Fiat Tipo 1.6

MultiJet Lounge

Fiat Tipo, 2016, side, moving
Fiat Tipo, 2016, front, action
Fiat Tipo, 2016, front
Fiat Tipo, 2016, side
Fiat Tipo, 2016, side, action
Fiat Tipo, 2016, rear
Fiat Tipo, 2016, rear, action
Fiat Tipo, 2016, front, static
Fiat Tipo, 2016, side, static
Fiat Tipo, 2016, rear, static
Fiat Tipo, 2016, interior
Fiat Tipo, 2016, rear seats
Fiat Tipo, 2016, boot

FIAT was absent for a long period from the UK's family hatchback market before returning in 2106 with the Tipo.

It may not be as exciting to look at as many other vehicles in its sector but the Tipo does offer affordable and practical motoring at very competitive prices.

The current range starts at £12,995 - well below most of its rivals and even the flagship model I sampled comes in at a fiver below £18,000.

Older motorists will be familiar with the Tipo name as it was on sale in the UK late last century and this new model is available with a choice of three petrol and two diesel engines.

This car had the 1.6-litre MultiJet diesel under the bonnet and it is good for 120bhp. It was linked to a six-speed manual transmission but is also available with a DCT automatic gearbox.

It sounded a bit gruff at times but proved to have bags of torque. The gear change also felt a bit lumpy on occasion but with a top speed of 124mph and a sprint to 62mph time of 9.8 seconds it certainly felt lively enough.

This car also offers low emissions of 98g/km and a claimed combined mpg of 76.3mpg. Expect around 60mpg in real world driving conditions.

The Tipo might not provide a sporty drive but it is comfortable and predicable with nicely weighted steering. It soaks up bumps quite well and deals with most surfaces without becoming unsettled.

There is enough room inside for five adults to travel in comfort and the boot boasts a 440 litre capacity and that can be increased considerably by collapsing the split folding rear seats.

Even the entry-level models come with all the essentials including a DAB radio, Bluetooth, air conditioning and the usual power sockets. The next model up adds a small touchscreen, rear electric windows, parking sensors, alloy wheels and cruise control.

The Lounge flagship adds auto lights, wipers and climate control as well as satnav and a reversing camera.

The instruments and controls are easy to read and use but the touchscreen is way too small and a bit fiddly to operate. On the other hand the materials feel as if they are made to last and everything seems well screwed together.

It may not be the flashiest hatchback around but the Tipo does look good in it no-cost optional ambient white paint.

The Tipo has all the latest safety equipment and if you want even more you can add optional safety packs. A £750 Comfort Plus Pack is available if you want leather and heated front seats.

FAST FACTS

Fiat Tipo 1.6 MultiJet Lounge

Price:£17,995

Mechanical:120bhp, 1,598cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed:124mph

0-62mph:9.8 seconds

Combined MPG:76.3

Insurance Group:15

C02 emissions:98g/km

Bik rating: 21%

Warranty:3yrs/60,000 miles

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