Cheap, better to drive than some others in its class
Dull to look at, diesels aren't great, material quality
What is it?
The Fiat Tipo was originally launched in 1988, and quickly made a name for itself by being boxy and practical, and affordable to buy. This new one is a successor to the disappointing Bravo, which replaced the disappointing Stilo, which replaced, well, you get the idea.
In 2016, the modern-day Tipo is looking to tread a path more like the original Tipo and less like its disappointing descendants.
Prices start at £12,995, which is less than a base Ford Fiesta costs. And yet the Tipo is the size of a Focus. Bigger, in fact, should boot space and rear legroom be your major concerns. It’s the age old ‘big car for small money’ offer, which Kia and Hyundai used to major in (they’ve upgraded and now sell at VW Golf prices) and for which Dacia has recently become the go-to brand.
While Fiat has one of the smaller ranges in the mainstream car business, it increasingly has one of the more diverse: there are glamorous, fun cars like the Fiat 500 and Fiat 124 Spider, and then utterly prosaic models like this Tipo and the even squarer Panda. Oh, and the 500L and 500X, which sit somewhere between the two.
Our choice from the range
What's the verdict?
Essentially, Fiat’s pulling the ‘one-size-up’ trick that used to suit the Koreans so well, offering a Focus-sized car for nigh-on Fiesta money. And yes, you can pinpoint where the money has been saved, but it doesn’t stop the Tipo being a fit for purpose, honest workhorse. In light of how fun the 124 Spider is and how cool the 500 remains, the Tipo is probably Fiat’s least interesting car. But that doesn’t mean it’s worth ignoring if you love a bargain.