- Stylish aesthetics
- Spacious and practical
- Low running costs
- Poor interior quality
- 4-star NCAP score
- Not great to drive
Good-looking family hatchback with impressive practicality.
The Fiat Tipo is the Italian’s latest entry into the hugely competitive family hatchback market. It finds itself up against favourites like the Ford Focus, the Volkswagen Golf, and the Vauxhall Astra. In terms of price, the Tipo undercuts all three, though it’s not quite as complete as any of those cars. Despite this, the Tipo is spacious, practical, cheap to run, and pretty stylish. The interior does feel a little low-rent compared to some rivals, though it’s comfortable enough for passengers. The Tipo might not be the best car in its class, but it’s still a very respectable family hatchback.
Spacious and practical, but lacks the class of competitors.
At first glance, the interior of the Tipo looks pretty impressive. The design is clean and modern, without being especially inspiring. Build quality is disappointing however, but there’s plenty of space on offer, whilst equipment levels are generous considering how cheap the Tipo is to buy.
The dashboard design of the Tipo is an attractive, modern affair, that will disappoint few buyers. It’s not quite as ultra-modern as a Vauxhall Astra’s, or a Peugeot 308’s, but it doesn’t look dated. Unfortunately, the design is let down by poor quality. There are soft touch materials on the top of the dash, but the rest of the cabin is constructed with cheaper feeling hard plastics. Controls aren’t as nicely damped as you’d get in Volkswagen Golf’s either. But the Tipo is cheaper to buy than its rivals, and it’s not too much of a compromise.
One of the Tipo’s strongest suits is the space and practicality that it offers. The back seats offer plenty of leg, and headroom, even for taller adults. It’s certainly up there with the best in class. The 440-litre boot capacity is bigger than nearly all the other other family hatchbacks on offer, easily eclipsing the Ford Focus (316 litres), and the Vauxhall Astra (351 litres). So if you need to lug around a lot of luggage or shopping, the Tipo will certainly meet your needs.
Equipment levels are generous with the Tipo, no matter which trim you go for. The entry-level Easy trim includes electric front windows, aircon, Bluetooth, and a DAB radio. Whilst mid-range Easy Plus trim adds electric rear windows, alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, parking sensors, cruise control, and a 5” touchscreen infotainment system. Upgrade to the range-topping Lounge trim and you’ll get luxuries such as climate control, sat nav, automatic lights and wipers, and a reversing camera.
All in all, the inside of the Tipo is solid, without being especially spectacular. It’s both spacious and practical, whilst you’ll also get plenty of kit for your money. Unfortunately the Tipo is let down by poor cabin quality, which will put off a lot of buyers.
Great around town, but not a great deal of fun.
Family hatchbacks might have been dull cars to drive in the past, but today cars such as the Ford Focus and the Mazda3 have changed the game when it comes to driving thrills. Unfortunately, the Tipo doesn’t quite hit the mark. The steering is vague and imprecise, whilst it’s too heavy at low speeds for city centre manoeuvres. A ‘City Button’ helps with parking however. Body roll is fairly apparent on twisty country lanes, so much so that the Tipo never really feels comfortable when driving at speed.
Suspension and Chassis
Though the Tipo isn’t going to leave you with a smile on your face behind the wheel, it will at least keep you comfortable. The soft suspension copes well with British roads, though it does wallow a bit at over rough surfaces. If you’re planning on using the Tipo regularly for long motorway journeys, you’ll quickly notice the excessive road and wind noise. If you want a relaxed cruiser, you’re better off opting for a Volkswagen Golf, or a Skoda Octavia.
Gearbox options in the Tipo come in two guises. Nearly all Tipos come equipped with a six speed manual transmission. It’s pretty easy to use, though it lacks the accuracy of a Ford Focus’. A six-speed automatic is also available, but only when paired with the 1.6 litre petrol engine. It’s not especially bad, but it lags some way behind the DSG in the Volkswagen Golf.
A solid range of petrol and diesel engines.
