2006 Fiat Grande Punto Dynamic from Turkey - Comments

27th Apr 2006, 13:16

I have a Punto Grande Active Sport and I think that Fiat have missed the mark. I feel sick every time I drive it, and the suspension rattles and rumbles like a drum - drive over a painted road marking and boom, rattle and vibrate.

On a long journey I had to stop and throw up - once on the way there and again on the way back. Thinking it was something I ate - my wife drove it 2 days later and guess what! She will not drive it again. Did another 150 mile one way trip and stop, throw up, wait 30 minutes and start driving again.

We have also a Multipla - the best MPV ever, but I'm not sure I will buy the next one.

Yes, it has been back to the dealer - answer with in spec - there has got to be something wrong with this car!

I have only owned Fiats, Alfas and Lancias and I am a 'spirted' driver being an ex rally co driver/navigator (you cannot be prone to car sickness doing this!) - this is the greatest disappointment I have ever had to pay for - never again.

I want my Stilo back - or rather my old Mirafiori 131 rallye.

6th Jun 2006, 16:38

I have never owned a Fiat before I am not sure that I will ever own one again. Since picking up our shiny new Punto Grande just over 1 month ago it has spent more time back at the garage then in my possession. The main problem is a front suspension / steering knock - bad enough to worry that something was loose.

It seems after 3 or 4 visits to the dealership that it is a faulty steering rack. Rack to be delivered from Italy with no time scale just as soon as possible. Apparently the rack is safe just worryingly noisy.

It has had one panel resprayed. Replacement parts too numerous to mention... The only good thing about the car has been the Fiat dealership who have been much better than I expected.

I am trying to keep positive because the car is a refined drive - at least the courtesy car provided by the dealer

7th Jun 2006, 00:20

I picked up my new Grande Punto about a month ago, and so far have driven about 2000 kms in it, and couldn't be happier.

Initially I was a little concerned, Fiat hasn't exactly got the best reputation. But the car is proving much, much better than the terrible Renault Clio it is replacing, which spent half its short life in the shop. Good work Fiat.

21st Jun 2006, 09:47

I think Fiat still suffer from inconsistent built quality; unlucky if your car was one built on a Monday morning, or Friday afternoon!! My current Punto Sporting had many small problems as well as a rather major one. I would still buy a Fiat because I prefer the style of the sporty models over say VW. I hope they sort out these problems though, as I would like a new Punto Grande Sporting.

4th Jul 2006, 03:15

People, you scare me! I've just ordered one, hoping it'll be cool ride. It's okay if problems are small and do not endanger me and other passengers. It's a new model so it's not strange for it to have some problems. But front suspension problems? That means problems with steering AND drive! I like to push it a bit harder, so now I'm not sure if I'll be safe in it... Will I? :) (Most probably I will, but disheartening things I read here...)

Greets!

Igor.

5th Jul 2006, 13:05

Re My entry of 27th April about the Grande Punto - Fiat are the best company to deal with in the world. To settle the finance was £8300.00 and if I could find another £5K I could have a Stilo Schumacher with 19 miles on the clock! So in parting with my hard earned folded I have never been so happy as when I owned a 131 Rallye. Also as I have had 6 months missing from the warranty, as it was registered in Jan 2006, Fiat UK are going to service it free in Jan 2007 and gave me £300.00 of Fiat vouchers - THAT'S WHAT I CALL CUSTOMER SERVICE.

The judgement from Fiat was - well, just one of those cars that get through, but not many do - so for the rest of you who are buying one - don't worry I think I had the crap one.

Funny thing to think about - every time I have bought a car I give it a name, but not the Grande Punto - never had a problem with the others - ever!

20th Jul 2006, 07:12

It is pleasing to hear so many people are happy with their Grande Punto's. It is a stunning looking car.

Sadly our experience with the Grande Punto has been awful. Vehicle build quality and reliability has been extremely poor. The recognised problem with the front suspension / steering rack has gone from bad to worse. It has developed into a truly appalling knocking - confirmed by the dealership. Sadly the dealership still have the car over 4 weeks later.

It is such a shame because my wife and I really liked the car, but now we are just bitterly disappointed. The one time we have been able to afford a new car and Fiat blew it.

