A $25,990 price tag makes this sporty variant of Fiat's Punto lineage dearer than two of its more respected rivals, the Suzuki Swift ($23,990) and the Ford Fiesta XR4 ($24,990).
But look beyond and you will find the Punto has something the others don't: cruise control, hill holder and maximum five-star occupant protection rating by the European New Car Assessment Program (NCAP).
Standard kit includes 17-inch alloy wheels, bolstered sports seats, rear spoiler, leather-trimmed steering wheel and gear lever.
Tick also the boxes for electronic stability control, hill-hold function, anti-lock brakes and six airbags. A driver's knee airbag is optional.
The 1.4-litre T-Jet (as in turbo) engine is tractable, delivering plenty of torque low down, and feels relatively free of turbo lag.
However, the five-speed manual gearbox is compromised by a notchy action, making cog swapping the chore it shouldn't be. A bit ironical on a car with a Sport(ing) moniker.
Fiat claims a 0-100 km/h time of 8.9 seconds, which is more average for class than anything special.
The ADR fuel figure of 6.6 litres per 100km looks good on paper, but we averaged 10 on test.
The Punto Sport turns in well with enthusiasm and sharpness, making the most of its 17-inch alloy wheels and low-profile rubber.
Ride offered by the stiffer (than standard Punto) suspension is understandably firm yet agreeable, but can degnerate into choppy over rough roads.
The interior is fine for two although rear seat passengers will be confronted with the lack of knee room that is so often the case in the segment of car.
Space and practicality are something of a trade off, with the boot being a useful size but more storage solutions in the interior would be nice.
And there is no spare tyre of any kind provided, just a 'Fix & Go' repair kit. Not good enough on a car of this price.