From £14,566
New common-rail diesel gives Fiat's Focus challenger better performance and flexibility

Our Verdict

Fiat Bravo
Bravo shape was rapidly produced, but remains one of the best-looking Golf-chasers

The Fiat Bravo is a stylish Focus rival. It's good value, but has an odd driving position

  • First Drive

    Fiat Bravo 2.0 Multijet

    New common-rail diesel gives Fiat's Focus challenger better performance and flexibility
  • First Drive

    Fiat Bravo Eco

    Budget motoring without sacrificing any of the creature comforts

What is it?

This is the Fiat Bravo 2.0 Multijet Dynamic. It’s now the most powerful Fiat Bravo, fitted with Fiat’s new common-rail 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine.

Increasing the capacity of the direct-injection Multijet engine from 1.9 litres to 2.0 litres has boosted power by 15bhp – up to 165bhp – and added a further 40lb ft of torque.

Fiat has also managed to make the new engine more efficient. It emits 10g/km less CO2 (139g/km) than before and, at 53.3mpg, it delivers 2.9mpg more than the 16v 1.9-litre engine on the combined cycle. The Fiat Bravo 2.0 Multijet Dynamic’s diesel particulate filter also helps to extract more pollutants, making this new engine Euro5 compliant.

What’s it like?

The Fiat Bravo 2.0 Multijet Dynamic’s new engine provides a strong and steady stream of power. The 266lb ft maximum torque is developed from 1750rpm, and the engine doesn’t noticeably run out of grunt until the top end of the rev range.

The extra 40lb ft makes a noticeable difference, particularly if you’re caught out trying to accelerate in the wrong gear; there’s now always a surge of power on call.

Top-gear cruising is similarly effortless and, despite the known weakness of the bouncy Fiat Bravo ride, it's easy to maintain a steady, quiet and comfortable motorway pace.

Should I buy one?

The engine doesn’t change any of the existing problems of the Fiat Bravo. Its ride is still too fidgety, its steering is too imprecise and woolly, and you’ll still have to put up with the restricted rear view that hampers reversing and makes the rear seats seem a darker, tighter space than they are in many of the Bravo’s competitors.

But as an engine upgrade, the new common-rail Multijet capably blends petrol-like refinement with gutsy diesel clout that the other engine options in the range don’t deliver.

George Barrow

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Comments
60

27 February 2009

[quote Autocar]Increasing the capacity of the direct-injection Multijet engine from 1.9 litres to 2.0 litres has boosted power by 15bhp – up to 165bhp – and added a further 40lb ft of torque.[/quote]

I have to admit if i was in the market for this sort of car I would put this high up on my list, one of the reasons being the engine 165bhp from a 2.0 fiat now thats impressive and its a little different from the golfs and astras of this world pretty nice

27 February 2009

That's a lot of engine for the money. Very impressive. And it's a lovely looking car. One of my friends(who's not interested in cars at all) recently rented a Bravo while on holiday. He told me that he much preferred it to the Golf he had just bought.

27 February 2009

i am always disappointed with the way autocar tests fiat vehicle. Tell me guys, if a newbie who doesnt know about cars reads this article, what impression he would get. I would say it would be negative as the way the whole article is worded. I ve heard people praising Bravo as a complete car as well as appreciating its interiors. If you go by this test, this is just a car with a punchy engine.

27 February 2009

I like the Fiat Bravo. All its engines are very good and general quality is not so bad as the article wants to intend... Most of all, the Bravo is a really good looking car and it doesn't make you feel 50yo like people driving Vauxhall, Ford or Renault... This Bravo (or a Nissan Qashqai) is in my top list to change an old Astra SW. But my interest is for the 1.6 multijet, the best engine for a car like this.

27 February 2009

Having driven the existing 1.9 diesel version of this car i have to say i liked the engine, interior is ok but doesnt feel like it'll last, ride simply didnt bother me at all it felt firm but in no way uncomfortable or uncomposed.

Infact the only real problem i had with this car was that there is no space to the left of the clutch pedal. It's the little details that count, and unfortunately this is one thing i simply could not live with - and i dont even drive that far every day. I would be constantly banging my leg off the transmission tunnel trying to find somewhere to put my foot.

I can imagine the slight increase in performance would be a great addition, but it's still not the full package.

Having said that, i much prefer my '97 VR6 to the mk5 golf, all these new hatches just feel the same, so you'd be as well to buy one with bang for bucks like the fiat.

27 February 2009

I have rented Bravos on many ocassions and like them - the 1.4 litre compressed petrol engine is really super and the car is well finished and good to drive.

However, the Autocar review is tediously predictable: if it is not a Ford its handling and ride is going to get panned. If it is a Ford it will be praised to the heavens. I have never owned a Ford but have had them foisted on me often enough at car rental counters - so I have driven the full range except the "hot" Focuses and Fiestas. I have NEVER encountered the sublime handling and ride that is so often drooled over by Autocar's reviewers.

What I have found was a "lowest common denominator" form of basic motoring. I would much prefer a Bravo, a Megane, a 308 or a Golf. The Bravo and Golf have better engines, the 308 is much more comfortable and smooth. the Megane is delightfully light to negotiate around the city and also has great diesel engines.

...the band was playing Dixie: double-four time...

27 February 2009

[quote cimardinius]If it is a Ford it will be praised to the heavens. I have never owned a Ford[/quote]

Perhaps that is your problem here. You can tell very little of a car's capabilities from renting one.

27 February 2009

[quote Hurundi V Bakshi]Perhaps that is your problem here. You can tell very little of a car's capabilities from renting one. [/quote]

I am not aware of having any problem here.

I can tell as much as Autocar's testers from driving it about the same (or more) amount of time as they have it for test....

I can tell enough to make up my mind not to buy one if it is as medicore and boring as a Ford.

...the band was playing Dixie: double-four time...

27 February 2009

No need to get precious, it was merely an observation. You can tell jack s&*t from renting a car. Of course the difference between you and an Autocar tester is that they do it all the time and know what to look for.

27 February 2009

[quote cimardinius]

I can tell enough to make up my mind not to buy one if it is as medicore and boring as a Ford.

[/quote]

I wonder if you have actually driven a Focus? Some aspects of the interior design/quality are mediocre but the driving experience is not. It's great fun to drive with excellent body control and good if slightly firm ride. It's certainly at least 100% better to drive than a (old shape) Megane.

I have also driven most mainstream models as hire cars and from a chassis point of view at least the Focus is head and shoulders above its direct competitors

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