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    Thread: Why I brought Grande Punto

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      Why I brought Grande Punto

      Why I brought GP
      1)Build Quality
      2) Wanted to buy something European
      3) Wanted 5* rated crash tested chassis
      4) Wanted best engine in the class in my car
      5) Wanted Stylish looking car

      Build Quality/Interiors/Features
      While many reviewer fret about use predominantly black but three colored shades for imitators, I simply liked it for the matching it gives between seat color dash board and upholstery.
      Next thing what I was worried is was about rattles which I was used to in Maruti’s and Hyundai’s, also I haven’t felt the feel of solidity what I feel in Fiat cars in most of the cars prices sub 10lacks price tag.
      Best in the class seats, seat belts are no more cutting/bruising the neck thanks to seat best pretensioner (hight adjustable),front and back wash/wipers(bosch wipers are simply the best),Love the climate control AC,with Full auto and semi auto functions, I used to get body pain in earlier car (Wagon R) due to AC chill but now I set it to comfortable 22-23 degrees, no more body pain.
      Windscreen(front and back) demister is the one of the best features offered in GP, during the rainy day it clears the mist within few seconds.
      Music system is okay, for low bass, but if you wish to have lot of bass with high volume , you may need to change speakers, I love the Speed Volume feature, where in automatically volume is increased as the speed builds up!!.
      Blue and ME, I am still learning to use the advanced features, but it works for any phone with Bluetooth for making and receiving calls.
      One small but significant thing is whenever I used turn on the side indicators in matuti’s , it used to off with slight reverse turn of the steering wheel( I used hold it pressed during some challenging turns in city), but in GP it’s lot better, only after completion of the turn the indicator switches off,some thing about power windows , all the 4 switches are auto down and driver side is auto up too, in maruti’s only diver’s window has auto down, in Indica Vista it has none!!
      Every door has three stages of opening, so even if you have parked car in cliff/angle door will not close on it’s own but stop at one of the three pre defined positions, I have n’t seen this feature from even cars which are about double the price of GP.

      Exterior
      I don’t have to make any point here . it’s simply the best design, no outstretched wheel arches from the body ,simple body lines and one of best paint jobs is done Grande GP.
      I always see many cars whose wheel arches scraped/scratched because outside the body ex:-Switft/i20, and most of the people who have these issues are not first time car owners!!
      Few days back I saw i10 Rear ending a GP in fuel station at BTM layout in Bangalore, i10’s bumper/AC condenser and radiator were damaged but GP did not had any issue other than few scratches and misaligned bumper.

      Decision to Buy GP
      I tried Indica vista and almost zeroed up on buying it(floored by the engine and big improvement from previous generation Indica) , I went concorde Mysore rad branch, to book Aura+ , until this point I had driven GP, which had run for few hundred Kms, Obviously as some of the people made note of, I felt initial acceleration is poor in GP MJD, I had Driven Vista for over 20kms in pedal to metal style of driving in Nice Road , Bangalore,My wife insisted that I try the same with GP too, reluctant to do the same, I tried few excuses but My wife was still insisting on test drive on par with Vista.

      Finally I couldn’t negate the home ministers pressure, took the test drive of ~40 kms in GP, this was democar which had clocked 8960kms already, initial approach upto nice in busy stretch did not excite me so much although I was appreciative of solid car feeling, after paying tool fee of Rs18/- , I just drove the car has hard as possible, but to my surprise car could go past 100kms in ~15 seconds, and it reached a top speed of 165Kms with distance of 1-1.5 kms, wow! What a pleasant race car like sound, I was literally floored by the GP’s driving dynamics,Superb handling , very little or no body roll, it was change of heart and mind for me, I decided to go for GP , No matter what people write in the Team BHP/or experts at Orverdrive, as I had to believe what I experienced not what some body wrote.
      Went back to concorde after one more round of testing in Nice road just to confirm that my senses weren’t lying to me, booked the GP Emotion pack(Bussanova White).

