2007 Fiat Grande Punto Sporting 1.9 Multijet from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Beautiful design, fun to drive, and let's hope reliable too!

Faults:

No faults so far.

General Comments:

The stiff suspension is great! The car corners flat with minimal body roll. Slightly more bumpy around town, but it's never bouncy; feels solid, much like a larger car.

Steering - Having read many bad reviews regarding the "steering feel", I really have to say I don't see what the problem is. If you're a normal person, you'll never drive the car fast enough to notice the apparent "dullness" or "lack of feel". I love to nip on in twisty country lanes. I've owned a mk1 MR2, famed for its great steering feedback, but I can hardly notice the difference. Unless you're on a track, I really don't think it's worth criticising. When I buy a car, I don't drive it on its limit, as I want the car to last, and I don't want to crash! To me the Fiat is confidence inspiring and fun at legal speeds ;)

The engine has a slight turbo lag, but personally I love the feeling of a turbo kicking in, so to me it's a positive aspect!

However when you're nipping on the 6 gears, make sure you're never far away from buckets of torque. Much less frantic than a high revving engine, and economical too.

The interior is lovely on the Sporting model; tasteful colour coding, stitching and cloth; feels more expensive than it is in reality. All in all, it feels sporty without compromising comfort.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th July, 2012

2007 Fiat Grande Punto from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Good first car

Faults:

I was driving along, and stopped at a roundabout, when the gearbox started jumping around and grinding. I pulled over immediately. The gearbox has gone and I needed to replace it, along with the clutch. The car had only done 44,000 miles, and is well looked after.

The heater failed just a few months after I purchased the car.

If you buy the gearbox from Fiat, you would pay about a grand for it. I have paid 695 to replace the gearbox and clutch, and that is because it is my friend's garage. Gutted!

General Comments:

It is a good wee run around.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 20th September, 2010

2007 Fiat Grande Punto 1.9 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Typical Italian crappy car

Faults:

I had one as a hire car from Drive Assist, as my Citroen C1 was in for repair after some muppet drove into it whilst it was parked in Tescos car park!

The Grand Punto was a pile of junk and was only a year old!

The car showed signs of wear after only a year, and switches were marked or did not work properly, and the air vent on the dashboard at the front by the windscreen has warped in the sunlight.

The first evening on the way home, it became a nightmare to get in and out of gear, and the AA were called out, who discovered that the clutch cable had jumped out of its housing due to cheap plastic fittings!

The diesel engine was superb, and the car's performance was good. This car was replaced with a 1.4 petrol version the next day, which was much slower, but had much of the same faults as the previous car!

Thank God it was only a hire car, as I would not have bought one myself...

The man who came to collect the car was dropped off in a new Fiat Panda, and I asked him if that car was better than the Grand Puntos the hire company had lent to me, and he said that they were Fiat, and they were still crap!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 22nd January, 2009

2007 Fiat Grande Punto Sporting Multijet 1.9 130 hp from Chile

Summary:

Well rounded, good looking, warm hatch at a reasonable price

Faults:

The CD player sometimes decides there is no CD in, and won't play. Only ejects after holding the button.

The 3rd fan speed is broken and doesn't blow at all.

General Comments:

The car has reasonable performance, pretty good if considered along with the running costs. 13 km/l is possible in the city and 17 km/l is possible on the highway at 120 km/h. So you'll definitely save some money. Service costs are high for a Fiat, and high compared to the Grande Punto's competition, BUT the performance of this car is much higher than the non-turbo competitors. Obviously the 207 RC will eat it alive, but it costs about 20% more and uses more fuel. So I'd have to say that as far as cost/benefit, it's a pretty good buy.

Coming from a chipped Audi A3, obviously the car is not nearly as fast, but it will take on passing and highway travel up hills with aplomb. The massive torque and sixth gear are fantastic. The cruising range on the highway is about 700 km, which translates into fewer refueling stops. The tank is only about 45 liters, which seems small, but even in the city that works out over 500 kms between refueling, which means you practically never visit the pumps.

The handling is reasonably good, but this is a heavy car and when it's pushed to the limit, this shows. Fortunately the standard 17 inch alloys (apart from looking spectacular) and standard bridgestone rubber keeps the car in line, and with standard traction and stability control you can maintain a good pace without ever really testing the limits.

The driver and passenger seats are fantastic, they provide enough support without being intrusive like some "sport" seats with massive bolsters can be. The driving position is quite good, even for me at 1.94 meters or 6 foot 4 inches tall. The rear seats are pretty good too, I can't sit behind myself, for example, but with a shorter driver there is pretty good rear room. The system that provides rear seat access is excellent, much better than the system on other 2 door hatches. The boot is pretty spacious, definitely enough to carry shopping bags or luggage for a weekend getaway.

As for looks, I'd have to give the car 10/10, between the mini-Maserati front and the 17 inch alloys, the car attracts a lot of positive attention without being ostentatious. The Grande Punto will probably go down in history as one of the most successful small car designs in history.

At first the clutch and the brakes seemed touchy, after 10000 km I'm used to it and don't notice at all. The ride is very good for a car on 17 inch alloys, and it's competitive with other cars of this size and cost. Larger C segment cars with independent suspension obviously are much, much smoother, but I can't complain.

The stereo is excellent for the cost of the car, it has plenty of power and reasonable bass. The trip computer has a lot of functionality and is very easy to use.

The HVAC system is not the greatest, I have a manually operated system (no climate control) with AC. The AC blows quite cold, but the fan has no power and makes a lot of noise while blowing very little air. Also apparently there is no pollen filter, which means that dust and junk blows through, especially on 4rth speed and gets in your eyes. The heat is fantastic and comes on right away.

As for annoying stuff, the seat belt beep and the huge turning radius really tick me off. I always wear the belt, but the beep is annoying and goes off if you go over 20 km/h for even a second. The turning radius is really inexcusable, it turns parallel parking into a major PITA. Also, I'm not totally crazy about the way the trunk/boot opens, and I think that the "fix a flat" system that they have included in lieu of a spare is totally inadequate.

Anyway, for the approximately USD 20.000 that this car costs in Chile, you could do much, much worse. Insurance is reasonable and running costs are too. FIAT service is nothing to write home about but it's at least courteous and certainly a lot more efficient than Audi. So it's a car that's very well rounded, that is to say, quite fast, quite usable, and fairly economical. And looks great.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th November, 2008

4th Nov 2008, 17:53

Great report my mate had the exact same fan and CD issue on her 2007 1.2 Active - fixed under warranty.