Fiat Punto in Australia

So Fiat is back in Australia and the car that brings them back is the Fiat Punto. Not the best start you could hope for, but given the petrol prices and the current boom in the small car sector, you can almost call Fiat smart to restart their Australian history with the Punto. So what does it look like :
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Not bad! However the car isn't as cheap as you might think, if I compare it to the Holden Barina, it wouldn't be a fair comparison, so I am going to compare it to the VolksWagen Polo. Given that the engine capacity for both cars is 1.4L (for the base model) the Polo starts at $16,990 while the Fiat Punto starts at $19,990! Huh? Whats going on here, we are comparing a German car (made in South Africa) to an Italian car (actually made in Italy) and there is a $3,000 price difference? Surely you get something out of the extra $3,000 that you spend on the Italian.

Standard features for the 1.4L Petrol Punto :

  • 77Kw of Power 115Nm of Torque
  • Fuel Consumption - 7.7 for City
  • Fuel Consumption - 5.5 for Highway
  • ABS (Antilock Brakes)
  • Adjustable Steering Col. - Tilt & Reach,
  • Air Conditioning,- Pollen Filter, Airbags
  • Driver & Passenger (Dual), Airbags - Head for 1st Row Seats (Front), Airbags - Head for 2nd Row Seats, Airbags - Side for 1st Row Occupants (Front),
  • Body Colour - Bumpers, Body Colour - Door Handles, Body Colour - Exterior Mirrors Partial,
  • Brake Assist,
  • CD Player,
  • Central Locking - Remote/Keyless,
  • Clear Indicator Lenses,
  • Clock - Digital,
  • Cruise Control,
  • Cup Holders - 1st Row,
  • Disc Brakes Front Ventilated,
  • EBD (Electronic Brake force Distribution),
  • Engine Immobiliser,
  • Headlamps - See me home,
  • Headrests - Adjustable 1st Row (Front), Headrests - Adjustable 2nd Row x3,
  • Multi-function Steering Wheel,
  • Power Door Mirrors - Heated,
  • Power Steering - Electric Assist, Power Steering - Speed Sensitive,
  • Power Windows - Front only,
  • Remote Boot/Hatch Release,
  • Seat - Height Adjustable Driver, Seatback Pocket - Front Passenger Seat,
  • Seatbelt - Adjustable Height 1st Row, Seatbelt - Load Limiters 1st Row (Front), Seatbelt - Pretensioners 1st Row (Front), Seatbelts - Lap/Sash for 5 seats, Seats - 2nd Row Split Fold, Seats - Anti-submarining 1st Row (Front), Seats - Anti-submarining 2nd Row (Rear),
  • Trip Computer

So what do you get for your extra $3,000? Well, Cruise control for a start, Electronic Brake Distribution, not to mention that 1.4L Italian engine puts out 77kw of power compared to the German's 55kw. Interestingly though, the Punto is still slower to 100km/hour at 13.2 seconds compared to the Polo, which actually weighs more and gets there in 12.9 seconds. But that has something todo with the Punto's Torque coming in short at 115Nm compared to the Polo's 125Nm. Nevertheless, the extra features do make up for that extra $3,000.

The car comes in a variety of models :

Dynamic Hatchback 5dr Man 5sp 1.4i - $19,990Dynamic Hatchback 5dr Man 6sp 1.3DT - $22,990Emotion Hatchback 5dr Man 6sp 1.9DT - $27,990Sport Hatchback 2dr Man 6sp 1.9DT - $27,990

So what about safety? Fiat claims:

Rigorous safety testing on the Punto has resulted in development of some of the most advanced safety devices, and has seen Punto duly rewarded with the most prestigious safety recognitions – EURO NCAP 5-star certification for passenger protection, 3-star certification for pedestrian protection, and 3-star certification for child protection. Benchmark safety standard in a small stylish car.

If you are looking at buying a Punto, I would strongly recommend the Diesel version of the car, if power isn't what you are after than the 1.3DT (Turbocharged Diesel) Punto would do just fine, otherwise the Emotion or Sport Hatchback should make your consideration list. However, at nearly $28,000, the Punto is an expensive little car to buy.

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