Fiat Punto stops production

Arriverderci Punto: Fiat model crashes out of production

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Arriverderci Punto: Fiat model crashes out of production

We’ve all seen the Fiat mini hatch out on the roads for years. It’s one of the longest running models in modern motoring history – and one of the least safe. Now, after achieving a Euro NCAP zero star rating it’s on the scrap heap.

The popular runaround started as the Gran Punto in 2005, evolved into the Punto Evo in 2009 and ended it’s life as the Punto. Because it seems the model may not be back in 2019 thanks to a combination of that Euro NCAP report and the growing popularity of the 500 and the Tipo.

No star rating

It was a story of how the mini mighty are fallen. The Italian supermini stormed through crash testing in the year of its release, becoming the first ever supermini to earn a full 5 star safety rating.

But when it underwent testing using the latest controlled crash standards last year, it was a miserable flop, scoring no stars – another first for the Punto – and leaving Punto driving families with a big problem on their hands.

In fact, the Fiat was found to be so lacking in the big four safety areas – adult and child occupant safety, pedestrian protection and safety assist – it just couldn’t get a rating. It was, as a spokesman for the crash safety body said, well past its sell-by date.

Fall from grace

This was a complete fall from grace for the car that was awarded 1995 European car of the year and was praised for its Italian styling. Europeans still love the Punto – over 50,000 were sold in Europe last year – but after 13 years on sale this cheap and cheerful little car has long outstayed its welcome.

Where once it could compete with and beat cars such as the Polo and the Fiesta, it has long since been outclassed and the no star rating was just the final nail in its coffin.

Of course, if you want a cheap runaround then there are plenty of bargain Punto’s to be had with dealers offering big discounts so they can shift their remaining models. It seems likely that the Punto wouldn’t stand a chance of meeting the new WLTP emissions standards for vehicles and it has thus been put out of its misery.

A new supermini?

It seems unlikely that Fiat will be championing a new supermini anytime soon.

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