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Old 29-08-2017   #1
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Some Bravo Questions (T-Jet vs Multiair and more)

Hi,

I've been looking for a new car for a few months now, and I always seem to end up at the Fiat Bravo. It's looks like an amazing car and the one that I test drove (1.4 T-Jet 150 Sport) felt like it had a good amount of power and nice ride. Before I take the plunge and buy my first Fiat, along with becoming the first Fiat owner of the friends and family (which worried me at first as I didn't have anyone to ask about reliability and the likes), I've got a few questions.

I guess the most important one is why are the Bravo 1.4 T-Jets so cheap? I've seen ones under 2000 with less than 50k on the clock and full service history with no indicators of damage. That's crazy crazy cheap for 150bhp! I'm worried I'm missing something that others aren't and that I'll get hit with repair bill after repair bill which is why they're so cheap to buy!

My second question is what is the difference between the T-Jet and the Multiair? I can of course see the stats difference, with the Multiair having a much lower annual tax due to emissions and also better mpg, but what's the reliability like?

I'm told the Bravo is the best car Fiat ever made from a reliability standpoint. I've not got buckets of cash to throw around so I can't be dealing with expensive repair work every few months and I just want a car that has good performance for a good price. Will the Bravo offer me this?

Finally, I'm looking to buy cars second-hand of course and with around 40-60k, is this ok? 80k seems a bit high for a car that has probably been red-lined on every outing most of its life, so I'm hoping that's an ok mileage. I'm also looking at Bravos between 2007-2009 (but I've looked at Bravos up to 2012, it all depends on being within my budget of below 4k).

Sorry if these questions sound basic and simple. I've done research and watched reviews, but I just want confirmation from people for my specific questions. I really appreciate any insight you can give me!
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Old 30-08-2017   #2
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Re: Some Bravo Questions (T-Jet vs Multiair and more)

Quote Originally Posted by MattH2580 View Post
Hi,

I guess the most important one is why are the Bravo 1.4 T-Jets so cheap? I've seen ones under 2000 with less than 50k on the clock and full service history with no indicators of damage. That's crazy crazy cheap for 150bhp! I'm worried I'm missing something that others aren't and that I'll get hit with repair bill after repair bill which is why they're so cheap to buy!
Firstly, they're (non-500) Fiats - nearly all Fiats depreciate like stones, and they weren't that expensive to start with. Second, the TJets have M32 gearboxes (google) which are known to be weak, and can be expensive to repair. The other major weakness is the climate control - the directional flaps break and leave you stuck with weird and annoying heating settings.

Also, I've found parts to be more expensive than they cost for the ford I had before, simply because fewer non-OEM options are available.

Quote Originally Posted by MattH2580 View Post

My second question is what is the difference between the T-Jet and the Multiair? I can of course see the stats difference, with the Multiair having a much lower annual tax due to emissions and also better mpg, but what's the reliability like?
Multiair is a newer, and much cleverer, generation of engine. The engine valves are controlled through hydraulics, allowing for greater control over the fuel air mix. No idea on reliability, mines a TJet.

Quote Originally Posted by MattH2580 View Post

I'm told the Bravo is the best car Fiat ever made from a reliability standpoint. I've not got buckets of cash to throw around so I can't be dealing with expensive repair work every few months and I just want a car that has good performance for a good price. Will the Bravo offer me this?
Mines been pretty reliable; it's needed a single coil pack beyond regular servicing. The coolant system also has had work done on it, but primarily because of mechanic incompetence.

Note the spark plugs required by this engine cost a tenner each. (Iridium tipped plugs are needed)

Quote Originally Posted by MattH2580 View Post

Finally, I'm looking to buy cars second-hand of course and with around 40-60k, is this ok? 80k seems a bit high for a car that has probably been red-lined on every outing most of its life, so I'm hoping that's an ok mileage. I'm also looking at Bravos between 2007-2009 (but I've looked at Bravos up to 2012, it all depends on being within my budget of below 4k).
Buy on condition and history, not mileage.

Quote Originally Posted by MattH2580 View Post
Sorry if these questions sound basic and simple. I've done research and watched reviews, but I just want confirmation from people for my specific questions. I really appreciate any insight you can give me!
Not a problem. All I can say (beyond above) is I love driving mine, it's not as economical as I'd hoped, but then I love revving the tits off it. It's powerful enough to cause torque steering, so be aware of that.

