Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5

Apart from the entry-point to the range - a normally aspirated 1.4-litre engine - Fiat has a selection of turbocharged petrol and diesel engines for the Bravo. The 1.4-litre is competitive with other engines in the class, developing 90bhp which is enough to allow the Bravo to sprint from 0- 62mph in 12.5 seconds. There are two turbocharged versions of the 1.4 petrol engine called T-Jet - one with 120bhp and the other with 150bhp.

The 120bhp version was launched later in 2007, while the 150bhp engine was available from day one. Both variants boasts the same pulling power in Active and Dynamic versions, but slightly more in Sport models thanks to an overboost function. This means the Sport can cover the 0-62mph benchmark sprint in 8.2 seconds, making it the quickest in the range.

The T-Jet engines are both superb with a peppy nature that suits the Bravo well but for higher mileage drivers the diesels make more sense. The most powerful is the 1.9-litre MultiJet with 150bhp and although not amazingly quick from 0-60mph is superb on the motorway or when overtaking thanks to its strong pulling power. The other engine is a 1.6-litre that comes in two power outputs - 105bhp or 120bhp.

Both are refined, strong and offer good performance but it's the 105bhp version that is particularly impressive given its modest output. This also comes as an Eco version which gives the same performance as the standard car but with lower emissions and better fuel economy. At the end of 2008 a 2.0-litre Multijet was introduced with 165bhp. This is actually cleaner and more efficient than the 1.9-litre diesel (it is capable of 53mpg) but quicker with a strong 0-62mph time of 8.2 seconds.

The Bravo feels pretty good on the road, although drivers won't feel quite as connected to the surface as they would in a Ford Focus or Honda Civic. Although its electric power steering system is devoid of the level of feel provided in the Focus, Fiat has been using electric systems since 1999 so should have as much expertise in this technology as anyone else.

In fact the Bravo steers neatly and precisely and copes well with sudden changes of direction, feeling composed when hustled along country lanes. It lacks the sparkle of the best in this sector but is still enjoyable to drive.