By on 2021-02-19 -
Fiat Punto - Used
NEVER buy a three door car if you have young children - getting them into car seats is guaranteed to put your back out.
I was reminded of this recently when a friend was given a car by her mother - very generous as I'm sure you'll agree.
It was a Fiat Punto with very low mileage and full service history and it would have lasted her for many years with the small annual mileage she does around town apart from one thing - it was a three door!
After a couple of weeks of back-breaking work getting her two children into their seats she had to go to her mum and ask if she could sell it in favour of a five door! Luckily, she managed to do a straight swap at no cost and now has a slightly older five door.
With its recent cars, Fiat has got build quality up to excellent levels, making their cars very reliable.
In a recent survey, the Punto comes ahead of supposed paragons of quality build like the Mini Cooper and Mercedes C-Class.
The most recent version went out of production in 2018 and was available with petrol and diesel engines offering excellent economy and decent performance.
Petrol engines start with a 1.2 that has 68bhp followed by a 1.4, which is various states of tune, comes with 75, 85, 103 or 135bhp.
For the first time in this model, the free revving 900cc 85bhp two cylinder TwinAir from the Fiat 500 is also available, and there is just one diesel, an 85bhp version of the well-known 1.3 MultiJet engine.
This little diesel is the economy and low emissions king, with a claimed fuel sippage of more than 80mpg and emissions of just 90 grammes per kilometre.
But the TwinAir is not far behind, managing 67mpg and emissions of 98g/km, and it can also sprint to 60 miles an hour in 12.3 seconds.
As a comparison, the 1.4 takes 12.8 for the 75bhp and 8.2 for the 135bhp MultiAir. All should do about 50mpg.
Even the lowest power models are fun to drive, with very good roadholding and handling that give a great sporting feel.
Performance is pretty good when you check it out against other superminis, and all are easy to live with. They have a good ride, and decent performance with engines that are smooth and quiet until pressed.
The Twinair is the smoothest, revs so willingly and sounds so sweet that it gives the feel of far quicker progress than the figures suggest!
There were originally five trim levels available in the range, but this was later altered to four, when the Sporting was introduced.
Equipment standard to all includes remote locking, electric front windows, plenty of airbags, fabric seats with height-adjust for the driver, height and reach adjustable steering, trip computer, and a stereo with MP3 connection.
Upper models get alloys, traction control, aircon, cruise, audio remote and electric sunroof.
Pay about Â£4,100 for a '16 16-reg 1.2 Easy+ five door, or Â£4,600 for an '18 18-reg 1.4 Pop Plus three door.
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