Recently bought a 3 door 1.4 sx (97R). Firm, but comfortable ride and quickest of several 1.4 cars I've owned from the mid 90s inc Astra merit & Rover 214si, make the Bravo a really nice drive. Around 30+ mpg in hilly hometown. Replacing front shocks was probably attributable to local speedbumps but costly to replace by comparison, as are all the fiat 'consumables'. Clutch slave needed replacing (cheap fix diy, but common fault). Also had a problem replacing exhaust manifold which split. Apparently they have an aluminium (?) or alloy head and steel manifold that expand and contract at different rates under heat, presenting potential problems- We sheared a bolt off the head while doing the manifold (ouch). The engine bay can be very difficult to work in too. The driving seat is a pleasant place to be at night, but the high pedal position makes your calf ache over long distances. Overall, I've really enjoyed the 18 months or so driving it with few other concerns -no breakdowns and never even hinted at it. They're cheap enough second hand, but check it's been looked after.
HGTRUBBISH! 2 BROKEN CAM-BELTS IN 6 YEARS AND JUST 32K MILES. TOOK MONTHS TO GET THE FIRST FAILURE PUT RIGHT! DEALER INDIFFERENT, FIAT NOT INTERESTED!
I bought my Bravo new in Autumn 1999, so got one of the revised models, which has a few benefits over the original Bravo. This car was "European Car of the Year 1996", and certainly at the time was very highly thought of. More recent cars have eclipsed it of course, but that's down to progress - at the time the Bravo ruled! The 1.2 engine was taken from the Punto Sporting, and replaced the slow and thirsty 1.4 engine. Thank goodness I got the revised model because the 1.2 engine is great. It's only a little bit slower than my Dad's 1.8 HLX model, but I get up to 500 miles out one tank of petrol, versus his 300 miles!! What I do miss from his HLX is the ABS, which was an option on the lower models. 80 indicates the approximate BHP you get from the engine, and "SX" is the specification level. (The old basic S model, discontinued in 1999 should be avoided). The car is well equipped, with elec windows and sunroof, airbag and power steering. The radio I think is great, and sounds better than the old Mercedes C class standard equipment, which cant be bad. There is also a Grundig multichanger available. The radio supports a "phone in" facility, so you can connect a mobile phone carkit directly to the radio via a special plug, and when on a call the sound of the call is routed through the car's own speakers. This is a feature that very few cars have, and this has got to be the cheapest car with such a facility as standard. Other nice things about the radio are that the clock automatically sets itself from the RDS signal. I thought I would change the radio when I bought the car, but never did as there was just no point - this one is great. The good quality interior is comfortable, and I've driven from Scotland to Austria and back in it! My only complaint is the usual "short legged long armed" Italian driving position. Still it is something I can live with (6' tall), so it cant be too b ad. No lumbar support which is a pity, and do fidget in the seat more and more thesedays. (When buying I looked at the Renault Clio and I could not sit in the car for more than 30 seconds, I just could not get comfortable). The interior is more than acceptable for a car which cost less than £10,000 new, so no complaints with that. The cloth design on the seats on this model is unfortunately pretty revolting, the HLX for example is MUCH nicer. "Good MPG v Nice pattern seats". Yes, I know I made the right choice! The ride quality is excellent, and handling is great, it really holds on to the road very well. You can corner at speeds unthinkable in the Vaux Corsa I used to drive before the Bravo. On the autobahn it was quite comfortable around the 110mph mark, but for optimum fuel economy it is the 50-60mph mark that this car excels in. My daily commute is A road/Motorway and I get nearly 500 miles from a tank, which I think is hard to beat. In town where I park the 4m length is short enough to squeeze into a lot of spaces bigger cars cannot, and the tight steering means you can get in with the minimum of space in front and behind. It's nippy around town, but overtaking at speed you do begin to realise the limitations of a 1200cc engine! You can get 4 adults in very comfortably, although headroom in the back is a slight problem for those 6' or over. You can even squeeze in 3 in the back, but just for short journeys only. The boot is great, and with the split/fold rear seats you can get a LOT into the extended boot. I have managed to cram an awful lot in coming back from Ikea with my Bravo. I am now thinking of replacing it as it is 3.5 years old and I want a change, but I am having great difficulty finding a stylish alternative with the same mix of good MPG, safety, affordability and space. The Stilo which replaced the Bravo is just no comparison in terms of looks, and is longer which for me is a problem for parking. If the Bravo was still avaialble new I would seriously consider another one. Problems I have encountered: after 2 years the "throttle body" needed replacing, which was around £250. Since then there has been one other minor problem with trim, and the rear wash/wipe has finally given up. Apparently the wiper motor is a very common part to fail on the Bravo, and out of the things that could go it's probably not too expensive. http://www.bravo-guide.co.uk is a good resource to read up on common faults. If you buy a secondhand one which is under 3 years old check whether it qualified for the 3 year dealer warranty, if not you may still qualify for money off work needing done outside the 1 year manufacturer's warranty. (Be very forceful with your dealer on this though, they will claim anyway from Fiat but if you've not got the discount from them they will pocket the refund themselves!). My Dad's Bravo is now 6 years old, and still going strong. He like me just doesn't know what to replace it with, and although his has eaten tyres and been more expensive to service there's not been any enormous (expensive) problems on his either. It's worth remembering that when you are out in your Bravo you'll forever be admired from afar by drivers from behind staring at those Ferrari styled rear lights, surely one of the best things about how this car looks!
