Review: Fiat Tipo (2016)
Comfortable and easy to drive. Spacious. Sturdily built. Good value. £5k less than an equivalent Golf.
Not the best engines in the class. Tiny touchscreen system. Less gadgets than the similar Nissan Pulsar. Advanced safety tech is optional.
Fiat Tipo (2016): At A Glance
- New prices start from £14,320, brokers can source from £9,407
- Contract hire deals from £154.82 per month
- Insurance Groups are between 6–16
- On average it achieves 78% of the official MPG figure
Affordable, practical and surprisingly well-made, the Fiat Tipo is a sensible family car - similar in size to a Ford Focus. The engine range isn’t broad or particularly advanced and the interior is drably styled – but the flaws are easily forgiven when the affordable pricing is taken into consideration. If you’re looking for value, it’s a smart choice.
There are three petrol and two diesel engine choices. The basic 1.4-litre 95PS petrol feels dated and is best avoided, but there is a punchier turbocharged 1.4 with 120PS or, if you need an auto, a 1.6-litre with 110PS. The diesels are likely to be more popular, though.
The basic diesel is a 1.3-litre with 95PS. Emissions are 99g/km, while official economy is 76.3mpg – so it’s frugal. But equally economical is the 1.6-litre MultiJet, which produces 120PS and a chunky 320Nm of torque. It’s easily the best engine available in the Tipo, but it’s also the most expensive. It’s also available with a DCT automatic transmission.
The Tipo is unremarkable to drive, with a sloppy gear change. But it’s quiet, comfortable and easy to get on with. For dual carriageways, A-roads and town driving there’s nothing to complain about - the steering is nicely weighted and the handling is very predictable. It’s only on a twisting road where a more sophisticated suspension set up would improve comfort - the Tipo can feel unsettled over potholes.
Practicality is good. The back row of seats provides enough leg and headroom for adults to sit in reasonable comfort, though the middle row is slightly raised. The boot has a generous 440-litre capacity, but it has a raised load lip that makes loading and unloading heavy or bulky items difficult. The rear seats split and fold, but not completely flat.
The entry-level model comes with essentials including air conditioning, DAB radio, Bluetooth, plus USB and aux inputs. Mid-spec Easy Plus models gain a very small colour touchscreen, rear electric windows, parking sensors, alloy wheels and cruise control, while top trim models get auto lights, auto wipers, climate control, reversing camera and navigation.
The Fiat Tipo doesn’t stand out as a particularly remarkable family car, but it feels sturdily made, it’s practical and it is very competitively priced. In that regard it’s a lot like the Nissan Pulsar, which is available with more technology including an excellent 360-degree parking camera, but at higher cost. But if you want no nonsense family motoring the Tipo is just right.
What does a Fiat Tipo (2016) cost?
Fiat Tipo (2016): What's It Like Inside?
- Euro NCAP rating of three stars
The Fiat Tipo isn’t the last word in sophistication. Its cabin is drab, with a forgettable but functional layout and hardwearing, if not particularly plush materials. The glovebox is a decent size and there are useful door bins, plus there is a good amount of space for passengers. Even back row occupants should be able to get comfortable.
The middle seat is slightly raised, however – so piggy-in-the-middle gets a raw deal as they'll feel perched up high. Families with younger children will appreciate the wide-opening doors, which make getting child seats in and out easier, as well as providing easy access for less mobile occupants.
The boot has a capacity of 440 litres, which is more than most family hatchbacks, but it isn’t the most practical shape. A tall load lip is the biggest bugbear, making the loading and unloading of large or heavy objects tricky. Folding the seats down liberates more space, but the seat backs don’t fold completely flat.
Basic Easy versions of the Tipo miss out on a few luxuries including alloy wheels and a touchscreen, but they are still fairly well-equipped, with air conditioning, DAB radio, Bluetooth connectivity, USB , Aux input and front electric windows. There’s also a front central arm rest and steering wheel mounted audio controls.
