We drove the Fiat Tipo 1,6 Multijet Hatchback: a car for all types and purposes…

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We drove the Tipo through France in glorious spring weather: here we are in Nancy…

What is so typical about the Fiat Tipo? We would say its suitability, its excellent all round properties. It performs well, is frugal, drives most refined, vibration free and silent,  is comfortable, roomy and last but not least good looking. Add to all this the very interesting price and the low service cost, and you understand that we are very enthusiastic.

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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Scenic places along the route: here we parked the Tipo in front of our hotel in the centre of Langres…

We took this Tipo again for a long trip towards the South of France, and were again greatly impressed. It is an ideal companion on these high speed motorway trips, as well as being in its element on the winding Routes Nationales and on narrow mountain roads. Good aerodynamic qualities, the silent but powerful Multijet engine and the six speed manual gearbox makes high speed cruising pleasant and totally effortless, with plenty of torque in hand for those long motorway hills, being able to maintain the high cruising speeds without ever having to choose a lower gear even under full load.

The six speed gearbox changes are slick and precise, so on winding roads it is no punishment to flick the lever in a lower gear, if the need arises. Because the engine offers plenty of pulling power across a wide rev range, this is hardly necessary anyway.

In traffic jams, we again enjoyed the excellent crawling properties of the Tipo. A very smooth and progessive clutch, an engine which remains quiet and untemperamental at idling speeds without ever a hint of stalling, this lets you remain completely “zen” in endless stop start traffic. Besides this, the stop start function works ever so smoothly and unobtrusive. The “city” position of the power steering proved also a boon in city streets and when parking. A rearview camera and audible warning signals do the rest of course.

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Here we photographed the Tipo in front of the church in Aihlion

As we said, a very versatile Fiat this Tipo truly is. Every meter you drive it, you sense the “savoir faire” of a global car manufacturer, and the very high level of engineering that went into designing this Tipo.Roomy and well finished.

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Our Tipo came with leather seats, full infotainment equipment and we were impressed by the tasteful contours of dashboard and interior, the quality of the materials and the high level of finish. The rear “fifth” door of our hatchback version really opens wide and leaves you a luggage space of 440 liters with both rear seat backrests in the normal position.

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Frugal

Again we were quite astonished by the smoothness and velvety pulling power of this second generation Multijet 1,6 liter engine. The data speak for themselves: maximum power is a healthy 88 Kw or 120 HP at 3750 rpm with 320 Nm of torque being available at 1750 rpm.  Performance is quite lively with 0 to 100 being absolved in 9,8 seconds, top speed being 200 km/h.

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Frugal this Multijet Tipo really is. If one cruises with some restraint at 110-115 km/h, consumption drops around and even below 4 liter/100 km, during our trip to the Midi we stayed on average below 5 liter/100 km. The manufacturer quotes  3,7 liter/100 km as average consumption, with CO2 emissions being 98 g/km.

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It is truly astonishing how smooth, powerful and frugal modern Euro 6 diesel engines have become. Of course the problematic level of NoX pollution in major cities forces us to rethink diesel powered mobility, but considering the excellent performance and behavior of these engines and the high level of their present technology, balanced solutions will have to be found.

Comfort

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In very hot spring weather in the South of France, we certainly appreciated the airco and digital climate control, but this was not all. We liked also the comfortable suspension and very good seating. Both head- and legroom was quite good at the rear too.

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We appreciated also the excellent infotainment, with state of the art navigation, developed together with TomTom, which is indeed very intuitive and easy to use, besides being dead accurate of course.

We told you already in earlier reports about the usefulness of the U Connect system, which lets you enjoy your music using Deezer and Tunein, and were now quite delighted again with the audio system, which played flawlessly the MPEG4 music files on our USB stick, showing on the central touchscreen also the music info and eventual pictures accompanying the albums or tracks.

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Our test car had the top level “Lounge” equipment, and came with the 7 inch Uconnect HD Live. It has Bluetooth, streaming audio, voice recognition. You can read the news on Reuters, stay connected on Facebook for instance. You can even use your phone thanks to Car Play and Android Auto. The works!

Last but not least you can check your consumption through Eco: Drive and my:Car.

Conclusion

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What an utterly convincing car this Tipo is. It does not show any weak sides, has a very high level of technical engineering and design, is very well built, spacious and stylish. It is truly all round, being everything you need a car to be. All this at a very interesting price, offering great value for money.

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Not to be missed: the restaurant “Liitle Italy” in Nancy…

Indeed, a car for all types of uses, built by a global manufacturer which has, besides its know how, also a heart for cars, and this truly shows again in this 5 door Tipo, nicely clad in metallic Blu Mediterraneo.

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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