatic climate control,  Microsoft powered Blue & Me with Voice Command, steering mounted audio controls, height adjustable driver seat and more.

The new Punto is available in two petrol (1.2L and 1.4L FIRE) and one diesel (1.3L Multijet) engine options. The PuntoEvo diesel comes powered with a 1.3-litre multijet engine with CRDI (Common rail direct injection) fuel supply system and DOHC (Dual overhead camshaft) valve configuration. This powertrain develops a maximum power output of 75bhp at 4000rpm and a peak torque of 197Nm at 1750rpm. The Sport variant features the same engine, but it is tuned to churn out a power of 92bhp at 4000rpm with 209Nm of torque at 2000rpm. It returns a fuel economy of 17kmpl in city and 20kmpl on highways. The diesel-powered Active, Dynamic and Emotion variants are capable to achieve 0-100kmph in little over 16 seconds, while the Sport variant can mark 100kmph from standstill in about 14 seconds with a top speed of 165kmph.

The Active and Dynamic petrol variants of the hatchback are equipped with a 1.2 FIRE engine, which sports SOHC (Single overhead camshaft) valve configuration, MPFI (Multi point fuel injection) fuel supply system. It produces a maximum power of 67bhp at 6000rpm with a torque of 96Nm at 2500rpm. It gives a mileage of 12kmpl in city and 15kmpl on highways. This gasoline motor touches 0-100kmph in ahout 19 seconds with a top-speed of 135kmph. The petrol-powered top-end Emotion variant housed a 1.4-litre FIRE engine that generates a peak power output of 88.7bhp at 6000rpm with a torque of 115Nm at 4500rpm. It returns a fuel efficiency of 11kmpl in city and 14kmpl on highway. It is more powerful and prompt than the 1.2L petrol engine. It can mark 0-100kmph on speedometer in 15 to 16 seconds, while attaining a top speed of 155kmph to 160kmph. A five-speed manual transmission is the only available option with this trim.

There is nothing exceptional with its performance. It’s just adequate for this segment. However, the petrol engine lacks punch. The Sport variant is equipped with more powerful and efficiency engine, but doesn’t feel sporty on grounds. The Multijet diesel engine is smooth on roads, but isn’t peppier. Acceleration and pick up performance is good. NVH levels need an improvement. Driving dynamics remain unchanged, but ride and handling are more balanced than before. The Fiat PuntoEvo takes on the likes of the all-new Hyundai Elite i20, Volkswagen Polo and Maruti Swift.

Exterior

The new Punto received some significant exterior updates, especially at the front-fascia. It looks completely different from the old Punto. The front fascia of the hatchback is inspired by the Avventura Crossover Concept, which made its debut at the 2014 Delhi Auto Expo. The front-end sports a large grille with chrome outline, revised front bumper, new sweeping headlights, boomerang shaped kink with some flair and fog lamps with chrome surrounding.

The grille splits with the lower half bearing the license plate. The regular variants are equipped with the chrome highlights inside the lights, while the top-end Sport variant gets smoked headlights. The bonnet of the car is more pronounced with two flowing lines running all the way down. The side profile of the new Punto resembles like the old one, but the new alloy wheels add more to its sporty appearance. The entry-level variants are offered with wheel caps, the higher trims get Abarth style 15-inches, diamond cut alloy wheels, and the top-end Sport variant equipped with the 16-inches alloy wheels.

The rear is identical to the previous generation. The new rear bumper with chrome surrounded fog light and reflectors are the evident changes. The Punto facelift measures 3, 989mm in length, 1, 687mm in width and 1, 525mm in height with a wheelbase of 2, 510mm. The petrol-powered Active and Dynamic variants offer a ground clearance of 195mm, while other variants get a ground clearance of 185mm. The new Fiat PuntoEvo is available seven exterior paint options: Glitari Gold, Magnesio Grey, Pearl White, Tuscan White, Minimal Grey, Exotica Red and Hip Hop Black.

Interior

Inside, the hatchback gets a new dashboard borrowed from the new Linea, and looks refreshing. All variants of the PuntoEvo get a dual tone black and beige interior, except the 'Sport' that has a sportier all-black interior. Fit and finish is certainly up-market, but isn’t class leading. The centre console with piano black inserts looks quite appealing. The build quality is excellent. It continues to features the old steering wheel, but mounted audio controls and feel is better than before. There is an orange ambient lighting with LED strip that enhance cabin ambiance in night.

