Fiat Brava

"Fiat makes cars driven by passion and this is very evident in the Brava"

Fiat Brava turns 20, full of joviality and still quite desired for its great cost-benefit

December 20, 2019 - Buying a car over the internet is not surprising these days, but it sure was at the end of the last century. This was one of Fiat Brava's feats: it was the first Brazilian Fiat to be sold on the web since its launch in 1999. Derived from the Marea sedan, the hatch won fans for its authentic design, great value and ample indoor space. With predicates like these, it was certain to be desired even after two decades of its launch. And as they say: whoever owns one, doesn’t think about selling it!

"Can you imagine, with a low investment, buying a very well-equipped car, cheap maintenance and super modern look? That's what I did seven years ago, when I acquired my Brava 1.6 SX 2002, which I have to this day", says production manager Jesiel Moisés, of Ouro Branco (MG).

Jesiel Moses next to the Fiat Brava 1.6 SX 2002Jesiel is passionate about design, but also points to the cost-effectiveness of the Brava as a huge attribute to the model.

He says the cost-benefit was what mattered most when he was looking for a car to buy. But Brava brought a lot more than that. "I fell in love with the remarkable lines of the car. The headlights have a 'fierce' edge and the back lights look like they are coming out of the bodywork. It's wonderful," Moisés says proudly.

Another fan of Fiat's medium hatch is Fábio Rangel (Mogi Guaçu, SP), whose second car added to his resume was a Brava SX 2003. "Fiat makes cars driven by passion and this is very evident in Brava. Since I was a teenager, I had a dream of having this model and when I found one that I liked, I didn't think twice; I bought it", recalls the 36-year-old business administrator, who only traded his Brava to get a Turbo Marea. "I don't regret selling it, but if I ever found my old Brava again, I'd try to buy it back," he says.

The President of the Brava and Marea Club (CBM), Estêvão Rodrigues, from Belo Horizonte (MG), points out the high reliability of Brava's mechanical ensemble as one of the main reasons it’s admired by the public. "I myself, when I bought mine, I was searching on YouTube for videos about good cars, very well equipped, cheap and low maintenance cost", he said. "I've had my Brava SX 2001 for six years and I have nothing to complain about. I only have joys with this car", he says. "I travel a lot with my Brava and my only expenses are fuel and toll. One of the longest adventures was the one I did in 15 days, leaving Belo Horizonte to Cabo Frio (RJ) and, after returning to Minas Gerais, I went to São Paulo, totaling 3,200 kilometers", he says.

Estevão Rodrigues, president of the Brava and Marea Club, with his Fiat Brava SX 2001 Estevão is in love with his Brava, that goes with him on all his trips around the country

Jesiel Moisés also goes on constant journeys with his Brava. "I go from Ouro Branco to Santos (SP) often with my Brava. In addition to its robustness, I love it for its high level of comfort and good performance," he says.

If the original Brava's draws attention wherever it goes, imagine then with a customized look! "Mine is equipped with wheels from the Marea 2.4 and it’s praised a lot", says Moisés. Estêvão Rodrigues put the Fiat Stilo wheels in his, as well as disc brakes in the rear and original sunroof. "When I installed the sunroof, I had the whole car painted. I spent quite a bit of money, but it was worth every penny."

Fiat Brava was marketed in several countries, including Japan, where it was renamed Bravissima, as there was already another model named Brava there. In Brazil, 43,000 units were produced at the Fiat Automotive Plant in Betim (MG), until 2003, when it paved the way for the Stilo - which was followed by Bravo and, currently, by Argo.

For its admirers, however, no successor has managed to take on Brava's charisma. "Argo forgive me, but Brava is a car that awakens an incomparable passion," says Fábio Rangel. "I don't have mine anymore, but every time I see one on the street, my hand even itches, so much is the urge to buy another one", he admits.

For the president of clube do Brava and Marea, there is no car in Brazil with a design as peculiar as fiat Brava. "Today, most cars are very similar to each other. Brava has a unique design and I'm sure I'll have the same opinion ten years from now", bets Rodrigues, who doesn't even plan to sell his own. His only regret is that he hasn’t been able buy another one, yet. "I really wanted a particular model. It was a friend's Brava, equipped with a 2.4 engine, extremely strong in low rotations. It was flawless, but he wouldn't sell it. I took it for a ride, and my back stuck to the seat after accelerating. Who knows maybe in the future...".

Words: Leandro Alvares

Pictures: Marketing FCA / Personal Collections

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