Since it was introduced in 1993, the Giorgetto Giugiaro-designed Fiat Punto has been the workhorse of the Italian manufacturer’s range. Originally conceived as a replacement for the aging Fiat Uno, the small, mini-classed car, available as a three-door or five-door, rapidly took hold in the marketplace.
The first-generation car was a simple design with a basic shape, and it was created to be an affordable family hatchback. Fast forward to the fourth generation and you have a spacious, chic car. The designers, taking their inspiration from the classic Maserati lines, have produced a nifty little machine, and though Punto might not be what everyone will automatically think of as slick, they have pulled off a magnificent job.
By 2012, the workday looks of the Punto of the nineties had given way to typical Italian splendour, though it had gone through a number of changes from its inception. The first facelift in 1999 gave the Punto a newer, rounded appearance and the title Classic. It featured a newly-designed front end, a dipping roof line, and a rethink on the interior.
In 2005 it took the name Grande Punto, with a sloping bonnet, large oval headlights, and a newly styled rear. They christened it the Punto Evo in 2009 and more design changes appeared, but the new sexy look in 2012 saw the car return to its 2005 origins and the Grande Punto name.
It is a small car, so naturally you are going to find that it fills up easily. But within the space provided it is a comfortable ride, and the boot is large enough for the average trips around town.
The latest Punto incarnation comes with two petrol engines, the 1.2L 8-valve and the 1.4L. Then Fiat produced four diesel engine sizes, the two dynamic 56kW and 67kW versions, the 1.3L 16-valve turbo diesel, and the two makes of their sporty 1.9L turbo diesel. The 1.3L diesel can provide a little road noise high speeds, but it is no more than you would normally experience in a car of this size. The larger multi-jet 1.9L has more poke, giving a stirring ride straight out of the blocks.
The transmissions available are a 4-speed automatic, the 5-speed manual gearbox, or the 6-speed manual, depending on the engine size you choose.
The Fiat Punto has been released in as wide a range of options as possible, ensuring that it is guaranteed to meet the needs of its customers. Along with its six engines, there is the three- or five-door shape, 13 different colours, and 12 interior styles, all at a competitive price.
Occupants also demand a car be well-equipped and connected these days, and Fiat has filled the Punto with all the technological gadgets modern life deems essential. All Puntos come with Hi-Fi sound systems with six speakers, traffic assist, Bluetooth, and a sunroof. It also has a trip computer that records journeys, fuel consumption, and travelling times, parking sensors, a rain sensor, and a tyre pressure sensor. Effectively, the car can discuss its problems with the driver.
The Dynamic trim adds cruise control, manual climate control, steering wheel mounted controls, and split rear seats on the five-door model. The top range Emotion comes with duel zone climate control, cruise control, lumbar adjustment, fog lights, and 15” alloys. To distinguish itself, the Sport trim has side skirts, a spoiler, 17” alloy wheels, and a prominent chrome exhaust.
The Punto is created to be a safe car for its occupants, and its seven airbags, pre-tensioned 3-point seatbelts, fire prevention system, and protectively designed shell do just that. It brims with safety sensors too, and these can anticipate the severity and type of incident to deploy safety features and airbags accordingly.
The array of safety kit also includes ABS, ESP sensors, hill start button, hydraulic brake assist, and Anti Slip Regulation (ASR). All of these are included to monitor and assist in the car’s on-road performance.
The Fiat Punto is a remarkable turnaround story. From being an unremarkable steady car, the company has turned the model around completely and given it a new lease on life. It has more space than its rivals and is attracting the moniker ‘the small Maserati’.
Stacked against the Punto in the competitive small mini sector are the Renault Clio, Honda Jazz, Nissan Micra, Citroen C2, Skoda Fabia, Vauxhall Corsa, VW Polo, Toyota Yaris, and many more. There is no end to the alternatives, but you will find that the Fiat Punto will give you a refreshing view on the Italian car manufacturer’s product and very little reason for concern.