The eagerly awaited Fiat Tipo has arrived to shake up the family hatchback market as a great-looking, affordable alternative to the likes of the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus.

The eagerly awaited Fiat Tipo has arrived to shake up the family hatchback market as a great-looking, affordable alternative to the likes of the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus.

  • Low entry price

  • Generous level of kit

  • Engaging drive

77%

Overall Rating

  • Poor NCAP safety rating

  • Interior a little dull

  • Rivals will hold their value better

Overall Rating

Overview

The Fiat Tipo is one we’ve been waiting on for quite a while. It first caught our eye at the Geneva Motor Show earlier last year with what looked like a stylish return to the C-segment for Fiat. The other draw being the promise of a price that would seriously undercut the competition.

Well it’s finally here and looks to have delivered on both counts – the entry price of just €17,995 making it one of the best value cars in the segment.

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Interior Gallery

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Space & Practicality

The Fiat Tipo boasts best in class front and rear legroom for the segment, as well as a very generous boot capacity of 440 litres, which again is more than most of its rivals.

The boxy rear means headroom is generous even for taller passengers, and life is made easy for those carrying smaller passengers too thanks to wide-opening rear doors and 2 sets of Isofix anchors for childseats.

There’s decent storage in the cabin, with doorbins wide enough to fit a large bottle of water, and a deep storage compartment in the centre console – useful for keeping valuables safe and out of sight.

 The touchscreen, while small, is pleasant and straightforward to use. It’s very fast, there’s no lag, and it’s easier to pair with your phone than most. If you have an iPhone you can use the voice control button on the steering wheel to activate SIRI. The placement of the stereo controls behind rather than on the steering wheel mean you don’t even have to move your thumbs from the wheel to change the radio station. 

Choice of bodytype is another strongpoint and for those after a bit more room, there’s a station wagon starting at €19,245, as well as a saloon model which will join the hatchback in the line-up soon.

Equipment and Safety

There are three trim levels available – Pop, Easy and Lounge. Pop gets Air-Con, USB and Bluetooth connectivity, and a full size spare wheel. Easy adds a five inch colour touchscreen, 16 inch alloy wheels, cruise control, parking sensors and a multi-function leather steering wheel. But at the moment – the first Tipo customers can upgrade to the Easy trim free of charge, meaning you can get all those features for the entry price of under €18,000.

The top spec Lounge will add automatic climate control, automatic lights and wipers, SatNav, a reversing camera, electric lumbar support, and some more styling upgrades for a premium of €1,250.

Safety is unfortunately not a strong point and the Tipo scored just three out of the five available stars on the Euro NCAP safety test. Although that does rise to four if you decide to go for the optional safety pack which will add autonomous braking.

Performance & Running Costs

IIf you want a petrol Tipo you can choose between the 95 or 120hp 1.4l litre unit, or a 1.6litre automatic. The diesel line up consists of a 1.3l multijet II with 95hp, or this larger 1.6l option which pushes out about 120hp.

The drive itself is really reassuring – it feels very solid on the road and the big, chunky steering wheel and large controls add to that feeling of sturdiness. There’s plenty available power, it stays nicely planted around corners and it’s not overly noisy in the cabin. We reckon this is one people will be pleasantly surprised by on a test drive.

Reliability & Residuals

As a brand, Fiat’s reputation for reliability is on the up and all new cars come with a recently extended three-year/100,000km warranty as standard. However the low asking price means rivals will still hold their value better come resale time.

If that’s not a major concern then those in the market for a simple, good value family hatch wold be mad no to have the Fiat Tipo on their shopping list.

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