Fiat India has launched the Grande Punto at the perfect time, while buyers are looking for options in the premium hatchback segment, at prices and segmentation higher than the B segment cars. The much awaited Honda jazz was launched recently, and for the customers who thought that the price of the Jazz is too much, the answer may well be The Grande Punto.
At the first look of the Punto, the car gives the impression of an internationally acknowledged car available for a drive in India. Tellingly, while I was at the launch event, one of the customer said he had already booked the car and acknowledged how eagerly he was waiting. He had booked it purely based on the looks so he was quite satisfied with Punto even before it was launched.
The front portion of the car looks just like the Linea. The Sideview is quite good but does not make a very significant impression. The rear portion looks very decent, similar to the Linea and gives the impression of a cool car.
It was quite surprising to see the opening of the front doors. The width of the opening of the door is such that even a hefty person can get in and get out easily. The seating is also so designed that that we need not make much effort to get settled in the driver or co-driver seat. Once we get seated in the first row, we can easily recognize that the front portion of car has been stretched much at front. The dash board is big and with nice finishing, positioning of music system and controls is handy. The driver seat is positioned well and the door trim finishing is very well positioned such that the driver can rest his arm over the door trims comfortably for a while going on long drives.
The less impressive part of the Punto is the rear seat which neither feels great nor feels uncomfortable. It has average cushioning and good enough leg space. Often you will have to ask the driver or co-driver to adjust his seat so as to get seated comfortably in the rear seat. In short, comfort in rear seat greatly depends upon the choice of comfort of front row passenger!
The hatch back door is very decent and once one lifts the door it goes up to such height that even a six foot person can stand comfortably under it and put baggage in the spacious luggage compartment. The driving experience is great with smooth handling and comfortable suspension. The performance is promising with different variants 1.2 FIRE, 1.4 FIRE, 1.3 MULTIJET.
After having a thorough view of the Punto, if you are expecting higher prices, you will be proved to be wrong - thanks to the effort put by FIAT to put appropriate price tags. There are plenty of options according to the budget and prices range from 4.7 lac onroad (Bangalore) to 6.65 lacs for that of the Top end version Emotion. Diesel versions range from 5.7 to 7.23 onroad in Bangalore.
Within the diesel and petrol engines, there are three main variants, viz. Active, Dynamic , Emotion. Active is the base model, the on road price for petrol version is 4.7 lac and for diesel version it is 5.7 lac. The Petrol version of dynamic is 5.5 lac and that of diesel 6.12 lac. Finally, the Emotion variant, which comes in two options, Emotion and Emotion Pack is the top of the range. For petrol version, the price is 6.01 to 6.65 lac and that of diesel version 6.6 to 7.24 lac.
In conclusion, with the launch of the Grande Punto, Fiat has put a great effort to win in the hatchback segment. Though the features vary according to the budget, the customer is the winner in owning a great hatchback as space, comfort, body style, and power remain the same for each variant.
What do you think of the Punto? Let us know below!