      One thing what I noticed with GP’s gearing, if one wants accelerate GP quickly changing to 3rd gear with RPM above 1750 helps, otherwise 1st and 2nd gear is just for getting the car to move from standstill, even in a ghat section GP moves in 3rd and 4th easily( Western Ghats Karnataka), so far I haven’t felt the need to ECU remap or Tuning box( although I am keeping myself up to date with those stuff)

      NCAP 5 star rating was also instrumental , I decided to buy a car for at least 6 years so, buying strong body/chassis becomes essential, also keeping the uncivilized driving that I have to get used in bangalore.
      http://www.euroncap.com/tests/fiat_GP_2005/238.aspx,I still wonder with such a dangerous driving environment in India in general, people still prefer cars not for its safety quotient.

      None of the cars I considered and TD were close to GP other than i20, I dropped i20 because of hard shock absorber/Over pricing and previous generation engine.

      Evan today GP 1.3 MJD is top five engines in the world(it was #1 in year 2005), INTERNATIONAL ENGINE OF THE YEAR 2009

      So combination one of finest engine in its class , tough chassis, great handling, superb features, very good looks, made the tilt of favor towards GP, also this car is mature product in the Europe, this is third generation car hence the name Grade,and the maturity shows in the small but very notable differences one comes across in GP.
      I looked what I am getting from GP vs other cars in segemnt, I felt GP to be value for money.

      I Did not buy
      Suzuki Swift VDI: Wasn’t happy with instrument levels, no defogger, fragile build, look at some components sources like lousy JK tyres on 6 lacks+ car, hard to see quality parts in the car.
      Rattling is added package, arrives with in few months of purchase, I doubt the long term use of this car as drive train is always under stress due massive torque developing at 200 RPM,I read write o buy one the 2lack run Swift owner and he had issue with his gear box every 35 to 40 K kms, no alloy wheels or climate control even in top end model

      Indica VistaAura + : Good progress from Old Indica’s, but Lot complaints about shock absorbers and electrical issues plus, not so good features even on high-end Auta+(ABS+Airbags) like no alloy, very basic power windows,not good ac for people at back,(GP has vents even below the front seats), but this car has potential to to become better than swift in sales numbers,no alloy wheels or climate control even in top end model

      Ford Figo: Did not even go to test drive as the Engine of a old generation TDI type , Vista TDI is even cheaper than Figo, Also very noisy, even on high-end variant there Is no power windows for people at back.
      And only few service centers for ford in Bangalore, no alloy wheels or climate control even in top end model,cost of Ford spares was another point to look at(My friend has spoiled his GP’s camber/Caster, yet when inquired the strut to be replaced costs on Rs1800, even cheper than strut I replaced in my Wagon R Vxi (Airbag +ABS), Service person was telling me spares for Linea and GP are cheaper than Palio/Petra)

      VW Polo: Three pot motor was major reason to reject this car, also VW is not selling the same car sold in Europe here, it’s downgraded to meet Indian cost compulsions, Other than Fiat most other cars in the class are india specific models with compromise on the quality, if you read the polo drives tests most of the people say it’s boring car as far as the interiors and drive is concerned.

      Hyndai I20 Magna: just for having old generation TDI engine and ABS this car boosted price tagof 7.5 lacks(no alloy wheels or climate control in magna), upon doing test drives for 10 kms , found car having very stiff shock abosrobers and even small pebbel on the rod is felt clearly, , i could not handle small speed breakers of also above speed of 25 kms, lousy handling , just took a empty road started snake like drive for few seconds even after I held steering straight, still cars was moving between diffrent lanes for few moments, very vague handling.

