Used Fiat Punto (2010-2018)

The Fiat Punto is a stylish, reasonably priced supermini – but it’s approaching its sell-by date.

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths 

Good-looking
Cheap to buy
Reasonably comfortable

Weaknesses 

Dated, inefficient engines
Dull to drive
Low-quality interior finish
Fiat Punto prices from £4,969  Finance from £92 per month

Once upon a time, drivers that wanted a small, affordable car might turn to their local Fiat dealer and take a test drive in the Punto. The perky hatchback was the equivalent of pizza, with a cheery disposition and likeable personality that meant it would, generally, hit the spot when you needed a new car.

Fiat made a mistake, though. The company kept the car in showrooms for far too long. So what was once considered a staple fix for drivers soon took on the appearance of days-old, cold, congealed pizza in the window of a pizza parlour. Unsurprisingly, people walked on by and sales dried up.

The final nail in the Punto’s coffin was an extremely poor set of results in independent crash tests, performed in 2018 by Euro NCAP, which saw the car become the first to be given a zero rating – out of a maximum potential of five stars.

It means there are better compact hatchbacks available to used car buyers. And not just a few; the majority of competitor cars were significantly better in every area, by the end of the Punto’s life.

Just how long was that life? The final, 2018 model had its roots in a car first launched in 2005, as Grande Punto some 13 years before. Most car companies replace a model after around six to seven years.

To be fair, Fiat facelifted the Punto. Not just once, but twice, first for the Punto Evo and then for the plainly named Punto, reviewed here.

The Punto has many rivals including the Volkswagen Polo, Seat Ibiza, Skoda Fabia, Ford Fiesta, Kia Rio, Hyundai i20, Vauxhall Corsa, Renault Clio and Peugeot 208. All are worth considering over the Punto.

Let’s start with the Punto’s good points. As a used car, it’s pretty cheap – after just two years, a new car would have lost half its original value. And although beauty is in the eye of the beholder, it’s quite good-looking too. Also, later in life, Fiat fitted plenty of equipment as standard, such as air-conditioning, Bluetooth for smartphones and alloy wheels.

However, over time, the Punto was shown up by rivals that boasted modern features. A touchscreen entertainment system and safety innovations such as automatic emergency braking (the main reason why the Punto performed so badly in crash tests) were sorely missing.

The other big downside of the Punto is its poor engine range. For the final, 2012 to 2018 model, Fiat started with a wide choice of five petrol and one diesel engines. Within a year it dropped most of them and left drivers with the choice of two mediocre petrol engines. There were just two trim levels, too.

Inside there’s a good driving position, but the quality of the interior is nothing special, with lots of hard plastics in evidence, creating the impression that you’re in a cheap car. At least the cabin was relatively roomy, with space for four adults, and there was a choice of either three- or five-door body styles. The boot is quite large and well shaped, and holds up to 275-litres of luggage, but there is rather a pronounced lip to lift shopping over, while on all bar the entry-level Pop+ model, the folding seat back could be split 60/40.

The driving experience is nothing to write home about. The suspension gives a reasonable ride, which helps isolate potholes and bumps around town well, but the downside is this softness means the car wallows around a lot and leans in corners. In no way could it be described as fun to drive, and in that area, its key rival, the Ford Fiesta, is light years ahead.

In all, there are far better used hatchbacks that will better cater for drivers and their family or friends. So unless you can be certain of a bargain, consider investing your hard-earned money elsewhere.

Last Updated 

Friday, May 17, 2019 - 16:15

Key facts 

Warranty: 
Three years/100,000 miles (two-year manufacturer + one-year dealer)
Boot size: 
275 litres
Width: 
1,687mm
Length: 
4,065mm
Height: 
1,490mm
Tax (min to max): 
£110 to £130

Best Fiat Punto for... 

Fiat Punto 0.9 TwinAir Easy+ 3dr
There’s not a great deal of difference in the fuel economy of the various Fiat Punto versions, but the 0.9-litre, two-cylinder TwinAir engine can return up to 67mpg and is exempt from road tax. However, in daily driving conditions, owners reported being disappointed by the engine’s lack of efficiency.
Fiat Punto 1.4 Easy+ 5dr
If you have kids, or regularly carry passengers, pick the five-door Punto over the three-door. You’ll definitely want the stronger 1.4-litre engine and better-equipped Easy+ trim level, too.
Fiat Punto 1.4 Easy+ 3dr
There used to be a mildly sporty version of the Punto, fitted with the 135hp, 1.4-litre MultiAir petrol engine, but that was quickly discontinued. So the most ‘sporty’ and widely available Punto was the three-door, Easy+’s with the 1.4-litre petrol engine.
Fiat Punto 1.2 Pop+ 3dr
This version of the Punto combines the least powerful engine with the most humble trim level. We’d give it a miss.

Fiat Punto History 

January 2010 Goes on sale, initially called ‘Punto Evo’
October 2010 Recall of 29,000 May-August 2010 Fiats for airbag problem
February 2011 Punto MyLife trim level introduced
March 2011 Recall of 8,100 Jul ’09 - Mar ’10 Fiats for fire risk
June 2012 Facelift sees revised front end and return of ‘Punto’ name
December 2012 Recall of 3,000 Jun-Sep 2012 Fiats for braking issue
March 2013 Petrol engine revised; TwinAir two-cylinder engine discontinued. MultiJet diesel engine discontinued
August 2013 Sporting trim level added to range
April 2014 Three-door-only Punto Jet Black 2 special edition introduced
Aug 2018 Fiat Punto taken off sale

Understanding Fiat Punto car names 

  • Punto
  • Engine
    1.4
  • Trim
    Easy+
  • Engine
    Although previously available with diesel power, the post-2012 Punto was only offered in the UK with 0.9, 1.2 and 1.4-litre petrol engines.
  • Trim
    The trim levels – or versions – of the Punto consisted of just two options: Pop+ and Easy+.