I imagine others will be along to give you more advice
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Old 30-08-2017   #3
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Re: Some Bravo Questions (T-Jet vs Multiair and more)

Quote Originally Posted by Matthen View Post
Firstly, they're (non-500) Fiats - nearly all Fiats depreciate like stones, and they weren't that expensive to start with.
Do you know the reason behind this? I was under the impression some cars depreciate faster than others due to having more problems and being more costly as a result.

Quote Originally Posted by Matthen View Post
Second, the TJets have M32 gearboxes (google) which are known to be weak, and can be expensive to repair. The other major weakness is the climate control - the directional flaps break and leave you stuck with weird and annoying heating settings.
I've did read a bit about the M32 gearbox so I know what to expect there, and which flaps do you mean? Do you mean the ones that control the direction of the air vents, or the actual climate control knobs themselves that control stuff like air temperature?

Quote Originally Posted by Matthen View Post
Also, I've found parts to be more expensive than they cost for the ford I had before, simply because fewer non-OEM options are available.
I'll bear this in mind!

Quote Originally Posted by Matthen View Post
Multiair is a newer, and much cleverer, generation of engine. The engine valves are controlled through hydraulics, allowing for greater control over the fuel air mix. No idea on reliability, mines a TJet.
Ah right ok, it turns out anyway that I'll probably be getting a T-Jet as the Multiair ones are really really hard to get hold of! I really like the sound of the T-Jet engine and I've test drove one and it pulled really well.

Quote Originally Posted by Matthen View Post
Mines been pretty reliable; it's needed a single coil pack beyond regular servicing. The coolant system also has had work done on it, but primarily because of mechanic incompetence.
Awesome, and if I could be a real pain, do you think you could estimate how much money you've put into the car in terms of repair work / maintenance and how long you've owned it for? Just so I have a rough picture of costs.

Quote Originally Posted by Matthen View Post
Note the spark plugs required by this engine cost a tenner each. (Iridium tipped plugs are needed)
That sounds fine to me I've seen a lot of cars use spark plugs that are around that price and a bit above anyway.

Quote Originally Posted by Matthen View Post
Buy on condition and history, not mileage.
Got it, I'll only be buying one with a full service history anyway and regular service intervals. How often do you think this car needs a service? Every 10k miles? or 5k?

Quote Originally Posted by Matthen View Post
Not a problem. All I can say (beyond above) is I love driving mine, it's not as economical as I'd hoped, but then I love revving the tits off it. It's powerful enough to cause torque steering, so be aware of that.
Awesome, I really loved the one I test drove so I'm excited! I think I'll probably rev it a lot as well haha. Also, when you say not as economical as you had hoped, could you elaborate a little? Do you mean in terms of miles per gallon, and if so what is your average mpg?

I'll be fine with the torque steering as well

As a small aside, what's the ride like? A few of the roads I drive on daily have rough patchy tarmac that isn't too bad in my Fiesta but I imagine it'll be a bit rougher with the Bravos stiffer suspension!

I really really appreciate you taking the time to write that lengthy response, thanks so much!
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Old 30-08-2017   #4
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Re: Some Bravo Questions (T-Jet vs Multiair and more)

Sorry to add another engine to the equation, but may I suggest the 120hp Tjet? This engine has a low RPM turbo and in fact has more power and torque between 1000-1750rpm than the 150hp. The graph below compares the two (dotted line 120hp, fixed line 150hp):
Click image for larger version

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Full document here if you really want some dull bedtime reading

I drove multiple 150hp Bravos prior to purchasing a 120hp and found the 120hp delivered much smoother power across the rev range with less lag. Plus, mpg is marginally higher (on paper at least) and road tax is only 150/yr, as opposed to 220 on the 150hp.
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Old 30-08-2017   #5
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Re: Some Bravo Questions (T-Jet vs Multiair and more)

