2001 Fiat Brava 80SX 1.2 from UK and Ireland


Reliable, practical, cheap to run


Over a 16-year period ... lots :-)

Front suspension arms, bushes, dampers. Severely corroded subframe, corrosion on the suspension mounting points, leaking roof/sunroof, cooling fan motor burnt out three times, due to an electrical fault in the ECU(?) - needed a modification to bypass the ECU, just to make it work! Blown head gasket, oil leak caused by corroded sump. Much of the corrosion was caused by the UK's road salting/gritting over the winter. Cracked exhaust heat shield.

The exhaust system was apparently difficult to fix, or my local garages are crap? Probably the latter ... ;-)

General Comments:

I will never forget this car. It NEVER broke down! It was the most reliable, dependable car I have ever owned, but Fiat Bravas were not designed to last 144,000 miles - the majority of them were scrapped many years ago!

The steering was amazingly light, and the economy was good. The boot (trunk) space was great. The ride quality on Britain's shameful roads was reasonable - there's only so much a 1,000Kg car can absorb when the roads are littered with defects!

In the end, the car developed a misfire that would have cost hundreds of pounds to fix - I decided to scrap my Brava earlier this year :(

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 15th May, 2017

2001 Fiat Brava SX 1.6i 16v from UK and Ireland


Just as fun, and better made than a Peugeot 306


Front brake discs scored (due to previous owner not replacing pads)

New clutch (this is my fault not the cars oops!)

New battery (worn out over time)

That's it!

General Comments:

This car is seriously quick for a 1.6 being a 16v - timed 0-60mph on less than 10 seconds!

Very comfortable once you get used to the driving position.

Generous amount of extras including Electric Sunroof, windows, mirrors, PAS and ABS.

Handling is OK - bit wobbly at times but this was sorted by lowering the car 40mm. it handled perfectly!

Economical for a 1.6 but still only 35mpg average.

Cruised at 90mph easy.

This car is very well made for the money and great to drive with a spacious interior and boot. Miles ahead of the Peugeot 306.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd April, 2008

2001 Fiat Brava 80SX 16V 1.2 petrol from UK and Ireland


Good car, but disappointing dealer service departments!


The shock absorbers (dampers) were replaced after 24,000 miles, and it wasn't cheap.

Brake light failure after two years.

General Comments:

I've been driving the car since it was new, and I'm generally pleased with it.

The clutch is nearly worn out, which is a little surprising.

The tires and brakes are still original!

Adjustable steering column height is nice. The seats are comfortable.

The car stereo has complex functions, but I have used less than 10% of them!

Car burnt oil for the first few months, and I topped the level up when necessary. In April 2002 I took the car to a dealer (name with-held for legal reasons!). They accused me of letting the oil level drop below the MIN mark on the dipstick, but I checked the level five days earlier, and the level was in between the MIN and MAX. The service department man was rude, and I found them unprofessional.

I have visited other 'F' dealers, but they haven't impressed me.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 17th April, 2005

13th Feb 2010, 03:03

I've had my Brava 2 years. It's a 2001. It's passed its MOT every time. Very reliable. Spent nothing on it. It has 97,000 on the clock.

2001 Fiat Brava 1.2 SX 1.2 from UK and Ireland


Lovely handling, super quality, cheap to own


There was something wrong with the radio which drained the battery every night. Fixed for £68 (not by FIAT)

General Comments:

I love my Fiat Brava!

I don't know where the FIAT reputation came from for unreliability. If you travel around the south of Italy you will see that average age of the FIAT cars there is about 12 years. Many are 25 years old and still going strong. My father has a Audi which is always going wrong (at stupendous cost), and my mother has a FIAT which goes great!

I was going to buy the VW golf mark III, but was scared off by tales of unreliability and expensive repairs. I also rented a Golf 1.4 for a long journey to Wales and back and they are noisy at speed and handle poorly. I bough mine very cheap (half price after 18 months and 2,500 miles on the clock - it was an ex-rental.

The engine is quiet and powerful for a 1.2. At the legal limit on the motorway it's whisper quiet. Drives about 400 miles for a full tank of petrol which costs about £40. So about the same as some diesel cars, but with cheaper servicing. The steering is the best I have ever experienced in a car. Combinded with the excellent cornering, it makes for a fun drive.

I have avoided the FIAT dealerships for servicing because of all the bad press on pages like these and use independent garages instead which are fine. Parts are cheaper than other brands (I know this as I broke down in my Uno once and a garage fixed it for £35 including parts and labour. It was so cheap I gave them a £10 tip!)

The only bad points - you can't get the 1.2 without the sunroof, which makes things a bit cramped if you are more than 6'2". The seats are too 'sporty' (automotive jargon for uncomfortable) and have too much side support, which makes them a pain after an hour or so. Why does it not have remote locking? Much more useful than a stupid sunroof.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th February, 2005

28th Feb 2005, 15:39

FIAT deserve their bad reputation. They constantly perform poorly in reliability surveys, such as JD Power, but if yours goes good, then that's the main thing!

1st Mar 2006, 05:13

I've just bought a Fiat Bravo 1.2 and wondering if you can give me more info on the radio draining the battery issue as I think I may be having the same problem. Cheers.