Bravo New (old) family runabout: 2009 Bravo 2.0 165 M-Jet



This is my new (old) second-hand car; we're a 2-Fiat family now. I just bought a lovely looking 2009 Bravo 165T, having formerly had my heart set on a Panda 100HP. The Panda is just too small for a newborn baby + 2 adults + stuff.

It's got 82k on the clock, and none of the extra-extras; I tested 4 Bravos before buying this one, and whilst some had the dual-zone climate, rear electric windows, sat nav - this one was solidly maintained by a Fiat technician and has had clutch, flywheel, belts, tyres and suspension components in the last few years. Feels solid, and no evidence of deferred maintenance or cheap mods.

Not taken many photos, as it's bog standard stock. I'll probably not make any modifications... maybe replace the faded boot badge and add some mudflaps. Will have to spend more time on the Punto, she's looking unloved right now.

What's to like?

  • Well, the power comes in and keeps going. 3rd and 4th give really decent in-gear acceleration.
  • Super comfortable at speed; it's a brilliant motorway cruiser.
  • It's got a boot big enough for a buggy + bassinet + stuff.
  • It looks fantastic. Clearly the best looking C-segment vehicle of its time.
  • MPG is excellent.
  • Low tax.
  • Lower insurance than I was quoted for the 1.9 sport (!!)
  • I like that the foglights do that "follow you home" thing.
What I dislike?

  • It doesn't handle nearly as well as my last sensible car, a '98 Focus. It wallows like a tugboat. Show the thing a corner and it flops around like a Transit.
  • On sharp turn in to left hand bends, the right-front tyre makes a slightly alarming rumble (actually, this really needs attention). I suspect poor alignment.
  • The gearbox is... rubbish. Slow to engage and with poor feel. The previous owner recently changed the gear oil, so I wonder if it's too thick of a grade. Not a patch on the flickability of the M32 box in the Punto, although I'm led to believe this one is rather more reliable...
  • The cruise control is about as counterintuitive as it gets.
It's scary how fast the "you're driving too quickly" beep appears. It really does go like a rocket if you plant your foot in 3rd. I'm enjoying the practicality of 5 doors, too - though I wonder how an adult male is expected to sit in those back seats with all of 6" of legroom.

Question: is "Maserati Blue" the same paint code as "Orleans Blue"? We now have 2 near-identical Fiats on the drive. I kind of wanted the burgundy Bravo; never mind eh?

Anyway, nice to be a member of the Bravo Sport club, as it were. :)

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