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dr_nishu

FIAT Punto & Linea 2012: Launched

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Introducing the New Punto & Linea in Oceanic Blue colour

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Auto Headlamps

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Rain Sensing Wipers

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Improved 190mm Ground Clearance for Linea

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New variants additions:

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Improved AC & 190mm GC on all variants.

Active get remote locking

Dynamic gets Abs EDs, Blue and Me

Emotion get the 16'' alloys

New Features* rain sensing wipers

New Features* Auto switch on-off head lamps

Top end variant T-jet+ gets New Ivory Beige Interiors.

Prices are as:

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(Source: tbhp & FIAT website)

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Looks like they have done away with the Emotion Pack edition.Now the Emotion variant gets everything. ORVM's on the Punto are a welcome addition. Its nice to hear that the quality of interiors have gone up.

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I feel Pricing is not right still now. Look at this - 4,81,279 for Active Petrol and 5,48,294 for Active petrol????


Common...even Rivals cars are equipped with same engines with far far far lesser price and same time far far far better A.S.S.

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Test Driven Punto 2012 1.3 Emotion today & this car really Rocked.

Pros:

At Standstill:

With Increased Ground Clearance, car feels much taller & looks good now with its Maserati-Nose standing much higher now, previously which was prone to Scrape.

-Test Drive car was mere 624kms driven.

-NVH greatly reduced at both Standstill & while moving.

-'Much criticized' Plastic panel finish around keyhole is Improved now & is like Linea T-Jet now.

-Don't FIAT have Improved it or not but Its Gearshift is much better, Smoother & Precise now. You just need to 'Direct-to-the-Gate & Gently Push' now than previous forceful Shift now.

-Interior finishing is same but Panels are better fitted now.

-New lighter Grey shade works well & really lends some Coziness to the Interiors but as I'm biased towards the Beige-Black combo of Linea & also have loved to see them in it also.

-Best Working part in Interiors was its Handbrake lever, it needed just a Gentle Pull to engage.

While On the move

-Again, Better NVH than before. A very 90 HP-ish now.

-Acceleration is much better than previous versions & Punto feels eager to move now.

-1st & 2nd Gears are Short(as usual) for City Driving & 3rd onwards better suited for Highways.

-For the 1st time I felt the Swift-like 'Turbo-kick' in FIAT Punto Diesel & really Induced the factor on the Driver's face.

-Engine gets a bit less Refined beyond 3000Rpm but never turns Coarse.

Gruff-ness is completely missing in this Diesel engine.

-Cruising Speed in this car was around 100kmph with very light Right foot.

-Gear-Shift remains Smoother in each gear & as explained above.

As the TD car was having mere 624kms on its ODO-meter & was in Run-In-Period, So I'd expect the Performance & NVH figures to Improve further after this Run-In-period.

BLUES(Negatives):

-New TD car was Pulling to the LEFT side, while in motion & -Front Seat Recline Adjustment & Height adjustment levers are really Flimsy.

Even with Gentle Pull their Plastic bends lending a very Fragile feel(as stated above).

My Verdict: Now Even a Die-hard Swift fan/seeker can't Ignore this car.

She's really More Cozier from Inside, Swifter on Driving & Desirable to own now.

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@Dr Nishu,

You saved me the pain of going to a dealer!! Thanks smiley4.gif

Your detailed explanation has already given me an understanding of how much improved the 2012 Punto is.

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Test Driven Punto 2012 1.3 Emotion today & this car really Rocked.

Pros:
At Standstill:
With Increased Ground Clearance' date=' car feels much taller & looks good now with its Maserati-Nose standing much higher now, previously which was prone to Scrape.
-Test Drive car was mere 624kms driven.
-NVH greatly reduced at both Standstill & while moving.
-'Much criticized' Plastic panel finish around keyhole is Improved now & is like Linea T-Jet now.
-Don't FIAT have Improved it or not but Its Gearshift is much better, Smoother & Precise now. You just need to 'Direct-to-the-Gate & Gently Push' now than previous forceful Shift now.
-Interior finishing is same but Panels are better fitted now.
-New lighter Grey shade works well & really lends some Coziness to the Interiors but as I'm biased towards the Beige-Black combo of Linea & also have loved to see them in it also.
-Best Working part in Interiors was its Handbrake lever, it needed just a Gentle Pull to engage.

