Video Road Test
On the Road
There's a good range of both petrol and diesel engines in the Punto Evo range but the entry-level 1.4-litre petrol is perhaps best avoided unless you're just pottering about as it's fairly slow - although it can return an average of 49.6mpg. Instead go for one of the newer MultiAir engines. There are two available and they are both 1.4-litre units with either 105bhp or 135bhp.
The 105bhp version is adequate enough for most drivers and is quiet on the move. It never sounds strained, even at higher revs, and performs pretty well when you ask it to accelerate with some feeling. 0-62mph comes up in 10.8 seconds plus it will happily keep with with faster traffic on motorways.
The top model is the 1.4-litre MultiAir Turbo with 135bhp. This accelerates from 0-62mph around 2.5 seconds quicker than the 105bhp model and is very sprightly with an almost hot hatch feel from behind the wheel. The front can feel light under hard acceleration as the wheels sometimes struggle for grip, but aside from that, it's great fun and very nippy.
Most impressively, it's actually slightly more economical than the 105bhp MultiAir with an average of 50.4mpg while CO2 emissions are also lower at 129g/km (compared to 49.6mpg and 134g/km). But if it's low running costs you're after, the MultiJet diesels are the ones to choose.
There 1.3-litre MultiJet is available in two outputs of 75bhp and 95bhp. They aren't the quickest or quietest of engines but they deliver decent in-gear punch. But best of all they can average 68.9mpg and 67.3mpg respectively while CO2 emissions of 110g/km or less mean they're cheap to tax too.
In town the Punto Evo is easy to drive and park in small spaces, helped by good visibility and a near vertical rear end. All versions get a City button on the dash which makes the steering very light at low speeds - ideal for parallel parking. It's also good fun on more twisting roads with little body roll and plenty of grip in corners.
One letdown is the rather firm ride which struggles on bumpy or potholed roads. This is further highlighted on Sporting models fitted with larger 17-inch alloys. The gear change is also quite spongy and doesn't always have a positive shift, so you can often miss a gear.