The Fiat Punto is one of the Italian manufacturer’s longest-running, best-selling cars. First introduced in 1993, the Punto is now in its third generation. Offering practical family motoring at a reasonable price, it’s understandable just why the Punto has been such a consistent success. With tough competition from the Ford Fiesta, the Vauxhall Corsa, and new kids on the block like the Hyundai i20, the Punto now finds itself up against some excellent competitors. The current Punto feels a little dated compared to some, but it’s still one of the most practical options out there.
Stylish but flimsy
Compared to its much newer rivals, the Fiat Punto falls way behind when it comes to its interior. It’s still pretty stylish, and there’s enough room for small families, but it’s really let down by sub-standard build quality.
The dashboard of the Punto is well-designed, with all switches and controls being exactly where you’d want them to be. There’s nothing fancy here, but clearly have thought about ease of use above all else. Unfortunately, the design isn’t back up by the quality on show. Plastics used throughout feel hard and flimsy, especially when you compare it side by side with a Volkswagen Polo, or even a Ford Fiesta.
Space wise, the Punto also lags behind some rivals. With 275 litres, it lags behind the Volkswagen Polo (280 litres), Ford Fiesta (276 litres), and the Skoda Fabia (315 litres). There’s still enough space for most small family needs, but the Punto’s age comes to the fore again. Back when the Punto was first produced it had one of the biggest boots in its class, now it doesn’t.
Equipment levels in the Punto are actually pretty decent, as long as you avoid the entry-level Pop trim. The mid-range Easy trim is the one to go for, and features electric windows, air-con, alloy wheels, leather interior trim, and electric mirrors. Unfortunately there’s not a touch screen infotainment system on board, which a lot of more modern rivals now offer.
Overall the interior of the Punto is decent, but it all feels a little bit dated. It’s a shame, because there’s enough space for most small families, spec levels are good, and the design of the interior is attractive. Unfortunately it’s let down by a lack of quality.
On The Road
Easy to drive, sporty versions uncomfortable
The Fiat Punto is now quite a dated car, and you can really tell on the road. It’s a fun car to drive around town, but get it on the open road and things start to fall apart. It’s not the most refined either.
Compare the Fiat Punto to the Ford Fiesta and the driving experience doesn’t come close. Nevertheless, the Punto is a fun car to drive around town, and steering is light enough to make it a great car for weaving through busy city traffic, and parking is a doddle. There’s even a city button that makes it even easier. Unfortunately get the Punto up to speed on faster roads and the steering becomes too light. It never feels assured through the corners, whereas other rivals cope admirably.
Ride refinement is similarly disappointing in the Punto. It’s not the worst car in its class, but there’s quite a fair bit of body roll on country roads. It deals with all but the worst of loose road surfaces and potholes fairly well, but if you go for cars equipped with the sports suspension system and things can get a bit bumpy in the cabin. Road and wind noise aren’t too bad though, which motorway driving is pretty decent.
Gearbox options in the Punto come in three guises. At the entry-level of the range is a 5-speed manual, that’s decent around town, but isn’t the greatest for long motorway trips. Next up is a 6-speed manual, that solves these problems, and works exactly how you’d want it to. The optional automatic however has received generally bad reviews across the board, so it might be one to avoid.
Reliable and efficient, but not the punchiest
When it comes to deciding how you want to power your Punto, you’ve got the usual two options: petrol, or diesel. The engines throughout the range are all pretty decent, and you get stop/start technology as standard which should help maximise fuel consumption.
If it’s power that you want from your Punto, you’ll be disappointed to hear that there’s no hot hatch version. The fastest in the range is the 1.4 litre petrol engine in the Easy+ model. With 77bhp, you’ll be getting from 0-62mph in 13.2 seconds. That’s nowhere near as much speed as that on offer in other hot hatches, but it should be enough to get you around town, and cope reasonably well on motorways and national speed limit roads.
Eco-friendly buyers will be pleased to know that there is a green option in the Punto range. The 1.3 EcoFlex diesel on offer produces just 90g/km of C02 emissions, which make it car tax free, as well as being good for the planet. This option also happens to be the best option for money-savers. It may cost more to buy than other options in the range, but with fuel efficiency as high as 80.7mpg, you’re going to save yourself a lot of money day-to-day.
Whichever engine you choose to go for in your Punto, you’re going to have enough power, relatively low C02 emissions, and reasonable fuel economy. The engines aren’t class-leading, but they’re still pretty impressive.
Full marks in NCAP safety tests, good standard equipment
Unlike a lot of cars in its class, the Fiat Punto easily achieved the highest possible 5-star NCAP safety rating. It is one of the safest cars in its class. There’s also plenty of safety equipment as standard. You’ll get the usual array of airbags, isofix child seat mounts, traction control, and anti lock brakes. The Fiat Punto is a great option for the safety conscious.
Value for money
Great value for money, so long as you avoid the cost of new-car depreciation
The Fiat Punto offers buyers excellent value for money. Throughout the range there is value to be had, with all models featuring reasonable fuel efficiency, and relatively low levels of C02 emissions. You won’t be spending too much money on road tax and fuel. The Punto range isn’t quite as impressive as some competitors, but it’s still a solid package.
Insurance wise the Punto is a cheap car to own. This depends upon which model and trim you go for, but it won’t cost you too much. The cheapest model in the range is the 1.2 Pop, which is in group 6, whilst the top of the range 1.4 Multiair Turbo Lounge is the most expensive in group 19. Low insurance groups make the Fiat Punto an ideal car for first time drivers, or small families on a budget.
Depreciation is one area that particularly affects the Punto, but only for the first year. With first year depreciation as high as 40%, you’re better off opting for an inspected used equivalent.
The Fiat Punto is a solid small hatchback, though it doesn’t excel in any particular area. It’s solid, reliable, but lacks the quality of some competitors. Despite this, it’s cheap to run, features some efficient engines, and is fun to drive around town. The Fiat Punto is a great option for first time drivers, and small families on a budget.
Buying a used Fiat Punto online with Carspring
If you’re after a used Fiat Punto for sale, it can all feel like a bit of an ordeal. What, with long days spent around gigantic car supermarkets, or time spent trawling through classified websites, looking for that ideal used Punto. Carspring makes it simple. Buy your next used Fiat Punto online with the touch of a button. Simply decide on the model you want and choose how you want to pay.
Looking to finance your used Punto? Not a problem, we work with our carefully selected finance partners to ensure that, if you’re paying monthly for your used Fiat Punto, you know you’re getting the best rates. What’s more, with any Carspring used Punto, you also get our 14-day money-back guarantee and 6 months’ free Carspring Warranty. Plus, you don’t have to leave your home. We’ll deliver your used Fiat to you at a time and place of your choice.
*This is an approximate figure based on the range of the car’s list price and the AA’s average 1st-year depreciation cost of 40%.