Quote Originally Posted by Cadabena View Post
Sorry to add another engine to the equation, but may I suggest the 120hp Tjet? This engine has a low RPM turbo and in fact has more power and torque between 1000-1750rpm than the 150hp.
Quote Originally Posted by Cadabena View Post
I drove multiple 150hp Bravos prior to purchasing a 120hp and found the 120hp delivered much smoother power across the rev range with less lag. Plus, mpg is marginally higher (on paper at least) and road tax is only 150/yr, as opposed to 220 on the 150hp.
Thanks for the suggestion, I'll give it a look! I noticed that the max torque stats on Parkers were actually the same for the 120bhp and 150bhp version (both peaking around 150 lb-ft) although on that graph there is a slight difference. Do you know if there's any differences in maintenance costs and/or reliability?
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Old 30-08-2017   #6
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Re: Some Bravo Questions (T-Jet vs Multiair and more)

Quote Originally Posted by MattH2580 View Post
Thanks for the suggestion, I'll give it a look! I noticed that the max torque stats on Parkers were actually the same for the 120bhp and 150bhp version (both peaking around 150 lb-ft) although on that graph there is a slight difference. Do you know if there's any differences in maintenance costs and/or reliability?
  • Engine - in theory because the 120hp engine's delivering less peak power and at lower revs (redline's at 5,000rpm instead of 5,500rpm on the 150hp) it should be more reliable and there's less chance the previous owner will have ragged it. However, the 150hp is still a solid engine anyway.
  • Gearbox - both specs have the dreaded M32 gearbox, however I think reports of failure are less common than diesel cars with this box. As with the engine, less power/torque on the 120hp means less strain on it... although it might not like the higher torque at very low revs. Difficult to say.
  • Driveshafts - the torque of the Tjet is known to kill driveshafts on the Bravo - these are driveshafts that were designed for non-turbo Fiat Stilo and haven't been changed or upgraded. I would say that purely based on numbers, the driveshafts should last much longer on the 120hp - however they're quite an easy fix if they do go so it's not much to worry about.

Tldr: Erm... I'd say theoretically the 120hp should be a bit more reliable? But not any major differences to worry about.

Last edited by Cadabena; 30-08-2017 at 21:35.
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Old 30-08-2017   #7
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Re: Some Bravo Questions (T-Jet vs Multiair and more)

Quote Originally Posted by Cadabena View Post
  • Engine - in theory because the 120hp engine's delivering less peak power and at lower revs (redline's at 5,000rpm instead of 5,500rpm on the 150hp) it should be more reliable and there's less chance the previous owner will have ragged it. However, the 150hp is still a solid engine anyway.
  • Gearbox - both specs have the dreaded M32 gearbox, however I think reports of failure are less common than diesel cars with this box. As with the engine, less power/torque on the 120hp means less strain on it... although it might not like the higher torque at very low revs. Difficult to say.
  • Driveshafts - the torque of the Tjet is known to kill driveshafts on the Bravo - these are driveshafts that were designed for non-turbo Fiat Stilo and haven't been changed or upgraded. I would say that purely based on numbers, the driveshafts should last much longer on the 120hp - however they're quite an easy fix if they do go so it's not much to worry about.

Tldr: Erm... I'd say theoretically the 120hp should be a bit more reliable? But not any major differences to worry about.
Awesome, thanks for the response. As a follow up, when you say the driveshaft is quite an easy fix, is it also a relatively cheap fix?
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Old 30-08-2017   #8
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Re: Some Bravo Questions (T-Jet vs Multiair and more)

Hi @MattH2580,
I don't have a Bravo, but a 150hp diesel Croma with the same M32 gearbox. I've done some research on this and don't think the 'box is as bad as made out. It's used in a lot of cars, including the Vauxhall Vectra C (same running gear as the Croma) and they are not all breaking. There seem to be two issues, low oil level and bad bearings. Th oil level seems to have been inceased during the life of the 'box and there is no level check plug. You have to drain the box and re-fill it to check the level so many don't do it correcly. It's worth doing an oil change (note it's not "normal" gear oil) if ou intend keeping the car.
The bearing issue may be linked to oil level, but it also looks like some bearings used are not as good as others. At least two makes have been used and there is always the chance of a poor batch.
Personally I'd not bother with the multi-air, its a lot more complex and they do not seem to acheive the test MPG in the real world (check threads on the 500 multi-air).
I'd have considered a Bravo if I didn't need something bigger.

