Fiat Tipo Cross 1.0

Fiat Tipo Cross, 2021, front
Fiat Tipo Cross, 2021, front, static
Fiat Tipo Cross, 2021, front, action
Fiat Tipo Cross, 2021, interior
Fiat Tipo Cross, 2021, side
Fiat Tipo Cross, 2021, badge

TIPO, Bravo, Stilo...and back to the Tipo. That's the journey the journey Fiat has travelled over more than three decades in competing with family hatches like Focus and Golf.

Brand snobs may turn their noses up at the Tipo because it doesn't sport a German badge, but they may be tempted back by the reasonable list prices and the cheap running costs.

Possibly the most appealing of the Tipo range - and most individual looking - is the Tipo Cross, a slightly more funky version with raised ground clearance, SUV-like body cladding and unique front and rear bumpers.

Sharing its platform with the successful Jeep Renegade, the Tipo Cross may not have four wheel drive, but nor have most other crossovers and SUVs.

Under the bonnet is a 1.0-litre non-turbo three-cylinder which pushes out just 99bhp, less than most rivals. Unlike the majority of its competitors it is fitted with a five speed manual gearbox, rather than a six-speed unit.

But with a price tag £21,690 it holds strong appeal to buyers on a tight budget.

So what's it like to drive? Well, no fireworks in the acceleration department but that's no surprise with less than 100bhp to play with. But the three-pot petrol engine is a willing, little beast that revs freely, and although quite audible, doesn't irritate.

And it's capable of pulling strongly throughout the rev range, so no great need for frequent gear-changing.

The benchmark 62mph comes up in 12.2 seconds which is a couple of seconds slower than the average but hardly likely to worry many potential buyers. Top speed is a reasonable 114mph.

The five-speed box has a relatively long-throw action but it's easy to use and we didn't really miss not having a sixth ratio.

Cornering is safe and predictable without being sporty. There's some body-roll but not sufficient to disturb. The ride is compliant enough over good surfaces but somewhat nobbly on poorer roads, which tend to make up the majority of routes in Britain these days.

It may lack the smoothness and composure of a Golf or Focus, but it is far from uncomfortable and the extra height hasn't had any adverse affect on the handling.

Cabin design is plain and unimaginative but functional and gives an impression of being durable. We found the front seats to lack lateral support over long journeys, though short hops caused no problem.

The rear seats fold and split in usual hatchback style, and the rear boot is regularly shaped and measures up well in size to most of the opposition. Plenty of cubby space and places for the usual family clutter.

Gentle driving results in fuel consumption of nearly 50mpg, which is confirmed out by official combined figure of 51.4mpg. Use the gears frequently and enjoy the free-revving engine and this is likely to slide to around the 40mpg mark.

FAST FACTS

Fiat Tipo Cross 1.0

Price: £21,695

Mechanical: 1.0-litre, 3 cyl, 99bhp, petrol engine driving 2 wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 114mph

0-62mph: 12.2 sec

Combined MPG: 51.4

Insurance Group: 11

C02 emissions: 130g/km

Bik rating: 29%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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