Reliable car, bought my 97 1.6 sx at 70.000 km in 2001 and have not had any problems at 160.000km, 90.000 km later.
For me the outside design and cabin are superior to other similar cars of same age (VW Golf, Toyota Corolla).
Probably the most reliable car I have ever owned.
Delivery problems were limited to faulty radio that took two weeks to replace.
There has been only one breakdown - at 53,000 miles caused by the fanbelt tensioner failing.
Paintwork was fairly shabby and I had to have the bonnet and roof resprayed under warranty - the bonnet after only twleve months because of excessive stone chips. The warranty claim was not disputed.
The engine is very reliable although not much "oomph". It can be smokey on cold starts.
Irritating problem with near-side headlight blowing in cold weather.
I have owned this car for two years, after it was only two years old, and it has cost me a fortune in maintenance!
It has had two new gear boxes, (only doing about 20k miles each!) and general servicing has been expensive too. In the last three months, it has had a new exhaust, which Fiat quoted me £300 odd pounds for, and I got it for £200 at a local garage.
Economy-wise though, I do have to say that I get good mpg, about 45 I think.
Talking about the Fiat dealership - well I really found them incredibly unhelpful and their customer service to be almost non existent. It seemed once the car was off the forecourt, their interest in me and it disappeared too.
I once tried to call the main Fiat company, and all I got was an answer machine in Italian. This is the truth!!
The car inside though is nice - although it gets a bit bumpy at speed, and it's noisy too. It's fun to drive around the city.
I would though, honestly, never recommend a Fiat to anyone. Steer clear if you can!
I have now owned this car for about two and a half years now and I have had no problems with at all. The ride can be a bit bumpy around town.
But I have drove a lot of cars due to work reasons with supposedly better badges and more expensive as well and they do not come near the quality of the Bravo. I think that some of its bad press comes from being classed with the Bravo, which I haven't driven but could imagine it to be quite slow because it is bigger with only the same engine in.
Overall, I would say if you are after a cheap used car you couldnt go far wrong with the Bravo.
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