Robert G8RPI.
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Last edited by g8rpi; 30-08-2017 at 21:56.
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Old 30-08-2017   #9
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Re: Some Bravo Questions (T-Jet vs Multiair and more)

Quote Originally Posted by MattH2580 View Post
Awesome, thanks for the response. As a follow up, when you say the driveshaft is quite an easy fix, is it also a relatively cheap fix?
I think it's about 100-150, it's not something I've had to do but there's some good information in this thread.
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Old 31-08-2017   #10
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Re: Some Bravo Questions (T-Jet vs Multiair and more)

Quote Originally Posted by Cadabena View Post
I think it's about 100-150, it's not something I've had to do but there's some good information in this thread.
I've done both drive shaft on mine and if caught early enough, it's only the spider bearing that only needs replacing at 15-20 plus the grease to repack shaft!

The Tjet engine has been around for a long time and used in most Abarth models which are more of an ethusiast car and get tuned and abused alot more.

The multiair is used in alot of Alfa's. There used to be a history of the multi air unit failing which would cost around 600.

There's alot of sound advise in this thread, I wouldn't worry about the M32, but make sure you change the oil or get one that's been done! Regular servicing helps here 👍

To be fair any car that's around 8-9 years old, will need some extra work from time to time over standard servicing items due to its age/wear the key is to find a well looked after model with decent service history!

https://www.fiatforum.com/bravo/444400-gearboxes.html

Here's bit bout gearbox and some links. It's talked about alot on here. Plus another link in there to info on the Aircon re circ flaps, etc..
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Last edited by 1.8Stilo; 31-08-2017 at 09:25.
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Old 31-08-2017   #11
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Re: Some Bravo Questions (T-Jet vs Multiair and more)

I've had mine for a few months now. It's a great car, you won't get anything else in the same class with the same power/spec for the price of a Bravo. It's also a nice looking car and the interior is miles better than a Focus/Astra/Golf imo.

For fuel economy, I'm actually getting better than I thought at 39 mpg. Probably 40% dual carriageway, 30% city/town and 30% country roads. That's also with sport mode permanently on, as I much prefer the sharp throttle response. It feels dead to me with sport mode off, so I only turn it off in stop-start traffic. AFAIK the sport mode also increases torque to 170 lb-ft.

A month after I bought it, both drive shafts failed on me. I got ripped off as all of the garages I took it to were useless and had no interest in repairing them, they only wanted to replace them with new ones. I needed the car fixing ASAP before a long trip to London, so I paid 700. But you'd be able to get it sorted much cheaper than that if you look around.
One benefit at the time was that I got 46 mpg due to having to drive gently until it was fixed. So it can be very economical if you want it to be, though good luck restraining yourself when you don't have to!

I've not heard good things about the gearbox. Mine seems to be fine, but listen for whining sounds and the gear stick moving a bit mainly in 1st, 3rd and 5th gear on a test drive.

Otherwise reliability seems good. I specifically looked for a model without the climate control and panoramic roof. I'd have loved them options but they commonly seem to break. The Fiat badges on the grill and boot often fade/fall off, I've replaced both on mine. Also the steering wheel leather peels off on earlier models.

If there's anything else you want to know, I'd be happy to try and answer!
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Old 31-08-2017   #12
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Re: Some Bravo Questions (T-Jet vs Multiair and more)

Quote Originally Posted by g8rpi View Post
Th oil level seems to have been inceased during the life of the 'box and there is no level check plug. You have to drain the box and re-fill it to check the level so many don't do it correcly. It's worth doing an oil change (note it's not "normal" gear oil) if ou intend keeping the car.
I'll bear this in mind and definitely get the oil changed in the 'box if I get one!

Quote Originally Posted by g8rpi View Post
Personally I'd not bother with the multi-air, its a lot more complex and they do not seem to acheive the test MPG in the real world (check threads on the 500 multi-air).
Got it, although it's not too important anymore as I can't seem to find any now!

Quote Originally Posted by Cadabena View Post
I think it's about 100-150, it's not something I've had to do but there's some good information in {thread}
This thread is pretty worrying to be honest as it looks like there's so many problems with not only the driveshaft, but also finding a replacement! 500+ for what people in the thread are describing as a common problem is pretty nuts.

