Fiat Tipo (2016) Review

Fiat Tipo (2016) At A Glance

2/5
Honest John Overall Rating
In most quantifiable ways, the Fiat Tipo isn’t a great car compared with its rivals, trailing most of them in a number of areas, and by quite a long way in many of them.

+Comfortable and easy to drive, spacious, sturdily built, good value when compared to the competition.

-Not the best engines in the class, tiny touchscreen system, less gadgets than the similar Nissan Pulsar, advanced safety tech is optional.

Insurance Groups are between 6–15
On average it achieves 80% of the official MPG figure

The Fiat Tipo is capable family transport for an incredibly low price, and that will be appealing to many buyers. If you’re buying on a budget, and you look upon your car as an appliance rather than something to be enjoyed, then its shortcomings are probably nothing you couldn’t put up with. Then again, a Skoda Scala is also very cheap, while being a far better all-rounder.

They say that ‘you pays your money and you takes your choice’. The thing is, what if your priority is to pay as little money as possible, and you don’t give a flying Fiat about the quality of what that money gets you? Well, that’s where the Tipo comes in.

In a similar mould to the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra with which we’re all familiar, the Tipo is a compact family hatchback with ample interior space and a big boot. It comes with a range of petrol and diesel engines, and while its styling is nothing out of the ordinary, it looks smart enough compared with rivals.

The difference is, though, that this car is cheap. We mean really, really cheap. Even brand new, prices start at a little over fifteen grand, and because it also happens to have catastrophic resale values, there are even bigger savings to be made on the used market. Even other ‘budget’ offerings like the Skoda Scala or Vauxhall Astra can’t be picked up this cheaply.

Now unfortunately, we don’t live in a world where you get something for nothing, so there are prices to pay for such a low pricestag. The interior is short on quality - in terms of both its materials and its assembly - while the more basic versions do without some fairly important items of standard equipment, a half-decent infotainment system being the most notable absentee.

The Tipo only has four Euro NCAP stars (out of five), while the engines on offer aren’t very economical and are merely mediocre on performance and refinement. In fact, the driving experience is pretty mediocre all round, with a slightly unsettled ride and stodgy handling.

The thing is, though, that with the majority of these shortcomings, they only really become a problem when you start comparing the Tipo with other cars.

Yes, it struggles in most areas compared with rivals, but judged in isolation, then none of it is stuff that you couldn’t put up with, especially if you’re looking to spend as little as possible. So while the Tipo is far from being the best car of its type, there’s certainly a place for it.

Ask Honest John

Best new or used family car for £13,000?
"My wife unfortunately managed to write off her Volkswagen Golf today. We need to buy a new family car quickly and can spend up to about £13,000. We know very little about cars. We live near a Motorpoint car supermarket. Are these type of huge operations reputable? Do you have any general thoughts or suggestions on which car we should buy?"
For £13k you can buy two new Dacia Sanderos, one new FIAT Tipo, or your could buy a two year old Golf. Take a look at Motorpoint but bear in mind you do not have to buy used.
Answered by Honest John
Buying family car
"Hello and greetings from Portugal. Need advice on buying a "new" used car for the family. I have 3 kids, (15,13 and 3 years old), so it need's to have inside space for 5 and a large boot, only do between 7 to 12 thousand miles/year (Diesel out of the question?) majority of them in the city runs, it has to be reliable and cheap to run, my budget is 10000 pounds. Thank you in advance."
The new FIAT Tipo saloon and Hatchback have been selling in Spain and Portugal for €10,995, which is under your budget: http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/road-tests/fiat/fiat-tipo-2016-range-road-test/ (I didn't cover the saloon because it will not be sold in the UK.)
Answered by Honest John

What does a Fiat Tipo (2016) cost?