The roomy and frugal all-new Fiat Tipo has entered a market full of small family hatchbacks. But the car has found its place, as motoring journalist Tim Barnes-Clay reports.
The all-new Fiat Tipo has made a comeback after bowing out gracefully in 1995. But the Italian five-door hatchback with the old name faces competition from motors such as the Kia Cee’d and SEAT Ibiza.
Inside, the new-for-the-21st-Century Tipo is basic, but in a less-is-more, likeable way. The seats are comfortable and the rear offers good leg and headroom for up to three adults. Factory-fitted kit includes an infotainment system accessed via a touchscreen. There’s also the increasingly usual-for-new-cars Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. The Italian car’s boot is large at 440-litres, making it more generous than the 380-litres offered up by the Kia C’eed, and substantially more than the 292-litre load area in the SEAT Ibiza. Even better, the Tipo hardly has a load lip, so heaving in awkward or bulky items is less demanding.
The all-new Tipo comes with two diesels and two petrol units, and it’s the 1.6 MulitiJet oil-burner I tested. My review car came in high spec Lounge trim and, with 120 horses under the lid, it will do the 0-62mph run in 9.8 seconds. Top speed is 124mph. Performance is helped by an easy and slick six-speed manual gearbox. More importantly, this diesel version returns a whopping 76.3mpg on the combined cycle.
The Fiat Tipo’s driving position isn’t the best – well, not for me. The steering wheel and pedals seem slightly offset, but it’s not awful by any means. It just takes some getting used to. And when it comes to visibility – it’s good for the most part – it’s just the narrow rear windscreen that lets things down.
The ride the Fiat gives is impressive. Noise from the road and the wind is well suppressed, meaning the Tipo is a commendable motorway cruiser. It might not be as entertaining to pilot as a Vauxhall Astra or Ford, but the Fiat is cheaper and handles very well. It’s very grippy in the corners and doesn’t suffer from much body roll when thrown into a tight bend. The cut-price cost only shows via the car’s anesthetised steering and the dearth of feedback about what the wheels are doing beneath you.
Go for the flagship Lounge trim, as reviewed here, and you’ll get extra kit such as cruise control, rear parking sensors, automatic climate control and sat-nav. Taking everything into account, the fresh Fiat Tipo does an admirable job of unifying inexpensive running costs with significant practicality. Furthermore, the Mediterranean motor delivers a convincingly comfortable ride in a pleasantly-styled body. Why not contact Perrys to find out more?
Pros ‘n’ Cons
- Efficient √
- Comfortable √
- Practical √
- Spacious √
- Rear View X
Fast Facts (Lounge 1.6 Multijet 120 – as tested)
- Max speed: 124 mph
- 0-62 mph: 9.8 secs
- Combined mpg: 76.3
- Engine layout: 1598cc 4-cylinder diesel turbo
- Max. power (PS): 120
- CO2: 98 g/km
- Price: £17,995