Fiat Brava Hatchback (95 - 02) Owner reviews

No longer on sale

SX 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I bought my car as a cheap, temporary runabout; I didn't intend on keeping it very long. 8 years later (LOL), I'm still enjoying the lively handling, the practical interior (especially the cavernous boot) and the almost negligible running costs - flys through it's MOT every time; only major expense I've incurred was changing the cambelt at 70K (£400)to be on safe side. I must get a new car soon (I've been saying this for years) but I can't bare to part with it...

Hugo Grieve, May 1st 2008

SX 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

overall a good car.Nice handling especially on motorways,just watch out for the electrics they tend to have faults.My motor on the window washer packed in. these cars do depreciate very fast,due to the large number of them on brithish roads. you can buy a good second hand one, 2001 plate for under £1000. very roomy boot,and a lot of extras as standard,great first car.

philip auld, england, March 8th 2007

SX 5dr

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs1/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I bought this car VERY cheap as a run about. It came in part exchange at the company I work for and had no MOT or TAX. I paid next to nothing for it but was surprised when it flew through it's MOT with just a few bulbs. I was dubious about owning a FIAT as I work in the trade and know how bad they can be but I was surprised by this car. It had 85k on the clock and was a battered looking '96 Nreg. But with some elbow grease it looked half decent. However, I found that the few parts I did need to buy for it were rediculously expensive. FIAT Parts are way way over priced, even with my trade discount. I also found that my 1.4 was only returning mid 20's mpg wise which was a massive shock considering it was such a small engine. I even tried driving like my mother (there wasn't much poin tin doing anything else with such a small engine) and it still struggled to get even 29mpg on a run. The handling was pretty tidy for such a bulky old bus and everyone who travelled in it praised the comfort and the ride. Considering it was a FIAT and considering it was so battered and old, it was like brand new inside and I was surprised at the lack of rattles and how hard wearing the cheap looking plastics are. Overall I have to admit that I was impressed with the car (until a young girl in a Ford Ka decided to drive through it) I would definately not buy another one because of the parts prices and the fuel economy, but anyone looking to buy a cheap motor could do a lot worse. Just avoid the 1.4

James Ducker, January 13th 2007

16V SX 5dr

  • Overall verdict1/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs1/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I have been running the auto gearbox Brava, built in 2000, from 40,000 miles to 85,000 miles over a period of 2 and a half years. It has been good to drive, contrary to many opinions but is now showing its poor durability. First a front suspension spring just snapped when parked, then the auto gearbox 4th gear failed (Fiat quoted £4,000 for a new box), the alternator died (Bosch 95A) and the rear radius arms started knocking. The first sign of the Aisin 60-40LE gearbox failure was blackening of the transmission fluid. It is probably the wafer thin clutches disintergrating that causes the discolouring. If you get this you can expect failure within 10,000 miles I would say. Fuel consumption is very high for this model dropping to 23 miles per gallon around town On the plus side the engine is as sweet as a nut. I run it on Mobil 1 and change the oil every 6-8,000 miles.

Robert Wallum, October 12th 2006

16V SX 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I have had three very good years with my Brava and very few problems with it. It's great to drive - the handling is excellent and although the ride could be better you get used to it. The interior is such a good place to be for someone whose 6'4". Excellent leg room and seats and the space and design is good too. The build still could be better on some of the trim, but overall this is a sound car that still leaves a smile on my face after a long drive!

andrew iwasyszyn, Kent, September 2nd 2006

16V SX 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I'm a huge Fiat fan (as well as Citroen) and when my firm sent me to work in Wales for two months, I was delighted to have had a 1.2 Brava as a hire vehicle. This is one of the best cars I have ever had the pleasure of driving. I was pleasantly suprised to find out it was only a 1.2 - I thought the power was more like a bigger-engined car. Driving this car from Bangor to Cardiff in one day gave me a real chance to drive it in all conditions - up hills, down valleys and on motorways. I got out at the end of the day as though I'd only been on a 10-mile drive. It's a real joy, and is highly recommended, if only for being a true driver's car. Well done, Fiat.

