Fiat Tipo (2016-present)

A spacious budget hatchback that majors on interior roominess, but it is both dull to drive and to behold

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths 

Undercuts popular rivals from Ford and Vauxhall
Standard equipment is generous
It has a large boot and room for five adults

Weaknesses 

Dull to drive
Materials feel cheap
Boring to look at
Best New Discount

Fiat Tipo Diesel Station Wagon 1.6 multijet lounge 5dr

Total RRP £21,230

Your quote £17,525

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Fiat Tipo prices from £8,000   Finance from £132 per month

Customers looking for an affordable family hatchback are currently spoilt for choice, with Vauxhall, Skoda, Renault  and many of the other major manufacturers offering accomplished C-segment vehicles that can be picked up for less than £15,000.

The Fiat Tipo's competitive edge is its affordable price tag, and with models starting at £12,995 for the most basic versions, it could potentially make for some extremely affordable transportation.

But as with so many things in life, spending that little bit more could result in a much better product. The Tipo feels cheap inside, is dull as dishwater to drive, and doesn't really do much to excite visually.

Available in both hatchbackbuyac and estate-like Station Wagon variants, the Tipo doesn't scrimp on space, with an extremely generous boot and lofty headroom inside making it a very practical option for those with large loads to transport.

The engine range consists of three petrols and two turbo diesel variants that deliver outputs that range from 95hp to 120hp, while fuel economy and CO2 levels are extremely competitive, if not class leading.

As you can probably tell, much of what the Tipo does is lukewarm, with exterior styling that isn't ugly, but is extremely easy to lose in a car park full of rival hatchbacks.

The interior is just as uninspiring, with cheap plastic covering most surfaces, uncomfortable front seats that lack adjustability in basic models and a small five-inch touchscreen entertainment system that feels basic compared to those from Volkswagen, Ford and Renault.

It's a similar story when it comes to the driving experience, which lacks the sort of fizz or enthusiasm to transform a typically boring commute into something a little more grin inducing.

The steering lacks feel, there's a fair amount of body roll through corners and even the most potent engines need to be worked hard to get the most out of them.

This means things can get a little noisy under hard acceleration, especially with the diesel variants, but they do settle down to a more palatable note at motorway cruising speeds.

If practicality, an affordable price tag and no-frills motoring are at the top of the agenda, the Tipo won't disappoint, as it has all of its competitors beaten in a straight value-for-money fight.

However, if you spend some time with slightly more expensive rivals and it could convince you to stretch the budget.

Last Updated 

Friday, September 28, 2018 - 17:00

Key facts 

3-years / 60,000 miles: 
Warranty
Boot space: 
440 litres
Width: 
1,792mm
Length: 
4,368mm
Height: 
1,495mm
Tax: 
From £115 to £195

Best Fiat Tipo for... 

Fiat Tipo 1.3 Multijet 95hp Easy
Although not the cheapest to buy outright, this entry-level diesel returns an impressive 76.3mpg on the combined cycle and low CO2 emissions of 99g/km.
Fiat Tipo 1.6 MultiJet 120hp Lounge
The more powerful diesel offers a great blend of fuel economy and performance, while this more expensive Lounge trim includes many mod cons that a modern family demands.
Fiat Tipo 1.4 T-Jet 120hp Lounge
It won't have hairs standing on end but this revvy petrol is by far the most fun to drive and it is quickest to 62mph from a standstill.

Fiat Tipo History 

1988: Original Tipo is launched and impresses customers with sharp exterior styling and unique digital dash
1993: An updated Tipo receives a comprehensive facelift but eventually ceases production in 1995
2016: Fiat revives the Tipo name for its all-new family hatchback and Station Wagon variants

Understanding Fiat Tipo car names 

  • Tipo
  • Trim
    Lounge
  • Body style
    Hatchback
  • Engine
    1.4 T-Jet
  • Gearbox
    6-speed manual
  • Trim
    There are three trim levels on offer: Easy, Easy Plus, and Lounge. The level of standard equipment increases throughout the trim range but so does the price.
  • Body style
    The Fiat Tipo is available in a standard five-door hatchback or an elongated Station Wagon estate variant. The latter commands a higher price.
  • Engine
    The engine range comprises five in total, with petrol models badged T-Jet and the diesel models MultiJet. Power ranges from 95hp to 120hp.
  • Gearbox
    6-speed shows that the car has six gears. The standard gearbox is a six-speed manual but a six-speed automatic accompanies the most powerful E-Torq petrol engine, while a six-speed dual-clutch transmission is available on the top of the range diesel engine.

Fiat Tipo Engines 

1.4 95hp, 1.4 T-Jet 120hp, 1.6 E-Torq 110hp Automatic, 1.3 MultiJet 95hp, 1.6 MultiJet 120hp and 1.6 MultiJet 120hp DCT

Tipo customers are faced with a good selection of engines, which should cover most use cases, but we'd really only recommend the 1.4-litre 95hp petrol engine variant to those who aren't going to venture much further than the school run or supermarket.

