Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Give Bravo a Chance

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Give Bravo a Chance

Article excerpt

Byline: Andy Enright

There are some cars that seem to garner a reputation that's out of all kilter with their actual worth.

Some surprisingly mediocre cars go on to sell by the stackload, while on the other side of that coin, there are those vehicles that deserve to do well but which, for one reason or another, never really catch the public's imagination.

Slot the second generation Fiat Bravo, built from 2007 to 2014, into that latter category.

It's easy to forgive the Bravo any minor shortcomings when you walk round the car, taking in its beautifully integrated detailing and elegant proportions. Many five door hatches are about as beguiling as the prospect of an evening spent creosoting your mother-in-law's fence, but the Bravo is different.

Just as Fiat's smart little Grande Punto added a touch of the exotic to the supermini class, this Bravo did the same for cars the next size up.

If size is everything to you, the Bravo may well disappoint. Ford spent millions on making the Focus fit virtually anybody but Fiat hasn't spent that sort of budget on the Bravo and as such, it's far tighter than the Ford in the back, although there's a decent amount of luggage space in that curved rump.

The interior feels very well built. Bright finish plastics lift the cabin and the controls are easy to figure out without recourse to the manual.

It all looks agreeably Italianate as well, even if this is a clever facade. Fiat has really got the hang of the whole soft-touch dashboard moulding in recent years and the Bravo's supple, textured finish wouldn't look out of place in an Audi.

The Bravo features two front airbags, two front side bags, two window bags and a knee airbag for the driver.

ABS anti-lock braking with electronic brakeforce distribution and an ESP stability control system should prevent the worst coming to the worst. The ESP system includes functions such as anti-slip regulation (ASR) to limit wheelspin in slippery conditions and engine torque regulation which prevents the driven wheels locking up during rapid downshifts. …

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