Fiat Brava. What an odd name. And what a perfect example of 90’s Fiats.
The Fiat Brava, and its twin, Bravo’s production started back in 1995. It was one of the cheapest 5-seater family hatchbacks (well, fastback to be precise) of its time available in European markets, and perhaps one of the most characterful.
Its design, is, well, different than the pack. It was very curvy and round, had a cheerful, cheeky front end and a very weird (and ugly, imho) rear end with three-piece tail lights. It looked very fresh and ahead of its time compared even to rivals that were more expensive. Same story regarding the interior.
Its motor is a very small 16-valve 1.2 that produces just 80hp. Mind you, it likes to rev, and matched to the brava’s short gear ratios and low weight, this gives it a 0-100km/h time identical to a 1.6 Opel Vectra and a 1.8 Peugeot 407. 13 seconds. It’s slow, I know, but for a 1.2 it actually is pretty good.
Its handing isn’t exactly going to light anyone’s pants on fire, however it’s pretty enjoyable and has a playful rear end, thanks to independent rear suspension and 90’s italiano suspension tuning.
Relatively comfortable, spacious, easy to park and move around.
And let’s not forget that it’s italian. It likes to go through head gaskets (2 in just 240,000km) , and some electrics can be a bit iffy at times. A/C turns on by itself if you hit a pothole and speedo may stop working if it doesn’t like you very much. Other than that, it’s been a very reliable car that has never left us stranded.
OUR BRAVA’S STORY
This car has been in our family since it was brand new, for 18 years, and it still is going strong. It’s traveled all over Greece, and it’s currently at approximately 240,000km.
It’s a car that I’ve lived with throughout my whole life. In fact it’s just a month older than I am. It’s the car I was transferred in as a newborn, the car I learnt to drive in, the car I did my first skids with. The first car I attempted to mod. Plus lots of many other pleasant and unpleasant parts of my life. It’s a big piece of my history.
Enough of the emotional stuff. Mods? Well, I got rid of the stock steelies for a set of Fiat Punto rims from a friend of mine, I’ve put on white indicators and smoked them along with the middle parts of the rear tali lights and I’ve painted some interior trim pieces glossy black.
Other mods include the head unit, all of the car’s speakers and a cone filter up front to get some Inline-4 bark.
It’s old, underpowered, and my mother wants us to get rid of it and get something newer, like an Alfa Romeo Mito. Well, I’ve put an ad up, but it costs so much more than other Bravas, that I doubt anyone would buy it, and that’s exactly why I priced it like that.