Having run a 1999 Bravo 100 (1.6) HLX since the end of January 2002, and having covered over 10,000 miles in it, I feel I am qualified to say that it is the best car I've owned to date. Firstly, I have to get the colour out of the way - Broom Yellow. I fell in love the second I saw it - that fantastic design, and the sledgehammer colour really go well together. Mine also has the optional headlamp washers, which give the car an insect like appearance. As for reliability - the hydraulic clutch's slave cylinder went to lunch a couple of months ago. This was repaired under warranty swiftly and efficiently by the independent Fiat dealer which sold me the car in the first place. Other than that, the immobiliser transponder in the key isn't always read first time (though the car always starts in the end), and the rear wash-wipe motor has burned out. Neither are big issues. The performance is easily the match of it's class competitors - it is, in fact, faster than the Stilo 1.6 which replaced it. Fuel economy seems to sit around 35mpg, which is par for the course for a 1.6 of this size. It has returned more than 45mpg on a couple of occasions. The handling of the car was the cause of concern when I first got it - I presumed that it just didn't handle as well as the little Seicento I had before, purely because of it's size and weight. Turned out that the previous owner had scrimped on tyres, and fitted some obscure make to the front wheels. Having now fitted it with 4 Pirelli P6000's the car is in a different class. It now has fractionally more grip that the Seicento - I car I found VERY hard to get unstuck in. Having driven golfs and astras of a similar age, I can honestly say, that this car has the measure of them in looks, performance and handling.
I have had a Fiat Bravo for over a year and the whole experience has been rather painful. The car itself is fun to drive and looks good. Also, the prices have been going down due to cheap European imports and the launch of the new Fiat Stilo. So overall it might look as a good option as you can get a lot of car for you money. Don't fall in the trap. For a start you will be driving a very unreliable car. In addition to this you will be facing one of the most incompetent, inefficient and expensive dealer networks in this country. You would think that Fiat parts would be cheaper than say, Volkswagen. Wrong. They are even more expensive. The same thing happens with labour costs. You will be running a Fiat, but it will cost you almost as much to run as a much better car. Not only that, these guys do not seem to get it right very often. Las summer I had a problem with my brakes. I detected it just after a major service done by Auto-Italia Epsom, which says a lot about how thorough the service and test drive they did was. I took my car to Auto-Italia Chertsey and they concluded that the problem was with the brake discs. The car at the time was 19 months old and had about 20,000 miles on the clock. Apparently brake discs are excluded from the warranty as it excludes wear and tear. Auto Italia first and then Fiat themselves refused to tell me what the life expectancy of the brake discs should be. I found this outrageous as I am sure they do not put a part in their production line without knowing how long it should last under standard circumstances. I reluctantly paid for the repair as I needed my car quite urgently. That same day, the brakes started to malfunction. I could have got killed. I immediately took the car back to Auto-Italia who determined after a second examination that the problem was with the master cylinder. Apparently this was covered by my warranty so fu nnily enough I did not have to pay for the replacement. Auto Italia refused to refund me for the work done the previous day as they concluded that it was necessary anyway. They did not even offered to refund me for the labour cost as a goodwill gesture. This is not the only problem I have had with the car, but is the most representative. In addition to problems with the brakes, I have had problems with the battery, speedometer, gearbox, and foldable back seat. In all cases, I have found Fiat dealers (I have used a total of 4) extremely unreliable and even dishonest. If you still want to buy this car, buy a one-two year old (depreciation is huge in the first year) and make sure you have at least a two year warranty. I personally will not buy a Fiat or Alfa Romeo again as I do not want to rely on the likes of Auto Italia again.
