Polo vs Punto Evo Comparison Review

Published on: Dec 29, 2016
Fiat Punto Evo vs Volkswagen Polo Comparison Review:


"Its a shame that the Punto Evo has messed up on the engines front because dynamically it is an absolute driver's delight! It makes a capable vehicle like the Polo, look mediocre. It has a wonderfully feel-some hydraulically assisted steering setup, compared to the overly light and sterile feeling electrically assisted steering, of the Polo."

Pricing & Features Comparison:  
Polo’s range-topping variant, the ‘Highline-diesel’, retails for 9.6 Lakh Rs. on road Delhi. Punto Evo's range-topping 'Emotion' variant, retails for 9.0 Lakh Rs, making it 60,000 Rs. cheaper to buy.

But for that Rs. 60,000 extra, the Polo 'Highline' offers a long list of extra features over the Punto Evo 'Emotion', like Parking Sensors, Electrically Folding Mirrors, Cornering Lamps, Auto Dimming Inside Mirror, Navigation, Mirror Link, Cruise Control, Rain Sensing Wipers, Auto-up Anti-Pinch Driver’s Window and Telescopic Steering Adjustment. The Punto Evo 'Emotion' one the other hand only offers a couple of extra feature over the Polo Highline, which are the Rear AC Vents and Navigation.

This goes on to show that it is a bit daft to blindly compare top-end to top-end variants while shopping for your car. Even the mid-range Polo 'Comfortline' (diesel), which costs 8.9 Lakh, is more feature-rich than the top-end Punto Evo 'Emotion'

Pricing of other Variants:
Polo Comfortline (petrol, manual) - 6.55 Lakh
Punto Evo Dynamic (petrol, manual) - 6.45 Lakh

Punto Abarth (petrol, manual) - 11.95 Lakh
Polo GT TSI (petrol, automatic) - 10.10 Lakh

Common Features: ABS, Airbags-2, Automatic Climate Control, Power Steering, Power Windows, Central Locking, Keyless Entry, Stereo: FM, Aux, Bluetooth + 4 Speakers, Steering Wheel Switches, Electrically Adjustable Mirrors, Rear Wash-Wipe-Defog,  Fog Lamps, Touchscreen, Driver’s Seat Height Adjust, Alloy Wheels

Extra Features in Punto Evo (Emotion): Rear AC Vents, Navigation

Extra Features in Polo (Highline): Parking Sensors, Electrically Folding Mirrors, Cornering Lamps, Auto Dimming Inside Mirror, Navigation, Mirror Link, Cruise Control, Rain Sensing Wipers, Auto-up Anti-Pinch Driver’s Window, Telescopic Steering Adjustment

Fuel Efficiency Comparison:
Polo diesel, has an ARAI certified mileage of 20.14 kmpl (19.91 for GT TDI), which is almost the same as Punto Evo’s mileage of 20 kmpl. In our back-to-back tests the Polo was consistently 1 kmpl more efficient than the Punto Evo.

The manual geared Polo petrol has an ARAI certified mileage of 16.5 kmpl, which is 0.7 kmpl more than Punto Evo's mileage of 15.8 kmpl. The Polo GT TSI automatic also has an ARAI certified mileage of just 16.5 kmpl, while the Punto Abarth has 16.3 kmpl. In our back-to-back tests, the Polo was just over 1 kmpl more efficient than the Punto Evo & Abarth.

ARAI Fuel Efficiency (kmpl):
Polo (petrol, manual) - 16.47, Punto Evo (petrol, manual) - 15.8
Polo (diesel, manual) - 20.14, Punto Evo (diesel, manual) - 20.0
Polo GT TSI (petrol, automatic) - 16.47, Punto Abarth - 16.3 kmpl

Fuel Cost: (for 75,000 km)
Polo (petrol, manual) - 4.35 Lakh, Punto Evo (petrol, manual) - 4.50 Lakh
Polo (diesel, manual) - 2.95 Lakh, Punto Evo (diesel, manual) - 2.95 Lakh
Polo GT TSI (petrol, automatic) - 4.35 Lakh, Punto Abarth - 4.40 Lakh

