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Fiat Tipo

The independent definitive Fiat Tipo video review
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    By Jonathan Crouch

    Fiat's Tipo has long focused on value above all else in the family hatch segment. Now this revised model gets a little extra style too. Jonathan Crouch takes a look.

    Ten Second Reviewword count: 52

    Fiat's entrant in the family hatch segment is this car, the Tipo hatch, now usefully revised with a more frugal 1.0-litre petrol engine, a sleeker look and the option of a trendy Cross model variant. Smartly styled in Italy and developed and built in Turkey, it looks a much more credible contender.

    Backgroundword count: 152

    Fiat has never managed to crack the Focus-sized family hatchback sector. Over the last few decades we've had a succession of models - the Bravo and Brava twins, the Stilo, and, most recently, another Bravo line-up. None of them made any real impact on folk much more likely to either buy Ford's best seller or the latest versions of Vauxhall's Astra or Volkswagen's Golf. In recent years, it looked as if Fiat might be abandoning this traditional market segment in favour of more specialised Crossover models like their 500X. But cars like that still sell in something of a niche, so the Italian brand has, once more, turned it's hand to creating a conventional contender in this class. Arguably the last time the brand was truly competitive here was with its Tipo family hatch, which sold between 1988 and 1995. It's appropriate then, that this current model also wears a 'Tipo' badge.

    Driving Experienceword count: 299

    The smart styling won't disguise the fact that this is unlikely to be the sharpest handling car in its sector, but we reckon it's close enough to the class leaders to satisfy most potential buyers. As part of the Tipo facelift, Fiat ditched the entire previous engine range available in this car, replacing it with two more modern (and much more efficient) petrol powerplants. One is a 100hp 1.0-litre unit. This comes only with manual transmission and has its work cut out propelling a family hatch of this size along, but the performance figures aren't too far oof the class norm - rest to 62mph in 11.8s en route to 119mph. The alternative Hybrid 48V variant's 1.5-litre unit puts out 130hp and 240Nm of torque (rest to 62mph in 9.3s) and is mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch auto transmission. The propulsion system includes a built-in 48 volt 15kW (20hp) electric motor delivering 55Nm of torque, which can propel the wheels even when the internal combustion engine is turned off. Whatever your choice of engine, you'll find that the Tipo's roadgoing demeanour has been set up to favour relaxed comfort rather than any kind of dynamic drive. You can see why: this is, after all, a car designed primarily around the needs of buyers in developing countries who simply want to get comfortably from A to B. So there's no trick suspension for fancy ride quality, torque vectoring for classy cornering or ridiculously powerful engine options that hardly anyone will buy. Where Turin has had modern carry-over technology it can use - the engines, the modular platform, the Uconnect infotainment technology - then that's been thrown into the development mix, but the over-riding priority here has been in the creation of the best possible car for the lowest possible price.

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    Price:

    £17,695.00 (At 7 May 2021)

    Scoring (subset of scores)

    Category: Compact Family Cars

    Performance
    70%
    Handling
    60%
    Comfort
    70%
    Space
    90%
    Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

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