TEST DRIVE | 2016 Fiat Tipo
With the huge successes Fiat has had with the return of the Panda and especially the 500 they are trying to pull the same trick again by bringing back another of the previous names with this, the Tipo.
Fiat had a habit in the recent years of gluing a 500 badge on everything it makes to help it sell, which for me ruined the whole Fiat 500 thing a bit. Gladly they resisted this time.
The Tipo was about in the 90’s and seemed to have disappeared without trace. I do like it when a brand brings back an old name though, so I really want to like this new car.
It’s a good looking thing with it’s handsome and modern front, especially the grille. The swept back headlights for me are my favourite bit and they have a nice modern signature with the led strips in there.
From bang side on it looks like the lovechild of an old 1 series hatchback and a Kia Cee’d. I would have liked to have seen bigger wheels and a less fat arse. But it’s not ugly and I think you’d get used to it and grow to like it pretty quickly.
The back is handsome again with a whiff of Alfa in the rear lights. It’s simple and uncluttered.
It’s very Fiat inside. Simple and clean but quite cool with it. But it’s very black in there. It gets away with the blackness, just, but only thanks to a few shiny metal bits.
The radio has a screen and dials and buttons.. too many of them to be fair. The screen itself seems a bit small to me, I’d have liked a bigger screen with less dials and buttons. You’ll never use the buttons on there because all you ever press in a Fiat are buttons on the steering wheel anyway. It also has the expected usb and audio inputs too. Although these are down near the gearstick which I always hate because it means you’ll have wires all over your dash, it drives my ocd mad! Put the inputs in the glove box or something, please.
Dab radio is standard, even in the basic spec model, so are electric mirrors.
There’s a nice little screen in-between the dash dials so you can have a digital speedo or see your range and mpg etc.
One thing that stood out is the amount of leg room in the back. The Tipo isn’t a big car to say the least, but there’s loads of room back there.
We’re really liking Fiats at the moment, they seem to be making some good cars that are pretty well put together. I’ve even chopped my Cooper S in for an Abarth recently.
The engines in the Tipo are the standard Fiat stuff so should be pretty solid, servicing will probably be expensive once it gets a few years on it, but if, like many people you only keep your car a couple of years, this won’t bother you.
In our test car we had the 1.6 multijet 120 diesel and it pulls well, has a fair turn of speed and returned us over 50mpg with our manual gearbox. Fiat claim it can do over 70mpg. It probably could if you were on a motorway all day at 55mph.
The Tipo rides well and is surprisingly fun to drive, can get a little jiggly on a bumpy road, so if you have a long gravel drive it might annoy you.
I would certainly have one over an Astra or Megane though.
Our test car was the 1.6 diesel. Top speed of 124mph, MPG quoted at 74 and co2 of 98g/km