Any owner experiences? - bbroomlea{P}
Following on from technical matters and my wifes poorly rover 214, we have just done a deal on a pre-reg Grande Punto Stripe and wondered if anyone has any owner experiences, things to look out for etc?

Ihave checked Car-by-car and it looks like they are well screwed together, which would reflect the impression I had when looking around the car.

The bluetooth handsfree and steering wheel controls looks like a nifty little toy at least!

Not sure if we have paid a bit too much but its only done 4 miles, pre-reg Stripe edition, got a full tank of fuel, 12 months VED, mats etc for £6900. We did look at these in July when they came out and were around 9K so quite happy we waited a few months!

Hopefully we will get as good a service as we have had from the Rover over the next 6-7 years.
Any owner experiences? - Shanna342
I bought a Fiat Uno in 1984 and vowed never to buy Fiat again but in Sept. 2006 I was won over by the looks and price of an April 2008 registered Fiat Grande Punto Dynamic 1.3 Multijet 90 bhp turbo diesel which I bought for £8000. What a mistake! Within a week I found a manufacturing fault on the driver's door which meant the car had to go back to the supplyingdealer for a week to replacee the door (was this an omen??).
I complained in writing to Fiat UK twice about the fuel economy which even with careful driving I could not get above 54 mpg - they were not interested!
The rear doors have never opened readily and require several vigorous attempts on the door handles to open.
At first service in March 2007, I was informed by my local dealer that the front discs were corroded and needed replacing. He refused to do this under warranty and suggested that I take the car back to the dealer I bought the car from (which was about 100 miles from home).
In March 2008 I paid a £27 admin. fee to the supplying dealer to extend the warranty from 2 years to 3 years. Lucky for me that I did because in April 2008 a front spring went which was replaced under warranty.
In October 2008 a warning light on the dashboard indicated that there was a problem with the fuel injection system. I managed to nurse the car to my local dealer who investigated and told me that the pressure booster sensor was dirty. They cleaned it and refitted it which reset the warning light but refused to replace it with a new one until it failed again because Fiat would not reimburse them unless it had failed twice. The car is running OK at the moment but fuel economy has dropped to 48mpg.
No wonder that the Fiat Grande Punto comes 92 out 100 in the JD Power 2008 reliability and customer service survey. My other car is a Honda Jazz which has done 41000 fault free miles over the last 4 years and I have just traded it in for the new model. I am about to get rid of the Fiat for something I can depend on but one thing is sure I will NEVER buy Fiat again.
I hope you have better luck than me.
Any owner experiences? - bbroomlea{P}
>>I hope you have better luck than me.

So do I, although thanks for sharing your experience! The little Fiat has a lot to live up to as our Rover has been pretty much faultless for 7 years up until now.

There were two exactly the same sat next to each other - one had been test driven though whereas the one we are picking up still had the delivery stickers all over it. Lets hope we got the right one :-)
Any owner experiences? - piggy
My GP has now covered 15,000 uneventful miles.
Apart from a few electrical happenings like a flashing milage display and the radio going on to mute mode by itself,both problems cleared by simply switching the ignition off and on again. There is an ECU update for this which is done at a service.
The car is very economical,doing about 46-48 mph according to the computer display. I regard this as pretty good for a 1.4 in what is a biggish car.
It has never failed to start,uses no oil, and there is plenty of rubber left on the front tyres,the rears show next to no wear.
The car is roomy and reasonably comfy,well appointed with leccy mirrors and doors,alloys etc. My model is fitted with an adjustable height driver`s seat which is useful if have dodgy hips like me!
The servicing costs are reasonable at £150 for a first service,and £200 for the second. (done annualy or every 18000 mls.
Remember,these are budget cars,costing upwards of £6000.
OK,I still hanker after my Fiat Coupe,but needs must.......
Any owner experiences? - mazdaboy
Test drove one last year and decided a Corsa was a better bet. Since then I've been driving a work Grand Punto regularly.

My ongoing assessment is that it's a better car than I first though, for a 1.2 quite sporty. The only thing that continues to bug me is the road noise coming into the cabin. They've clearly skimped on the sound proofing.

The one we use hasn't gone wrong, though it's still very new. On balance I still prefer the Corsa, but the Punto's still a decent car.
Any owner experiences? - piggy
I meant leccy windows of course!
I did consider getting a Corsa,but the Fiat seemed better value for my money.
They are closely related under the skin anyway,having a lot of parts in common.
Any owner experiences? - TedCrilly
Cant say mine has been perfect, lost count of the number of times its been back for silly niggling faults and I wouldnt have another one. Have a browse around the owners forum.
Any owner experiences? - boxsterboy
The car is very economical doing about 46-48 mph according to the computer display.

