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Recently, FIAT has undergone a huge overhaul in terms of its image and vehicles. Putting out a large number of vehicles with typical Italian flair, are they getting it right?

22 Nov 2007

The Bravo first debuted in 1995 but did not last the test of time and only now did they come up with a follow-up model. The current model is meant to be a replacement for the Stilo, and boy, what a replacement it is. Do not let the 1.4L engine distract you from what the car is capable of. The T-jet version is a turbocharged engine that is capable of drawing out 150 Italian stallions and leaving you panting with excitement and wanting for more. From the moment you first get into the car to the moment you leave it, I guarantee there will be a big, fat grin on your face throughout.

So, I got the keys, started up the engine, and was listening to the Fiat people giving me the low-down on the car when I noticed something. The engine does not give much of a growl. It seems tame. Family-oriented even. I had my doubts about the car. So much for a T-jet engine. But I was forced to eat my words when I left the showroom. Below 3000 rpm, the engine performs just like any other car that is tagged at way below $90k but the moment I let it rip to above 3000 rpm, I was pleasantly shocked! The car went off like a hungry hyena in pursuit of a carcass and that was just a taste of things to come.

At the traffic light, with very, very little cars around and a perfectly straight road in front of me, I grinned. The moment the light turned green, the car was going, going and gone. I had to watch the rpm though because of the engine's high revving nature, it was easy to redline it. The red line starts at 6000rpm which is quite limiting if you ask me. Hopefully, the future T-jet engine would be capable of going a bit further up. But then again, this is still a 1.4L car. A 1.4L car that could easily "makan" a 2.0L car any day, I am sure. So, before I knew it, there was beeping sound indicating that I have reached the 100km/h mark and I was only at the third gear. This being a 6-speed manual, it was comforting to know I still have three more gears to engage. At this point though, the light steering of the car proved to be quite a bit of a hazard. A little nudge to the side and the car felt as if it was going to throw its weight over and it did not help that the seats, as beautifully crafted as they are, did not give much lateral support.

The interior of this car is typically Italian. Style oozes out from every possible corner. The steering wheel, with audio controls, is wrapped in rich leather as did the gear knob. The faux-carbon fibre material lining the dashboard serves as a reminder to the driver and other occupants of the car, that this car is capable of speeds up to 212 km/h. The chrome trimming found at the tachometer and speedometer, leads you nicely to the numbers lit in red. Speaking of the instrument cluster, it must be mentioned that it is very pleasing to the eyes. Speedometer on the left, tachometer on the right, fuel and temperature gauge on the top centre and a multi display screen below that. Beautiful. The car also features a factory fitted sound system that will not require an upgrade anytime soon and there is a digital display of the dual climate control air-conditioning system. All in red. Again I say, beautiful. If there is anything to complain about, the awkwardly placed glove compartment with its rather poorly made lid and the lack of a left foot rest did bother me but when the car is in motion, nothing else matters. Boot space is enough to satisfy any housewife and rear passenger space is also sufficient. There is enough head and leg room even for the leggiest of models.

After observing all this, I realized I have yet to engage the sixth gear. So I brought it to the expressway. Shifting up quickly in style, I was smiling all the way through. Finally, I got to the sixth gear. Smooth and easy and the best part was, even at sixth gear, the car can still pull its weight and provide acceleration.

This gem of a car from Fiat has really left an indelible mark on me. For those of you who swore never to drive a 2.0L car for fear of road tax and fuel costs, this would be the car for you. While the fuel consumption is nothing to shout about, this car will give you the thrill for the weekend while allowing you to fulfill family duties and maintain a rather healthy bank balance. For the singles, this car is attractive and will definitely turn heads while giving that "beng" in the souped up civic a run for his money. The interior is classy while the engine is mighty. 'Nuff said.

This review was done on a Friday and borrowing a quote from The Cure, I say, "Friday, I'm in love."
Also read our comparison article on:
Fiat Bravo Veloce 185 and Volkswagen Golf GT
Car Information
This model is no longer being sold by local distributors


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Engine Type


16-valves Turbocharged

Engine Cap





112kW (150 bhp)



206 Nm



6-speed (M)

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)



Top Speed



Fuel consumption



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