It's not powerful enough for regular long motorway cruises and the engine has to be worked hard to keep up with faster moving traffic. The equally powerful diesel boasts more torque, which typically makes overtaking a little easier, but it's still not great over longer drives.

But that doesn't necessarily mean high-mileage families have to turn towards the more powerful diesel engines, because the 1.4-litre T-Jet is a great little all-round unit that returns a fairly respectable 47.1mpg on the combined cycle.

This petrol engine is also quiet and refined, so long as it is isn't revved too hard, while acceleration feels keener and more brisk than some of the more powerful diesel engines in the range.

That said, the greatest fuel economy figures can be found in the engines that sup from the black pump, with 72-76mpg achieved by even the punchiest 1.6 MultiJet 120hp unit.

Although not completely silent, this popular Fiat powerplant is smooth and the drive is surprisingly relaxing for such an affordable car. If only the front seats offered a bit more support, refinement would be up there with more expensive rivals.

A manual six-speed gearbox is pretty commonplace across the range but those wanting to relinquish gear-changing duties can specify an automatic on the top of the range 1.6 petrol and diesel variants.

Petrol engines receive a standard automatic box, while the diesel counterpart benefits from a slick-shifting dual-clutch transmission.

It is also worth bearing in mind that the Station Wagon models are typically slower to 62mph from standstill than their hatchback counterparts (largely due to weight), while fuel economy is also affected slightly, but the numbers are so minuscule it is not really worth worrying about.

Fuel

Mpg

Bhp

0 - 62mph

Top speed

1.4 95hp manual

Petrol

49.6mpg

92bhp

12.1s

115mph

1.4 T-Jet 120hp manual

Petrol

47.1mpg

118bhp

9.6s

124mph

1.6 E-Torq 110hp Automatic

Petrol

44.8mpg

108bhp

11.5s

119mph

1.3 MultiJet 95hp

Diesel

76.3mpg

92bhp

12s

112mph

1.6 MultiJet 120hp

Diesel

76.3mpg

118bhp

9.8s

124mph

1.6 MultiJet 120hp DCT

Diesel

74.3mpg

118bhp

10.2s

124mph

Fiat Tipo Trims 

Easy, Easy Plus, and Lounge

The Fiat Tipo is an affordable car and as a result, the trim offering is fairly basic across the range, which will make things simple when specifying the vehicle but could leave some buyers wanting more.

Entry-level Easy models are fitted with cruise control, speed limiter and autonomous emergency braking as standard, which is excellent at this price point, but the rest of the package leaves much to be desired.

The basic entertainment system does have DAB radio, Bluetooth, USB and AUX-in for basic smartphone connectivity, while the steering wheel mounted controls are a nice touch, but the cloth trim and 15-inch steel wheels don't do much to make the Tipo feel genuinely desirable.

Opt for the Station Wagon model and the additional outlay bags rear electric windows, flip and fold rear seats and a height-adjustable load platform in the boot for easy loading.

Easy Plus adds the five-inch touchscreen radio, a leather steering wheel and gear knob, rear electric windows (in the hatch model), rear parking sensors and 16-inch alloy wheels. The front end also benefits from fog lights and dazzling LED daytime running lights.

Lounge represents the top of the Tipo range and sees automatic climate control, a navigation system and automatic headlights added to the package.

A rear-view camera assists in those tricky parking manoeuvres and 17-inch alloys, chrome window, gear lever, fog lights and chrome grill surrounds lift the styling somewhat, while an electrically adjustable driver's seat adds some extra convenience.

The options list is fairly basic and rivals from Ford and Vauxhall offer much more in terms of cutting-edge driver tech and interior niceties.

Fiat Tipo Reliability and warranty 

Fiat's standard three-year/60,000-mile warranty is nothing to shout from the rooftops about, especially considering rivals from Kia and Hyundai are covered for five or even seven years against faults.

The Tipo also failed to appear on the 2018 Auto Express Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, with only the 500  and 500X representing the Italian brand. Unfortunately, these languished towards the bottom of the table, the 500X only just placing above the budget Dacia Sandero.

Used Fiat Tipo 

Search for used Fiat Tipos and you'll be amazed at the bargains that can be had on nearly new models.

This car does not hold its value well, which is worth considering if you're buying new, and low mileage examples can be picked up for almost half the price of a new counterpart.

Even 2017 Easy Plus models with little more than delivery miles on the clock can be found for less than £10,000, which feels like a lot of car for the money, even if it is a tad bland.

1 year old2 years old3 years old

Best for performance Fiat Tipo 1.4 T-Jet

PriceN/AN/AN/A

Best for families Fiat Tipo 1.6 MultiJet 120hp

Price£8,895N/AN/A

Best for economy  Fiat Tipo 1.3 Multijet

Price£8,895N/AN/A