2006 Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 16V from Germany
A pretty, pretty car
- Grounding cable from battery to chassis was corroded, leading to initially sporadic, then permanent failure to start. Original quite pricey, bought a generic crimped cable for 15 EUR - job done.
- Grounding pins of the rear light clusters were burned, leading to the general warning light going on and off as it pleased. New grounding wires fixed this (mostly).
- Clutch pedal issued a "crack" one day and sunk about 4 cm lower than usual. It is a plastic part built from several components, so I assume something failed or got worn. The clutch is still operational and much more comfortable to use now, as the pedal was ridiculously high before.
- Driver's mirror broken at the pivot point. Used duct tape to fix it in place, has held for two years, until somebody ripped it off. Taped it on again.
- A/C compressor leaking coolant gas. Never bothered fixing it, as Germany is not the hottest place on earth.
Being the 5-door variant, it is pretty practical - the children can climb alone in the back and the front seats stay where you want them. The front airbag can be switched off, so your offspring can also ride shotgun, if needed.
The boot is a pretty good size, as well, fitting a small stroller and two bags without issue.
It is pretty comfortable, although a bit bouncy at times. The headrests are bulging at the middle, making it impossible to rest your head on them. Other than that a stylish, mostly thoughtfully laid out dashboard.
The engine is alright. Not a rocket, but sounds throaty when pushed and moves the car along without complaint. The 6-speed gearbox is a bit stiff to operate, but otherwise precise and helps the engine stay busy, as it should. At about 6 l/100 km mixed driving, it is pretty economical, too.
The steering is well weighted and responsive. The car tends to roll when pushed, though, and is more than happy to understeer. Pretty safe, if not too exciting. Sustained highway driving at 140-150 km/h is not an issue.
And, yes, I find it a very pretty car. 16 years later, Fiat still produce essentially the same design and it still sells. It is stylish, cute, sporty and unintimidating all at the same time. I can relaxedly take the children to kindergarten and drive like a loon on the way back, at no point looking out of place or breaking the speed limit. And my wife likes it, as well!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 7th October, 2020