While On the move
-Again, Better NVH than before. A very 90 HP-ish now.
-Acceleration is much better than previous versions & Punto feels eager to move now.
-1st & 2nd Gears are Short(as usual) for City Driving & 3rd onwards better suited for Highways.
-For the 1st time I felt the Swift-like 'Turbo-kick' in FIAT Punto Diesel & really Induced the factor on the Driver's face.
-Engine gets a bit less Refined beyond 3000Rpm but never turns Coarse.
Gruff-ness is completely missing in this Diesel engine.
-Cruising Speed in this car was around 100kmph with very light Right foot.
-Gear-Shift remains Smoother in each gear & as explained above.

As the TD car was having mere 624kms on its ODO-meter & was in Run-In-Period, So I'd expect the Performance & NVH figures to Improve further after this Run-In-period.

BLUES(Negatives):
-New TD car was Pulling to the LEFT side, while in motion & -Front Seat Recline Adjustment & Height adjustment levers are really Flimsy.
Even with Gentle Pull their Plastic bends lending a very Fragile feel(as stated above).

My Verdict: Now Even a Die-hard Swift fan/seeker can't Ignore this car.
She's really More Cozier from Inside, Swifter on Driving & Desirable to own now.[/quote']

 

@Nishu: You did not comment on pricing. Do you feel that it is upward and the VFM factor is still missing from Punto?

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You did not comment on pricing. Do you feel that it is upward and the VFM factor is still missing from Punto?

Yes its up by 20-25k but still it features Best body build, Ride-Handling & feel in addition to extra dose of gadgetry like 'Blue & Me', etc.

Compared to Swift ZDi at 6.6 lacs, Punto Emotion D at 6.7 lacs is still a good VFM deal.

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Nish, very crisp TD. Wanted to know one thing, if you experienced in your drive, how has the raised suspension affected the ride quality & handling of the car(Punto)?

Also has Fiat ironed out some old associated niggles with Punto?

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Nish' date=' very crisp TD. Wanted to know one thing, if you experienced in your drive, how has the raised suspension affected the ride quality & handling of the car(Punto)?

Also has Fiat ironed out some old associated niggles with Punto?
[/quote']

Ride & Handling are as usual as Comfy & Precise as before.

Instead Raised Suspension has made the car more flickable around Corners than before & Throttle responses are better now.

Yes, Throttle responses are also improved as the Body mass is better distributed across the Axle lines now due to Increased Ride height. That's why a Swift seeker won't miss the Swift-flickability in this car from now.

Even the 'Turbo-kick' is more pronounced now.

-Overall the car feels more Cozier from inside with Lighter fabric used on Seats & Door Trims.

-Panels are better fixed now.

-Glass/Windshield Imperfections are gone now.

-Clutch Slave problem was already Rectified by FIAT in Post-March 2011 Puntos.

-Increased Ground Clearance will also make difference from now for the car, as the Chin-section of Punto, previously which was supposed to Scrape the Ramps or Speedbreakers is now pretty high, leading to better protection to Engine & beauty of the car.

-Gear-Shift is much better & very less Rubbery now and is a breeze to use than its Rivals-Rod linked type.

-Rest further Niggles can also be taken care off by FIAT's 50months Warranty Scheme.

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Nish, in that case Fiat has truly made hard efforts to improve the already good package. Another query, how's the steering response now, is it lighter or same as earlier?

Guess we are talking about the regular Punto D & not the 90bhp one. If Im not wrong, the A.C. in earlier Puntos was not perfect either, did you hear anything on that?

