2002 Fiat Punto ELX 1.2 petrol from Australia and New Zealand
Nice, cheap stylish fun. Puts a smile on one's dial
Nothing so far. Some warning lights which I have yet to attend to. Non starter on pick up, which I assume was due to no use for a few weeks. Jumpered and now is fine with a good run.
Well where to begin? I made an impulse buy on this car. But silly really as I usually never buy unseen. However it was very cheap and I had that itch I sometimes get with Italian machinery. The deal was done before I had time to think it through. Perhaps I'll never be a millionaire, but then perhaps I will.
So I traveled 650km to collect it and had a quick run to ascertain whether it would be a good'un or not. Turns out it was. I've never owned a petrol car which seems to be so frugal on the fuel. Admittedly I took a big chance on this as it had both the engine and gearbox lights lit, but both never gave me grief from Auckers to Wellie. Phew I said as I drew to within 100km of my destination. The trip was somewhat sublime. I've read other articles praising the stereo on this model, which I 100% agree with.
The motor/trans takes a little getting used to, but it really is the eager performer. Admittedly it's a little slow off the mark, but then at highway speeds you can also find yourself caught out as you may glance down to find you are sitting on 130kph or more, such is the subdued wind noise and general lack of drama.
That CVT set up seems to work well in this, which really is a little city car, getting round nicely, but thrash it and it says 'OK'. This is Italian motoring as it should be. Screaming to the redline - not that there appears to be one, and most important of all laughing at corners as you pensively - not a great deal of feel in the steering - but will easily surprise you with only light understeer. Not disappointing at all when you dare to glance down and view your speed. Brakes are none too shabby either, mind you - mine has new pads and discs.
These are early days and we are still getting to know each other, so it is like that 'fun' part of any relationship. Before you come to realise the shortfalls. I wouldn't say build quality is up there with ze Germans - some downright nasty plastics, but I think these things can handle a bit of a wallop. Also everything seems to work and no trim is broken or left in the glovebox. A working lighter even. Wooh!
So revvy as hell, fun to drive, good on the 'suds, stylish. Spacious too - forgot to mention. Seems not a bad gamble. So far so good.
Early days mind.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 20th September, 2015