The interiors of the Punto Evo 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.
The interiors of the Punto Evo have been upgraded and to a large extent a majority of the instrument panel has been redesigned. The centre console is brand-new as seen on the new Linea and we shall also witness on the Avventura. The new centre console design is refreshing. The quality of the materials is just fine, however it is the fit and finish, which we liked. There are no additional features in the Punto Evo except the rear AC vent and the bottle holder, it has Blue and Me, steering mounted audio controls, USB and even auxiliary input too. Most of the competition today, has features like smart key, push start-stop button, reverse parking camera, which aren’t available on the Punto Evo.
The dimensions of the car haven’t changed. Hence, there is no difference in the cabin shape. The front row is spacious sufficient for tall people too, however the thigh support could have been better. The rear seats have decent headroom and knee room. The boot too is large enough to gobble your weekend luggage.
Active: Active is the very base model of Fiat Punto Evo 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-trip meter, 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 Punto Evo 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 Punto Evo. 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 Punto Evo 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 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.
There are four engine options on the Punto Evo, there is the 1.2-litre and the 1.4-litre petrol and the 1.3-litre diesel with 75bhp and 90bhp tuning options.
1.3-litre 75bhp multijet engine:
The Punto Evo is powered by a 1.3-litre multijet diesel engine. The 1248cc oil burner produces 74bhp at 4000rpm and a peak torque of 190Nm. The Vista comes mated to a five-speed manual transmission. The NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) levels of the engine are fairly low, however there is a typical diesel clatter on cold starts. The clutch has been softened by 20% as per Tata’s claim and it does feel light. However, if you release the clutch slowly in traffic, there is a lot of clattering noise from the engine. This sounds like knocking, but is actually to do something with the clutch plate, as it stops once you leave the clutch pedal or press it completely.
The engine has some amount of turbo lag and it is at about 1900rpm when there is a rush of power. Below 1900rpm, the engine hesitates a bit to pull. This multijet engine is one of the most reliable engines and the most widely used diesel engine in the Indian car market. This can be a bit of trouble, but once used it things are fine. The Punto Evo’s engine is fairly smooth, and the engine doesn’t really slur and the power delivery is fairly linear like a petrol mill. Overtaking isn’t an issue and the engine has sufficient power to drive in the city and also on the highway.
1.3-litre 90bhp multijet engine: Employed to propel the 1.3 Emotion Pack 90HP and Sport 90BHP variants of Punto Evo, 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.
The 1.4-litre petrol engine on the Punto Evo is the most powerful one on paper. This is another engine from the Fiat stable and it produces about 90bhp of power. The power ratings are good for a hatchback and even the acceleration from the engine is good. Most of the torque is developed at a higher rpm, hence you might have to downshift for quick overtaking. Even the NVH levels are fairly low, just like any other modern petrol engine. This engine comes mated to a five-speed manual transmission. The box is a bit rubbery and the shifts are decent.
The 1.2-litre petrol engine is still available on the Punto Evo. The 1.2-litre mill produces about 65bhp of power at 5500rpm and a maximum torque of 96Nm at 3000rpm. The power delivery is decent, however most of the power is developed at a higher rpm. The engine does feel a speck underpowered for instant acceleration, and one has to downshift into to overtake. On the highway, it does feel out of breathe, and in the city also you need to shift constantly to extract the best performance. This petrol power-mill consumes fuel at a rate of 12.1kmpl in cities while on highways the rate changes to 15.2kmpl.
The gearbox on the Punto Evo is a five-speed manual and is a tad rubbery. The clutch is soft but its the shifts that we have complaints about. Even the throws could have been shorter.
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 ride and handling of the Punto Evo 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 Punto Evo is no different. Sharing its platform with elder brother Linea, Punto Evo 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 Punto Evo 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 Punto Evo. 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 raised ground clearance also makes it easier to drive on bad roads.
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.