This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Fiat Punto (12-18) review.

Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5

If there is any area Italian cars excel in, it is performance. All the Punto's engines perform well, even the entry-level 1.2 is quite frisky. 1.3-litre Multijet diesel offers decent mid-range performance and excellent fuel economy, however, you do feel it has reached its limit by 70mph on the motorway. More powerful, but less economical, 1.9 JTD engines make more relaxed motorway cruisers.

Warm-hatch petrol HGT - the most powerful Punto with 130bhp - now feels lacklustre alongside more potent competition.

Latest model is more softly sprung than before. It feels stable at speed, with good handling - although the steering feels a little vague and the body rolls round tight corners or roundabouts. The 'city' button, which lightens the steering for driving around town or parking, seems rather pointless on a cars which already has fairly light steering. Not great fun to drive, but fairly safe and predictable.