Fiat Punto Hatchback Leasing
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The Fiat Punto is one of the biggest and best looking superminis, and it has a surprisingly smart interior, too. However, it’s the engines – particularly the 1.4 Multiairs – that really impress.
The low-speed ride is unsettled and the steering is vague. You might find it difficult get comfortable behind the wheel, too.
The Fiat Punto is a likeable small car with above average practicality and some extremely good engines. Shame it isn’t better to drive.
The cheapest Fiat Punto uses a 1.2 petrol engine, but it’s worth spending the extra on the 76bhp 1.4, which gives appreciably better performance. The 1.4 Multiairs – available with either 104bhp or 134bhp – are even better, with strong and smooth acceleration throughout the rev range. The 0.9 Twinair engine also offers reasonable performance, while diesel buyers have the choice of two strong 1.3 Multijets (with either 74bhp or 84bhp).
Ride & Handling
The Punto is nowhere near as engaging as a Ford Fiesta, but it is at least easy to drive. The light steering makes it a doddle to manoeuvre in town, for example, although this lightness becomes disconcerting once you’re going quicker. Whichever model you choose, you’ll have to suffer lots of body roll and a choppy ride, but sportier versions (with their overly stiffer suspension) are really uncomfortable.
The majority of petrol engines are smooth and hushed, with just a hint of rasp when revved. However, the two-cylinder Twinair engine is an exception, because it’s noisy and sends a lot of vibration through the cabin. The 1.3-litre turbodiesels are a bit clattery at low revs, but deliver excellent cruising refinement. Manual gearshifts aren't the slickest – the six-speed 'box is better than the five-speed – and there's wind noise at quite modest speed, plus some road noise on grainy surfaces.
Buying & Owning
The Punto is keenly priced and boasts impressively low running costs. The 0.9 Twinair and the 84bhp 1.3 diesel, for example, are exempt from road tax and the London Congestion Charge, and they’re also very cheap company cars. We’d recommend choosing a diesel if you want the best fuel economy, though, because the Twinair engine isn’t as efficient in the real world. Servicing and insurance rates are competitive, and the Punto shouldn’t depreciate any quicker than a Ford Fiesta or a Vauxhall Corsa.
Quality & Reliability
The quality of the Punto's cabin isn’t quite a match for a VW Polo, but it stands comparison with just about anything else in the supermini class. As for reliability – who do you believe? Some owners on our website say it's faultless, while others report no end of troubles. Read the latest JD Power survey, though, and you'll see that it was rated as below average for reliability.
Safety & Security
Entry-level Pop models get four airbags as standard. Easy trim cars have an extra one to protect the driver’s knees, while Lounge models also add side airbags. Disappointingly, Fiat charges extra for stability control on all but top-of-the-range Lounge models. All Puntos have an engine immobiliser to deter thieves.
Behind The Wheel
Fiat's forte is small cars, and these days they cater for all shapes and sizes – a height-adjustable driver's seat and two-way adjustment on the steering column are standard, although the pedal area is quite cramped. You get a decent view out, even in the more enclosed three-door versions, while there's little to moan about with the switchgear layout.
Space & Practicality
The Punto is one of the largest superminis, so it’s easily capable of carrying four adults. There are only two headrests in the back of most models, though. The boot is large and well shaped, although there is a big lip at the entrance. Split-folding rear seats are an option on entry-level Pop models, but standard on the rest of the range.
Entry-level Pop models have electric front windows and remote central locking, but not a lot else. Stepping up to Easy trim gets you air-conditioning, alloy wheels, electric mirrors and a leather steering wheel and gearknob. Range-topping Lounge models add an electric sunroof, Bluetooth, climate and cruise controls, rear electric windows and foglights.