The concept of hot hatchbacks is coming to India as well and it is good to see the new segment maker, Abarth Punto to make its way into India. There is already the Volkswagen Polo GT TSi, however that is available only as an automatic. For a hot hatch, manual transmission is a part of its recipe. Having the Abarth DNA, the Punto gets a new engine and even the suspension has been tweaked for better ride and handling. But is it worth considering? We tell you in our review.
The Abarth Punto looks a lot sportier than the currently sold Punto Evo. The Punto Evo with its chrome detailing does look premium and turns heads, but you can’t get your eyes of the Abarth Punto. It looks hippie and is an eye-candy. The changes on the Abarth Punto are clearly visible as it gets the red and yellow Scorpion badge of Abarth instead of the Fiat badge. Most of the chrome elements are replaced by black or red colours. The fog lamp surrounds at the front and even the back are now red. Then there are red-wing mirrors, the rocker has red vinyl with Abarth branding again, and then the 16-inch Scorpion alloy wheels that won our hearts. There is a lot more red sticking running across from the hood to the roof till the hatch. Abarth Punto will stand out in the Punto crowd and then it also get a chrome exhaust tip.
The interiors of the Abarth Punto have seen an upgrade too. It gets black and grey dual-tone interiors with the grey have a nice textured-finish. The regular Punto looks and feels different on the inside. There is no Fiat badging anywhere on the inside and all you see are the red and yellow Abarth badges. The stitchings are also yellow and red combo, be it on the gear lever or the seats. The Punto now gets bluetooth streaming as well, which wasn’t seen earlier on any of the Fiats that were sold in India. Bluetooth has been a part of the package, but one cannot play music through it. Also, the Windows logo has been removed and even when you pair the phone, it doesn’t show Blue & Me but rather Radio BT. Then of course the Abarth instrument cluster with higher speeds and even yellow colour dials.
The space on the Abarth Punto hasn’t changed as it the same Punto. The front row seats are large and have decent comfort. The side support on seats could have been better, especially on the Abarth version There are aluminium pedals with the Scorpion embossed on it. The rear seats have decent knee room and the headroom is also good enough for tall people. The boot of the Abarth Punto is good enough to carry luggage for an entire weekend. The Abarth Punto is a good deal for practicality when it comes to space for four people and even the boot space them for an entire weekend.
Integrated music system
Bluetooth connectivity and streaming
All four disc brakes
Engine: 1.4-liter turbo petrol
Transmission: Five-speed manual
Abarth has stung the Punto with a 1.4-liter turbocharged petrol engine that churns a whooping 145bhp of power and an astonishing torque of 210Nm. The Abarth Punto isn’t just the most powerful but the hottest hatchback in India under INR 12 lakhs. Push the accelerator and you will be astonished in the manner how the Abarth Punto responds. The Abarth Punto is one of the most powerful hatchback. Overtaking in city or even on the highway isn’t a hassle. Overtaking is never an issue and the Punto can overtake at a blink of eyelid. Now, one will buy the Abarth Punto for its performance purely and not mileage. Still the Scorpion-stung Punto returns about 8-10km/l when driven in city. On the highway, you shall be so much engrossed in driving, especially on winding roads that you won’t be worried about the fuel efficiency that this hatchback returns.
The ride quality of the Punto is brilliant. It is Abarth tuned, so it should be stiff and not practical in city. But this isn’t the case. The Abarth Punto glides over potholes and can put many other premium sedans to a shame. The handling is certainly the best in class and there is no better pick. The steering wheel also feels nice to drive and it ways up well when the speed increases. The Punto is the only premium hatchback that has hydraulic power steering even now. This is a joy to drive for those who like to drive making the Abarth Punto, an ideal pick.
The Abarth Punto at about INR 10 lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi) isn’t a value for money product. If you need a VFM product, then you don’t need to buy a Punto. These decisions are made by heart than mind. The Abarth Punto is the best hatchback money can buy to make you smile all day, when you get behind the wheel. This is something that money cannot buy.