The spirited Punto - FIAT PUNTO Car Review
Added: 14 Apr 2009
WHEN it comes to practicality and easy driving, with a touch of Italian pzazz thrown in for good measure, the Fiat Punto looks an excellent second-hand buy.
But bear in mind that service history is a must and even with it, reliability can be hit and miss, especially with earlier cars.
I have friends who love them and have never had a problem. One family are on their third and fully intend to buy another for their daughter.
Main engines are 1.2 with 60 or 80bhp, but later there was a 1.4 with 95. Diesel lovers are catered for with 80, 85 and 100bhp 1.9's or a 1.3 with 70.
The range topping 1.8 HGT hot hatch has 130bhp but can be harder to live with because of higher insurance and a harsh ride.
All the others hold the road well and ride in reasonable comfort and they are very easy to drive and to live with.
Since 1999, all have had very good electric power steering but base models have little more in the way of kit than height adjust steering and driver's seat.
Check prices before you buy and don't pay more than the books say. Puntos are usually cheaper than other similar cars.
Fiat Punto 1.2 60bhp 3dr
Price: Pay about £1,700 for an '02 02-reg Active, £3,000 for an '04 04-reg Active Sport or £4,200 for an '06 06-reg Dynamic.
Mechanical: 60bhp, 1,242cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving the front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox.
Max speed: 96mph
0-62mph: 13.8 seconds
Combined mpg: 49
Insurance group: 4
Main rival: Ford Fiesta, Nissan Micra.
Keywords: fiat, punto