From £9,655
Fun and charismatic - but buyers should check out the Seat Ibiza Cupra and Skoda Fabia VRS too

Our Verdict

Decently spacious for a supermini, with a good range of engines, but the Punto's driving dynamics are less-than beguiling

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Comments
30

18 June 2010

[quote Autocar]It’s a well-priced hatch that offers a pleasing interior, an excellent combination of economy and pace and exploitable performance.[/quote]

okay, so £16,500, 160 hp, 0-62 mph in 7.9 s and 47.1 mpg is 'well-priced', but...

[quote Autocar]Compared to the Skoda and Seat, the Volkswagen [Polo GTI]demands a premium price: as I write it’s the wrong side of £18,000[/quote] - Autocar's first drive review of Polo GTI

okay, so £18k, 180 hp, 0-62 mph in 6.9 s, and 47.9 mpg is 'a premium price'.

The tarted-up Fiat has a dodgy gearbox, dodgy steering, and dodgy brakes. And it's expected to ride poorly on UK roads. Oh, and it's underdamped in its normal set-up. All that nothwithstanding, Autocar concludes:

[quote Autocar]the Abarth Punto is fun and charismatic. That’s more than enough reason to buy one.[/quote]

righty ho! So in essence it's objectively mediocre-to-crap and overpriced compared to competition, on power, dynamics and raw performance, but it's got charisma. Mugs, start forming a queue here. Autocar's reviews plumb new lows.

18 June 2010

A good looking car made better by probably one of the best small 4 cylinder engines currently available now. Being Fiat they will never get it perfectly right but this is an option once the wifes 500 goes back.

18 June 2010

It was the best looking hot hatch, but never the best driving. They may have improved how it drives but its lost its looks. Cant see why anyone would buy one now (But at least its not an Auto Nicksheele)

18 June 2010

I don't think that the Punto Evo front bumper has done the Abarth version a whole lot of favours from an aestheic point of view. Still, very glad it exists and wish there were more of them on the road.

18 June 2010

[quote Autocar]

If you want the best handling performance hatch available for under £17k, no. Renaultsport will sell you that. But in practice the Punto is a very different prospect to the more focused Clio 200.

[/quote]

Yes but would I buy either? Absolutely not where I live. We had a Clio Sport 182 and it was a fabulous car spoiled by appalling couldn't-care-less dealer service and return trip after return trip to the service department to put right minor niggles that should have been put right first time. The Fiat and Seat dealers are owned by the same group and it's the same for all three marques in nearby towns. This has to be factored into the purchasing decision. So if I was in the market for this type of car again, it would be the Skoda more than likely where I live where the dealer has an amazing reputation locally for service. There's no point in having a fun car which is no fun to own.

Audi A3 2.0TDi S-Line / Subaru Legacy Tourer

18 June 2010

I did try one a previous version Punto SS and it was a riot. Built quality superb, very classy and cosy inside (all black incl. full leather) and mental performance for the road. What really impressed was the sharpness of the thing. If I was shopping for such a car I would seriously consider it although after testing a Clio with cup susp. I would probably buy the latter. I am very grateful this car exists though!

18 June 2010

[quote Autocar]It’s a well-priced hatch[/quote]

If £16,500 for this car is so well-priced how come the same car is only €19,500(incl. 19% VAT) on the Continent?

given that £1=€1.20 currently one would expect it to be priced at £16k or less. Either the Continental price is very good value or the UK price is over-priced. Fiat UK are milking this car's price.

18 June 2010

[quote nicksheele]Either the Continental price is very good value or the UK price is over-priced. Fiat UK are milking this car's price.[/quote]

Doubt that Fiat UK are 'milking' the car's price. They are not selling enough cars to be able to relax even slightly on pricing. I would suggest there are other reasons - maybe spec differences, the cost amortisation of RHD production over a relatively small number or cars, etc.

18 June 2010

[quote nicksheele]

righty ho! So in essence it's an Eye-tie car, objectively mediocre-to-crap and overpriced compared to competition, on power, dynamics and raw performance, but it's got charisma. Mugs, start forming a queue here. Autocar's reviews plumb new lows.

[/quote]

My God - nicksheele whats caused all these anti Italian feelings you have with their cars ? I take it you have tried this new Punto Abarth and the 500C Abarth, and various Alfa,s you like to criticise so eloquently. I havn't so can,t comment, so I take your word.

18 June 2010

[quote nicksheele]

[quote Autocar]It’s a well-priced hatch that offers a pleasing interior, an excellent combination of economy and pace and exploitable performance.[/quote]

okay, so £16,500, 160 hp, 0-62 mph in 7.9 s and 47.1 mpg is 'well-priced', but...

[quote Autocar]Compared to the Skoda and Seat, the Volkswagen [Polo GTI]demands a premium price: as I write it’s the wrong side of £18,000[/quote] - Autocar's first drive review of Polo GTI

okay, so £18k, 180 hp, 0-62 mph in 6.9 s, and 47.9 mpg is 'a premium price'.

The tarted-up Fiat has a dodgy gearbox, dodgy steering, and dodgy brakes. And it's expected to ride poorly on UK roads. Oh, and it's underdamped in its normal set-up. All that nothwithstanding, Autocar concludes:

[quote Autocar]the Abarth Punto is fun and charismatic. That’s more than enough reason to buy one.[/quote]

righty ho! So in essence it's objectively mediocre-to-crap and overpriced compared to competition, on power, dynamics and raw performance, but it's got charisma. Mugs, start forming a queue here. Autocar's reviews plumb new lows.

[/quote]

I have to agree, the Punto does sound rather half-arsed compared to VWG's efforts. Mind you, I don't want a DSG gearbox, I really don't want a DSG gearbox, I really really don't want a DSG gearbox... so that leaves me with one option for a hot supermini. Bloody Renault.

Or I could have a Fiat 500 Abarth. Or a Mini Cooper S or even a John Cooper Works Edition. Hmm. If only I could have a Mini JCW stripped of all the stupid retro-fripperies...

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