27th Jul 2006, 03:54

I finally got mine and it's good! No knocking, no nothing wrong (yet). When I went to pick up my car, I've been told (without even asking) that they're aware of the suspension knocking problem and they've figured it out so if that happens it's going to be fixed within a day. Hopefully that won't be necessary. So far so good. I'm very happy with my new toy.

Greets!

Igor, Belgrade.

8th Aug 2006, 08:28

Looks fab and is a very refined drive. Sadly quality and reliability is unacceptable, and the dealers remain poor.

Apart from many niggling quality issues, the front suspension / steering rack has been a constant problem from the day the car was delivered in May. After many visits, eventually a new rack was found to be necessary, but no delivery date could be provided. The car was returned to dealer in early June because it was awful to drive, and to encourage Fiat to send the replacement rack as soon as possible.

By the end of June there was no news and no car. It became necessary to formally reject the vehicle under Sale of Goods legislation. Despite dealer assurances that my complaint would be looked into, by the end of July I had still not received a formal response.

Before I purchased the vehicle, I was warned not to touch Fiat with a barge pole. I really wish I had listened.

They really do not deserve any customers if they treat them the way they have treated me.

10th Aug 2006, 15:16

60+mpg from the 1.3 90bhp? That is excellent! My 1.9 130bhp Sporting gives about 45-50 mpg, but then again I tend to go really fast, especially while accelerating... Is the 90bhp engine good on drivability? I've read that there is too much turbo lag. Is that true?

14th Aug 2006, 06:02

I have worked around the knocking noise issue and found that the problem is NOT the steering rack, but a small hard white plastic part resides between the steering rack and the front axes. This part is initially designed with a higher tolerance value that causes the steering parts make noise on bad roads. Since our roads are really bad, it is first discovered in Turkey and Fiat Turkey has redesigned this part with lowered tolerance values. You can't imagine how simple and small part it is. Its diameter is around +-4cm. I had mine replaced and the noise disappeared which showed up on the mountain roads. It took around 2 hours to replace this part. Unfortunately I can't give you a part number because this part is currently produced in Turkey and won't match in another country.

I met with people who has replaced their steering rack and couldn't get rid of the noise, because the steering rack simply wasn't the cause of the problem. I gave it a hard test drive on the worst roads and it's perfectly running after this replacement. So whatever you do DON'T have your steering rack replaced, otherwise you can find yourself waiting for 5 weeks for a new steering rack which is not going to be a solution. You just need this revised small hard plastic part to be replaced and know that it's available in Turkey.

Since all FIAT dealers worldwide are aware of the issue, this fix should be done within the same day. There is no security risk related with this issue however the noise is annoying and shows up in bad road conditions. I assume the revised part is included in newly produced 2007 Grande Puntos.

End of the steering rack MYTH! Hope this helps.

About the turbo lag; As far as I experienced turbo is not designed to work below 2000 rpm. That means you should engage the right gear not to fall below 2000 rpm when you need power. If you try to speed up below this value, say 1500 rpm, you will need to wait until 2000 rpm for turbo to start. That would be a crucial mistake when passing a long truck. This is not actually a lag, because it's designed to work this way. You just need to know your car more and when you do know, it's more fun :)

About mileage; mine is 1.3 Dynamic 75bhp. On a 650km trip I managed to keep an average consumption of 76.4mpg (3.8 l/100km) with air conditioning on and the trip took 8 hours. My speed was between 70-120 km/h depending on the road conditions. If you want high mileage the ideal speed is between 80 and 90km/h. It’s kind of slow, can be boring too, but 8 hours for 650km is not that bad. Go slower up hills, faster down hills. I wonder how the 90hp / 6 Forward geared version is doing, because on 5th gear at 2000 rpm your speed equals 85 km/h (52,82 mph) quite slow and it’s the optimum I found with this car. Since 1.3 is a small diesel, higher speed means more consumption. That’s why I wonder how fast the 6 geared versions go at 2000 rpm (where turbo is ready and max torque is achieved)

Feel free to mail me about Grande Punto: g. besen at superonline dot com.

Happy rides :)