We drove the new Fiat Tipo 1.4 MultiAir Turbo 120 hp: a world class car…

The latest generation Fiat Tipo is conquering our globe. Again Fiat shows with this world beater how much know it has acquired in creating and building compact five seaters with panache. Everything is “just right” about this Tipo, whether we talk about its proportions, timeless styling, drivetrain, platform and suspension, you name it.

Moreover, it offers excellent value for money. We drove here for you the smooth and frugal 120 hp petrol engine, coupled to a slick six speed manual gearbox. Just read on…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

We have driven the new Tipo already in diesel engine versions, but this time we enjoyed the smoothness and willingness of its 1,4 litre petrol engine, offering the latest in its famous MultiAir technology. This unit is silent, runs velvety smooth right from cold, and when you rev it up, it emits this unmistakably thoroughbred note, which is so endearing for anyone who (slightly) loves cars.

The unit pulls without any vibration or slightest hesitation from very low revs, which means that you can leisurely potter along at 30 km/h in third gear, and smoothly pull away to 50 km/h, in today’s labyrinth of legal urban speed limits. This Tipo takes everything beautifully in its stride, and the low engine revs also deliver very interesting  consumption figures. In town, the factory figure of 7,7 l/100 km is easily achievable, when one drives with anticipation and staying at low revs.

Pulling power is quite sufficient, with 215 Nm being available at 2500 rpm, and the gear ratios are beautifully adapted to the engine’s characteristics. The Tipo feels equally very well at home on the autoroutes. The top speed is by the way not less than 200 km/h, and acceleration from 0 to 100 km is absolved in merely 9,6 seconds. Max power is a healthy 120 HP at 5000 rpm, and this Tipo will happily cruise all day at anything between 120 and 140 km/h. Wind and road noise are reasonably well suppressed. The fuel consumption on the open road is around 5 liters, at 120 km/h, a fuel consumption of around 6 liters is quoted. Even more so than with diesel engines, the driving style is very important with petrol engines. The gearshift indicator on the instrument cluster will surely help you here.

The handling is beyond reproach. Not that the Tipo will beg you to throw it around the nearest corner, but when you happen to be in a hurry it will surprise you will very neutral and positive steering and handling. Millions of test circuit miles have seen to this, giving this world car impeccably safe road manners. The Tipo will remain neutral right up to the adhesion limit, and even for novices it remains a very safe handling car, also in wintery conditions.

Comfort and space

In a world car – remember that it is the second most global Fiat model with over 70% of its production  sold outside Italy – roominess and a comfortable ride are necessary ingredients for success. And here too, the Tipo excels, considering its category and price class. It is a genuine five seater, with 440 liters of trunk space, 500 kg payload and 1200 kg of braked towing weight by the way.

 

The seats are well designed, a good seating position is soon found, and the dashboard is beyond reproach when it comes to sheer ergonomics, with an altogether quite pleasing styling. We liked again the classic round dials for speed and revs, and the touchscreen/infotainment unit on the central console amidst the dashboard contains the applauded UConnect system.

Sturdy and well proven.

The Tipo, is of course well up to the mark when it comes to service friendliness and reliability. Let’s not forget that in 2017, for example, a standard production car went around the world in 133 days, travelling 41,000 kilometres in 400 hours, with no need for supplementary technical servicing.

Attractive versions

Our test car sported an attractive finish, and we just inform you here that Fiat is bringing out cool versions of the Tipo. Notably there are the Tipo Street and Tipo Mirror versions, amongst others. The Tipo Street is targeted to young customers who want their car to be dynamic, stylish and accessible.

The new Street version, adds new 16-inch glossy black alloy wheels, tinted privacy windows and contrasting dark details, on mirror caps, grille and external and internal door handles. The DRL LED headlights and the dedicated badge consolidate the Street character of this trim.

On the Tipo Mirror, connectivity is standard with UconnectTM 7″ HD LIVE touchscreen which is Apple CarPlay-ready and Android AutoTM compatible.

Then there are also the latest Tipo Sports and S-Design versions, of which more later, when we present them to you in a future test drive.

Conclusion

The Tipo is indeed going from strength to strength. Its looks are good, the roominess and practicality pull it at the top of its segment, its performance, handling and mechanical maturity are beyond reproach. Add to this the quite reasonable economy and its hitherto proven reliability, and last but not least the attractive versions and packages, and you will agree that the Tipo should certainly be on your short list when you plan the purchase of a car in this segment. This Tipo could very well be the type for you…

Hans Knol ten Bensel