Fiat Tipo car review: ‘Did I want to sit in it, or did I want to race?’
Ah, the Fiat Tipo: they call it a multijet lounge, which gave me distinctly mixed messages. Did it want to jet, or did it want to lounge? Did I want to sit in it, or did I want to race? The cabin is spacious but beset with tiny inconveniences.
The gear housing was a bit lax, so when you put it in neutral, it would transpire you’d left it in second. You could never catch it in the act, so you never knew whether it was your fault, and had to fall back on “But this has never happened to me in any other car”, like a bad relationship.
The frame design is strange, with big wedges of plastic at the back; if you parked on a curve, the road was effectively all blind spot. There was a lot of red styling going on in the binnacles, which made me feel a little alarmed, as if I was being told something important in a dream.
Fiat Tipo car Technology
The cabin did not make me feel special: the screen was diddy and hard to read; the bits where you keep things were not where my hand wanted them to be.
But it had so much going for it! It didn’t look like a small car, or act like one; it wasn’t a hybrid, but its emissions were amazing: it was the first car I’ve driven in so long to fall below 100g/km that I had to look up whether that made it a nine or a perfect 10.
The exterior styling was all curves and nostalgia; from the front, it was a pure hymn to the 80s (if you leave aside all the cars of the 80s that were rough and clunky as cheap jewellery). The boot was ample for my purposes, but I cannot pretend to have moved anything larger than shopping.
Leg room was fine in the front, a bit parsimonious in the back. So much so, in fact, that the car harked back to that other feature of the 80s, the principle that not everybody in the family had to be comfortable.
The turbo diesel engine was the pits in the city, with a sluggish response, then a time-lagged whoosh of extra power, as if from nowhere. Motorway driving was much more enjoyable; the acceleration’s fine in the higher gears, although the slightly stiff posture tells over time.
After about an hour, I started to wriggle as if I was watching a children’s film made by someone other than Pixar.
There is nothing wrong with this car; it is decent, a standup car to start a family with. If you feel it to be insufficiently cool and unclassy, that’s not the car’s fault – there’s something wrong with you. But I think there might be something wrong with me as well.
Fiat Tipo: in numbers
- Price £18,545
- Top speed 124mph
- Acceleration 0-62mph in 9.8 seconds
- Combined fuel consumption 76mpg
- CO2 emissions 98g/km
- Eco rating 9/10
- Cool rating 6/10