Fiat Tipo - Used Car

Rreview

Fiat Tipo, front
Fiat Tipo, dynamic
Fiat Tipo, dashboard
Fiat Tipo, rear
Fiat Tipo, interior
Fiat Tipo, interior, rear

CAR magazine journalists all too often complain about cars that I think are a delight to drive and to live with.

Of course, they get to drive the exotica of the motoring world that most of us will never be lucky enough to try, and I wonder if this clouds their judgement.

This happened after I road tested the excellent Fiat Tipo, a five door very family friendly hatch rivalling the Vauxhall Astra, Peugeot 308 and Ford Focus, but with a bigger interior than them all, and one of the largest boots in the class.

I really enjoyed the way it drove but all a couple of magazine writers did was find fault.

I found it comfortable over every kind of surface, and still able to entertain immensely when hustled through a series of bends at speed, with decent steering feel, beautiful chassis balance and tremendous grip.

The suspension soaks up the worst of country road surfaces with huge ease at speed, and still takes in its stride the multi-repaired tarmac, potholes and speed humps of town driving under 30 miles an hour.

Its available as a big hatchback or an even bigger SW estate and latterly came with a choice of four engines - two petrol and two diesel.

The petrols start with a 1.0-litre three cylinder that has 100bhp. Its good for zero to 60 miles an hour in 11.4 seconds, and has a government economy figure of 51mpg.

The second offering is a 1.5-litre petrol/electric self-charging hybrid with standard seven speed twin clutch automatic gearbox. This boasts 130bhp and a sprint time of 8.5 seconds while still managing an excellent 55mpg economy.

The two diesels are designated Multijet in the Fiat tradition. The first is the well-known 1.3 with 95bhp that is used by quite a few other manufacturers as well as Fiat. It has 95bhp and is capable of no less than 76mpg, with a sprint time of 12.9 seconds.

Finally there's a 1.6 diesel with 130bhp that reaches the benchmark 60 in 9.5 seconds and is still capable of an excellent 74mpg.

Earlier petrol models were mainly turbos with 95 or 120bhp but the diesels were the same.

The whole car feels very solid and well screwed together, and refinement is excellent on the move. The spacious cabin puts most of the opposition to shame, with good room for five adults and boot big enough to carry everything they should want.

The Lounge model in the middle of the range comes well equipped as standard, with excellent seat and column adjustment for all sizes of driver, climate control, automatic emergency braking, cruise control, parking sensors with a rearview camera and a DAB stereo with Bluetooth, USB and aux-in.

It also has alloy wheels, a touchscreen for the media, sat nav. Automatic lights and wipers and electric lumbar adjustment for the driver's seat.

The Tipo is a great driving, well-equipped family hatch and I enjoyed it immensely.

Pay about £8,850 for a ‘20 20-reg Life 1.0T petrol, or £9,550 for a '22 22-reg Lounge 1.6 MultiJet diesel. SW estates will be a little more.

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