Thinking & Feeling

“The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.” Horace Walpole

Monday, 28 December 2009

Basil is retiring.

I have love love loved! My Panda, aka Basil. But he has an issue or 2 now (first in 3.5 years) and I can see it's going to get worse and will result in a fight, and frankly I am all outta fight just now. So I am going to retire him before it becomes more of a problem - for me. :twisted:
Anyhoo I was going to go straight for another Panda... because they really are awesome. But then I saw and test drove a Fiat Grande Punto (same year and similar low milage as my Panda) and it was great. Admittedly it is not as fun, funky and characterful as the Panda, but it has SPACE, something the Panda really doesn't. Now that I am a single parent with ever growing boys (and their stuff) we have actually kind of out grown the Panda. Week-ends away are challenging as we are very restricted in what we can take, and have to pack very carefully! Taking the boy's bikes anywhere is a mission, and if I already have stuff in the car, I can not do a large shopping trip etc. As a city run around the Panda is perfect, but as the old car in the family it is limiting.

So I am going for it while the opportunity is there and before Basil's problem becomes more serious.

This time next week the deal should be done... Punto's name still TBD.

The Grande Punto looks like this (except it's white)

This is the Panda (I don't have roof racks)

Grande Punto 2006 Reviews:

Good: Well-equipped, good-looking and roomy hatch that's fun to drive. Five-star crash test rating.
Bad: You have to lift luggage (or the dog) over a high load sill in the boot.

Top Gear: Fiat Grande Punto
Fiat Grande Punto

This is exactly what the world needs. A hatchback with a supercar’s nose welded to the front. Ingenius

Our verdict - The second-gen Fiat Punto dubbed itself ‘Grande’ because it’s pretty damn big for the money. It also goes well and looks great in a segment full of unimaginative Euro-box hatches. Coupled with one of its decent diesels, this is just what Fiat needs to be doing.

Comfort - The Punto rides reasonably well and manages to remain properly composed at motorway speeds. Its only real drawback is a selection of noisy engines that penetrate the cabin at high revs. 11 out of 20

Performance - There are endless engines to choose from for your Punto, none of them a clear-cut winner. With Fiat we'd always recommend going for a diesel, and the 130bhp 1.9 Multijet makes the best of rapid progress with decent economy. 9 out of 20

Cool - The Punto is strangely cool, not only because it has that nod to Maserati in its styling, but also because it's not the default small car choice that is the Mini. Small hatchbacks, just like scooters, are always cool if they're Italian. 12 out of 20.

Quality - You'd hardly dare expect it, but the Punto seems oddly sturdy. For an Italian hatch that undercuts the competition, this is nothing short of miraculous. Another string to what's become a surprisingly tempting bow. 10 out of 20

Handling - Light, city-oriented steering doesn't offer much in the way of feel when you're hurtling about out of town, but the Grande Punto's lively chassis provides plenty of mechanical grip. 11 out of 20

Practicality - The B-segment is full of cars that aren't quite as big in the back or boot as you'd really like them to be, the worst offender being the Mini. The Punto lays waste to all before it in that respect, earning its ‘Grande' moniker with ease. 11 out of 20

Running costs - For starters you can get a new Punto for as little as £7,485, so you're already in pocket. Those diesels are also properly frugal, and the mini-Maser is considerably cheaper to insure than its distant cousins. 19 out of 20


  1. new name, new car..... you're heading into 2010 in style girl !

  2. Things are looking up fantastically!!! :)

  3. I love that car - I have an old Fiat Punto.
    All the best for 2010 - hope its a good one for you and your family. xx