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Fiat Tipo 1.4 T-Jet Lounge, car review: New hatch promises value and practicality

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Fiat Tipo 1.4 T-Jet Lounge, car review: New hatch promises value and practicality

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The Tipo is a solid bit of value for what is a very usable hatch indeed

Spacious, practical, well equipped and cheap. That’s the Fiat Tipo in a nutshell.

Due in the UK in September, Fiat’s new hatch starts at about £12,995. So it’s a Focus rival for what’s more like Fiesta money. As tested here, with the familiar 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine in high-spec Lounge trim, it’ll set you back £15,995.

Other petrol and diesel engines are available, and most of them cost more. But this one is a good example of Fiat using tried and trusted components to keep on top of the costs – without which, of course, it would be a Focus rival for Focus money, and that would be a much harder thing to sell.

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But it’s impressively roomy inside, both for people and luggage. The boot has an adjustable floor, too, so you get a lot of practicality per pound.

Fiat Tipo 1.4 T-Jet Lounge 

  • Location: Turin
  • On sale: September
  • Price: £15,995
  • Engine: 4 cyls, 1368cc, turbo, petrol
  • Power: 118bhp at 5000rpm
  • Torque: 152lb ft at 2500rpm
  • Gearbox: 6-spd manual
  • Kerb weight: 1350kg
  • Top speed: 124mph
  • 0-62mph: 9.6sec
  • Economy: 47.1mpg (combined)
  • CO2/tax band: 139g/km, 24%

Up front, though, it’s not as clever as it is big. The equipment level is genuinely good for the price, whichever model you go for, but it’s all a bit austere to look at and it’s not executed with the sort of material quality you associate with good cars these days.

You don’t get ground-breaking performance, either. We’ve got the engine at its most powerful here, and with 118bhp and 152lb ft it’s adequate – though you do need to work the gearstick and gas pedal to get it moving, and it doesn’t sound much like it’s enjoying the experience.

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It feels much more comfortable when you’re not asking hard questions. Take it easy, let it ride, accept that it won’t handle like a thing possessed.

Even then, official figures of 47.1mpg and 139g/km will hardly scare the class leaders. Despite this, though, the Tipo does hold a lot of promise. It’s not a car for people to savour, but it’s a solid bit of value for what is a very usable hatch indeed.

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