First drive review: Fiat Punto TwinAir

The fitment of a clever TwinAir engine will hopefully generate renewed interest in this Fiat supermini. Is it any good?
What is it?

Basically an new version of the Fiat Punto, fitted with a eco engine. There's also a host of styling tweaks to keep the Fiat supermini fresh.

What's new?

Fiat has ditched the old Punto Evo's odd-looking front bumper and given this new car a much cleaner look. The Italian firm has also slipped its 875cc two-cylinder engine in too, as previously seen in the Fiat 500 and new Panda, Chrysler Ypsilon and the Alfa Romeo MiTo.

Fiat Punto TwinAir
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First drive review: Fiat Punto TwinAir

Trust Fiat to make a facelift look even worse than before. Granted the previous version wore a face that bore a considerable likeness to a whale's, but the 2012 Punto looks tremendously unhappy even in the knowledge it has the jolly TwinAir under its bonnet.  When this car originally appeared in 2005 (then called Grande Punto), some people likened its front end to a Maserati Quattroporte's. Oh, how times have changed.


What's under the bonnet?

The award-winning turbocharged, two-cylinder engine with 83bhp. There's no road tax thanks to the engine emitting just 98 g/km of CO2, and the car can return 67.3mpg on the combined cycle.

What's the kit like?

Priced at £12,100, the TwinAir is a model in its own right. It looks sharp with its unique 15-inch alloys, gloss black mirrors and door pillars, plus the special interior trim. The five-door version costs an extra £600.

Any rivals?

If you want a super-eco supermini there's not an awful lot of choice. Ford can supply you with their Fiesta ECOnetic, Skoda has the Fabia Greenline II, and there's the Volkswagen Polo BlueMotion.

Is it any good?

Fiat must be commended for keeping its Punto fresh. The styling update has worked and the TwinAir engine will make it appeal to new buyers. But the engine is not as economical as you'd think – you'll struggle to reach 67.3mpg – and it's pricy for what's basically an old car.

The Autoblog verdict

If you're after cheaper tax and a congestion charge free alternative to the Ford Fiesta ECOnetic or the Volkswagen Polo BlueMotion, the Punto TwinAir is definitely worth a look, but we'd rather take the Ford or the VW.

The knowledge
Model: Fiat Punto TwinAir
Price: £12,100
Engine: Two-cyls, 875cc, turbocharged petrol
Power: 83bhp, 145Nm
Max speed: 107mph
0-60mph: 12.5s
MPG (comb'd): 67.3
Emissions: 98g/km
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