Quote Originally Posted by 1.8Stilo View Post
I've done both drive shaft on mine and if caught early enough, it's only the spider bearing that only needs replacing at 15-20 plus the grease to repack shaft!
This sounds more promising, but how would I catch it early? I'm going to test drive some Bravos soon, are there any tell tale signs that indicate the drive shaft is going?

Quote Originally Posted by 1.8Stilo View Post
The Tjet engine has been around for a long time and used in most Abarth models which are more of an ethusiast car and get tuned and abused alot more.
This is quite reassuring, I'll bear it in mind. It seems the engine is very solid but sadly Fiat messed up on a lot of other things.

Quote Originally Posted by 1.8Stilo View Post
The multiair is used in alot of Alfa's. There used to be a history of the multi air unit failing which would cost around 600.
I think I'll definitely steer clear of the multiair engine!

Quote Originally Posted by 1.8Stilo View Post
There's alot of sound advise in this thread, I wouldn't worry about the M32, but make sure you change the oil or get one that's been done! Regular servicing helps here 👍
Alright thanks for the advice, I'll keep it in mind. Are there any telltale signs on the test drive that the gearbox might be on its way out?

Quote Originally Posted by 1.8Stilo View Post
To be fair any car that's around 8-9 years old, will need some extra work from time to time over standard servicing items due to its age/wear the key is to find a well looked after model with decent service history!
The problem is it's very hard to know how the car has been driven in it's lifetime. The driver could've kept the interior in good condition but redlined it at every set of lights, and it seems the Bravo isn't able to handle this as well as some other makes/models. What would be your recommendations for stuff to check out when looking at a used Bravo?

Quote Originally Posted by 1.8Stilo View Post
{thread}

Here's bit bout gearbox and some links. It's talked about alot on here. Plus another link in there to info on the Aircon re circ flaps, etc..
The air con looks like a real screw up and someone said in the thread that it's a big bill to fix. Is there any way to prevent this?
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Old 31-08-2017   #13
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Re: Some Bravo Questions (T-Jet vs Multiair and more)

To be fair redlining the Tjet is pointless the power tails off from around 4.5k and changing up keeps you in that peak torque range.

Shop4parts.com will be able to sort you out with almost any parts you need. If you're fairly handy with a spanner you'll be able to sort the shafts yourself!

Early signs of failure are vibrations when accelerating faster - like an unbalanced wheel almost.

With regards to the gearbox its whining sounds in especially 5th-6th gear and the gear knob twitching. When test driving put it in a high gear 5-6 at low speed and accelerate, this will put the gearbox under strain.

Not had any problems with my Aircon but I regularly clean it out and change the pollen filter. There was a company in that thread offering to fix them relatively cheaply 👍

I would say the bravo has been around for along time so problems are well documented.

Don't be put off, you get duff cars with every make! Information and guides are readily available from Electronic software, etc.

It's all down to finding a decent example.

I also disagree with the comments about the sunroof, if the tracks are regularly cleaned and greased you'll have no problems ;-)
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Last edited by 1.8Stilo; 31-08-2017 at 20:14.
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Old 01-09-2017   #14
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Re: Some Bravo Questions (T-Jet vs Multiair and more)

Quote Originally Posted by 1.8Stilo View Post
To be fair redlining the Tjet is pointless the power tails off from around 4.5k and changing up keeps you in that peak torque range.
Makes sense, but I wouldn't put it past someone who doesn't know what they're doing to do it!

Quote Originally Posted by 1.8Stilo View Post
Shop4parts.com will be able to sort you out with almost any parts you need. If you're fairly handy with a spanner you'll be able to sort the shafts yourself!
Awesome, thanks! I'm really keen to get more involved with my car and I've got people who know what they're doing to help me out as well.

Quote Originally Posted by 1.8Stilo View Post
Early signs of failure are vibrations when accelerating faster - like an unbalanced wheel almost.
What could I do to exacerbate this so that it's really obvious on a test drive? Will it vibrate at any load/RPM, or should I be accelerating at low or high RPMs?

