With so much focus these days on CO2 output, it’s no surprise that Fiat has joined other manufacturers in bringing out a special low-CO2 model. Here comes the Bravo Eco
Cut the carbs and it must be good for you, whether it’s your intake or the car’s output that we’re talking about. Lower carbohydrates help slim a human body, while lower carbon dioxide helps slim a car’s running costs. That is why cars like the Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion and Ford Focus ECOnetic have appeared on the motoring scene. With pareddown CO2 emissions, they qualify for lowly group B in the car tax bands, and so cost only £35 year in Vehicle Excise Duty.
Now Fiat has come up with a comparable model, the Bravo Eco. It has a revised 1.6 16v MultiJet 105 turbodiesel engine, tweaked with additional features to boost the car’s fuel consumption figure to 62.8 mpg, and reduce its CO2 to 119 g/km. That level of CO2 output is of course significant not only because it qualifies for cheaper VED. After October it will also be exempt from the London congestion charge – assuming that new mayor Boris Johnson doesn’t change impending new rules signed off by previous incumbent Ken Livingstone.
The new second generation MultiJet engine meets the tough Euro 5 emissions level. Turbocharged and intercooled, it has a list of changes over the original MultiJet, including a variable turbo, new cylinder block, new crankshaft, plastic intake manifold and an enhanced glow plug system. The first generation MultiJet has long been a jewel in Fiat’s engine line-up, and now the new one is even better. The Eco version adds £295 to the Bravo’s price, and adds revised gear ratios, different settings in the Electronic Control Unit, and lower rolling-resistance tyres. These changes achieve a 5mpg improvement on fuel consumption and cut CO2 output by a useful 10g/km, ducking it under the yardstick 120g/km barrier.
Even with its Eco tweaking, the MultiJet-powered Bravo feels quite sprightly on the road and is a satisfying drive, with a compliant ride and grippy handling. As well as the Eco model, the revamped Bravo also includes the non-Eco 1.6 16v MultiJet 105, which is also Euro 5 compliant. Other diesels in the line-up are a 1.6 16v MultiJet with extra turbo boost and 120 bhp, and a 1.9 16v MultiJet with a 150bhp power output. In a congested part of the car market dominated by models like the Focus and Golf, the Bravo tends to get a bit overlooked.
Unfairly so. With its mini-Maserati front end styling, it is a good looking car that drives well and is keenly priced. The new generation MultiJet is a great little engine, and in these CO2-conscious times, the Eco version is especially interesting.
ON SALE: Now RANGE STARTS AT: £13,855 for 1.6 16v MultiJet 105 Active
- Price: £14,150
- Engine: 1598cc, 4 cylinder, turbodiesel
- Gearbox: 6-speed manual
- Max Power: 105bhp at 4,000rpm
- Max Torque: 214lb ft at 1,500rpm
- Max Towing Weight: 1,300kg
- Combined Consumption: 62.8mpg
- CO2 Emissions (taxband): 119g/km (B)
- 0-62mph: 11.3secs
- Max speed: 116mph
- Insurance group: 6