I currently drive a FIAT Punto 1.2 Active 3dr which is just over ten years old and sits at 68,000 miles. I've had the car for four years, and it's been serviced once during that period, when I got it, which was at 40,000 miles. I know I should have had it serviced since but it's a bit of a throwaway.

So anyway, I've recently decided to upgrade, and I've gone for the Volvo V40 D2 Powershift (D being diesel). I was tempted to go for the D3 or D4 but decided to go for the more economical D2. Now that I've placed the order, I'm having cold feet about whether or not I should have gone for the more powerful engine.

Back to the Punto. It's got less power than my Grandma's motorised scooter. The specs say it should have 60 bhp (44 kw) at 5000 rpm, and 102 Nm of torque. The D2 is listed as having 115 bhp (84 kw) at 3600 rpm with 270 Nm of torque. The D3 150 bhp (110 kw) at 3500 rpm with 350 Nm of torque.

I test drove both the D2 and D3 and found them both to be quite rapid, though I'm wondering exactly how quick the D2 with 115 bhp/270 Nm of torque will actually be?

To compare it, I'm thinking about what my current Punto must be. It's ten years old and hasn't had a service in a while, so it surely can't be 60 bhp right now? How do small old cars like this lose power without servicing or with age? What would you expect a 10 year old petrol car to put out after all that time?

Lot's of questions I know, I'm not much of a petrol/diesel head!

  • Comparing your FIAT to a Volvo is like comparing apples to oranges. The big difference here besides power, is how are each geared, not only in the transmission, but in the final drive as well. As was said below, there are so many factors here, giving you an intelligent answer is almost impossible. Jul 24 '14 at 17:58
  • Your Fiat PUNTO is a timebomb .It will do radiator .waterpump ,Head gasket ,Power steering .AC . Coils .Ign leads,Catalytic Converter.Airbag reset .Axle keys.Clutch.Brake Pads .EGR valve,Thermostat,Windscreen wiper linkage, The endgame is not pretty
    – Autistic
    Apr 9 '16 at 13:18
  • It was a timebomb, now it's a block of metal, or maybe even been melted down into something useful. For what it's worth, I still sometimes wonder whether I should have bought a more powerful engine, but I am more than happy with the one I have, and at over 18 months old now, I still love the car. Apr 19 '16 at 17:01

First off, You should probably service your cars more than once every 4 years haha. Anyways, the declination in performance of the car over time is based on a lot of factors... but cannot really be calculated just on what you have said. Depending on how dirty your oil is, the state of the spark plugs, and the state of the engine from being abused like this, I would say there is most definitely a noticeable power loss. Depending on your usage, the more powerful engine may have been better or worse for you. If you intend to haul a lot of people or heavy materials, then the more powerful engine may have been the way to go, otherwise it shouldn't matter.

  • Thanks for the response. Currently I'm doing ~1200 miles a month with no heavy load, just myself and sometimes my girlfriend. I thought the service was a bit of a waste on such an old car...the new one has a service plan so no worries there. Is it common for engines to lose half their power? The spec page for my car says it should do 0-60 in 14 seconds but I am sure it's closer to 41. Jul 24 '14 at 15:21
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    Well I can't diagnose your problem without actually being in the car while it gets to 60, but it would seem you have a major problem if it takes 41 seconds to reach 60!!! If you plan to keep this car, while owning the new one, i RECOMMEND taking it to a shop to get maintenance done such as oil change, brake pads, brake fluid, air filter, tire rotation if it has not been done. Without these maintenance items done, you could have catastrophic failure while driving down the road or coming to a stop! Not servicing a vehicle is very dangerous practice... Jul 24 '14 at 15:26
  • I plan to get rid of it on the very day I get the new motor. It was a car that was supposed to last two months that ended up lasting four years! The mechanics kept it in good shape with regards to safety; brakes, tyres etc. It's just performance-wise it is a dog! I guess my worry was that if the new car was double the power of this, it'd still be quite slow, but if this engine is really under-powered, the new car should be okay. Didn't really get to open up with the D2 during the test drive you see. Jul 24 '14 at 15:28
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    Thanks man. During the wait for the new car, I'm having all the usual doubts. Just want to get behind the wheel! Jul 24 '14 at 15:31
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    "Just want to get behind the wheel!" I second that! Jul 24 '14 at 15:33

Vehicle performance will drop off over time. To get the best out of your car, no matter what vehicle is, will require competent maintenance to ensure its safety and reliability. In passing, you have a legal, moral, and social obligation to make sure your vehicle is fit for the road before you even put the key in the ignition.

  • Don't get me wrong, I keep the car safe, just not in the best state performance wise. My mechanic wouldn't let me drive it if it was unsafe. :) Jul 25 '14 at 14:08

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