When it comes to deciding how you want to power your Tipo, you’ve got the usual two options: petrol, or diesel. There are two diesels, and three petrols on offer. The diesels are best suited to money savers, though the 1.4 litre turbocharged petrol engine is definitely worth consideration.
If it’s power that you want from your Tipo, you might be a little disappointed with the engines on offer. Currently, the most powerful are the 1.4 litre T-Jet petrol engine, and the 1.6 litre MultiJet diesel. Both produce 118bhp, and accelerate from 0-62mph in just under ten seconds. The petrol is more responsive, and more comfortable at higher revs. Whilst the diesel offers more low end punch.
Eco-friendly buyers should be relatively happy with the engines that Fiat provides for the Tipo. The most planet-friendly option is the 1.3 litre MultiJet diesel. It produces just 98g/km of CO2 emissions, whilst also providing road tax exemption. The 1.6 litre MultiJet diesel is also good for planet, producing just 99g/km. It’s arguably the better option, due to its increased power output. Money-savers will be best served going for one of the two diesels as well. Both are road tax free, and both can achieve up to 76mpg.
Whichever engine you go for in your Tipo, you won’t be too disappointed. But for most buyers, the diesels make more sense. The 1.6 litre diesel is undoubtedly the pick of the bunch. It’s cheap to run, good for the planet, whilst also being the quickest in the range.
Disappointing NCAP score, but decent standard kit.
Unlike nearly every car in its class, the Fiat Tipo failed to achieve the highest possible 5-star NCAP safety rating. Though it did achieve 4-stars, it’s disappointing to see it can’t quite match its rivals. It scored 82% in adult safety, a disappointing 62% in child safety, 62% in pedestrian safety, and 57% in safety assist. Only the adult safety score compares well with competitors. The Tipo does however come as standard with six airbags, electronic stability control, tyre-pressure monitoring, and autonomous city braking.
Excellent value for money, if you avoid the cost of new-car depreciation.
The Fiat Tipo is one of the best value cars in the family hatchback class. Entry-level models undercut rivals for cost by quite a fair amount of money. Running costs are also relatively low, though this does vary between model to model. As long as you stick to the diesel models, you’ll get free road tax, as well as impressive fuel economy of up to 76mpg. The most expensive car to run is the 1.6 litre automatic, which will cost £145 in road tax each year. It’s worth bearing in mind that Fiat doesn’t have the best reputation for reliability however.
Insurance groups for the Tipo again depend on which model you choose to go for. Whichever spec you go for, you won’t be paying any more than you would for an equivalent rival. The range starts in group 6 for the entry-level 1.3 MultiJet II Easy, and climbs up towards group 15 for the range-topping 1.6 MultiJet DCT Auto Lounge.
Depreciation is a large factor to consider with the Tipo, but only if you choose to buy from new. With first year depreciation expected to be as high as 40%, you’re better off opting for an inspected used equivalent.
The Fiat Tipo is a solid entry into the competitive family hatchback market. It’s by no means the class leader, but it still has a lot to offer. It offers lots of practical storage space, whilst there’s also plenty of room for passengers. And though it isn’t a great deal of fun to drive, it won’t cost you much money to run day-to-day. If you’re after a stylish family hatchback, and you’re on a tighter budget, the Fiat Tipo is a solid option to consider.
Buying a used Fiat Tipo online with Carspring
If you’re after a used Fiat Tipo for sale, it can all feel like a bit of an ordeal. What, with long days spent around gigantic car supermarkets, or time spent trawling through classified websites, looking for that ideal used Tipo. Carspring makes it simple. Buy your next used Fiat Tipo online with the touch of a button. Simply decide on the model you want and choose how you want to pay.
Looking to finance your used Fiat? Not a problem, we work with our carefully selected finance partners to ensure that, if you’re paying monthly for your used Fiat Tipo, you know you’re getting the best rates. What’s more, with any Carspring used Tipo, you also get our 14-day money-back guarantee and 6 months’ free Warranty. Plus, you don’t have to leave your home. We’ll deliver your used Fiat to you at a time and place of your choice.
*This is an approximate figure based on the range of the car’s list price and the AA’s average 1st-year depreciation cost of 40%.