Quote Originally Posted by 1.8Stilo View Post
With regards to the gearbox its whining sounds in especially 5th-6th gear and the gear knob twitching. When test driving put it in a high gear 5-6 at low speed and accelerate, this will put the gearbox under strain.
Great, I'll try that.

Quote Originally Posted by 1.8Stilo View Post
Not had any problems with my Aircon but I regularly clean it out and change the pollen filter. There was a company in that thread offering to fix them relatively cheaply 👍
Ah ok awesome, didn't see the part where someone offered to fix. I mean, my '03 Fiesta hasn't had air con since I bought it (leak in the loop somewhere, never got round to fixing), so it'll be a luxury for me anyway!

Quote Originally Posted by 1.8Stilo View Post
I would say the bravo has been around for along time so problems are well documented.

Don't be put off, you get duff cars with every make! Information and guides are readily available from Electronic software, etc.

It's all down to finding a decent example.
That's a fair point, I guess when you actively look for issues with the car it suddenly feels like there are a billion problems and people have to replace parts every month when in actuality the vast majority probably never have any issues.

Quote Originally Posted by 1.8Stilo View Post
I also disagree with the comments about the sunroof, if the tracks are regularly cleaned and greased you'll have no problems ;-)
I'll keep that in mind!

I really appreciate you taking the time to write that out, it's really reassured me!
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Old 01-09-2017   #15
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Re: Some Bravo Questions (T-Jet vs Multiair and more)

Quote Originally Posted by Bravo150T View Post
I've had mine for a few months now. It's a great car, you won't get anything else in the same class with the same power/spec for the price of a Bravo. It's also a nice looking car and the interior is miles better than a Focus/Astra/Golf imo.
That's definitely why I was drawn to it, and the insurance is also amazingly cheap for drivers under 25!

Quote Originally Posted by Bravo150T View Post
For fuel economy, I'm actually getting better than I thought at 39 mpg. Probably 40% dual carriageway, 30% city/town and 30% country roads. That's also with sport mode permanently on, as I much prefer the sharp throttle response. It feels dead to me with sport mode off, so I only turn it off in stop-start traffic. AFAIK the sport mode also increases torque to 170 lb-ft.
Great, 39 mpg is fine for me as I don't get great mileage with my '03 Fiesta anyway. As long as I'm getting around 35 mpg or above most of the time that's fine.

Quote Originally Posted by Bravo150T View Post
A month after I bought it, both drive shafts failed on me. I got ripped off as all of the garages I took it to were useless and had no interest in repairing them, they only wanted to replace them with new ones. I needed the car fixing ASAP before a long trip to London, so I paid 700. But you'd be able to get it sorted much cheaper than that if you look around.
700 for both driveshafts and considering it was a bit of a ripoff is quite reassuring, I'd hope if one of my driveshafts ever failed I could get it done for 400 or under.

Quote Originally Posted by Bravo150T View Post
One benefit at the time was that I got 46 mpg due to having to drive gently until it was fixed. So it can be very economical if you want it to be, though good luck restraining yourself when you don't have to!
Great! I'm actually quite a careful driver so I'll hopefully hit 40mpg and above. I just like to feel power when I need it

Quote Originally Posted by Bravo150T View Post
I've not heard good things about the gearbox. Mine seems to be fine, but listen for whining sounds and the gear stick moving a bit mainly in 1st, 3rd and 5th gear on a test drive.
Definitely going to do this on the test drive, and I'm also budgeting some extra cash so that I can take it to a mechanic after purchasing and to take apart and regrease the gearbox as well as possibly replace the joints on the driveshaft.

Quote Originally Posted by Bravo150T View Post
Otherwise reliability seems good. I specifically looked for a model without the climate control and panoramic roof. I'd have loved them options but they commonly seem to break. The Fiat badges on the grill and boot often fade/fall off, I've replaced both on mine. Also the steering wheel leather peels off on earlier models.
I've heard about the badges but I'm not super bothered, I'll probably make some custom ones in my workshop anyway if that happens. I'll also keep that in mind about the climate control.

Quote Originally Posted by Bravo150T View Post
If there's anything else you want to know, I'd be happy to try and answer!
Thanks! Sorry about replying to this a bit later than the others, for some reason I actually didn't see it until recently. I really appreciate the help!
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