Can I suggest changing up a gear or 2 to improve your mph??

Lovely looking car, the GP. If I was in this market I think I would find them hard to resist.

Any owner experiences? - Avant
Probably not much help to you, bbroomlea, but maybe to others: I've read several times that Fiats made outside Italy (500, Panda) seem to be better screwed togethetr than those made in Turin.
Any owner experiences? - vulcan7
Hi all
Got to say my two daughters have a Gand punto active sport 1.4 that they bought in June 08 it was pre reg on 57 plate with 8miles on. It's in red and looks great for 6K

Never thought I'd say it but I'm impressed loads of kit for price, solid build, great paint job so far, nice carpets and seats.

Handles well, brakes clutch and gearbox sweet engine not bad, we did try the 1.2 and one daughter said thats not as fast as our old micra dad we cant have that!

One fault I can see at moment is water leaks out of tailgate after washing when you lift it up believe it 's a known fault, leaks in through high level brake light.

I would fix it if I could get it out easy but don't want to break it, could take it back to dealer but thats in Blackpool an hours drive away unless I use local one in Wigan may do for first service and that.

Only other thing is some road noise but put that down to bridgestone tyres.

So far so good
Any owner experiences? - mattbod
I've heard that Polish cars are better as well but my cousin has the basic 1.2 Grande Punto and it's been fine.However I also know others who have had nothing but trouble with them. I'd buy one that's a year old and has all the bugs ironed out under warranty.
Any owner experiences? - Another John H
I'd buy one that's a year old and has all the bugs ironed out under warranty.

At a year old, it's likely to be ex-rental.

Also the cheaper offers recently are likely to be the end of the ones with a 3 year warrantee.

The new 5 year warranteed ones have some improvements, and the venerable 1.2 is no longer available.

Any owner experiences? - PR {P}
We got one of the very early ones, and after a recall (for a panel on the steering column) it has been great. Its the 1.9JTD 120 and it flies. I would agree it is a little noisy at speed but apart from that for the money its great. The Blue&Me really is a very good system.
Any owner experiences? - AlanGowdy
2007 Fiat GP 130 Sporting. Just coming up on 30,000 miles. Still on original tyres (Bridgestone) though fronts will need changing soon. Nippy performance. Good handling (does not feel front heavy like many diesels do). Brakes good though do fade a bit with hard use. Economy could be better (around 45 mpg) but this is probably due to a heavy right foot, over 50 mpg possible with careful driving. No bodywork or trim issues - everything fits properly and does not creak, rattle or leak. Had a couple of warranty claims (new driver's door lock - the dealer picked up on this, not me - and steering column base clonking on large bumps such as ramps - a common problem that has been solved now). Like most Italian cars looks best in red (I'm biased here). Would prefer variable wiper delay under my control (it's speed-related).
Any owner experiences? - bbroomlea{P}
It sounds like some good reviews there and not too many niggles which is always good!

Only time will tell with ours I suppose, however for the equipment, price and looks I dont think we will go too far wrong. We actually went shopping for a MINI, went to look at a 500 and did a deal on a Punto - how did that happen then!

We ruled the MINI out due to age - a 7K MINI gets either a high mileage car or something 3-4 years old at best with no warranty. After the escapade with the last one and unreliability issues I didnt want to take the risk as a long term - 6years+ prospect.

I am not sure on the depreciation front, but looking at 02-03 Puntos, they dont loose too much compared to purchase price. We lost 3K in a year on a 4 year old MINI afterall!

I do wonder if a diesel would have been a better option than the 1.2, but it seemed to go quite well and the mpg isnt much different. It will do mostly dual carriageway work at 60-70 so hope to get 50+ mpg out of the petrol if driven carefully.

One question on headgaskets - is the 1.2 in the Grande Punto as prone as the early ones in the MK1 Punto or did Fiat make some changes?

Any owner experiences? - bbroomlea{P}
Just a quick update!

We have had the Punto for 1 week now, done 700 miles of town and motorway driving, including a 300 mile round trip to Manchester - all but 20 miles being motorway.

First impressions are very good - the blue&me is excellent as well. Everything is working as it should, the doors close with a reassuring thud and there are still no rattles anywhere:-)

Initally it felt a bit underpowered and the first tank of fuel only returned 39mpg. Its loosening up well now and returning 44mpg on the current tank - according to the trip computer anyway. I am amazed at how smooth it is keeping up with motorway traffic and there is very little noise intrusion at 70-80. Although maintaining speed you need to do nearly 4000 revs, you wouldnt think it and once or twice found myself backing off to slow down. Its no ball of fire, but not as bad as I thought. To be honest, we only took the Punto to get some miles under it - normally use my Audia4 for long runs.