Fiat Punto Engines 

Petrol 0.9, 1.2, 1.4 
Diesel 1.3

From 2012, the Punto was offered with five petrol engines and one diesel unit.

Until 2013, there was a 0.9-litre, known as the TwinAir – so called because it has just two cylinders and a turbocharger – and a 1.4 MultiAir with either 105 or 135hp, and a 1.3-litre MultiJet diesel. The brief availability means these four are rare on the used car market.

The most efficient were the TwinAir and MultiJet. The TwinAir petrol produced 85hp, could go from 0-62mph in 12.3 seconds and offered the potential for up to 67mpg. However, few owners were able to achieve anything close to the TwinAir’s claimed level of economy. Of more significance was its exemption from road tax.

The 85hp Multijet diesel offered the potential for 80mpg, and could go from 0-62mph in 13.1 seconds.

Once the TwinAir, MultiAir and MultiJet engines were withdrawn from sale, it left the 1.2- and 1.4-litre, four-cylinder petrol engines. The 1.2 mustered 70hp, which meant it pottered along, taking 13.9 seconds to reach 62mph from standstill. Fuel economy was 53mpg. The 1.4-litre was barely any more potent. It had 77hp, 0-62mph took 12.8 seconds and fuel economy was 49mpg.

It’s an idea to test-drive both and see if the difference is enough to sway you one way or the other, but we’d recommend the 1.4-litre.

There was another 1.4-litre petrol, the MultiAir Turbo. It was more powerful, with 135hp and the ability to accelerate from 0-62mph in 8.5seconds. But it’s a rare find on the used car market.

 

Fuel

Mpg

Hp

0 - 62mph

top speed

0.9

Petrol

67mpg

85hp

12.3s

107mph

1.2

Petrol

53.3mpg

68hp

14.4s

97mph

1.4

Petrol

49.6mpg

77hp

13.2s

103mph

1.4 MultiAir

Petrol

49mpg

105hp

10.5s

115mph

1.4 MultiAir Turbo

Petrol

50.4mpg

135hp

8.5s

124mph

1.3

Diesel

80.7mpg

85hp

13.1s

107mph

Fiat Punto Trims 

Pop, Easy, Lounge, GBT, Sporting; Pop+, Easy+

Like the engine range, the Punto’s spread of trim levels – or versions – was paired back in its twilight years. However, initially, there were Pop, Easy and Lounge, and some special editions.

Standard equipment in the entry-level Pop model included remote central locking, electric front windows, driver and passenger airbags, window airbags, an audio system with MP3 player, electric power steering and a height-adjustable driver’s seat.

Easy trim level added a leather steering wheel, 15-inch alloy wheels, and air conditioning. The Lounge version built on these with automatic dual zone climate control, front fog lamps, seven airbags, cruise control, ambient interior lighting and an electric sunroof.

In addition, keep an eye out for GBT, Sporting and Jet Black special editions, which gave the car a bit of attitude with features including bespoke alloy wheels, sport suspension, a rear spoiler and side skirts.

From 2015, Fiat offered the Punto in only two trims, Pop+ or Easy+. The former included manual air-conditioning, Bluetooth connectivity, USB and MP3 player sockets, 15-inch alloy wheels, central locking, electric front windows, a height-adjustable driver’s seat and a reach-and-rake adjustable steering wheel.

Easy+ gained a leather steering wheel and gearknob, automatic climate control, larger (16-inch) alloy wheels, a TomTom satellite-navigation system, front foglights, a 60:40 split-folding rear seat, electrically-adjustable door mirrors and an engine stop-start system. Bear in mind that Easy+ also came with side-impact airbags in addition to the window-airbags of the lesser version.

Fiat Punto Reliability and warranty 

We’ve all heard the joke, ‘What does Fiat stand for? Fix It Again Tony’ but thankfully Fiat (and Italian cars in general) aren’t as bad as those old jokes would have you believe.

Owners report that the Punto is suffers minor electrical niggles rather than serious mechanical failures. Later cars sold may still enjoy the balance of Fiat’s original manufacturer warranty, which was for three years of 100,000 miles. (The third year’s cover was supplied by Fiat dealers, rather than the company itself.)

Used Fiat Punto 

The Punto’s main strength is that it’s cheap. Dealers and Fiat discounted them heavily when the car was new, and this only served to accelerate its loss in value over the long-term. So used examples are generally cheap - around half of its list price after two years. 

The other advantage of looking at older used Puntos is that it opens up a wider selection of engines, such as the 1.3-litre MultiJet diesel and 0.9-litre ‘TwinAir’ petrol. Prices for used examples of the TwinAir petrol and MultiJet diesel are between £3500 and £4500, at the time of writing.

There are currently 9 Fiat 500s available on BuyaCar, with prices ranging from £4,969 to £6,995 for nearly-new models.

Monthly finance payments start from £92 per month.