The seats are supportive, and feel comfortable with good legroom and headroom. However, the under-thigh support needs an improvement. The new-generation Punto comes equipped with all the features, which are offered with the older version. It features an integrated CD/ MP3 and FM player, Microsoft powered Blue & Me with Voice Command, Bluetooth connectivity, steering mounted audio controls, fully automatic climate control, height adjustable driver seat, leather wrapped steering wheel and gear shift knob, front power windows with ‘delay’ and auto down’ function, rear power window with auto down, hydraulic power steering, electrically adjustable outside rear view mirrors and more.

Engine and Transmission

The engines and strong mechanics of the hatchback remain the same. The new-generation Punto carries over the 1.2L and 1.4L FIRE petrol and 1.3L Multijet diesel engines from the phased out model.

Powering the PuntoEvo diesel is a 1.3-litre Multijet engine that pumps out a maximum power of 75bhp at 4000rpm and a peak torque of 197Nm at 1750rpm. It sports four-cylinders, 16-valves, CRDI (Common rail direct injection) fuel supply system and DOHC (Dual overhead camshaft) valve configuration that help with its fuel efficiency and performance. It has a displacement capacity of 1248cc. The Active, Dynamic and Emotion diesel variants can mark 0-100kmph in 16.39 seconds with a top speed of 165kmph.

The top-spec Sport model equips the same engine, but it’s more powerful with a power output of 92bhp at 4000rpm with 209Nm of torque at 2000rpm. There is marginally difference between fuel efficiency of Sport and other petrol variants. This gasoline engine is claimed to return a fuel economy of 17kmpl in city and 20kmpl on highways. It is faster than the rest diesel variants. It accelerates 0-100kmph in 14.33 seconds with a top speed of 165kmph.

The Active and Dynamic petrol versions derive power from a 1.2 FIRE engine that delivers a maximum power of 67bhp at 6000rpm with a torque of 96Nm at 2500rpm. This engine has four-cylinders, 8-valves that offer a displacement of 1172cc. It comes integrated with the SOHC (Single overhead camshaft) valve configuration, MPFI (Multi point fuel injection) fuel supply system. It provides a mileage of 12kmpl in city and 15kmpl on highways. It can cross a barrier of 0-100kmph in 18.81 seconds with a maximum speed of 135kmph.

The top-end Emotion petrol variant is powered by a 1.4-litre FIRE engine, offering a maximum power of 88.7bhp at 6000rpm with a torque of 115Nm at 4500rpm. It has four-cylinders and four valves that displace 1368cc. The Emotion PuntoEvo features a DOHC valve configuration instead the SOHC. It offers a mileage of 11kmpl in city and 14kmpl on highways. This BSIV compliant engine is capable to achieve 0-100kmph in 15 to 16 seconds with a top speed of 155kmph to 165kmph.

Performance and Handling

The new PuntoEvo shares the engines with its predecessor, i.e. 1.2L and 1.4L FIRE petrol engine and 1.3L Multijet diesel engine. The 1.2L and 1.4L FIRE petrol engine produce a maximum power of 67bhp and 88.7bhp, respectively. While the multijet diesel engines are tuned for 75bhp and 92bhp power outputs. The 1.2L petrol engine feels underpower, and lacks punch. However, its mid-range performance is decent. The fuel efficiency could have been a little better.

The 1.4L FIRE engine isn't impressive either, but acceleration and pick up are good. The PuntoEvo diesel gets a taller 1st gear, which was complained in previous version. It improves the city drivability of the car, but still lacks the performance. Having a massive kerb weight, the car needs more power to run and perform, especially the Sport variant. The highway performance of the 90bhp Sport version isn't satisfying. However, the acceleration and pick up are good.

Engine is quite noisy. Vibration is quite evident when the AC turned on. Gearshift is smooth and quick. There is a dead pedal (clutch foot rest) that rests your left foot. You won’t feel any change to its driving dynamics, but ride and handling are certainly improved. Ride is comfortable, even on rough surfaces. The increased ground clearance causes some body roll, and affects its stability as well. Hydraulic steering is nice to handle, and responsive. The huge turning radius is still an issue.

Braking system

The new Punto gets the advanced Anti-lock braking system (ABS) with Electronic brake-force distribution (EBD). The ABS controls the wheels’ speeds and prevents them from locking up while braking. It improves the car’s control over the slippery and dry surfaces. The EBD brake technology maintains the control with the changing braking pressure exhaled to each wheel, and optimizes its braking performance. The hatchback gets the front discs and rear drum brakes as well.