I bought a Fiat Bravo 1.4SX in 1997. It looked the real business- flame red, low-slung, cd multi-changer, and it moved liked sugar off a shovel- great. The model was one-up on the base spec. It was a three door hatchback with the following standard features: Power Steering Colour-Keyed Bumpers and Mirrors Electric front Windows Electric Sunroof. As I stated above, I purchased a CD autochanger for the boot as this was the first time that I had bought a car brand-new. The seats were comfy. The height-adjustable seat and steering wheel were a good idea for me as I am abnormally tall, and I could just about find a comfortable driving position. The supplying dealer was St Leonard's Motors of Hastings and I cannot fault them at all in their customer service. they are polite and helpful, and are not just there to take your money away from you! As time wore on I learned that everything in the garden was not quite so rosy. Yes it was nippy and looked good, but the fuel economy was awful- I very rarely got more than 28 mpg, and this was the smallest engined model! (By smallest engine I mean 1.4 litre 12 valve- capable of around 110mph though, of course I never got that far). In addition, I couldn't get a golf bag in the boot sideways. Being a three door model, it is potentially more tricky to carry passengers in teh back, but the front passenger seat moves forward totally to help this. Looks good on the packet, the contents may disappoint somewhat! The revised model got rid of the 1.4 litre engine and replace it with a 1.2 16v unit as used in the Punto. May get more economy out of that one!
This car is the first car that I drove after passing my driving test in a Vauxhall Corsa. I have to say it drives and feels like a BMW. The car was bought from Trade Sales in Slough, why do I mention them? Well they are the biggest car dealer in the UK that no one knows about. They will get you a brand new car and will take about £3000+ off the list price that a dealer will sell you for it. The car itself looks much better than its partner the Brava, which at the rear looks a bit ugly but every curve on this car looks good. Inside what you get for your money is very good, a high quality radio and it doesn't look like a cheap dash board. To drive its a dream, the gear changing is very direct and very smooth and to me is the best feature on the car, hardly any effort to put it in its place. Steering is light and responsive and the pulling power is great, the 1.2 engine with 16v can really pull the car along. If you want to drive a BMW, Audi etc but can't afford it then try the Fiat Bravo.
This has always been one of my 2nd choice cars, much preferring the Volkswagen Golf MkIII, but beggars can't always be choosers! I would recommend a smaller engine if you want your car to be more economical as this 1.6 litre version is not that at all. As I am a student and I find this car takes much more petrol than I can afford. The car prefers longer journeys as opposed to a town tripper. But still, it manages to guzzle more petrol than the 1.6 litre MkIV Golf does. I find the car is quite nippy. It has: * PAS * central locking * driver's airbag * a good sound system (but the speakers aren't that good) * the gear box is not that smooth (it prefers to be shifted gently but with force!) * there is quite a lot of wind noise (even at slower speeds) * adjustable seat and sterring wheel column * lacks a feel of suspension (going down the dual carriage way today felt like I was speeding over speed ramps!) * quite roomy, but the front windscreen seems really small * and can reach extremely fast speeds (just believe me, don't try it!) Overall, I have fallen in love with this car, despite the looks of the front of the car, the temperamental gear box, the sporty/loud engine noise it makes when accelerating, the wind noise and the slow acceleration from 0-60mph (when driving sensibly). The car is definitely fun to drive. But not worth paying full price for. I bought mine from a 2nd car dealer for a very attractive price, low mileage and a yr old. I have been driving it for about 5 months now, but after driving a MKIV Golf for 8 months, I would much rather be driving that than my Bravo.
I bought this car approximatley 2 years ago after looking at the Punto range. I saw one of these on the forecourt and I much preferred the shape and styling over the Punto. I've not been dissapointed with this car, even though Fiat got a bit of a slating in the JD power survey. The exterior styling looks really nice and if you buy the SX version you get colour coded bumpers which bring the entire look together. Interior wise the dashboard is a bit flimsy, but you do get Electric Windows, PAS, Electric sunroof and a decent stereo. The seats are fairly comfortable with the drivers seat having adjustable height and the steering wheel is also adjustable. Boot space is a bit poor when the back seat is up, however you can fit loads in if you drop them down. So far I've had 2 services 12000 mile/ 1 year and 24000 mile /2 years, the services have been pretty reasonable costing me £81 and £200 respectively. In terms of performance the car is fairly nippy, but it definatley prefers the Motorways to town driving, if you want a bit more kick the 1.6SX is not much more expensive and will give you a fair bit of power for your money. Conclusion then, if your after a second car or want one that's reliable I would say take a second look at the Bravo..I know this model has been superceded by the new 1.2 range but if you're looking for a bargain second hand Bravo you can't go wrong with this.
Fiat decided to up the ante with hatchbacks. No more 1.6 or 1.8 rubbish. They developed a 2 ltr 5 cylinder engine and stuck it in their family friendly bravo. This completely changes the character of the car and turns it in to a bit of a roadburner. Power is 150hp and it is good for 125 mph. Inside is a bit of a letdown. Although the dash is very swoopy it feels like the plastic is very light and flimsy. The seats are OK just check that you don’t drive around for the first few weeks with the heated seat on. Yes I know… My one complaint about the car is fairly terminal. The gearbox completely disintegrated after 6 months. It wasn’t abused it just died. They didn’t manage to fix it so they kept it and I got something else. Sad really