Fiat Punto revised and renamed for 2012

It started out as the Punto before changing to the Grande Punto. That was followed by the Punto Evo but now Fiat have had a rethink, naming the new Fiat Punto the ‘Fiat Punto’.

The facelifted model has made it out of the Fiat design studio with the lightest of cosmetic surgery, with a new front bumper being the most obvious change to the Fiesta rival. That bumper now encompasses a black mesh grille, while at the rear there’s a new Fiat badge that also doubles as the door lock.

Aside from the obligatory new wheels and new paint colours, that appears to be it. There must be some big changes under the metal then…

Fortunately there’s some significant changes there, most notably under the bonnet. The fantastic TwinAir engine from the 500 and Panda is now available in the Punto. The two cylinder turbocharged engine produces 85 bhp (86 PS) and 107 lb/ft (145 Nm) of torque meaning it’ll be able to keep up with city traffic, but an Eco button reduces torque output to just 81 lb/ft (110 Nm) to reduce emissions and fuel consumption. This enables the Punto to emit as little as 98 g/km of CO2, just sneaking in to the current free road tax band.

Alongside the TwinAir Turbo is a revised version of the MultiJet turbo diesel. The 1.3 litre unit can manage 80.7 mpg and emits just 90 g/km of CO2, thanks to a Stop&Start system and revised alternator, making it particularly clean for a diesel engine. The same 85 bhp (86 PS) as the TwinAir is twinned with a punchy 148 lb/ft (200 Nm) of torque.

A 1.4 litre MultiAir turbocharged petrol engine option provides 0-60 mph times of just 8.5 seconds thanks to an output of 135 bhp (137 PS) yet still returns 50.4 mpg.

Inside there’s eco:Drive, a data logging system that enables the driver to upload their data to a Fiat program on their PC that will then explain exactly how badly they’re driving and what they should do about it.

A shift light has also been installed, reminding drivers that they aren’t meant to be having too much fun and that they should change gear at the most economical point. Combined, the indicator light and eco:Drive system is meant to save the average user 15% on their fuel bills.

There’s five trim levels on the revised Punto, obscurely called Pop, Easy, Lounge, GBT and TwinAir. Pop is the entry level budget choice that comes with denim inserts on the seats. Easy adds air conditioning while Lounge changes that to climate control and adds cruise control and white ambient lighting. TwinAir models share the same spec as Easy, but add privacy glass, sports suspension and special alloys.

The GBT model has been added by the Italian manufacturer to celebrate British Cycling.

As is the current trend, and soon the law, daytime running lights have been added, along with adaptive cornering fog lights. That’s right, not the usual driving lights, but the fog lights. Elsewhere there’s electric power steering, airbags for both front seats with window airbags alongside, while electronic stability control is now fitted as standard.

With a total of 13 body colours, five trim levels, seven types of interior upholstery, 11 types of stylish alloy wheel and a host of other accessories, Fiat claims there’s an infinite number of personalisation options.

Whilst half an hour with a calculator will probably disprove that, the revised Punto will still represent good value. Prices are expected to start around the £10,000 mark and there’ll no doubt be some discount available from your local Fiat dealer.

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Phil Huff

Phil is a motoring writer for print and web, failed racing driver, car hoarder and banger rally competitor. Nominated for the Headline Auto Rising Star award and a MGMW member, Phil freelances for outlets as diverse as Diesel Car magazine, DAD.info and Cambridge Magazine, amongst many others. He also maintains a fleet of unloved motors, but spends most of his time driving an old Corvette.

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