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Size Matters

Can Fiat's updated Punto overcome the latest version of the supermini favourite from Volkswagen? We find out.
OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
27 Aug 2010
What we like:
pros
Fiat: Improved build quality over previous model
pros
spacious interior
pros
revvy motor. Volkswagen: Strong and efficient performance
pros
smart looks
pros
capable ride and handling
What we dislike:
cons
Fiat: Vague gear shift quality
cons
engine lacks torque compared to the VW TSI unit
cons
expensive
cons
manual only. Volkswagen: Lurchy nature of 7-speed DSG at low speeds
cons
cramped interior

Fiat has taken great strides to improve the build quality and interior ambience of the Punto with the Evo version here. While the Grande Punto had an interior that was at best, shabbily put together with hard and shiny plastics, the Punto Evo offers a cabin that is much better screwed together from better quality materials and trim.

The hard wearing red trim on the dashboard is matched by similarly coloured door inserts and seats to give the cabin a cheerful and airy feel while the instrument cluster has been spiced up with chrome rings around the dial faces. Despite Fiat's best efforts though, the Puto Evo's cabin somehow manages to feel more basic than the Polo's here, perhaps due to details like the empty single DIN slot for a locally fitted stereo head unit among other things.

Disappointingly though, the Fiat's generously proportioned exterior doesn't really translate into a rather spacious interior. It's more spacious in here than the smaller sized Polo on the inside nonetheless.

Both these cars prove once again that European manufacturers have made major improvements when it comes to safety in small cars. Both cars have been awarded the full five stars in the influential Euro NCAP crash test programme.

In its transformation from Grande Punto to the Punto Evo, Fiat's supermini model has improved significantly. Impressive the Punto Evo might be but credit has to be given where credit's due - next to the complete and brilliant Polo Sport, the Punto Evo just doesn't have a chance. The Volkswagen is more refined, offers more exploitable and usable performance, offers the convenience of making do without a third foot pedal and is better built. In 1.2 TSI Sport form, the Polo is even better and an even more tempting prospect than the 1.4 base model.

Credits: Story by raymond Lai Photos by C.L. Yeo

Cars in this article
Volkswagen Polo Sport 1.2 TSI (DSG) 2010
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Volkswagen Polo Sport 1.2 TSI (DSG) 2010

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