      Regards
      Sat
      Bikes***
      1989 Bajaj Chetak
      1999 Suzuki Fiero
      2002 Bajaj pulsar 150
      2003 HH Karizma
      Cars***
      1998 M800(sold)
      2003 Zen LXI
      2006 M-WagonR(sold)
      2010 Grande Punto MJD E+

    2. #2

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      Die2Drive's Avatar
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      nice writeup. Did you take 1-1.5 km to reach 165!!!!
      Ford Figo TDCi, Fiat Adventure 1.6 [Sold], Ford Fusion 1.6, Fiat Uno 1.2[Sold], Maruti Zen [Sold], Premier Padmini [Sold]

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      Why I brought Grande Punto

      Thanks Gemi, I guess did not do a good job in correcting few grammatical/spelling mistakes,

      Once you enter nice road from Mysore road end, you see first over bridge, exactly around half distance from toll gate and half distance from over bridge, I was at 160 Kms, it maybe 1kms or less,I did not pay attention to distance as GP had me completely focused on the road due to speed at which I was driving.
      I took two rounds in the Nice road as I was enjoying the drive, In GP i have noticed it's good to drive even in low speeds I am usually at 4th gear at speeds of ~ 40 Kms(but when i enter highway I try to maintain the RPM above 1750 and quick shift to 3rd gear, try to go real hard at pedal in 3rd gear just to match or even better the speeds of other vehicles in highway),so i am getting a good FE, since my car has run for only 3102 kms , FE is fluctuating , hasn't settled down a particular number, but I am enjoying the less frequest visits to fuel stations than I used have with my Wagnon R.
      Just an addendum to my original post, I used 3M Engine Oil additive for my Car from the Day 2 of purchase, so this time when I took my car for top whack in Nice road , i found the engine noise was lot less than the democar.it feels lot smoother.
      Regards
      Sat
      Bikes***
      1989 Bajaj Chetak
      1999 Suzuki Fiero
      2002 Bajaj pulsar 150
      2003 HH Karizma
      Cars***
      1998 M800(sold)
      2003 Zen LXI
      2006 M-WagonR(sold)
      2010 Grande Punto MJD E+

    4. #4
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      Nice detailed write-up. Waiting for the pics.

      Consider joining the punto users group on google Punto Users Group India | Google Groups
      ~ 2009 Punto E Pk Multijet

    5. #5
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      Post Why I brought Grande Punto

      Why I brought GP
      1) Build Quality
      2) Wanted to buy something European
      3) Wanted 5* rated crash tested chassis
      4) Wanted best engine in the class in my car
      5) Wanted Stylish looking car

      Build Quality/Interiors/Features

      While many reviews fret about use of predominantly black but three colored shades for Interiors, I simply liked it for the match it gives between seat color,dash board and upholstery.
      Next thing what I was worried is was about rattles which I was used to in Maruti’s and Hyundai’s, also I haven’t felt the feel of solidity ,what I feel in Fiat cars in most of the cars price range of sub 10lacks.
      Best in the class seats, seat belts are no more cutting/bruising the neck thanks to seat best pretensioner (height adjustable).
      Front and back wash/wipers(bosch wipers are simply the best),Love the climate control AC,with Full auto and semi auto functions, I used to get body pain in earlier car (Wagon R) due to AC chill but now I set it to comfortable 22-23 degrees, no more body pain.

      Windscreen(front and back) demister is the one of the best features offered in GP, during the rainy days, it clears the mist within few seconds.

      Music system is okay, for low bass, but if you wish to have lot of bass with high volume , you may need to change speakers, I love the Speed Volume feature, where in automatically volume is increased as the speed builds up!!.

      Blue and ME, I am still learning to use the advanced features, but it works for any phone with Bluetooth for making and receiving calls.

      One small but significant thing is ,whenever I used decide to take a turn and switch on the side indicators in matuti’s , it used to go off with slight reverse turn of the steering wheel( I used hold indicator lever pressed ,during some challenging turns in city), but in GP it’s lot better, only after completion of the turn the indicator switches off,some thing about power windows , all the 4 switches are auto down and driver side is auto up too, in maruti’s only diver’s window has auto down, in Indica Vista it has none!!

      Every door has three stages of opening, so even if you have parked car in cliff/angle door will not close on it’s own but stop at one of the three pre-defined positions, I haven’t seen this feature from even cars which are about double the price of GP.

