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Car reviews - Fiat - Punto - hatch range


Fiat mounts a serious light/small-car challenge with its all-new Punto hatch

27 Jun 2006

FIAT has been to the edge of the abyss abroad, with freefalling sales and skyrocketing debt as a result of models that nobody really wanted. In nine short months though the new Punto has changed all that, turning the beleaguered Italian from nutcase to showcase. More startling, however, is the possibility that this plucky little light/small car might just be the answer to your automotive needs – and all from a firm that hasn’t even sold cars in Australia for the last 16 years.
Model release date: 1 July 2006 to 1 June 2010

Previous model

Fiat Regata 85S sedan

Released: 1985
Ended: 1989
Family Tree: Punto

Awful describes Fiat’s gawky front-wheel drive Regata small car, a booted version of Fiat’s Ritmo hatchback – its first of many underwhelming stabs at VW’s Golf (visionary 1988-1995 Tipo excepted). Powered by a 58kW 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine, performance was adequate with the unpleasant five-speed manual gearbox, and abysmal anchored to a three-speed automatic. 1.6-litre 100S sedan and Weekend wagons were also offered. It is no surprise that by the late 1980s Australians lost interest in Fiat cars.

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