After reading your impressions, Im quite impressed with the car. Went to have a first hand feel Yesterday but the fellows did'nt have the car yet! This is the place where Fiat still has work to do. Dealership response, action is lethargic to say the least. Again problem at Fiat's end rather than the car!

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I guess with the Fiat-Tata seperation and improvising on their already good cars' date=' Fiat is moving in the right direction and thats really good news for Fiat lovers and car lovers.[/quote']

 

Being a FIAT fan by myself, I would say that this is too early to say for FIAT India. However, time will tell the true picture. They should bring in new cars and increase the number of offerings in Indian Market.
Sstar2012-01-19 16:43:40

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Nish' date=' in that case Fiat has truly made hard efforts to improve the already good package. Another query, how's the steering response now, is it lighter or same as earlier?

Guess we are talking about the regular Punto D & not the 90bhp one. If Im not wrong, the A.C. in earlier Puntos was not perfect either, did you hear anything on that?

[/quote']

 

First of all, Really Sorry for so delayed reply, thanks to Chillest Weather & my busy schedule.

 

Then coming to the topic;

Its steering was Light but felt not as lighter & easy like EPS-unit(maybe I got addicted to EPS unit or a Hydraulic unit takes a time to settle in, as the car was mere 628kms driven) but it was Perfect in directional positioning.

Still I'd rate & prefer EPS over Hydraulic units.

Since, you know How the weather is here, so didn't got the chance to check the AC, but I remember the Older 2011 Punto EP+ which I've driven in Summer 2011 also had a very Good AC, as compared to its rivals but If FIAT have improved it further then 'Better one is more Better'.

 

Yes, I think FIAT have tried hard on Punto to make it as desirable as its rivals, thanks to the fierce competition in its segment & really a Diesel hatchback buyer having 5-7 lacs budget range can't Ignore this & Proof of this being the Increasing number of Enquiries, Visits of Punto seekers at TF Showrooms, Increased queries on various forums & off course increasing number of New Puntos on Road.

 

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What about fuel economy of Punto D? Is it nearing to Swift/Vista/Rits?

FIAT is claiming 20.2 kmpl(ARAI tested) for Punto 76PS Diesel.

But many of Punto owners & my friends having Punto are getting 24kmpl or even 24kmpl+ in their Punto diesel very easily on Highway driving & that's too at decent driving speeds(80-90kmph).

Its not a gas guzzler like i20 CRDi

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TD'ed the new/upgraded Punto today. Some salient points:

 

- Higher GC is clearly visible.

- NVH in lower gears is high.

- We managed to scrape the underside(full-load/5passengers & deep potholes)

- Interiors are still congested(of-course Fiat did not tinker with them)

- Ride + Handling still impress.

- Steering is direct.

- My knee fouled with central console.

- Gearshift improved.

- Pick up is sluggish(1st & 2nd gears).

 

Overall its an improvement over the old for sure but the quantum is small. Wish Fiat had worked on Engine noise & gear ratios.

 

Imp. ques, would I buy? Not yet...!

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What about fuel economy of Punto D? Is it nearing to Swift/Vista/Rits?


FIAT is claiming 20.2 kmpl(ARAI tested) for Punto 76PS Diesel.
But many of Punto owners & my friends having Punto are getting 24kmpl or even 24kmpl+ in their Punto diesel very easily on Highway driving & that's too at decent driving speeds(80-90kmph).
Its not a gas guzzler like i20 CRDi

 

 

And about in city driving? What are the common niggles with punto that a potential buyers should watch out for?

I am thinking to buy it when I come back to India. So a little more curious :)

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And about in city driving? What are the common niggles with punto that a potential buyers should watch out for?

Expect 15-16kmpl+ under not Average City traffic conditions.

FIAT have tried hard to make Punto 2012 as Niggle free as a Japanese cars, like Honda, Maruti Suzuki, etc.

