- Body-coloured bumpers make the car look more modern
- Competitively priced
- Low running costs
- Worst ever Euro NCAP crash test score
- Still not as sharp to drive as some rivals
- Front seats could be more supportive
Essentially the Fiat Punto is a facelift and not a new car even though the engines and name have yet again changed. Prior to this it was called a Punto Evo but now Fiat has gone back to the plain and simple Punto.
Fiat has tweaked the Punto with subtle changes both on the exterior and on the interior. The most noticeable modification on the Fiat Punto is a new front bumper. Look deeper and you’ll see that the two air intakes are now split by the number plate and enclosed in a trapezium-shaped perimeter.
All models now get a black grille giving the Punto a more sporty feel to the front end and the body-coloured bumpers are a pleasant addition. Tweaks to the rear include the Fiat badge which now doubles as a boot release: push it and the tailgate opens.
The rear bumper has been redesigned and is now body coloured to match the rest of the Punto. Beneath the rear bumper the rear fog and reversing lights have been elongated and integrated into the surrounding surface, while new-look 15-inch alloys complete the makeover.
Both three- and five-door versions are available.
The most frugal engine is the 85bhp 1.3-litre Multijet diesel engine. It has a claimed economy of 80.7mpg and emits CO2 at a rate of 90g/km but if you prefer a petrol engine then the TwinAir is a favourite for many.
That's a 83bhp 900cc engine with an engine note that will prove divisive. The two-pot engine screams its way to the red line in every gear and you will either love or hate this soundtrack. This is the first time that Fiat has deployed the two-cylinder unit used in the Fiat 500 into the Punto.
Four trim levels
There were originally five trim levels on the Fiat Punto range but this was altered to four in Summer 2013, including a new ‘Sporting’ derivative. Standard kit across the range includes fabric seats, height-and-reach-adjustable steering wheel, height-adjustable driver’s seat, trip computer, remote central locking, electric front windows, driver, passenger and window airbags, radio, CD and MP3 compatibility, rear head restraints and ABS.
The Parkers Verdict
The Fiat Punto is up against strong competition in this sector. Rivals include the Renault Clio, Ford Fiesta, VW Polo and Hyundai’s i20 to name but a few. It may not be as good to drive as a Ford Fiesta but it is competitively priced and running costs are relatively low.
To find out more, read on for the full Fiat Punto review.