First of all I have to admit that FIAT was not on my shopping list. I was considering a Peugeot 207 or a Ford Fiesta diesel.
But one day, only one week after new Punto has arrived, I saw it in the showroom late at night, and stopped by to see it closer. The security guy welcomed me inside, and I had the chance to see it closer although the cars were locked.
I searched for it all over the Internet to see more pics of the inside, and it didn't seem very attractive to me. So the first thing I did next day was to go there again, and see what's inside. I have to tell you, the moment I stepped in and closed the door, I knew I would buy it. Fantastic (standard) music system, trip compter, electro hydraulic steering with city option (standard), mp3 player (on the Dynamic version), fog lights (Dynamic), 5 stars from EuroNCAP, superb award winning 1,3 multijet common rail turbo diesel engine power train with 90HP option (1.3 diesel variable turbo), and best of all, the state of the art italian design. All comes with a true Italian sports car feeling and an incredibly low price!
So that day I bought it. Never gave a second thought for new Clio, 207 (no diesel in the short run) or Fiesta. I was so sure, because we already have a tiptronic 1.4 petrol Fiesta 2003, which is one of the best cars in this segment, and I had the chance to compare these two cars.
The most obvious and important factor is the difference in character of these cars. The Fiesta is a boring car, it doesn't give you any feeling of joy while driving. But Grande Punto is very different. You get Italian sports car feeling the moment you step in. I bought it even without a test drive, and the first Grande I drove was my own. I cannot express how beautiful the feeling was to drive it.
Now we're still keeping the Fiesta for a couple of months more, until the automatic option becomes available here, and then we will have two Grande Puntos. Hopefully the next one will have 90 HP (1.3 diesel) and a skydome.
The Grande Punto's interior is dark, so I recommend buying a light exterior color. Mine is white and I think it looks gorgeous. BTW, there is no extra charge for metallic paint.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 22nd March, 2006