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2011 Fiat Punto Evo Review

With more horsepower per Euro than its rivals, the Punto GP is perhaps the best of the lukewarm hatches out there.

This Punto Evo GP is an honest little car and it is very relevant because of its good price, low emissions and the fact that it is fun to drive.

Review

When: June 2011

Where: Ireland

What: Fiat Punto Evo GP MultiAir

Occasion: Irish Test Drive

Inside & Out:  4/5

The Fiat Punto Evo is a good-looking car anyway - especially in three-door guise - and this new GP version looks a little like an Abarth-lite. There is rear privacy glass, smart 16-inch alloy wheels and some well-placed stripes; these, together with the more aggressive front and rear bumpers, make for a sporty looking car. We’d like slightly bigger alloys, but could negatively affect the ride quality.

Inside, you’ll quickly notice that the plastics are much better on Fiats these days and, while lower down areas feel a little brittle, the materials nearest your hands feel great.

Engine & Transmission: 3.5/5

Under the bonnet is Fiat’s 105hp 1.4-litre unit, the same engine powering the long-term Punto that we ran last year. This engine is really very perky and out-muscles most of its main rivals at the same price, most of whom ask you to make do with just 70-90hp.

If we did have a criticism it would be that the engine is a little vocal and perhaps could be better isolated, but by and large we found it to be more than willing. The 0-100km/h sprint takes 10.8 seconds, which really isn’t that bad and the stop-start system works faithfully. The six-speed manual gearbox is smooth too.

Ride & Handling: 3.5/5

The ride is quite good on this Punto Evo model, as it hasn't been lowered too much or over-shod with massive wheels and low-profile tyres - so it won’t rattle your brains out around town or on poor surfaces. We have always said that this model Punto has quite a fun chassis and although we would like a little more steering feel we love the driving position and when you push the Punto GP on hard it can be quite entertaining.

Equipment, Economy & Value for Money: 4/5

We are very impressed with the amount of kit you get for you money. There is air conditioning, a leather-covered steering wheel, a TomTom dock, 16-inch alloy wheels and for a few Euros more you can have a sunroof and bigger wheels - if that is your thing. With Band B emissions, annual road tax will be €156 and fuel economy is good too, despite being a petrol model.

CompleteCar Index: 3.5/5

This Punto Evo GP is an honest little car and it is very relevant because of its good price, low emissions and the fact that it is fun to drive.

Fiat Punto Evo GP MultiAir:

•Engine: 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol
•Maximum power: 105hp at 6,500rpm
•Maximum torque: 130Nm at 4,000rpm
•Acceleration (0-100km/h): 10.8 seconds
•Maximum speed: 185km/h
•Fuel economy (combined cycle): 5.7 litres/100km (50mpg)
•CO2 emissions: 134g/km
•Motor tax band: B
•Annual road tax: €156
•Retail price: Official price of test car without options is €16,495