Fiat Punto Evo

New badge and engines keep hatchback fresh

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.0 out of 5

This Fiat is still no class-leader when it comes to ultimate build quality, but the Punto Evo is superbfun to drive and a stylish alternative to more sedate mainstream hatches. It also looks set to be competitively priced. The innovative gadgets and fresh engine line-up should make it as big a hit as its predecessors.

The Punto has evolved! Fiat’s popular supermini – now dubbed the Punto Evo – has been given a mild restyle along with new engines and gadgets.

The outgoing car’s handsome lines were a hit with buyers, so styling changes have been kept to a minimum.

Video: watch CarBuyer's video review of the Fiat Punto

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Revisions are more apparent inside, though: the cabin certainly looks the part, with its sporty, striped seats and leather-wrapped wheel. The seat, door and dash fabrics can be colour-coded, too, but cheap plastics let things down.

However, as well as a cosmetic facelift, there’s a fresh range of cleaner, more punchy engines, all with stop-start. Petrol units range from a 76bhp 1.4-litre up to all-new MultiAir 1.4s with 104bhp and 133bhp. Diesel fans get the choice of two 1.3-litre Multijet motors which come in 74bhp and 94bhp tune.

We drove the 104bhp MultiAir petrol and, while it’s not the most powerful engine around, it loves to be revved and has a great, rorty soundtrack. The Punto’s ride is firm, but that’s all part of the sporty set-up, and while the steering is light, the wheel skips and jiggles in your hands, delivering plenty of feedback.

Our car was well kitted out, too. It had Fiat’s unique Blue&Me system, which monitors how green your driving style is, as well as a portable TomTom sat-nav which can be detached from the dash and used on foot or even in other vehicles.

The Punto might not have the build quality to square up to, say, Ford’s Fiesta, but its new styling keeps it bang up-to-date. The rev-happy, naturally aspirated engine is fun and refreshingly different to the raft of small petrol turbos which are currently on sale.

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