      Exterior
      I don’t have to make any point here . it’s simply the best design, no outstretched wheel arches from the body ,simple body lines and one of best paint jobs is done Grande GP.
      I always see many cars whose wheel arches scraped/scratched because arches are outside the body ex:-Switft/i20, and most of the people who have these issues are not first time car owners!!

      Few days back I saw an i10 rear ending a GP in fuel station at BTM layout in Bangalore, i10’s bumper/AC condenser and radiator were damaged but GP did not had any issue other than few scratches and misaligned bumper.

      Decision to Buy GP
      I tried Indica Vista and almost zeroed up on buying it(floored by the engine and big improvement from previous generation Indica) , I went to concorde, Mysore road branch, to book Vista Aura+.

      Until this point I had only driven GP, which had run for few hundred Kms, Obviously as some of the people made note of, I felt initial acceleration is poor in GP MJD, I had driven Vista for over 20kms in pedal to metal style of driving in Nice Road , Bangalore,My wife insisted that I try the same with GP too, reluctant to do the same, I tried few excuses but My wife was still insisting on test drive on par with Vista.

      Finally I couldn’t negate the home minister's pressure, took the test drive of ~40 kms in GP, this was democar which had clocked 8960kms already, initial approach upto Nice road in busy stretch did not excite me so much, although I was appreciative of solid car feeling, after paying toll fee of Rs18/- , I just drove the car has hard as possible, but to my surprise car could go past 100kms in ~15 seconds, and it reached a top speed of 165Kms with a distance of 1-1.5 kms, wow! What a pleasant race car like sound(I have used 3M engine oil additive which has reduced the engine sound ), I was literally floored by the GP’s driving dynamics, Superb handling , very little or no body roll, it was change of heart and mind for me, I decided to go for GP , No matter what people write/wrote in the Team BHP/or experts at Orverdrive, as I had to believe what I experienced not what some body wrote.
      Went back to concorde after one more round of testing in Nice road just to confirm that my senses weren’t lying to me, booked the GP Emotion pack(Bussanova White).

      One thing what I noticed with GP’s gearing, if one wants accelerate GP quickly changing to 3rd gear with RPM above 1750 helps, otherwise 1st and 2nd gear is just for getting the car to move from standstill, but when i enter highway I try to maintain the RPM above 1750 and quick shift to 3rd gear, try to go real hard at pedal in 3rd gear just to match or even better the speeds of other vehicles in highway ,even in a ghat section GP moves in 3rd and 4th easily( Western Ghats Karnataka), so far I haven’t felt the need to ECU remap or Tuning box( although I am keeping myself up to date with those stuff)

      NCAP 5 star rating was also instrumental , I decided to buy a car for at least 6 years so, buying strong body/chassis becomes essential, also keeping the uncivilized driving that I have to got used to in Bangalore.
      http://www.euroncap.com/tests/fiat_GP_2005/238.aspx,I still wonder with such a dangerous driving environment in India in general, people still prefer cars not for its safety quotient.

      None of the cars I considered and TD were close to GP other than i20, I dropped i20 because of hard shock absorber/Over pricing and previous generation engine.

      Evan today GP 1.3 MJD is one of the top five engines in the world(it was #1 in year 2005), INTERNATIONAL ENGINE OF THE YEAR 2009.al the other engines listed, are not available in any car sold in India?
      This link gives details about MJD engines http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JTD_engine,(TDE engine I mean is to Turbo Diesel Engine Turbodiesel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) .

      So combination one of finest engine in its class , tough chassis, great handling, superb features, very good looks, made the tilt of favor towards GP, also this car is mature product in the Europe, this is third generation car hence the name Grande and the maturity shows in the small but very notable differences one comes across in GP.
      I looked what I am getting from GP vs other cars in segment, I felt GP to be value for money.