Only critisism is the foot-rest is a bit odd though and gave me leg ache after a couple of hours - in the end I chose not to use it. My wife is far shorter than me and it doesnt bother her though.

In summary, so far its impressed me -a capable, well built car with bags of character that manages to deal with any driving you throw at it in a good manner. I was a little doubtful that we made the right decision at first but am more than happy so far, as is my wife who drives it everyday as well!! Oh and the best bit is the insurance is £8 a month cheaper to insure than a 12 year old Rover on TPFT - how does that work!!
Any owner experiences? - cider glider
I've had a Grande Punto Sporting (1.9 diesel) for just over two years now, and the only problems I've had with it are a blocked washer jet, and a minor problem with the gear linkage - not as dramatic as it sounds, it just made a squeeking noise. Both issues were dealt with quickly by the dealer.

I can't say I've noticed much noise in the cabin - it's certainly quieter than the Rover 25 gti it replaced. The brakes are a bit abrubt, but that's my only quibble.
Any owner experiences? - AlanGowdy
... forgot to mention the five-year warranty.
Any owner experiences? - bintang
I rejected it because of the awkward left foot rest placing, same on the Panda.
Any owner experiences? - carl_a
I rejected it because of the awkward left foot rest placing same on the Panda.

Agreed, when will manufacturers understand that this is a big deciding factor in a car purchase. If there isn't a proper clutch rest I don't even bother looking any further.
Any owner experiences? - Avant
I've often taken Fords off my shortlist for that same reason, the last one the C-Max last year. Anyone know if they provide footrests now?

Edited by Avant on 13/12/2008 at 12:24

Any owner experiences? - PR {P}
I used to think this about footrests. Then the GF got a new Bravo which doesnt even have one. I thought this would be a problem but after 10 miles you get used to just putting your foot on the mat. Even on a 1500 mile trip to southern Italy this wasnt a problem.
Any owner experiences? - OwenS
I bought a new 07 plate Grande Punto Active Sport 1.4 3dr in orange met, my first brand new car ever. Loved the looks and the drive, people advised me against buying a Fiat but I thought that a) they can't be as bad a people say and b) the Grande felt solid. I was wrong. The first fault was minor but mildly irritating, the digital display (mileage etc) flickering and sometimes disappearing (fix under warrenty by local, very helpful dealer), next up was bizzare electrical fault which caused all the dash warning lights to flash, speedo, fuel gauge etc would not work (fixed by Fiat dealer again)...these faults continued throughout the 6months I drove the car to varying degrees.
The two more serious issues were as follows, car refusing to start and diagnotic light flashing one evening after work (very frustrating) and the final straw was the drivers door 'breaking' and refusing to close, it just kept bouncing open!! Fiat uk's attitude to this really wound me up, I thought as the car was undriveable in this state and only 5months old, that they could recover it and take it to the nearest dealer....they would not, getting it to the garage was my responsibility!! Fiat uk suggested tying the drivers door shut with string and driving 30miles to my nearest dealer, the rep said all she could do was 'to sympathise' with my problem', I did thank her for this but pointed out that this did not solve the problem, plus Fiat uk seemed unwilling to take onboard any points I made about the vehicle seeming more interested in getting me to slag off my local dealer, which I would not do as they had been very helpful.

A couple of months after I had offloaded the car, whilst on holiday in Paris, I had a phone call from Fiat in Turin to my mobile enquiring if I still had the car and apologising for my experience, which was good but bizzare!

Im sure mine was just a one off lemon of a car, its a shame as it was a fantastic looking machine and lovely to drive, averaged near 50mpg (pertrol 1.4 too!), low insurance (grp 3) and 5star safety. But, I think understably my experiences put me off Fiat.
Any owner experiences? - bbroomlea{P}
We have had a similar issue with the mileage display since picking the car up in November and was fixed by the dealer with no fuss but so far not had any other issues that you mention - thanks for taking the time to highlight them - I will certainly be keeping an eye out for anything untoward with the doors/electrics.

My wife has covered nearly 6,000 miles now and other than some grinding brake pads/disc which were replaced almost straight away after picking the car up (was due to the car sitting as a pre-reg for 4 months) things have been fine - average mpg has been close to your 50mpg although its a 1.2 and nothing has fallen off or caused any concern yet!!
Any owner experiences? - OwenS
Not a problem, thought it worth posting my experiences, which Im sure are a one off. Seemed to go through a period of bad luck with cars as traded Grande in for a new 57 plate Sportka SE which although spot on mechanically and electrically started rusting everywhere and would not top 30mpg no matter how carefully you drove usually settling on 25mpg!! Which, as a workmate happily pointed out was the same as his Mazda RX-8!! Im hoping my 09 VW Fox I've had for two weeks signals a change....
Any owner experiences? - bell boy
Im aware of the door shut problem