Five things you need to know about the Fiat Tipo
When a c-segment car is designed right from the start to be good value for money, sometimes alarm bells can start ringing when it comes to performance or access to all the mod-cons you’d maybe expect from a motor in 2016. This brings us to the new Fiat Tipo.
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As mentioned in our recent review of the Fiat 124 Spider, there are two very distinctive sides to the Italian manufacturer these days – on the one hand there is the aspirational side to their brand, which has seen them tap into the spirit of ’66 and revive that classic convertible. On the other there is the functional side, something which the Tipo perfectly exemplifies.
Having been impressed during our first drive review, here’s five things we learned about the Fiat Tipo at its official UK launch:
It looks more expensive than it is
Wandering around the Tipo the first thing you may notice is how upmarket it looks. The front is dominated by a full-width grille, a touch which is complimented by slim headlights and a sculpted bonnet, all giving a premium appearance to something that won’t hurt your wallet. With an on the road price of £14,995 for the basic trim and average personal leasing working out at £181, it provides great value.
The cabin, likewise, offers a level of refinement you maybe wouldn’t expect from something that is being marketed as good value for money.
Alas, the five inch touch-screen infotainment system (a £250 extra on the cheapest trim) seems to have come from a generation previous – while the layout is simple and easy to navigate, something a lot of manufacturers could learn from Fiat, the low-res sat nav pales in comparison to what you can get on your (probably bigger) smartphone.
The reason for this? After doing some digging it appears that Fiat didn't engineer their seven inch digital screen for right-hand-drive cars, which is a bit disappointing.
It has class-leading space
Fiat are boasting ‘best in class’ interior room as one of their selling points, and it’s hard to dispute these claims. Inside there are comfortable seats, a central arm rest, a functional ‘no-fuss’ dashboard, and a sporty gearstick.
In the back you’ll squeeze three adults in and two things they won’t be complaining about is the head and leg room. The boot of the 1.6 diesel hatchback we tested also has a generous 440-litre capacity, but its raised lip could make loading and unloading heavy items a bit of a chore, especially as the back seats don’t lie flat.
It is a ‘no fuss’ drive
As far as on the road, it does everything you need it to do competently and with a minimum of fuss. It’s a quick and quiet drive and grips the road fantastically, with nicely weighted steering and suspension that easily absorbs some of the rough roads we encountered on our test route.
The diesel wasn’t as responsive as we’d hoped when setting off from give-way junctions, but this foible is something we wouldn’t expect from the petrol models available. In regards to MPG and emissions, the 1.6 diesel offers a combined 76.3 and CO2 emissions of 96 g/km – this is an improvement over similar models such as the Kia Cee’d.
It is perfectly placed in its segment
By avoiding taking on the big boys of Ford, VW and Vauxhall at their own game, and aiming the Tipo squarely at the non-premium side of the c-segment, Fiat have done themselves a lot of favours – with lease prices averaging out at £181 per month for the basic trim, for that price you can do a lot worse than this competent, spacious and no-nonsense family car.
It has something for everyone (sort of)
If you’re looking for wild thrills and unparalleled performance look elsewhere. If what you want is a family car that is equal parts capable, spacious, economical and well equipped, then the Fiat Tipo deserves your scrutiny.
It is available in three trims – Easy, Easy Plus, and Lounge – with a £1000 OTR price differential between each model. On top of this, the Tipo comes in either hatchback or station wagon and has a variety of engines to chose from – be it the entry level 1.3 96hp diesel to the mid-range 1.6 110hp petrol to the top of the range 1.6 120hp diesel.
All of this proves just how on point Fiat’s marketing of the Tipo is – their catchy advert, a cover of Dean Martin’s Amore that replaces the lyrics with the many positives of the model, has the tagline of ‘Amore. For Less.’ And that sums up the Tipo perfectly.