Road test: Fiat Tipo S-Design 

Fiat Tipo

You don’t see many Tipos running around, in a Fiat landscape dominated by the smaller and much chicer 500. 

The Tipo occupies the other end of the Fiat spectrum: it packs lots of goodies into a spacious and practical car where any hint of bling is resisted in pursuit of value for money. 

So, you can’t escape solid and shiny black plastic in the cabin, from dash top to door panels. You need to dig deeper to find the Tipo’s stronger points, of which there are several, with standard equipment high on the list. 

My UK specification test model – the 1.4 T-Jet S-Design 5-door, is priced at €21,550 and comes with 18in alloy wheels, upholstery in a mix of fabric and leather, dark tinted windows and xenon headlights, along with automatic climate control and satellite navigation. Add in cruise control, electric windows all-round, DAB radio and Bluetooth, remote central locking and autonomous emergency braking, rearview camera and electric lumbar support for the driver’s seat and this is a well-equipped car. 

Power comes from a 1.4-litre petrol engine that takes the Tipo to the benchmark 100 km/h in just over 9.5 seconds while returning 8.2L per 100 km. The range offers a slightly less powerful petrol engine and a diesel option. Body styles encompass hatchback, saloon and estate. The range in Spain starts from €16,100 or just €10,306, with various promotions on offer, for the lead-in Easy model. 

Another Tipo strong point is an interior capacious enough to sit a big man behind his twin brother at the wheel in front of him and a decent boot plenty big enough for the weekly shop – and hiding a proper spare wheel. 

Extra plus points appear when you move off, noticing the smooth six-speed gearbox and a surprising – and welcome – amount of shove when you need maximum overtaking attack. This is a car that picks up its skirt and gets a move on when demanded. 

It also does a decent job of enjoying a corner or two, although at the expense of a ride that only really settles on the smoothest of road surfaces. 

The Tipo is the kind of car for drivers who want sensible, comfortable and practical daily transport and there is nothing wrong with that, and the Tipo fits the bill perfectly. 

Model tested was UK-specification and equipment levels and prices may vary in other markets. 

Facts at a Glance
Model: Fiat Tipo S-Design 5-Door
Engine: 1.4 T-Jet Gasolina/Petrol
Gears: 6-Speed Manual
Performance: 0-100 kmh (62 mph) 9.9 seconds/Top Speed 200 kmh (124 mph)
Economy: 8.2 l/100km (37.2 mpg)
Emissions: 160 g/km  

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