Performance & Drivability Comparison:
Petrol:
Truth be told both the Punto Evo and the Polo manual have pathetic little petrol engines. They just don't produce enough power to propel to propel the hefty weight of their cars. On top of that they have excessively y'all gearing, in the interest of getting a better fuel efficiency figure from ARAI, which further destroys their drivability around town. Mid-range is also pathetically weak and outright performance is downright disappointing. But that's not all, even their refinement is nowhere as good as their Japanese rivals. Amongst the two the Polo fares slightly better than the Punto in terms of performance.

When it comes to their flagships, VW and Fiat have plonked big-ass turbochargers on their cars. Both cars churn out big numbers on the spec sheet, especially the Abarth. You go in expecting to get your mind blown, but nothing of that sort happens. You start off and soon realise that, there's no grunt available till the turbo kicks in. The turbo wakes up only after 2500 rpm, which is frankly quite painful in city traffic. When it does there's a creamy wave of torque which efoortlessly propels the Punto to silly speeds, but the torque build up isn't as sudden as you might have experienced in some if the diesel cars and hence never gives you the kick that you expected out of it.

Polo GT TSI is a completely different story altogether. Its is only available with VW's cutting edge DSG dual-clutch transmission. It is delightfully smooth and responsive and an absolute joy to spend endless hours of driving with. It is a decently quick car too. But dies it have 10 Lakh rupees worth of performance? Not really. Even a 6 Lakh rupee Figo diesel can and did outpace it around a race track, when a leading automotive publication did a multi car track test. Surprisingly, even the 12 Lakh rupee Punto Abarth lost out the Figo costing exactly half its price.

Shame on you Punto Abarth and Polo GT TSI, the so called hot hatches of India!

Power to Weight Ratio (PS/ton): Punto Evo - 61, Polo – 71, Punto Abarth - 123, Polo GT TSI - 95
Torque to Weight Ratio (Nm/ton): Punto Evo - 106, Polo – 104, Punto Abarth - 177, Polo GT TSI – 158

Power (PS@rpm): Punto Evo – 68@6000, Polo – 75@5400, Punto Abarth - 147@5500, Polo GT TSI – 105@5000
Torque (Nm@rpm): Punto Evo – 96@2500, Polo – 110@3750, Punto Abarth - 212@2000-4000, Polo GT TSI – 175@1500-4100
Kerb Weight (kg): Punto Evo - 1105, Polo – 1053, Punto Abarth - 1198, Polo GT TSI – 1109

Diesel:
Among the diesels, the Punto Evo is easily outclassed by the Polo. Punto Evo suffers from massive amounts of turbo lag at lower revs, making it a nuisance to drive in rush hour traffic. The Polo on the other hand has very little turbo lag and gets going from as low as 1500 rpm. Polo's mid-range is also stronger than the Punto Evo and out also has a wider per band to play with. Thus makes it more effortless at pulling overtaking maneuvers on the highways as well. Punto Evo hasa slight advantage over the Polo in terms of refinement, but overall of no match to the diesel polo overall.

Power to Weight Ratio (PS/ton): Punto Evo - 87, Polo – 78
Torque to Weight Ratio (Nm/ton): Punto Evo - 175, Polo – 199

Power (PS@rpm): Punto Evo – 93@4000, Polo – 90@4200
Torque (Nm@rpm): Punto Evo – 209@2000, Polo – 230@1500-2500
Kerb Weight (kg): Punto Evo - 1198, Polo – 1158

Handling & Ride Quality Comparison:
Its a shame that the Punto Evo has messed up on the engines front because dynamically it is an absolute driver's delight! It makes a capable vehicle like the Polo, look mediocre. It has a wonderfully feel-some hydraulic steering setup, compared to the overly light and sterile feeling electric steering of the Polo. Punto Evo also feels more stable and complicated than the autobahn tuned polo at high speeds, which is a remarkable achievement. Both cars grp well aground the curves and exhibit a bit of body roll. But the Punto Evo absorbs bumps and ruts better than the Polo as well. With SUV rivalling 195/185 mm of ground clearance, the Punto Evo nonchalantly dismisses even the bigger bumps and ruts without much of a bother. Polo's ride quality also isn't too bad, but it is not in the same league as the Fiat.

