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Fiat Punto Evo: Test drive review

Date: 12 February 2010   |   Author:

Category: Supermini
P11D price: £15,105
Key rival: Vauxhall Corsa

Despite the word Evo conjuring up performance car images, in this case it means the more traditional evolution, in that this is the facelifted Fiat Grande Punto.

As well as the standard issue tweaks to the front and rear lights and grille, this update introduces new petrol and diesel engines with the now-standard trick by manufacturers of achieving reduced emissions and better economy yet more power.

The 1.3-litre 95PS diesel driven here, up 5PS on its predecessor, emits just 110g/km, down from 119g/km, and quotes a 67.3mpg economy figure, up from 64.2.

The changes make a real difference for fleets conscious of capital allowance boundaries, with 111g/km becoming an important level for those buying outright or looking to set up salary sacrifice schemes.

Part of the diesel's emissions reduction is due to the start-stop system the firm has developed. It's some way away from the better ones on the market, taking too long to wake up again after, cutting the engine when waiting at a set of traffic lights. There's an brief moment of anxiety about whether it's going to restart, before the system kicks in.

The interior has been reworked, with a smarter black surround to the major switchgear and new seats.

To drive, the Punto feels harsher than the pre-facelift version, crashing uncomfortably over bumps, though Fiat isn't professing to have made suspension changes. Otherwise it's still the same decent-driving, decent value model.

But running costs continue to suffer from Fiat's chequered past in terms of discounting and big daily rental deals, even though the brand is keen to protest hat those days are over. Kwik Carcost predicts a residual value of just 26.3% after three years, which leads to a 38.0p per mile figure, reasonable if not outstanding for this well-equipped top-spec diesel.

Fiat Punto Evo Eleganza 1.3 Multijet 95 5dr
P11D price£15,105
Model price range£10,995-£15,595
Fuel consumption67.3mpg
CO2 (tax) 110g/km (13%)
BIK 20/40% per month£33/£65
Service interval18,000mls
Insurancegroup 13
Warranty3yrs/60,000mls
Boot space (min/max)275/1030 litres
Engine size/power1248cc/95hp
Top speed/0-62mph111mph/11.7secs
On sale March 2010
Score6/10
VerdictCO2 improvements more
welcome than minimal
visual revisions


Verdict


CO2 improvements more welcome than minimal visual revisions
6/10

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