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FIAT Grande Punto (2006–2009)

Last updated 18 April 2016

Kerb weight 860–1220 kg
Warranty 3 years / 60000 miles
Servicing 12,000–18,000 miles

Full specifications

Driving

The Italian's aren't like the French. If their national cars aren't any good, they simply stop buying them. And over the past few years there has been a noticeable absence of the previous vast quantities of new FIATs on Italian roads.

Yet in the first few months from launch, Italians have bought 100,000 Grande Punto. In a mixed message strategy, Fiat sums it up as "Beautiful. Brilliant. Solid." Quite a lot to remember. But with its classy Giorgietto Guigiaro styling it is very good looking, especially from the front. It isn't riddled with innovative versatility like the Honda Jazz, but it does drive well and has the option of probably the World's most relevant engine, the 1.25 Multijet diesel. With a body 52% stiffer than the previous Punto it's certainly solid.

But I can't help feeling Fiat would have helped itself a bit better by emphasising the car's character. Like the basic Panda Active, the basic Punto Active isn't very powerful. Yet it's huge fun to drive. Far more so than much more powerful cars, because it does everything exactly right.

The gearbox gets the most out of the engine. The steering wheel has raised cushions to encourage you to hold it at ten to two. It takes off like an excited little puppy. And it handles perfectly.

Yet this isn't a tiny hatchback. At 4,030mm long it's actually biggest in the B Sector class. It seats five adults, with plenty of headroom even in the centre rear. It scored five stars in the NCAP crash safety tests, plus three stars for child safety and three starts for pedestrian safety, the best performance in its class. So underneath the fun you can have driving it, it's a very serious car.

Engines

Engine MPG 0-62 Top speed CO2
1.2 48 mpg 14.5 s 96 mph 139–140 g/km
1.2 8V 50 mpg 14.3 s 96 mph 136 g/km
1.3 16V MultiJet 75 63 mpg 13.6 s 103 mph 119 g/km
1.3 16V MultiJet 90 61–63 mpg 11.9 s 109 mph 119–123 g/km
1.4 48 mpg 13.2 s 103 mph 139–140 g/km
1.4 16V 47–48 mpg 10.5–11.4 s 111 mph 139–142 g/km
1.4 T-Jet 120 43 mpg 8.9 s 121 mph 155 g/km
1.6 MultiJet 120 63 mpg 9.6 s 118 mph 119 g/km
1.9 MultiJet 120 51 mpg 10.0 s 118 mph 145 g/km
1.9 MultiJet 130 49–50 mpg 9.5 s 124 mph 149–154 g/km
 

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