The Fiat Bravo hasn’t really got the sophistication of the top cars in this class, but it is good enough – just – to pass muster when compared against rivals in the middle ground of this category of car.

The surprise is that despite its biggish wheels and low-profile tyres the Bravo rides with a firm pliancy that feels quite sophisticated, even if sharp-edged potholes make the suspension crash.

Matt Prior

Matt Prior

Road test editor
Bravo chassis' improve rigidity brings benefits in both ride and handling

Better still is that the Bravo’s bodyshell feels very rigid, an impression underscored by a robustness that Fiats rarely display.

The story is similar in the handling department. Turn-in is quite sharp and the chassis pretty obedient up to a point, this being the moment when the engine’s enthusiasm gets the better of the tyres.

So far, so decent. But the steering is the weakest dynamic link. Fiat’s Dualdrive electric assistance is fitted; press the Sport button on the dash and the resistance is firmed below 19mph. But while the Bravo changes direction with fair accuracy, the sensation of mild woolliness never departs.

The brakes are a shade over-servoed at first, and they could use more bite once past that point. There is nothing unsafe about them, though, and you do get used to their operation with time.

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If that sounds positive overall, that’s because it is. Overall the Fiat Bravo delivers adequate ride and handling. However, its merits are dwarfed by those of the more mainstream opposition.

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