The interiors of the Grande Punto are similar to the Linea. Most of the interior bits are shared between the two. The space in the car is decent and even the quality is good. Borrowing many of its features from its elder brother Linea, the premium hatchback from the Italian Stables, Fiat Grande Punto, puts up a pretty good show when it comes to the seating zone. Carved out of premium-grade plastics, the cabin gets plenty of light from the glass-in area on the front windows, which imparts a very roomy and airy feel to the surroundings. The front row, in particular, is very rich in head- and leg-room, providing ample space for the occupants to stretch themselves. It is the rear end, however, that feels a bit tight when it comes to knee-room, especially for six-footers, and even shoulder-room shrinks down to uncomfortable levels if three people are seated there.
As for the body support, again, it is the front-end passengers who get the best deal. Large and comfortable seats, jacketed in a soft and supple sheath, crafted to comply with the body ergonomics and provide ample support for the thighs, line the driver's zone in Grande Punto. The second row, meanwhile, can do with some upgrades in thigh support and comfort levels. Moving on to the plastics quality, this is a department where you wouldn't find a single reason to complain about. Excellent fit and finish worked over a superb grade of material reflects off every surface of the chamber. Be it the chunky leather-coated steering (absent in lower-end variants), or the easy-to-hold gear-knob, or the high positioned driver's seat, or the two-tone dash, everything echoes class, comfort and practicality.
Active: Active is the very base model of Fiat Grande Punto and hence, carries only the very basic elements of comfort, convenience and safety. Starting with power steering and front power windows, the driver's kit consists of many gadgets and controls like remote fuel lid opener, low fuel warning light, adjustable steering column, tachometer, electronic multi-tripmeter, digital odometer and power adjustable ORVM. The seats come lined with premium-grade fabric upholstery and carry adjustment options, lumbar support and headrests for the second row. The safety arsenal, meanwhile, comes bearing central locking, adjustable halogen headlights, rear fog lights, rear seat belts, seat belt warning, side and front impact beams, engine immobilizer and centrally mounted fuel tank. To make the ride more pleasant and convenient, Fiat Grande Punto Active also incorporates features like AC/heater unit, front cup holders, CD player/radio unit and speakers for the front and rear ends.
Dynamic: Next comes the Dynamic version, which costs a little more than the Active and so, offers a little more than the Active. Except for the tachometer, Dynamic carries forward every other trait from its lower end variant and adds some more to the pack like rear power windows, height adjustable front seat belts, rear AC vents, outside temperature display, front fog lights and wiper-washer-defogger combo for rear window. Even safety gets enhanced in this model owing to the arrival of ABS, power door locks, child safety locks, door ajar warning and key-less entry.
Emotion: One notch higher than the Dynamic stands the Emotion variant of Grande Punto. Additionals, besides those that adorned Dynamic, that make their way into Emotion include automatic climate control, air quality control, multi-function steering wheel coated in leather, alloy wheels, driver and passenger airbags and crash sensor.
Sport 90BHP: Although priced higher than Fiat Grande Punto Emotion, the Sport 90BHP model of the Fiat hatch is identical to its lower end sibling when it comes to the bells and whistles.
The 1.3-litre multijet engine with 75bhp is the ideal pick amongst all the four engines. This engine is one of the most of reliable and even the power delivery is decent.
A group of 4 engines has been chosen by the Italian auto-giant to power its extensive hatchback line-up two of which feed on petrol while the other two are oil-burners.
Diesel 1.3-litre 75bhp:
Designed to drive the Active (Diesel), 1.3 Dynamic and 1.3 Emotion models of Fiat Grande Punto, this 1248cc, 16V, multijet, In-line diesel mill can churn out a maximum of 75bhp at 4000rpm for a peak torque of 197Nm generated at 1750rpm. Mated to a 5-speed manual transmission gearbox, this powerful turbo-charged engine delivers a fuel-economy of 17.1kmpl in city and 20.3kmpl on highway.
Employed to propel the 1.3 Emotion Pack 90HP and Sport 90BHP variants of Grande Punto, this 1248cc turbo-charged diesel mill is capable of spinning a peak 91bhp at 4000rpm for a maximum of 209Nm of torque produced at 2000rpm. Identical in specifications to the 75bhp unit, the only feature that makes this particular variant stand apart is the variable geometry turbo, which when incorporated in this engine, raises the power levels straight away by 16bhp. Besides, when this low rpm turbo boost synchronizes with the reduced turbo-lag of this model, an immense thrust results, which makes highway driving a true pleasure. As for the city manoeuvring, the low-range kick and quick throttle response take care of that, making it easier to move through the busy traffic.
Other than power, the engine also scores high when it comes to the NVH levels. Thanks to the well-refined character that has been imparted to it, this mill keeps NVH levels below tolerable limits. Mated to this power-packed and efficient engine, is a 5-speed manual transmission gearbox, which does not feel very slick and is a bit on the notchy side, but the gear-knob is quite easy to hold and facilitates positive shifts contributing effectively to a better drivability. As far as mileage is concerned, this 90bhp model is again exactly same as its 75bhp sibling, returning 17.1kmpl for city roads and 20.3kmpl for highways.
