The last few months I've been driving many small cars - there was the Datsun Go that I had for a few weeks and then the new i20. Now however, for the last month I've had my hands on the Fiat Punto Evo, Fiat's latest iteration of their best selling or rather only hatchback presently.
To begin with, the Punto Evo compared to the current crop of hatchbacks in the market, feels dated. On the whole this car is just so yesterday and I fail to see why anyone would want one when there are so many more contemporary options to choose from?
But the strong suits of the Punto Evo have to be its styling and build quality. This is a great looking car which draws a lot of attention. However I'm not entirely sure if the eyeballs directed its way are for the way it looks or questioning the fact that who in their right mind must be driving this car?
The overall quality both inside and out is of a very high order though some of the bits feel dated, especially material quality in the dashboard. Some of the features also feel old, like the Blue and Me audio connectivity is very tedious compared with other faster and simpler Bluetooth systems.
Then there is also the driving experience. Our long term Evo is the 1.4-litre Dynamic variant which means its gets all the bells and whistles as well as the 90PS engine. ARAI claimed fuel efficiency is around 14.4kmpl but in the real world, with my daily 55km commute in peak traffic I see the fuel pump once every five days. The engine too isn't very responsive and neither is the power delivery linear. I have even experienced a sudden drop in power several times just as I begin to accelerate. This can be quite disturbing because I don't know if the engine is going to die entirely or suddenly jump to life, though in most cases it's the latter. The transmission is vague, I've had to hunt for the right gate to slot into and even the steering feels wooden. The handling on the raised suspension isn't very impressive though stability is top notch, especially at high speeds.
Overall the Punto Evo is a car that never feels consistent. Everyday you discover something new which also makes it a fairly busy car to live with. Not something you would want to drive at the end of an exhausting day at work.
Total mileage 8,438km Date acquired Jan'15