Mileage

The new Punto is available in two petrol (1.2L and 1.4L FIRE) and one diesel (1.3L Multijet) engines. The 1.3-litre Multijet diesel engine with CRDI (Common rail direct injection) fuel supply system and DOHC (Dual overhead camshaft) valve configuration is the most frugal engine option. It delivers a decent fuel economy of 17kmpl in city and 20kmpl on highways.

The Active and Dynamic petrol variants are powered by a 1.2 FIRE engine, which is claimed to offer a mileage of 12kmpl on urban roads and 15kmpl on highways. While, the top-end Emotion petrol variant features a 1.4-litre FIRE engine that provides a fuel economy of 11kmpl in city and 14kmpl on highways. All variants of the PuntoEvo are combined with a five-speed manual transmission.

Safety features

Loaded with a plenty of advanced safety features, the next generation Punto ensures a high-end safety of the occupants. The top-spec diesel-powered Sport model features advanced airbag protection including front airbags with early crash sensors and dual stage driver side airbag that deploy based on severity of collision. Along with this, it features passenger airbag deactivation, Anti-lock braking system (ABS) with Electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) and three-pint belts with pre-tensioners and load limiters.

The automatic door lock, central door locking system, door open indicator, height adjustable front seat belts and immobilizer with rolling code (FCS) are the standard safety features. The hatchback gets a Fire prevention system (FPS) that halts the fuel supply in case of roll over. The solid rear seats with metal back ensure the passengers’ safety and longevity. The smart rear wiper and flat blade front wipers also aid to the safe handling of the car.

Verdict

The Fiat Punto was always appreciated for its ride quality and handling, and the new PuntoEvoisn't an exception here. The hatchback gets improvements in all directions, except the performance, it’s just adequate. Wearing new styling elements and curves, the new Punto looks very refreshing and sportier. Interior is quite appealing too. It has plenty to offer such as integrated CD/ MP3 and FM player, Microsoft powered Blue & Me with Voice Command, Bluetooth connectivity and more. Loaded with advanced safety features, the new Punto ensure a safe drive. Fiat aims to increase its dealership network, and improve after sales services that will certainly favor the Fiat PuntoEvo.

Competition

Fiat PuntoEvoVs Hyundai Elite i20

The all-new Fiat PuntoEvo is younger and sportier than ever before. Based on the Avventura Crossover Concept, the hatchback manages to look different from its predecessor, especially the front end. The prominent bonnet, large grille, sweeping headlights and alloy wheels and other styling elements feel very fresh. On the other side, Hyundai transformed its old Fluidic design philosophy, and added sharp edges and straight stance to the new Elite i20. The Elite i20 is bolder and sportier than the previous version.

From inside, the new Punto is quite comfortable and appealing. The fit and finish is up-market, but isn't up-to the mark. However, the material quality is excellent. Seats are supportive, but lack under-thigh support. The hatchback gets several new equipments and safety features. The PuntoEvo, in fact, offers more features at a lesser price. It's one of the most loaded cars in its league, while the Elite i20's entry level variants lack several comfort and safety features. But, the new Hyundai Elite i20 has better plastic quality and more space than the Punto facelift. 

The new generation Punto is available in three engine options: a 67bhp, 1.2L petrol engine, 88.7bhp, 1.4L gasoline unit and a 1.3L Multijet diesel engine with 75bhp and 92bhp power outputs. While, the new Elite i20 is offered with a 89bhp, 1.4L U2 diesel engine, and a 82bhp, 1.2L Kappa petrol engine options. The new i20’s engines are more powerful, punchy and fuel efficient than the Punto’s powertrains. Hyundai’s brilliant after sales services make the Elite i20 a worthy recommendation over the Fiat PuntoEvo.

Pros & Cons

Pros

·         Refreshing and sporty looks

·         Spacious and feature-rich interior

·         Material quality

·         Plenty of safety features

·         Acceleration and pick up performance

·         Ride quality

·         Balanced and predictable handling

Cons

·         Base variant devoid of audio system and ABS and EBD safety features

·         Noisy diesel engine

·         Petrol engine isn't punchy and frugal

·         Sport variant doesn't give sporty performance

·         High cost of initial ownership

Fiat Punto Evo News - Car News India