Fiat Bravo Hatchback full 9 point review
An 89bhp 1.4-litre petrol model kicks off the range. This is best seen as an urban runaround, though, because it's a bit gutless. The 1.4-litre Multiair is a much better bet if you regularly drive on faster roads. There's also a 1.6-litre diesel that is pretty gutsy, so you don't have to rev it hard.
Ride & Handling
The Bravo can't match the nimbleness of the best small family cars because its light steering has an artificial feel and there's a lot of body lean in corners. To make matters worse, the suspension struggles to deal with imperfections in the road surface, making the ride jittery.
One of the Bravo's best aspects is its quietness. Road noise is well suppressed, and although there is some wind noise, it's far from intrusive. Engine noise fades into the background at a steady cruise and few manufacturers make smoother four-cylinder diesel engines than Fiat.
Buying & Owning
The Bravo is competitively priced and large discounts make it cheaper still. However, this has to be weighed against poor resale values. Insurance premiums, tax rates and fuel bills are all affordable for most people.
Quality & Reliability
Many of the panels in the Bravo's cabin don't line up accurately, while the hard, shiny plastics in the lower reaches feel cheap. Fiat doesn't usually perform too well in our reliability surveys, either, and the firm featured near the bottom of the latest JD Power customer satisfaction survey.
Safety & Security
The Bravo was awarded a maximum five-star rating in Euro NCAP crash tests, and twin front, side and curtain airbags are standard across the board. Deadlocks, marked parts and an integrated stereo make life difficult for thieves. You'll also have to pay extra for stability control on most models.
Behind The Wheel
Every model has driver's seat height adjustment and a steering wheel that moves for both reach and rake to help you get comfortable. However, the Bravo's sleek exterior styling takes its toll on rear visibility, with a small rear screen, sharply rising waistline and chunky rear pillars all creating blind spots. Some of the switchgear is confusingly arranged, too.
Space & Practicality
In spite of that swooping roofline, there's plenty of headroom throughout the cabin, but rear kneeroom is tight compared with the class leaders. Luggage space is far more generous, thanks to the sheer depth of the boot, although you have to lift items over a high load lip, and the rear wheelarches intrude.
The single trim level is Easy, which comes with an acceptable amount of kit for the money. As standard, it has air-conditioning, alloy wheels, four electric windows, Bluetooth, a USB connection and steering wheel-mounted audio controls.