2009 Fiat Bravo – Click above for high resolution picture gallery

Car Tested: 2009 Fiat Bravo 1.9L Multijet Diesel

Price OTR Mumbai: 17,00,000/- (est.)

Yes, it’s the Fiat Bravo. Few of you had spotted it in Mumbai a couple of days earlier and others have been waiting for it to hit the roads. Sadly, Fiat is not launching this car in India due to the high government duty it attracts, which is likely to hamper its sales considering the competition. But does that stop the Fiat Bravo from being one of the most desirable hatchbacks in the world?

Nevertheless, it is a great car. Michael Schumacher is said to have had a hand in the development of the Bravo. We got to drive the 1.9-litre Multijet powered Bravo and it was a treat. The vehicle looks stunning and drives that way too. The 1.9-litre Multijet diesel engine is amazingly silent and it punches out around 150 BHP of raw power. Power delivery is smooth and the 6-speed gearbox is slick. Floor the pedal and the Fiat Bravo would have certainly taken off had the ATC given clearance. No sign of any turbo lag and the car accelerates without much effort. Steering is extremely light and one does not feel how heavy a car it actually is.

The interiors are designed classic Fiat style. The instrument panel has Ferrari like dials and multi-information display is standard. Comfortable seats with adequate leg room and head room at the back is immediately noticed. Blacked out sunroof not only looks good from outside but is equally usable inside, opening out almost the entire roof. The Bravo gives about 12 – 14 km/l when driven hard and that speaks highly of the fantastic Multijet engine. Great power with equally great mileage.

Cornering is extremely sharp. Turn in and the Fiat Bravo will obey, no signs of stepping out of line. Ride is exceptional and that is something we have seen with the Linea and the Punto too. No surprise on that front. Build quality is top notch and not even a squeak heard on the worst of the bumps. The Fiat Bravo was designed to score maximum points in passive and active safety tests, thanks to several airbags (as many as 7), three-point seat-belts with pre-tensioners and load limiters, and five head-restraints. Another aspect of safety regards the ‘Pedestrian impact’, which was taken into account during the design of the chassis, designed to maximise the absorption of this type of impact. The Bravo also features the most sophisticated electronic systems to monitor the vehicle’s dynamic behaviour, such as ABS complete with EBD, the sophisticated ESP system with a Hill Holder, and ASR anti-slip regulation.

The Fiat Bravo embodies new technologies like the new generation of the ‘Blue&Me’ system, known as ‘Blue&Me Nav’. This technology, which is a Fiat Group exclusive, developed with Microsoft, combines the functions of the first generation with a highly efficient pictogram navigation system, and access to a series of telematic services. The ‘dual-zone’ automatic climate system, a choice of two radios with specific Hi-Fi systems, the large panoramic opening sunroof, Cruise Control, a rain sensor, parking sensors and foglights with a self-adaptive cornering function, complete the array of equipment.

Air conditioning was great considering it was working overtime in this summer heat. At the front, temperature can be set individually for the driver and the co-passenger. Rear AC vent is present as seen on the Linea. Audio quality was impressive and audio controls on steering wheel are provided to make life a little easier.

Boot is large and attention to detail is good. A small light has been provided in the glove box. Small things but big difference. We struggled to find any faults with the Bravo. The car had done 35,000 kms but was as fresh as a daisy. A true example of top notch built quality. Many of us would have loved to see the Fiat Bravo on Indian road but then there are some things we can’t have, and for everything else the Linea and Punto almost make up for it.

Whats Cool

* Equipment
* Quality
* Ride and Handling
* Very good NVH levels

Whats Not So Cool

* Not available for purchase