Does anyone remember the Fiat Tipo from when they were growing up?
No? I’m not too surprised.
Perhaps a break from the norm this time around but, after the Tipo name was announced to make a comeback, I couldn’t help but be reminded of this thing…
I guess I don’t really remember the Tipo for being a decent car in itself, but despite a slightly funky, digital dashboard on some models, I only remember it for a couple of reasons:
- seeing it as part of the school-run from my Primary school days, and
- if you fast-forward 16 years later, after a friend parked theirs outside my student digs with a boot-full of sub, blasting out Pendulum.
The Tipo name died after the original hatch ceased production in 1995 and was subsequently replaced with the Bravo / Brava. These models were such a hit that Fiat replaced them again with the Stilo. Can you spot a trend? Only by this point, Fiat just didn’t bother with another family hatch and left the sector altogether.
This time though, the Tipo is set to make a return to the UK with the new five-door-only hatchback and estate rivalling the Vauxhall Astra, Ford Focus, and VW Golf. The much-loved saloon bodystyle that’s such a hit in Europe is yet to be confirmed for the UK.
Fiat is keen to claim that three six-feet-plus passengers can fit in the rear seats too. We’ll have to see for ourselves if that will actually be possible and – more importantly – if anyone would find that a primary selling point in the first place.
How many friends would you honestly have (let alone ones that are tall), if you’re considering a Tipo above all else as your aspirational choice?
But…perhaps that’s not the point. By aiming to offer high levels of standard equipment and practicality over its rivals, this could make for a decent-value family hatchback.
Hopefully Fiat’s claim won’t just destine the Tipo as an attraction for taxi drivers, but if it does, they might want to know that boot capacity should nudge past the class leaders at 440 litres in the hatchback, and 550 litres in the estate.
Load up the estate
Thanks to the extra 20cm in external length, the 4.57m long Tipo estate can carry loads of up to 1.8m in length. Removable side storage panels within the boot can partially expand the width of the luggage compartment, while underfloor storage space and two bag hooks can keep smaller loads in check. Four load-retaining hooks on the floor help secure those larger items.
The 60:40 split rear seats fold to create a flat floor space, and a low load sill and height-adjustable boot floor help minimise the strain when loading heavy items into the boot. Standard-fit roof bars provide backup for those particularly large or awkwardly shaped cargo.
Engine and trim
Three trim levels will be available but full details will be confirmed nearer the launch.
Standard equipment includes:
- Air conditioning
- Six airbags
- DAB radio with Bluetooth and steering wheel controls
- All-round electric windows (estate only)
Rear parking sensors, alloy wheels and TomTom’s latest Uconnect 5-inch touchscreen navigation system will be fitted to the two higher-spec models too, supporting multi-touch gestures, speed camera alerts and weather updates.
Shame the futuristic digital instrument cluster won’t make a return for those looking for that touch of nostalgia.
Five engines in total available from launch: two diesel and three petrol.
A 1.3-litre MultiJet II diesel engine produces 93bhp and 200Nm of torque, however company car drivers may be interested in the higher-powered 1.6-litre unit which produces 118bhp, 320Nm of torque and yet still returns 76.3mpg. CO2 emissions of 98g/km will put this in the 17% Benefit-in-Kind company car tax bracket. A Ford Focus emitting the same amount currently costs £61 for 2015/16 tax year, rising to £68 for 2016/17.