Fiat Grande Punto Active – Click above for high resolution picture gallery

Car Tested: 2009 Fiat Grande Punto 1.2L Petrol Active

Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 4,91,832/-

The Fiat Grande Punto has been a successful story from the time it has hit the market. Italian design, built to last and at the same time offering great value for money. We have already tested the top of the line 1.3 Multijet Emotion Pack (review can be read here) but cut throat competition comes from the entry level hatch segment where there are more than 15 models to choose from. Fiat has added more fire to its entry level Fiat Grande Punto by introducing the dynamic and emotion variants lately. We drive the entry level Punto 1.2 Active and find out where its stands in the crowd.

Exteriors – The Punto oodles of style and the design has been conceived by ‘the designer of the century’ and there are no two ways about that. The front is the same as the top end model except for the fog lamps and antenna which have been omitted from the base version. The rear looks stylish and the Punto completely stands out of the crowd as far as looks are concerned.

Interiors – Get inside and one is greeted by plain black interiors. Build quality is the same as that seen on the higher versions. The steering is comfortable to hold and even the base version offers multi-information display which shows trip time, distance to empty etc, which is not seen in most cars in the same segment. Only front power windows are provided. The mirror adjustments are a oddly placed on the door rather than the A pillar. Tilt adjustable steering is a thoughtful addition. Since Airbags are not provided, the space where the front passenger airbag is housed is conveniently used for additional storage. Smart.

Built Quality – Fiat is known for its built quality and we have seen that right from the time of the Palio and the Punto follows suit. The Punto is put together well, with no rattles of any sort. The only thing we didn’t like was the mirror adjustment knob, it felt quite flimsy but again you don’t really expect electrically adjusted mirrors for the price you pay. Doors shut with a reassuring thud personifying the build quality. Plastic quality is decently good and better than what we have seen on Maruti cars.

Performance – The Punto is powered by a 1.2 litre FIRE engine which belts out 68 bhp at 6000 Rpm and 96 Nm torque at 2500 Rpm. The engine is a bit sluggish at the lower end of the tachometer but the mid-range is good and the car accelerates comfortably. Gearbox is a bit notchy but one gets used to it pretty soon. The 1.2-litre engine has been designed to attract the entry level buyer and it does not do too bad on that. Mileage is important in this segment and the Punto 1.2 returned 14.5 km/l on our test (combination of city and highway driving), which is commendable considering it was pushed to the limit. One must also not forget that the Punto is the heaviest hatch in the segment and that does no favours to mileage and acceleration . Considering all that, one can certainly expect 15 + km/l from the Punto. The 1.2-litre engine is not really meant for people who red line and drive, it delivers decent power while burning minimal fuel, a perfect thing for regular city running and if you are still hungry for more the Punto 1.4 is the car for you.

Air conditioning has been boosted in the latest versions, in 38 degrees pelting heat, the car took some time to cool and once on our way the a/c didn’t trouble us at all.

Ride, Handling and Braking – Ride and handling of the Punto is the best in the segment and that is mutually agreed by everyone. The base version rides on 165/80/14 JK tyres, which are really not the best available and surprisingly the car handles very well even on these. On hard braking the tyres tend to lock up (lack of ABS) and one does feel that the tyres are a bit puny for the job but on the whole we were impressed with the braking. The Punto cruises effortlessly on the worst of bumps and potholes and responds well to the slightest of steering inputs.

Conclusion – The Fiat Grande Punto Active delivers more than what it is supposed to. Being the entry level variant in the Punto range in India, it offers stunning looks, great ride and handling and an engine which does its job well without eating out on the mileage. Good built quality along with ample space makes the Punto Active a car to consider.

Whats Kool

  • Ride quality
  • Stunning looks
  • Follow me home headlamps
  • Tilt Steering
  • Handling
  • 2 Years unlimited mileage warranty
  • Multi-information display
  • Clutch rest

Whats UnKool

  • Mirror adjuster flimsy
  • Engine lacks low end grunt

Fiat Grande Punto 1.2 Specifications –

  • Engine: 1172cc, 8V, SOHC
  • Power: 68 PS @ 6000rpm
  • Torque: 96 Nm @ 2500rpm
  • Transmission: 5-speed manual
  • Top Speed: 155 km/hr
  • Fuel Consumption: 15 + km/l (combined)
  • Fuel Type: Petrol
  • Suspension: Independent Wheels Suspension with Mcpherson Struts, Helical Springs, Double Acting Telescopic Dampers with Stabilizer bar (Front), Torsion Beam, Helical Springs and Double Acting Telescopic dampers and Stabilizer bar (Rear)
  • Tires: 165/80/14 Tubeless Radials
  • Brakes: 257 mm Ventilated Disc (Front), 203 mm Drums ( Rear)
  • Safety: Immobilizer With Rolling Code, Fire Prevention System

Fiat Grande Punto 1.2 Dimensions –

  • Overall length x width x height: 3987 mm X 1687 mm X 1495 mm
  • Wheelbase: 2510 mm
  • Front/Rear Track: 1471/1467 mm
  • Ground Clearance: 173 mm
  • Boot Volume: 260 liters, 1030 liters (with rear seats folded)
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 45 litres
  • Kerb Weight: 1140 kgs