There must be an actual number of people who buy Golfs, Focuses, Meganes and Astras but do not even consider for a second buying a Fiat Bravo. Roughly 100,000 Focuses were sold in the UK last year, and the number who didn't consider a Bravo is probably more than 88,888. We'll never know, but it's likely.
Here it is, and there's a new 2.0-litre multijet diesel under the bonnet - a bored-out version of the old 1.9, with more poke. Fiat is rather good at diesels, and supplies them to Vauxhall en-masse, so this one will soon find a home in the new Astra, providing there is a new Astra. It has enough torque to blow away the equivalent Golfs, Focuses and Meganes of this world, and the Bravo is cheaper than all of them, making it the class leader when it comes to bang-for-buck. You could argue that it looks better, too.
It feels quick, but sadly it's just too loud. Whereas a Focus manages to isolate you from diesel chatter, the Bravo hurls it straight into your ears. It's not just the engine - you can even hear linkages working as you change gear, and the fan whirs so loudly you'd think it was coming from the bus in front. It makes quieter rivals feel like a brief return to the womb.
The range tops out at £17,650 for this poshest ‘Sport' model. That's a whopping £2,645 less than an equivalent Focus, so it's worth a look. And ear plugs only cost 50 pence a pair.