Sport 1.4 MultiAir 140
Bravo five-door hatch offers
car buyers in the Focus class a
stylish alternative to mainstream
mediocrity. And in Sport guise, its
a smart, well-equipped package...
BRAVO! BUT IT'S MORE THAN THAT in addition to a dash of
Italian sexiness, it also possesses a decent dose of brio thanks to the 1.4-litre
MultiAir powerplant under its bonnet.
These days, 1.4-litre engines put out a lot more poke than people expect
the old maxim about there being no substitute for cubic inches no longer holds
sway because this new breed of high power small cc engines are as powerful as
they are efficient.
This 140bhp 1.4-litre Fiat unit delivers as much power as you'll really ever
need on our increasingly congested road network. Performance is brisk with the
0-62mph time posted in a quick 8.5 seconds and a top speed of 127mph.
The four-pot petrol engine is eager to please and happy when you use the revs
the six-speed manual 'box is a precise, easy-changer and with
170lb ft on call from 1,750rpm there's enough torque to ensure good flexibility
and minimal gear-changing around town. On the motorway its loping sixth gear
helps keep it refined and makes long journeys at a steady cruise stress-free
affairs. It's worth emphasising that the Bravo is a particularly quiet car;
noticeably so at speed.
you won't need to pull over too often for fuel a week's hard driving
in our test Bravo saw a real-world average of 37.7mpg. Officially it should
do 49.6mpg in the combined cycle, 38.7 urban and 58.9mpg extra-urban. Fiat's
Start&Stop is fitted to maximise fuel economy but can be switched off (or on
again) any time you want.
The four-pot petrol
engine is eager to please
and happy when you
use the revs the six-
speed box is a precise,
with 170lb ft on call from
1,750rpm theres enough
torque to ensure
good flexibility and
Adding to the pleasure is an airy cabin that's as appealing as the body that
clothes it. Smartly finished with a pair of sporty two-tone seats (black suede
livened up by bright blue metallic-effect sections) with soft but effective
bolstering and aluminium Sport pedals, the interior is well-considered and easy
on the eye thanks to the interesting blend of materials and textures.
The soft-touch, carbon-look upper fascia is all-of-a-piece with neat controls
housed in a high gloss-centre console and deeply recessed dials at night
they're lit by a relaxing pale orange glow that makes them very easy to read.
Between them is a driver's information display crowned with a pair of smaller
gauges for fuel and temperature.
There's also plenty of room for all the paraphernalia you lug around in your
car starting with a useful storage drawer under the front passenger seat,
a refrigerated compartment, a large glovebox and ample space for bottles.
Making life better for the driver is a hard-rimmed, leather-wrapped steering
wheel that feels good in your hands and which adjusts for both reach and rake,
along with a height-adjustable seat and height-adjustable front seatbelts. There's
also lumbar support and a front armrest, and you'll find remote audio controls
on the wheel.
Visibility to the front through the steeply raked windscreen is fine although
the sleek coupe-like styling and rising waistline does mean you get a smaller
rear screen. Actually it's fine once you're used to the car and the rear wiper
does a first rate job of cleaning almost every inch of it good news on
our more often than not wet and mucky roads.
Rear seat passengers get seats shaped to match the front pair, and decent room
to relax in them. And despite them being set low a consequence of the
Bravo's coupe-look roof they proved comfortable with good foot and knee
room. And, in spite of the Bravo's backward-sloping roofline, there's a deceptively
good amount of glass so your rear seat passengers aren't short of either light
Two riding together in the back can share a wide, padded centre armrest; three
in the back is do-able and even the middle rear passenger will have space between
the top of their head and the roof.
well-shaped boot is big (365 litres) and easily extended when the 60:40 split
rear seats are folded down, providing a generous 1,175-litre load bay. While
the size is practical, the load bay floor is two-level; but it is flat.
The Sport model runs
with a firmer, more
sporting suspension set-
up and yet it rides
handling are predictable
with minimal body roll
and good brakes so
drivers can enjoy the
The boot is usefully deep which makes the load lip seem high but the tailgate
opens to a head-friendly height and it proved easy to load and unload items
both big and small. For its likely occasional flat pack/garden centre usage,
the Bravo's cargo carrying abilities are duly fit for purpose.
The range-topping Sport comes with a fair serving of kit including Sports seats,
Sports instruments, Blue&Me hands-free 'phone and MP3 connectivity with steering-wheel
controls (so you can keep your hands on the wheel when you select your entertainment),
cruise control, radio/CD, AirCon, one-shot up/down front electric windows, power
adjustable heated door mirrors, Dualdrive electric power steering, Sport suspension,
striking 17-inch alloy wheels (finished in graphite with machined spoke faces),
red brake callipers and a rear spoiler and sideskirts.
Safety kit includes six airbags, automatic cornering foglights, ABS, an Electronic
Stability Programme, Hill Holder (for smooth hill starts) and a five-star NCAP
A five-door hatchback that's roomy enough for five, the Bravo nevertheless lays
down a compact footprint 4.3-metres long by 1.8-metres wide. And it comes
in handy in town, parking up, and on the open road.
The Sport model runs with a firmer, more sporting suspension set-up and yet
it rides comfortably enough. Roadholding and handling are predictable with minimal
body roll and good brakes so drivers can enjoy the full 140bhp; press on and
it stays reassuringly tidy.
The Bravo is also equipped with Dualdrive electric power steering which offers
two settings: both deliver identical assistance above 19mph but press the button
on the fascia if you want extra assistance driving through urban landscapes
or for easy low-speed manoeuvring in tight spaces.
There's a lot to cheer in the Fiat Bravo: it's competitively priced, well equipped,
looks smart and also comes with a five-year warranty. Family-friendly, it will
inject some welcome élan into the family driver's day. What are you waiting
Bravo Sport 1.4 MultiAir 140 | £17,900
Maximum speed: 127mph | 0-62mph: 8.5 seconds | Overall test MPG: 37.7mpg
Power: 140bhp | Torque: 170lb ft | CO2 132g/km