Fiat Grande Punto Review
As well as good food, wine, fashion, and red supercars, the Italians have always been famous for making innovative small cars.
Thorough the years these cars may not have been the greatest in their class, but they always had something special about them, a little bit of flair and a certain cachet missing from the many other, soulless competitors.
And so on to 2007, and we have the third iteration in the Punto range, now called Grande Punto. In line with all other manufacturers ‘superminis’ which are ever increasing size, the Punto has grown a bit as well (hence the Grande name).
The boot and interior have all the space we have come to expect from today’s ‘small’ cars, and it’s nice that you don’t have to be a contortionist to climb into the rear of the 3-door car.
After just ½ mile at the wheel of the Grande Punto, you realise that it really does have a ‘big car’ feel to it. The Grande Punto has a spacious cabin and very good ride quality, particularly considering our car’s glitzy 17” alloys and low profile tyres.
Our test car was the top spec Sporting, fitted with the 1.9 Multijet diesel power plant. In the Grande Punto, it definitely feels like all of the cars 130 horses are true Italian stallions, producing enough torque to pull Piza’s leaning tower back in line, but at the same time, being quieter than an audience with the pope.
However, despite all this power, we think maybe this isn’t the most obvious engine choice. You would expect this car to feel light and delicate, like a good Italian footballer, but with all its punch it’s more like Vinnie Jones. If we were buying the car, we would prefer one of the smaller, sweeter petrol engines, or as diesel fans, the 1.3 multijet.
Visibility isn’t the Grande Punto’s strong point, as the car has thick pillars front and rear. The interior is functional and has a solid, slightly Germanic feel about it but unlike some small cars, spending a few hours behind the wheel really isn’t a chore. We thought the interior lacked a bit of sparkle like spaghetti bolognaise without a sprinkling of parmesan and was a slight disappointment compared to the cars curvaceous exterior…
And what an exterior! Let’s face it, people will want this car on looks alone. The Italians have always known a thing or two about making a beautiful car, and it would seem they have used all their knowledge to great effect in this car… Penned by Giugiaro, famous for many a supercar, the Grande Punto is undeniably one of the prettiest small cars around. It’s an elegant piece of art, with smooth, simple lines and lovely detailing, particularly the ornate chrome front grille, which harks back to the olden days of Italian design. People are going to look at you in this car.
The Grande Punto is a proper Italian small car, a little flawed maybe, but that is all forgiven when you stand back and look at it. It’s practical, good fun to drive, and at the height of automotive fashion.
In fact, the Punto range is also one of the cheapest cars to lease, so what more reason could you want to start heads turning?!
For a quotation on any model in the Fiat range, please contact us.