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New Fiat Grande Punto

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  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,010
    "Punto" a dirty word in Spanish? :shades:
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,890
    Erm... no. It basically means "point." Go back to Spanish I (remedial, might I suggest :))

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,825
    You've got an extra letter there :surprise:
  • Love it. I would buy one. I went to the Fiat website and there are lots of ways to option it out. Oh well. dream
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,205
    While the perception lags the reality, the Punto and other Fiats are much improved, and the company is one of Europe's brightest industrial turnaround stories. Fiat isn't the old fix-it-again-Tony anymore, since it must compete with the likes of Toyota in Europe and elsewhere. I think that if it can remain profitable for the next couple of years, Fiat will demonstrate that it has sustainability. At that punto, er, sorry, point, it'll be a candidate for a merger or other combination with another auto maker, and we could see Fiats sold in the U.S. again. These might be sourced in India, Poland, or Brazil, where Fiat currently had plants and manufacturing partnerships.
  • U.S. again, the new new 2007 Suzuki SX4 is a joint Suzuki-Fiat configuration. Built in Japan and Hungary. It is a really smart new crossover, and for $14,999 for the manual transmission model it is a bargain. It's designed to be a fun to drive small rig with good handling and available AWD at the lowest price-point anywhere in the world.

    It is doing well according to new buyers and it is on my short list. But my short list becomes my long list with my '01 Kia Sportage now just over 125,000 miles and running like a champ. But this new SX4 from Suzuki helps to prove the point that Fiat is not your old "Fix It All-the-Time" car that we learned about Fiat from in the 70's.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,205
    I wish Suzuki offered the the SX4 as a FWD SX2, for those who prefer to swap better mileage and lower price for maximum traction.
  • are you talking about 2WD FWD, or something else on the SX4? That is one of the drivetrain options on the SX4, simply 2WD-FWD. That setting equates to the best miles per gallon setting, which is around 30 mpg on the 2007 Suzuki SX4. Acceptable to me but not everyone.

    If you wanted to you could leave your transmission in 2WD-FWD all the time and get around 30mpg. Good choice, I would think! I just love the new car's bodystyle. It has the specialized Italian bodystyling and IMO the style shop did a great job with this new entry from Suzuki.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,205
    I'm talking about a simple FWD vehicle, not some heavier, more complex and more expensive vehicle with a system that permits the driver to select FWD only or 4WD.
  • what would you think about the new 2007 or now maybe it will be a 2008 Suzuki SX4 sedan with FWD? I think that car would come with just a simple 2WD-FWD drivetrain. I like the sedan and will take a longer look at it when the rig actually comes out.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,205
    I think it would be appealing, and a viable alternative to the Aveos, Fits and Versas of the world. Is your question hypothetical, or do you know that a FWD version will in fact be introduced?

    Incidentally, today's Wall Street Journal had an article about the SX4, and gave it what amounted to a so-so evaluation. The main deficiency cited was fuel economy, which is significantly less than competing models. Good fuel economy is important to buyers of small cars, and while the SX4 was praised in terms of fun, its mediocre fuel economy is a serious deficiency for this class of vehicle, don't you think?
  • if you really like the car's body styling and don't mind a few miles per gallons less, then the Suzuki SX4 can still work for you. And it still does work for me, albeit it won't for everybody.

    As for the Suzuki SX4 sedan, yes, it's a go and yes, it will have 2WD-FWD as the main powertrain setup. As to whether Suzuki/Fiat will decide to make the sedan a vehicle that will have AWD-Lock and AWD-Auto(like the current SX4)I don't know the answer to that. My guess is that Suzuki will build the car as FWD, period. That's what makes this hobby so fun, we get to save that thrill for finding out later!

    Also, off this topic, I am really interested in the Scion xA and Scion xB replacement we'll see later this year. I like one of the old Scion's, the xA and the tC. I could do without the xB to be honest with you. I like the Scion tC and tC Spec that are currently live production models.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,205
    You asked me how I'd feel about a FWD version of the SX4, and I responded that it would be appealing, but now you're telling me that Suzuki will introduce a SX4 sedan. Well, which will it be, the small SUV with FWD in place of what's offered now, or a sedan? Or don't you know?

    With all the choices out there, yes, I do mind less than 30 mpg in an economy car.
  • there will be the more appointed Sport version of the current 2007 Suzuki SX4 crossover coming out now at Suzuki dealers. This is the crossover SX4 that has the i-AWD in three different drive modes. The Sport and base SX4 crossover models are here to stay and are not slated to change in any significant way any time soon.

    Later this year Suzuki will bring to the table an SX4 sedan that will be FWD only. No other drivetrain options will be available to you. What will be interesting is how good the FWD sedan's mpg will be.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,205
    Thanks for clarifying. Good, because many people, in the sun belt, for instance, and others who may own one or more AWD vehicles already, don't need or want AWD.

