Fiat Grande Punto Review from Italy

2007 Fiat Grande Punto Dynamic 1.3 MultiJet 75 diesel

Model year2007
Year of manufacture2007
First year of ownership2008
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission 1.3 MultiJet 75 diesel Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.6 / 10
Distance when acquired0 kilometres
Most recent distance10000 kilometres
Previous carFiat Punto

Summary:

Stylish car with a clever engine design that drives very nicely, but has an annoying BEEP

Faults:

Nothing so far.

Apart the first day I took it back to the garage after only 5 minutes to make them take away this crazy/stupid beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep seatbelt warning noise (2 minutes job). I laugh because when I came back to the FIAT showroom, the guy was already outside with his laptop computer smiling and he said 'don't worry, we will take that stupid beep away for you'.

General Comments:

We wanted to replace our old Punto; it was getting old and had 160,000kms, and my wife was complaining the steering was too heavy as it was not power assisted. Also the car was not very secure in an accident, see this it is quite scary only 65kph (40mph)

http://www.euroncap.com/tests/fiat_punto_1997/7.aspx

Although I have to say the old Punto was a very simple car, it was also very reliable and I only changed normal things like tyres/brakes/exhaust. And one time the water pump. It also was good on petrol and big inside for a small car. Although on a long trips (100km or more) it had weak seats, which made my back hurt.

So anyway I decide to buy a new car, it was to be our second car and my wife's first car. Therefore my wife and I had to decide 50:50 the attributes for this new car.

My attributes/wishes were these:

The car has to be strong, it has to be big enough for 4 persons and go fast enough on a big principle road (autostrada).

The car it needs to be comfortable and not make my back hurt, and also I like to have a reasonable boot/trunk. I also want a car that does not consume much fuel.

The car has to be able to go in the mountains and go fast when I want. The car must be easy for my wife to park easily without sometimes crashing into little things, like our old Punto.

Wife attributes/wishes were these:

The car has to look nice and have light steering.

So we have looked at 5 different models.

1) FIAT Grande Punto (Winner).

2) Opel Corsa (very close, we liked this one, but the inside was not as attractive as the FIAT, and it also did not have a CITY button, and it also did not hold the corner as well as the FIAT. It was understeering).

3) FIAT Idea (my wife said it was ugly and would not even to try it, I rather liked it, particularly in Black colour).

4) Toyota Yaris (I didn't like it, expensive, and the model we tried was too slow).

5) VW Polo (We thought it was a little boring and only 3 star EURO crashing test. But was nice to drive very stable and well made.

OK, so we purchased the 75hp MultiJet Diesel Dynamic for 13,000 Euro, including all taxes etc.

We have had this car for 8 months, we have used it much more than I first imagined already 10,000kms.

We seem to use it more than our main big car.

We think it is a fantastic car and really enjoy driving it. All 4 of us can easily fit in it, and the boot is big enough for normal use shopping/trips out etc.

It travels very well on long journeys and my back does not hurt. The steering is very light, and with the CITY button, it's incredibly light; my wife she is so happy for this aspect; me too, as she can park easily.

It has 6 airbags and a 5 star EURO, so is now to newer standards. The equipment is what you would expect. We have air conditioning and electric windows/mirrors etc

It is also very handsome/beautiful - the lines; they collect the light very well, and from every angle it's attractive. For me you can see it is Italian, because it looks fast without moving and had a nice bottom, like a woman.

We have used it going into the mountains and going to the sea. For a short car it's stable at high speed (160kmh/ 100mph) and very quiet; you can talk easily without shouting like in the old Punto, the standard auto-radio is also very good I think, but appreciate I am easily happy in this area, as I am not an expert in these things. The controls for the auto-radio are in the steering wheel, which we appreciate.

The best things:

1) Engine - this 1.3 MultiJet Turbo Diesel is very modern, actual size is tiny like a motorbike engine, and makes the car light so it doesn't understeer. It's also quite powerful, 75hp, and more importantly it has 200nm torque, it feels like a 1.6-1.8 to me. They also make 90hp variable turbo version with 6 speed. Ours is very economical 23km/litre on mixed driving, something like 53 MPG (US) and 65 MPG (UK). Although it is true in summer, when it is hot we get much better fuel consumption.

2) Drive - Sporty but not too rigid.

3) Size/space.

4) City button.

5) FIAT showroom (always helpful/friendly and have free coffee).

6) The attractiveness of the car.

7) Little things that are difficult to explain here - but it has a 'personality', we like.

The worse things:

1) Turbo wait time - it means when you put the accelerator down (particularly if the air-conditioning is on), the car almost waits for 0.5 of a second before it goes. It's dangerous as it makes you lose your judgment about when to move out into other cars. I have learned that in cases like this I keep the accelerator down slightly so she is ready at 1200-1500 RPM, then when I push, I push down smoothly and not quickly; in this way I get a good clean take off. I imagine the 90hp would be worse as its turbo has variable rotors, which also have to move in order to make up the compression, but I've never tried one.

2) The boot/trunk does not have a button. I have to open the car to open the boot or search for the keys!

3) Beep beep beep was annoying. I have covered that.

4) No alloy wheels for the price, should be included.

5) Engine is very refined, but it's almost too quiet for me. I like to hear the car.

6) Fuel consumption in winter is worse. I would suggest 10-20%, which is a lot, and I do not know why, perhaps the air-sensor??

Overall the positives are very much stronger than the negatives; the turbo wait is a problem however, but the FIAT engineer (different from a mechanic) told me out of the warranty he will change the electronic setting slightly and make this less of a problem.

In any case, I would recommend one like this. It's a real occasion.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th August, 2008

8th Aug 2008, 17:57

Good review, thank you. I'm considering a Grande Punto diesel. I believe the lack of a button for opening the hatch, which is getting more common, is a security feature (possibly indirectly imposed by insurance companies) so during traffic jams, crooks cannot just open your hatch and steal your luggage. Also happy to know you think the engine is too quiet. That's a good sign to many.

14th Aug 2008, 10:45

Great review as I'm thinking of getting one of these (the 90bhp version) and was worried about Fiat reliability. Only thing to add is a variable geometry turbo is designed to spin up at lower revs to help reduce the turbo lag you are experiencing.

6th Dec 2008, 11:00

General view is that the 90hp version is more not less lag prone than the 75..

Average review marks: 8.6 / 10, based on 1 review