      I did not buy
      Suzuki Swift VDI: Wasn’t happy with instrument levels, no defogger, fragile build, look at some components sources like lousy JK tyres on 6 lacks+ car, hard to see quality parts in the car.
      Rattling is added package, arrives with in few months of purchase, I doubt the long term use of this car as drive train is always under stress due massive torque developing at 2000 RPM,I read write-up by one the 2lack run Swift owner and he had issue with his gear box every 35 to 40 K kms, no alloy wheels or climate control even in top end model

      Indica Vista Aura + : Good progress from Old Indica’s, but I saw lot complaints, about the shock absorbers and electrical issues, not so good features even on high-end Auta+(ABS+Airbags) like no alloy, very basic power windows,not a good AC for people at back,(GP has vents even below the front seats), but this car has potential to become better selling car than swift, no alloy wheels or climate control even in top end model

      Ford Figo: Did not even go to test drive as the Engine of a old generation TDE type , Vista TDI is even cheaper than Figo, Also very noisy, even on high-end variant there Is no power windows for people at back.
      And only few service centers for ford in Bangalore, no alloy wheels or climate control even in top end model, cost of Ford spares was another point to look at(My friend has spoiled his GP’s camber/Caster, yet when inquired the strut to be replaced costs on Rs1800, even cheaper than strut I replaced in my Wagon R Vxi (Airbag +ABS), Service person was telling me spares for Linea and GP are cheaper than Palio/Petra)

      VW Polo: Three pot motor(TDI) was major reason to reject this car, also VW is not selling the same car sold in Europe here, it’s downgraded to meet Indian cost compulsions, Other than Fiat most other cars in the class are India specific models with compromise on the quality/safety, if you read the polo TD’s most of the people say it’s boring car as far as the interiors and drive is concerned, I also notice Over drive folks claiming Polo Diesel is not having any turbo lag, but some folks in Team BHP claim it has too much of Turbo lag!!,either one of them should be right.

      Hyundai I20 Magna: just for having old generation TDE engine and ABS this car boosted price tag of 7.5 lacks(no alloy wheels or climate control, airbags in magna), upon doing test drive for 10 kms , found car is having very stiff shock absorbers at the expense of comfort and even small pebble on the road is felt clearly, I could not handle small speed breakers above speed of 25 kms, lousy handling , just took a empty road did a snake like drive for few seconds even after I held steering straight, car was moving between different lanes for few moments, truly very vague handling.

      Regards
      Sat
      Bikes***
      1989 Bajaj Chetak
      1999 Suzuki Fiero
      2002 Bajaj pulsar 150
      2003 HH Karizma
      Cars***
      1998 M800(sold)
      2003 Zen LXI
      2006 M-WagonR(sold)
      2010 Grande Punto MJD E+

    6. #6

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      vtecb0y's Avatar
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      Now thats a very detailed review

      Enjoy your new car. Never driven one before, but it sure looks good!!
      02' Honda City VTEC
      04' Skoda Octavia vRS
      08' Honda Accord 2.4L
      08' Volkswagen Passat
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    7. #7

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      vtecb0y's Avatar
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      Why two threads on the same topic??
      02' Honda City VTEC
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      10' BMW 320d

    8. #8
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      I have requested moderators to delete the previous one under "indian Car scene" as it's not relevant post over there.
      I just posted it over there by mistake.

      Regards
      Sat
      Bikes***
      1989 Bajaj Chetak
      1999 Suzuki Fiero
      2002 Bajaj pulsar 150
      2003 HH Karizma
      Cars***
      1998 M800(sold)
      2003 Zen LXI
      2006 M-WagonR(sold)
      2010 Grande Punto MJD E+

    9. #9
      GearHead
      Forza Ferrari!!!
       
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      Very Nice and Detailed Review
      "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us."
      -Calvin

      Dai!!!

    10. #10
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      hrag's Avatar
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      nice review

      p.s. threads merged. Request was to delete, but we don't like deleting stuff
      Feb 1997 Bajaj KB125 RTZ 49K km
      Mar 2003 Tata Indica V2 LSi 130K km
      Jan 2007 Tata Safari 3.0 DiCOR EX 4x4 148K km

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