Craig Russell Turner, South Yorkshire, June 10th 2006

16V SX 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I have recently bought a navy blue 51-plate Fiat Brava 80SX and I am very impressed. My car has original 15-inch Fiat alloy wheels and a boot spoiler and looks very smart. The car has only done 29,000 miles and has a full service history (HPI clear). It is immaculate and I got it for a ridiculously low £1450. I sold my 2003 Vauxhall Corsa SXI to buy two cheaper cars, and I prefer the Brava over the Corsa by a long shot. It offers a smooth drive, good fuel economy, excellent comfort, and the engine is willing considering its small size. With this car you get the best of both worlds - a larger family hatch with small car economy. I don't understand why they depreciate in value so much. The car comes with a good level of kit as well, although the lack of air-conditioning lets it down. The car includes electric windows, central locking, twin airbags, power steering, height adjustable steering and seating, a six-speaker radio/cassette player (with changer controls) and more besides. I love it. I just hope it continues to be reliable.

Mark Harrington, East Yorkshire, February 20th 2006

TD 100 SX 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I bought this car for my wife last year, as the running costs of her last car were too high. As her job entails a lot of driving, I needed to buy a diesel car. When I bought this car, I gave it a thorough service (I worked in Fiat at the time, so it was cheap to do), and the only extras needed were front brake pads and discs. Since then we have owned the car for over a year, and it has only needed new front tyres. In this time, we have covered over 15,000 miles and the car has not missed a beat. I change the oil every 3000 miles (very easy to do on these cars) to ensure engine longetivity. These cars are very under-rated and I can't recommend them highly enough. They are thoroughly reliable (working in Fiat for four years taught me that) and would suggest anyone wanting a cheap family car to seriously consider one.

Nick Philips, Rhondda Cynon Taff, February 5th 2006

SX 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

The 1.6 Brava SX is a fine car. It's much better than the opposition around at the time. The 1.6 16V engine is a beauty: it gives the car decent acceleration, and is great on motorways. The Brava is much roomier than a Focus or a Golf. It's great to drive, although the ride in the city can be a little harsh. On twisty roads or motorways, it handles really well. Equipment levels on the SX are OK too, and build quality is good. Evidently 1.4 models are quite thirsty, but I average 35mpg in my 1.6, which isn't too bad, as it's mostly city or motorway driving for me. For some reason Bravo/Bravas depreciate quickly, so bear that in mind. This does mean you can buy a good used one very cheaply. Insurance group seven means reasonable rates for most drivers. Servicing costs aren't bad either. All things considered, the Brava is great to drive and is superb value for money.

Stuart Greenfield, Notts, November 27th 2005

SX 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

Excellent car, great looks, loads of plastic.

ekrem balaj, November 14th 2005

16V SX 5dr

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

This is an excellent and reliable runner. It has an attractive interior with plenty of room for a family with two kids and also good boot space. It's good to drive but a bit bumpy on the road mainly due to the dreadful state of UK roads.

Ian Cameron, September 23rd 2005

SX 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I have owned a 98 model for three years and apart from a battery and two new tyres it hasn't cost a penny in repairs. However the wiring loom to the steering column is either very stiff or too short and when you adjust the steering wheel position connectors in the loom can pop out and cause a multitude of electrical faults.

trevor middlemas, September 15th 2005

SX 5dr

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs2/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

A great car to drive, sturdy on the road and handles well. The 1.4 petrol is a little underpowered for my taste. So far parts are easly obtainable and fairly cheap. There's lots of room and equipment. On the down side, the car has been thirsty on petrol; on average I'm getting 250 miles from a full tank. If the car wasn't so heavy on fuel, it would be fantastic.

adrian pugh, June 15th 2005

16V SX 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

This car for the price is as good as anything on the road, and far superior to many. No complaints with Fiat cars, they are generally sound.

