Captain Misery's Miserable Mishaps

It's all a load of bollocks, quite frankly

Fiat Punto 1.2

What possesses people to do certain things can sometimes have the world’s finest psychiatrists baffled. Generally buying an Italian car rather than one of the more reliable, better built Japanese or German counterparts would indicate a unique mindset. To go one further, anyone buying a decade old Italian car with nearly 95,000 miles on the clock for a very princely sum should be sectioned. So I bought a ten-year old Fiat Punto with 93,000 miles on the clock for a princely sum.

The Punto range was always regarded as being a well specced out car, that is of course if you steered well clear of the poverty-spec, entry-level model, which was advisable to do. So I bought a poverty-spec, entry-level, ten-year old Fiat Punto with 93,000 miles on the clock for a princely sum. I could not any more in that sentence as I have run out of hyphens.

To be fair, the equipment levels aren’t sparse, when compared with, say, the equipment levels of a brick. Standard equipment includes seats, dashboard, wheels, engine… erm… doors, yes, it has doors as well. Five of them, in fact, and they allow you to gain access to the interior of the car in a most convenient manner. It’s been well thought out, really. For example there is a windy thing on each door that allows you to raise and lower the windows. At the same time, it exercises the muscles in your hand, which is excellent thinking on Fiat’s behalf. The other excellent feature is four doors that lock independently of each other. This allows you to get wet in the rain trying to open all the doors, which saves you on showering when you get home. It also allows you to lock the keys in the car, which is an excellent security feature and stops you from losing them.

It drives well, it stops well and up to 70mph it performs well. Past 70mph it’s about as quick as Paris Hilton’s intelligence. 0-60mph takes somewhere in the region of six to ten working days. However, on the flip side it’s as miserly as Scrooge when it comes to fuel consumption. Handling wise, it’s typically Punto. Neutral, safe, quite fun to chuck around the bends but the steering is a tad light.

I have to say though, get a good Punto and it will be a cracking car. I’ve had two previously, both Mk2 Sportings and both were superb and 100% reliable This one also appears to be a highly likeable car. It was pretty much a steal and had a reasonable amount of tax, a near as makes no difference full MOT, immaculate interior, service history and a cambelt change in recent months. It has a few bits that need sorting such as the exhaust system and could do with a good engine service, but these were things reflected in the price. Otherwise it seems exceptionally solid. There are also a few bits and pieces here and there that I want to do to tidy it up in places. Get rid of those black bumpers for instance. Get a decent set of OEM Punto alloy wheels for it when the tyres expire. In five weeks so far, the only thing I’ve had to do to it is repair the wiper linkage which decided to fall apart. The whole repair cost less that a fiver so I’m going to cheat and not count that. So, stay tuned for the running (un?) reliability report. Go on, you know you want to. Have another laugh at the expense of a Fiat driver why don’t you…


November 5, 2011 - Posted by | Motoring | , , , , , ,

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