    FWD usually has a 1-2 mpg advantage over AWD, so Suzuki will have to find additional ways to improve fuel economy to be competitive in this area. The recent Wall Street Journal report on the SX4 mentioned that it was geared somewhat low, for performance, so gearing is one variable that could be tweaked for better mileage. Of course, acceleration and responsiveness would suffer accordingly, so, not having driven the SX4, I'm not suggesting that higher gearing would be a good tradeoff. It seems to me, though, that the company that produced the Geo Metro and the Suzuki Swift is capable of figuring out how to deliver good fuel economy. We'll see.

    Again, thanks.
  • the new Suzuki SX4 sedan in FWD will undoubtedly come in automatic and manual transmission choices. I'm wondering if the sedan could be built a tad lighter, without the AWD unit's weight, and produce mpg numbers like 26 city and 34 highway, eh? Suzuki may be able to sell more of them that way, though this SX4 sedan is nice looking, and I think they're gonna sell more than say, the Forenza, which looks to be simlar in size. I'm gonna take a close look at them when they arrive.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,205
    Their bikes have been much more impressive than their cars, prompting the WSJ to suggest that their car designers and engineers should talk to their motorcycle counterparts. One thing that Suzuki cars seem to lack is an identity.

    A significant positive is that, despite their low volume in North America, Suzuki's Canadian car plant is very efficient, helping their car business to be profitable.

    Returning to Fiat, with the renewed emphasis on fuel economy, maybe Fiat's Panda and new Cinquecento models could make a go of it in the US. The latter will compete with the Smart in Europe. For a Fiat relaunch to succeed in North America, I think their cars would have to be positioned and marketed as smart, nicely appointed, fun-to-drive urban cars, priced above the price leaders.
  • the price leaders, being that they have the Fiat known history here in America? They don't exactly have a stellar performance record here.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,205
    Fiat doesn't have a chance of being profitable in N. America if they go head to head with the major established companies. The margins are just too small. Maybe they couldn't be profitable here under any circumstances, but since their market share would be small, and they wouldn't enjoy economies of scale, their best shot would be by differentiating themselves so they could have wider margins.

    Fiat owns Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Ferrari and Maserati, all premium brands, to one degree or another, with Alfa and Lancia being primarily mid range mass market. Ferrari and Maserati have the margins to be profitable here, and there are plans to relaunch Alfa, which has a better shot at being a profitable business case than a cheaper car.
  • "Fiat doesn't have a chance of being profitable in N. America if they go head to head with the major established companies. The margins are just too small. Maybe they couldn't be profitable here under any circumstances, but since their market share would be small, and they wouldn't enjoy economies of scale, their best shot would be by differentiating themselves so they could have wider margins."

    Agreed, and as discussed in another forum conversation, perhaps the way to go is licensing their products to another company. In this case, Chrysler if there is a divestiture from Daimler.

    As to Alfa Romeo, I believe the intention is to sell cars through the existing North American Maserati dealerships.

    YipYipYipee
  • "Love it. I would buy one. I went to the Fiat website and there are lots of ways to option it out. Oh well. dream"

    I drove a Grand Punto while in the U.K., albeit with the 1.2L engine. Good enough for urban environments, but definitely out of puff when on the highway.

    The interior has a clean, simple and functional design (to some, maybe even bland). Some cheap plastic in some areas, but rarely in the areas you'd see at eye-level and/or regularly touch. Same could be said for some VW Golf/Rabbit cars, including the GTI.

    Externally, a very handsome looking car at most angles. And the ride is a big improvement over the previous generation Punto. Bigger wheels make it look great, but the ride-quality would be compromised, but I expect it would be tolerable. Car I drove had steel wheels and covers.

    YipYipYipee
  • I rented a FIAT Grande Punto while I was in Italy last week.
    I have to say that it had great handling, great pickup, and was a sharp looking car. Mine was the Diesel and I managed to hit 180 kph (111 mph) in it while driving down the Adriatic Coast.

    The car got me out of trouble when some idiot sped up on my right and cut me off. For about 200 kilometers (120 miles) I had heavy winds blowing across the highway and the car still handled well at 120 kph (75 mph).

    If Fiat sold in America, I would buy a Grand Punto. I wish that they sold one with AWD.

    I drove a FIAT Panda around Florence for 2 days and while it's a great little city car, It didn't feel as stedy on the highway. I would, however buy a Panda in 100 hp version since that suspension seems more firm.
  • daysailerdaysailer Posts: 711
    when I first glanced at the title, I thought that it said "Pinto". :)
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,205
    I don't think Ford is about to introduce a new Grande Pinto, but it would sure stimulate a lot of discussion on these boards.
This discussion has been closed.