Fiat Tipo 1.6

MultiJet Lounge

Fiat Tipo, side
Fiat Tipo, side
Fiat Tipo, front
Fiat Tipo, front
Fiat Tipo, front
Fiat Tipo, rear
Fiat Tipo, rear
Fiat Tipo, interior
Fiat Tipo, rear
Fiat Tipo, rear
Fiat Tipo, rear
Fiat Tipo, interior

WITH a value-for-money approach from the off, Fiat has resurrected a name from the past and introduced an all-new Tipo family hatchback.

Originally the Tipo was in production during the 1980s and 90s and although new Tipo carries the same name and badging that is where the similarities end.

Today's Tipo is much bigger and boasts one of the most spacious interiors in its class.

Admittedly, if you are seeking a luxurious interior that oozes upmarket leather upholstery and looks like its rolled off the latest Star Trek set, then this is not the car for you.

If, however, you are looking for a family hatchback that is great value then it's a different story.

I'm not suggesting the Tipo lacks refinement because the range-topping model supplied for my drive featured the likes of 17-inch alloys, LED daytime running lights, body-coloured bumpers, roof rails and chrome door handles.

The interior is feature-rich too with sat nav, a DAB radio, automatic climate control, Bluetooth and what seems like the world's tiniest touchscreen at just five inches.

The car was priced at £18,485 but special paint bumped the cost up to £19,035. However this is the highest specced car and the Tipo range starts from just £13,215.

This model could reach 62mph from a standing start in 9.8 seconds and topped out at 124mph. According to official figures, it could deliver combined fuel economy of 76.3mpg with carbon emissions of 98g/km.

And it's this fuel efficiency and low emissions figure that help keep costs down for Tipo owners.

I clocked up almost 300 miles in the car and the fuel gauge was still hovering around half a tank. In fact, I was seeing close to 65mpg on average during my week behind the wheel.

The Tipo is also very practical with good sized door pockets, proper cup holders that would safely hold a hot coffee cup, a decent glovebox, a central bin and a couple of convenient trays.

The boot has a 440-litre capacity, which increases with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat. Unfortunately we cannot give the exact capacity as Fiat hasn't measured it, but it's big.

The switchgear is simple to use and there is a soft-touch dashboard, but the interior is rather let down by a lot of hard plastic surfaces that look like they would scratch quite easily.

But, on the plus side, the Tipo is one of the easiest cars to drive. It's not super dynamic but is comfortable cruising at motorway speeds, ambling through congested city traffic or being unleashed on the faster country lanes.

There is ample power from the 1.6-litre 120hp diesel engine and the six-speed manual gearbox is both smooth and responsive. The road-holding is good even when pushed hard into bends and, despite a bit of engine noise, the cabin is generally well-insulated against outside sounds.

There is a City Driving Mode which lightens the steering making it easier to manoeuvre and park and the driver benefits from good all-round visibility.

Comfort levels are good and back seat passengers are treated to oodles of space with plenty of leg, head and elbow space for two adults or three at a squeeze.

The Tipo scored three stars in the Euro NCAP rating, but when tested with a safety pack that costs £500 extra, it was awarded an extra star.

FAST FACTS

Fiat Tipo 1.6 MultiJet Lounge

Price: £18,485

Mechanical: 120hp, 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: 18%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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