Fiat India has launched the much awaited Fiat Punto Evo in India. Essentially a facelift, the new Punto Evo is Fiat’s hope at getting back into the race for a bigger share of the Indian automotive market. The push for this started when Fiat launched the new Linea earlier this year, and will continue with more launches later this year and beyond.
The Punto Evo is a considerable refresh, with clear styling changes all around and inside too. The basic silhouette of the car has not changed though, but customers will appreciate the work that the company has put into refreshing what basically was an almost 9 year old design. Fiat has tried to woo customers by offering more features for the money and take on segment leaders like the Maruti Suzuki Swift. Some people may be disappointed that Fiat has not upgraded the engines on offer or fixed the rubbery gearshift. Some prospective customers may also find that though the interiors have been re-designed, the quality of many components remain poor.
Let’s have a comprehensive look at the new Punto Evo.
- Punto Evo Active 1.3L : Rs. 5.27 Lakh (Rs. 34,000 less than before)
- Punto Evo Dynamic 1.3L: Rs. 6.22 Lakh (Rs. 4,000 less)
- Punto Evo Emotion 1.3L: Rs. 6.84 Lakh (Rs. 3,000 less)
- Punto Evo Sports 1.3L 90 HP: Rs. 7.20 Lakh (Rs. 4,000 less)
- Punto Evo Active 1.2L : Rs. 4.56 Lakh (Rs. 37,000 less than before)
- Punto Evo Dynamic 1.2L : Rs. 5.12 Lakh (Rs. 4,000 less)
- Punto Evo Emotion 1.4L : Rs. 6.66 Lakh (Rs. 4,000 less)
All prices are ex-showroom Delhi.
The Fiat Punto Evo has been given a comprehensive facelift inside out as compared to the older model. Starting at the front, the Evo gets sharper headlamps which replace the ‘teardrop’ shaped units on the older car. The two-part grille is now more prominent than before, the chrome horizontal slats and surrounds giving them more character. The redeigned front bumper also features more prominent fog-lamp housings which stand out thanks to the chunky chrome surrounds. The Fiat badge at the front has moved up from the grille to straddle the space between the upper grille and the hood. The hood gets a ‘power bulge’ which was not present on the earlier model. The windshield wiper fluid nozzles are prominently seen on the hood now than being hidden just below the wipers on the previous car.
Move to the side and you notice that not much has changed. Look closer and you notice the new alloy wheels, the 15-inch ‘dimond-cut’alloys look smart while the 16-inch alloys( which are a segment first) on the Sport variant look very…. ‘sporty’ especially because of the smoked black colour. The ORVM covers get integrated indicators, which is an almost necessary equipment in the segment. The old-school pull-up type door handles gell with the design though they do not feel very premium.
Move to the rear and you will notice that Fiat has made significant changes, but the overall design has not been fiddled with. The basic shape of the tail-lamp units remain the same but the segment-first LED treatment give them a premium look. They look brilliant at night, the outer LED strips act as position lamps whereas two separate elements function as the brake lamp and indicators. The rear bumper gets a bit of flair thanks to the surrounds around the reflectors with integrated reverse lamp on one side and fog lamp on the other) and the chrome strip that runs in-between them. The added spoiler on the Sport variant also adds to the style quotient.
Overall the design will make most people happy, it has been a refreshing change from the almost decade old design. There will certainly some, including yours truly, who will miss the clean design of the older car. There is no denying that the LED tail-lamps add to the cool factor of the Punto though. Fiat could have changed the pull-up type door handles, they look too out-dated. The time-less nature of the overall design of the car has certainly helped as Fiat has not had to make drastic changes to keep it fresh. It still looks one of the best hatchbacks in the segment.
Move inside and you immediately feel the difference. The Punto Evo gets the same interiors as the new Linea which is a great update from the interiors of the previous model. The dual-tone beige-black interiors on the regular models (the Sport gets all-black interiors) with soft-touch dashboard, redesigned centre console and instrument cluster is refreshing. The dual-tone interiors help make the cabin feel more spacious, but there are some elements which could have been executed better. The steering wheel has been carried over as such from the previous model, and stands out from the other wise new interior design. The design of the inside door handles looks flimsy, and is actually flimsy. The seat-height adjust lever looks fragile and is fragile too, this is an issue that has been persistent since the very first models of the Punto and it is shocking to see that the company has not done anything to address this. There is also the concern that the dual-tone seats could get dirty very easily.
Changes made to the interior include the new dashboard design, which includes circular side vents and new central vents; all of the vents get individual air-flow controls. The centre console is all new, and gets divided into three sections; the top part consists of the A/C vents and a small storage compartment, the middle section consists of a 1-DIN multimedia system and the lower section consists of A/C controls. The floor centre console unit consists of a small cup holder and USB and AUX ports before the gearshift lever and a small storage space along with a 12V charger port under the handbrake lever. The dashboard also features ambient lighting which raises the feel good factor inside the car. The new instrument cluster design is also very catchy, the MID now offers the option of disabling the front passenger airbag.
The new features on the Fiat Punto Evo include:
- New 15-inch alloy wheels on the top end ‘Emotion’ variants
- New 16-inch sporty alloy wheels on the ‘Sport’ variant
- ORVM cover integrated indicator
- New headlamp
- New grille
- New fog lamp housing
- LED tail-lamps
- New badges
- Two tone interior
- Ambient lighting on the top end Emotion and Sport variants
- Soft touch material on the dashboard
- New instrument cluster
- New 1-DIN multimedia player with Blue & Me Sync
- A/C vent design
- Rear A/C vent with bottle holder
- All window auto down feature
- Adjustable headrests for all four seats
- 60:40 split rear seat which can tumble forward
- Boot lamp
Engine and Transmission
The engine options on the new Punto Evo have not been changed from the previous model. The 1.2-litre petrol, 1.4-litre petrol and 1.3-litre diesel engine still do duty under the bonnet. Performance figures remain the same: The 1.2-litre F.I.R.E unit produces 67 BHP @6000 RPM and 96 Nm @ 2600 RPM and has a fuel-efficiency of 15.8 KMPL. The 1.4-litre F.I.R.E unit produces 88 BHP @ 6000 RPM and 115 Nm @ 4500 RPM while delivering 14.4 KMPL. The 1.4-litre diesel is continued to be offered in two levels of tuning. The one powering the standard variants of the Punto produces 75 BHP @4000 RPM and 197 Nm @1750 RPM while delivering 21.2 KMPL. The other unit that powers the ‘Sport ‘ variant produces 90 BHP @ 4000 RPM and 209 Nm @ 2000 RPM and delivers 20.5 KMPL. The final drive ratio of the gearboxes mated to the diesel engines have been changed to improve highway efficiency, this is why you see a marginal rise in the fuel-efficiency figures of the Punto Evo diesel.
What do you think of the new Fiat Punto Evo? Let us know in the comments section below.