Fiat Punto Euro NCAP tests have resulted in a lowest-ever rating of 0 stars.
The Fiat Punto, originally launched in 1993, went through the Euro NCAP tests recently. As the name suggests, the Euro NCAP is Europe’s version of the NCAP which is an assessment programme to rate the crash-worthiness of new cars introduced in the market. Shockingly, the Punto fared pretty bad in the tests scoring a zero rating on a scale of 5. Moreover, the Punto becomes the first-ever car to get a zero star rating in the crash tests. Some cars tested in the same batch, including Dacia Duster and Toyota Aygo, received a 3-star rating while some models, including the Jaguar F-Pace and Toyota Yaris, scored 5-stars.
Testing authorities have used the third-generation of the Euro-spec Fiat Punto which was launched in 2005. On duty since the last 12 years, the platform has surely started to show its age. The Italian 5-door hatchback has scored 51%, 43% and 52% on the grounds of adult occupant, child occupant and pedestrian safety respectively. Powered by a 1.2-litre engine, the 1030 kg test car was equipped with driver and passenger airbags, seat belt pretensioner and ISOFIX mounts. Missing from the test car were the side airbags which are available as part of an optional safety pack on the Punto.
In the front-offset test, the passenger compartment remained stable but the front passenger’s chest protection was termed as marginal. Also, child protection was rated as marginal for the neck and chest area. The side-barrier test revealed poor whiplash protection for the front seat occupants along with marginal chest protection. Protection for the driver was termed as adequate as there were no signs of damage to critical body parts. Dummies seated on the rear seat posed a high risk of whiplash injuries while the child occupants received poor chest protection and weak head protection. In the full-width rigid barrier test, the Punto offered weak chest protection and marginal neck protection for rear seat occupants.
The test car was devoid of any pedestrian protection equipment as such but the front bumper offered good protection to the pelvis and legs of the pedestrian. However, the bonnet posed risks of head injury to the pedestrian. The fact that the same model tested in 2005 received a 5-star rating goes to show the evolving crash test norms of Europe. For the authorities as well as the customers, the Punto’s performance in the test was an eye-opener amidst other modern cars. This year, 72% of cars tested by Euro NCAP have received a 5-star safety rating.
In India, the Fiat Punto was introduced in 2009 and received a facelift in 2014. It is available in a choice petrol or diesel engine option with prices starting from Rs. 4.73 lakhs (ex-showroom, Mumbai). While majority of shoppers opt for the Maruti Swift or Hyundai Grand i10, the Fiat Punto continues to have a strong fan following for its sorted dynamics and solid build quality as compared to the competition. With the implementation of India’s safety norms just around the corner, it remains to be seen how the India-spec Punto fares in the crash tests.
Fiat Punto Euro NCAP
– Fiat Punto becomes the first car to score a zero in Euro NCAP
– Scored 51% and 43% in adult and child occupant protection respectively
– Test car was equipped with two airbags, seat belt pretensioners and ISOFIX mounts
– The third-gen Punto tested by authorities sits on a 12-year old platform