Fiat Grande Punto Active (Petrol) and Fiat Grande Punto 1.2 Dynamic share a 1172cc, 4-cylinder, In-line, FIRE petrol engine, which produces a maximum of 67bhp at 6000rpm for a top 96Nm of torque generated at 2500rpm. Synchronized with a 5-speed manual transmission gearbox, this petrol power-mill consumes fuel at a rate of 12.1kmpl in cities while on highways the rate changes to 15.2kmpl.
Chosen to power the sole model of Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 Emotion, this 1368cc petrol engine can crank out a top 88bhp at 6000rpm for a maximum torque of 115Nm produced at 4500rpm.
Delivering a city mileage of 11.3kmpl and highway mileage of 14.6kmpl, this power-house also gets mated to a 5-speed manual transmission gearbox just like its siblings.
The ride and handling of the Grande Punto is one of the best in its class. The ride is well composed and even the handling is definitely one of the best in its class.
Ride and handling have always been the forte of the rides coming from the Fiat clan and Fiat Grande Punto is no different. Sharing its platform with elder brother Linea, Grande Punto masters the same brilliantly-engineered underpinnings with the same suspension system as well. Employing an Independent Wheels suspension with McPherson struts for the front end and Torsion Beam mechanism for the rear end, both of which come coupled with Double Acting Telescopic Dampers, this suspension system is the very key to the smooth, supple and composed ride that Grande Punto so proudly boasts of. But although this suspension system is very efficient at absorbing jolts and jerks, it won't stop an exceptionally bumpy road from making its presence felt inside the cabin.
Where handling is concerned, there is no beating the Grande Punto. Whether it is a simple straight path or a sharp hairpin bend, this hatchback won't let the driver lose control in any situation. The steering wheel too has been weighted properly to instigate complete confidence in the driver.
The interiors of the Brio are well designed, although the fit and finish could have been better. The space is sufficient, despite the compact exterior dimensions. The boot is also sufficient considering its size.
The cab-forward design of Honda means there is sufficient space on the inside. The plastic quality of the Brio interiors isn’t impressive, but it is fairly decent. It comes with three-tone interior shade and it gets many bells and whistles on it.
The Honda Brio has sufficient head room and leg room for the front and rear passengers. Despite its compact dimensions, there isn’t any issue for space. The boot is small and it also misses out on a rear defogger and wiper even on the top-ranging model.
E MT:E Mt is the entry-version trim of the Honda Brio. The E versions gets body coloured bumpers, front chrome grille, rear foldable seats, seat belt reminder, electric power steering, tachometer, air-con, front power windows, headlight turn off reminder.
S MT:S MT is the second level above the E MT. It gets additional features like body coloured mirrors and door handles, steering mounted audio controls, chrome air vents, silver steering wheel garnish, keyless entry, rear power windows, one-touch down windows, accessory socket and vanity mirror.
S (O) MT:The optional pack comes with safety features like dual airbags, ABS and other convenience features like tilt steering and electrically adjustable ORVMs.
V MT:The V MT is the range topping model gets a bit more extra on the car. The V MT gets an addition of alloy wheels and front fog lamps. Apart from this, there are all the frills on the S (O) MT.
Brio has some of the most powerful engines in its segment. The 1.2-litre i-Vtec is one of the most of the refined mills with linear power delivery. Even the five-speed manual transmission is easy to shift with short throws.
Honda’s Brio is the latest entrant and the most powerful engine in its class. It gets the 1.2-litre i-VTEC mill— that also powers the Jazz— which produces 88PS of power and 109Nm of peak torque. This engine is so well refined that it feels like Honda engineers have scrupulously tuned it. The snort at low engine speeds turns into a sweet exhaust note as the revs climb up. Brio doesn’t share the same gearing with the Jazz and rather has taller ratios for better efficiency. So even though the power delivery is linear, one need to downshift for quick overtakes.
The Brio comes bolted to a 5-speed manual transmission. The gearshifts on the Brio are slick and seamless. It is a joy to shift them and the feel of the golf ball sized gear knob also is another feel good factor. As per the ARAI cycle, the Brio returns a fuel economy of 18.4kmpl.
The power-trains on most of the B+ segment hatchbacks are similar if not the same. It is the driving characteristics that vary. To be more specific, it is more of the handling that differs than the ride quality. All the cars in this segment have a sorted ride as the suspension doesn’t jiggle and disturb the peace of the occupants. Road undulations are well-taken care by the suspension.
The handling is the only aspect which differs in this segment. The Brio is the pick of the lot when it comes to the response of the chassis and suspension set-up. Though the light steering wheel may feel artificial to many, the chassis has been well tweaked to be driven flat-out around bends and tight hairpins. The alacrity of the Honda engine does make it a joy to drive it around hills or twisty roads.
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