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In-depth reviews

Fiat Punto hatchback (2012-2018) - Engines, drive & performance

The Fiat Punto is easy to drive, but it leans a lot in corners and isn’t much fun

Carbuyer Rating

1.9 out of 5

Owners Rating

4.1 out of 5

Read owner reviews
Engines, drive & performance Rating

2.0 out of 5

The Fiat Punto is great to drive around town, as its compact dimensions, light steering and sharp brakes make it easy to manoeuvre and park in tight spaces. The engines are pretty nippy, too, which makes this car good at zipping in and out of city traffic.

Pop+ and Easy+ models also make for reasonable motorway cruisers, since they have reasonably soft suspension, which is better at soaking up bumps than taking on fast or twisty roads.

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Corners have to be approached quite slowly to minimise body lean and the five-speed gearbox is a bit clumsy – sometimes taking a couple of attempts to get the stick into the slot. All this takes the enjoyment out of driving.

If you’re after a small car with a more all-round driving ability, you’ll need to look at the nimble Ford Fiesta, whose range includes two 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engines that produce a surprising amount of power for their size and make overtaking a breeze.

There are currently two engines in the Fiat Punto range: 1.2 and 1.4-litre petrols.

Fiat Punto petrol engines

The 1.4-litre petrol engine is responsive, quiet and smooth. It gets from 0-62mph in 13.2 seconds – over a second faster than the somewhat lacklustre 1.2-litre. When on sale, the 1.4 only costed around £500 more than the 1.2, and as a used buyer, we'd strongly recommend you go for the bigger of the two engines.

Diesel engines

Fiat used to offer a 1.3-litre diesel engine, with a 0-62mph time of 13.1 seconds. It had plenty of power at lower speeds and offered a smooth drive all round.

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Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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