& This saga begin itself when the Punto was launched, but the Major problem was with its Clutch Master Slave cylinder leakage which was Rectified in March 2011 as the latter was replaced with the Metal one than previous plastic type.

Another complaint which some owners felt was the Weak AC performance in Punto petrols, this was also corrected in Aug-Sept2011 by FIAT.

After the TD of Punto 2012, this car seems to be as Reliable as Swift in terms of Initial Niggles.

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Nish, during my TD of the new Punto, I did find improvements in plastic quality, interiors feel, etc. but Engine noise, low pick-up, etc. are still very same. Interior room also remains the same. 

Think Punto will be a little less fuel efficient than the competition due to weight issues & short gearing.

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Nish' date=' during my TD of the new Punto, I did find improvements in plastic quality, interiors feel, etc. but Engine noise, low pick-up, etc. are still very same. Interior room also remains?the same.?

Think Punto will be a little less fuel efficient than the competition due to weight issues & short gearing.[/quote']

Yes theories tell some different thing but In reality its altogether a different fact.

Have anyone ever thought why Punto doesn't have a Swift like 'Turbo Surge' ??

-Is it due to its Heavy Chassis !

No, it's not.

As the turbo-spools up making the engine scorch, it does at the cost of burning the fuel. So the the difference is more due to its different ECU Mapping, which is more of a fuel-efficient type than its body weight itself.

That's why its Fuel efficiency & Drive characterstics are different than Swift DDIS & Vista Quadrajet.

Interiors quality in 2012 is still the same but the difference is overall fit-finish & panels leveling, consistency.

Dashboard & door trim plastics are better fitted now, overall lending a Cozier feel.

NVH was also the first thing which I had seen Improved on its 2012 version.dr_nishu2012-01-29 09:35:59

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Linea 2012 Test drive

Before writing this. LEt me tell you i have 2009 linea em pk.

Today morning i booked test drive at my office place. Along with sales guy, Service manager also came. As i developed good relation with him, because of my existing Linea.

First thing Sales guy pop out.

Sir GC in increased.

Car look very raised. In my old Line. my knee is at nearly 90* while keeping one leg outside on ground.

but now it was nearly straight. increased tyre size also add to looks. & as raised GC is well complemented by 16 inch tyres. Tyres look little bit outside of body work. as width is also increased.

Now about driving around. I took my home office route to actually judge the difference in feel.

While handling traffic car look a step up from most of the cars around. feels lot more confident in taking down one wheel off the tarmac. clutch is very light. i was feeling little problem in engaging 5th gear. but that may be case dependent. as it was very new car with only 45 kms on oddo.

Engine sound is very much muted inside the cabin. it feels almost as petrol engine. My office guy didn;t knew that we r driving a biesel car.

in gear accelertaion , i feel little less. but that may be again as the engine is new, can;t say much.

Dash quality is great as compared to old linea. with chrome lining.

I noticed sound system also sounded pretty better compared to my old linea. with little more punch.

While looking from front it lost its low slung look of linea. now its proper off roader sort o look. with nearly half the tyre is visible from front.

My driving on country side road, it feel lot more confident, gives feeling as i am riding over it. Old linea owners can tell how it feels nervous while taking off roads. But now its all gone. 185 mm is too much. Now i can take this for my Leh Ladhak trip. Previously i was thinking of going with Ritz.

On road price is coming more than 10L for blue along with extened warranty,

Sales guy told me wait till march i will arrange a good bargain for new as well as old car.

over all a thumps up for the car.

& yes i will replace my car with this one. As i love the driving dyanmics & they way car shuts outside world out. no car can come this close. under 10L price brand.

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Now FIAT should launch 1.6 MJD engine. along with this few extra features, as parking sensors, rear camera, better speakers. i am quite sure it will give serious competition to Rapid & Verna. As most of Lineas are self driven it is for those people whole keeps driving pleasure on top.

Add to this they resolve serrvice issue.

Fiat listen . its feed back from customer.

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