Roy Brothwell, South/ York's, April 28th 2005

SX 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I bought it used and it had 55,000km on the clock, now it has just over 80,000 km. It is beautiful both inside and out. After a while, the engine started making some unexpected noises, but there was no loss in performance nor did anything go wrong. Faults: - poor rear visibility - when cold outside, there is no way you can devaporize the steam that builds up on the inside of the windows without air-con - poor prebuilt radio - I replaced it with a Pioneer 3600MP, and the speakers are good - it has a extremelly high consumption - in town 12l/km to 13l/100km - I solved this by installing LPG Pluses: - great looks - reliability - comfortable ride in and outside the city traffic (bumps could be a problem though) - easy steering, braking, gearbox (but it sometimes sticks when I try to put it in reverse, have to let the clutch go and press it again) Things needed replacing (other than regular service stuff) - rear shocks - brake fluid In the near future I will have to replace: - clutch - exhaust - front shocks Overall, it's a good car for young people, cheap to maintain, secure, reliable, sporty, but with some faults - and it's great value for money.

Milos Ristic, Serbia & Montenegro, April 3rd 2005

16V SX 5dr

  • Overall verdict2/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs1/5
  • Quality2/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

Anyone want a car? Good space and nice ride at speed, but hit a bump and you will know all about it, that is if your tyre doesn't burst first, as any liitle things seems to pop them. PROBLEMS - engine warning lights, totally rewired, rusting lights so no bulbs, new tyres ALL THE TIME even when I buy expensive tyres doesn't make a difference, wiper motor gone, internal heating motor gone, lovely in the WINTER!! Suspension leaking along with rusty bolts so had to pay for new fittings to get suspension leak fixed, choked something that I cannot remember now which meant the engine kept CUTTING OUT. Overall, at present would HONESTLY say I would love to get rid of this car. See loads around and older than my 2001 X reg and they all seem fine, but NO NOT THIS ONE.

K RICHARDSON, February 24th 2005

105 SX 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I like Fiats and have owned many down the years, but my 2000 model Brava was only the second diesel Fiat I had owned, the other being a 1997 Marea 100 SX. The awsome turn of speed from the 105bhp engine beggars belief, yet it still returns between 38-41mpg urban with acceleration being both smooth and responsive. Reliability has been spot on and the only gripe I have is the overly firm ride around town, which accentuates potholes and speed humps. But the motorway drive is a totally different experience altogether. Cruising at high speeds is effortless, with no evidence whatsoever that you are driving a diesel car and extra acceleration beyond 80mph is available, which is really quite something for a diesel car and a very handy feature in todays hurry and rush times. All in all a good car with five-door practicality, superb reliability and excellent economy and running costs.

Warren Home, Cheshire, February 20th 2005

16V SX 5dr

  • Overall verdict2/5
  • What it's like to drive2/5
  • Running costs1/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I've owned this model for two years, and cannot wait to get rid of it! I bought it because it seemed the best value of all the cars I saw at the time: it was used but had a very low mileage and one owner so it was the best option. In the first three months, it was problem free. Soon after, the back windscreen washer/wiper/heater failed, the sunroof cover disappeared into the roofspace, and couldn't be retrieved. Unfortunately the garage I bought it from "disappeared" as well, so I was stuck!! Other faults have developed. In heavy rain, drips land on my lap via the front cabin light! Not nice! My cassette ejector button failed, so I cannot use the cassette, and to get it replaced will cost, as the dashboard has to be dismantled to remove the unit - you can only take it to a Fiat dealer. Fuel economy is poor. When you need acceleration, the gears drop down too much, so the revs shoot through the roof and the engine screams, sounding like a boy racer at traffic lights. Some positives: space inside is very good, I'm tall and have plenty of room in the front and the back too. Mechanically, I must admit I've had no problems at all, so that's something. No one will look twice at this to steal it, a plus as there's no alarm. Depreciation is a big problem. I'm collecting my new car next week, and will definitely be leaving this on the garage forecourt without a backward glance.

karin williams, February 12th 2005

16V SX 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I find it reliable to run, of above-average fittings, and all in all a pleasant, comfortable workhorse. I would not change if for the world. It represents good value and a good-sized family car.

Mary Toms, February 6th 2005

16V SX 5dr

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs2/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

In my own opinion the Fiat Brava is not a bad not at all. However, the costs are really high and here in Malta we have a lot of bumps and so the car sometimes did not cope well with bumps in the road. It consumes a lot petrol! However it is a real performer (at least here in Malta, the acceleration is excellent - here we don't have motorways). I would rate the Brava as not a bad car, however be ready to pump out money!

David Schiavone, October 5th 2004

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