Mid-spec Easy Plus models gain a very small, five-inch touchscreen. It’s smaller than the average smartphone screen, so compared to the systems in most cars its miniscule, but it is responsive and easy to use. Alloy wheels, parking sensors and cruise control are also standard on Easy Plus trim, while top Lounge variants get climate control, navigation, auto lights, auto wipers and a reversing camera.
There is also a trim level aimed specifically at business and fleet customers which has the same basics as Easy Plus, but with the addition of adaptive cruise control and autonomous emergency braking, which are otherwise optional across the rest of the Tipo range.
Easy comes with air conditioning, DAB, steering wheel audio controls, electric door mirror adjustment, 15-inch steel wheels, 60/40 split rear seats, front centre arm rest and remote control central locking.
Easy Plus adds five-inch colour touchscreen interface, leather steering wheel and gear knob, rear electric windows, rear parking sensors, cruise control, 16-inch alloy wheels, front fog lights and LED running lights.
Lounge adds auto cruise control, navigation, auto lights, auto wipers, auto dipping rear-view mirror, chrome details, rear view camera, driver’s electric lumbar support plus 17-inch alloy wheels.
Elite is based on Easy Plus, but gains adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking and a speed limiter.
Child seats that fit a Fiat Tipo (2016)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the Fiat Tipo (2016) like to drive?
The Fiat Tipo comes with a choice of three petrol and two diesel engines. The basic 1.4-litre, 95PS petrol is showing its age now and best avoided, as is the 1.6-litre 110PS petrol automatic. The 1.4-litre T-Jet petrol is a better bet, since it has a turbo, so develops a usefully punchy 215Nm of torque from 2500rpm.
None of the petrol engines is particularly economical – all are officially capable of just below 50mpg, with emissions of between 132g/km and 147g/km. The diesel engines are better – all emit less than 100g/km of CO2 and have official economy figures of more than 70mpg, so running costs should be low.
The basic 1.3-litre MultiJet diesel produces 95PS and 200Nm of torque, with an official economy figure of 76.3mpg. But the best choice of engine for the Tipo is the 1.6-litre 120PS MultiJet. Unfortunately it's also the most expensive, It does however manage to match the 1.3 MultiJet for fuel economy but with a much more potent 320Nm of torque. It’s available with a six-speed manual or torque converter automatic gearbox.
On the road the Tipo is unremarkable but perfectly capable. It has a slightly sloppy gear change, but it’s refined and comfortable, plus it has nicely weighted and accurate steering. The suspension does a reasonable job of ironing out lumps and bumps but it can get unsettled on particularly rough roads. The handling is neat and predictable - it isn’t much fun on a twisting road, but for motorways or A-Roads it’s fine. In other words, it's adequate but no more.
It’s easy around town, where the light controls make stopping and starting painless. Parking is straightforward thanks to the city button which makes the steering extra light, but reversing sensors are only standard from Easy Plus upwards, while if you want a reversing camera you'll have to go for a top Lounge model.
Cruise control is another handy luxury that is missing from the basic Easy model, though it is standard in mid-level Easy Plus variants.
Advanced safety gear including autonomous emergency braking, a speed limiter and adaptive cruise control isn’t fitted as standard, but is available optionally. Safety Pack A is £250 and includes autonomous emergency braking and speed limiter, while the £500 Safety Pack B includes both, plus adaptive cruise control.
|1.3 MultiJet||76 mpg||12.0 s||99 g/km|
|1.4||37–50 mpg||12.1–12.4 s||132–148 g/km|
|1.4 T-Jet||40–47 mpg||9.6–9.9 s||139–154 g/km|
|1.6 Automatic||45 mpg||11.5 s||147 g/km|
|1.6 MultiJet||64–76 mpg||9.8–11.5 s||98–113 g/km|
|1.6 MultiJet DCT||45–74 mpg||10.2 s||99 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Fiat Tipo (2016)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
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