Product Type: Fiat cars
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An ideal 'family' motor :-)
Fiat Brava in general
Member Name: Wing-Nut
Fiat Brava in general
Date: 20/12/00, updated on 20/12/00 (386 review reads)
Advantages: Boot space, split rear seats, interior comforts, exterior styling
Disadvantages: Visibility, fuel consumption (comparative!)
We (my wife, 14 month old son and I) have owned our P-reg Brava 1.6 ELX for around 5 months now. Like some of the other owners that have commented, we bought it because our little “hot-hatch” was proving just too small – so we traded in our P-reg Cinquecento Sporting for the Brava. We needed a car that was capable of hauling about all the usual paraphernalia associated with transporting a young baby and, as most of our family live upwards of 200 miles from us, it had to be comfortable and reasonably well equipped too.
We set ourselves a budget, based on what we thought we’d get for the Cinquecento, and set about looking for a descent car. Since we’ve been together, my wife and I have always stayed true to the Fiat marque – thanks mainly to her dad’s infectious enthusiasm for the make, but also, for me at least, the shear fun of driving them.
So, we were thoroughly delighted to find that we could afford a descent, relatively ‘young’ Brava and still stay within our allotted budget. We opted for the ELX mainly because of the trim level – the idea of alarm, remote central locking, electric sunroof and airbags were most appealing after the stripped out ‘sporty’ interior of the Cinquecento. But the alloys and front light washers (which I think improve the look of the front of the car) also swayed us. We were initially torn between the 1.6 and 1.8 models (because we both enjoy driving and wanted, but a squint at the specs revealed that there was only about 12 Bhp difference, but the 1.6 is two insurance groups lower.
What were the alternatives? Well, for a car of comparable size we were looking at Escorts, Lagunas, high mileage Vectras and so on. Yup – all bland, anonymous rep-mobiles. What we’ve ended up with is a car that, in my opinion is grossly under-priced when compared to the opposition (although I’m not complaining!), and is a little more individual
that the jelly-mould alternatives.
The down side? Well, fuel consumption was a shock after the frugal Cinquecento, but the car is very tractable and can make good progress by just short shifting through the gears and taking advantage of the torquey 16-valve engine. So a compromise can be reached. Also, bearing in mind that I now rarely drive a car (I commute on a motorcycle instead – beats the traffic!), the A-pillars (the pillars either side of the windscreen that go up to the roof) do seem to limit visibility on roundabouts and sharp corners.
Generally though, I can’t really say anything bad about it – the fabled Fiat rust and build quality foibles have not materialised, it’s very comfortable, has a good stereo, feels safe and spacious and goes/stops/handles impressively well.