1996 Fiat Bravo SX 1.4 from UK and Ireland


An under rated hatchback


Had the rear shock absorbers replaced under warranty, but this was probably due to my constant mounting of curbs when living in Nottingham.

Rear washer fluid stopped functioning in 2001.

Battery died in 2001 after a period of Heavy rain.

All in all the car has been void of any serious problems.

General Comments:

Excellent little car. I bought it for the stylish looks and to be a bit different. It also has a very low insurance group than its equivalent golf and ford counterparts (Group 5).

I recently spent £500 improving the cars looks, and its made the car even better! Added a spoiler, alloy wheels (from the fiat coupe) and painted the wing mirrors. I also added a 6 CD changer and a pipercross air filter. The car is excellent and especially when you push it past 4000rpm...

I can't recommend enough.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th September, 2002

18th Nov 2005, 16:35

What about the headlamps? did you find them bright enough?

1996 Fiat Bravo SX 1.6 from UK and Ireland


A reliable and good-looking hatch


Bought as a 1-year-old ex-rental car but still my most reliable car with no serious faults (the SX is possibly best of the bunch).

The original exhaust is fitted in one piece, therefore replacing one section is expensive.

General Comments:

Needs winding up a bit, but the road-holding is good at speed.

Top gear ratio is not quite right for heavy motorway work - feel like you need a 6th gear! Perhaps the 1.8 is better.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th September, 2002

1996 Fiat Bravo HLX 1.8 from UK and Ireland


An excellent hatchback, with excellent performance and handling for the money.


The radio would not pick up any stations when I first acquired the car, although the tape deck worked fine. The radio was sent away by the dealer and has been fine ever since.

The car has always pulled slightly to the left. I believe it probably had a kerb knock before I owned it, as the steering wheel wasn't straight either. This was corrected by adjusting the track rod ends, although the car still pulled to the left slightly.

The seal around the dipstick leaked. This was sealed by the dealer. It stayed seal for about 2 years. Not a major problem though.

The headlamp washers have never worked. I think they get blocked. The windscreen washers get blocked and squirt all over the place. Blowing compressed air into the line clears this problem though.

The exhaust heat shield clips (near the fuel tank) corroded and fell off. I fixed this myself with a new hose clip.

The electric windows have always been sluggish, especially the passenger side. They have on one or two ocassions, stopped completely while rising. Pressing the operation button and holding it however, did make them close.

The rear windscreen washer pipe, popped off as it had frozen, despite ample washer fluid in the system. I unclipped the boot trim myself and re-attached it.

General Comments:

All problems listed above, were very minor. This really is an above average car for the money, just look at the standard equipment list. I am buying another one, same model just younger.

The 1.8 16 valve engine comes alive at 4000rpm. It easily revs upto 6500rpm and more if you let it. The growl and note from the exhaust is music to your ears. Although not a true hot hatch, it will not disappoint.

The performance is great for a warm hatch, although a few extra horsepower would be nice (wouldn't it always). If Fiat had put the variable valve timing head on this engine (as they have now done for the Punto HGT) it would have been nearly as quick as the Bravo HGT.

The handling is very good, although it leans a little too much into corners. It never loses grip with those 16 inch alloy wheels.

The brakes are very good. The ventilated front brake discs and anti lock brake system always stop you in good time if you need to.

The fuel economy is fine. I average 30 miles per gallon around town. On a motorway cruise at a constant 80 miles per hour, it easily returns 40 miles per gallon. The 13 gallon petrol tank means you don't have to fill up to often.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd September, 2001