2007 Fiat Grande Punto Sporting Multijet 1.9 130 hp from Chile


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


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.

2007 Fiat Grande Punto Dynamic 1.3 MultiJet 75 diesel from Italy


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


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)


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..