The entry level 89bhp 1.4-litre petrol engine kicks off the range, but is vest overlooked unless you drive purely in the city as it is a bit gutless on open roads. If you want a petrol engine, we’d recommend the 1.4-litre Multiair, which combines decent all-round pace with the promise of decent mpg and low emissions.
All three diesels are decent, although the 118bhp 1.6 is only available linked to an automatic gearbox, which will dissuade many buyers from considering it. If it’s economy you’re after, the 1.6 Multijet 105 Eco is the variant to consider. It emits just 115g/km of CO2, dropping it into band C for road tax. It’s refined and smooth enough to rank among the best four-pot diesel family cars. Frugal and good value, the only concession an Eco driver will have to accept is less low-down poke thanks to the Eco’s longer gearing.
Generally speaking, the Bravo is good value and turns in better-than-average fuel economy. But depreciation, the bane of many a Fiat, may undermine it. The latter can be compensated for by some decent haggling come purchase time – discounts are usually achievable.
On the positive side, the Bravo’s style and Fiat’s concerted attempts to improve its dealer network should help, as will the evident improvement in quality.
But against it is history, and fearsome competition. Depreciation apart, though, the Bravo should prove painless to own.