Second report: A few months into the fleet, the stylish Punto has shown us its true strengths lie in areas that are less obvious.
The task at hand was to have a look at a few used cars that were for sale and assess their worth for our Used Cars Deals page. The example in question was a Mahindra Xylo located in Thane, a good 35km away from our office in Parel. Looking into the ‘keys box’, I eagerly reached for the one with the Fiat logo on the fob. It has an 89bhp diesel under the hood, big wheels and tastefully executed stripes that make it stand out. I was sold.
An hour-long drive through crawling traffic and a relatively uncongested Eastern Express Highway served as a good simulation of what the car might be like to live with on a daily basis. I was expecting some amount of turbo lag in traffic and, as expected, power comes in after only a bit of a wait at 2000rpm. The short gearing however meant it is pretty good in stop-start traffic. There’s a lot of punch in second and you can even stick it in third if traffic is free flowing. But then we hit the highway, and here the short gearing, especially first and second, proved frustrating. But once I’d got it into third, the Punto 90HP Sport started doing some justice to its red wing mirrors and racing stripes.