Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Grande for a Small Car

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Grande for a Small Car

Article excerpt

Byline: By Peter Keenan

ITALIANS know about style - if proof be needed, call as first witness the Fiat Grande Punto. If there's a better looking small car for the money, I haven't seen it.

Fiat ensure the model undercuts many of its rivals on price, while running costs shouldn't break the bank either.

The team at Italian designer Giugiaro have worked their magic, giving Fiat's new star sharp looks and a roomy cabin.

The 75bhp MultiJet diesel engine is not for sports car fans, but this is aimed at people who want a fashion statement but not speeding tickets.

That's not to say it's a slouch around town as on its urban home ground the Grande Punto is a winner.

Fiat's baby offers a fuel economy figure guaranteed to make Scrooge smile while an emissions figure of 119g/km achieved by Fiat's hi-tech oilburner is exceptional.

All models sit in low insurance bands, ranging from group three to group six.

The one quibble I would have is with the transmission which is a little vague when it comes to gear changing. A 0-62mph time of more than 13 seconds probably tells the tale as this is a car that looks like it should be a lot quicker.

The thick windscreen pillars can hamper visibility when parking - but there the moaning ends.

Fiat ensure the Grande Punto handles like a dream with good body control, excellent grip and steering that's accurate and informative for the driver.

For a small car the diesel engine is impressively quiet and on the motorway is about as noisy as a introverted sloth.

The suspension ensures a smooth ride over most of the surfaces that pass for roads these days. As far as safety is concerned, all models come with driver and passenger airbags which deploy depending on the severity of the crash.

The Dynamic is also fitted with side and curtain airbags while an engine immobiliser and alarm are included as standard. …

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