Ground Clearance (mm): Punto Evo – 195 (Petrol), 185 (Diesel), Polo - 165

Wheelbase (mm): Punto Evo – 2510, Polo - 2469

Tyre Size:
Punto Evo: 175/70R14 (E), 175/65R15 (S, SV, V, VX)
Polo: 175/70R14 (Trendline), 185/60R15 (Comfortline, Highline, GT)

Space & Comfort Comparison:
Polo has a more natural and economic seating position than the Punto Evo. Bit it suffers from a claustrophobic rear seating. Legroom and shoulder space is both quit tight and the small glass area makes it feel even smaller. Punto Evo in the other hand has a spacious and comfortable rear bench. Bootspace on both cars is better than most hatchbacks sold in the market. However in terms of the sheer quality of materials and fit-finish, the obsessive German is leagues ahead of the flamboyant Italian.

Boot-space (lit): Punto Evo - 280, Polo - 294

Length (mm): Punto Evo – 3989, Polo - 3971                                                                        
Width (mm): Punto Evo – 1687, Polo - 1682
Height (mm): Punto Evo – 1525, Polo - 1469

Reliability & After Sales Service Comparison:
Fiat had more than 10 year headstart over Volkswagen in the indian market, but it squandered this lead by neglecting is dealerships and customer service. Volkswagen is not exactly known for good customer service either, with its politico-mafia dealer principals being least bothered about providing a professional service to its customers, and Volkswagen having hardly any control or willingness to micromanage the service quality offered at its outlets. But things at Fiat are even worse, Fiat is in such a dire situation, that it is down to just over 50  functional outlets across the entire country. In comparison Volkswagen is up to 120 outlets and things are improving slowly and steadily.

Resale & Cost of Ownership Comparison:
5 to 7 year old Puntos are literally available for throwaway prices in the used car market. Polo's of similar vintage fare much better. Overall the top-end Polo Highline petrol-manual works out to be 80,000 Rs. cheaper than the petrol Punto Evo Dynamic, which is a mid range trim! The Polo Highline diesel is 60,000 Rs. cheaper than the Punto Evo Emotion diesel, had we compared the similarly equipped Polo comforting variant, the difference would have been well over a Lakh Rs. As for the ownership costs if the Polo GT TSI and the Punto Abarth, they work out to be more expensive than Honda City and Hyundai Creta.

Resale Value (after usage of 5 to 7 years)
Punto Evo Dynamic (petrol manual) – 2.60 Lakh
Polo Highline (petrol manual) – 3.30 Lakh

Punto Evo Emotion (diesel manual) – 3.15 Lakh
Polo Highline (diesel manual) – 4.35 Lakh

Punto Abarth (petrol manual) - 3.50 Lakh
Polo GT TSI (petrol automatic) - 4.25 Lakh

Total Cost of Ownership (Price + Fuel Cost – Resale Value)
Punto Evo Dynamic (petrol manual) – 8.40 Lakh
Polo Highline (petrol manual) – 7.60 Lakh

Punto Evo Emotion (diesel manual) – 8.80 Lakh
Polo Highline (diesel manual) – 8.20 Lakh

Punto Abarth (petrol manual) - 12.90 Lakh
Polo GT TSI (petrol automatic) - 10.20 Lakh

Verdict:
The Polo diesel is our pick of the bunch. It is the lightest in the pocket, has the best drivability, above average dynamics, decent practicality and fantastic build quality. As for the rest of the bunch, we urge you to stay well away from them. Especially the overhyped pseudo hot hatches the Polo GT TSI and Punto Evo. And we would like to caution all those who are thinking of putting their hard earned cash on the much touted DSG transmission, take a look at the grievances expressed by fellow enthusiasts on the esteemed automotive forums.

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